Sunday, October 18, 2009

Scripture On Sundays - Greedy for Power and Glory?

In order to keep this short and sweet, I will try to focus on just the highlights of today's readings. Then, in a somewhat contradictory twist, I have chosen to include a couple more additional verses from my Verse-A-Day calendar that I thought would also pertain to the theme for this Sunday. I believe these verses should be self explanatory and shouldn't need too much, if any, of my elaboration. I'll let the Scripture speak for itself.
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.
Proverbs 21:30
Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do as it says, is like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.
James 1:21-25
Because of His affliction He shall see the light in fullness of days; through His suffering, my Servant shall justify many, and their guilt He shall bear.
Isaiah 53:11
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin. So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.
Hebrews 4:15-16
For not asking, but demanding of Jesus the following in this next passage, the disciples sound a little too self-centered and frankly, are quite bold. Jesus has to set them straight, and reminds them what their true mission should be....
James and John, sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to Him, "Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You."
He replied, "What do you wish Me to do for you?"
They answered Him, "Grant that in Your glory we may sit one at Your right and the other at Your left."
Jesus said to them, "You do not know what your are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"
They said to Him, "We can."
Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at My right or at My left is not mine to give, but is for those for whom it has been prepared."
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles, lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so, among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many."
Mark 10:42-45
So, whoever lives a life of service to others, and does not look for any recognition, awards or adoration, is the example Jesus has set for all of us.

Satire On Saturdays - NBA or NFL?







Friday, October 16, 2009

Family On Fridays

There's a special kind of closeness that only families know.
It starts with early childhood trust, and deepen as you grow.
There's a special kind of comfort in knowing your family's there,
To love and understand you, to listen and to care.
Of all the treasures life may bring, your family means the most,
And whether near or far apart, that love will hold you close.
Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trivia On Thursdays - Interesting Geographical Info

ALASKA - More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska.

AMAZON - The Amazon rain forest produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen supply. The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that, more than 100 miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean.

ANTARCTICA - Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.
Ninety percent of the world's ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents 70% of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about 2 inches. Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it) Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi desert.

BRAZIL - Brazil got it's name from the nut, not the other way around.

CANADA - Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning 'Big Village'.

CHICAGO - Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.

DETROIT - Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere.

DAMASCUS, SYRIA - Damascus, Syria was flourishing a couple thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 B.C., making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Istanbul, Turkey is the only city in the world located on two continents.

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles' full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula, and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of it's size: L.A.

NEW YORK CITY - The term 'The Big Apple' was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930's who used the slang expression 'apple' for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time - The Big Apple. There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland; more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel.

OHIO - There are no natural lakes within the state of Ohio; every one is man made.

PITCAIRN ISLAND - The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia, at just 1.75 square miles/4.53 square kilometers.

ROME - The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.

SIBERIA - Siberia contains more than 25% of the world's forests.

S.M.O.M. - The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.). It is located in the city of Rome, Italy, has an area of two tennis courts, and as of 2001 has a population of 80, 20 less people than the Vatican. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

SAHARA DESERT - In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, which did not receive a drop of rain for 10 years. Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for 2 million years.

SPAIN - Spain literally means 'the land of rabbits'.

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA - St. Paul, Minnesota was originally called Pig's Eye after a man named Pierre 'Pig's Eye' Parrant, who set up the first business there.

ROADS - Chances that a road is unpaved in the U.S.A. - 1%; in Canada - 75%.

TEXAS - The deepest hole ever made in the world is in Texas. It is as deep as 20 Empire State buildings, but only 3 inches wide.

UNITED STATES - The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as air strips in times of war or other emergencies.

WATERFALLS - The water of Angel Falls (the world's highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

I have always said you should learn something new every day. Unfortunately, many of us are at that age where what we learn today, we forget tomorrow. But, give it a shot anyway!

