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A Positive Thought for the Day
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A Positive Thought for the Day
Note: These vignettes are intended to help all of us to think of more productive and healthier ways of handling stress whether due to the Pandemic or political climate. They are not intended to be political in nature but to tag issues that stress us and to emphasize how to remain appropriate and productive in our reactions. The thread is closed to keep it from getting off topic and to act more like a little devotional than anything else. If any would like to comment on a particular post please feel free to start an OP and discuss it. Thanks.


04/18/2021

Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

If you are a good man or woman then do something constructive. If someone's thinking is in error do your research, collect the truth, cite your sources and write them a letter which does not attack them for being wrong or misinformed but which asks them to read your sources and to actually think about how they relate to what they have been taught.

A letter, lost art that it is, can be carefully crafted to filter out anger, to affirm some qualities of the person you are writing and to make a point that may be reread and pondered if presented factually, out of an effort to facilitate understanding, and is written with patience and the kindness found in true teaching.

If each of us did this the impact upon an angry and misled world would be profound.

Start with your children and grandchildren. It builds bonds of trust, makes you real to them, and keeps them from being quickly dismissive because of your age.

If part of the evil is in education, then make sure you provide the complete picture and complete the education with all of the story instead of a sensationalized piece of it.

This is something we all can do in order to keep evil from triumphing over our world.
(This post was last modified: 04-19-2021 01:36 PM by JRsec.)
04-18-2021 12:01 PM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/19/2021

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the onslaught of negative headlines and the push of a malignant counter culture against all you believe in, take pause. You are being deceived by the media which only airs what they want you to believe.

We all have one thing we under utilize, our neighbors. Talk to your neighbors and get to know them and what they believe. It is healthy for you and healthy for them. My neighbors don't believe exactly as I do, nor should they, but neither are they rabid mouth frothing hate spewing anarchists who hate the country or claim to hate people they've never met.

We have found great comfort in realizing what we have in common, getting to recognize each other's humanity, and standing together for things that impact our neighborhood. The last petition we had to make was in 87% agreement. Neighbors destroy the isolation of spirit that TV imposes. They crush the negativity of the evening news. And they remind us what counts most in life, community, which makes us much stronger.

Overwhelming good comes from getting to know your neighbors. In an age of cell phones, and hand held electronic devices that pump us full of negativity, the reality that most people are still like us, and the strength we find in those face to face connections breaks through the isolation of COVID, the bombardment of things designed to piss us off via electronic media, and helps us to feel healthier. I've often wondered if the TV wasn't trying to suppress our immune systems with constant stress from the negative.

Mental health and physical health are felt and recognized when we are are out and about with one another and communicate face to face, even at a distance of 6 feet.
(This post was last modified: 04-19-2021 09:55 AM by JRsec.)
04-19-2021 09:48 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/20/2021

"Be still and know that I am God" Psalms 46:10

Whatever your faith, or even if you don't have one, there is wisdom in this scripture. Most of our stress is placed upon us by things extraneous to ourselves, other people in our lives, work, the news, our children or grandchildren, even our spouses. It comes in the form of conflict, worries, fears for our loved ones, anger, or even the confusion of love. And, it leaves our minds in a jumble, our pulse elevated, and makes rest sometimes impossible.

Our lives will become an endless parade of stress whether stuck in a conveyance on concrete or asphalt our surrounded by a cubicle, or in a make shift office on a building site, or speaking over wires or skype. Every day starts with an alarm to get us up and ends with something intended to help us fall asleep whether white noise, that nighttime toddy, or something proscribed.

But, I would bet each of us have a place and a space in time that we remember where we felt at peace, safe, alive, and amazed by nature. These places can be watching sunrises or sunsets, laying on our backs in the cool grass watching the clouds or stars, hiking a mountain trail, surveying a planted field, watching the forest come alive as the first rays of the sun filter through the canopy and life begins to emerge each morning, or gently drifting on a peaceful ocean with nothing but the horizon in sight.

