“The LORD is with you, O champion!”Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us,
why has all this happened to us?Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers
told us when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’
For now the LORD has abandoned us
and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”The LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have
and save Israel from the power of Midian.
It is I who send you.”But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel?
My family is the lowliest in Manasseh,
and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”“I shall be with you,” the LORD said to him,
“and you will cut down Midian to the last man.”an excerpt from Judges 6
Isn’t it strange how when you’re reading a book you really like it’s so hard to put down and when you are away from the book, you just can’t get back to it. But the faster you read, the faster you’re done and then you don’t get to be in that world anymore? And then you’re a little sad that it’s over. You knew that would happen but you couldn’t stop yourself.
And then when there’s an author you really like, you can’t wait to read their next book. You don’t need to know what it’s about. You just know they wrote it so you will like it. But then when you’re browsing in the library, bookstore, or reading a book summary online you probably decide to read the book based on the description. But really want matters is how well the author tells the story and not so much the circumstances.
What are some books you’ve raced through? What authors do you love?
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In the Old Testament reading today God reveals his name to Moses. He calls himself “Lord” and says he is slow to anger and rich in kindness. Moses asks the Lord to receive him and his people as their own. He says they are stiff-necked (stubborn), and asks for pardon for their wickedness and sins.
In the second reading, Paul tells us how to live, “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the love of God and peace will be with you. It is like a response to what Moses has explained to God about their limitations.
In the third reading, the Gospel, the answer to Moses request, is the promise of Paul that God is with you is revealed: God so loved the world that he gave his only son…”
I recently heard a podcast that explained how this was a new concept for the early Christians, who were actually made up of Jewish people and also the other people living at that time. It’s easy for many of us to take that statement and belief for granted now, but there are probably still lots of people who have never heard that in our present day. That God is providing us with help, for things we can’t do on our own. A way out of our stubborn habits that are keeping us from living in peace the help is revealed to us in Jesus’ encounters with the people he meets sharing about the kingdom of God. With Jesus there are concrete examples of how God is slow to anger and rich in kindness, like being forgiving of a tax collector who was taking advantage of the people he collected taxes from when he confessed to Jesus and promised to rectify his actions and by healing people of their illnesses.
Is there something you need help with that you can find solace from in reading the Word of the Lord?
Have you ever considered the connections between people and things across small and great distances? Are there things that don’t seem connected but really are? And what impact do we have on each other that we aren’t even conscious of most of the time?
It turns out there are light particles inside an atom called photons which can be in more than one place at a time and the photons share an invisible connection with other photons. When something happens to one, the other one can feel it even if they are far apart–like twins.
An article called Quantum Leaps, published in the Economist discusses how this knowledge can be put to use in our lives in the near future. This concept could allow atomic clocks to make self-driving cars more reliable and could be used for other purposes such as finding things underground or underwater.
I attempted to research atomic clocks to learn more about what they are and how they could do that but to understand that would take a little more time than I’d like to take to do so now and goes beyond the scope of this post (but please feel free to share the answer with me if you know 😊).
I thought that this was an interesting idea and it ties in with my goal for this blog to take interesting things I discover and add my own spin to it to make us think differently about what’s going on and improve our lives. Here is another way to use our imagination to consider the possibilities.
It’s so easy to get distracted. I often grab my phone with a goal in mind, let’s say I’m going to check my email as an example. I discover I’ve received a text and after I reply I go on Facebook for a minute. Then I put my phone down and go off and do something completely different. But I was going to check my email because there was something I was supposed to be doing based on that email. I might remember an hour later and then the same thing happens all over again.
Lately, I’ve been trying to keep a helpful acronym for the word FOCUS in mind. “Follow
one course until successful”. While there are obvious big goals that can be applied to, I’ve found it helpful to apply to everyday situations where it’s very easy to go off and do something else instead of finishing what I’m doing.
Do you have tricks to help you focus?
There once was a couple, they had a very good relationship except for one thing. The
wife liked to plan activities and the husband was always late.
