SEPTEMBER 1-7 IS SELF-UNIVERSITY WEEK

TL SEPTEMBER 1-7 IS SELF UNIVERSITY WEEK

Writers have a never-ending bent toward curiosity.  The most interesting part of writing is the research involved.  Hours of digging, as though part of an anthropology excursion!  By the time we’re finished, we hope we’ve made the world a better place and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Learning does not only happen within the walls of schools and universities.  We all know you can’t believe every word you read on the internet, but if we use trusted sources, we can relay information that is usually spot-on.

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If you have not darkened the door of a university for decades, that’s no excuse to stop learning.  Life itself is all about learning, and to stop that process is to cause premature mental decline.

Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go.  – Unknown

What can we do to maintain mental sharpness?  Keep learning!

  1. Learn a new word every day, then use it in three sentences.  If you watch The O’Reily Factor on Fox, you know that at the end of his show, Bill shares a new word with his audience.  I have a popular online dictionary in my favorites, along with a rhyming dictionary.
  2. Read something besides a magazine article once in a while.  I’m not knocking Reader’s Digest, but once in a while you need to open a real book.  I recently re-visited Henry David Thoreau’s writings.  Walden holds a special place in my heart, as you know.
  3. Driving is time wasted unless you have something to engage your brain.  I find audio books to be a good companion if I’m driving alone.
  4. We are a society of entertainment-seekers!  What happened to watching informative television?  Are we afraid we may learn something?  Oh, that would be horrible!  I like Fox News and Fox Business.  I find those programs to be fair and balanced.  Some consider them to be fake – not real news.  Well, that’s what the left would have you believe.  The truth hurts, as they say.
  5. Our local newspaper, The Wichita Eagle, has a section called The Opinion Line.  I enjoy writing letters to them, just to see if anything gets published in the paper.  It’s a good way to hone my writing skills and share my opinions on important issues.  http://www.kansas.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/  If it was a phone number, it would be on speed-dial.  Jus’ sayin’…
  6. I like to facebook or tweet with like-minded people about current events.  It’s especially neat when I find famous people who think the same way I do.  Hey, if you are famous and hold to a conservative, right-wing political view – like me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/linda.palmer.399041 or follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/makemelaughnow1   I look forward to chatting with you!
  7. The newsgroups I follow on twitter and facebook are right-leaning.  It’s a quick and easy way to stay up to speed on what’s going on in the world and in the country.
  8. Since the 2016 election is around the corner (okay, we have a way to go yet), go to You Tube and find all of the Republican candidates’ speeches from the Iowa State Fair.  They all spoke – and they are on You Tube.  Listen closely to what each one says and let it sink in – and then pray about who you want to see as president.
  9. Sign up for a seminar or workshop.  Make sure it’s something that interests you.  If it isn’t, you’ll regret spending the time and the money on it.
  10. In the workplace, we sometimes get caught up in a routine.  We enter the office building and walk straight to our little world – our safe little cubicle or office.  Make a point to wander beyond your comfort zone.  Go to another department and have a conversation with someone you’ve seen around but have never actually spoken with.  It’s amazing what you may learn.
  11. Here’s a challenge for you:  Take ten photographs that represent who you are.  Take ten photographs that best symbolize your dreams for the future.  Make an album of these photos on facebook and share with your friends!
  12. Remember back in school when we had to write essays?  We chose one subject and just researched the heck out of it – then wrote an A+ paper?  That was my favorite thing to do back then, and I still want to write those essays today!
  13. Choose two prominent figures – one living and one dead (for example, rapper Kanye West and Mozart).  Find out as much as you can about their family lives and accomplishments.  Write a paper comparing and contrasting the two.
