Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Here We Go, Again

Okay, I planned to ignore Mr. Camping’s prediction that the world would end on May 21st. Saturday breezed by and now he says that the world will end on October 21st.  It’s over and we’re done.  Please stop with the false predictions. In the Bible, Deuteronomy 18:22 says that if a prophet's prediction doesn’t come true than his message is not the Lord’s message.  Furthermore, numerous pastors cited Matthew 24:36 as a counterclaim to the May 21st announcement. Other verses, such as the one in Matthew 24:44, warns people to be ready because Jesus will come at an hour that we do not expect.   
Unfortunately, in preparation for the world’s destruction, people gave away possessions and liquidated their savings. Let’s hope they have back-up plans. Reports indicate that local churches reached out to the disappointed doomsayers.
 In today’s culture, deception greets us at every turn. We fall prey to it when we elevate people to a spokesman-like status and forget to do our research.  Given our high-tech phones and the abundance of Internet resources at our fingertips, we owe it to ourselves to debunk rumors and dig up the facts. 
In the May 21st situation, naysayers turned to the Bible for refuting the prediction, which begs the question: Is the Bible fact or fiction?  Listen to what these people think:
What did the last Muslim gentlemen say? His response might raise eyebrows. For now, let’s return to the initial question. The Bible: Is it fact or fiction? What do you believe?   

Saturday, May 21, 2011

We Can See You!

While driving the other day, I stopped at the light and glanced over. My mouth dropped open. Besides fiddling with a phone, the driver in the next lane had a monster-sized wad of paper stuck in his nose. We’re not talking about several ordinary tissues. This paper looked like those scratchy, institutional paper towels that threaten to rub your skin raw and it was sculpted into a perfect circle. I assume the driver had a nosebleed, but I’m still wondering how that huge ball remained suspended from one small nostril.
This is far from the most unusual thing you’ll see as you drive around town. I’ve spotted people applying make-up, shaving, combing their hair and, yes, flossing. I think I saw someone brushing their teeth, too. Are people forgetting that cars don’t have shutters and blinds? If confronted, I have a suspicion that they’d yell, “Just look away!” Here’s a message for people who groom and drive: We can see you and frankly—no thanks!
There is another group of people who often feel invisible—it’s the homeless. They’re easy to see lying on the sidewalks of major cities, but due to our sagging economy, an increasing number of people are moving from homes, to shelters and on to the streets ofsmall towns, like ours. Listen to a few of their stories:

You’ve heard that many people are one paycheck or one catastrophic situation away from homelessness. Today’s homeowners can easily become tomorrow’s homeless.  Charitable organizations in our communities provide various resources to ease the burden of homelessness, but they can’t do it  alone. They’re waiting for your contributions. Let the homeless know that we see them and we care. How will you help the homeless this week?                  


Friday, May 13, 2011

The End and the Beginning

I have an annoying habit that could drive some people crazy. Perhaps it all started when I sipped the last bit of juice from a container. Yuk! Instead of enjoying a refreshing beverage, I swallowed bottom-of-the-barrel sediment. I bet you’re familiar with the filmy pieces that lurk at the bottom of a carton. Oh yes,  they float around just waiting to gross you out. I try to avoid the last gulps from beverage containers, especially if a new container is within reach.  I know it sounds wasteful. Believe me, I ‘m not proud of this awful habit. And yet, it doesn’t end there.
I also avoid using the last bit of bar soap, body wash, toothpaste and an assortment of other items. In my defense, I have cut apart a container to scoop out the last bit of lotion so, at least there’s hope. But, then again, I also begin reading a book and before I‘ve finished it I discover other books and begin reading those too. At any given time I’m usually reading several books at once. 
That’s my terrible confession.  Introspection leads me to believe that it’s not necessarily the end that I abhor—it’s new beginnings that I enjoy!  I relish the excitement of starting something new. Hmm, is it too dramatic to apply this same revelation to a tube of toothpaste, a gallon of juice or body wash?  I do like smelling the scent of a new body wash, and it is exciting to—ah, maybe I should get out more often.
Of course, some people like to try new things while others like their “usual.”  Check out the brave kids who branched out and sampled something new.

Right now is a perfect time for a new beginning.  What new activities, interests or life changes are you pursuing?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Are You Lost?

I like power-shopping.  That’s the “art” of entering a store and gathering the necessary items in record time, within ten to fifteen minutes. Small convenience stores don’t count, they are designed for quick purchases—you’re in and you’re out.   The real key to power-shopping lies in knowing the store layout. So, when major stores in town decide to renovate and/or super size, take skates and get ready to wonder and wander.  Has anyone seen the soap?
In this area, over the past three years, at least three major stores have undergone renovations.  Once shelves are shuffled around, merchandise can quickly pop up in aisles that used to be empty spaces.  During a renovation, from start to finish, everything is in flux.  Stores should distribute floor maps as soon as a customer walks in the door.  The greeter could smile, wave and say, “Hello! Here’s today’s floor plan. Good Luck!”  Wave back. You won’t see them anytime soon.  I don’t know what renovations mean for store prices or the local economy, but I know what it means for me—confusion!
Fear not! The tips necessary to survive a store renovation are similar to what’s needed to survive a hike.  Watch and learn:

In addition to those great strategies, be prepared to take or purchase a bottle of water and some gum for the journey. 
Power-shopping (and hiking) is a lot like life.  If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re bound to be easily lost or distracted along the way. Eventually, you’ll wind up somewhere, doing something, but probably not where you wanted to be or doing what you should be doing. 
Have you ever felt lost in life? How did you handle that time and how did you get back on track?