Preparing for Stages in Life [v19]

SEPTEMBER 2000

GREETINGS — ‘Summer’ is almost over (I didn’t notice when Spring ‘ended’) and the kids are preparing to go back to school. Arielle and Tyler are preparing by buying new clothes and school supplies; doing some of the things they won’t be able to do when they’re in school; playing with some of their friends; and going to bed earlier than they have been.

Depending on what ‘stage of life’ we are in, we all are ‘preparing’ for something. We prepare for the “work world” by getting an education, going to seminars, and developing a focus of what we would like to ‘do.’ We prepare for “retirement” by saving money, investing in things that will pay us ‘dividends’, and maybe ‘downsizing’ or moving to another ‘climate.’ We prepare for a “birth” coming into the world by painting their room, rearranging our schedules, and revising our priorities. We prepare for “death” by creating a will, doing some of things we’ve dreamt of, and saying ‘goodbye’ to the ones we love.

Can we prepare for “what” happens to us after we die? It would be difficult to believe that life ‘here on earth’ is good if we knew there was nothing beyond the grave to compensate for the problems of unfairness, and nothing to offset the unequal distribution of suffering. It has also been said that “the human heart hungers for more than this life offers”– probably referring to an inescapable longing for something other than the ‘things’ of this world (money, success, sex, philosophy, security, etc.) that cannot ‘totally’ satisfy.

While some believe that it’s impossible to know whether there is life after death, belief in immortality is a timeless phenomenon. From the Egyptians to today’s New Age thinking, people have believed that the human soul survives death.

There is also much about life that doesn’t seem to correspond with personal problems of fairness and hardship. For all the moments of horror and violence, there are times of harmony and peace. Each sunset and dawn provides an answer to nature’s need for rest and renewal. Dark nights and cold winters come with the awareness that “this too shall pass.” If there is nothing beyond the grave, the pattern of nature is stunningly incomplete.

Even ‘great’ historical figures have talked about this. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this poem to describe his concept of eternity:

“The stars shine over the mountains,
The stars shine over the sea,
The stars look up to the mighty God,
The stars look down on me;

The stars shall last for a million years
A million and a day,
But God and I will live and love
When the stars have passed away.”

C. S. Lewis wrote about his view about ‘another world’ saying, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

I also believe that few would accuse Jesus of being an evil man or a false teacher. Even atheists and non-Christian religions usually refer to Jesus with deference and respect—and He wasn’t vague or indefinite about the reality of a continuing personal existence after death. He said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” According to Jesus, facing the reality of life after death is one of the most significant issues of life. He said, “It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell.”

The Bible names God as the source of immortality—and His nature is eternal. The same Scriptures tell us that God created us in His likeness, and that His plan is to welcome His children eventually into His eternal home.

Belief in life after death is a source of personal security, optimism, and spiritual betterment. Nothing offers more courage that the confidence that there is a better life for those who use the present to ‘prepare’ for eternity. Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the world, and loses his own soul?”

If you are not sure about “where” you will go after you die, let me suggest something. Spend a few minutes reading some passages from the Bible—to ‘see’ how God might ‘speak’ to you about this subject. Try these: Job 14:14-15; Psalm 73:24-26 and 90:1-2; Ecclesiastes 3:11; John 5:24 and 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:5; 1 John 5:13; and Revelation 21:4. To get a better understanding, read before and after the suggested verse. And if you have any questions or would like to discuss your feelings about this, please e-mail me—I would be honored to be of any help.

[excerpts from RBC Ministries booklets]

Blessings….
Mark

LIFE’S DEEP THOUGHTS (v19) for SEPTEMBER 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:

Joy Asashon
Gerry Besh
Linda Besh
Lezlie Besh
Terry Longo
Beth McMillan
John Waskin
Laurie Westman

*****************************
*****************************
PREPARE FOR ‘STAMINA’
My brother Randy and his wife Lezlie are Triathletes—it takes a lot of determination and “preparation” to be able to complete one of these—I think they (and maybe many of you) will be able to relate to this illustration about stamina and how to keep it.

Drink Plenty of Water….

I’ve heard it. I’ve read it. As long as I have been running, it’s always been the same message: “drink plenty of water.”

