Category Archives: Reading

The ClutterStuff Shoppe!

To shop or not to shop that was the question. My wife and I just returned from a very much needed day “away from the farm.” What we had decided to do was to get away from the smokie haze of the wind drift smog and take refuge on the north shore of Lake Superior.

historic lift bridge

Everything is changing!

First of all the drive took us through some of the most beautiful areas of northern Minnesota and past some of the range cites/towns on our way to the Great Lakes. The closer we got to Duluth the cleaner and more clear the air became. The “fog” had lifted, the clouds had all begun to thin, and soon the air was pure and clean and clear. With a windless temp in low seventies the Lake emerged smooth as glass and all the troubles we had been smothered by back home receded into the darkest parts of our concious awareness! What a change! Words are not good enough to describe how we felt. If only you had been with us you would know!

Along the way other changes were obvious. Some of the old tourist trap shops were still present, but every once in a while a new one or two or three had been built and/or sprung up in the old locations since we last made the trip. The brightly colored signs, the out front displays and the many clutches of curious folks such as us were coming and going. We couldn’t decide where to stop. But once we had gone to the end of Minnesota point and back, visited with an old frined, and made our way to one of the finest restaurants in Duluth, we began to relax and make plans for the rest of the day! So much was new and so many of our favorites were still there, we had a hard time mapping out our course for the rest of the day! WOW!

What about the shops?

There are hundreds of them. All over the place. How could we do justice to the seductive invitations? Maybe its the color of the paint. Maybe the architectual style, or maybe it was simply that we had been to that shop before and we knew what to expect. We have tried a lot of them; bar food restaurants, candy stores, clothing hangouts, ice cream parlours, pie shops, hand made this or that, artisan studios, and the places of learning that peddle their fare and finished products! We even stopped at the “absolutely must do” shop, the smoked cisco favorite of the driver of our car!

The shop that beckons

Let me degress here a little bit to make a point about different retail shops as I see them. There are those who “make it” and are successful, and those who come and go like these beautiful days on the North Shore. The survivors are the ones that are here to stay and they always have been. When you go into one of them you know immediately why you are there! Maybe its polished agates, clearly handmade wrought iron, or yum delicious pie alamode. There’s no guessing, there are no hooks, there’s no opportunistic proprietor trying to sell somethinig, anything, using the language of market blab just to make a few cents on over priced “ClutterStuff” picked up somewhare or nabbed at a clearance sale of dusty imports.

When sisters love to make candy and are pasionate about it you know! It looks like candy, smells like candy, and tastes like candy! And once you’ve tried some you can’t be told otherswise and you will go back again and again to get some more! Then there are…

The ClutterStuff Shoppes!

This is a Brewery!

Since I live in metropolitan with over a million people, I am familier with shopping! I’ve been taken shopping, I’ve been made to go shopping, I’ve even exercised my perogative by going shoping by myself, for myself, and without any kind of restraint (That’s another story!).

What you see is what you get!
I want you to know that I know a great shop when I see one. I also know a “crap shop” when I get sucked into one! If you are thinking about starting a business and opening a shop then, please, oh please, don’t make a great idea turn into a cesspool or dump of cast offs! Here I must tread lightly, but let me say that in my opinion, if you have a passion and a great idea then go for it. But make sure that your shop is identifiable both within and wthout. Don’t let some fast talkng consonee talk you into making your shop look like a collection of a “pickers” dumpster! Everything in your shop should serve the underlying core business you want to pursue. If you want to sell junk then call it a “junk” store, “Grandma’s suff unlimited” or “Tools Grandpa couldn’t wear out!”

The Peace of God?
Sometimes churches are like that! You walk through the door to the sanctuary and it smells like “pot Luck.” You look at the outside marquee and you’s think the pastor’s sermons are going to be some of the biggest jokes. Seating yourself in a beautiful quiet place to search your heart and recieve peace for your soul, and what happens, the ear splitting thumping and banging of heavy metal is served up endlessly. No “Good news to be heard, only a steady flow of psycho bable designed to make you feel good and live in the delusion that “all is well.” When you leave you move away to the quiet of a noisy world wondering about the definition of “Church!” Is this a “ClutterStuff Church like to many others?

May your church be about Our Lord Jesus Christ. Now may The peace of God which surpasses all human understanding keep your hearts and minds through faith in Christ Jesus!



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The 4 “Rs”! Resolve, Renew, Reorganize, Restart.

Hobbled but a Resolve to Move

How can I resolve to move ahead? Do you know what the word “hobbled” means?  1.  walk in an awkward way, typically because of pain from an injury, (“he was hobbling around on crutches”).  2. or to tie or strap together (the legs of a horse or other animal) to prevent it from straying.

Since shortly after Christmas I have been slowed down considerably because of knee and hip pain. It’s caused by arthiritus and subsequent muscle entropy. Ouch! I had to take steps to resolve my circumstances.

In addition to professional medical diagnosis and treatment, I have been trying all kinds of home remedies. Self designed work arounds sometimes help, but test the patience of my life partner.

Pray, Praise and give thanks to Renew!

I would be remiss if I didn’t  mention how it is that I believe that I am able to maintain the activities of daily living. I resolve to do the various things I do to make good use of my skills, opportunities, and the time I have been alloted.

Without any preaching here, I am prompted to point out to all reading this that self examination is first. What is more, clearing the deck spiritually is  the beginning. I feel, too, exercising my Chrisitan faith and living accordingly is the beginning. I had to measure my committment and my resolve to act on what I believe.

Two Powerful Words: Get Organized.

