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Focus

Because I co-host the daily call in show UpFront, I get stopped on the street by local citizens frequently. One of the most common questions I am asked is: “What is going on in the US today?”

It seems the craziness of politics has reached into everyone’s lives, even people who are normally not very political in their everyday lives. Many are concerned and worried due to events that seem to be spinning out of control and no one in authority seems to have any satisfactory answers. The only answer I can give that really makes sense to me comes from 1 John 5:19:

“We know that we belong to God, and the whole world is under the power of the evil one.”

Keep in mind that this world is the domain of sin and evil, run by mostly evil men fighting over power, money and prestige. When you choose to keep your focus on higher things than this world, it will make more sense and give you peace.

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Effort

Imagination without hard work is usually barren: and what is more, the brighter the imagination the greater the amount of work required to its full fruition. – Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1856 – 1943) Educator

The world is filled with brilliant people. One half of the world is above average. So why do so few truly reach their full potential?

The difference: effort, persistence, goal setting.

If you have unopened gifts from God, if you have talents unused or intelligence unrealized, that tragedy falls on no one else but you. There is no grand conspiracy against you, keeping you down or thwarting your success. There is only your motivation to make the best of what God has given you. Are you willing to do what is necessary?

The great thing about life is as long as we have breath in our body, it is never too late to go to work and pursue a goal.

Start small, start today.

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Dill Pickles

This is the time of the year for which they wrote the song lyric: “Summertime… and the living is easy.”

Days are warm, nights become cool enough to sleep and the gardens are producing food, flowers and look beautiful in the afternoon sun.

Pickling of various vegetables consume the diligent gardeners time (I like to include myself in that category). Now is the time to fill the cool, dark larders in the basement which pays dividends in the cold harsh days ahead.

Generations of humans have experienced this time of year and for the wise among us, the shortening days inspire the instincts to prepare for the future. This is one instinct which almost all of us share, no matter our race, our geography, our nationality. For the wise among us, we know that one must prepare in the good times for the hard times most certainly ahead.

A garden in the summer is the most basic of human rites. Did you plant yours?

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What Do You Believe?

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” I believe this would indicate that the driver of the car doesn’t have a high opinion of people of faith. In his belief system, science is the ultimate arbiter of truth.
Good Thing About Science it's True Whether You Believe or image 0

However, what science believers of his ilk fail to take into account (or willfully choose to ignore) is that science, no matter which discipline, is only as good as the data that go into the scientific conclusions. If a scientist chooses to manipulate the data from his experiment to support his hypothesis, no truth has been discovered. This happens all the time.

What people who express an unfailing belief in the results of scientific methods are really saying is that they have an unshakable faith in the integrity of the scientists. They are telling us that scientists are not subject to human failings such as pride, sloth, greed, envy or lust. That is a bridge too far for me.

I respect scientists and I understand that much of what we have in the modern world comes from the scientific method. However, I don’t put my faith in science. I study it, I marvel at it and I am happy to reap the benefits of the technology which comes from it. However, I don’t put my faith in it.

I put my faith in the revealed word of God who loves me and wants only what is good for me. The good thing about the Word is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.

I choose to believe God.

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Gone

“Don’t it always seem to go; you don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone.” – Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi”

So. Life has changed. It continues to change and we don’t really know when the tumult and whirlwind are going to stop. Livelihoods and businesses being put on hold, some even being destroyed, while the people involved are just told to “take one for the team.”

Here up in the Prairie, the appearance of life seems unchanged. Sure, the restaurants and honky tonks are closed, but we can still get take out. The powers that be haven’t ordered checkpoints yet, so we can still travel unfettered; but only if we have someplace to go to and a reason to go there. The thing I miss the most right now is being able to go to Sunday Mass and sing joyous songs to the Lord. My hope is that eventually that will be restored, but will it ever be the same again?

What do you miss? What will never be the same again? What did you have before the Virus that is gone?

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Poor November

November5_2014

No leaves, No green, No warmth, No light, No sun, No-vember.

November lurks in the calendar like an unwanted task. It is one of those chores you know needs to be done, yet you wish it would just go away. As the month wears on, the days become shorter, colder and more difficult. Everyone begins the long process of surviving the coming trial of winter. We know it is coming and sometime during the long stretch which is November, we just come to terms with fate and make the conscious decision to “Just get on with it”.

That is why I say Poor November. November can become so reviled, we celebrate the end of the month with a feast, so happy are we to be done with the entire mess.

 

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What Do You Hear?

“If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.” -Gustav Mahler

I came of age in a time when music used to mean something.

My formative years were filled with poets and activists trying to change our awareness of the world around us and trying to get us to understand that life was about more than just ourselves, that the world was more than our own little neighborhood and that we should all aspire to more than filling our pockets with gold.

I’m not quite sure when that all changed, but I’m pretty sure disco had something to do with it, because around the time of disco is when my generation stopped trying to love each other and started just loving ourselves. After disco, it was every man for himself.

Today, I hear pretty songs and I hear musical artistry, but none of what I hear tries really tries to change the world and the world is lesser for that fact.

 

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The Guy in the Glass

Man in the Glass

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October 17, 2019 · 05:55

Which Road for You?

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I .. I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

roads-diverging

Popular culture and conventional wisdom are safe roads. For someone looking to live an existence safe from controversy and conflict – looking to fit in and not subject oneself to ridicule – going down the well trod path is the best way to go. When you stay on the interstate highway, you will never get lost. If you are a safe road driver, a go-with-the-flow kind of person, you need to read no further, have a good day!

The rougher road is not easy. Traveling down a different path from the crowd can be frightening and lonely.  If one chooses to deviate from conventional wisdom, one is opened up to criticism, ridicule or being called weird or a deviant. Even though the journey on the less traveled road provides more challenge it also makes one stronger. Off the beaten path, one can find richer, more vibrant scenery; one can get closer to the fauna and look the wildlife directly in the eye.

Living your life on the road less traveled may mean you miss this week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars or The Bachelor or whatever other mass culture crap they are selling this week, but it ultimately will mean you are much more of your own person. It is never too late to take a turn down the road less traveled by and to start living a life of your own making. But since you read this far, you already know that, don’t you?

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10 Things that won’t matter when you are dead

“A wise man looks upon men as he does on horses; all their comparisons of title, wealth, and place, he considers but as harness.”  – Robert Cecil

1) The size of your house.

2) What awards your kid won at school.

3) How high the grass in your yard is

4) The size of your paycheck.

5) How many Twitter followers you have.

6) How fast you ran the 100.

7) What type of car you drove.

8) Whose team won the Super Bowl.

9) Where you went on vacation.

10) The size of your penis.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Living by comparison is great when you come out on top in the competition, but how does it feel when you come up short?

In the end, very little of what “the world” cares about matters. Caring too much about what others have, comparing yourself to everyone else is a useless waste of time and energy. Sooner or later, you are going to come up short… always.  Someone else is always going to be faster, richer, better looking, etc.

The anxiety, depression and anger generated by frustrating yourself in pursuit of these worthless comparisons can kill you.  Ask yourself, what do you want to be remembered for when you are dead and gone; that you took bitchin’ vacations and drove a cool car? Really?

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