ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY 2

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On this day in 1974, the fight known around the world as RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE took place in Kinshasa, Zaire.  Muhammad Ali regained the heavyweight title by knocking out George Foreman in the eighth round.

The event was one of Don King’s first ventures as a professional boxing promoter.  It was the most publicized fight of all time.  When Ali was finally reinstated it was just a matter of time before the two would fight.

Here’s how it went:  Foreman went right at Ali in the first round.  Ali kept saying, “hit harder” in true Ali style as he danced around the ring.  He was quite the showman with the dancing and taunting.  At one point Ali even shouted, “They told me you could PUNCH, George!”

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee – his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.  – Muhammad Ali

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After Ali’s victory, the words “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” became part of our culture.  I remember hearing the kids at school say it often.

I have fond memories of the Gillette Friday Night Fights on television.  Not because of the bouts – oh no way – but because I got to spend time with my daddy.  He never missed those fights – and as odd as it may sound, it was my chance to just sit and color in my coloring book or something.  I remember my dad punching his bare fists in the air saying, “get ‘im…  get ‘im!”  He got a little involved when it came to the fights.  He got red in the face as he punched the air…  it was so funny.  I was more entertained watching my daddy than watching the fight.

Back then our television sets were all black and white, so there was always one boxer wearing white trunks and the other wearing black ones.  That’s good – if they had not done that, we’d get confused – lol.

Boxing was my field mission, the first part of my life.  – Muhammad Ali

Both Ali and Foreman received five million dollars for that fight!  Then of course, George Foreman went on to invent the greatest indoor grill ever!  Now why couldn’t I have invented the greatest indoor grill ever???  I need the money – I doubt that he did.  Sigh.  Oh well.

Muhammad amazed me, I’ll admit it.  He out-thought me, he out-fought me.  That night, he was just the better man in the ring.  – George Foreman

I was reading a short story about two brothers who were learning to box and decided to fight each other.  The author of the story said that their bout lasted about 4 minutes!  He didn’t say 4 rounds, but 4 minutes!  His point was, it seemed like forever – so can you imagine how long it must have seemed to Ali and Foreman to go 8 rounds?  You might say…  those two went the distance!

Sometimes in our lives as Christians it seems like we go the distance.  Temptations are all around us, but as this wonderful poem by Lucinda reminds us…  our God is willing and able to help us when we’re fighting with ol’ split-hoof in the ring.  More to the point…  He does our fighting for us if we’ll just ask Him to.

going-the-distanceWe’re not perfect people, but we serve a perfect God and He loves us so much and He’s with us to help us overcome the evil one.  We can’t fight the devil on our own.  Our coach, Christ Jesus – He will fight with us and for us.  ❤

If you have a special memory about the Gillette Friday Night Fights or this particular fight, please leave a comment for me!  Sometimes it’s just fun to take a little trip down memory lane, isn’t it?  🙂

 

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EPHESIANS 6:12 ON 6/12

TL 6-12 EPHESIANS 6-12 ON 6-12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  – Ephesians 6:12

Today’s post serves to remind us that the hurdles before us, the hoops we are expected to jump through on a daily basis, have nothing to do with anything but the power of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Doesn’t that make you feel better?

What is a struggle?  An opposition.  Does evil oppose good?  Well, yes – the last time I checked, it did.  A struggle is a contest.  I’ve read the back of the Bible and guess what?  It’s a contest that’s already won.  A struggle is a fight to be sure.  Who fights on your side?  Christ Jesus does!  Be on the right side.  Does a struggle produce conflict?  Yes, it usually does.  But stay the course and let prayer be your constant companion in the midst of the conflict.

A struggle is an endeavor to do right in a world that wants nothing to do with right.  To struggle is to exert resources every day along with prayer without ceasing to our God who never fails.

We encounter in our struggles – sometimes God puts others with similar beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a real blessing!  Sometimes He puts people who are quite dissimilar in beliefs and mindsets in our path.  We see that as a challenge and we pray even harder for the right words and actions so our witness is not blemished.

Have you ever had a skirmish in your struggle?  I have – and that’s when the prayers reach a point where you’re constantly asking for direction on a moment by moment basis.  When there’s a skirmish in your struggle, it’s easy to say or do the exact wrong thing!  Does that ruin your witness?  Yes, sadly – it does.

When we clash during a struggle, we have to stay in a constant attitude of prayer so we don’t crash and burn!  We don’t have the answers, but we know the One who does!  We don’t know what the future holds, but God does.  We’re at a disadvantage during a struggle because we don’t see the way out – but guess what?  God does.

Struggling against forces we can’t even see takes the power of God’s Holy Spirit.  When we try to struggle without Him, it can take a significant toll on us physically and sometimes emotionally.  A Christian in the midst of a struggle who has stopped praying is defeated.  I’ve met them and so have you.  I don’t want to be one and neither do you.

