Preparing for “Y2K” [v11]

JANUARY 2000

GREETINGS — This is my last newsletter of the ‘millennium.’  If the doomsday forecasters are correct, it could be my last newsletter ever.  All my hardware could melt down by the end of the week.  Perhaps we’ll all be reading by candlelight (or flashlight, if you remembered the batteries) next week and writing down our thoughts with a ball-point pen on a yellow pad (or on your Mac, if so graced, running on a generator).  I’m sure those items are Y2K compliant.  Of course, I am making plans to continue this newsletter for an indefinite period of time.  I am keenly aware of the fact that man proposes and God disposes.  I will continue as long as I have the ability to organize the materials and the capacity to send them out.

The holiday season is winding down.  If we all make it through all the Y2K hoopla, the Rose Bowl parade and more football bowl games that we can keep up with, we’ll probably come out on the other size frazzled, worn out and ready for a break from so much “coming and going.”  I’m reminded of a time described in Mark 6:31 ” Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'”  Perhaps it’s a good time to think about how we’re going to ‘manage’ our lives now here on earth and for “eternity.”

Blessings….
Mark

P.S. — PLEASE SEND ME A NOTE BACK THAT YOU RECEIVED THIS AND ARE “OVER” THE DREADED ‘MILLENNIUM BUG’

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v11) for JANUARY 2000
(NOTE: Please send your ‘thoughts’ to me at: mbesh@ameritech.net)

I am glad to organize and distribute more ‘stuff’ if y’all send it to me… Thank you’s to:

Richard Bachman
George Kleinert
John Waskin

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FRACTURED CHRISTMAS CAROLS

No one can fracture a Christmas carol better than a kid. Sing along with these new takes on old favorites:

* Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly
* We three kings of porridge and tar
* On the first day of Christmas my tulip gave to me
* Later on we’ll perspire, as we dream by the fire.
* He’s makin’ a list, chicken and rice.
* Noel. Noel, Barney’s the king of Israel.
* With the jelly toast proclaim
* Olive, the other reindeer.
* Frosty the Snowman is a ferret elf, I say
* Sleep in heavenly peas
* In the meadow we can build a snowman, Then pretend that he is sparse and brown
* You’ll go down in listerine
* Oh, what fun it is to ride with one horse, soap and hay
* Come, froggy faithful
* You’ll tell Carol, “Be a skunk, I require”
* Good tidings we bring to you and your kid

[forwarded by Troy Teeter]

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COPING WITH STRESS – PSALM 46

The psalmist doesn’t use the word “stress,” but he does use the term “trouble,” which in essence is the equivalent of negative stress.   In Hebrew the word trouble means “to be restricted to be in a narrow, cramped place.”   It’s very similar to the old Southern saying, “between a rock and a hard place.”

He identifies three sources of stress in verses 1-9
1. Nature – (2-3)
2. Social unrest (6)
3. The let down when it’s all over (9).

The psalmist’s response to stress:
1. “We will not fear” (2).
2. He looked to God as a protector (7).
3. He calmed himself.  (10)

How to take advantage of divine resources in dealing with stress.

1. We have to believe in a big God.  Children sometimes sing a song, “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty.  There’s nothing my God cannot do.”  That’s good theology for adults under stress.(verse 1)

2. We have to believe that God is willing to help us (verses 4-5).  See also Isaiah 41:10. 3. Take an unwavering stand for God. (7-11)

Conclusion:
We will not be able to eliminate stress from everyone’s life. Everybody experiences it.   We don’t have control over some of the stressors. According to the Holmes-Rahe scale, you even get stress points for vacation and Christmas.   In fact you get more stress points for those things than you do for a traffic ticket.  While we cannot eliminate all stress, we have some control over the amount of stress we experience.  We have total control of our own attitudes toward stress and we have a powerful God who is able and willing to respond to our stresses.

[Norman Bales]

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Men overlooked a baby’s birth
When love unnoticed came to earth;
And later, seeking in the skies,
Passed by a man in workman’s guise.
Then, only children paused to stare
While God Incarnate made a chair.

Mary Tatlow

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Our families are built much as a good orchestra is built, not with every member playing the same instrument or the same notes, but with every member knowing his own instrument and blending it with the others, achieving a harmony that is based upon difference. This is the kind of harmony that is our crying need today in the modern world.

[Evelyn Millis]

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THE REAL GIFT

There was a gift for each of us left under the Tree of Life 2000 years ago by Him whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas. The gift was withheld from no man. Some have left the packages unclaimed. Some have accepted the gift and carry it around, but have failed to remove the wrappings and look inside to discover the hidden splendor. The packages are all alike: in each is a scroll on which is written, “All that the Father hath is thine.” Take and live!

First Baptist Church Bulletin, Syracuse, New York

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THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR

The mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

The taxes I pay because it means that I’m employed.

The clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

A lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.

The space I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

My huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

The piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.

Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I’m alive.

Getting too much email bogs me down but at least I know I have friends who are thinking of me.

