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Don’t Mess with Mr. Inbetween.

June 23rd, 2013 by stephanie

Some of you may remember a very clever song that Bing Crosby made famous. If you haven’t heard it, try googling it and give a listen. It talks about getting rid of the negative in our lives. If you find yourself around negative people or downer types, you’ll very much appreciate the tune.

The lyrics go something like this:
You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

All of us have those folks in our lives that seem to focus on the bad, or are judgmental and critical, full of gossip, or just plain seem to always find the sad side of life. They can really drag you down. (And in all honesty, it’s easy for ANY of us to fall in that direction. I know I do!) Spending time with people that are uplifting, fun and encouraging is just what the doctor ordered–if we want to live healthy and happy lives.

With that, here’s a thought. Let’s commit to taking stock today in our lives and see in just whom it is we are investing our time, energy and resources. Then notice if they fall into the negative side or the affirmative side. Once we do that little exercise, it’s pretty clear to see where the adjustments, if any, probably need to take place. Who is making YOU a better, happier, healthier person? “Latch on” to them…as the song says. Make extra time to be with and invest back into them. Then remind yourself…as often as able…
Don’t mess with Mister in-between!

Just my thoughts,
Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Tales of a Plumber: Rooting out the Truth.

June 18th, 2013 by stephanie

It was a normal Wednesday night. Suddenly, the bathtub was backed up and full of black gunk. I could hear the back bathroom toilet start to overflow. “Trouble!” was the word that came tumbling out of my mouth. After a few wet vacs and fan treatments at midnite, and not much sleep, the next morning I called the plumber.

The stereotypical plumber guy came to my aid. And he got right to work. He summed up the situation then meticulously took on the problem at hand. While he was roto-rooting the depths of my home’s abode, I popped my head in to check on things. It was then that he started to talk, and talk…and talk.

“Yeah. I’m gonna write a book,” he grunted while holding the pliers in his mouth and twisting a wrench. “Been doin’ this for over 25 years. I could tell you stories all day.” I figured he was about to do just that. And before I could escape to the kitchen, he began.

On one particular call, he found himself at the home of a lovely woman. While there he began the task of tending to the clogged toilet. He informed her at one point during the procedure that he had the problem on the other end and would soon be pulling it up–if she would like to see the culprit. All were gathered in the bathroom to see this mystery emerge in real time. As the wad in question surfaced and he began to unwind it, he suddenly realized it was a red negligee. Standing beside the woman was her husband–whom she promptly hauled off and belted in the mouth. That was before she started screaming at him and chasing him down the street. Apparently, the red nighty wasn’t hers!

On another occasion, at a preacher’s home, he learned that the problem was out back in the septic tank. The pastor and plumber headed out to the back 40. When they arrived at the area they pulled the first lid off. As they both peered in, a complete cache’ of discarded, sexual-protection devices stared back at them. Weeks later, the man called our faithful plumber back to the house. The Pastor greeted the service man at the door with a big hand shake and thanked him. (Apparently, this husband had been since chatting with the neighbors after that first fateful discovery). What he had learned was of interest. While he was hard at work ministering to the flocks, his wife had been serving “guests” at their home! At one point, she was reported to have had more than a few men over in the same evening. Needless to say, they were divorced shortly thereafter.

There were other stories. And to be honest, they were even more dramatic than the ones above, if you can imagine.
But as I stood there, with a most horrified look on my face, the only words I could muster in response were, “Be sure your sins will find you out.”

Now, these words actually come from Numbers 32:23. And they don’t have much to do with a clogged pipe and drains, but the apparent truths from these aforementioned situations are most evident. We may think we can hide, but in the end, the truth will come out. Possibly literally.

Just ask my plumber!

Read Psalm 139:1-24

Flag day: This Friday!

June 12th, 2013 by stephanie

Not many folks are aware that June 14th is FLAG DAY. Maybe it’s because I grew up in San Diego County (a very military area) that I know about these things. I don’t really know. But I have to say, I have always enjoyed observing it. Even as a kid I stuck flags either in the yard, or my bedroom window, or somewhere in the house if I could get my hands on one.

