Daily ‘Effort’ [v183]

MAY 2014

Daily ‘Effort’

Last month I told you about how I was going to have a total knee replacement surgery on my right leg—and it went great (in the surgeon’s opinion)—but it’s been an ‘adventure’ for me!

The firsts day after the surgery was a ‘cake walk’! I was walking all around without any help or support, and my knee was bending almost as much as my ‘good’ knee (120-125 degrees). Then the ‘drugs’ wore off! OMG!!!

My entire leg—top to bottom—swelled up two times the size of my good leg, hurt like the ‘dickens’, and I could hardly bend it! In addition to all that, half way up my calf muscle hurt so much (an “11” out of “10” on the pain scale!), anyone who was trying to determine why it was hurting so much and touched it usually got their hand pushed away by me, or in one instance, got a ‘backhand’ to their face! It REALLY HURT!!! (way more than the area around the knee surgery—which was ‘only’ an 8-9!).

They thought that it might be a blood clot, so I had a “Doppler” ultrasound to determine if I had one. Negative. So they discharged me from the hospital.

Since my bedroom and kitchen is on the ‘first’ floor and my bathroom is in the ‘basement’, I had to go to a rehab facility for a couple of weeks until I could manage stairs.

Even after I was there a week, the calf was still a 9-10 for pain! So, they ordered another Doppler. Negative.

One of the doctors that was visiting me from the hospital (one one that got the ‘backhand’ when he touched my calf) said that it should not be hurting this much more than a week after the surgery—and sent me right away to the hospital’s emergency. He was thinking that it was “compartment syndrome.” It is a life-threatening condition which occurs when there is insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves due to increased pressure within one of the body’s compartments—such as a leg. If uncorrected, the lack of blood supply leads to injury in the affected muscles and nerves, and sometimes requires amputation of the affected limb! WHOA!!! They took some fluids from the calf area, did some tests, and consulted with a few other doctors that Friday evening. Negative. Phew! Thank God!


This ‘newsletter’ is really late (usually like to ‘publish’ it the first few days of every month) because all of this has turned out to be a ‘second job’, and I was tired all the time [ was taking 8-10 drugs at one time 4-6 times per day—narcotics for pain, some for nerve damage, some for inflammation, some for thinning my blood, and some to keep my ‘stool’ loose ].

All that was required became a lot of daily ‘effort’! During my two-week stay at the rehab facility, I had 1.5 hours of “physical therapy” in the morning after breakfast, and 1.5 hours of “occupational therapy” after lunch. After each session, I had to ‘ice’ for 20-30 minutes, and had to ‘cool down’ by walking up and down the facility’s hallways for 20-30 minutes after dinner. In-between all that, I was doing some work projects and keeping up with a dozen daily ‘posts’ to all of my company’s social media ‘channels’. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

Well, I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now, with pretty much on the same ‘schedule’ I was on at the rehab facility—”PT” for about an hour in the morning and afternoon, working here and there, and going to “out patient” therapy at a local hospital (3 miles away) three days a week for an ‘intense’ workout.

So, I’ve been driving for a week now (working pretty much a full day)—keeping my right foot on the accelerator pedal, and using my left foot for the clutch and the brake (reminding me of my times on the race track). [ Beware: Watch out for a silver Ford Focus on I-696 between 7A-8A! ;^D ].

I’m at about 110 degrees of ‘flex’ in my leg now (16 MAY 14)—primarily because of a unique machine that speeds recovery called the “Continuous Passive Motion” machine. It straps about the leg, and constantly move the knee through various degrees of range of motion while the patient relaxes. [ The ‘normal’ degree of motion of the joint is typically 120-125 degrees, depending on the age and ‘malleability’ of the patient. My goal is more like 135-140 degrees—so I can sit on my butt while ‘gardening’ ].

Hopefully, in a few weeks (after I go for my second post-op appointment with the surgeon), I will be approved to be able to go swimming again (depends on the ‘closure’ of the incision). It’s said to be the most ‘ideal’ form of exercise for a knee joint, since it improves muscle strength and endurance without exerting any pressure or stress on the replaced joint.

I’m told that this has to be a daily ‘effort’ for at least the next few months (2-3), or I will have to be “manipulated” (very painful loosening of ‘bad’ scar tissue), or even worse, I would walk with a limp the rest of my life! I’m choosing the DAILY EFFORT!


They say it takes 21 consecutive days to learn a new ‘habit’—though some recent studies say that, depending on the “central driver” behind it, it takes more like 60-90 days to really change ones behavior for something “substantial.” [ That sounds more like what it will take for my knee to be back to ‘normal’ ].