[Author Unknown]
[Received from John Waskin

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You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great

[Joe Sabah]

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Needing A Little Extra Money…

A boy from college, wanting to earn some money, decided to hire his self out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighborhood. He went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs for him to do. “Well, you can paint my porch. How much will you charge?” He said, “How about 50 dollars?” The man agreed and told him that the paint and ladders that he might need were in the garage. The man’s wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, “Does he realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?” The
man replied, “He should. He was standing on the porch.”

A short time later, the young man came to the door to collect his money. “You’re finished already?” he asked. “Yes,” he answered, “and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats. “Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50. “And by the way,” the young man added, “that’s not a Porch, it’s a Ferrari.”

[Received from Richard Bachman]

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What you get by reaching your destination insn’t nearly as important as what you become by reaching your destination

[Bits and Pieces]

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We are not human beings trying to be spiritual. We are spiritual beings trying to be human.

[Jacquelyn Small]

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A QUIZ—DON’T CHEAT!

This quiz consists of four questions that tell you whether or not you are
qualified to be a professional. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE ANSWERS. There is no need to cheat. The questions are not that difficult. You just need to think like a professional.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
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The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door.

This question tests whether or not you are doing simple things in a complicated way.
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2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator ?
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Incorrect answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and shut
the refrigerator.

Correct answer: Open the refrigerator, take out of the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door.

This question tests your foresight.
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3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals
attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
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Correct answer: The elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator!

This tests if you are capable of comprehensive thinking.

OK, if you did not answer the last three questions correctly, this one may be your last chance to test your qualifications to be a professional.
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4. There is a river filled with crocodiles. How do you cross it?
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Correct Answer: Simply swim through it. All the crocodiles are attending the animal meeting!

This question tests your reasoning ability.

So…
If you answered four out of four questions correctly, you are a true  professional. Wealth and success await you.

If you answered three out of four, you have some catching up to do but there’s hope for you.

If you answered two out of four, consider a career as a hamburger flipper in a fast food joint.

If you answered one out of four, try selling some of your organs. It’s the only way you will ever make any money.

If you answered none correctly, consider a career that does not require any higher mental functions at all, such as law or politics.

[Received from George Kleinert]

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PREPARE!!
It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark

[Howard Ruff]

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THE APPLE AS THE “TRINITY”

The Trinity is like an apple. The skin is like God cause God surrounds us and protects us.

The inside of the apple is Jesus feeding us. He feeds our spirit.

The seeds deep inside the apple are like the Holy Spirit living inside of us. The seeds give new life.

[David Massey]

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THE KING IS COMING

The market place is empty,
No more traffic in the streets,
All the builders’ tools are silent,
No more time to harvest wheat;
Busy housewives cease their labors,
In the court room no debate,
Work on earth is all suspended,
As the King comes through
the gate.

Happy faces line the hallways,
Those whose lives have been redeemed,
Broken homes that He has mended,
Those from prison He has freed;
Little children and the aged,
Hand in hand stand all aglow,
Who were crippled, broken, ruined,
Clad in garments white as snow.

I can hear the chariots rumble,
I can see the marching throng,
The flurry of God’s trumpets
Spells the end of sin and wrong;
Regal robes are now unfolding,
Heaven’s grandstands all in place,
Heaven’s choir is now assembled,
Start to sing “Amazing Grace!”

[Dick Innes]

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The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.

[Mike Atkinson]

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I was traveling to Seattle on business. Knowing how the weather is up there (and lacking the proper clothing), I went to a local outdoor shop for a inclement weather clothing. Not finding what I was looking for, I went to another. Then another. Finally, a salesman suggested that I go to Rudolph’s.

“Rudolph’s?” I said, surprised. “Do you mean the Russian specialty
store?”

To which the salesman answered, “Rudolph the Red know rain gear.”

[By Dave Christian]

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THE MAN AND THE BIRDS
By Paul Harvey

Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my  Christmas Story of the Man and the Birds.

You know, THE Christmas Story, the God born a man in a manger and all that escapes some moderns, mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced I submit a modern parable.

Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make
sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

“I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then  went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another, and then another.
Sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window.

But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow.

He tried catching them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking  around them waving his arms. Instead, the scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn. And then, he realized, that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me. That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

“If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm … to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

[forwarded by Gary Cantwell]

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A NEW YEAR’S DAY POEM
Last Published in 1839

O Thou whose glory fills the heavens,
Whose bounty clothes the earth,
To thee a poem of thanks we raise
For blessings from our birth.

For that untiring love thou dost,
From day to day renew,
O may it on our hearts descend
Like heaven-distilled dew.

For mercy great, unending still,
Which gave up to the grave
Thine only Son, the sinless one,
Our sinful souls to save.

While entering on another year
Our cares on Thee we cast,
Beseeching aid in days to come
Which cheered us through the past.

That still the freedom may be ours
To kneel down in thy sight,
An d worship Thee at shut of day,
And in the morning light.

That from temptation’s fatal paths
Thou turn our steps away;
And keep us from unholy thoughts
That lead the mind astray.