All along most racecourses are water stations, and most runners slow down to drink a cup of cool water. Keeping your water level up is critical when you run. If you get slightly dehydrated, you will not run well. If you get moderately dehydrated, you will become disoriented. If you get seriously dehydrated, you can die. It’s serious business.

The first year I ran was 1991, and I was inexperienced (also younger, slimmer, stupider, etc.) I passed water stop after water stop, occasionally drinking a swallow or two. I felt good, and I wasn’t going to waste precious seconds drinking water, even though it was a hot, humid day.

Big mistake. As I neared the final mile, I “hit the wall.” My energy level dropped to zero, I began having to walk some, and I realized I would have to work hard just to finish. I did make it across the line, but only with a tremendous headache and hardly enough energy to walk. It was not much fun.

I learned an important lesson that year. Stopping for water doesn’t actually slow you down. In fact, you will run a better race if you do drink water. The bottom line is that your body is simply not designed to function without water.

In the same way, your spiritual stamina depends on stopping for regular drinks of “spiritual water.” The dilemma for busy believers is finding time to invest in reading the Word and meeting with God in prayer. Like the runner intent on reaching the finish line, we tend to put off those regular drinks of water until we are totally parched.

But in the long run, you will run a better race if you will stop for spiritual water. In fact, finishing the Christian race at all may depend on it. And runners who don’t ever slow down to take a drink often stumble off the course far short of the finish line.

In this year’s race, I saw a man become dehydrated just a mile from the finish. Strangely, he didn’t seem to recognize that anything was wrong. He was swaying from side to side as he walked, mumbling over and over, “I’m fine. I’m fine.” He was so disoriented that he didn’t even recognize his own sick condition.

If you let yourself become spiritually dehydrated, you may not even be able to recognize it. Stop today to drink some cool “living water.” For serious runners, it’s a must.

“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'” John 7:37-38

*****************************
LABOR DAY

The observance of Labor Day began over 100 years ago. Conceived by America’s labor unions as a testament to their cause, the legislation sanctioning the holiday was shepherded through Congress amid labor unrest and signed by President Grover Cleveland as a reluctant election-year compromise.

In an attempt to appease the nation’s workers, Labor Day is born. The movement for a national Labor Day had been growing for some time. In September 1892, union workers in New York City took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of the holiday. But now, protests against President Cleveland’s harsh methods made the appeasement of the nation’s workers a top political priority. In the immediate wake of the strike, legislation was rushed unanimously through both houses of Congress, and the bill arrived on President Cleveland’s desk just six days after his troops had broken the Pullman strike. 1894 was an election year. President Cleveland seized the chance at conciliation, and Labor Day was born. He was not reelected.

In 1898, Samuel Gompers, head of the American Federation of Labor, called it “the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed…that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it.”

Labor Day is also the ‘final’ (other than Indian Summer) goodbye to summer. Almost a century since Gompers spoke those words, though, Labor Day is seen as the last long weekend of summer rather than a day for political organizing. In 1995, less than 15 percent of American workers belonged to unions, down from a high in the 1950’s of nearly 50 percent, though nearly all have benefited from the victories of the Labor movement. And everyone who can takes a vacation on the first Monday of September. Friends and families gather, and clog the highways, and the picnic grounds, and their own backyards—and bid farewell to summer.

—————-
Oh, let America be America again —
The land that never has been yet —
And yet must be — the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine — the poor man’s Indians, Negro’s, ME
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, who’s plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again…

Oh, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath —

America will be!
[Langston Hughes]

——————
Today, Labor Day is celebrated more as the last big fling of summer than a tribute to the work we do when we’re not on vacation. That may be OK, but the character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers, where mass displays and huge parades are the norm. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio and television. The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute to the American worker on Labor Day, but also to the Creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership—God—and that we need to thank Him for the everyday work we do, not just once a year, but every day.

*****************************
INDIAN SUMMER

In the coolish air and shorter days of mid-autumn, the sun’s rays felt distinctly invigorating, even therapeutic. It was great just to be cruising in short sleeves with all the windows down for perhaps one last time this year. Breathe in that air and hold it. It’s not going to last.

