I totally agree with this perspective.
But then I’m not at that stage. If I read this in 30 years, would I still agree?
I think I would.
“For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
I totally agree with this perspective.
But then I’m not at that stage. If I read this in 30 years, would I still agree?
I think I would.
“For to me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.”
“You’re lucky you don’t have a weight problem, really lucky!” Said the nurse at my doctor’s office. (I was there to see about my recent headaches. Most likely sinuses.)
Is your weight a matter of luck?
I suppose if you have a high metabolism, you’re “lucky” that you can eat a lot and not gain weight.
But controlling your weight is mostly by effort, not luck. You have to eat less, exercise more. It’s no secret, and it always works!
I majored in Dietetics in college, worked 2 years in food services at Long Beach Unified School District planning school lunches. People ask me how I keep my weight – same for the last 30 years even after 4 pregnancies.
There’s no secret – I don’t eat junk food. I don’t eat chips, don’t drink soda or other sweetened drinks, artificial or natural. I don’t eat candy and I don’t love chocolate. Yes, occasionally I’ll enjoy a KitKat or munch on a few SunChips, but the “secret”, if there is one, is to stop. Stop after one piece of chocolate, stop after a handful of chips, stop after 1 serving of garlic mashed potatoes. No matter how good something is, just remember that you have the rest of your life to eat more of it. You don’t have to gorge yourself.
But I’m not enjoying life, you say? I don’t have diabetes, I don’t have high blood pressure. I don’t think I’m missing anything. I must say, though, I need to exercise more. I’m not overweight, but I’m not strong.
And it’s not that I don’t enjoy food. I love a good steak, cheesecake is my weakness, and I use butter whenever I can. But I stop. And I drink a glass of water and go read a good book.
I’ve read this before, but The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis is certainly worth reading again, and again.
I took it off my shelf because my friend mentioned that Max McLean did a sketch of one of the scenes from the book. I started to read the book again, and couldn’t put it down.
The Great Divorce is an allegory about Heaven and Hell. It points out some attitudes and behaviors that belong in Hell that we don’t often think of as “evil”
To the question of “What about those who really want to believe, but their circumstances are against them to ever know God?”
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy by will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self – choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened. ”
To the question of “How can people in heaven have no sadness when they know their loved ones are suffering in hell?”
“Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it: or else for ever and ever the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves. I know it has a grand sound to say ye’ll accept no salvation which leaves even one creature in the dark outside. But watch that sophistry or ye’ll make a Dog in a Manger the tyrant of the universe. “
The last time we bought a new car was in 1999 when we bought the Honda Odyssey.
Yesterday we bought a new 2013 Toyota Prius, brand new with 2 miles on the odometer.
Don’t we all hate that part of the car buying process of haggling with the salesperson, who, when he can’t get you to sign on the dotted line, brings out the big gun “manager” who uses all the well-practiced textbook sales techniques to corner you to say “I’ll take the white one with leather interior”? Maybe some of you find it exhilarating to best them at their game, but I am glad that the internet and “fleet” dealers has made negotiating unnecessary. Or so I thought.
So here’s my story.
We contacted Costco auto program “With low, prearranged pricing…” They referred us to a Toyota dealer in Pasadena but they would not give us a quote until we come in. So we made an appointment to see the “fleet” manager.
With our TruCar written quote in hand, we went to the Costco referred dealership to see if they would give us a better price.
The person, who turned out to be a typical salesman, showed us their “dealer cost” and gave us a price based on blah, blah, blah. That price was $1,500 more than the TruCar quote. What! That’s the “low” price prearranged with Costco? The Costco that I trust for the best deals? The Costco that sells the lowest priced hot dog with drink for $1.50?
“Is that the best price you can give us?” We asked.
“Oh, we want to work with you. If you have a quote, I’ll see what I can do.” Oh, brother. Here comes the haggling that I thought we avoided through Costco.
So we take out our TruCar quote. As we expected, he goes to ask his manager, blah, blah, blah, and comes back and says he’ll match it. So he was trying to make an extra $1500 off me if we didn’t know better.