No more may lust of worldly wealth
Command thoughts that are Thine;
Nor may we envy other’s lot,
Or at our own repine.

Than all the riches earth can boast
Or gems beneath the sea,
We know the pious, humble heart,
More precious is to Thee.

How needful, then, to train our thoughts,
And fan the heavenly flame
Of faith, in the believing heart,
Triumphing o’er sin and shame/

And holding by the Word, Thou hast
For grace and guidance given,
Pass trough this world in holy fear,
True candidates for heaven.

[Charles Moir] – Papercut Press

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SOME THINGS MONEY CAN’T BUY

A button for a coat of paint.
Sheets for an oyster bed.
False teeth for a river’s mouth.
Music for a rubber band.
Shoes for a walking stick.
A saddle for a clothes horse!

[Source unknown]

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Money is not required to buy one necessity of the soul.

[Henry David Thoreau]

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Charles Sykes is the author of DUMBING DOWN OUR KIDS.  He recently gave high school and college graduates a list of eleven things they did not learn in school.  In his book, he talks about how feel good, politically correct teaching has created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and set them up for failure in the real world.  You may want to share this list with kids, other teachers and parents you know…I think it’s pretty close to the reality I have come to know. – John

Rule 1: Life is not fair; get used to it.

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem.  The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make 40 thousand dollars a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.  He
doesn’t have tenure.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping; they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes.  Learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not.  In some schools they have abolished failing grades; they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This, of course, doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters.  You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself.  Do that on
your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life.  In real life, people actually have to leave  the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Love, Grandma and Grandpa

[Received from John Waskin]

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When a baby is born, it has a deeply ingrained need to bond with its mother. If it doesn’t feel this bond or love connection, it can grow up extremely insecure with a serious love deprivation sickness. When a child has a healthy love connection with its mother, it is given a solid foundation
for health living for life. We simply cannot fully live without love. In fact, if a baby doesn’t receive sufficient love it can die. Some do.

There’s something else a baby needs and it’s a term counselors call “Object Constancy” (OC). This is a critical need. In the baby’s early days when the mother leaves it to go to another room, the baby may cry because it doesn’t feel secure yet in its mother’s love. Once the baby feels secure in mother’s love, she can leave the room and the baby feels fine. This security comes from a feeling in the baby’s emotional tummy that it is loved. This is Object Constancy. To be the object of another’s constant love even when they are not present with the loved one.

But it’s not only babies that need this kind of love. As adults we need this same kind of love. In simple terms we need out OC tank filled. We need to know that we are loved and accepted by at least one other human being, without which we can shrivel up and die before our time. It may not be desirable, but we can live without romantic love but we cannot live healthily without sufficient healthy love and loving relationships.

Only God knows and fully understands the tragic sadness, sickness, broken hearts and lives, and premature death caused by a lack of OC.

Fortunately God loves us totally and unconditionally but we also need the love of people. “To be is to be in relationships.” Even Jesus at the beginning of his earthly ministry “chose the twelve disciples that they might be with him.” If Jesus needed human connection and love, how much more do we.

[Dick Innes]

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LOVE AND LIFE

I think that love is the only spiritual power that can overcome the self-centerdness that is inherent in being alive. Love is the thing that makes life possible, or, indeed, tolerable.

Arnold Toynbee

Love is spontaneous and craves expression through joy, through beauty, through truth, even through tears. Love lives the moment; it’s neither lost in yesteryear nor does it crave for tomorrow. Love is NOW!

Leo Buscaglia

People who love life and love giving to it and receiving from it do not find themselves particularly perturbed about death.

J Neville Ward

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PROMISES FOR THE NEW YEAR

Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of the new year and then promptly break them by the middle of the month.  Perhaps you are contemplating some resolutions to make significant changes in your life as we turn the calendar.  Maybe this will be the year that you actually lose weight, read the Bible through, clean out your closets or put in an underground lawn sprinkling system.   That’s fine and if you want to do those things, we wish you success, but have you thought about making some more serious inward changes.  This week’s Perception’s column ask you to consider doing just that.

This year why not make some promises rather than resolutions for the New Year? The following list should get you started.

– Promise to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

– Promise to make all your friends feel that there is something special about them.

– Promise to look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

– Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to make the best come true.

– Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

– Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.

– Promise to wear a cheerful expression at all times and to give every person you meet a smile.

– Promise to give so much effort to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

– Promise to be too big to worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble in your life

[Author Unknown]

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COMMITTED TO THE CALL

I hear His voice and I’m convicted/
To rise above the status quo/
He’s asking me to live and listen/
And to let His will move my soul//

His Holy Spirit beckons/
I can’t help but answer//

I am committed to the call/
I vow to walk in blind faith/
Willing to sacrifice it all/
To reflect amazing grace/
I am committed to the call//

I will revel in the Son’s light/
And let His love come shining through/
I will seek life from the true vine/
And bear the fruit of holy truth//

I’m drawn by words of wisdom/
Whispering my name

[From Kim Hill’s album “Arms of Mercy”]

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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!

HAPPY NEW MILLENNIUM!!!!!

May “The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Mark

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