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What’s New?

November 13th, 2016 by stephanie

statue-of-liberty-1045266_1280It’s interesting how the term “What’s new?” has changed. It used to be a type of greeting, asking the receiver of those words how they were doing and inquiring of them hoping to learn what all was going on in their life.

Lately, it’s used as a more sarcastic response and as an answer, rather than as a question. It has come to mean more of an “I’m not surprised” retort. A way of saying some things just don’t go the way you want or better yet, “That’s just the way it is.”

Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, talks about how there is nothing new under the sun. We can try to be cutting edge, or stay one step ahead, but basically, we just repeat something that has, in all honesty, already been done before—in some sort of fashion.

This past week in America we held our presidential elections. At my age, I have now seen quite a few. One side always wins and one side always loses. What’s new about that? Nothing. What is a bit new these days is how people, today, handle the results.

I don’t recall destroying someone else’s property, shutting down freeways, beating someone up (who has the freedom to vote as they choose) or my professors canceling my tests or classes if my side didn’t win. Those were never options. At least, in my mind. For that matter, I don’t recall anyone else thinking or doing the same as I look back. Sure, I was upset and I prayed all the harder when my side lost, but it does feel a bit “new” to me when I see the changes in how we as a country currently respond.

What isn’t new is wanting to have our way. In the past, I think we tried to be mature Patriots and take the high road. We tried to be good sports. We were aware someone would not be the winner. Today, instead, we lecture people on how they should act and respond once the decision is made. But if the decision doesn’t meet to our liking, we don’t take our own advice. The message suddenly doesn’t apply when “our” side loses. At that point, it’s “game on!”

But is that actually “new?” Not really. Again, from the beginning of time, man has wanted his own way. You don’t have to teach a child to throw a tantrum when you say “no” or hold firm on an issue. It’s just human nature.

That’s the hard part. Fighting against, not each other, but the innate will and determination to get my own way —come you-know-what or high water.

I wish I would have learned much earlier in my life—that part about the what I expected of others, when the shoe was suddenly on the other foot, finding they would be expecting the same of me.

I guess some people learn quickly. I don’t think I truly did. But I am grateful for the opportunity for each new day to, perhaps, turn it around and begin anew.

At this point, I am asking those in my circle to pray for ourselves. To get it right in our own lives. And then, to pray for our country. Join me?

– S.

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People are weird!

September 25th, 2016 by stephanie

People Are Weird

People Are Weird

A girlfriend and I were chatting this past week. She’d had a bizarre encounter with a client who is also a friend. Let’s just say it was very stressful. In the end, actually, it was just plain weird. We both left the conversation shaking our heads.

We humans are an interesting lot. Sometimes, we even scratch our heads in wonder thinking, What just happened? “People these days are just crazy!” we often find ourselves saying out loud.

I’ve been reading in the book of Judges lately, and I have been reminded, this problem is not a new phenomenon.

I never cease to be amazed by the stories in that Old Testament book.(And believe me, there are plenty in there to leave you in wonderment.) One in particular, however, stood out to me recently.

The one I am choosing to chat about this week, however,  goes like this…

Jephthah is the child of a man via his prostitute.

This particular man also has a wife, who has children with him.

Therefore, Jephthah has step brothers and sisters. The siblings, obviously, don’t want their illegitimate brother to get any of the inheritance, and they are very clear about that point. So much so, that  they basically chase him out of town until he goes to live elsewhere. While there, in elsewhere, he accumulates a little band of brothers.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, so to speak, the enemies of his people have descended, and the elders of the town run to find Jephthah and call him back to come and save them.

J’s response?

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

[Well, probably not those exact words, but pretty close.]

Anyway, long story short, Jephthah, the  man warrior, takes on the bad guys, goes to war with them, and wins. Yay! Right?

No, not so fast.

While there should have been singing and dancing in the streets, instead, fellow tribesmen, from his people, hunt down Jephthah to chew him out. Whuh?

Yep…they are mad because Jephthahv didn’t come and get them and ask them to go to war with him.

ummm….seriously?

He reminds them that he did indeed ask them to join him, but they refused!

No words.

So, here’s the deal, in my humble opinion:

1. We humans are greedy and self-centered at our core. It just comes, sadly, all too naturally.  (AKA J’s siblings)

2. We, as people, love to complain when troubles come. And when they do, we go and try to find people to help us out of our situation, or at the least, to take our side.(Like J’s howmetown when they found themselves in trouble)

3. When a person does step in, takes charge, and is victorious, we tend to get jealous. It seems we all want to be part of the winning team. (Victor over the enemy/the one who solves the problem and gets the praise and attention is suddenly our best friend.)

Point of the story?

We have’t evolved much, really, as a people since ancient times. Human nature (something we can’t see or touch) seems to be replicating itself very well.

Tip?

We shouldn’t be shocked or surprised, by bad behavior or painful circumstances when they arrive. Stuff  happens.

Solution?

There isn’t a pill you can take to cure it or a vaccination to keep it away. It requires something non-physical to combat this non-physical problem. We’ll talk about that more in the coming days. But for a preview click here.

And there you have it; your everyday thought for your upcoming everyday week.

– S.

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Talking Trash.

July 17th, 2014 by stephanie

If you’re new to this site and you found us via the Mature Living article by this title, WELCOME! We’re so glad you’re here. The article you read in the August issue of Mature Living Magazine originally appeared here as a blog post and was titled: “And Forgive Us Our Trash Baskets As We Forgive Those…” Great to have you joining us. Please subscribe and take a look around. – Stephanie

Are you finding it hard to forgive someone lately?12762-Clipart-Picture-Of-A-Garbage-Can-Mascot-Cartoon-Character-With-Welcoming-Open-Arms

When the email arrived in my inbox, I was tempted to trash it. It was a kind of “Kids say the craziest things” collection, and I have to admit, I didn’t have the time to read it. Work was waiting.

It was one child’s take on the Lord’s prayer, however, that really caught my attention. It went like this:

“And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our basket.”

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

I have to admit…

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 might even be going through something similar of this nature right now.

It’s in those times that I have to consciously remind myself that God has not only forgiven, He loves the folks that hurt me. I didn’t say it was easy. But the reality is—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 amazing thought.

There’s a great verse that  helps me come to see that perhaps 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. Yours? 🙂
S.

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