Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Rest of the Story

Okay, I know that's Paul Harvey's line, but here's the rest of the story from George Carlin (may he rest in peace).

Throw out the non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight and
height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening,
whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's
workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.
Enjoy the simple things.
Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is
with us our entire life is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets,
keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable,
improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, to the next county, to
a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we
take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to at least eight different people...who cares?

-George Carlin

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Paradox of Our Time in History by George Carlin

Quoting my cousin, who sent this to my Dad,

"...wanted to send you an item from the recently deceased George
Carlin. The article was written immediately post 9-11 which was shortly
after his own wife had died. It is titled "The Paradox of our time in
History" and is quite eloquent and inspirational....compared to his more
famous notoriety."

A Message by George Carlin
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but
shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,
but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and
smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees
but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet
more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too
little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too
tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have
multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much,
love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living,
but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been
all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street
to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies
than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast
foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and
shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more
divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick
trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands,
overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to
kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing
in the stockroom.

...Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not
going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who
looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and
leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you,
because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it
doesn't cost a cent.

Remember to say, "I love you" to your loved ones, but most of all mean
it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside
of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that
person will not be there. Give time to love, give time to speak, and
give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

There's more -- "tips for how to stay young". I'll save that for another post. There's plenty here to ruminate on!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No Greater Love

This is what great length love will go, the love of a father for his son.

I passed it on to my Pastor and he used it in this morning's service. It was a perfect illustration for his message entitled The Journey to Deliverance -- a series on suffering and deliverance. That isn't why I sent it... I sent it to Pastor Cliff because, he has a brother, Ronnie, with special needs. "Special Needs" is a politically correct way of saying severely handicapped. Cliff's parents are full-time caregivers to their son who is in his 40's at this point. I've never met Ronnie (yet). I haven't met his parents either, but I have great admiration for them. They are heroes. Heroes who are just doing what comes naturally, loving their child. Their every day love is spelled s-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e.

My life is comparatively easy. Yours???

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

An AH-HA Moment

A collaborative post -- a meeting of the minds in Sunday School and our Friday night study group. I love when this happens.

While reading our Philip Yancey book, What's So Amazing About Grace? on Friday night with our good friends Steve and Dee, I had to say to Tom, "Wait, go back and read that again." It wasn't anything I hadn't heard before, just a few verses from Matthew 7. In that chapter some religious people are telling Jesus that they did this and that, thus and such in his name. He responds, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers." That follows the bit about, not everyone who says Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, only those who do the will of their heavenly Father. But my point is that Jesus said, "I never knew you." Philip Yancey was struck by this and wrote, One of our main tasks, perhaps the main task, is to make ourselves known to God. Good works are not enough...any relationship with God must be based on full disclosure." You want God? You gotta give yourself to Him, no holds barred.

And then my friend, Linda, said in Sunday School that she came across the same thought in her devotions that week while reading Galatians. In Gal. 4:9 it says, "but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God..." It's the "or rather to be known by God..." part that jumped out at her.

Hmmmm, God knew us before we were born. He knit us together in our mother's womb. But He is holy and we are far from it. So far from it that He cannot look on us...except for the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf, which washes away our sin. When we open our hearts (full disclosure) and allow Jesus to clean us up, God can look at us. We can be known by Him. All the good works in the world won't make us righteous enough for God. But that one act of giving ourselves to Him allows us to be known by God. It reminds me of a hymn:

You have longed for sweet peace, and for faith to increase
And have earnestly, fervently prayed.
But you cannot have rest, or be perfectly blest
Until all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart, does the Spirit control?
You can only be blest and have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

I want to know God and be known by him. I'll yield!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Not Scared

It's Friday the 13th. Since I'm not superstitious, I'm not scared, but I am shocked. My last post was June 1st. What have I done with the first 13 days of June???

I've enjoyed them, that's what! The weather has been record breaking warm, so I've been in the pool as much as possible. Is 3 times a day extravagant? Not if, with every single swim, you're feeling grateful for the wonderful blessing of having a pool. Nine years now we've had this pool, and we still enjoy it as much as we did the first year.

True confession...we had a hard time getting the water clear when we opened it in May. I actually muttered to Tom, "Now I know why people fill in their pools." Turned out we needed a new filter system and once that was installed -- Voila, there's the beautiful crystal clear water we were looking for! I repented of my grumbly grouchies.

Beyond that I have my same old struggles with time. How to do everything I want to do -- and not feel frustrated by what I don't get done? Like most everything, it's a mind game. There are real distractions like the business of life (spell that busy-ness) and made up distractions like worrying about things that are out of my control. For both of those issues there is a solution. PRAYER. Focusing on the Lord is like magic, He orders my life! I'm remembering a book I read years ago called Too Busy Not To Pray. AND, focusing on the Lord brings my worries under control. Worrying about things that I can't fix or even control usually leads to meddling. And meddling rarely works out for me. A little ditty I learned in Sunday School goes Why worry when you can pray? So I'll pray and let the Holy Spirit do the meddling!

I'm off now. The day is getting away from me. I've really got to get busy...and pray.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hey, I Wanted to Hear That Song Again

Because a few people asked, and because my good friend Steve told me how, here's a link to the song that David wrote and sang on Mother's Day. Click here then click "Special Music by David Henning"

Thanks Steve!