NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE AWARENESS DAY

TL 11-30 NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE AWARENESS DAY

 

11-30 NOT EVEN ONCE

We recognize November 30th as NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE AWARENESS DAY, in order to generate awareness about the damaging effects of meth abuse on individuals, families and American communities.

A picture says it all.  I watched this and cried.  I’m not just sad, I am mad!  The dealers are getting rich, knowing they are systematically killing their customers.  It’s blood money, but in most cases the dealers are just as hooked as the customers.  Where does this end?

Meth labs are in decent neighborhoods.  Some people move many times in an attempt to escape drugs.  A friend told me there was a meth lab about a block away from their house – in a small abandoned cinder block house.  Meth makers are like rats in the dark.  They wander around looking for an empty building to inhabit.  They’ll use any kind of building and they don’t care if there are children playing next door.  Actually, they count that as a bonus.  Dealers have no conscience and will get anyone at any age hooked on meth.  Remember, if they’re making their money that’s all that matters.  They don’t care where the kids get the money (they often steal it from their parents).  Meth dealers are selfish and destructive.

Even if a person moves to a so-called “upscale” neighborhood there is no guarantee there will not be drug dealers close by.  Some of the more affluent areas are where the high schools seem to have the worst problems with drug use.

Some things are simply out of our control.  All we can really do is teach our children about the evils of drug use and warn them about what could happen in their high school.  We pray over our neighborhoods and our schools and hope the kids listen to our advice.

If you have a neighborhood watch or a homeowner’s association, make sure they are on board with drug issues – on the lookout for any suspicious behavior and ready to report it to the authorities.  At any cost we need to protect the kids as much as possible.

Unfortunately, addicts often become thieves in order to afford their expensive habit.  Please see this link for common sense advice about displaying wrapped gifts in front of open windows.

http://www.crimedoctor.com/home_security_3.htm

It’s tempting to have your beautiful Christmas tree displayed in a large picture window with presents underneath.  Think about how tempting it would be for someone to smash your picture window and take the gifts.  Even if you feel secure in your neighborhood this sort of burglary can happen.  Addicts will do anything to get the money for their next high.

I pray for the ones who are addicted – and for the ones who fund their habit by selling to children.  I pray for the children who are tempted to try drugs or feel peer pressure to give in to temptation.  I pray for our neighborhoods – that God would bless us and protect us from this evil behavior.  I pray for the rehab facilities set up to help addicts and that the addicts would see their need to take advantage of those facilities.  I pray for the 12-step programs offered in churches.  May they help many addicts in Jesus’ Name.

This is the day we recognize the problem exists, raise awareness and remind each other that we need to be more vigilant about where our children go in the neighborhood and who they hang out with.  We love our kiddos and want to protect them.

Leave me a comment here if you vow to never try any drugs.  By leaving a brief note such as I PROMISE, you are being proactive in your determination to stay away from this temptation.  I hope after reading this post you will take a moment to leave a message.  I promise to pray for you – that God will help you to keep that promise.  ❤

 

 

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SQUARE DANCING DAY

TL 11-29 SQUARE DANCING DAY

Imagine this little pig calling:

Bow to your partner, bow to your corner, circle left, alemand left … swing and promenade home.

 

11-29 LIFE ENHANCING

A square dance is a dance for four couples (eight dancers) arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, facing the middle of the square and has roots that stretch back to 15-century Europe.   Singing calls were introduced in traditional square dancing before World War II.  It’s the singing calls that make square dancing unique.

SQUARE DANCING DAY is a day to celebrate this fun dance.  There are an estimated 191 calories burned by doing 30 minutes of  square dancing, so the health benefit alone is worth cheering for!  When I was a kid we had neighbors who were members of a square dancing club and went out once a week to do si do.  They were in great shape and it seemed to enrich their marriage.

You have your brush, you have your colors, you paint paradise, then in you go.  – Nikos Kazantzakis

There are social advantages to being part of a club and square dancing sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  You get to wear cute outfits and dance to some of the best music (in my opinion).  Everyone needs to get out of the house and socialize once in a while.

Aren’t they cute?  It’s never too early to learn to square dance.  It’s a good way to socialize, exercise and stay mentally sharp.