While the finding may at first appear disheartening, it’s actually oddly assuring in reminding us that habit, like genius, is merely a matter of doggedness and “deliberate practice”—in fact, this brings me to Aristotle’s famous dictum: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

If one want to get ‘proficient’ at something, ‘unlock’ our potential, or attain a goal or ‘dream’, it takes a continuous focused effort. Many people who have attained much in their lives have commented that ‘outsiders’ have mentioned to them that they seemed to be an “overnight success”—nothing could be further from the truth! Here’s what a few ‘famous’ people, that achieved a lot during their lives, said about this:

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort” [ Jesse Owens ].

“Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential” [ Winston Churchill ].

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things” [ Theodore Roosevelt ].

“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile” [ Vince Lombardi ].

“The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply” [ Denis Waitley ].


There are many things that might be ‘worthy’ of concentrated daily effort—graduating college; becoming an Olympian; climbing Mt. Everest; starting and running a successful business; raising children; and many more. However, might I suggest that there might be something that might be a great help in ‘achieving’ the most you can in this life—a daily effort to READ YOUR BIBLE (and getting to know the ‘One’ it is focused on).


So, what do I think makes the Bible so important? What can it really ‘do’ for all of us? Why should it be a daily effort? Well, here’s a few of my ‘human’ reasons:

– It’s a book full of all kinds of advice. From relationships to money to how to get along with your parents, it’s all in there. When we become wiser, we make much better decisions, and with good decisions comes many other good things.

– We get advice on how to approach situations and overcome the temptations we face. We understand what we’re supposed to do rather than just guessing and hoping we get it right.

– It can help us sort through all the craziness to see what’s really important. It can bring about peace in our lives rather than allowing us to wallow in our confusion.

– We can clearly see that God has a purpose for us at every state of our lives. His words can give us direction, even if we only need that direction and purpose in the short term.

– Gives us insight into God’ character. We grow in an understanding of God as we read and grasp more of His Word.

– It’s an epic story of love, life, death, war, family, and more. It has it’s ups and downs, and it’s pretty riveting—the biggest “bestseller” of all time.

– It’s full of real history, and it can give you insight into other areas of history. It can help us understand human history and how often we repeat the same mistakes.

– We get to read about Jesus’ life. He becomes far more ‘real’ to us when we get into His story in the Bible.

– It’s a life-changing book. It can give us insight, help us grow, explain our behaviors. The Bible can make a huge difference in our lives.

– We can get very caught up in our religion. We can go through all the motions that religion dictates, but it means nothing without faith. We read stories of others who have demonstrated real faith, and sometimes we also are reminded of what happens when we lose our faith. Yet the Word of God reminds us that He is our focus.

– The Bible can bring a new perspective to the ‘mix’. Sometimes we think things should be one way or another, but the Bible may remind us that there are other ways to think on the happenings in our lives. It provides us, at times, with a fresh, new perspective.


So now, instead of my ‘opinion’, let’s allow the Bible ‘speak’ for itself (since God ‘inspired’ these people to write what He wanted to communicate to us, in their own way). Here’s a few verses that talk about all this:
– “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone” [ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ].

– “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” [ Psalm 119:105 ].

– “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success in all you do” [ Joshua 1:8 ].

– “They searched the Scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really true. As a result, many of them believed” [ Acts 17:11 ].

“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we patiently wait daily for God’s promises to be fulfilled” [ Romans 15:4 ].

– “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him” [ Proverbs 30:5 ].

– “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God; I will strengthen you and help you daily; I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” [ Isaiah 41:10 ].

– “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.” [ Psalm 1:1-2 ].

– “My child, pay attention to what I say; Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them; Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life daily to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.” [ Proverbs 4:20-22 ].

– “Delight yourself daily in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” [ Psalm 37:4 ].

– “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection” [ Psalm 18:30 ].

– “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”” [ Deuteronomy 31:8 ].


Have you read any other ‘book’ that gives so much help, hope and promises?—well, I haven’t [ and of the promises that have come to pass, 100% have come true exactly as they were stated! ].


Let me suggest that you read a ‘portion’ of the Bible every day (the Book of John is a great place to start). When you finally get thru it completely (no rush—‘soak’ it in!), I can guarantee that you will realize that you won’t see anything the same. You will be ‘transformed’ from the inside out—and look at just about everything through different ‘eyes’. It will take you on a ‘journey’ from who you are now, to who you were ‘created’ to be!

The Bible says, “What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” [ Galatians 6:7-8 ].

So, put a little DAILY EFFORT into reading something from the Bible—you will ‘harvest’ advice on a variety of topics, wisdom to make better decisions, a peace without confusion, and a purpose for your life. But, MORE IMPORTANTLY, you will be ‘communicating’ with your Creator, and preparing yourself for ‘eternal life’ with Him!!!