In our modern world we do not visit these places often enough and because we don't we lose sight of who we are, what we believe, what gives us our sense of peace, and whose we are. These are the places we find peace, where we are calm, our minds are clear, and we remember. We remember the good things about family, friends, favorite pets, loves, and who we once believed ourselves to be. These are our core thoughts, our identity, our beliefs, and they all come with a connection to nature. To be human is to exist in nature. For some reason the farther from nature we move the less human we become.

I am a Christian so for me a return to my nature spots of remembrance and peace mean a return to the total humility of feeling at home and in my place. My spot of choice is 27 miles off the East Coast of Georgia in the Gulf Stream with no radio and the engine cut off and horizon everywhere. I can't tell you why but that's the place where I feel the least significant and yet the closet to God. The least significant because the ocean dwarfs us, the horizon is limitless, and there is only me to take care myself. I feel the closest to God there because I believe everything was created by God and at that location there is nothing there but the creator and me and the sea. Perhaps metaphorically it is because I am above the chaos of the waves but within their reach and there is nothing but infinity around me. It is there that I think more clearly than anywhere else.

As a child my place was 16 feet above a pond on a high clay bank leaning up next to a large old Pine tree as the sun was against my face, just warm, without a thought in my head, and feeling at one with my surroundings.

In times of high stress I could go back to those places mentally and find calm. When I go back to them physically it is like a holy pilgrimage.

My point is that most of us have such places and they should be revisited both in our thoughts and actually. If you can't think of one search for one. They help you remember who you are, what you believe, and can help you to remember why you are here, but most importantly they melt the stress away, dissolve away the concrete and asphalt and steel that alienate us all and make us feel we are in each other's way, and return us to a place where we feel secure and sure about at least a few things that matter. And that is worth more than gold. And that trip into nature is much more exhilarating than going to some jungle "Naked and Afraid!"
(This post was last modified: 04-20-2021 10:31 AM by JRsec.)
04-20-2021 10:20 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/21/2021

"God grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Reinhold Niebuhr

A life spent frustrated is an awful existence. Playing Don Quixote and tilting at every windmill is an awful role model. Picking our battles is much more productive. The problem is how to pick a battle and then how to prosecute it.

Usually, unless things go nuclear, you win a war by carefully obtaining one objective after another in a prioritized fashion which is designed to slowly erode your enemy's capacity to wage war.

On an interpersonal level it means you can pick battles which have clear cut objectives which you know you will have the support of your neighbors in attaining. You don't just fire off a nasty letter to the Governor and expect to accomplish anything except negative notoriety.

You will find that having a clear objective is the first task. If you don't have something constructive to obtain you won't obtain anything as you will likely have no support. To gain support you must be able to simply and clearly articulate your objective. The objective can't be personal, can't be destructive in its aim, and needs to be something beneficial in order to make your goal reasonable and any who oppose it look the opposite.

Knowing what can be accomplished and what can't is essential to productivity in your actions. Hence the crux of the prayer Niebuhr penned. Serenity is necessary in dealing with things you dislike but cannot change.

To sort of quote Patton, "No army ever won a war because its soldiers died for their country. It won the war by making the other country's soldiers die for theirs."

If all you seek to be is a martyr you will be a dead person who didn't accomplish anything except to give somebody else a little bit of propaganda. Life is worth much more than that!

So what exactly does Niebuhr mean by courage? I think he meant the initiative to act, and lead if necessary, a push to change the things we consider to be wrongs and to do it by investing our time and efforts to get the support of others to challenge those in authority to examine the situation, and make modifications. And that means if they won't, you nominate people and elect people who will. In short if those in office don't work for you do what you can to elect somebody who will.

If everyone from every district in the nation, whether liberal or conservative, did this we would have better government. A district is something you can change. Washington can only be changed when all of the districts are changed.

So Niebuhr's prayer is a wise guide for life. Right now many of us need the serenity to accept the things we presently cannot change. But, we need the courage to start changing things locally that we can change including our Congressional Districts if we are dissatisfied. But before we make needless martyrs of ourselves anywhere in life we need the wisdom to know the difference between what we can change and what we cannot.