 If we dance amongst the rooftops, is it not that much further to jig into the starshine?   – Terri Guillemets

There are square dancing clubs across the nation.  If you don’t know how to square dance, your local club probably offers lessons and there are many helps online as well.  There’s no excuse to sit on the sidelines and watch anymore.  Put your prettiest square dance dress on, fix your hair and make-up and get out there!

It seems like being part of a square dancing club might be the last place to find a “partner”, but many singles have been successful by joining a square dancing club.  If you are single, the idea is to enjoy your life and if you like to square dance, just do it and if that special someone shares your passion for square dancing, that’s great!  Swing your partner and do si do!  Wink!   😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING

TL 11-28 NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING

TURN DOWN THE NOISE

11-28 I'M HONORED

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen.  JUST LISTEN.  Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our ATTENTION… A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.  – Rachel Naomi Remen

Think about all the wonderful stories that were shared around your Thanksgiving table yesterday.  Have you ever thought of documenting those stories – capturing them on video or DVD for future reference or to show to future generations?

I wish technology would have been that advanced when I had my parents.  Of course after my daddy died there were videos and then DVD cameras, but when I was a kid we had the old 8mm film and there was no sound.  It’s funny because when I had my film transferred to Video – and then had the video transferred to DVD, they put background music with the film.  It was obvious they did not stay in the room as the film was being transferred (and can you blame them – there’s nothing more dull than a stranger’s home movies) because some of the music was mismatched to the film.

In 1977 I turned 16 years old.  While all my friends were having Sweet Sixteen parties (for most it was their first boy / girl party) – I decided to spend a quiet evening at home with my parents and my dog, Rusty.  Mama baked my favorite cake (a strawberry jelly roll cake) and there was a pretty table with balloons and pretty plates and napkins.  As I recall, they were ZIGGY (my favorite cartoon character at the time).

I wanted to HEAR my party and knew if I used the 8mm movie camera I would not have sound.  I used my tape recorder to document the evening.  We talked and laughed.  I opened some pretty cool gifts and played a couple of songs on the piano.  But the most fun part of the tape is when my dad decided I needed SIXTEEN SWATS!  Really, Dad???

Hopefully when you capture your story you will communicate effectively.

Be thankful for technology and document all the memories you possibly can.  You will be glad you did in years to come.

From a very young age, my parents taught me the most important lesson of my whole life:  Listen to everybody before you make up your own mind.  When you listen, you learn.  You absorb like a sponge.  Your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time.  – Steven Spielberg

Ask your family some questions and enjoy NATIONAL DAY OF LISTENING!  🙂

THANKSGIVING DAY

TL THANKSGIVING

(11) HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE STEEPLE

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  – Psalm 95:2

What is Mel thankful for?  Well, God healed him of terminal leukemia in 1998, so it’s obvious that he is very thankful for life.  He’s also thankful for the Holy Ghost.  He’s thankful for another day to praise God for His goodness!

How many ways can we thank God for all the blessings He has bestowed on us?

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.  – Meister Eckhart

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.  – Psalm 50:14

Thanks be to God for all the miraculous deeds He has done in my life.  I don’t know why He is so good to me, but I’m sure glad He is!

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?”  – William A. Ward

What would Thanksgiving be without Charlie Brown.  Put on your jammies and fuzzy socks.  Grab your favorite snack and watch this cute cartoon with me.

 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.  –  Psalm 26:7

This day and every day I will lift my hands to the heavens and praise the Lord for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me.

As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.   – Terri Guillemets

This is a cute little song –  you’ll be singing this all day!  You’re welcome.  😉

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.  – Psalm 69:30

Shine Your everlasting light in my perpetual darkness, heavenly Father.  May everything I do be for Your honor and Your glory, for there is no other reason to do anything I do.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve made Monkey Bread in the past, but this Apple Monkey Bread looks so delicious!  I’m always thankful for the food on Thanksgiving Day – aren’t you?