Before having to slow down and pay attention more closely I lived differently.  My attutude was that of self sufficiency. For example, I kept track of everything in my mind, knowing my inentory,  the location of the things that I have right down to the smallest items. If you were to ask: “where are the 1/2″ wood screws I had left over from a project?” I’d answer: “They are in a box, on the 2nd shelf in my wood shop on the left hand side of the room. They are together with other wood screws in a beige colored shoe box.”

What I’ve come up with is encapsulated in the two words: ‘get organized’. So that’s what I ve been doing the months of January and February.  To save steps and climbing up and down the ladder or step stool I took the time to think through the accessibiity of items on the basis of frequency of use. The thins I use more often are eye level and below, whereas the other less frequently used are up high or down lower in shelf or storage position. It’s helped a lot and saved me many steps and enhanced my planning of projects from start to finish.

Read, Read, Read!

My process has been to read up on as many related articles, ideas, and examples of how others have undertaken the same phases of adjustment.  To make haste slowly I have decided to take things a little bit at a time. This is my resolve. To explain and to share what I’ve learned and or relearned I plan to write a few blog posts and hopefully somoone else might benefit.  As an example I keyed in the words: woodshop organization ideas and came up with about 586,000 responses.

As an example I have now put all the kits, bits, and bushings for a certain pen in an inexpensive plastic shoe box and labeled each so that when I have an order for a certain pen I have everything I need in one place.

I’ve done the same for blanks.

Another suggestion I came upon was to have a kit layout board for each pen I was working on.

It’s a simple piece of board with two “v” grooves inserted to hold the various parts of the kit. For me it has been a time saver.

 

 



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Pastor Kogler

Hope Is Positive: I See a Hopeful Horizon

Hope for 2017.

As I write these words I’m looking at my calendar and planning ahead for hope filled new year. This is an activity that is done by most people every time we get to the after Christmas time before the

How do You See It?

New Year’s observance. I see a hopeful horizon for 2017.

I’ve chosen the following words to guide my thoughts: Romans 5:2-5: (ESV) 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith[a] into this grace in which we stand, and we[b] rejoice[c] in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

There are two words here that draw our attention, they are: “Produce” and “Hope.” This reference is also optimistic.

Hope more than an attitude

Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind that is based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large.

Optimistic people see the best in the world. Optimistic ideas have been around for a while. Consider Voltaire’s “Candide” (1759) he mocked them thoroughly. Here’s an optimistic quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”

Sometimes, however, it seems impossible to have or to maintain a positive and/or optimistic attitude or point of view.

Hope for all Generations

I have come to know several individuals who are the very opposite. Instead of looking forward with eager anticipation, they live in the darkness of fear and trepidation. Whenever the slightest variation in their lives appears they become upset, agitated, their personalities change, and they lash out against others and with much “hand wringing” while negatively influencing others. Baby Boomers and “millennials” fall into these cohorts.(Pew Research Center reports and data on the Millennial generation, and describes “millennials” as those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.)

Reasons for Millennials Lack of Hope

The number of millennials is greater than boomers and the numbers in the greatest generation. Asking specific questions about religion, God and heaven when speaking to a millennial, more often gets a response of uncertainty if not hopeless pessimism. The reason for this is attributed to the lack of training in higher and more lofty matters of life. Boomers raised them while placing emphasis on the matters of self, stuff, and cynicism. This era of “empty” training should be laid at the feet of the “Boomers” and their wholesale pursuit of consumer satisfaction.

Grandma Has Hope

This explains why “grandmothers” are the better ones to ask about removing stains with Apple cider vinegar (ACV). Boomers would just throw their soiled things away while “older” generations would clean them up with ACV. If you’re really interested here’s something you can read: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/13-ways-to-clean-your-whole-home-with-apple-cider-vinegar-235579

Hope for little children

We gain further insight then when we see that so many of our 3, 4 & 5 year old children have not been baptized. They are not because their parents have been taught to leave them on their own. ‘When they get older they will decide.’ They are not taught to pray, they do not understand death and dying while they see it all around them, and their hearts and minds do not know about forgiving love, mercy, compassion, and human spirituality.

This is especially saddening when educators, doctors and psychologists talk of the same ages as the most important for training in the basic concepts of self worth, socialization, forgiveness and human spirituality.

When something goes wrong during the formative years, that has an effect on how the person grows and develops later during adolescence and adult life. Most time lines consider the first five years the formative years, and during this time social skills and basic motor functions are learned and practiced. Learning to walk, talk and use the bathroom are some key examples of these formative skills.

In addition, personality is greatly impacted by these years. Many basic likes and dislikes, such as arts and sports, have their beginnings in this period. Emotional development also starts in the formative years. It is important to focus on encouraging a child’s intellectual and thinking abilities during these years, as it can have a significant impact on them later in life. It is difficult to make up for a lack of this encouragement at an older age because by the end of the formative years so many basic building blocks are set in stone. For example, a child who does not learn to speak early enough will have difficulty learning later on.” https://www.reference.com/family/formative-years-cdabfff5b1d7e413#

(Please note that most school districts implementing 4-k programs seek to perpetuate the humanistic world view)

The Bible is full of directions to train up children. The last time I counted there were 31 easily identified passages. Proverbs 22:6 is readily understood: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Children of all generations are to be given hope. That hope is based on the righteousness of Christ. They need to learn about Jesus. We teach the children at home, in our preschool, Sunday School,  Christian Day Schools and confirmation classes to have an optimistic perspective based on the absolute truth of God as set forth in the Scriptures.

May we do all that we can to teach by word and example the message of the Gospel!



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