[ Excerpts from: Kelli Mahoney; Brian Hardin; S. Michael Houdmann ]



RESOURCES:

“Passages: How Reading the Bible in a Year Will Change Everything for You”
Many Christians feel guilty when they think of reading the Bible. Though they want to love reading Scripture, they rarely have time for more than a few verses on the run. But the Bible is not meant to be a burden. It is the story of God’s passionate love for His children. It is also not a book of mystical incantations. It is a best friend offering counsel and companionship. And it is not a distant relic, but something very near. Near enough, in fact, to be every reader’s story. So how do Christians delight in this story rather than see it as a source of failure? The founder of the immensely popular Daily Audio Bible, Brian Hardin shows readers how reading through the Bible in a year will change their life and the lives of others. Passages shows readers how to read the Bible and offers practical ideas for immersing themselves in God’s life-giving words. Here readers will discover that reading the Bible can be a breathtaking adventure.

http://biblegateway.christianbook.com/passages-reading-bible-will-change-everything/brian-hardin/9780310329190/pd/329190?p=1168283

[ Brian Hardin ]

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VIDEOS OF MY KNEE SURGERY:
Bicruciate Retaining Total Knee Arthroplasty – Entire procedure:
http://vimeo.com/39918372
[ By: Dr. Jeffrey DeClaire (Surgeon that did my knee) ]

Biomet “Vanguard XP” Total Knee System (Details and 3-D animation):
http://www.biomet.com/orthopedics/productDetail.cfm?category=2&product=276
[ Company that made my knee ]

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[P.S.: If you would like to investigate if the Bible is “merely human” or if it’s “divinely inspired,” visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q4_d1_1of10.html




LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v183) for MAY 2014
If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

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P.R.I.D.E. = Personal Responsibility In Daily Effort

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WHY SHOULD WE READ/STUDY OUR BIBLE?
We should read and study the Bible because it is God’s Word to us. The Bible is literally “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). In other words, it is God’s very words to us. There are so many questions that philosophers have asked that God answers for us in Scripture. What is the purpose to life? Where did I come from? Is there life after death? How do I get to heaven? Why is the world full of evil? Why do I struggle to do good? In addition to these “big” questions, the Bible gives much practical advice in areas such as: What do I look for in a mate? How can I have a successful marriage? How can I be a good friend? How can I be a good parent? What is success and how do I achieve it? How can I change? What really matters in life? How can I live so that I do not look back with regret? How can I handle the unfair circumstances and bad events of life victoriously?

We should read and study the Bible because it is totally reliable and without error. The Bible is unique among so-called “holy” books in that it does not merely give moral teaching and say, “Trust me.” Rather, we have the ability to test it by checking the hundreds of detailed prophecies that it makes, by checking the historical accounts it records, and by checking the scientific facts it relates. Those who say the Bible has errors have their ears closed to the truth. Jesus once asked which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” Then He proved He had the ability to forgive sins (something we cannot see with our eyes) by healing the paralytic (something those around Him could test with their eyes). Similarly, we are given assurance that God’s Word is true when it discusses spiritual areas that we cannot test with our senses by showing itself true in those areas that we can test, such as historical accuracy, scientific accuracy, and prophetic accuracy.

We should read and study the Bible because God does not change and because mankind’s nature does not change; it is as relevant for us as it was when it was written. While technology changes, mankind’s nature and desires do not change. We find, as we read the pages of biblical history, that whether we are talking about one-on-one relationships or societies, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). And while mankind as a whole continues to seek love and satisfaction in all of the wrong places, God—our good and gracious Creator—tells us what will bring us lasting joy. His revealed Word, the Bible, is so important that Jesus said of it, “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). In other words, if we want to live life to the fullest, as God intended, we must listen to and heed God’s written Word.

We should read and study the Bible because there is so much false teaching. The Bible gives us the measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error. It tells us what God is like. To have a wrong impression of God is to worship an idol or false god. We are worshiping something that He is not. The Bible tells us how one truly gets to heaven, and it is not by being good or by being baptized or by anything else we do (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:1-10; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:10-18, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-13). Along this line, God’s Word shows us just how much God loves us (Romans 5:6-8; John 3:16). And it is in learning this that we are drawn to love Him in return (1 John 4:19).

The Bible equips us to serve God (2 Timothy 3:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12). It helps us know how to be saved from our sin and its ultimate consequence (2 Timothy 3:15). Meditating on God’s Word and obeying its teachings will bring success in life (Joshua 1:8; James 1:25). God’s Word helps us see sin in our lives and helps us get rid of it (Psalm 119:9, 11). It gives us guidance in life, making us wiser than our teachers (Psalm 32:8, 119:99; Proverbs 1:6). The Bible keeps us from wasting years of our lives on that which does not matter and will not last (Matthew 7:24-27).