I’m thankful for food, shelter, love of friends and family and Charlie Brown cartoons around the holidays.  All of these things bring to mind happy times of the past and provide hope for the future.  I hope you will take some time today to let your friends and family know how much you love them.  Take time to let God know you love Him too.  ❤

 

 

SHOPPING REMINDER DAY

TL 11-26 SHOPPING REMINDER DAY (2)

 

11-26 HERE'S YOUR REMINDER

On this SHOPPING REMINDER DAY, let’s talk about Christmas shopping.  You’ve read my blog posts long enough to know the Christmas shopping ground rules, but let’s review just for grins and giggles.

1.  Thank God for your blessings before you go out to shop.  In other words, don’t do any Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.

2.  Get plenty of rest and nutrition before you mingle in the madness.  Be at your best.

3.  Every chance you get – buy American made products.  Click on this link for a list of products made in America.

http://www.americansworking.com/

4.  Choose your method of shopping.  A popular way to shop is online these days.  Be careful because identity theft is on the rise.

5.  If you already have your Christmas list written (or if someone has given you their list) you will spend less and stay focused.

6.  Make a note of items manufactured in your state.  It might be fun to take a trip to see the product before you buy it.

In Kansas we are blessed to have a wonderful Amish community in Yoder, Kansas with a great furniture factory where high-quality pieces are hand-crafted with care.  A few years ago my husband surprised me with a custom-made desk for our desktop computer.  We’ve made it a priority to support local businesses because as we do so, we put money back into our community.

Handmade, quality furniture can be found in Basehor, Kansas at Custom Mission Products.  They offer custom stain colors and hand sewn high quality foam cushions, covered in fine leather and have no screws or fasteners.

I’m reminded of a Christmas tradition.  When I was a kid, my family traveled to Whiting, Kansas for the best popcorn in the state!  Gary and Marian Schlaegel started raising popcorn on their farm almost 30 years ago. They dedicate about 10 acres of crop ground to growing popcorn.  They package two varieties – yellow and white.  With that great popcorn, my mama always made the best popcorn balls for us to snack on while we opened Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

Local folks with high-quality products and reasonable prices.  Think before you shop this year.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

TL 11-25 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL

Violence is such a buzz word in our society.  There is violence all around us.  Times are tough right now.  People don’t have jobs (or more than likely they have a couple of part-time jobs and still can’t skate by).  The stresses of life can build up and if you don’t have an outlet (the gym or some other release), you might strike out at the ones you supposedly love the most.  But abuse is NEVER right – NEVER. 

Let me tell you about a woman who experiences violence behind closed doors.  Behind lead-glass French doors, I might add.

It’s the heaviest burden she will ever bear.  It’s the darkest secret she will ever hide.  She will go to great lengths to make it look as though everything is perfect to outsiders – neighbors and friends.  She will make every excuse in the book to “cover” for her abuser, saying, “He just had a bad day” – or “Wow am I stupid, why did I make him angry like that?”   She turns the fault on herself – every single time.

After a while, she begins to believe that lie.  She has internalized the blame for so long that eventually – everything that goes wrong is somehow her fault.  It doesn’t matter if it does not make logical sense – it is still her fault.  Her abuser has her right where he wants her…  frightened and vulnerable.  She’s afraid of her own shadow and unable to make simple decisions anymore.  She is completely paralyzed and spends time over thinking things that the rest of us don’t think twice about.  She questions her own sanity at times.

She’s lost every ounce of self-esteem and beats herself up and may even cut herself because she “deserves” nothing less in her mind.  Her abuser has convinced her that she is less than in every respect.  She is not as pretty, as smart, as skinny, as understanding, as – anything.  She thinks if only she was all those things, then finally she would be good enough and her abuser would stop verbally  and/or physically abusing her.

If she has children she feels especially trapped.  If she does not have children there is a chance she can get away, but she knows she needs a plan.  It’s frightening to plan her escape because up to this point she does not believe she has done one single thing right.  She asks herself why this plan would be any better than anything else she’s done.

She keeps replaying the conversation she had with her sister before the wedding.  Her sister expressed concern about specific times when his temper flared or he seemed too controlling.    The blushing bride patted her sister’s hand and assured her that it was nothing, but thanked her for being concerned.  She recalls quickly changing the subject at that point.