If all of us change the things we can and make our representatives accountable to the people of their district, rather than outside influences, then we all win. Our Republic wins. And we focus our anger not on one another but on changing the things that aren't working as they should. And that my friends is answered prayer!
04-21-2021 10:48 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/22/2021

"I think therefore I am." Descartes

Sounds simple enough right? It is much deeper than that. Your thoughts are born out of the experiences that are unique to your life. How you look upon your experiences is the proof of your existence and substantiates that "Row, Row, Rpw Your Boat's" philosophy is in error. Life is not "But a Dream". It is real because nobody else experiences or thinks what you think, not even an identical twin. You are unique, life is all too real, and nobody knows what you know. Therein lies the value that you and only you bring to the world. Your thoughts therefore define you inasmuch as they inform your actions. Control your thoughts, make them serve your needs, and the needs of those you love and you will never lose yourself to the influences others foist upon you.
This is the essence of freedom. Somebody may be able to force you to do work you do not desire to do but they will never be able to force you to think as they wish while you do it.

All that is good, and I would say Holy, in this life upholds your right to self, your thoughts, and validates each person's uniqueness. All that seeks to prevent that is alien to your creation. When confused this is the best measure of what is good and what is not.

Now because of that, what we choose to give our work and devotion to, especially if the choice is to serve a greater number, is an act of love. That can be love of your deity, your family, your country, or something else. But nothing compelled has love as a motive.

We are living in a time when more and more seeks to compel what we do. The fact that it does means it cannot produce love and cannot authenticate the uniqueness that is you, or uphold the thoughts that generate that uniqueness. Those who seek conformity like unto a hive mind, are antithetical to all of creation and will only destroy what they seek to control.
04-22-2021 05:01 PM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/23/2021

"Making It Count"

If you want to make your life impactful on those around you then lead by example. Leading by example means that if you want to reach others in a positive way find a place to plug into your community. Be active with your PTA. Run for City Council and if you don't like running for public office then canvas your neighborhood for someone who does. If you truly want to know your community serve in a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or do work for the Salvation Army or some similar organization. Those places see the grassroots needs of the community. There are never enough people willing to invest in a community. Knowing the needs of those around you helps you to know what it is that you can actually do to make a difference and how your gifts and graces best match the needs. Plug in, get to know the others making a difference and your ideas and voice will be better heard.

I realize not all of you are retired but their are part time needs at all of these community level programs that may be addressed. Getting to know the shut ins by delivering meals on wheels or during a non Covid time visiting Nursing Homes can also be a place of service. Our children were the darlings at the Nursing Homes when we were young. They didn't want to see us, but they fawned for the longest time over the girls. Those events imprinted our daughters who are still socially conscious of the needs of those around them.

Relevance is your ability meeting their need. This is making it count. When they know you care, they listen. We change people by sharing one to one and one person at the time. It's called a relationship and nothing gives your life more meaning than to make a difference for someone else.
04-23-2021 04:53 PM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/24/2021

"Everybody is either a nut or has a screw loose." From one of my pastors when I was young.



He said therefore to be successful as a person in life, or as a Christian, you have to become more than just some kind of tool. Most people are either wrenches or screwdrivers. To be successful you need to be versatile enough to be both. You can't use a wrench on someone who has a screw loose as it's a waste of time, yours and theirs. People who have a screw loose need to be tightened up and the attitude of the wobbly screw (whatever they are wrong about) needs to be corrected and you'll have to bear down on them. They won't like it when you do but they may thank you later when what they are struggling to hold together becomes easier.

The nuts are people who just need someone to put an arm around them and turn them in the right direction. They are trying to keep things together and don't even realize how loose a grip they have.

I you are only a wrench you won't be able to help those who have a screw loose. If you are only a screw driver and you try to help a nut you will only dull your blade and scar their head. So you have to be both to be successful.

The difference is in being patient enough with others to figure out (discern) which have screws loose and which are nuts. Screws are generally abrasive and loose nuts usually aren't. This he said was the difference between succeeding in life in any endeavor that involved others and failing at it, whether that was business, or faith. In business and in faith you are successful when what you do is aimed at assisting or helping others.

