The First Four of The Top Ten!

In a previous offering I suggested a solution to the prolem to the age old question: “How can I sleep better?!” Without going into the American epidemic of insomnia I wanted to build on the concept that I suggested: that of memorizing Bible passages. 

Use an Info grahic to review:

 https://ce21.blob.core.windows.net/global/ptncg3vgeuoxhndmu7e1uq.pdf

Take the time to go to this free graphic to get and overview of the problem and to learn about some of the outcomes. You can even print it and share it with those whom you love.

Missing, but most important

The quick tips offered by the folks at PESI use the shock and awe methods, but they don’t give you the solution! (www.PESI.com) I don’t want to come off as an arrogant half educated old man, but let tell you that the solution that is proposed works. It’s safe, smart, sacred, and scriptural.

The System that Works

First of all, recognize that you are a spiritual being. Not only do you have a wonderful mind, an intricately created body, but you also have a human spirit that is unique and wonderfully made.  All of these parts are inseperably linked and work together flawlessly.  If, however, one or the other is neglected, injured, limited or deprived it is nearly impossible for the unit to work as it was created to, and to accomplish the purposes for which it was designed. This is especially true when you or I don’t get enough sleep!  As the words of the psalmist remind us in Psa. 139:14: I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.a]Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Striving for Efficiency

To be in good shape, clear minded, and at peace includes being rested. Our whole person benefits from having enough sleep. In order for us to operate as well as we should requires regular, sufficient, and undesturbed sleep.  How to get that is essetial for us to function efficiently. This is not only good for us, but for those whom we serve, direct, work and play with, and love. How is that to be accomplished?

Here’s an important part of the process I follow, and I believe it has served me well for over 78 years! It’s simple enough: memorize Bible passages. Read, write, recite, and then think about them and you will be amazed how much positive difference it will make in your life.

Here are the first four

  1. Psalm 119:105
  2. Proverbs 3:5
  3. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Memorize and recite and write each one 8 times!

This will put you to sleep every time… God bless!

 

 

Solution to Sleepless nights

Sleep Deprivation a Real Problem

Greetings in the name of Jesus!
I’m wondering how many folks don’t get as much sleep as they should?
An article in FORBES indicated that we are a sleep deprived nation. Back in 2014, the CDC labeled sleep deprivation a public health epidemic—with over 70 million adults suffering from a sleep disorder.

Reasons for Epidemic

Our culture of sleeplessness has been propelled by technologies like the light bulb and the Internet, which have given us more opportunities to stay awake in an increasingly 24/7 world.(These words are being typed at 1:16:01 AM)

There are, however, many other reasons for not sleeping through the night. Insomnia, hungries, worry, painful diseases, sudden noises, biological necessities, etc.

Simple Solution for many

If you are in one or another of these categories, you may also have a difficult time going back to sleep. In that case I would like to suggest something that might help: Memorize a bible verse.

I pick passages that are clear and short. I use the passage for a whole week. With a list of 52 on my desk I’m able to read, think about and commit to memory the word of God chosen for that week. As I return to bed I have my head and heart filled with comforting and peace-giving assurances.

Psalm 119:105

This week’s passage: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105.

Read it 8 times to get started. Then go to bed and think about it.
Sweet dreams and God’s blessings on your waking and sleeping hours.

Happy New Year!

Hope Springs Eternal 

Hope is an optimistic state of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes with respect to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large. As a verb, its definitions include: “expect with confidence” and “to cherish a desire with anticipation.” Wikipedia.

“My Hope is built on Nothing Less than Jesus’ love and righteousness” is the title and first line of a hymn that I have sung throughout my life. In the hymnal, Christian Worship, it is number 382. Edward Mote wrote the text and John Stainer composed the tune.

I’ve shared here the link to  a Youtube rendition that you may join in singing. Once its done simply “X” out to this text. https://youtu.be/rkMapZB8qMk

I introduced this hymn at this point because I believe it catches the core thought of the Christian message. That message is hopeful. It offers for everyone the basis for an expectation for a positive outcome with regard to the consideratiion of human morbidity and mortality. Morbidity is the condition of being diseased. Mortality is the condition of being dead. One may live in a condition of wellness up to the point of his or her death. However, in every case humans die. 

Each of these conditions needs to be understood in a positive way, otherwise every aspect of human existance would be miserable.  Not only do we humans need a positive outlook, but there needs to be an absolute basis for the same. If there is none, we are all captured by one form or another of self-delusiion.

Pope’s phrase from “An essay on Man” can be understood to resonate well with the words of the holy writer, David, in Psalm 90 where he is prompted to say: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+90&version=NIV

We can look forward in Hope

I can wish you and all yours in greeting “Happy New Year” knowing full well that the swill of human existance is tainted by putrid imperfectiion. Even at our very best we are flawed. Those flaws have not only had an impact on our thoughts, words, and actions, but they have changed the creation of God in all of its wondrous array. 

In this condition we are hopeless! But we are not left in this hopeless condition! In fact, by the grace of God, our condition is the direct opposite. We can live in hope in every regard, not because we need it psychologically, but becasue God has declared it so.

Col. 1:27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Declared by God, secured by Jesus and shared with all people!  There is an eternal hope for all and it is in Christ Jesus.  Whether you or I believe it to be true makes no difference. It is an absolutely sure thing. It is the basis upon which we may live each day and the   basis upon which we may extend the annual greeting we do at this time of the year…”Happy New Year!”