Our struggles are not fun – but they do make us stronger in our faith when we come out the other side!  Remember that there’s not actual hand-to-hand combat; that’s what God’s Holy Spirit does for us.  The battle is His when it’s all said and done.  Trust Him and be still.  Pray and read God’s Word.  Find His peace as you pray for His way out.

When we struggle, it could be as small as a clash of opinions on facebook, or as big as a major medical issue.  Whatever we face, we know we don’t face it alone.  We know that God is there.  We just have to keep praying and studying His Holy Word, the Bible.  Evil will not win.  Let’s encourage one another with these words as we struggle along together in this life.  🙂

 

 

OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

TL OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go.  – Unknown

I had a unique opportunity to interview our favorite Christian poet, Lucinda Berry Hill about a very painful time in her life.  This post is a lesson for us because we never know the struggles that others have faced and overcome.  We don’t know why these circumstances have to be, but we most definitely know that God can and will work in our lives to help us through.  I appreciate Lucinda being so candid and opening up about this part of her life.  It’s our hope that someone will be helped or at least be assured that they are not traveling this road alone.

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SURVIVOR FIRE

Whether you think you CAN or think you CAN’T – you’re probably RIGHT!  – Unknown

ME TOO

Q: When did you first realize your situation was not good?

A:  Well, of course he didn’t start hitting me until he had me far away from family and friends.  I was barely 18 when we started seeing each other.  I was too naïve to even notice the emotional and mental abuse.

Q:  Did he ever apologize after he hit you?

A:  Oh my gosh, no!

Q:  Did you notice any particular triggers that would set him off?

A:  My “long face”.  One time we were cleaning a machine shop.  I was sweeping the floor and I wasn’t smiling while doing it, so he put my arm in a vice grip attached to a work table.

Q:  Do you believe you ended up with Stockholm’s Syndrome?

A:  Absolutely!

Q:  Could you see the hand of God working in your life along the way at that time?

A:  Only in the fact that he didn’t kill me like he threatened so many times.  He used to tell me he’d chop me up and put me in the river.  No body…  no crime.

Q:  You were away from family and friends.  Were you allowed to make phone calls or write letters to them?

A:  Yes.  He never actually told me I couldn’t.

Q:  Can you pinpoint anything that helped you through this time?

A:  Nope.  I’d say my innocence, maybe.

Q:  In the ten years of domestic violence, did you ever leave and then come back?

A:  Yup!  Twice.  But I was trapped.  When I left, I went to my mom’s.

Q:  Did he ever come to your mom’s house to take you back?

A:  Sort of.  One time he was in the area stalking me.  He left a present in my car while I was working.  I guess that was his way of letting me know he was still in charge.  The second time he came, I’m not sure what his intentions were, but I wasn’t there.

Q:  Did your mom say anything to you that made you rethink the situation?

A:  Nope.  My mom didn’t believe me when I finally told her.  We were in counseling after the fact, and she told them she thought I was the crazy one.  That’s how charming abusers can be.  No one would ever know.

Q:  What finally made you decide to get away?

A:  When I started envisioning me killing myself or him.

Q:  Would more support from friends and family have made much of a difference?

A:  Probably not much because he had me under his control.

Q:  Describe the day you escaped from him.

A:  I don’t remember the first time.  Isn’t that odd?  The second one, he was literally holding me hostage!  His sister came to pick me up while he was gone and met my step-dad halfway where she dropped me off.

Q:  At that point you were finally free from him once and for all?

A:  Yup!  Because he ended up in jail!  I’m not sure what I would have done if that had not happened.

Q:  What would you say to a woman in similar circumstances?

A:  You’ve got to leave before something happens that can’t be fixed!  He doesn’t deserve that kind of control of your life!  There is nothing out there in the world…  not loneliness, not lack of job or education, nothing that can hurt you more than he can!

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Did you catch the common word throughout the interview?  I caught it as I was asking questions…  CONTROL.  It may begin with small things.  If a man will not let you leave the house, for instance.  If he is a control freak by nature, then the tendency to want to hold you on a tight lead may come naturally.  Don’t be afraid to let him know you are uncomfortable with it.

A couple should be a team – equal partners.  Both need to feel free to speak, to think for his / herself.  When one begins to exude CONTROL – either mentally, emotionally or physically – it’s time to reassess the situation.

We love Lucinda, and we are so thankful for her testimony!  She loves God with her whole heart and writes of His faithfulness, His goodness and His grace every day!  We’re thankful that God gave her survivor fire along with His Holy Spirit.

HE MADE ME TOUGHER

I want to post a couple of websites for you today.  If you or someone you know needs help, please call these fine folks.

http://www.thehotline.org/

http://www.wordoflifecounselingcenter.com/

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Paint your ring finger purple.
Paint your ring finger purple.