I hope you have a flag somewhere. If so, now is the time to go and try to locate it and dig it out. Perhaps you have one that you hang out in front of your home, or, perhaps you prefer one in your window. Maybe you have one of those table top stands that make for setting a flag on your kitchen or dining room table or even your desk at work.

So, just where did this special day come from? Well, President Woodrow Wilson (back in 1916) is the man that issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day. But it wasn’t until August 1949 (a few years after WWII) that National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.

Flag Day is not actually an official federal holiday. But good ole Pennsylvania made it a state holiday. Flag Day used to include parades and festivities.  The real question is, how will you celebrate it this year? My dining room table will be decorated, the door will have something too, and I think I’ll stick some flags in the grass again, just for old times sake.

Just my thoughts.

The Lord’s Prayer…with a twist.

June 7th, 2013 by stephanie

A group of us were chatting when one person mentioned the recent story of a Valedictorian that tore up their “school approved” speech while at the podium on graduation. The student then launched into The Lord’s Prayer. I think it’s interesting that this prayer was what the teen chose to recite. But the situation impressed me to say the least. It reminded me of a blog I wrote awhile back. I’d love to share it with you.

Are you finding it hard to forgive someone lately? When the email titled “Church Kids” arrivedin my inbox, I didn’t realize it would end up as part of a blog. It was a kind of “kids say the craziest things” collection and I have to admit, these were new to me. It was one child’s version of the Lord’s prayer, however, that really hit home. It went like this: “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those that put trash in our basket.”

Wow, I thought. If that child only knew how right on the money they were!.

Isn’t it the truth? It’s easy for me to ask God to forgive the sin in my life. (My personal trash basket.) But oh how much harder it is to forgive those that frustrate and complicate my life with their sins. The ones that put their trash in my basket of life.

I certainly don’t want God remembering or punishing me for my flub ups. Yet, for some reason, I don’t seem to mind Him recalling the offenses of the people who have wronged or hurt me. I would imagine you understand and may be going through something of this nature right now.

It’s in those times that I have to consciously remind myself that God has forgiven and loves the folks that hurt me. I didn’t say it was easy. But the reality is this-Christ died for their sins too. Not just mine. Sure, I’d like to think I am the center of my Creator’s world. But I’m not. There’s a few billion more out there that He has His eye on and cares about as well. In an odd way, that’s comforting. Why? Because it means that He deals with my trash and your trash everyday-and He can handle it. Our trash baskets don’t phase Him a bit and what’s inside of them doesn’t change His love for either of us. That’s a pretty cool thought.

There’s a great verse that sort of helps me see that God just might be the great trash taker-outter.
It reads: And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103:12

Just my thoughts,

The Story of D-Day. May We Remember Well.

June 3rd, 2013 by stephanie

On June 6 we will remember…

Sitting in a hotel room that lay on the coast of England, allied commander Eisenhower knew that a small window of opportunity was all that he had with which to work. Weather was terrible. But if it broke, as they had been notified it might, 150,000 Allied soldiers would be deployed to land on the shores of Normandy.

The General’s 5000-vessel armada stretched as far as the eye could see. Over 150,000 men and nearly 30,000 vehicles were now making their way across the channel to France.
There were:

  • Six parachute regiments with over 13,000 men. These guys were flown from nine British airfields in over 800 planes.
  • More than 300 planes dropped 13,000 bombs over coastal Normandy before they got there to prepare the way.
  • Paratroopers would drop at 1am. But, would the weather hold? At a height of only 300 feet, in complete darkness, they would have think and move fast!
  • Men in PT boats were racing towards the shore as well. Many would get close. Some would fall short. As soldiers poured out into the waters, the 70 pound packs would sink and drown many who thought the sand lay directly beneath their feet.

By nightfall, more than 9,000 Allied soldiers would be dead or wounded, but… more than 100,000 would make it ashore! They would manage to secure French coastal villages previously held hostage by Hitler’s regime.

These were depression-era kids. Teens really. The scrappy boys that had learned to make it on their own. Those innate tricks of survival that only come through hard times. Could there have been any better training ground to prepare them for the day ahead? Horrible conditions, impossible orders, and a ruthless world tyrant to boot. Truly, an awesome task.

Survivors and those wishing to remember will gather once again on those French beaches. To honor. To think. It will be a very solemn day.

May we remember, as well.


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