This particular pastor never had the stunningly eloquent sermons, but his impact upon the people was profound and he may have been the best loved pastor to have served that church. In life we have to be both gentle and firm as needed and we can't be afraid to be firm and we can't be deceived into always being gentle.
04-24-2021 09:38 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/25/2021

"May you live in interesting times. May those in authority take notice of you. And may every desire of your heart come true." Ancient Chinese Curse



This seeming blessing was in fact a pretty ominous curse, but like much o what we think we want it represented everything we don't need.

Interesting times are usually times outside of the range of normal. Natural disasters create interesting times. War creates interesting times. Diseases creates interesting times. For the Chinese happy times were anything but interesting. They were stable, unremarkable with regard to events, and healthy.

We think it is nice to be noticed for our accomplishments, but those who seek to be noticed, when noticed, usually represent a potential threat to those in authority over them. People hate to give up power and they fear those gifted enough to advance on ability. They appreciate the accomplished who are humble and don't seem to want to climb the ladder. So being noticed frequently invites less job security instead of more, especially if you are trying to be noticed. In China, and most other places, such notoriety can create unintended consequences in your career trajectory. It is far better that the one directly over you finds you to be loyal, rather than ambitious.

Who wouldn't want their desires to come true? But who among us has not regretted getting a few things in life we only thought we wanted? The truth is most of us don't know what is best for us and only want what everyone else seems to want. I had a dear friend whose betrothed wanted a Corvette for graduation. The week after graduation I spent hours with her while she was in grief. He got his car, attended a graduation party, and was killed in a high speed accident in that car that evening. What we want and what we need and what we can handle are three different things and only the last two should govern our lives.

So be content to live wonderfully in boring normal times. Be loyal and you will advance faster and be trusted. And be contented with what you need and can handle as that is the greatest material blessing you will know.

And if you think about it, the second two are things we have much more control over than the first.
04-25-2021 11:04 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/26/2021


Equal Work for Equal Pay?


When it was the Summer of my Freshman year at college, I returned home to work with my grandfather at his sawmills. I had grown up there having worked summers at the mills since I was 12. For this summer I had two friends working with me during their break as well.

The mill was comprised of the Sawyer who was in his 60's and could eye a log and just about tell you to the foot how much lumber and what kind of crosstie he could cut out of it, an edger who was also in his 60's and knew exactly how to trim a board to provide the finest unblemished piece of raw lumber, a lumber stacker, two men stacking crossties, two men on the yard sawing up logs to lumber and tie length, a forklift operator (me) who in down time would band stacks of lumber and crossties as well as load and unload trucks and keep the roller bed filled with logs, and my grandfather watching over all of it.

We took breaks when we needed to change out bits on the saw, and once regularly mid morning and again mid afternoon. But, during the operation of the mill the most dreaded job, not for danger, but for heat, was having to take the top off of the sawdust pile so the chain carrying the dust didn't jump the track and shut down the mill. This meant that we took turns running to the top of the pile with what looked like a snow shovel and would work our way around the pole and chain shoveling the top down to create a broader base. Think of it as 10 to 15 minutes of constant shoveling while standing in a pile where the dust was probably more than 120 degrees with more dust flying as the chain and mill ran, and your body was catching the wafting heat of the pile. Now picture that on a hot July or August afternoon in South Alabama and you may begin to understand why nobody loved this task and everyone took turns except for the sawyer and edger. Those stacking lumber, crossties, and slabs and anyone not cutting up logs all took their turn and we ranged in age from 16 to 60.