Reading and studying the Bible helps us see beyond the attractive “bait” to the painful “hook” in sinful temptations, so that we can learn from others’ mistakes rather than making them ourselves. Experience is a great teacher, but when it comes to learning from sin, it is a terribly hard teacher. It is so much better to learn from others’ mistakes. There are so many Bible characters to learn from, some of whom can serve as both positive and negative role models at different times in their lives. For example, David, in his defeat of Goliath, teaches us that God is greater than anything He asks us to face (1 Samuel 17), while his giving in to the temptation to commit adultery with Bathsheba reveals just how long-lasting and terrible the consequences of a moment’s sinful pleasure can be (2 Samuel 11).

The Bible is a book that is not merely for reading. It is a book for studying so that it can be applied. Otherwise, it is like swallowing food without chewing and then spitting it back out again—no nutritional value is gained by it. The Bible is God’s Word. As such, it is as binding as the laws of nature. We can ignore it, but we do so to our own detriment, just as we would if we ignored the law of gravity. It cannot be emphasized strongly enough just how important the Bible is to our lives. Studying the Bible can be compared to mining for gold. If we make little effort and merely “sift through the pebbles in a stream,” we will only find a little gold dust. But the more we make an effort to really dig into it, the more reward we will gain for our effort.

[ GotQuestions.org – S. Michael Houdmann ]

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IF WE MAKE NO REAL EFFORT TO FIND GOD DAILY, OUR LIVES DECAY
To get natural food I must allocate time and make the effort to either grow something or go to the store buy the food and then prepare and cook it—to get gas I must allocate time and make the effort go to the station and fill up the car—to get clean I must carve out time and make the effort to have a shower. But somehow we want to get God and His blessings on the fly without any daily effort or commitment of time on our part. And when as a result, we get nothing we find our spiritual condition deteriorates, which it cannot help but do. We experience a loss of peace, a loss of joy, a loss of love and a loss of trust in God, and instead increasing doubt, irritability, confusion, anger, criticism of others, worries, we make poor decisions and pride starts to grow which means a fall is coming. Also we become totally unable to bear the fruit of living words into other people’s lives.

When this happens we are prone to complain about our lot—and indirectly we are complaining against God, which is music to the ears of our enemy. All this because we would not invest adequate time and spiritual effort (work) to seek and find God and to be fed by Him our essential daily spiritual food. This is the only spiritual nourishment that will sustain and grow our re-born spirits – the real us that will survive our natural bodies (cont’d.) . . .

http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/if-we-make-no-real-effort-to-find-god-daily-our-lives-decay-david-leach-sermon-on-seeking-god-182605.asp

[ David Leach ]

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LITTLE-READ BIBLE BOOK
[ Parody of “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs ]

Oooooooooooooooow!
Who’s that seen not doing any good?
Why, it’s a little-read Bible book.
Hey there little-read Bible book.
You sure have been forsook.
You’re never read, so big bad wolves can roam.
Literally!
Little-read Bible book.
I don’t think many people look.
So we’re walking in and making ourselves at home.
Oooooooooooooooow!
What big lies we have.
We come as spies, disguised as lambs.
But if they’d read just an open page
I think they all could spot the wolves far away.
What truth scripture has.
It’s sure to warn if someone’s bad.
So before they understand God’s grace
I think I ought to lock you up in a safe.
Gonna keep my sheep-suit on.
And I’ll assure them nothing’s wrong.
You can get dusty,
And they all can leave you alone.
Oooooooooooooooow!
Little-read Bible book.
I’d like to quote you, yes I would.
But first I’ll change me a thing or two on my own.
Oooooooooooooooow!
What if these parts I add,
A word or two, nothing big.
Little-read Bible book.
Even bad news can seem good.
I’ll try a little cyanide.
Just enough to slide on by.
Maybe they’ll swallow the things I say
Before they get to that odd taste.
Little-read Bible book.
I sure their goose is cooked.
They never read in the big black Book at all.
Oooooooooooooooow!
That’s too baaa-d.
Baaa-d!
Baaa-d!

[ ApologetiX – “Adam Up” album ]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg0WawN34uY

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DEEP THOUGHT(s):
“No one succeeds without daily effort…Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.”
[ Ramana Maharshi ]

“But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.”
[ Elizabeth Edwards ]

“We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone, until those smiling possibilities are dead.”
[ William James ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

“So, dear brothers, work hard daily to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen, and then you will never stumble or fall away. And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
[ 2 Peter 10-11 ]

Mark

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Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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