What can you do to help?

By painting your left ring fingernail purple, the color of the anti-domestic violence movement, you will show the world your vow to end domestic violence and support Safe Horizon and the survivors it serves. In addition to painting your left ring fingernail purple, you can also show your support by spreading the word on social media with #PutTheNailinIt or, most importantly, by donating at safehorizon.org to help victims safely become survivors.

Be blessed and well today – and peace be unto you and your household.  🙂

 

JOHN 9:25 ON 9/25

TL JOHN 9 25 ON 9 25

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”  – John 9:25

I was recently called a hater – again.  Have you ever felt completely exhausted because you have been so misunderstood?  For the billionth time, whether someone else is a sinner, I don’t know.  One thing I do know.  I was blind but now I see!

https://youtu.be/LJEET8cM7mM

All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject Him.  So much of the negative stuff in our lives is self-inflicted.  What if we would ask God to help us before we just jump in with both feet – huh?  I’m talking to myself too.  But judgment – nah – that’s not what it’s about.  It’s about obedience to God – but if we don’t talk to Him about things, how do we know how to be obedient?

VICTORY WITH MY JESUS

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation.  If you were blind and accidentally discovered that smearing sour cream on your eyes would restore your sight, would you keep that miracle to yourself?  I’m betting you’d shout it all over the place!  I would.

On a spiritual level, I’ve learned that through prayer and Bible study, our lives can be brighter and better.  I don’t want to keep that miracle to myself.  I just want to share it with anyone who will hear me.  That’s what we do when we witness.  It’s not about me saying I’m better – it’s about me saying I was once at the bottom, but when I accepted Christ Jesus into my heart and life and began to learn more about Him and His love, I was raised up from the pit and set on a solid rock to live my life in victory!

I want to share that…  of course I want to share it!  We’re all making life’s journey with different backgrounds and different challenges.  The good news (the gospel) is all about Jesus.  It’s Him and His sacrifice on Calvary which bridged the relationship between God and man.  Restoration.  Like refinishing an old piece of furniture.  I was the worst looking piece of furniture in the junk heap.  When I accepted Christ – He refinished me – restored me.

The laws are God’s, not mine.  Sin is still sin – and the Bible is still God’s Word.  This liberal upside down world does make me crazy sometimes.  When it makes me too crazy, I have to back up, breathe; close my eyes and ask God to give me the patience that He has with me.  Truth from God’s Word is hard to handle if you know you are so far away from it in your life and lifestyle.  May God bless His own as they minister.

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.  – John Quincy Adams

In a nutshell, God and His laws are how we measure our lives – and that’s a very high standard indeed.  So high, in fact, that nobody can achieve it.  He wants the best for us, which is why there are laws.  He wants to protect us.  God forgives sin through the blood of Jesus when we sincerely seek forgiveness.  As we depend on Him more and more, He helps us stay away from things that would cause us harm.  When we sin, He is quick to forgive our sins.  And – this is the part I LOVE about Jesus…  He NEVER brings it back up to us again – but the enemy will – like really often.  But – we can tell him to sit on a tack in Christ Jesus’ Name.  Amen!

There are two kinds of men who never amount to much – those who cannot do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.  – Cyrus H.K. Curtis

Remember that you are not a robot and should not be afraid to show initiative in life.  Don’t be scared to step out and take action, but continue to be obedient to the Lord.  God wants all of us to GO AND SIN NO MORE.  God’s Word – His desire for us.  We all need God’s wonderful love, forgiveness and a lot of mercy, for sure!  🙂

 

PURPLE HEART DAY

TL 8-8 PURPLE HEART DAY

8-8 TEMPTATION'S TUNNELOn this day in 1782, in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, created the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit”.
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Today I overcame temptation and wanted someone to award me with the purple heart (or something similar).  This morning I was standing at the counter in Starbuck’s looking at all the really great espresso and lattes on the menu board. I was tempted to order something other than the tall skinny mocha latte I usually get.

Here is my thought process: For nearly FIVE YEARS I have tried to be good with my diet to support my husband on his diet. But guess what? I am here at Starbuck’s and I am all alone. If I did order something more yummy than the tall skinny mocha latte – he would never have to know about it! What harm would it do? I’m the only one that would have to know!

Then my brain paused and I caught a glimpse of my reflection (profile – eek!) in the shiny glass where they keep all the decadent pastries and things – and it dawned on me. I would know. Me – and my size 16 petite jeans that I fought so hard to get into… we would know.

I’ve not had to buy women’s sizes for almost 3 years. I’ve exercised myself silly and eaten healthy and for just a moment I thought I could sneak in a 500 calorie beverage. I was tempted.