Then we said, “You’re going to take the Toyota incentive of $500 off of that price, right?”
“No,” he said. “That’s already included.”
“The TruCar quote doesn’t include the $500.”
“Yes it does.” He insisted. “You can call them, and I am sure I’m right.”
We called. He was wrong.
He said, “If you can get that price with another $500 off, buy it.”
I gave him one last chance. “You mean you can’t match the price?” Again, he told us to go buy it, but he’s very sure that the quote is just to lure us in. We promised that if they don’t give us that exact price, we’ll come back and buy the car from him.
Off we go to Carson, thinking that we’re probably wasting gas, and will have to come back to Pasadena.
I love a good ending, and here it comes right now…
We walk into the Carson dealership, the guy looks at our quote and said, “Of course the Toyota incentive is not included. You get $500 off this quote. Which color do you want?”
That’s how we drove off with the 2013 Toyota Prius Classic in Sea Glass Pearl.
It’s time to read another mystery for my entertainment, so I picked out The Nine Tailors from the local library.
I was not disappointed. Always loved Sayers writings. However, I don’t understand a lot of the cultural context. For example, there are many references to bell ringing of church bells – pealing. I just skip the parts that give details of the art of ringing.
I love the way Sayers write, and the resolution was very satisfying.
“The older you get, the more important it is to not act your age.” - I would like to live by that.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” – I would be 35 and just go do things. I often feel limited by my age now – “I’m too old for that.”, “I might get hurt.”, “It’s too much trouble.”, “What if I get a heart attack while traveling abroad.?” I never had those thoughts when I was 35.
Playing Scrabble with my family:
“Is ‘eWorked a word?”
“Well, there’s Elance, eHarmony, email, elope. Sure, eWorked is a word.”
36 points for that new word in the Scrabble dictionary.
This year I have learned that procrastinating is not worth the pay off from procrastinating.
So why do I procrastinate? What are the payoffs?
- having fun doing other things instead of the thing that I put off doing.
- doing easy things instead of tackling the difficulty of the thing that I am putting off
- waiting as long as possible to leave myself open to be the best alternative that may come later.
- hoping the thing that I’ve put off will get done by someone else.
- hoping that thing that I put off will not need to be done if I waited long enough
- just doing the thing quickly when the deadline approaches
- waiting for more inspiration to do the thing so it can be more enjoyable
- spending time reading and doing other good stuff and neglecting the thing that needs to get done
In the past, I would be fine doing things last minute. I depended on my husband to fill in the gaps as I run around doing things at the last possible moment.
But I found this year that the stress that comes from procrastinating is not worth it.
In my new job with 150 kids and 50+ volunteers under my care, I have to make sure I get things done. The buck stops with me.
Here is an example.
I have not firmed up the plans for Easter. I should have decided by last week at the least so I can be thoroughly prepared. But I kept looking for better options. Now I am feeling stressed. I couldn’t sleep well last night.
So I am deciding today, that I don’t want to procrastinate. It’s not worth it.
I don’t like that feeling of worrying because so many people are depending on me. I don’t like the stress I feel. I don’t want the pressure of running around last minute. I don’t want to under-prepare – I want to have time to be over-prepared.
A big part of leadership is to communicate plans with others so that they can be on board. They need to know where I am going so that they have confidence to follow. I want to be a good leader.
A blessing by Jean Vanier
May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness
That you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in
the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.
I am an ENFP.
“ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they’re doing.
Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.” (italics added to point out the characteristics that particularly apply to me.) From http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP.html
I am grateful that I am in ministry that allows me a lot of flexibility and to work with people and ideas.
What’s your type?
I needed some mindless reading, and my genre of choice is a good whodunnit mystery.
Remember that old TV show Murder She Wrote? I read one of the books “Domestic Malice”. The writing is not particularly great, but the basic storyline is decent. It’s easy reading, and while it is not a page-turner, it at least kept my interest. The ending had a bit of a twist but nothing very intriguing. Wishing again that Agatha Christie was alive…
“Why do you behave so well in Bible drill but not in worship?” I asked a fifth-grade boy.