Perhaps that is the true magic of Indian Summer. The knowing that any day with temperatures in the 70’s and warm, dry breezes could be the last of its kind for six months or more. We get lots of these days in late spring and early summer. But then we are at the beginning of the season. It’s sort of like opening a new box of cookies. No need to be careful about savoring them. There are so many more to come. It’s when you get down to the last few of anything and there are no more at hand that you start to get careful about getting the most value from the ones that remain.

Indian Summer may well be historically related to Native American culture. That time of the year, just before the snows of winter, was prime hunting season. The warm weather encouraged animals to be out foraging for food, and the haziness in the atmosphere helped to cloak the movements of the hunters. The warm southwestern winds were also regarded by Native Americans as a blessing from the gods in the American Southwest.

There are other aspects to the fall season that help to magnify the enjoyment of those Indian Summer days. Looking down the highway, the scenery is dotted with pockets of yellow and red woven into the tans and browns of cornfields being harvested. Fall foliage lights the landscape and makes it a special treat. The greens of summer are pleasing to the eye, but you soon get lulled into the sense of everything being green so that nothing in particular stands out. The autumn leaves are not so easily ignored by the senses. Every tree is a different shade. Many of their leaves are scattered on the lawns, still a golden yellow. The older ones have turned brown, but they are piled high at the curbs waiting to be vacuumed by the city trucks or burned to add to the smoky haze and sharp aroma of the fall air.

[Author unknown]

*****************************
WHY LEAVES CHANGE COLOR

Every autumn we revel in the beauty of the fall colors. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter.

During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree’s growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.

But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

*****************************
THE FALL IS UPON US
Autumn “‘begins’ Sep 23—Did Spring ever “end” here in Michigan?)

The Autumn Equinox is the counterpoint to the Spring Equinox. Whereas the spring season is the time when life seems to be renewing itself and coming to the surface, Autumn is when things begin to shed, and the growth which was young in spring is now matured. Springtime energy speeds up, in the fall it slows down. The energy of Spring is upward, plants pushing upwards towards the bright sun, in Fall the energy moves downward, leaves falling away from the trees.

The Equinoxes are the two days out of the whole year when the northern and southern hemispheres receive the same amount of sunlight, and the days and nights are the same length. The tilt of the Earth’s axis is not toward the Sun, but lies at a right angle to an imaginary Earth-Sun line. At the equator, the sun is directly overhead. These days are the Equinoxes (Equinox means “equal night”).

The Equinoxes are times of balance, and also times of intense change; the solar rising and setting points are moving quickly from day to day – southward during Autumn, northward during Spring. The Autumn Equinox was the time of the harvest festival…..

With autumn equating to the harvest time of year, what have we harvested in our lives? Well, it depends what type of seeds we have planted. If tomato seeds were planted, we would expect tomatoes. If we planted negative thoughts, guess what will be reaped during harvest time? Positive thoughts and ideas? Guess again! We are farmers with our thoughts, ideas and emotions as much as a farmer who uses soil as his medium. That is why it is so important to put our attention on what we truly want to experience, and then create the correct atmosphere (attitude or medium) for that to manifest (your mock-ups). How successful would a farmer be if he planted tomato seeds but then never watered, fed, or weeded that area? It isn’t enough to want to experience something. We must create the receptive environment for it to show up so that our harvest is a successful one! The Autumn Equinox symbolizes harvest time outwardly and inwardly. It makes us pause to review our lives…..

Some rituals include the repentance of past sins and prayers for enlightenment in the next life….It is thought that the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, being the most temperate times of the year, are ideal moments to reflect on the meaning of life.

[Robin DuMolin]

*****************************
THE EQUINOX AND YOM KIPPUR

This is a day we spend making love,
while prayers from nearby synagogues
drift through the silent air
into our window, the voices changing
as the wind changes, and as the Day
of Atonement proceeds from pleading
to acceptance at the sealing of fates.

Open for me the gates of righteousness,
my neighbors chant in unison as I
move a strategic pillow to the middle of the bed,
wishing I could be in two places at once
wishing I could be two people at once
wishing there could be two times simultaneously,
praying at once for immersion and perspective

[Karen Alkalay-Gut]

*****************************
YOM KIPPUR-The Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur is a day designed to bring Jews closer to God and encourages return to him through the process of Teshuvah. Though the Yom Kippur service was, during the times of the Temple, focused around the Kohen Gadol, today each individual focuses on himself and his personal Avodah, service to God.

