Tag: change

I’ve Seen Alot Change

I have to laugh when I’m told by a “young” person that there is “nothing on TV”.

You see, I vividly remember the nights when the TV would turn to static at midnight, then change to color bars until 6:00 AM the next morning. THOSE were the days of nothing on TV. Ha Ha Those were also the days (nights) of making it nearly impossible to stay awake while babysitting. Oh, and getting paid a whopping .75 cents an hour!

I remember this well.

I’ve seen alot change.

This week, I proudly boast that I trun 67! So, allow me if you will, to recall some of those changes.

This is the city I was born in, in the early 1950’s, and it’s famous bridge that we frequented.

In those days schools taught memorization, discipline, and the 3 R’s. Books were read and used in the classroom and in homes and we all walked to school each day.

Those days, too, were powerful years for religion. Remember, this was the generation coming out of WWII and their desie to return to roots, family and community were driving forces. 97% of people those days had some type of religious affiliation, whereas today, 77% do.

The role of women has changed, too. In those days most women were housewives, today, 60% of women work outside of the home.

Families then were larger. My husband comes from a family where his mother had 12 siblings, and his father 13 (or was it the opposite, I dont remember). I have 3 siblings, so we were a smaller family in comparision.

Within the home, things have changed as well.

There was one telephone, and it was in what was considered a central location. Everyone in the family used it, although the children had absolutely no reason to (and usually no permission). When those teenage, long and dramatic calls came in, it was not without shouting, and recalls, and call backs – because your parent actually NEEDED the phone. Sometimes even the dreaded “party line” was picked up or listened in to. Now, those were the days!

Communication has changed alot.

Talking on the phone has been replaced by texting. People don’t sit face to face for hours to talk, plan or do much of anything else. Now it is sceen to screen, swipping, scrolling, or blocking. Letter writting is antiquated, and handwriting as a form (pennmanship, when I was going to school) is not really taught anymore. Keyboarding skills and shortcuts are emphasized instead.

Then, there’s the internet, where we literally have the knowledge of good and evil at our fingertips. It is the tree or web that connects us to anything we want whenever we want it. Oh my goodness!

Nightly news has become the daily news cycle. A repetited loop of partisan, talking points with very little informational value and no nutritional benefit. Twenty-four hour news with virtually nothing new reported.

Cars drive themselves now, and that cool Dick Tracy watch you talked to is on my wrist today. Very Cool!

TV has evolved.

Gone are the days of The Lone Ranger, I Love Lucy and Abbot and Costello. They have morphed through Gilligan’s Island, Star Trek, The Partridge Family, MASH, The Walton’s, Cheers, Growing Pains, The Wonder Years, and Magnum PI.

In the early 1990’s in marched the world of witches and vampires with Sabrina, Buffy and others. Then Harry Potter exploded in 2001.

I remember seeing for the very first time on a screen in my living roon scenes that just 10 years ago were unacceptable and morally repudiated.

I’ve seen alot change.

Selfies, fewer smokers, eating healthy, going green and even what it looks like to grow old.

CBS News even declared that 60 is the new 40! So how ’bout that? It simply means people are living longer today and they are healthier. And for alot of them, looking good at 60, too. Life expectancy today is 78.6 years.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”

John Maxwell

You too, I’m sure have seen your share of changes. It is inevitable. But John Maxwell has such a solid point here, growing through and along with the change is optional. Growth is a choice only I can control.

The old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is one that I have single handedly set out to disprove in my life. Seriously. Whether it’s learning a new skill (like sailing), a new program (like Final Draft), a new vocation (like retail), I am choosing to keep growing and keep up with the changes.

Change is inevitable, often sad, and sometimes infuriating. We have seen alot of it.

Learning which changes to adjust to and grow with and which changes to buck requires wise evaluation. Somethings ought NOT to change and that too is optional and up to us.

I’ve seen alot change and I hope to continue to be wise in my growth through even more, and buck what is unacceptable. Won’t you join me?

Cheers,

Debbie

Amazingly wrong, while thinking we’re right

Sunday Sermon 8.21.21

It seems like in every arena of life we see people seized with passionate resolve to walk a path they are conviced is right, and yet, somehow, in the broader picture with added light and insight that path was horribly wrong.