Did I sin? Praise God – NO, I did not sin! See, those “temptation tunnels” are costly! There is a toll you pay before you enter in. And – if you make a choice to go in, it gets more and more difficult to turn around in there – the passage gets more narrow and darker as you go. You aren’t aware it’s going to do that (you think Satan’s going to tell you?). You just think it’s a tunnel and you’ll go through and come out on the other side into just as much sunlight as there was when you went in.

That’s not how it works. Think twice before you pay the toll and go into that tunnel. God loves you and He will help you out if you’re stuck. There’s no other way out but through Him. Pray and ask God through Christ to help you. He wants to make a way for you.

Some people think that freedom would be choosing the 500 calorie beverage. I think the REAL freedom is choosing the right – choosing FOR MYSELF – what I know is best for me. I choose the skinny mocha latte, not because I’m forced to choose it, but because it is the best choice. I choose to follow Christ because He has my best interest in mind and HE keeps me safe and away from the tunnel of temptation. Praise His Name!  I don’t really need the Purple Heart – I just need God to keep helping me do the right thing. 🙂

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

LOOK AHEAD

The Apostle Paul… I look forward to meeting him one day in heaven! He is the one who wrote the great word pictures in the Bible. The life of a Christian is like a race, and there is a prize at the finish line. It almost makes me want to go out and try to run. Hey, I said almost!

It’s my guess that Paul was a fit person. I imagine he must have been a runner. He certainly knew how to get people excited and enthused about Christianity. He knew how to be a leader with diplomacy and tact. Even when he had to clamp down on some of the churches, he did so with the love of Christ in his heart. Every letter included Christian compassion and brotherly watch care.

We are encouraged to look ahead and leave our sorted past where it belongs – in the past. If we try to drag the past around with us it can only do one thing – weigh us down. We need to give the past to God. He knows what to do with it. He will throw it into the sea of forgetfulness and never remember it again. I wish I could forget my past as completely, don’t you?

If I could forgive and forget as well as God does, wouldn’t that be wonderful? How much faster would I run without the extra weight? How much further could I run if I didn’t get winded as easily? Would I be a better witness for Christ if I was free of the weight?

I’m encouraged by what Paul says and I will try to leave the past in the past and run with a renewed strength and purpose from my heavenly Father. Then one day, I can say along with Paul:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
– 2 Timothy 4:7

That’s really what it’s all about.  🙂

STAR WARS DAY

TL 5-4 STAR WARS DAY

https://youtu.be/TLXcHYBWGZU

PARKER

Ok my story to u as if I’m fighting Darth Vader is that my lows is hard to fight back every once in a while I get low and I start feeling like I’m not myself and it feels like I’m getting lifted in the air from the force so every night I have to go get my tablets and start eating them like Luke Skywalker getting his light saver before Darth Vader kills him so that’s my story.

Sincerely,
Parker Konsdorf, age 15

For a Type 1 Diabetic, it is crucial to keep blood glucose levels just as “normal” as possible. Is it easy? No, not at all. When those lows hit, just as Parker explained – it makes him like he’s not himself. Sometimes getting the blood sugar back up is like fighting Darth Vader – it’s a battle and the enemy is diabetes.

I’m not a Type 1 Diabetic like Parker. I’m a Type 2 Diabetic, but like Parker, I have a story about fighting with evil diabetes to keep my blood sugar levels under control too.

When blood sugar is too low, there is shakiness, confusion and agitation. When I’m low I turn into the wicked witch of the midwest! I know when my blood sugar is dropping because I lose patience with everyone and everything. My sugars tend to run on the high side most of the time. I don’t feel like myself either.

I feel as though I am Princess Leia after she’s been drugged by Darth Vader (I KNOW that didn’t happen in the movie – work with me here!) High blood sugar makes me feel dull-minded and listless. I can’t think straight and my eyelids get very heavy. I just want to sleep! I don’t want to fall captive to Darth Vader, but when my blood sugar is too high, it’s very difficult to get it lowered again. I have to force myself to walk or ride my bike. It would be so much easier to go sit in the recliner and turn on the TV. I would fall asleep – I know I would. But exercise is the only way I can get my blood sugar to come down.

I decided to dramatize the effects of low and high blood sugar with Star Wars and Darth Vader because today is STAR WARS DAY!!! I know there are some fans of Star Wars in the Diabetic Online Community (DOC) and I hope they especially enjoy this post.

Hopefully, this little dramatization has helped my non-D friends (yes, I am jealous) understand how our blood sugars can affect us. Sometimes a mood or a bit of listlessness in a diabetic can be a sign that blood sugar is out of whack. Non-D friends need to be aware of warning signs. If blood sugar is too high, we can go to sleep and slip into coma. If blood sugar is too low, we can seize and that can lead to death. We all need to be looking out for one another. Either extreme is very dangerous and if we all know the warning signs, then we can all fight Darth Vader (diabetes) together!!!  😉