  14. It’s easy to ignore the library because it seems easier to research everything from the comfort of my own home.  This week I think I’ll venture out and go to the library and maybe a bookstore.  I may go to a section I’ve not gone to before.  Learning something new is the idea this week.
  15. Is there a lecture you could attend this week?  If it is something that interests you, take advantage of the opportunity.  If it’s not something that interests you, take a chance and go anyway because you might walk away surprised that you learned something new.
  16. The last movie I watched with subtitles was The Passion of the Christ.  Funny story – I didn’t know I’d have to read subtitles, so walked into the movie theatre without my glasses.  I often watch movies without them, and just assumed it would be fine.  My friend was so kind to whisper the subtitles in my ear, with the occasional comment such as, “I can’t believe you didn’t know you’d have to read subtitles!” 
  17. Go to Goodreads or a similar website and from there compile a list of books you will read during the harsh winter months.
  18. Make a list of the most inspiring books you’ve ever read, then share the list on facebook with your friends.
  19. Reread a book.  You’ll find something you missed the first time.
  20. Is there a book club in your area?  No?  Start one.
  21. Nothing is more fun than ghost writing.  Write an article for someone, using their name, for their company, institution or community organization.  Post the article on ezine articles.  Most people will pay for that kind of writing.  There is minimal research (the one you’re writing for will fill you in on specs), and you will get paid for your writing.  That’s something that blog writing does not do – pay.  😦
  22. Wichita has a wonderful art museum.  If you have one near you, visit it and choose your favorite piece.  Research it and write about how it makes you feel and why it is your favorite.
  23. Train or teach.  A sure way to learn more about something is to teach it to someone else.  Whether it’s Sunday School or piano – share your knowledge with someone.  Most folks are willing to pay for that as well – so that’s a good thing.  It may be time for you to learn how to play the piano.  Hmm…
  24. As I get older, I tend to have a sort of “Who the heck moved my cheese?” mentality.  I don’t adjust to change very well.  This week, I’m determined to practice the tutorials for a new piece of computer software.  May the force be with me…  :-/
  25. Part of the reason I write a blog is to document some of my precious memories.  I don’t want to forget my past, my loving parents, my roots or my faith.  Take a moment (okay it’ll take longer than that), to write a brief summary of your life.  You may discover the inner blogger or book writer!
  26. Update your résumé.  Even if you don’t think you’ll need it…  keep it updated.
  27. Do a computer search on a subject that interests you.  For example…  PIANO, or MUSIC.
  28. I took a creative writing course in college and was challenged to write my obituary.  Talk about a smack in the face!  There’s nothing like that to make you reassess your life and how you’re living it.  What goals do you want others to remember that you met?  How do you want to be remembered?
  29. I wrote articles for the high school paper.  Part of good journalism is asking the right questions.  I decided to visit a local nursing home and ask some of the residents about the major lessons they have learned from life.  We should listen to their answers – it could save us from learning lessons the hard way.
  30. Read important American documents with the anticipation of learning something new.  The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution still have much to teach America.
  31. Volunteer your time – somewhere – anywhere.  Find an interesting person or persons to spark your imagination in writing.
  32. Turn off the television, radio and internet for an hour a day.  Just think, journal, meditate and pray.  Let God’s Holy Spirit speak to you and inspire your writing.
  33. Write about the greatest errors and accomplishments of the twentieth century.  How can these lessons make life better in the twenty-first century?
  34. If you are in management, read a book about the health risks of your workers (carpal tunnel, obesity, etc.).  If you are a worker, read about the challenges that those in management face.  We need to understand one another.
  35. Memorize a piece of music, a poem or a passage of Scripture.  Hide God’s Word in your heart – and other things too.