Whether we look to politics, or the heated issues of the day involving what our children are being taught, or the traditions within our religious communities, or across the seas to a nation under seige by a violent sect of extremists, we cannot help but be gripped with the zealous threatenings and assaults on what is right by that which is wrong.

I am reminded of a man who’s zeal for his God put him on a path with authorization to capture and imprison all believers of The Way. He is described this way –

“____________, (his name) full of angry threats and rage wanted to murder the disciples of the Lord.”

Acts 9:1

This man, was zealous for his God, and had lived a pretty blameless life, according to his religious beliefs. He was a Roman citizen, raised in the strictest Hebrew teachings, and was well respected within his community of religious adherents.

He was on a manhunt for believers and followers of The Way. He believed what he was doing was pleasing to his God. He was firecely passionate, so much so, his passion turned to rage. His anger boiled over and in it he believed He was doing the right things.

But he was oh, so wrong.

The Passion Translation notes in Acts 9, where his story is told:

“The conversion of Saul the legalist into Paul the grace preacher has a significant lesson for us. We can be amazingly wrong while thinking we are doing right.”

Acts 9:11-12 TPT notes

So, what’s the lesson?

This man Saul, was a passionate persecutor of believers. This man Saul, was the one who was in agreement with the stonning of Stephen and watched it happen as he guarded the murders’ clothes. This man Saul, was on a mission that he thought was right. And this man Saul, gets knocked off of his high horse by a blinding light and booming voice.

A voice from heaven spoke to him, as his entourage listened, and told him his passion was misdirected, his efforts off course, and his beliefs out of whack. So, for three days, he blindly waited without eating, for more clarity and direction. He had heard the voice of The Lord, and he would wait for further instruction from that powerful voice.

It came via a messenger, sent by God. Ananias went to find this blind, angry man, and delivered God’s message to him.

” Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me to pray for you so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately he got up and was baptized… and within the hour he was in the synagogues, preaching Jesus is the Son of God. Those who heard him were astonished, saying, “Isn’t this the Saul who furiously persecuted those who called on the name of Jesus?”

Acts 9:17-21

Saul was amazingly wrong but God spoke to him redirecting his passion, re-charting his course, and realigning his beliefs. Giving him light, inspiration, revelation and boldness, God took this man who was so passionately off course and set him straight. There on Straight street, Saul was shown the right, true way.

Friends, this account gives me such hope!

God sees our heart. If that heart is desirous of pleasing Him, faith-filled, and honestly willing to change, He will show up in that life/heart. He will speak and knock us off our high horse, to realign us with what is right in His eyes.

There is hope!

Whether in the political arena, educational, international, or personal, God is able to reveal what is truly right in His eyes to those who are so amazingly wrong today.

Within an hour God can open blind eyes, change the passions of a man, and the course of history.

Let’s not give up hope on any situation or person.

If God did this for Saul, who was so amazingly wrong, there is no one beyond His reach.

Go with God,

Debbie

Break Out

“an escape, often with the use of force, as from a prison or mental institution”

Dictionary.com

Has complacency set in? Is nonactivity the norm? Have you become more sedentary? Are you struggling to talk yourself (back) into exercise, and adventure? Is it time to break out?

It sure was for me, and today I did (again)!

You see, our brain NEEDS change. It is designed to grow new cells (neurongenesis) even in our older life. Our brain has a great capacity for change (neuronal plasticity) and in fact physically changes in adults that are learning a new skill.

That is why it is so important, no matter our age, that we keep escaping the rut of daily life and break out. Try new things, foods, restaurants. Find ways to engage your brain again, maybe a new location, activity, puzzle or recipe.

Today I broke out. I got in my car and drove to an unfamiliar place that I had heard of, parked and started exploring. A brand new location stimulated my brain through the use of every sense. I saw things I’d never seen before, heard new stimulating sounds, touched and felt unfamiliar textures and I smelled the fragrances of nature.

