Rescue Rabbit


Nadine and I were in our basement watching a very important game.  Patriots vs. Chargers.  Living in New England for seven years causes one to begin to adopt the professional teams in the area (that is if you are a sports fan.  If you aren’t don’t stop listening to this jlog because the story has nothing to do with this introduction).  The basement has a few windows with window wells about 6 feet from the surface of the outside.  She heard a thump and went over to the window well to see what happened.  We had a cover on this window well, but it had been moved slightly and this rabbit fell into the well.

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Had we not been in the basement when we were, we would have never heard the thump and the rabbit would have probably passed from this earth.  We had to do something so I rigged up a long pole with a fly fishing net on the end of the pole.  The bottom of the well is 6+feet deep so there is no way the rabbit could escape.  I taped the net on the end of the pole and proceeded to begin the rescue.

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After a couple of tries, I got the rabbit into the net and hauled it to the surface where it immediately jumped out of the net and scurried away.  Successful rescue.

I am reminded of the passage in the bible where it says that not one sparrow falls to the ground without the Lord’s knowledge.  I guess that goes for rabbits and all of His creation.  On our journey we will be called upon to care for God’s creatures and today was the day for me.  He will orchestrate your steps in such a way as to place you in the right place at the right time.  If He cares for the animals and birds, won’t He much more care for you?  Luke 12:6+

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The Greatest Invention


I grew up in eastern Colorado and did my undergraduate education at the University of Northern Colorado.  In all the years of growing up physically, I always had one thing in my hand when it came to white stuff falling from the sky.  It was a shovel.  My grandma Gorton lived next door so when the snow came, I would get out and shovel our walks and patio as well as shoveling all the way over to my grandmas house and shovel her walks in the process.  I was young so it was no big deal to shovel over 100 yards of concrete every time it snowed.  Sometimes it was harder than others if the snow was wet or measured over a foot.

Sometimes it would pack in so tight that I would have to cut a block of snow in increments of a cubic yard to remove it from the concrete.  Never in my growing up years did I ever think of removing snow other than with a shovel.

I left Colorado in 1972 after graduating from college and moved all over the country.  Texas.  Tennessee.  Florida.  Massachusetts.  Beirut, Lebanon.  Arizona.  46 years gone.

This last fall, we moved back to Colorado.  Back to my roots.  Back to 4 seasons.  Back to snow.  But this time I decided based upon my age to invest in a new invention (for me) that would take care of the snow when it falls.  A snow-blower.

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It is the most awesome invention I have ever experienced.  In fact I have used the snow-blower three times and have not only cleaned off my driveway, but I have cleaned off the next door neighbor to the left of us, cleaned the sidewalks down the street for 4 other houses, and have snow-blowed the elderly gentleman who lost his wife a year ago across the street.  I am doing every thing I did as a child, but with much less effort and much more fun.

On this journey, there will be times when we have the opportunity to bring joy to others by doing something as little as moving snow.  It might just bring you joy as you do for others.

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Attitude Transformation


Well, it finally happened in Colorado.  We are supposed to get our first heavy snow today.  The weatherman said that it’s supposed to snow for 24 hours straight and give us 8+inches of white crystals.  These are the pictures that we woke up to with white flocked trees and white-painted streets.

People who have lived in this in the northern states are getting on the internet to find the earliest flights to Hawaii, Arizona, or Florida.  They hate the cold and want warmer climates so that they can shovel the sun versus the snow.  They hate being cooped up in the house and seek environments that aren’t bounded by snow shoes and down coats.

We had been in Scottsdale, Arizona for 33 plus years and we chose to move to the climates where cold and snow are a given.  People in Colorado who hate the snow can’t believe that we would move from 300+days of sunshine and no snow back to a place where the temperatures can and have gotten to a -5 degrees and the threat of blizzards blanketing the horizon on a continual basis.

When we look at the negative aspects of life, such as snow and cold, or heat and desert, our natural tendency is to want an environment that is different from the one we are in.  It’s only when we begin to look at the positive aspects of our situation that our attitudes begin to change.  When the snow is covering the ground, the birds have a very difficult time getting food.  My bird feeder at this very minute has 6-8 birds on the feeder plus 30-40 on the ground and many more in the tree waiting to get their sun-flower seeds.

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I saw my neighbor across the street begin to shovel because he had to get out to have someone pick him up.  I called over to him and told Tim that I would shovel his driveway which he was very appreciative because he is handicapped.  No matter what the circumstance we find ourselves in there are positive things that can guide our perspective.

On this journey today, I would encourage you to ask the question as you read this jlog, “What is positive about my present circumstance?”  You might even begin to feel differently about life.

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Sacrifice


Sacrifice.  What does sacrifice really mean?  I began to think of the concept of sacrifice in my life going way back.  I guess when I was young I was involved in forced sacrifice when my mother wouldn’t let me eat candy before supper.  I had a sweet tooth (let me be clear, I still do) and would love to eat any candy that was in front of me, but was forced to refrain before a meal.  I don’t know if forced sacrificing is really the definition of sacrifice.