But now she knows her sister was right about him.  Those moments were red flags – signs.  She ignored them.  Why did she choose to ignore them?  She thought she loved him.  A nervous  laugh becomes audible as that thought passes through her mind.  She quietly said under her breath, ” What a cliche’!”  Now she knows that the only One who ever loved her gave His life for her.  Love was never a part of her marriage.  It’s always been about survival.

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She has a best friend who stays closer than a brother – His name is Jesus.  He knows her name – he knows what she is thinking and how she is feeling about herself.  He will help her through this.  She prays for her abuser as she scratches and claws her way out of this pit.  She listens to teaching that helps her hold on to threads of self-esteem.  She spends time alone with God to gain strength.  She found a loving circle of support from good Christian folks who  encourage her to take another step.  She just needs the courage to leave.  She needs a plan.  She prays that one in her circle can be trusted to help her.  She asks God who she should confide in and ask for help.

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If you are a man who abuses a woman – know this…  God is watching.  You may control your woman through violent behavior or verbal vomit, but when you have to stand before God one day (and oh yeah – you will) – you won’t have enough honey-covered words to get you out of that situation.  GET HELP – get it now.  Stopping is a process but it has to begin TODAY.  Find a good reputable Christian counselor and begin sessions.  Abusing a woman (or anyone else) does not make you more of a man.  If you have anger management issues – it is YOUR problem – don’t make it hers too. 

That woman you have – she is a bright, brilliant, fragile and loving soul that God entrusted you with!  Treat her with all the tenderness you possibly can.  If you will do that, you will be AMAZED at the love you receive in return!  Get on your knees and thank God for her every day.  Instead of belittling her, lift her up – it really does not take much to make a woman smile.  You know what, Mr. abuser?  God counts that woman’s tears – every one of them.  On judgment day He will show you that bottle of tears and ask for an explanation.  But the smiles you put on her face – now wouldn’t you rather see images of the smiles from God and hear the words WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…  ???  😀

 

 

CELEBRATE YOUR UNIQUE TALENT DAY

TL 11-24 CELEBRATE YOUR UNIQUE TALENT DAY

Let’s celebrate!!!  – Unknown

11-24 THE GOD-GIVEN QUIRK

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Who is the unique person God created you to be?

Don’t dismiss the question (it took me all day to come up with it – for one reason).  But really – think about it – God made you – but who are you???  What makes you uniquely you?

I refer to the uniqueness of each person as THE GOD-GIVEN QUIRK.  I mean, inside each of us is something – some trait; a spark that defines us and marks us uniquely – and it comes from our Maker.   – Linda Palmer

These are wonderful parents because they are helping their kids develop and build on their God-given quirks.

 All my life I have been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself.   – Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”

God made you to serve Him in a unique fashion.  To try to copy someone else is to diminish your own talent.  God doesn’t want you to be a carbon copy of anyone – if that is what He wanted, He would have made robots, but He obviously did not create cookie-cutter humans.  Don’t spend your whole life trying to fit into anyone else’s mold – and refuse to fit into a mold that anyone else holds in front of you!

http://youtu.be/24eUf3ZAGDE

I’ve heard people say that God did not give them a talent.  It’s not true.  Don’t believe that lie from the pit – the enemy of your soul does not want you to believe you have a unique talent.  Sometimes he even whispers in your ear that you are worthless in this life.  If that sounds like something you’re going through, pray and ask God to show you what He wants you to do.  You’ll be surprised at the answer.  Maybe He wants you to be a prayer warrior.  No matter what kind of health you are in or what restrictions and challenges you face, you can pray!

Some of you are prayer warriors – and I’d sure appreciate it if you’d add my name to your daily prayer list.  Thank you!  ❤

There’s a rebel lying deep in my soul.  Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction.  I hate the idea of trends.  I hate imitation; I have a reverence for individuality.  – Clint Eastwood

That is exactly the attitude that has made him such a great actor and film maker!  He can spot individuality and recognizes that it will get attention from the masses.

God gave each of us a quirk and it’s our job to figure out what it is and how to use it for His glory and honor.  We should all have a reverence for individuality – and respect one another for it.  🙂