Known as a day of prayer, Yom Kippur does have numerous prayers associated with it. Most revolve around the central theme of repentance and return. Apparently, Jews everywhere find a connection to Judaism through Yom Kippur. Indeed, Yom Kippur brings more Jews to shul than any other holiday.

The laws for Yom Kippur include all of the work restrictions found on Shabbos. The most famous restriction of Yom Kippur is, of course, fasting. The intention of fasting is not to torture ourselves or to punish ourselves for the sins we have done. Rather, fasting help us to transcend our physical natures. Praying without concern for food allows us to completely focus on the prayers—all the restrictions have the purpose of focusing a person on the task at hand for Yom Kippur.

Though, some Jews have expressed a “dilemma” that the “Judaism of today is something other than what was established by the God of Israel.”

In the modern Jewish community, sin and atonement are seldom discussed apart from Yom Kippur. Blood sacrifice is written off as an ancient preoccupation and a primitive notion. Where sacrifice is acknowledged as the way of our people in days gone by….

God commanded sacrifice for a reason. Sin normally deserves death as its consequence: “The soul who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). But the Bible describes God as “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Although we are deserving of death, God Himself provides a substitute in the form of a sacrifice….

“We don’t need a middleman” is a popular Jewish slogan today, but you would never have heard it from our forefathers. The modern rabbi provides community leadership and instruction in the Torah, but the ancient kohanim, or priests, had an additional function: they were mediators arbitrating between two parties who could not communicate directly….

Daily life in ancient Israel centered on a proper relationship with God: carrying out His commandments, finding atonement through sacrifice, and receiving the help of mediators for sin. Indeed, life revolved around God and His requirements. The lives of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and King David, as well as the lives of the ordinary people, were focused upon a right relationship with the Holy One. Yom Kippur was above all the day to achieve “one-ment,” or a reconciliation with God….

If contemporary Jewish faith puts us in a self-contradiction, the faith of the Bible does not. If we believe that God requires something of us, the Scripture is a good place to discover what this “something” is. And if as Jews we’re going to base our life-style on the Scriptures, what should we do?

For one, the need for mediators has never changed. Therefore the priesthood and the prophetic line would need to be revitalized. We would also need to reinstate the sacrificial system. Atonement for sin was, and is, by sacrifice. Moreover, recognizing the truth of the Jewish faith and the falseness of other religions, we would regard non-Jews as people who ought to be proselytized. We would need to influence the Gentiles to believe in the only true God and to follow His commandments. Just as we would have priests and prophets as our mediators, we ourselves would be mediators between God and the goyim. In fact, such a movement has begun in some Reform Jewish circles. Rabbi Alexander Schindler recently called for a full-fledged proselytizing program aimed at the religiously unaffiliated.

Is the path to take a return to the precepts of the Bible? Many of the precepts cannot be observed in modern times. The genealogies validating the priestly line are gone and so is the Temple where sacrifices must take place. The Orthodox answer is that in the absence of these institutions God has provided the teaching of the rabbis.

Nevertheless, the modern Jewish community offers little hope for discovering “the” teaching of the rabbis. In ancient times the Jewish faith was unified; God’s spokesmen were clearly known. Is there a clear voice of authority among today’s Jewry? Who can judge with finality as to who is correct? Shall we listen to the Reform, the Conservative, the Orthodox, the Hasid or the Humanist? Shall we follow the halakhah (legal decisions) of American Jewry and declare sturgeon kosher, or the halakhah of British Ashkenazic Jewry and pronounce it trayf (unfit for Jews)?….