That Summer the lumber stacker was a WWII veteran but from the Merchant Marine service. He'd been torpedoed twice, was a little jumpy, a great conversationalist and pretty solid lumber stacker (you had to match width row to row which means you toss aside some boards until they fit the stack). He called the pile of dust a bear, and was afraid he'd have a stroke or heart attack on the pile. But the rule was everyone took their turn. In part this was true because we only needed to do the task once every few days and if the pile got too wide one of us used a front end loader to haul off some dust or load it into big trucks that transported it to companies that used it and the bark to make charcoal briquets. But if you crawled up that pile your feet got blisters because the rest of the day the sawdust in your boots and that which stuck to your socks rubbed you raw, even if you thought you had cleaned it out. Because of this nobody took a turn on the pile if they didn't have to do so. When the lumber stackers turn came he refused, and before he suffered the pressure from the rest of the hands one of my buddies hit the pile running and took the top off in about 10 minutes.

Equal work for equal pay works, but only if there is equal risk. 18 and 19 year olds can handle the pile much better than 60 year old men. My friend, who turned out to be a solid manager in all regards and worked with a high level security clearance, grasped that at 18. The pile was a bear for some, and just a hot messy puppy for others.

In life we all have things we do better than others can. The stacker made some of the easiest to load, and easiest to band, even stacks we had produced. He had a keen eye and meticulous manner. He was well worth his check. The rest were hard workers and young enough to handle the heat, the respiratory work out, and the aggravation of dust in the boots the rest of the day.

Real life works this way. We should expect the best from everyone, but we should also make sure that they are placed where their gifts and abilities match the best. You not only avoid accidents and lawsuits by following this practice, but you build happier teams. I've seen too many accidents in different work environments where the jobs were treated as one size fits all. This is immoral in every way, from the human resource standpoint, productivity, liability, and team perspective. Yet it is a pattern in which corporate America is wholesale invested. We had very few accidents at my grandfather's sawmill and none of them fatal. In his 60 years plus of running mills he didn't have a fatal accident and never clear cut a forest and never built a needless road into a tract of timber.

Sometimes we have to step out of our role, buck the informal protocols and rules, to do the right thing, and save someone's dignity or life, whether it is our responsibility or not. After that incident the mill ran well the rest of the Summer. Trust had been built between my buddies and the older guys and other hands who no longer saw them as a couple of college boys.

My other buddy had his life's trajectory altered, spent time talking with my grandfather, and went on to change his degree to wood technology and became a broker.

The work was equally different, the money was the same, but the pay was in life lessons that have paid dividends for all involved.

If we treat every work opportunity and all people the same way you can achieve the same lasting results no matter what you do.
(This post was last modified: 04-26-2021 04:50 PM by JRsec.)
04-26-2021 04:39 PM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/27/2021

Death is a natural consequence of life.


Since we all know this is true, I don't get the worry about it. We've been told how the story ends. But we've been left to write every day of that story until it is finished. Since we know the ending every chapter should be grand and every day an adventure! Every character treasured! Every love much deeper! Every gesture magnanimous! And every undertaking all out!

Ignore the election, the corporate interference in your life, and the constant fear mongering, and live. What scares the aforementioned is their lack of control over you! So live like it!
04-27-2021 11:45 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/28/2021

This is a relatively average and non descript day.

Hug your spouse for a lengthy time and call your children and tell them you love them and share a remembrance from their childhood with them.

Two things will happen.

1. They'll think you are terminally ill.

2. When you tell them you are not terminally ill all of them will be appropriately relieved and will appreciate you more for thinking of them on a nonspecific day. What's more they will think more often about you. It gets better from there!
(This post was last modified: 04-28-2021 04:45 PM by JRsec.)
04-28-2021 04:44 PM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/29/2021

"It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35



Giving for tax purposes is not the same as giving to bring change to others. Perhaps the most frequent mistake these days is simply sending a check because something has non profit status and failing to check out what the organization actually does with the money.

If you want to help others and change your world then give, but not only your money, but your interest in what it accomplishes.

When my wife and I started checking into where given money went it both disgusted and changed us.

Now we give directly to those in need, directly to the "widows, orphans, poor, sick, and the strangers who are within our gates" and what that does is more than just help out. It builds bonds of trust and opens up a witness. Now that can have a Christian application or one of just affirming humanity, but either way or both ways it opens receptivity to communication. It does this because people want to know why you helped them. It's the why more than the money that changes lives, both yours and theirs.