She thought about how things were going and decided to change how she did things. She decided to expect that her husband would be late and depending on the situation when she made plans she would either tell her husband to meet a half hour early or just expect him to be a little late. Once the wife stopped expecting the husband to stop acting how she wanted and allowed her husband to be himself, the wife relaxed and didn’t get bothered by her husband’s actions.
On the other side of things, the husband, though he wasn’t much of a planner and liked to be spontaneous, recognized his wife’s personality and in wanting to please her he learned how to compromise. In time, he realized they were able to take part in events and experience interesting things like local art and music events, trips, and even save money traveling because she took the time to do research and find deals.
When they went out, the wife was somewhat reserved and the husband was more outgoing. He engaged people they encountered in conversations and learned interesting things making their outing even more special. The wife realized they had come to make a lot of friends because of her husband’s personality and both became enriched by focusing on each other’s strengths instead of weaknesses.
I’m cheating a little here, Taoism begins with a T but it is pronounced with a D :). The ideas of Taoism are illustrated in a book I love called the Tao of Pooh. In the book, we see how Pooh lives in the moment and doesn’t complicate his life like his friends Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, and Owl do in their particular ways. Pooh pays attention to what is going on and uses circumstances in his favor to solve problems and achieve his goal. He doesn’t place blame or even complain. He just stops and thinks.
Another idea that complements this idea is following very short story on Gretchen Rubin’s website about not being able to tell the difference off what is good and bad.
When bad things happen, if we look around we may be able to find some good come from it. I had a very annoying and costly situation occur last year that I could have done without, but in that time I had a friend that was very supportive put a lot of time into helping me with the situation. If that had not happened, I wouldn’t have known I could depend on her they way and it made me value our friendship in a new way.
So the next time you are frustrated, be like Pooh and remember what the true goal is and don’t get caught up in the wrong things.
I’ve recently come to change my thinking of something. I used to feel like I didn’t achieve certain goals because I didn’t have time. I have a habit of getting interested in lots of things so then I end up with a bunch of things I’d like to get done (writing, working out, making jewelry, training my dog to do fancy tricks — just to name a few) or lots of people I’d like to see. But most of the things I get done is when I have someone else to do it with.
I got serious about line dancing when friend started going to class with me, I became more consistent writing when my friend Tracey started writing with me (in fact she’s the reason I’m doing the A to Z challenge this year especially now that I am catching up! Check out her blog Krazy is the new Black). So perhaps the reason I haven’t made good on my gym goal is I don’t have a partner. I don’t need a person to make me go but knowing they’re expecting me to participate keeps me from putting it off to another day and even when I do put it off, I know I can’t get away with it for long. Plus it’s just more fun spending time with someone interested in the same things we are.
Is it easier for you to achieve your goals when you collaborate?
It’s not easy to save money these days when all you have to do is click a button on your phone and you can have practically anything within a few days, but there are options out there to help you save your money and keep track of your finances.
I am horrible at budgeting, but I have some family members who are using a website called You Need a Budget (YNAB) and they love it. YNAB gives you a free 34-day trial, but even better…YNAB gives students a free membership for a year (and 34 days) so I figured it wouldn’t hurt for me to learn how to budget.
I have this crazy idea that when I keep track of my money I actually have less of it. I still haven’t quite let that go, but there is also the concept of Kaizen, that small changes compound over time and I was intrigued by one of the ideas on the YNAB website.
YNAB has you look at your incoming money and plan what you will do with it. For example, you take your current pay check (you plan one paycheck at a time) and decide what items you have to buy (or what you plan to save), they call it having a job for your money. The idea that as you continue to do this you will be able to plan out paychecks in advance.
So, I’m going to give it a try. I hope over time I will become a better budgeter.
Do you have budgeting tips to share? And if you’re a student you can get a free year. You don’t have anything to lose 🙂
You can check it out at You Need a Budget. And if you’re a student you can get a free year. You don’t have anything to lose 🙂