Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Starting Tight

The economy has dominated conversations recently. Everyone is lamenting how bad things are.

Except a co-worker mentioned to me that he'd not seen much change in his daily life. But like me, he is an older person and has seen a lot. We grew up in a time when we didn't expect so much in the way of leisure, entertainment and luxuries. And we've always live on tight budgets.

We remember the old saw: "Use it up; wear it out; make it do or do without." And that was the reality of life for us in those days.

Many of my clothes were home sewn. How many people sew their own clothes now? How many people know how to sew?

We didn't have prepared, prepackaged foods. How many people now make their meals from raw food materials?

One of my school friends mentioned to my mother in later years that she always like coming to our house because we used cloth napkins.

We used cloth because we couldn't afford paper napkins. Of course, we didn't buy laundry soap, either. We made our own lye soap with fat drippings from the kitchen.

First hint for the year: do the math. Is it more economical to use prepared and disposable, or would you be better off making from scratch and using reusable?

Friday, December 26, 2008

My New Year Resolution

Last year was a mixed bag. There is nothing new about that. Seldom do we have a year that is all wonderful - or all simply terrible - although some have come very close.

In the worst of times, there is a small ray of light and levity. In the best of times, there is a shadow. That's just the way it is.

I'm asking my readers to hold me accountable this year. I've joined a LinkedIn group who will endeavor to read the chronological Bible this year. And I had the hare-brained idea to create a daily devotional based on those readings. This means that I will have to read - and write - ahead.

Those devotions will be found on my other blog, Garment of Praise.

My mother used to tell me that my initiative was wonderful, but my finish-ative was abysmal. And she was right. I'm too embarrassed to let you know how many projects lie unfinished.

This, however, is one that I intend to see through -- with your help and encouragement. If you read these devotionals, please comment just to let me know that you've read it. It can be as simple as "I read it." - or "Present" - or "Hi." I just want a nose count.

If you have comments or suggestions, please feel free to post those as well. Just don't feel obligated to do any more than "check-in."

This will be my last post for 2008, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a blessed and fruitful new year.

Grace and peace to all.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Well, it's today. Christmas eve and my first-born's birthday - all wrapped up into one.

The house has been very busy this week with company from halfway across the nation, a kitchen full of hand-dipped chocolates, and family in and out at all hours.

Supper tonight will be potato sausage and crudites (hangover from my Swedish ancestry), followed by birthday cake. Then church and eggnog after.

It's been fun and exciting, but I'm old -- and I'll be glad when things get back to normal.

Whatever that is...

Christmas blessings to you all.

Grace and peace.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Election Is Over -- Now What?

Since the elections are over, we have a large job ahead. The largest of which is to covenant to pray for our new president-elect.

Please join me in reading the following:

And print it out to pray daily for our new administration, remembering always that God is sovereign, that leaders lead according to His will and pleasure.

We are charged in scripture to pray for our leaders. Christian America cannot fail in this endeavor at this important time in our nation's history.

Grace and peace to you all.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Time Flies

I'm always amazed at the way time seems to evaporate from under me. I cannot tell you what Ive accomplished this week. I only know that I've been busy.

My day job takes four days. We've done medical appointments two more days. It was a week full of dailies.

What do you do when you feel like your life is not your own? But then, whose life actually belongs to them?

We have been bought with a price. And we are designed for service. So when we are busy in the service of others, are we not accomplishing that for which we were created?

Are our personal goals and desires more important than our Creator's plans for our lives?


I'll have to get back to you on that. Or maybe you'd like to get back to me. Just leave a comment and I'll try to address it during the week.

Til then, happy serving.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Qualifications for Public Service

When my son was in high school, his guidance counselor told me that he ought to run for public office. He could get elected to anything.

You have to know my son. He is of average height or just a hair shorter. At that time he had blond hair, eyes as blue as an Irish lake, and a grin that would not quit. He "cleaned up good", was personable, and carried an air of optimism with him. All wonderful qualifications for a candidate for any political office.

But when I queried the counselor about his fitness to serve, he countered, "It takes a whole different set of qualifications to do the job."

I think probably we've forgotten that what we're seeking in a chief executive is a candidate who can fill the requirements of the office. The presidency of the United States is a tough act.

You need someone who
  1. has the courage of his convictions
  2. is able to see the big picture
  3. and can coordinate the execution of government in all its facets.

Conversely, the requirements for a political candidate seem to be

  1. great rhetoric
  2. charismatic personality
  3. and the ability to stir people to action.

Personally, I'd like to see our country think beyond the hype and hyperbole in this election year. We need to exercise sober judgment when we cast our ballots in November. And it wouldn't hurt to make our decision the object of prayer as well.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Obama - Palin - Equally Inexperienced?

All the news this week has been politics - culminated by the choice of John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin.

An exchange between one newsperson and a McCain representative surprised me greatly. The newsperson became agitated and exasperated because the McCain representative would not concede that the choice of Sarah Palin would undercut the Republicans criticism of Barack Obama's inexperience. The newsperson's reaction smacked of desperation.

The difference, I believe, lies in the fact that Obama's experience is in the legislative branch of government, while Palin's lies in the executive.

In the famous words of Harry Truman, "the buck stops here." Any executive worth his/her salt knows that truth.

While Sarah Palin's resume is not long in years, it is replete with accomplishment. And those accomplishments lie in the fiscal area, trimming governmental pork barrels, instituting the general "household" economies that every good wife and mother knows how to live by.

It's long past time that Washington learned the truths we little people live with everyday. You can't spend more than you make. If you borrow, you need to have a repayment plan with a specific ending date.

When you buy a house, you get a mortgage for anything between fifteen and thirty years. But you don't buy a house every year. And when you buy a new house, it's because you have sold the other one and eliminated that debt.

For years, our federal government has been buying goods and services and not paying for them, just putting them on the tab. And some of the bloated prices we've paid for goods and services are obscene.

It's high time someone cleaned house fiscally. Personally, I think the McCain-Palin ticket can do that.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Everyone says you need to have web presence -- and the easiest way to create one is to start a blog. Never mind that no one tells you how to get traffic, or how to keep the writing muse popping up daily.

This is my second attempt at trying to write blog. The first one aborted quickly. Three posts, I think, and it disappeared into the hinterlands of cyberspace.

The topics for this blog will include family, writing, editing, encouraging, spiritual growth, and anything else that flits across my mind.

Just when I think I have all my ducks in a row, someone rolls a bowling ball among them, and they go squawking and gaggling all over the place.

Today, for instance, I was going to have three friends over for coffee. I invited the first, and she accepted readily. The second said she'd try to make it, but could only stay a few minutes - which defeats the purpose of having a real girls gabfest. And I never did get hold of the third, leaving messages on her answering machine.

So this morning, the first friend called. She had an appointment for later in the day, and they called and asked her to come earlier. When I advised the second friend of this, she said, "Lets do it another time."

So much for coffee.

But then friend number three arrived - thirty minutes later than the appointed hours. She had assumed we were meeting elsewhere, not my house. The two of us visited for an hour and a half. It was a very good hour. Call it a serendipity - unless you believe, as I do, in divine appointments.

Whatever plans we make need to be sketched in sand, not graven in granite.

Or as my grandmother used to say: "Man proposes, and God disposes."

Grace and peace be yours today.