Learning can be FUN!  The goal is to learn something new everyday!  See you again on the 8th of September.  🙂

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CLEAN UP THE WORLD WEEKEND

TL 9-19 CLEAN UP THE WORLD WEEKEND

GOSSIP IN THE FRUIT BOWL

It is CLEAN UP THE WORLD WEEKEND.  Although the spirit of this weekend is to remove litter from the earth, I want to talk a little about one of the most destructive “litter” known to man – gossip.

Gossip is a sneaky sin. I’ve fallen into that trap and I’m sure you have too. We have to be aware of it when it comes around and learn how to squelch it before it spreads. Even though everyone in the fruit bowl was gossiping about plum, she refused to take part. She chose, instead, to make a positive statement about the fruits, noting that God made them to be unique.

If we can meet ugliness with a soft answer, it will turn away wrath. Soft, sweet, kind responses are always appropriate. I know some people will just say, “I don’t want to hear your gossip” and walk away, but I think there’s an opportunity to help the person attempting to spread the gossip as well. If you say you don’t want to hear the gossip, it will stop them in their tracks, but it may hurt or embarrass them so much they decide to give up on church or on Christian friendships. I never want to be a stumbling block to anyone, so I believe it’s a better idea to defuse the gossip by pouring honey on it. It’s surprisingly effective, and the other person’s feelings are spared.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a soft answer for a gossip?  Pour honey on it by first saying something like, “You know I love you, but I really don’t think we should be discussing this.”  That’s a soft answer that does not make the other person feel so bad.  Always remember to be soft instead of harsh.  None of us are above the temptation to speak out of turn from time to time.  We may think we are helping a situation when we gossip.  Of course we are not, but it’s something I believe we have all done from time to time.  God doesn’t give up on us – we need to be patient and loving with one another.

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. – Proverbs 15:1

Just imagine what the fruits would have to say about watermelon! She is so large she can’t fit into the fruit bowl. She might even break it! God made watermelon a certain way so that the fruit would taste a certain way. It doesn’t do watermelon any good to whine and cry and tell everyone that she wished she looked like banana. If she looked like banana, she would taste like a banana and in fact would BE a banana. That’s not good because when I reach for a watermelon, I want the fruit that looks and tastes like a watermelon, not a banana. 😉

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART 35

4-15-13 (3)
Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. – Genesis 9:6

To purposefully destroy innocent human life is a moral offence and I am outraged.

I try with all my heart to be a good person. Deep down inside I do not promote violence of any kind, in my life or in anyone else’s life. I do not own a gun, but I do not care if a mature, responsible, sane person owns a gun. It’s when some crazy person is packing a piece – that’s when I get nervous and very concerned! I guess the question is: How do you know if someone should be banned from carrying a weapon? Any weapon… because as we’ve seen lately, it does not have to be a gun! Crazy people destroy with anything. Who will weed out the crazies in our society to keep the rest of us safe? Can the crazies be weeded out before they do harm to others – or do we have to wait until the tragedy has occurred to finally do something?

We can’t take part in a race, attend a movie première or go to a Saturday night dance without wondering if some nut will be there with plans to destroy innocent people! Something is amiss here. There is a short-circuit or a link that needs to be inserted – between the unstable individual obtaining a weapon with intent to destroy and the real act of destruction. Something is seriously messed up, because we should not have to be afraid to go anywhere in our society. People were designed for relationship and for the most part, relationship involves attending functions that are packed with people. These seem to be the favorite places for the unstable with weapons to strike. Crowds.

The most obvious question in the wake of this outpouring of mass destruction of human life is – WHY? Unfortunately, that is the one question that we will probably never have an answer for – because when people are not really sane, you cannot even begin to understand or grasp the thought process behind such horrid behavior. It’s evil in its purest sense. I’m glad I can’t crawl inside that mind and understand it. In a way I wish I could – but I’m really glad I can’t.

For the Christian, there is prayer. We know that God is so much higher than any circumstance this world finds itself in. It may seem simple to those who are not believers, and that’s okay. We can’t just do nothing – so we pray. It’s more than the non-believer is able to do. They can complain and grieve and that’s good as far as it goes. But we as Christians know the Source of all life – yes, even the life of the one who destroys. I cannot crawl into that person’s head and figure out the motive behind the unbelievable actions – but God can – and does! He knows what triggered the action and He knows what it will take to fix that person’s problem. There’s a comfort in knowing that I can pray – leave it in God’s very strong and capable Hands – with His all-knowing power at work in the life of one who is obviously unbalanced.

I don’t have to know the “why” – because I know God already has the answer. What are we to glean from all of this? I don’t have that answer either. I guess we just have to lean on God and trust that it’s all part of a big plan. I am morally offended by the events in Boston, and deeply saddened. I just keep praying – it’s the only thing I know to do. ❤