I witnessed the creativity of people, and experienced the fear of the unknown.

my husband says it’s a CA King snake

And all the while my brain was exploding with stimulation and growth, along with neural pathways and electrical impulse activity. My brain was celebrating adventure. My brain was happy. My brain was challenged and creativity was unleashed all because I broke out.

Every one of us NEED cognitive and social engagement for our own mental health. All of us, at one time or another need to break out.

Need some ideas for breaking out? Here are a few:

  • engage in physical activity of some kind
  • learn a sport or dance step
  • learn an instrument
  • learn a language
  • take a class
  • paint, write
  • arrange flowers, garden
  • volunteer
  • explore
  • try a new food or restaurant
  • take a different route while driving
  • use your opposite hand to brush your teeth
  • chew with your eyes closed and listen
  • listen to new music

Most people hate change and boredom. Yet change is what we need for a healthy mental outlook. So whatever it takes for YOU, find the time and break out. You will feel the surge of inspiration, energy and clarity.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

Simplicity

When I was in middle school, a hundred years ago, I had to take Home Economics class. It was a class in which I would “learn to sew”. Ha!

I dreaded it in advance, hated it in the process and afterward had a “skirt” that I made using a Simplicity pattern to show for my halfhearted efforts.

What a joke it all was. Seriously. Two things I remember from that class. 1. I never finished the skirt 2. That Simplicity pattern

Simplicity patterns have been around a long time. In 2017 they became part of CSS Industries along with all the other pattern companies, (Butterick, McCalls, etc.) and so there actually is no more Simplicity.

That’s kinda fitting, tho’, because haven’t you also found that simplicity, the simpler life has also disappeared?

I’ll never forget the time my husband and I spent in Kenya. Man, how we loved it, loved the people and LOVED the simplicity. It was, they were, amazing. Being there, changed our perspective and outlook forever.

How complicated our Western society has become. How consumer driven and comfort seeking we are.

We seemingly can’t live without so much superfluous stuff.

We are more stressed than ever, less active, less present, less healthy. Projects, appointments, events, and others wishes frame our days activities. We have trouble keeping up, then procrastinate which only adds to the stress.

World events, national politics, virus news, etc. only add more layers to our complicated life.

Simplicity. We need it. Our brains need it. Our health, physical and mental needs it. Our family needs it. Look around, is there any place or anyone who would not benefit from a good, strong dose of simplicity?

I really don’t have any magic beans to sell you here, nothing profound to expound upon or advice to give. You’ve heard it. You know it already. You get it.

May simplicity be our pattern for life.

Simple message today, simplicity. Start somewhere. Just start.

Cheers to the simple life.

“A simple, humble life with peace and quiet is far better than an opulent lifestyle with nothing but quarrels and strife at home.” Proverbs 17:1

But God

Sunday Sermon 11.7.20

Those two words are like a hinge. They open things up.

When I was teaching middle schoolers, I would often say, “I love the buts of the bible.” Of course, they laughed and leaned in to listen to what in the world I meant.

I explained, that no matter what was happening in the story, when you read the word “but”, things were about to change. Get ready. Then we’d look at examples.

But, what is even more exciting and powerful is the phrase “But God“. Because with God, a whole new world opens up; no more closed, dark, hard and constricting places.

It really doesn’t matter what the situation is before the phrase, because after the phrase it no longer is domineering. Think of it… blah, blah, blah BUT GOD, and now the pivot, the hinge, things change and open up!

Let’s consider a few bible examples.

The first, Noah. He found himself living in a wicked, violent, and evil world. Genesis 6:5-9 says that in Noah’s day, man’s heart was only evil all the time. So, God’s heart was deeply troubled and he brought judgment of the earth.

Noah was to build a giant, floating, farmhouse to carry pairs of animals and his family when judgment came. You know the story, judgment rained upon the world and lifted Noah and his ark above earth and he floated on the waters.

He was in that ark for one hundred and fifty days, that’s five months, when we read this powerful lil verse:

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.”

Genesis 8:1

But God changed things for Noah.

Another good example, most of you will remember is Joseph, Jacob’s son.

Remember, he was the dreamer, who kept sharing his lofty dreams with his brothers, who didn’t take too kindly to his self exaltation. Finally, having had enough of his big dreams, they plotted to fake his death, tell their dad he was gone and get on with their lives.

