Tag Archives: learning

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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Cursive, Print, Pen or keyboard!

Boy did I stir up a bees’ nest! Actually, I came upon one that had already been disturbed. It stemmed from a report in our town about the school districts in our state laying aside teaching the artistic skill of writing in cursive. The big debate was over  whether to make the kids learn how to write in cursive or not. Keyboarding, printing, and when one doesn’t have a smartphone, iPad, or keyboard, maybe, if you have to ….print…but,  please, oh, please don’t make ’em master themselves and their urges and as primary grade  students learn how to write in cursive.  Why that’s tantamount to making a youth practice the piano after someone has thrown a football or baseball his or her way. Hey, maybe I stumbled on a great idea: Let’s add "cursive teachers" to piano teachers, "tap dance  and baton teachers"  and have writing recitals. What d’ya think? We could sell videos, give away smart phones or mini iPads….the possibilities are endless.

Now, I’ve taught youth in the preteen category for over 50 years and I know what it’s about when I say with regard to learning how to write, "There’s trouble in River City!" Yeah, Yeah, I know that some eager to "be on the curve" techie type is going to say: "old man, readin’, ‘riting and ‘rithm’tic when out with the hitching post." Really?, perhaps, (Why, just the other day, I saw an electric car tethered to a power outlet on a post, hmmm) just maybe, that’s part of the reason why we Americans have a hard time keeping the label, "Made in America" on the products we buy and use. Sure the kids are bright, and yes, they learn quicker that the speed of light, but, in my opinion, it seems that part of their brain is being short-circuited while they’re being under trained when tthey’re not required to learn how to write their names. Most of them can’t read the "hen scratching of their peers, much less the letters and gift cards that grandma or grandpa sends them. What happens in our family is close to "rip open the card, glance at the picture, and show me the money." It’s really simple, they act like that because they can’t read either the printed or written words that are placed before them.  "R U with me so far?"  It used to be that I would get requests to translate letters sent from Germany. It was because the recipients didn’t know the language or recognize the letters with their special markings, etc. What I’m writing about here is nothing like that. It’s far more problematic.

Let me tell you that something relative took place in a class I was teaching just yesterday. The need for translating came about because a fellow who had been ill missed class. His buddy had been kind enough to take notes for him while hie was gone.  Then it happened… the sick dude, as he was called, was given the unreadable notes for the class taken by his buddy. But the notes were worthless! Why? Because the note taker’s "printing" was so bad that the words  were unintelligible for his friend. What made it worse, and, I think proves my point, the guy who took the notes was asked to decipher his printing and he couldn’t!  He couldn’t read his own writing. Ouch!

So… I guess I’m aiding and abetting the youngsters in their misery by making a pen that has both a ballpoint with which to write on one end, and a interactive tip on the other end with which to swipe or stroke a screen. Sometimes you have to ride two horses at the same time. Which brings me to my shop project for today. I was experiencing a little problem in achieving true roundness on my pen blanks. This I determined had to do with the flex of the mandrel that they’re turned on. So, when I came upon the solution presented by one fellow turner, I thought I’d give it a try. Well sure enough it worked…in the picture you can see how I still used the mandrel, but turned only one section of the stylus pen I was making. The note taker in the story above will get the stylus/pen with which to learn and to practice learning how to write in cursive while stroking his iPad. LOL!



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Storage is at a Premium

 

Over the past few days I’ve stayed away from turning pens or making pen blanks. Why? Well, like so many other things in my life I didn’t think ahead far enough to consider what I was going to do with the blanks once I had made them! I was so excited that I was having success in getting different species of wood from various sources, and then, with the new blade on my table saw I was able to make blanks with such reckless abandon. With all that excited success I hadn’t figured out where and how I was going to store them and organize them according to the different woods.  I began to think that I couldn’t be the first person to have such a problem and wondered what others might have done and/or be doing with all the various pieces of wood 3/4 x 3/4 5.25" piling up in their shops. So I started to look  on the internet. You know the saying, "You can find anything on the internet."… well, that’s almost true.  I picked up a few ideas while surfing, but, it became clear that if I wanted something to suit my needs I’d have to design and make my own.

So, I took a deep breath, got out my 6" ruler, a sharp pencil, and some plain paper. Actually I use the back sides of old bulletin stock that I have saved for note taking, scratch paper, and shop drawings…..  I keep them all filed in my hanging file folder system. That way I do know where old ideas are, and  I can dig out unfinished projects and/or  completed projects or tool evaluations that I’ve kept for later reference.