Churches want to know why they aren't successful today. Well, it's the disconnect that comes with being assistance brokers, or the main giver of assistance. The corporate nature of churches destroys the human interaction between giver and receiver and with it obliterates the "why" which affirms both faith and humanity.

Entities which broker assistance all miss this connection and in missing it frequently get sticky fingers that rob too much of the gift in "overhead expenses". So much so that the average charity only gets a nickel of every dollar given to those actually in need.

Look around and you will find enough things locally that need attention and help and by personally giving you not only affirm faith and/or humanity to those around you, but you transform the way you look at the world and your place in it. And at a time when so many of us feel isolated and discounted there is no better way to experience your reason for being here than in the helping of others personally.

And the help is pretty easily defined.

Widows: They frequently need somebody to simply help them maintain a residence or check on them. Some may need further help but most don't.

Orphans: Check out the orphanage and their accompanying school if they have one. Make sure your money goes to them and that the facility's funds are met another way. Also meet the kids. It helps them to know that Big Daddy Government isn't the one helping and that real people actually care.

Poor: There are the chronically poor, those who are poor through lousy life choices, and the temporary poor. Government does help the chronically poor. They may need some further assistance but it's the latter two who slip through the cracks. Those who are poor because of lousy life choices often need personal help that doesn't involve money per se. They need to be taught how to create and adhere to budgets, the difference between wants and necessities, and often need some rudimentary advice on their rights and their responsibilities. I have found that they usually came from broken homes and had lousy parents. They are often embarrassed over their circumstances and just need a friend and life coach.

The last group, the temporary poor, are those you can often help with money. They've lost a job, had an illness, or some other crisis has overwhelmed their backup money and they will be fine if somebody just helps them over the hump. It's usually a one time assistance but that one time effort can get them back on the right track for life and they remember and often want to do the same for someone else when able. It's the perfect pay it forward kind of involvement.

All of it reminds you of your own worth (not talking money here) and your own reason for being here. We really can't take the stuff we accumulate with us, but as with any inheritance we leave the impact of our lives behind, upon our children, our communities, and upon those who hopefully also go and do because they've witnessed the power of it and want to help as well.

The Sick: The sick frequently need visits. Nobody likes to look upon the ill and isolation is frequently their poverty. Sometimes they need financial assistance. But most time they just need their humanity acknowledged and to be encouraged, or just listened to.

The Stranger within Your Gates: The people often just need to be welcomed, familiarized with local customs, and need a friend. Sometimes they may need assistance, but mostly just a friend and advocate.

There's nothing on this list that we can't do in some measure. And what we receive from it is the knowledge that we had a positive impact during our years of life. Nobody and nothing can take that away! And in it is found unity.
(This post was last modified: 04-29-2021 08:17 AM by JRsec.)
04-29-2021 08:07 AM
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RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
04/30/2021

If you don't know where you want to go in life you'll never get there.



It's true that none of know for sure where we will wind up because life itself is a free radical that changes things quickly. But basically you still have tremendous input in your destiny. To exercise that input you have to make plans. The biggest obstacle to most people's plans occur when something in life sets back the funding of achieving those plans. Sadly most of us will earn enough to attain them but our lack of prioritizing our expenses will sabotage them when some crisis takes the remainder of the savings.

Fortunately there are ways to help yourself in these matters. The first thing to do is to 4 times a year (once a quarter) make of list of things you believe you need and wait 3 months to buy them. Write them down and seal them in an envelope that goes wherever it is you keep your bills. Every three months open it and read the list and purchase the thing you need most, strike through the things you have decided that you really don't need after all. Make a second envelope and write in that one where it is you would like to be career wise and financially in 5 years. Review that one annually.

By updating your needs vs wants and where you want to be in 5 years you will up a lot closer to attaining your objective and saving money than you realize. We waste so much money on things we really just want, rather than what we need. And to stay current in work and career objectives we need to use the passage of a year to absorb the changes life is bringing and to reevaluate our goals and our career paths.