It worked. Joseph wound up being sold to merchants who took him to Egypt as a slave. There, he ended up serving in the palace and became a trusted servant to Potiphar.

While in Egypt, Joseph went to jail on false accusations, was released from jail and restored, even becoming Potiphar’s Prime Minister of the land.

Eventually, after many years, Joseph’s brothers had to come to Egypt and face him. They didn’t recognize him, but when he revealed himself to them, needless to say, they were frightened, and they had good reason to be. But look what Joseph said to his brothers –

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.”

Genesis 49:20

But God changed things for Joseph.

But God. A powerful hinge, a turning point, open door.

Last week, I was reading Psalms 64, about secret plots of evil doers, wicked conspiracies, cruel words, and unjust plans. The first six verses were like reading todays news. BUT, guess what popped up in verse seven?

But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down.”

Psalm 64:7

In verse seven, after six verses of craziness, is But God, and what God will do in spite of the wicked, evil, cruel and unjust actions. But God, the hinge, the change, the open door.

It was then, that I decided to write this post, realizing no matter what happened in the coming week, the hinge, change, and door that mattered is that phrase – BUT GOD.

As believers, there is always a BUT GOD. Our circumstances, world events, death or the enemy do not get the last word – God does.

There are ample verses to support this thesis. Here are some Old Testament references. Psalm 66:19; Genesis 39:21; 45:8; 32:42; 1 Samuel 23:14; 2 Chronicles 20:15; Psalm 49:15; 73:26.

Here are some New Testament verses: Matthew 19:26; Acts 2:24; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 1:27.

Of course the bible is filled with stories of miraculous turn abouts, stories of divine intervention. I started a list, but you could too. Just think of the stories you know and see how the hinge, But God changed things.

But even outside of the Bible we can read stories of miraculous victories because of divine intervention. In spite of insurmountable odds and statistical improbabilities, the hinge of divine intervention – But God, changed things.

You can find such stories in the annals of every war of in the world. Go as far back as you like, stay current or don’t bother at all. But know, they are there, documented and clearly But God moments.

God is always the unseen thumb on the scale tipping things on your behalf. It matters little what hardship, trouble, impossibility, danger, defeat, or lack you face. The hinge, the turning point, the change comes with But God.

Therefore, we strive to stay focused above the battle, and beyond the immediate.

“Therefore, we do not lose heart.

We fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16, 18

But God changes things for us, too. For you, for me, for all who focus on him.

But God, the hinge to open up and unlock new hope, perspective and victory.

Be encouraged today.

Go with God.

Times are Changing

Sometimes it’s kinda fun to look back, especially when you can laugh at what you remember. Do you remember these?

Times are changing! Right!?

Sometimes the change is gradual and unintentional, other times change is targeted, and opposed. Consider the following that were inventions to target change yet they were criticized, opposed and spoken against when they were revealed:

  • Automobiles – in 1902, they were scorned and the leaders said, “the prices will never be low enough”
  • Liquid nail polish – in 1917, many doubted its usefulness
  • Talkies – movies in 1928 had no sound. When sound was introduced, the actors declared “talking doesn’t belong in pictures” it will be too distracting
  • Cheeseburgers – In 1934, in CA when cheese was added to beef, it was considered “just another crazy California idea”
  • Personal computer – those in the field agreed, there was “no reason anyone would want one.”

My, how times have changed.

Some changes really do stick around. Like these changes that are turning 40 years old this year – they were introduced in 1980 and are still with us; even bigger and (mostly) better:

Times are changing.

We are creatures designed to live in the present. We cannot live in the past, nor can we live in the future. Yet, our past affects our present and our future.

Our mind seeks possibilities yet it resists change.

In these tenuous times of change, what changes will be temporary and funny to look back on?

What changes will continue to be opposed? Which will be defeated by opposition and criticism? Which will overcome and change our world?

Which changes will be around another 40 years and make make our world a better place?

Times are certainly changing…

Cheers to you.

“Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents”

The History Files

Although written in 1770 by British spokesman, orator and political thinker, Edmund Burke, that title could have come from our headlines today, and certainly reflects my heart and message for this blog.