 

First I put down in writing the goals: 1) Storage, 2) sized to be portable, 3) able to be mated to another unit through a hinge system, 4) suitable for table display for shows, fairs or association meetings, 5) low cost as a proto-type, 6) dovetail construction with dados for divider panels. With these criteria articulated I began the process:

I drew, measured,  and erased until I came up with the storage cabinet proto-type pictured. It’s c. 24" x 24" x 5.5" deep with 16 –  5.25" square cubbies. (that’s 400 pen blanks of 16 different varieties at my fingers’ tips. A similar unit hinged and on a travel dolly would allow me to handle 800 blanks.  However, I plan another set for kits for pens and bottle stopper kits and blanks. I have since had suggested that I might include finished pen and stopper space as well.) Each cubbie will be labeled accordingly.

I looked at my scrap materials for low cost purposes and found that I needed to buy some 3/4" poplar, the rest I had on hand. Total cost for the project $32.86.

Before I could do anything, however, I had to learn how to do dovetails! Anybody do dovetail joints lately?  I remember from wood shop some 57 years earlier using a saw, ruler and sharp pencil and lots of practice to make a simple box. Times have changed. A few years ago I had the good fortune of getting a Leigh Jig as a gift from a widow. There were bits, a wrench, a square screw driver, some extra fingers, a video tape, and one of the best written instruction books I’ve ever read. I have the routers, so I thought, "okay, let’s get crackin!" Well, I want you to know that I spent more time reading, watching, and making mistakes over the past week or so than I will admit to my spouse. Whenever she would ask: "What are you doing down there anyway?" I would come up with a different and more creative excuse. Bless her heart, she’s lived with me long enough to know when I’m being innocently evasive, she will go to her sewing and knitting room without pressing me further. Yay!

As you can see the joints aren’t perfect, "But for the first time wad’ya expect?"  One thing I’m satisfied with is the fact that it turned out square!  Once I got this far I could show the little lady my project. She responded with: "Well now why don’t you make the granddaughters some ‘hope chests’ with corners like that?’" (There are six of them!) Talk about a slippery slope.

Back to pen blanks for now!



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Pens – the basic stuff

I suppose a library of printed books could be filled with a discussion about pens, pencils, and the many different forms of writing instruments used by mankind throughout the ages. In all the cases that I know they are an extension of the human hand that allows the user to make some kind of mark. Those markings are different than those made with a brush in that most pens have only one point at which they touch the surface upon which the mark is to be made and left behind. Brushes on the other hand have many bristles and together are used to carry the medium that is being used to make a mark. A fountain pen comes close by using the two parts of a nib between which the ink flows to make its mark.

From charcoal, cunieform styli, quills, lead pencils, and many other different forms and instruments loaded with or carrying some sort of stained liquid an individual was and is able to convey by pictures, doodles, or complex symbol set, the ideas their minds have conceived and learned to portray in some form of writing. It is fairly amazing how the human brain can be trained to transfer ideas to graphics or things that can be seen and understood by others. As a student of languages, whether it be singular or multiple, to be able to read and write is a very important part of education, socialization, communication and interpersonal interaction. Although the keypad upon which my fingers are pressing to write these words does that and much more, there is an enduring quality to hand writing that makes it preferred in so many contexts.

As a pen maker I try to imagine how and for what the writing instruments that I craft will be used and by whom they will become an extension. From the time that I have been able to write I have been aware that when you see my hand writing you see something unique and special. My signature is mine, my letters are easily distinguished from those of others, and the style itself tells a trained observer many things about me in addition to the word or marks I have written. This is mostly true for everyone.  At the same time I have always been aware of the differences in the pens and pencils that I have used because I am left handed and hold my hand in a way that is different from most of the other people that I have watched as they have left their mark. When I add my signature to something, I do it very carefully and with purpose.  Unless I agree to what is being signed or written I will not add my signature.

It is with that same care and attention to detail I like to believe that I make my pens and those pens I might make for others. I hope that the pens that come from my hands become an extension of that person’s self. That’s why I can call my pens "signature" pens. They are all unique and specially made to my standards and according to the ability that I have at this point in my life. If you should want one, please let me know and I will make one for you.



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