“Because I don’t want my mom to get mad at me in Bible drill.” He replied.
Even as adults we are often motivated by external forces without any inner change. We can act good and proper in certain circumstances but when no one’s looking or when it doesn’t matter, our true self comes out.
In the book Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp, he says,
We all have to talk ability to expound a passage that lauds God’s grace yet be a husband or father of ungrace in the car on the way home.
You can lead a men’s ministry discussion on the issue of biblical sexual purity and lust at the women at the grocery store on the way home.
You can teach about the self-sacrificing nature of love and be self-centered and unwilling to serve at home.
You and I can define biblical humility but be proud of what we know and what we’ve accomplished.
You and I have the ability to talk of what it means to invest our gifts and strengths in the work of the kingdom of God and then go home and waste countless hours in front of the flat screen….
There is a way in which all of us have a separation in our lives between our more pristine public ministry persona and the more messy details of our private lives. Aspects of this separation will be with us until the Lord returns.
This separation does not necessarily disqualify you from ministry, but it becomes spiritually debilitating to you and your ministry when you become comfortable with it. It is dangerous when you have learned the craft of making the separation work.
Our family members or people close to us should keep us accountable and call us on the carpet when we get too comfortable with the separation. May we continue to repent and not get comfortable with the separation of our public and private persona.
I attended the funeral of Ron D, an 80-year-old very devoted Christian man. I didn’t talk to him much when he was alive, but I sure learned a lot from him today.
One testimony stood out to me. A man said that when he was a young man, Ron told him to read the Bible. “Why would I want to read that crap?” He replied.
Ron said, “If nothing else you can at least say you’ve read it. Many intelligent people have read the Bible.” What a brilliant response!
The man took that challenge and read through the Bible in four months. He found that the Bible had much to say about life. Somewhere along the way, he said, he became a Christian. Today he is a pastor.
I’m inspired to invite people to read the Bible. ”If nothing else you can at least say you’ve read it. Many intelligent people have read the Bible.”
My sister is into jewelry. She tries hard getting me interested it in. “You order it and it’s mailed to you in a beautiful box,” she says excitedly.
But honestly, jewelry is not something I get excited about.
What I look forward to in the mail are books! When I order a book from Amazon, I am so excited waiting for it to arrive! And when I see the package, I rip it open, flip through the pages, and start reading the foreword. Now that’s exciting.
My sister and I are very different, you can tell!
I experienced my first Lectio Divina today. I enjoyed the 55 minutes of meditating on one passage of the Bible along with 7 other ladies. It gave me a relaxed time to focus on God and silent prayer. There was no pressure to talk, although I did share my thoughts. And it was good to hear what some of the other ladies were reflecting on. I might’ve fallen asleep if I was meditating by myself for that long, but in a group setting sitting on hard chairs kept me alert.
I usually feel guilty doing something for myself that is not “productive”, but today, I felt very relaxed just sitting and meditating. Maybe it was because I was 25 miles away from home spending time that was specifically scheduled for this. I couldn’t get up to vacuum or read a book or prepare a lesson or check my email. It was time well spent.
This year, I want to be more of a Mary and lead by example. Lectio Divina today definitely took me a step towards that.
The full title is “Since nobody’s perfect… How is good enough?” This is a small booklet that is packed with great stuff, much more than I expected.
“The logic behind good people go to heaven is seemingly impenetrable on two accounts. First, it is fair. By fair, I mean people who do good deserve good things… Second, it coincides with the notion that there is a good God. If there is a good God, and if he dwells in a good place, then it makes sense that God would fill heaven with good people.”
Stanley goes on to dispel this common ideal that “Good people will go to heaven.” It explains many well-reasoned points why this concept really isn’t “fair”, as most consider that this notion is a “fair” way to determine who goes to heaven.
What’s the alternative? The answer is not the usual quoting Bible verses. He explains it in a very understandable and palatable way.
I highly recommend little book.
I read this good analogy about God’s love for us and the forgiveness we have in Jesus who died to pay for our sin.