It is Burke who is credited with one of the most popular quotes of all time, (even though his speech never specifically said the words.)

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I’ll still take it, wont you? It is so good, JFK used it.

What Burke did say in his writing “Thoughts on the Cause…” was –

When bad men combine – good men must organize.”

Edmund Burke

I feel such an urgency for good men (mankind) to speak up, step up, step out, launch out, reach out, take action, refuse the trends, stay the “good” course, and as Burke said, maybe even organize. Why not? It is time!

In the words of President Grover Cleveland, “What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something.”

I am not running for office, nor are you most likely, but here’s the hitch- what are we standing for? Are we standing up for anything? Or have we allowed our voices to be silenced by fear, complacency, louder voices, cancel culture and censorship?

In the days of Women’s Suffrage there were suffragists and suffragettes. Suffragists believed in peaceful, constitutional campaigns for women’s right to vote. Suffragettes were activists, willing to take direct action into the community. Their motto, “Deeds not words” often led to hunger strikes and handcuffing themselves to the White House fence.

Both believed in the same thing – that women had the right to vote but they took action in different ways. The key though, they took action. The result? The passage of the 19th Amendment allowing women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony would have been proud, after being arrested and still voting 150 times illegally. She stood up for that right long before others jumped on board and made it legal.

Being a student and lover of American history (I hear a yawn 🙂 ) I can’t help but go to dozens of examples of those who stood up in the face of “discontents”, injustices, and hardships and joined with others of like mind to push through change.

The good people voluntarily organized and took persistent action so that the evils of their day would not triumph in their society.

What would the nation/world be without these who stood up for the cause that gripped their soul, and sacrificed their own self interests for the good of the society and future generations?

Consider the following and their causes:

  • Dorthea Dix – mistreatment of the mentally ill
  • Horance Mann – education reform
  • Frederick Douglass – anti-slavery, civil rights
  • William Lloyd Garrison – abolition
  • Ida Tarabel – investigative journalism (what’s happened to that?)
  • Jane Addams – help for the poor and immigrants
  • Booker T. Washington – black education and training (peaceful)
  • WEB Dubois – black rights, NAACP (violent if needed)
  • Sojourner Truth – abolitionist
  • Harriet Tubman – anti-slavery
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson – writer, reformer
  • Caesar Chavez – farmworkers rights
  • Malala Yousafzai – Taliban awareness, women rights
  • Florence Nightingale – nursing
  • Clara Barton – founder of the Red Cross
  • Marie Curie – medicine
  • John Muir – wildlife conservation
  • Upton Sinclair – meatpacking industry reform
  • Jackie Robinson – racial equality
  • Sally Ride – space travel

The world is a better and changed place because each of these did something with the passion they felt. They joined with others and got things changed. These good humans pressed through the evil and triumphed over it. “Overcome evil with good”.

Solomon, in Proverbs warned us:

If you do nothing in times of trouble, your strength is small.

Proverbs 24:10

So, how’s your strength? These are NOT “do nothing days”. Shame on us if we are “do nothing-ers”.

I conclude my thoughts on the cause of the present discontents.

Cheers to you.

Time to Move

It’s that time again. It’s time for us to move.

no dinner guests in this dining room!

My husband and I, as empty nesters, have been considering downsizing (again) for a while, and are feeling now is the right time.

That is pretty much all that is certain at this point. We feel it is time to move, so we have begun packing and all that it involves. To date, we are still uncertain exactly where, but know it is in the area and hopefully by the end of the month.

Movement is a fundamental aspect of life. It requires action and affects everything. And I do mean everything, including our circulation, digestion, metabolism and even immunity. Movement even helps the body regulate hormones, detoxify and respire! So movement is good for you, me. (I need to keep chanting this to myself during this crazy time!)

Movement, whether it be daily activity, a change in position or ideas, or change in place of residence or employment has undeniable value.

I would like to offer these 5 points that I have been impressed with during our moving time. They apply not only to residence changes, but movement in our thoughts, positions, policies, and priorities. For your consideration, they are:

1. Realize it is time to move – It is important to admit when it is time to move on from the situation you are in. Realize it is time to get out. It is time to let go. It is time to move ahead. Until you can do this, you are stuck!