There is an alternative. Two thousand years ago, Y’shua of Nazareth, also known as Jesus, claimed that He was the Messiah. Most importantly for this discussion, He functioned as prophet, priest, sacrifice and mediator. Deuteronomy 18 records God’s words to Moses: “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in His mouth, and He will tell them everything I command Him. If anyone does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My name, I Myself will call Him to account.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19)…

If Jesus is prophet and priest, then he must also be mediator. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus the Messiah, who gave himself as a ransom for all men. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Anyone can make claims. But Jesus’ claims were vindicated by his resurrection from the dead, an event which convinced his followers that he was indeed prophet, priest, mediator and sacrifice. Two thousand years later, he is still God’s provision for “one-ment” with Himself. The unity which the contemporary Jewish community seeks will only be found after we individually attain reconciliation with the One who has created us as a people: the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This then is the dilemma of the modern Jew: whether to live with a contemporary, yet self-contradictory version of the Jewish faith; whether to return to the institutions of the Tenach (an impossible choice today); or whether to see that in the absence of a Temple, an altar, a priest and a prophet, God has already made provision for atonement and mediation in Y’shua.

[Rich Robinson; Efraim Goldstein; ]

——————-
A friend began telling me she had found the “Jewish Messiah, Jesus.” It was a quick way to lose my friendship, but instead of ignoring her, I decided to use my fresh vision of the God of Israel to disprove her. I pulled out my Bible to show her how it repudiated Christianity’s claims. I knew that somewhere God must have said that Jews didn’t need to believe in Jesus. Instead, I found a mirror of my unworthiness; not in wicked deeds, but in my attitude toward the Holy One of Israel. My attitude was, “not Your way, God, but my way.”

It seemed that my idea of sin was right…something inherent in all men. But to dismiss it on that basis was to be flippant. Any person could accept my answer, but God couldn’t. Instead of finding affirmation of my anti-Jesus arrogance, I found:

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12.)

I knew that I could minimize the applications of this passage into oblivion. I couldn’t honestly say that I was willing to pay the price to achieve what God demanded, but I wanted to….even if it meant believing in Jesus. How could He answer such a prayer? I couldn’t trust the Christians, the rabbis, or even my own feelings. God’s written word was the only authority I could trust.

From that point on, the entire Bible opened up. God’s own Word described the One who would come, die, bear the sins of humanity, and be rejected. I knew that I had found the answer to my prayers in Jesus. I had met the God of Israel.

It was through this Yom Kippur prayer that I came to see myself before God. There is no explaining away of sin. But there is a sin-bearer and “…that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” (Acts 13:38, 39.)

[Amy Rabinovitz]

*****************************
THINGS TO PONDER

– Why do “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things?
– The most important things in life are not the things.
– Why are a “wise man” and a “wise guy” opposites?
– Intelligence is like a river, the deeper it is the less noise it makes
– Why is it called “after dark” when it really is “after light”?
– Doesn’t “expecting the unexpected” make the unexpected expected?
– A kiss is a contraction of the mouth due to an enlargement of the heart…
– I misplaced my dictionary. Now I’m at a loss for words.
– If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?
– Why is it called a building when it is already built?
– If it’s Zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?
– If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do they make Teflon stick to the pan?
– If a train station is where the train stops, what is a work station?
– How do you know when invisible ink pens run out of ink?
– Doubt sees the obstacles whereas faith sees the way.
– A goal is a dream with a deadline.
– You can’t tell which way the train went by looking at the track.
– A house is built by hands but a home is built by hearts.
– If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
– You can always tell luck from ability by its duration…
– If evolution really works how come mothers still have only two hands.

[Jeff Lilley]

*****************************
HOUSEHOLD HINTS

To remove rust stains from sinks and tubs pour a few drops of hydrogen peroxide on the stain and sprinkle with cream of tartar. Let sit for half an hour then wipe off and rinse well.

Drop a denture-cleaning tablet into toilet for a fast cleanup.

Wipe bathroom fixtures with a little rubbing alcohol for a quick shine.

Safely and easily unclog a hair filled drain without harmful chemicals. Make a solution of equal parts of vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Pour down the clogged drain; let it foam for 15 minutes, then flush with boiling water

[Jennifer]

*****************************
SOUNDS LIKE HE’S TALKING ABOUT MARK

Once, I was as good as a Chevrolet. I was a ’55 Classic. But in the last ten years my fins fell off, chrome rusted, padded dash grew, headlights dimmed, and 0-60 in ten seconds became 0-10 in sixty minutes.
[Lawrence Brotherton]

*****************************
Now I sit me down in school.
Where praying is against the rule.
For this Great-Nation Under God,
Finds mention of “Him” Very Odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the “Bill Of Rights.”
And anytime my Head May Bow,
Becomes a Federal-Matter Now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That’s no offense; it’s a “Freedom-Scene.”
The law is specific, the law is precise;
Prayers spoken aloud are a “Serious-Vice.”