The problem for most people is they get routinized in jobs and don't realize when progress is about to pass them by, or they spend so much of what they earn they can never afford the things they need without paying interest via a loan. Both are crippling to objectives.
04-30-2021 08:31 PM
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Post: #14
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
05/01/2021

"Owe No One Anything" Romans 13:8


It is the nuanced here that is missed as the verse goes on to say "except to love one another, for he loves another has fulfilled the law." While we all understand the importance of love the issue here is a common one when studying anything written. We focus on the objective and miss the condition.

One thing that has blessed my wife and me, and indeed our family is that we owe no one anything. No mortgage, and we own a house. No car loans, yet we own two vehicles and the only payments we make each month are to insurance and utilities and to a one credit card company that we pay off every month.

This leaves us open to support an orphanage, help our children, and give to those in need, all of which are acts of love. If the precondition is not met, "owe no one anything" then we aren't free, or as free, to help those we want to help or those we love. To truly be able to help another without strings and limitations you must be free yourself. That means financially free, free of conflicting obligations, and free to give and love as you see fit.

How many times have people said, and honestly, "I really want to help but can't afford to do so."

What the text implies, which was taught in other ways not so culturally specific in the Old Testament is that debt, in any form, is bondage to the world and its ways.

Happiness and freedom reside in this verse. When your mind and spirit are free to do as you feel compelled by your love, then you are free and free in ways no man can take away from you, because your heart and mind are not in bondage and you truly can be an instrument of love and compassion for others.

Heart rhythm problems suffered after my 2nd vaccine shot, declining eyesight in my left eye, being old with the expected loss of some stamina, and the threat of world events, can't rob me of the joy of knowing I can still do for my family and others as I see fit, and feel led, and the world thus far hasn't found its leverage over that.

There isn't a more positive realization that can be passed to others than the instruction to, "owe no one anything!"
05-01-2021 03:15 PM
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Post: #15
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
05/02/2021

"A Complete Person is one who achieves a balance of mind, body, and spirit." Loosely interpreted from Aristotle where spirit may be interpreted as character or as morality.



A person who develops a strong mind, stays physically fit, and whose morality remains intact and serves as his guide to his actions will be a person who serves himself, others and the gods (or God) best and has the tools of leadership.

A person who lacks only a strong mind will serve and not lead.

A person who lacks only a strong body will be limited by the strength of others both moral and immoral.

A person without a strong character shall be trusted by no one and because he has a strong mind and strong body he will enslave others and threaten society.

A person who lacks both a strong body and a strong character shall be a slave to the evil.

A person who lacks a strong mind and a strong body shall be trusted servant.

A person who lacks a strong mind and a strong character shall be a servant of evil.

A person who lacks all three is a beyond help.


It seems to me, that the best defense against evil is to develop all three. You get bullied if you are physically weak, you get duped and taken if your are mentally weak. And you only add to the burden of the world if you are weak in character.

We now live in a world which is amoral. And practical education and the instruction that teaches one how to think and how think logically has now been abandoned. But being physically fit is still an ideal. We are raising a nation of corruptible slaves. In my lifetime the only nations which have done so were totalitarian in nature which is what happens when people without morality lead.

Let's teach all of our children to think, to stay physically fit, but most importantly of all whether it is the code of Hammurabi, the teachings of Buddha, the Daoist philosophy, or my preference, The Ten Commandments embodied in Christ, let's teach them some form of morality. Strong minds, strong bodies, and strong characters stave off Dark Ages!

I am an adherent of free your mind and your butt will follow, but you can only achieve that with a strong body, and friends, and friends are a byproduct of trust and trust is a direct byproduct of a solid character. When character fails, all else does as well.
05-02-2021 01:11 PM
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Post: #16
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
05/03/2021

Count Your Blessings


You are much better off than you think you are!
05-03-2021 08:55 PM
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Post: #17
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
05/04/2021

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"


For those obsessed with COVID 19 you should feel invigorated that you are still here.

For those obsessed with the election you should feel renewed that this is likely.

For those of you with with a fear of death each day you live makes you stronger.