2. Move to – where? You may not have the specifics immediately, but having a general idea the direction that you want to move is vital. Continue your due diligence, and continue to pack while it becomes clear. You are moving and are preparing while you wait for all the details to become clear, not sitting around twiddling your fingers waiting for more information. Move on. Move forward.

3. Pack: keep or toss – The labor intensive part of moving is packing and with it the emotional wear of the constant decisions of what to keep and what to toss. It is physically grueling to load into boxes your life and all it’s precious possessions and it is emotionally taxing to let go of those things that once held prime space in your memories. How do you detach, let go of those precious memories? Throw away? Are you kidding?!!!! Some things just must go.

4. How to release? Where and how do you let go of those priceless memories? They can’t just be thrown away? (Actually, some can and should and will be). What about the others? To whom should I donate them? Share them? There are things you should share with others – give them away to your friends, family. It is time. Do it. There are other things, that should be donated. Find your charity, there are plenty, fill up the car, or have a pick up. Let it go. Release it, all. Give generously.

5. Support – It is really tough to do a move totally on your own strength. A support team is tremendously helpful. Whether it be a realtor, moving company, friends with trucks and strong backs, or helpful family members; you need support to move. Period. A major life decision like relocating, will impact you for sure in every way, but it will be with less stress if you have the proper support around you. So too with change in our thoughts and attitudes. We need support.

I challenge you, whether or not you are physically moving, to consider these 5 points. How? Why? In what way?

We as people are changing, moving forward in our ideas; personal, spiritual, and political. In what ways do you need to consider or apply these 5 points to your spiritual ideas? Personal ideas? Political ideas?

What ideas need to change? What will be your new stance? What needs to be tossed out completely or kept and edited? Where should the old idea(s) go? What support is around you to help you continue walking in your new found idea, perspective?

Let’s move on in our lives. Let’s not be trapped in a clutter of old ways and routines. It’s time to move. Pack up or discard the old and move into a brand new way of thinking, living, speaking, and being.

Is it time for you to move on in some way? Think seriously about it.

Cheers to moving.

Times are changing

Yesterday, in our area, we had a dearly beloved historical attraction and youth overnight field trip location SINK. Literally.

The tall ship – “The Pilgrim”, docked at The Ocean Institute in Dana Point, began to keel starboard and take on water. By the next morning, it’s deck was totally below water, with only the masts and a part of the bow above water.

the ship is keeling

The Pilgrim is a replica of the 3-masted schooner that Richard Henry Dana sailed from Boston to California on in 1843 and upon which he wrote his diary, which became the book and movie “Two Years Before the Mast.

It was a popular overnight field trip site for over 400,000 fourth and fifth graders from throughout Southern California, as they “enjoyed” nights at sea, living the life of a sailor.

It was known to have a leak that was being “handled” and was scheduled for a full pull out, that had been postponed. It is considered a total loss now, and is being salvaged.

a crane working on salvage

It’s been sad for our community, as we have now added the loss of the Pilgrim to everything else that’s going on these days.

Times are definitely changing.

It was Walt Whitman, who wrote the poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” in which he compared The United States to a ship. At the time of his writing, 1865, the US had just ended the Civil War and President Lincoln had just been assassinated.

During his days, times were also changing – drastically.

Through her long and rich history, the good ship – America, has weathered many storms. She has brought joy and fulfillment of dreams to millions of children and their families as she has carried them on their varied adventures.

She is worn but she is not weak. Her values are just, her purpose clear – life and liberty for all. She has taken hits, and may appear to keel, but her foundation is sure and secure. Her hull is not breached, her body resolute. She is not lost and is not sinking.

Her people, aboard her, within her lifelines and rails may be knocked by pounding waves and deadly tempests, yet they will sail through the squalls and they, aboard her will safely dock again in peaceful, quiet harbors.

Times are changing.

But America is strong and resilient because her people are, her foundations are. May we change as needed, where needed but not compromise who we are as Americans and the purpose for which we have been called – life and liberty for all.

Cheers to America!

Sail on!