I guess the first choice I had in my life to sacrifice that I remember was when I  was in high school and played sports.  My choice to play sports had the consequence of sacrificing time with my friends to be out on the field running and sweating and preparing for the next game or event.  You see this with upper echelon athletes who are preparing for the olympics who choose to sacrifice friendships for a higher goal of competition.

When we fall in love with a person we choose to spend the rest of our lives with, a natural sacrifice comes when we sacrifice time with our friends we once spent time with to spend time with the new relationship.  Many of us have heard from our friends saying to us that we no longer spend time with them and feel the resentment from them for our choices.

All of us have experienced sacrifice in our journey, but what if we had the option to choose to sacrifice something or someone greater in life.  What would we do?  What would I do?  This is much harder as I began to read the following passage where Abraham had a conversation with the Lord about sacrifice.

““Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”. . .When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!” “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.””  Genesis‬ ‭22:2, 9-12‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This is a very hard passage for me because it speaks to things in my live that are very important and to sacrifice them as Abraham was asked to do is difficult.  Ultimately God wants us to put Him before all others.  It is a journey of moving from things and people to placing Him first in our lives.  It took many years for Abraham to get to the place of being willing to sacrifice his only son.

On this journey God is in the process of revealing things that need to be sacrificed so that we can see him more clearly.  It may be something that has blocked our view of Him.  It may be a relationship that we need to emotionally remove so that our vision can be clearer.  It only takes a heart that is open to His direction.

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McDonalds and 100


What does 100 have to do with McDonalds?  Could it be that 100 big macs were eaten at one time?  How about someone who drank 100 milk shakes at McDonalds?  Could it have been 100 McNuggets being consumed at one time?  None of these are the correct answer.

Let me give you a little backdrop.  My mother lives in an assisted living facility in Colorado Springs.  She walks 1-1/2 miles per day in the facility’s halls.  She regularly goes to yoga and TiChi.  Her meals are cooked for her so she comes to the beautiful dining room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  When you come into the dining room, you are exposed to table cloths with cloth napkins and a centerpiece of fresh cut flowers.  Don’t get me wrong, Mother appreciates all of these things, but if she had her choice, she would go to McDonalds for lunch.  That is her favorite place.

Today is her 100th birthday and guess where she wants to celebrate with her family?  You guessed it McDonalds.  Hamburger.  French fries.  Small coke.  No flowers.  No table cloth.  No cloth napkins.  No Frills.  Simple.  Mom is my hero.  Happy Birthday Mom.

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100 At McDonalds


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Speaking thru Dreams


Dreams.  Most if not all of us have experienced the phenomenon of going to sleep and waking up the next morning with remembrances of a story that we remembered when we were sleeping the night before.  Some of the dreams are wild and appear to be meaningless.  Some dreams are started by conversations the previous day that we had with someone who triggers our dreams.  It can be an experience we had with a dog the day before that causes us to dream about dogs and other kinds of animals.

Dreams are weird at times.  They can be far-fetched.  I had this recurring dream where I had signed up for a class but don’t remember going to this class.  At the end of the semester I hadn’t done any work and I needed to take the final test but obviously wasn’t prepared.  I couldn’t remember the days of the class but needed the class to graduate.  That dream keeps me agitated throughout the night only to realize that in the morning, I am no longer in school and there will be no negative consequences for my inaction.  Unfortunately I have dreamed that dream many times over the years.

Sometimes dreams aren’t remembered the next morning, or remember some vague thing about the dream but can’t remember the details that were so vivid when we were asleep.  Sometimes we are a bystander just looking at the action, and sometimes we are actively involved in the story.  Sometimes dreams can teach us something or tell us what we need to do as in the case of a story in Genesis that I read this morning.

The backdrop of the story is centered in a foreign country that Abraham and his family went to.  Abraham was fearful that they would take his beautiful wife and kill him so he concocted a story that Sarah, his wife, was his sister.  “Abraham introduced his wife, Sarah, by saying, “She is my sister.” So King Abimelech of Gerar sent for Sarah and had her brought to him at his palace. But that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him, “You are a dead man, for that woman you have taken is already married!” But Abimelech had not slept with her yet, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? Didn’t Abraham tell me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘Yes, he is my brother.’ I acted in complete innocence! My hands are clean.” In the dream God responded, “Yes, I know you are innocent. That’s why I kept you from sinning against me, and why I did not let you touch her. Now return the woman to her husband, and he will pray for you, for he is a prophet. Then you will live. But if you don’t return her to him, you can be sure that you and all your people will die.””  Genesis‬ ‭20:2-7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This story and the interaction of Abimelech and God is taking place entirely in the dream that Abimelech.  God does speak to us through the bible, but there are times that He can use a dream to get our attention or direct our steps as well.  On this journey as you enter 2019, when dreams come into your thought process during sleep, make some mental notes as to how God my be using your sleep patterns to give guidance to your steps.

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