Monday, November 28, 2016

one who dreams, or one who creates

events these past two months have left me a little amazed. i can understand political passion. i understand religious passion. something i am having difficulty grasping, however, is the extreme passions associated with our recent elections. i don't understand it.

i watched the majority of all the debates, at least until the presidential debates began to resemble 3rd graders name calling in the cafeteria just before slinging mashed potatoes at each other. the debate i was most impressed with was the vice presidential debate where someone finally spoke with a voice of reason.

i don't entirely blame the presidential candidates for their immature behavior because i know most of it was created and fed by the media. some of the trash they pulled up on Trump was from the 80's and early 90's and i have to wonder ... was everything the naysayers did 20-30-40 years ago completely faultless? are there videos, pictures, or comments they are glad no one has found?

apart from the Kennedys ~ a family groomed for political office from the time they were conceived (and even they had their black sheep and skeleton in the sunken automobile) ~ not many people grow up knowing they were going to be president one day.

the country voted. one side prevailed.

yet this country has been torn apart for reasons i'm not sure i understand. people act as if Trump is the Antichrist, and i look back eight years and remember when some said the same exact thing about Obama. i read about people who are so emotionally distraught about the election results that they can barely function without bursting into tears.

we needed a change, which as i recall, was once Obama's rally cry. i believe that Trump is the change this country needs. someone who doesn't have lobbyists riding on their coattails, or sitting on the wallet in their back pocket. we need someone who can look at the budget without rose colored glasses, or without the (financial) influence of someone else's agenda.

eight years ago, one ethnic group celebrated while another complained. yet four years later, nothing changed. again we have an election with one ethnic group doing most of the complaining, and i have to wonder what the concensus will be four years from now.

a blog i read today included the following quote that in 22 words contained more wisdom and truth than any media report i've read in the past eight years.

"The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community,
but the person who loves those around them will create community."
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ~

which one are you? 

one who dreams, or one who creates?


Friday, November 25, 2016

in 5: surrender

surrender
a word that makes me feel i'm
giving up
but i'm not
i'm letting go of the things that
hold me back,
or hurt me.
i surrender and let go
to move forward
i surrender control
i surrender hurt
i surrender anger
when i surrender to God
i find peace and love again.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

forgiving

i've been reading a small devotional. the one year book of hope by nancy guthrie. i won't go into detail about her life and why she wrote, except to say that she suffered two back-to-back tragic losses in her life.

her week 46 is on forgiveness, and she had some powerful words that hit me in several areas of my life. even before readying the week's devotionals, i had already sent an email to my brother in the hope of peace between us.

"You can continue to play the waiting game with the person who has hurt you - waiting for him or her to apologize, to make things righ. If so, you're allowing that person to hold you hostage."

"I realized I needed to stop tending my hurt and begin to get rid of the bitterness in my life if I ever wanted to more forward with God."

"Hurt people hurt people."

"The bitterness takes root inside you, coming out in the form of distrust, insecurity, criticism, guilt, anger, suspicion, and fear."

biblical in nature, with scripture references. but even without scripture or the Bible, the devotional is great for anyone struggling with hope and forgiveness.

Monday, November 14, 2016

because we all just need to get along

politics can make people say and do things 
that they wouldn't say or do to their mother
or at least shouldn't say or do to their mother
 it can divide families and towns even more than college football games can

that freedom to vote as you want
say what you want
worship as you want
is what this country was founded on
but just because you have the freedom to say what you want, 
doesn't mean you should

i am praying that this country realizes that
united we stand
divided we fall
and that sometimes you have to agree to disagree
for the well-being of all

Sunday, November 13, 2016

the secret of the forest

Japan is an island of just 152,411 square miles. Within its borders, it packs a population of 127,288,419 people. That is a cozy 339 people per square mile compared to 84 people per square mile in the United States. You’d better hope they like their neighbors! Yet the Japanese have also set the example for peaceful living. In fact, they have made it an art.

Learning how to relax when you are constantly bumping shoulders with your neighbors is something even New Yorkers would appreciate. So how does a small country with high work expectations and ethics, maintain a happy and low stress population? They bathe.

If a tree falls in the middle of the forest, would anyone miss it? The simple answer to that would be maybe. If it was in the middle of the forest, no one might notice. If it is in the middle of Central Park, someone would eventually notice. As the populations in cities increase, so too does air pollution from transportation, various industries, and the process millions of people breathing, sweating, moving, and simply living. What difference can one tree make?

In a study done by the U.S. Forest Service, it was calculated that in the United States alone, trees save more than 850 lives a year, prevent acute respiratory symptoms 670,000 times, and improve the average air quality enough to put the health value at almost $7 billion each year. Of course, the higher the population numbers in cities, the more value trees can provide in those areas. But trees provide more than just improved air quality. New research has shown a possible link between urban forests and improved mental and physical health.

The grass, trees and flower gardens, in neighborhoods increases relationships between neighbors, gives families a sense of safety, and in public parks it encourages more adult supervision of children. Playing outside has also shown to reduce Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms, and helps children to develop. In cities with parks and other outdoor spaces for recreation and relaxation, there are higher rates of life satisfaction, reduced stress, and reduced negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and anger.

In a country where people are literally living right on top of each other, the Japanese have always greatly appreciated spending time outside. They realized that spending time in nature, simply sitting among the trees doing nothing, or “forest bathing,” reduced blood pressure, decreased the production of hormones associated with stress, and improved immune systems. So significant were the benefits of forest bathing, that it quickly became a prescribed therapy.

The art of living isn’t just getting through each day, sometimes it is not letting the day get to you.