Work On Wednesdays - Saving American Companies and Jobs

I recommend buying Nordicware if you need some new cookware!
I know many women have been trying to be more aware by checking labels, when they're shopping for goods, to see where the product is made. It is obvious that many items are made overseas in places like China now.
You have to watch the labels because there are products assembled here in the USA, so it will display an American flag with the 'Made in USA' text on the label, but it is owned by a foreign company. I understand the newer Pyrex bakeware is made here in the US but the glass they're using is not as's weaker than the glass of old, and there have been reports of more frequent breakage because of that. The point is, even though the label will say it's American made on this new Pyrex, if you look closely, it will also say World Kitchen, which is Chinese owned. I just recently got an email about how we should be watching out for Corningware and Pyrex bakeware, which I plan to forward to my people. (I haven't figured out how, or if I'll be able to cut and paste emails to this blog). I had been pleased with myself for doing my microwaving with glass instead of plastic because of all the negative stuff I was hearing about plastic having some chemical leakage that could be absorbed into your food when it's heated. Now I have to check all my glass bakeware too! I did check out some new Pyrex at Kohl's and it did in fact say, American Made, but it also said by World Kitchen. Can we assume Pyrex or Corningware are not American owned companies anymore?
Some other products that come to mind are the many automobiles, such as Toyota, Nissan, Honda, etc., assembled here, but foreign owned. It's also hard to find clothing and other household goods made in the USA now too. Let me say, I'm not against importing and exporting. But there has to be a balance, don't you think?
So, I was pleasantly surprised when I found some cookware that is made here AND by an AMERICAN OWNED company. It is Nordicware, and your big box stores like KMart and WalMart carry it. I've even found Nordicware on Ebay. In one of their item descriptions it said they are owned AND manufactured here in the US. I bought their teflon coated pans, which luckily were on sale at KMart this week. You would be hard pressed to find any other cookware made here in the US. A quick check found that all of your top of the line cookware is made in either China or Thailand. So I hope my purchase will help to keep that factory of American workers open and will not have their jobs shipped overseas for cheaper labor.

Daily Format

Instead of just posting stuff willy nilly, or helter skelter (oh my!) with anything that comes to mind, I think I will try to follow some structure. So I've come up with some daily guidelines in order to refine my focus. That way any people reading this will know what to expect on a certain day. Now I might skip some days here and there depending on what's going on in my life on that particular day. But I will, once again, try to make it FYI....(For Your Information) and also Fun, Young at heart and Interesting! I hope to post a lot of tidbits that can be useful and might help you in your daily lives.
So the topic of the day, as of now, will be....

Scripture on Sundays, Money on Mondays, Tips on Tuesdays, Work on Wednesdays, Trivia on Thursdays, Family & Friends on Fridays, and Satire on Saturdays.
Of course, all of this will be subject to revision at a later date, as I deem necessary. All of you should be able to see I like to have fun with words and letters. They tell those of advancing age that we should keep our minds active. So hopefully this site will keep me sharp, and you enlightened. It will be glimpses into the future (hyperopic = far sighted), by someone (me) who I would like to think has something to offer by way of common sense, along with some life experiences that I can draw upon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Any scripture verses used in this blog will be in italics. Now here's a few verses I feel are encouraging to me.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6
This next verse, I believe, compares being 'salty' to the ones who speak out and tend to stir things up with their 'spicy' rhetoric on the truth, according to what is taught in the Bible.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
Matthew 5:13
And this next one does not come from the Bible, but from a church sign in our local community. It says....Courage is contagious. Take a stand. Other spines will strengthen.

Sharing Scripture - The Value of Being Rich

The value of being rich? That's kind of redundant sounding, isn't it? Of course, it's obvious that we normally equate the meaning of being rich with having many valuables. But what does being rich really mean? Rich in what....material possessions, cash, stocks, real estate?
I'm actually going to be discussing today the meaning of being rich in other, non-material types of ways, such as how we should acknowledge we are rich in the blessings of family, friends and health. I'm talking about how there is value in the intangible things. There is also value in having personality traits which show we have humility and unselfishness. We spend most of our lives striving to obtain personal wealth, but maybe we should spend time seeking more personal wisdom. That can put things in perspective sometimes. It's good to reevaluate our priorities. This is what the Sunday's scripture readings focused on today. What does the value of being rich in God's eyes really mean? Beyond what God thinks of do we see ourselves? You know, they say your eyes are the window to your soul.
In this first reading, wisdom is referred to in a spiritually feminine way. So when you see the words "she" or "her", it is referring to wisdom and how valuable that can be.
I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire (wet, swampy ground).
Beyond health and beauty I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.
Wisdom 7:7-11
The Bible seems to like giving intangible traits a human quality, like how it did with wisdom in the above reading. In the next reading, God's Word is explained as something we should remain steadfastly faithful to and diligent in testifying to the fact that the Word of God is at work in our lives, whether some might want to acknowledge it or not.
Brothers and sisters:
Indeed the Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from Him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account.
Hebrews 4:12-13
The final reading is a tough one for many of us to digest....or should I say, Jesus' words cut like a knife, as the above reading implies.
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus answered him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother."
He replied and said to Him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow Me."
At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"
The disciples were amazed at His words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God."
Peter began to say to Him, "We have given up everything and followed You."
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first (now) will be last, and the last will be first."
Mark 10:17-31
Jesus affirms that following the commandments AND serving others in need, go hand in hand. It is also a fact that many testify that they receive more pleasure from giving, than from receiving. That's what I believe Jesus means when He says you will 'receive a hundred times more now in this present age', if you are charitable, that is.
The word persecutions being used in this passage did throw me at first, but then I realized it can be very difficult attempting to do good sometimes. It is a sacrifice, no doubt, and you can be persecuted by doing good, as the disciples could testify to, because many were martyred. But Jesus promises the benefits will outweigh our difficulties in trying to do what's good and right in His eyes.
In a political sense, I believe our country did have good intentions of liberating a people, when our military went into Iraq. Also, the pro life people have good intentions of saving lives, yet both groups have been persecuted by some for standing up for what they believed to be a good cause; but in those other people's eyes, it wasn't a 'politically correct' protest for our modern times. But as I said before, the eyes are the window to your soul....and I care about what God thinks of me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Cynic's Point Of View

