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Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh! Technology!

More inventions, there’s no end to them you’ll agree,
Improvements are being made to most everything;
As diseases mutate, they become harder to heal,
Now, we wonder what the next “miracle” will bring. 

A new overpass on the downtown freeway,
An elevator used to have someone to run it,
Drones now can spy, hover and take photos,
A skyscraper is built taller than any before it.

Snazzy new looks on the latest gas-saving new car,
There’s a huge boost in power in that pickup truck . . . 

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Take a Grownup Look at Prayer

Is praying just a kiddy-thing?
A child’s bedtime routine?
Or, is prayer for actual grownups
Who say to God what they mean?

Is praying out loud for showing off?
How can it be from the heart?
What do we find in the Bible,
That we’ll make a brand-new start? 

People prayed with serious words
Back in those olden days;
They confessed sins and weakness,
Then they gave the LORD their praise. 

Sometimes today we hear mumbled words
Or frivolous phrases in prayer;
We must consider for ourselves
Do we believe that God is There?

A Creator, awesome in power!
And He cares so much for us!
We so bravely acknowledge Him
that we choose to obey and trust.

By Elaine Hardt ©2014 

Friday, August 01, 2014

Will You Let THAT Ruin Your Day?

        Today will not go perfectly the way you’ve planned.  Your lists of To Do, and Go & Get will get  squeezed in between the demands of family and job. That’s mostly normal. 
        While you’re trying to be the perfect specimen of man or woman your attempt at combining energy, talent, and logic does sometimes meet up with unscheduled delays and various aggravations.
        It might be a parking lot scrape, or a neglected piece of paper requested by the bank, or a speeding motorcycle bent on getting ahead of the long line of traffic on Grand Avenue.  
        Or maybe it will be verbal, choosing the wrong word in your explanation to the boss, or unexpectedly stumbling over words on the phone ordering that bargain deal.
        Or maybe the trouble will be hidden from everyone except you.  Some angry thought bubbled up, or some jealous attitude jumped into your mind as you sat there at the board meeting.
        Big or little, really serious or just a petty irritation the choice is yours: how will you label that unexpected crook stealing your peace of mind?
        It could help to just ask yourself, “Will I let THAT ruin my day?”  Take that longer look and size up the ramifications that could affect how the rest of the day will go.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ten Good Reasons for Complaining

So, how is life treating you these days?  Are you consistently happy and positive in your outlook and cheerful in your conversation? 
Oh?  So you do whine and complain, but very infrequently, and only when totally justified? 
Take a look at two guys who had ten good reasons for complaining.  Their shocking experience is recounted in Acts 16:11-40. Paul and his friend Silas recently arrived in a foreign city:   
  1. They had done nothing wrong, nothing illegal, yet they were falsely accused, 
  2. Yelled at by an angry crowd, probably insulted and cursed by them,
  3. Seized by the authorities,
  4. Stripped of their clothes by the arresting authorities,
  5. Beaten with “many stripes,”
  6. Thrown into prison, most likely a dungeon,
  7. Prison was dirty, dark, and smelly, 
  8. Lawbreakers, likely undesirable-types were chained in the dungeon,
  9. Locked in the “inner prison,”
  10. Feet were fastened down in stocks so they could not move around.
Any of this happened to you recently?  Anything even remotely similar to this happen to you at any time in your life?  Do you have ten good reasons for complaining?  
Well, you’d imagine as they sat there in the fetid darkness they would rehash the terrible things that happened to them.  Or, perhaps they’d sit in angry silence, each blaming the other for over-reacting?
No, that’s not the case.  They prayed out loud, sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them.  No silent sulking, instead a lot of noisy praying and praising.  Maybe even two-part harmony as they sang their favorite songs to God, perhaps praises from the book of Psalms, well known to all Jews.  
 When you are going through some undeserved or undesirable conditions is there another believer with whom you can pray and sing?  Or, are you alone?
Someone you aren’t even aware of may be watching and listening to you.  What can you do?
Putting on a brave front and gritting your teeth is not the answer. So, what is?  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Need a Reason to Smile?

It’s a new day so give a smile, and start off right.
There’s unexpected challenges coming before night. 
Maybe you made a list of what to accomplish today,
But, of course, small aggravations may be coming your way.

Smile as you fix breakfast, and as you drive down the street;
Someone may appreciate your kind look, so repeat.
Your smile is an exercise of your faith doing good,
Step out with confidence, as your mom said you should. 

You’ve already talked to your Heavenly Father, I’m sure.
For the ills of the world, He offers you the cure.
Trust and Obey: maybe you remember that old song,
Focus on what’s important, and don’t wait too long. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Why Do We Remember Things?

Time flies by, obviously that’s the way it goes,
So, what are memories good for?
Memories help us . . . 
Sort out
Review
Learn from what we’ve heard, seen, done
Persevere with what’s good
Enjoy something again
Celebrate
Memories test us . . . 
See if we are ready to exchange that frown for a smile
Provide opportunity to pray for someone we’re remembering
Remind us if there is someone we need to forgive
Check to see how well our brain is doing
Find out if we recall advice we were given
Give us a little time to think of a Bible verse that applies
Memories bless us . . . 
When we use them to assess our new challenges 
When we remember to be thankful for God’s goodness
When we honestly give credit to Him
When we make the effort to learn more Bible verses
When we use God’s Word to encourage others
When we write our memories down

Now, you’ve seen this list of ideas,
So, what can you add to it? 

                                                                         By Elaine Hardt ©2014 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

More Than Fireworks!

        Remember this important holiday,  Fourth of July.  Yes, it’s more thanfireworks!  It’s more than decorations and sales at the stores.
       Here’s four sites to view.  You’ll find more . . . 
       And pray for our nation; these are serious times and there’s concern about the future.  
       The Capitol Fourth celebration. http://www.pbs.org/a-capitol-fourth/home/   
       The story behind the Star Spangled Banner History. http://storiesofusa.com/category/4th-of-july/
       Famous Patriotic Quotes about America.  http://storiesofusa.com/famous-patriotic-quotes-about-america/