But, if I were you I wouldn't apply this rule to most bypasses around major cities.07-coffee3

Scarlet O'Hara was in many ways correct when she said, "I'll worry about that later; tomorrow is another day!"
05-04-2021 09:10 PM
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Post: #18
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
O5/05/2021

"Happy Cinco De Mayo"

Grace and Genuine Love Go Hand in Hand


Want an perpetually positive thought that should be simultaneously humbling? Grace is what people who love you in spite of your faults are offering. For those who believe in God you have been readily taught to accept this maxim. But apply it to wives, parents, children, best friends, and if you are a woman to your husband and realize that other flawed people who choose to look beyond your flaws to love you create a home, our safest place, out of grace.

We live in a world looking for the most minor of flaws so it can pounce on you. How great of a positive do you need in a day than knowing there are people who love you in spite of your flaws!

You can face the cynics, the identity fascists, the narcissistic super wealthy, and the a-holes at work when you have the confidence deep down that you are decent. And you don't give that to yourself, you get it from God, or you get it from those who love you in spite of the fact that you aren't perfect. And to both we owe our deepest love, loyalty, and service. And if a non believer, you know who it is you owe it to every day as well, it's the same people. In this world it's those who believe in you, and your love, that give you courage, especially when you know it is not necessarily merited or even deserved!
(This post was last modified: 05-05-2021 07:37 PM by JRsec.)
05-05-2021 07:31 PM
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Post: #19
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
05/06-07/2021


Thank goodness for modern medicine!



Sorry for the absence of posting yesterday but I was having cataract surgery. It was my first operation where I was conscious and talking with the surgeon the whole way through so it was quite the different experience. Prior to the procedure my left eye was like looking through frosted glass, which quite frankly was driving me crazy and was inadvertently making the right side of my spine twist left as I aligned my right eye with whatever I was reading or writing. I had my day after follow up this morning and had already gained total clarity and left eye alone was 2 letters away from 20/20.

There are some things in life that when you are blessed you just take them for granted. When the Air Force tested my 17 year old eyes I took both a night and day vision test. My night vision was better than 20/20. My vision would stay that good for the next 50 years, until about 9 months ago when I missed testing at least 20/20 for the first time ever and then in just my left eye. Things were blurry so I went to the eye doctor. He said I was developing a cataract and it needed monitoring. That was quickest I've ever had any process overtake me. From 20/20 to worse than 20/100 in that eye in 9 months.

Had I lived 70 years ago I would be blind in my left eye except for making out shapes. That clouded lens was removed in under 10 minutes and an artificial lens inserted yesterday morning and I was out in less than hour, though the rest of the day was a series of eye drops every 2 hours.

I know we have a lot of crap to have to worry about these days and things we've always counted upon look shaky. But, when you realize that in another era you may have been blind in an eye, or possibly both, due to things that happen with advanced aging it makes you thankful.

The present is always a mixed bag of new challenges and new blessings. Modern medicine is one thing to be thankful for and those things can help keep us positive as we adapt to deal with the negative.

So here's to seeing!
05-07-2021 12:53 PM
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Post: #20
RE: A Positive Thought for the Day
05/08-09/2021

Two Moms at or pushing 90


We celebrated Mother's Day twice on Saturday (once at lunch out and once at dinner out). Of course I was miserable last night with indigestion with too much fat and salt leading to a good case of reflux. And while I wasn't thrilled to eat out twice in one day I was thrilled that under the conditions and with their ages that both my wife and I still have our mothers around to talk to. It was a good day and considering the stuff going on in the world both geopolitically, economically, and in D.C., it was blissfully free of any of that and other than eating in two different restaurants (each their favorite) it was a great day.

Here's to having more of them. Oh, and last night we watched no news, just a college baseball game, and a streaming show off of NETFLIX. We surely didn't give a hoot about the Chinese rockets landing spot.

Have a great real Mother's Day today. We went yesterday to avoid the crowds and because one of them is difficult to move. Our families are a great positive thought when we block the rest of the dysfunctional world out!
05-09-2021 12:22 PM
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