(From “How Good is Good Enough?” by Andy Stanley)
When my children were very young, I bought a used Infiniti. It was the nicest car I have ever owned. It was in mint condition, and I intended to keep it that way. Unfortunately, I was alone in my pursuit.
One Saturday morning, as I was taking out the trash, I noticed something on the hood of my car. I walked over for a closer look and to my utter dismay discovered that someone had scratched an A into the paint. Besides the A were attempts at several other letters.
I was furious. Within seconds my two sons were standing beside me as I demanded to know who scratched up my car. For moment there was silence. Then Garrett, who was five at the time, piped up: “Allie did it.”
Allie, my youngest child and only daughter, was a whopping 3 1/2 years old. I called her out to the garage, pointed to my hood, and said, “Allie, did you do that?”
She sheepishly looked up at me and said, “Yes, sir, daddy.”
What was I going to do? There is no way in the world for me to explain to Allie the significance of what she had done and what it was going to cost me in dollars, time, and hassle to get it fixed. There’s no point in telling her that now I was going to have to take the car to the shop, rent a car, and pay for the rental car as well as the repair. She had no context for understanding any of that.
It would have been equally absurd to demand that Allie pay for the damage. Fair, maybe, but unrealistic. What this two or three hundred dollars mean to a three-year-old? The numbers wouldn’t even register. And where would she get the money?
So what do you do in that kind of situation? Sever the relationship? Demand payment? Rant and rave? Of course not.
I did the only thing I could do for someone I love as much as I loved her. I knelt down and said, “Allie, please do not do that anymore.”
She said, “Yes, sir, daddy.” Then she hugged me and went back inside.
I continue to love her as much as ever. And I pay for the damage she caused. I wasn’t concerned about fairness. It wasn’t appropriate to figure out what was fair. What was most appropriate with grace and mercy. Even as it meant that I have to pay for what she had done.
God sees your sin as a debt you can’t pay. There’s no point in asking you to. To think that being good will somehow make you square with God would be like Allie promising to clean up her room after being confronted with the damage she had done on my car. Cleaning up her room doesn’t pay me back. It’s a nice gesture, but it doesn’t fix my car.
Going to church brings out the best in me, giving me a false sense of “righteousness.” After all, I am doing good works by helping at church, loving people (at least superficially), and giving money. But those very acts can make me blind to the real sins in my life. Sins of pride, selfishness, worldliness. I begin to feel comfortable desiring the things of the world (don’t I deserve something nice?), I can justify my selfishness (don’t I need to take care of my needs first to be more effective in serving others?), I can ignore my indifference to those in need (someone else is more gifted in helping them).
“How’re you doing?” we ask each other at church. The answer is always, “Ok, fine.” There’s no real way to force us to examine ourselves and let others give us honest feedback and accountability. Even in small groups we only go so far.
Next time, I’m going to ask someone at church, “What’s God doing in your life?” and see what kind of responses I get.
I have a feeling that when I am on my deathbed, I will regret not taking more risks in doing adventurous things – skydiving, waterskiing, traveling, etc.
Yet, when I consider doing those things now, I say, “Why? Why should I want to get out of my comfort zone? Is there anything to gain other than the thrill of the moment and to say that I’ve done it?”
Would it change the way I live after an adventure? Would it change me? I don’t know. But I can only accept myself and my life for who I am and what it is.
At the end of my life, I may regret many things. But fortunately, by the grace of God, I will have a chance in heaven to truly live. I cannot even imagine what that would be like. All I know is that it’ll be fantastic. So if I miss anything now on earth, I’ll get it in heaven.
I would say this is a must read for every parent. While I do not agree with everything the author says, Shepherding a Child’s Heart gives very good clear Biblical ways to raise our children. The priniciples are not new to me, but they are articulated well.
One thing I do not agree with is it seems to imply all parenting books are not Biblical unless they state the principle directly from Scripture. I have read many good parenting books that do not quote the Bible verses but the principles are definitely from the Bible.
I also do not agree with some of the discussion about spanking. But overall, the content is the kind of thing I’ve been teaching parents. It’s worth the money if you are a parent.