 

 

Working Together

A common Beginning

The most important thing for us is where we begin! Yes, we plan a lot. Some things we do take less thoughtfulness than at first because we have been working together at the activities of daily living for quite some time. Other things are completely new to us, and take a lot more thought, practice, and trial and error before we get to the goal we want to achieve.

Getting started, however, is the easiest part. What!? you may wonder how that can be, but let me give you a little hint. It’s simple and direct and it goes like this: “With the Lord Begin Thy Task” (CW 478). Whether I’m turning at the lathe, reading to the 4th graders, or baking with my wife its always the same.  

The thing that’s so wonderful about each task, each day, each year is that since even before  our marriage began that has been the way it is, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (On our very first date, at a very nice restaurant, it was suggested by my date that we could pray together aloud before we began our meal) So it began and continues that we prayer together.  When there are disagreements, heated discussions, or just plain periods of selfishness, and we have those from time to time, we are brought back to our senses and our first love by the Lord Jesus and the faith that we share in him as our Savior.

What follows is creative and beautiful

We built our family following a yours, mine and ours process. Those of you who have done the same know how challenging that can be sometimes. The end result, however, is that we have a family that, even though flawed, is a beautiful thing. What is more it is especially special at this time of the year,  when all the limitations are removed and the creative juices flow among us in our preparation together to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

The gifts of love and thankfulness are expressed in so many wonderful ways that it seems impossible to be able to list them. Greetings, decorations, shared activities, gifts, travel, are all a part of what we enjoy, either as individuals or in groups.  I think that most folks in America can relate to this type of celebration.  I do know, however, that all things are not perfect. Some people live in constant pain, doubt, fear, and weakness.  The loneliness of others who may have all the goods of life is terribly overwhelming. 

So it is that we try to comfort, encourage, share and show honest and sincere Christian love for those who need it most. Perhaps you do the same in your own way. If nothing else we may all pray for the world in which we live to be improved by the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pens and Lefse are examples of giving joy and love

It wasn’t until recently that it occured to me that to make a custom writing instrument for someone as a gift could bring happiness.  I suppose that one of the most basic parts of this practice is the fact that each pen I make is unique and special, just like the person who may receive it and use it. It may bring back memories as it is held and reflected on. The materials may be special tokens of things or activities past. The comfort of holding the pen, using it to convey expressions of love in special notes or communications is a very personal activity. This is especially true when adding a heartfelt note to a prepriinted note or card.  The pen pictured is from an elk antler found on a trail in the wilderness by a special couple. Each time it is seen, held or used to write it brings to mind a very special time for two very special individuals.

Another shared love and activity is the fun filled and traditional process of making lefse. We try to do this every year. It reaffirms for us our heritage, and let’s us do something together that we wouldn’t ordinarily do. Potatoes, flour, butter, sugar and salt and a rolling pin… oh, yes and the lefse skillet! That’s about all it takes in terms of ingredients and utensils.

The other things like sharing kitchen work space, getting the process reprogrammed in our minds, and deciding whose recipe to use…hah! those are some of the others things that make for a fun-filled afternoon.

This year we made lefse, spritz, and cookies and more cookies and more cookies.( Most of our family is coming home for Christmas) With all those tummies to feed we have been working overtime to prepare. One thing, however, goes without saying…there will be no leftover lefse. Here is Jan revising her recipe to make it even better!

Have a bleesed acknowlegement of Jesus’ birth. May the assurance of forgiveness lift your heart to greater heights and increased deeds of kindness.

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Greetings

Seasonal Postoffice lessons

Just yesterday I was assigned the task of going to the postoffice to mail a package and post card. In an attempt to beat the seasonal crowd I chose to go to a small office in a nearby village.  In the past I have had no trouble finding parking, making my way into the lobby, and taking care of my mailing business.  Yesterday, however, this seemed to be a bad decision. Parking was at a premium, there was a line of folks waiting in the lobby, and the clerk was struggling to keep up with all the variations that come with her job.

As I joined the line I resolved to see how I could make the best of what appeared to be what was turning into a long wait.  There were nine of us standing in line, a couple of these were mom’s with babies in arms, and in the middle of the crampted area was a toddler sitting on a chair thumbing through the pictures on a cell phone. 

To add to the activity several came through the door, with unwrapped packages in hand, made their way to the “if it fits it ships” kiosk, slected appropriate carton sizes and proceeded to pack, tape and label their packages without taking a place in the growing line!  

Listening is best

As the line slowly moved forward there was a lot of chit chat, the shuffling of feet and boxes being slid across the floor, and several cell phone conversations going on.  In addition it appeared that several knew each other as they exchanged amenities, asking questions aboout the holiday, flu at school, and travel plans. One particularly agitated patron made a couple of comments about how busy it was, asked why the USPS hadn’t added staff at this time of the year, and suggested that there be an express line. I thought it best to remain quiet but alert. 

As I got closer to being “next” I noted the various exchanges between the clerk and patrons as they finished their business and left. Some said “thanks”, others “happy holidays” and another courageous gal said to the clerk, “thanks for your help and I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas.”

The Reason for the Season.

By the way did I tell you that “Scrooge” was in line that day? When he heard the Christmas greeting he blurted “Christmas, Hah!”  It was then that an older gentleman, leaning on his cane while holding his parcel, turned and said to the gainsayer, “If it weren’t for Christ we wouldn’t all be here.”

Then I was reminded of a passage I had learned a long time ago far away from that busy little postoffice lobby:

“11 Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:11-14 New English Translation (NET Bible).

Merry Christmas everyone.