For Praying in a Public-Hall,
Might Offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must Meditate;
God’s name is prohibited by this “State.”

We’re allowed to cuss and dress like “Freaks”,
And pierce our noses, tongues And Cheeks.
They’ve “Outlawed” guns, but FIRST The Bible.
To quote the “Good-Book” makes me Liable.

We can elect a Pregnant “Senior-Queen”,
And The “Un-wed Daddy”, “Senior King”,
It’s “Inappropriate” to teach right from wrong,
We’re taught that such “Judgments” do NOT belong!

We can get our Condoms and Birth-Controls,
Study Witchcraft, Vampires and Totem-Poles.
But The “Ten-Commandments” are just Not Allowed;
It’s Scary here I Must confess
When Chaos reigns the School’s A Mess.

So; Lord, This Silent Plea I make; Should I Be Shot;
My-Soul   “Please-Take!”
Amen.

Without him, I will be nothing.
Without him, I am nothing but with Him
I can do all things through Christ That Strengthens me.
Phil 4:13

This was written by a teenager In Bagdad, Arizona.

[Received from Beth McMillan and Gerry Besh]

*****************************
DIRT ROADS

What’s mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.  There’s not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency that wouldn’t be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride.  That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it’s worth it, if at the end is home…a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn’t have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along.

There was less crime in our streets before they were paved.  Criminals didn’t walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they‚d be welcomed by 5 barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun.  And there were no drive-by shootings.

Our values were better when our roads were worse!  People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, they didn’t tailgate by riding the bumper or the guy in front would choke you with dust & bust your windshield with rocks.

Dirt Roads taught patience.  Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly. You didn’t hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk.  For your mail, you walked to the mailbox.

What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out?  That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on Daddy’s shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap.  Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole.

At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn’t some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you’d have to  hitch up a team and pull them out.  Usually you got a dollar… always you got a new friend… at the end of a Dirt Road.

[Paul Harvey]

*****************************
A STRONG WOMAN VERSUS WOMEN OF STRENGTH

A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape…

A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…
but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear…

A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her…
but a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone…

A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
a woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings and capitalizes on them…

A strong woman walks sure-footedly…
but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls…

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face..
but a woman of strength wears grace…

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…
but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong…

[Received from Linda Besh]

*****************************
FRIENDS
God knew that everyone needs
Companionship and cheer,
He knew that people need someone
whose thoughts are always near.

He knew they need someone kind
To lend a helping hand,
Someone to gladly take the time
To care and understand.

God knew that we all need someone
To share each happy day,
To be a source of courage
When troubles come our way.

Someone to be true to us
Whether near or far apart,
Someone whose love we’ll always hold
And treasure it in our hearts.
That’s why God gave us friends.

[Author unknown] – [received from Joy Asashon]

*****************************
THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM MY CHILDREN

– If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
– A 3 year-old’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
– If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape.
– It is strong enough however to spread paint on all four walls of a 20-foot by 20-foot room.
– Baseballs make marks on ceilings.
– You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on.
– When using the ceiling fan as a bat you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit.
– A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
– The glass in windows (even double pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
– When you hear the toilet flush and the words Uh-oh, it’s already too late.
– Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
– A six year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36 year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
– A magnifying glass can start a fire even on an overcast day.
– Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a four-year-old.
– Duplos will not.
– Play Dough and Microwave should never be used in the same sentence.
– No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.
– Pool filters don’t like Jell-O.
– VCR’s do not eject PB&J sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
– Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
– Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
– You probably do not want to know what ‘that’ odor is.
– Always look in the oven before you turn it on.
– Plastic toys do not like ovens.
– The fire department in Austin has at least a 5-minute response time.
– The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
– It will, however, make cats dizzy.
– Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
– Quiet does not necessarily mean don’t worry.
– A good sense of humor will get you through most problems in life
(unfortunately, mostly in retrospect).