I had to share a story I heard from a caller in to Rush Limbaugh's "open mic Fridays" radio show today.
Now to the liberals....please don't say "ugh!" when you hear Rush's name. There are many people in this country who do identify with some, if not all, of what he has to say.
To give you a little background first, Rush announced he's just accepted an offer to be one of the judges for the next Miss America contest. However, he's aware of the fact that the show has now added a "green" element to it. Rush is somewhat apprehensive about this new part of it, to say the least. I don't know the details, but I will assume the contestants may now be required to show something like how they are doing their part to be "green". Now many of us, along with Rush, are skeptics of this whole green thing, along with global warming. This term, by the way, is now being referred to as "climate change" because even the progressives realize Mother Earth does not seem to be cooperating with this warming theory recently! The current forecast is that the upper Midwest of this country is expected to receive their earliest snowfall. We also know we've had one of the coolest summers on record also. This could be in part, because of the track the jet stream has been taking, which is a little different than the usual norm, along with the El Nino effect, too. Whenever we try to predict Mother Nature, she seems to throw us off. Ask any weatherman! She's not listening to us and I believe the climate has a God-given mind of it's own, if you will. So instead of listening to man made theories about how we humans are responsible for the climate situation on our planet, and subsequently lecturing us on how we should be using those energy efficient, but Chinese made, and dangerously mercury filled light bulbs, and driving hybrid cars, I believe we still have the freedom to make those kinds of decisions ourselves. Rush cynically stated that he also believes the only "green" jobs of the future will still be lawn mowing and landscaping. Hah!
My view on energy is that this new "green" technology is still in it's very early stages. Also, by our current government's actions, either knowingly or unknowingly (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt), is putting a potential stranglehold on entrepreneurship and taking away the initiative for innovators and investors to go out on a limb. But I also understand there are some big companies waiting in the wings to receive some substantial government handouts, such as General Electric and some company that Al Gore owns, if this cap and trade bill eventually passes. But I digress.... I'll just say many people are unsure of the direction this new "green" technology is going to take. There are so many unknowns with what's going to happen. There's also the very real possibility of additional taxation and healthcare mandates....expenditures our current business owners will more than likely incur in the future.
So back to the caller....this fellow calls in to Rush's show and tells him the Citibank branch he goes to that's in, I believe he said Miami, now has designated parking spots for people driving hybrid vehicles! They are now giving priority parking spaces to them, just like they do for the handicapped. Hmmmm. The caller said he parks in those preferred spots with his Hummer! Yes! But if my memory serves me right, he also said it was indeed, a HYBRID Hummer, so if that's the case, he would indeed qualify. But I wasn't sure if I had heard him correctly on that, so I then googled Hummer to see if they are even making a hybrid model. I found this website you can go to in order to verify and see, in fact, that they are, but just by modifying the current model they have.
But this priority parking idea just seems to be another way the progressive thinking people and/or the companies they work for, want to sway public opinion over to their point of view. This just makes me want to rethink what businesses and credit card companies I will, or will not, choose to patronize....and by doing so, it may give my one small voice a chance to be heard....along with creating this new blog!