[from Filomena]

*****************************
I think NASCAR would be much more exciting if, like in a skating rink, every 15 minutes someone announced it was time to reverse direction.

*****************************
An article in National Geographic several years ago provided a penetrating picture of God’s wings.

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his
wings you will find refuge.” (Psalm 91:4).

[Received from Laurie Westman]

*****************************
IT’S NOT OVER

One of the intriguing characters in literature and opera is Dr. Faust. The character of Faust was based on a German legend about a man who made a pact with the devil, surrendering his soul in exchange for youth, knowledge, and magical powers.

One artist put the legend onto canvas, depicting the story of Faust as a grim chess game. On one side of the table sits Faust, a symbol of men and women in the world, with only three or four pieces on the board in front of him. His face is contorted in despair. On the other side of the table the devil sits back in his chair gloating over his apparent victory. The artist titled his painting, “Checkmate.” A chess master came to the art gallery, stood before the picture, and studied it for a long time. Then he exclaimed, “It’s not over! It’s not checkmate! The king and the knight still have another move!”

Many times throughout history it has appeared that Satan is winning the game. The god of this world seems to control the board. Yet, Jesus Christ has the final move. Paul could boldly assert, “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20). The evil one cannot and will not win. As Christians, we can live in the sturdy confidence that the game isn’t over till it’s over. -HWR

Read: Romans 16:17-27

“The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” -Romans 16:20

The prince of darkness grim-
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure-
One little word shall fell him. -Luther

There are no losers with Christ and no winners with the devil.

[From “Our Daily Bread”]

*****************************
Love is to life what sunlight is to stained glass.

[Anonymous]

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

[Elizabeth Kübler-Ross]

*****************************
WHAT AMERICA NEEDS

What America needs is another Holy Spirit Revival that will put conviction back into the pulpits and pews; conscience back in the government; common sense, decency, and discipline back into the schools; integrity back into business; commitment back into marriage; shame back into sin, courage back into the courts; character back into our leaders, safety back into our streets; purpose back into our youth; and God back into our national consciousness.

[John Phillips]

*****************************
LISTENING

A young child returned home with a crayon drawing she had done at school. She almost danced into the kitchen where her busy mother was preparing dinner. “Mummy,” she cried in glee, “you’ll never guess what!” “Right,” replied the mother not looking up, “I don’t know what.” “Mummy, you’re not listening.” “Yes, I am, darling,” said the mother as she attended to her pots. “But, Mummy, you’re not listening with your eyes.”

[Source unknown]

You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.

[M. Scott Peck]

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.

[Sue Patton Thoele]

Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals.

[J. Isham]

*****************************
BUMPER STICKERS:

– Deciding not to choose is still making a choice.
– To be almost saved is to be totally lost.
– Man’s way leads to a hopeless end!  God’s way leads to an endless hope!!
– A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
– Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
– This car is “prayer-conditioned”!
– He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!!
– Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
– Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
– A family altar can alter a family!
– We don’t change the message, the message changes us!
– Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
– Exercise daily! Walk with the Lord!!
– Worry is the darkroom in which “negatives” are developed.
– Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler!
– For all you do – His blood’s for you!
– “Be ye fishers of men” – You catch them and He will clean them!
– God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called!
– If God is your co-pilot–swap seats!!!!!!

[Received from Lezlie Besh]

*****************************
Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.

[Charles Haddon Spurgeon]

*****************************
Did Anyone Ever Tell You,
Just How Special You Are
The Light that You Emit
Might even Light a Star
Did Anyone Ever Tell You
How Important You Make Others Feel
Somebody out here is Smiling
About Love that is so Real
Did Anyone Ever Tell You
Many Times, When They were Sad
Your E-mail made Them Smile a bit
In Fact It made Them Glad
For the Time You Spend Sending Things
And Sharing whatever You Find
There are No Words to Thank You
But Somebody, Thinks You’re Fine
Did Anyone Ever Tell You
Just How Much They Love You
Well, My Dearest ” Online ” Friend
Today I am Telling You

[Received from Terry Longo]

*****************************
POTENTIAL

Ben Franklin watched in Paris the first balloon ascent with human passengers. When he overheard someone ask, “What good to people can a balloon be?” Ben retorted with, “What good is a newborn baby?”

*****************************
Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.

You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!
“Men and women are three-part beings.
We all consist of body, soul, and spirit.
When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up,
we create a void that allows evil, prejudice,
and hatred to rush in and reek havoc.
Spiritual influences were present within our
educational systems for most of our nation’s history.

[Darrell Scott-father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School] – [Received from John Waskin]

*****************************
Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.

[Source unknown]

*****************************
Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.
[Italian Proverb]

*****************************
OXYMORON’S

Soft rock
New Classic
Sweet sorrow
Passive aggressive
Clearly misunderstood
Peace force

*****************************
Leo and Sam exited and locked the car in a hurry, forgetting to remove the key which was in the ignition. Realizing the mistake, Leo asked, “Why don’t we get a coat hanger to open it.”

“No, that won’t work” answered Sam. “People will think we’re trying to break in.” So Leo suggested, “What if we use a pocket knife to cut around the rubber, then stick a finger in and pull up the lock?”

“No,” said Sam. “People will think we’re too dumb to use a coat hanger.”

“Well,” sighed Leo, “we’d better think of something fast. It’s starting to rain, and the sun roof is open!”

*****************************
ODE TO THE SPELL CHECKER (Classic)

Eye halve a spelling chequer.
It came with my pea sea.
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And Eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weight
My chequer tolled me sew.

*****************************
SUBMISSION

People die, when world’s collide
Problems build, it’s suicide
Some try so hard, so many fail
And in the end, our world’s a jail…

Life is a book, we cannot read
The world around us, is ruled by greed
What once was bright, now grows pale
And in the end, our world’s a jail…

People search, but cannot find
Their sanity, or peace of mind
They close our coffins, and pound the nails
But in the end, their world’s a jail…

[from Mikhail Esteves]

*****************************
SOME RECIPES THAT ‘LOOK’ GOOD

———-
Roast Beef Sandwiches

4-5 pound rump or sirloin tip roast
1 (29 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (29 oz.) can beef broth (I use broth from meat I cooked)
1 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Anise Seed
2-3 Green Peppers (sliced long)
1-2 Large Sweet Onions (sliced long)

Cook meat with plenty of water till tender. Cool and slice thin with meat slicer. Pour tomato sauce, broth and spices in a large pan. Bring to boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add meat, peppers and onions to sauce, simmer for about 10 more minutes. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Heat the next day and make sandwiches using French bread.

———-
Shrimp Salad

1 (7 oz.) package sea shells (cooked)
2 cans shrimp
1/2 cup pickle relish
1/4 cup carrots (shredded)
2 tbls. green pepper (chopped very fine)
2 stalks celery (chopped very fine)

Combine all ingredients together; Season with paprika, garlic salt, salt, pepper, sweet pickle juice and mayonnaise to taste. Refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

———-
Zesty Zucchini

6 medium zucchini
1 can (12 oz.) whole kernel corn (drained)
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
Paprika

Makes 6 servings.

In a large saucepan, cook zucchini in boiling water to cover 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise; remove pulp. Chop pulp into small pieces, then combine with corn, eggs, chives and seasoned salt. Pour mixture into zucchini shells. Place in 2 quart oblong baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until cheese melts. Great with your favorite grilled meats.

*****************************
HOLD ME CLOSE

I’m ready to stop running,
let myself be caught –
Stop pretending,
let myself be known –
I’m ready to stop hiding,
let myself be found –
Held safe and sound,
in Your loving arms —

So hold me close
in Your arms of mercy –
Look inside,
show me what you see –
Touch my life,
and I will stop my searching –
And find that place in You,
that waits for me —

Whatever I held onto,
I’m ready to let go –
Burn my bridges,
and dance within the flames –
All of my wrong choices
have lead my heart back home –
To the love that
swallows up my pain —

I can see You’ve been there all along –
You’ve reached into my recklessness –
And filled me with Your song.

[Kim Hill – her album “Arms of Mercy”]

*****************************
*****************************
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!

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” [1 Corinthians 16:13]

Mark

*****************************
*****************************

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: