A place to find Hope

Category: we must endure (Page 1 of 4)

People Think They Are on a Treadmill Going Nowhere

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I am sure most of you have been on a treadmill. Isn’t it interesting that you never get anywhere? You are just at one spot walking as fast as you can. Seems senseless right. Wrong. You are achieving better health and stamina.

It seems like we are in one spot treading to nowhere in our lives. Can’t seem to move forward and achieve what we want out of life.

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If you have been there do not get discouraged. Remember, GOD IS CHARGE!

He knows what you need and don’t need. He knows what is best for you even though you would like something else. God will guide you and show you to the right choices.

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I learned to delight in God’s Word. What He says has been recorded. What He says has been preserved. We need to live by his word. God’s word is food for our soul.

I have prayed and asked God to speak to me. Let it pour down like rain, God.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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He Who Angers You Will Control You

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I had a week with heavy exercise. It has paid off. I lost a few pounds this week, and my legs feel stronger. I still have another day of exercise today. Then I will crash for the weekend.

I am sharing another excerpt today from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in and Unfriendly World. It received a national award.

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Chapter 3

He Who Angers You Controls You

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother

will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother,

“Raca” [a term of contempt], is answerable to the Sanhedrin

[body of authorities]. But anyone who says,

“You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:22

I have “a short fuse.” I can be easily offended and strike back with anger. As the years have gone by I realize that anger doesn’t solve anything. It only raises my blood pressure, and allows the other person to win. They get what they want. They got me frustrated and not thinking clearly.

I have finally gotten smarter and have learned to control my feelings to the point where I still may be upset about what has happened, but I don’t let it cause me to verbally strike out toward the other person. I don’t “count to ten.” I turn to God to give me strength to overcome my own feelings and think about the consequences for me if I fail in my quest to help others with their anger. I also ask God to help me have a calm spirit, and an understanding heart. I’m not being a good example to my children—or anyone else—if I don’t.

The following story makes the point about anger very clearly. Got a hammer?

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him to hammer a nail into the back fence every time he lost control. The first day the boy drove 37 nails into the fence. Then he gradually discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. His father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father led his son to the fence. “You have done well, but look at the holes in the fence,” he said. “When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like the nail holes. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry,’ the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.”

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.

Psalm 37:7

A fool shows his annoyance [temper] at once,

but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

Proverbs 12:16

In your anger do not sin:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Ephesians 4:26

Further Adventures

How do you deal with anger? Do you have loved ones who can’t control their feelings some times? I have been a victim of losing my temper sometimes. I can’t put a bunch of nails in my fence out of anger because Charlotte would want me be put in a safe place so I wouldn’t be harmful to anyone—or the fence—again.

But think about this story each time you get angry. Tell it to your loved ones when they get upset. This is an easy story to remember. It is very short, but its impact could be tremendous.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that when we say kind words to someone they say kind words back?

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So how is your time on this earth going? Have you had a heated exchange with someone? Do you feel badly?

FEAR NOT!!

God is there with you and He will guide you on to how to reconcile with that person. To ask for forgiveness, or to forgive does wonders.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Everything That Can go Wrong Probably Will

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I had four days of exercise last week. At my age you would think that I was almost dead. 🙂 However, I now feel stronger, and will be doing four more days of exercise this week. We will see what happens.

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I am sharing another excerpt from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

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Chapter 2

Everything that Can Go Wrong Probably Will

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;

 he delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

Murphy must have been a sad soul. We all live by the laws he created for us. It seems that we blame everything that goes wrong on Murphy’s Law.

You’ve had those days. You get up in the morning and start out happy as a clam. (Not sure how happy that is.) You have some errands to do, and you begin to do them.

You run out of gas, or you have a flat tire. You forgot your grocery list. The item you thought was on sale wasn’t. There is an accident on the freeway, and you are stuck for hours.

Ever had those kinds of days? Let me tell you about mine! I had volunteered to help my son Greg out when he vacationed in Disneyland with my granddaughter Molly. I told him I would pick up his mail every day, put the garbage cans back on Tuesday, and feed Charlie the cat all week.

Everything went well Sunday through Tuesday. But on Wednesday, the worst thing happened. I lost the door key. I had it in my summer shorts when I went to shower. I took off the shorts, showered, and then put on a clean pair of shorts. I left the house and headed over to my son’s house.

Charlie was waiting for me, and already had started his purring sound to let me know he was glad to see me. I got the mail, walked up to the door and reached into my pocket to get the key. It wasn’t there. Charlie was looking up at me looking like, “Why are you taking so long to open the door?”

“Sorry Charlie,” I muttered, sounding like a tuna commercial. “I have to go back home and get the key.” He wasn’t very happy with me as I walked to my car. I felt badly.

I got home and looked everywhere for the key. It was nowhere in sight. I even dumped out the hamper where the dirty clothes were. Zilch! Notta! Ouch!

I remembered that we had a bunch of extra keys in the desk drawer that had no names on them. I dug all of them out and drove back to my son’s house. You guessed it: None of them worked!

I was desperate by this time. I thought that I might have to call a locksmith, or call my son and have him Fed Ex his keys to me.

I prayed for help from God and immediately thought of calling my wife Charlotte to see if she had any ideas. (This was my close encounter with God.) I probably sounded shook up when she answered the phone—maybe because my only words were, “Now what do I do?”

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I’ve lost the key to the house, and the cat food is on the inside.”

Without hesitating, she suggested, “Go to the grocery store and buy another bag of cat food and feed Charlie outside. He’s an outside cat anyway. Greg can make a new key when he gets home.”

Charlie was really mad at me when I left the second time without feeding him. I returned with a tasty tuna and salmon meal (yum). He gobbled it up and was purring again when I left.

Of course, going to the grocery store was the obvious choice. (You realize, of course, that I actually knew it all along. I was just testing Charlotte.) The important thing was that the answer came after I had prayed for help. Charlotte was the messenger, but God answered the prayer.

God can answer prayers in many ways. It can be directly, or it can be through someone else. Charlotte was my answer to prayer. She knew the easy solution I needed, but I wasn’t able to think of.

Do you call on God to help you when you have a problem, or do you panic like I did? (God has a speed dial you know.) At least, I knew I couldn’t do it on my own and turned to God for help. The calming feeling that came as soon as I finished praying was very reassuring.

It was in God’s hands, and I knew something good would happen. Charlie got fed, and I have a whole bag of cat food for future lockouts.

Don’t let obstacles stop you. Turn your problems over to God. Let Him figure out a solution. It may not come as fast as mine did, but He will work it out the way He knows is best for you.

Since I am on the subject of prayer, please don’t just call on God when there is a problem. Talk to God every day. He loves to hear from you.

I know it is hard to pray when you are at work. It is hard to pray while you are driving. But you know what? When you are driving might be the best time to pray. It is when you are likely to be tense and need a calming spirit. A guy is blowing his horn behind you. Pray seeking patience because you do not know what is going on in this man’s life. He may want to get home because his wife called and is ready to have their first baby. Wouldn’t you be honking?

Prayer should be done without ceasing. Pray each and every day. Use it to praise God. Use it to thank Him for your good health. Use it to pray for peace. Whatever is on your mind, God wants to hear from you. It should be like He is sitting in the room with you. Carry on a conversation with Him.

Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything, by prayer and petition,

with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6–7

Further Adventures

Have you gone along in life thinking that everything is fine, only to have a day that makes you realize that the world is not always a rose garden? First of all, remember that we can’t look at everything through rose-colored glasses.

Second, when a bad day comes knocking at your door like it was your long-lost relative, make sure it understands that it can only stay for that day. Then boot it out at the end of the day by giving it over to God in prayer. You should never let your bad days stay longer than they should.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that we always have a direct line to God, but we sometimes think the connection is dead?

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I will be sharing more excerpts in the future so keep coming back. Better yet…go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will directly to your inbox.

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Does it seem like the storms are coming too often? Would you rather stay in bed all day?

FEAR NOT!

God is with you 24/7. He will never forsake you. Lean on Him as your fortress. Never give in to the darkside.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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How can We Survive in This Not So Friendly World?

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This is a busy day for me. Just got home from have a blood test done, and later today I am off to PT.

I thought the busyness of the holidays would go away, but I guess there is no rest for the wicked

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I promised you that I would be starting a new formatt today. What I will be doing, is sharing excerpts from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

Each post I will share another excerpt. Keep coming back to read the excerpts. Better yet….

Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future post will go directly to your inbox.

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Preface

I waited patiently for the Lord;

he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40:1–2

One of the most exciting things that can happen in your life is to have a close encounter with God. Moses had several. A burning bush started talking to him; he went to Mt. Sinai where God gave him the Ten Commandments. He raised his staff during a fierce battle to help fight off the enemy. Moses and the Israelites received manna directly from God.

Elijah had a close encounter with God when ravens brought him food while he was in the wilderness at God’s direction. Daniel met some lions that the bad guys thought would eat him. Instead God calmed the lions—and they became pets for Daniel. Everyone that met Jesus had a close encounter.

God showed His love through many close encounters in the Bible, and He can do it for you today. You may have already had a close encounter without realizing it ever happened. Did you ever turn a corner you hadn’t planned to turn and seen an old friend who would have missed otherwise? Have you ever happened on the scene of a horrible accident you would have been involved in had you been there just a second sooner? During a lightning storm, were you ever close to a strike that hit the ground? Have you ever felt alone and abandoned and cried out to God for help and then felt a real peace that you have never felt before?

You may have encountered some of these situations, or others. God is watching over you every day. He wants to protect you. He has a plan for you and me. If danger is near, He may choose to spare your life because He has a path He wants you to take to help others to know Him better.

I went through some tough times because I felt lost after I retired from teaching. I had no purpose. I tried being a salesman at several places, and even tried to run my own business as a salesman. I failed at all of them. I went into the lowest spot in my life and was ready to end my life. God saved me on March 31, 2001, after I cried out, “God I can’t take anymore of this!” I felt calmness in my heart and even the air around me seemed to cool. It was as if God were saying, “It is about time you came back to Me. I have been waiting for you to return. Let Me carry you the rest of the way.”

From that day on I kept praying to God to tell me why He had saved my life. It didn’t take Him long to point to a technical book I had been tinkering with for a few months. It was a book written for people who worked in the cash flow business that gave ideas on how to be a better salesman. Can you believe I was trying to write a book on that? Sure failure was lurking at my door—again!

I had failed at being a salesman, but God kept prompting me to look at the cash flow book very hard again. What was He trying to tell me?

Why did I keep getting the book-in-progress out? Then God finally woke me up. He wanted me to write about my own experiences with depression and share the love of God with others. As I looked at the manuscript I was working on, the titles fit perfectly into a book of encouraging others. I had been using phrases I had seen on bumper stickers to start each chapter.

            One sticker said, “Need Directions?” Another said, “My way is the highway.” Still another said, “Don’t believe everything you think.”

I had intended them to be chapter titles for teaching selling. As I looked at them, I saw what God wanted.

“Need directions?” was actually God telling us to read the Bible.

“My way is the highway” was God saying that we need to choose the right path that leads us to heaven.

“Don’t believe everything you think” was telling me that Satan can plant garbage in our minds to cause us to drift away from God.

The rest is history. I immediately dove into to writing this book. I was excited the day I started back in 2001, and I am still excited today. I started out writing a book about selling and ended up writing about getting eternal life for free. I had finally found something I could help give away free. No down payment. No monthly installments. No interest rates. Just accept the Lord into your heart and you have a free trip to heaven with its entire splendor.

As I worked on this preface, I searched my computer for the chapter titles I had used for the cash flow book to show how they had been transformed. I came across a statement on the very page I was looking at and saw something I had never seen before. I know I hadn’t typed it because it was in a different color ink. I never use any color but black in my work.

As I read it, I was sure God wanted me to read it. It said: “I love this! Let’s keep going! No catches. Just the peace in knowing that you are able to share God’s love and works to all those you have contact with, and even bless someone you don’t.”

That is exactly how it was typed. I didn’t correct any wording, or add any words to make it look more dramatic for you. It wasn’t sent to anyone but me. It was at the top of the page I was searching for. God may have placed it there way back when I first changed my direction, but I missed it then. But I found it, and it only confirms why I spent the last seven years toiling to get to the final outcome.

            God’s timing is amazing.

I had my own special close encounter with God, and He has been my refuge ever since.

This book hopefully leads you to have a close encounter with God. You may have chosen this book because it deals with the hurts in your life as well as other “afflictions” we all face. They can be crippling, and even deadly. I lived with depression, self-doubt, anxiety, hopelessness and fear of failure for many years until I turned back to God and found help through a doctor who determined I also had a chemical imbalance. Now through a close encounter with God and the right medication I am able to cope and have a productive life.

My original working title, Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind, comes from a favorite movie of mine, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It is about a man who has visions in his head and can’t understand what is happening. So he goes on a search to find out. That is what people with the many closed walls around them are going through. They are sad, and they can’t cope. They do not know why they are that way. They, too, are searching for answers.

As the book progressed, I wanted a more “hopeful” title for it. And since it is based on sayings and signs I’ve seen and the fact I wanted the book to provide the same hope for others as I have found, I was easily persuaded that the title Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World might be a better fit. You will still find several allusions to “close encounters” throughout the book and I wanted you to know the how and why I use that term so often.

The bumper sticker idea came from my hobby of collecting them for many years. I looked at them again years later, and realized they had some meaning, and I started writing about everyday connections to them.

That is my story (so far) and I am stickin’ to it! I hope that through this book, you will also begin searching for some meaning to become stronger, and choose a path that leads you to a closer relationship with God.

Let the adventure begin.

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I shared the preface to start with to give you a feel of what is ahead from you as you travel with me through the book.

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Have you had those kind of days when you are not sure what is coming at you? You certainly are not alone.

Lean on God for help like I did. He brought me out of the muck and more, and today I am very excited for what life might have in store for me.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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God is Speaking to You. Are You Listening to Him?

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It is the new year. A new beginning, and we need to forget the negatives from the past.

Have you planned your new year? Are there things you want to change? I have a long list of I want to do. I know I will not be able to do them all. I made the list very long to push me hard.

The first thing on my list is to read the Bible again. I have done it several times, and I have always learned something new everytime I do.

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I remember back when we didn’t have cell phones. It was very hard to get help when you were stuck on the road, and had a flat tire. You had to walk to the nearest phone booth and call for help.

No communication!

Think about this…God’s Word to us will never go away. Not even technology can get rid of God’s words.

God speaks to us through His Word. Are you listening?

This year we ALL need to feed on, delight in, learn from, grow by, stand upon the unchanging life, transforming Word of God.

To truly know God, we must know His word.

God spoke, and it was written down by Moses, the prophets, and disciples. God’s Word is pure trustworthy, and each Word will guide your life.

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I am announcing that with the with the next post there will be changes. You need to come back to see what those changes are. I think you will delight in the new formatt. To make sure you find out what it is, go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly into your inbox.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Mary Did You Know?

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I sat and thought about Mary, mother of Jesus. What a task she was asked to do.

Most scholars think she was between 12-14 years old. They allowed men to have very young wives.

Mary met Joseph and they traveled together.

Suddenly, Mary was pregnant. She was only engaged and not married. I wonder what Joseph thought. “Should I quietly leave mary?” An angel came to him and said, “Fear not!” Mary will conceive the child of God.” Joseph understood, and stayed with Mary.

Mary was very scared and asked why she was chosen. Another angel came to her and told her, ” You will be the mother of God’s son. Call Him Jesus.”

So they went to Bethlehem and gave birth to Jesus. They had to stay in a dirty barn with many animals in it. Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes.

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This is where I really started wondering when I read this in the Bible. What did Mary know about this little child of hers? I found a song that covers it real well, and I am going to share it with you:

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Mary Did You Know?

Words by Mark Lowry

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make new; this child that you delivered will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know that you baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with His hand?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

Mary, did you know that when you kiss your little baby boy, you are kissing the face of God?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will rule all the nations?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy was Heaven’s perfect lamb?

Mary, did you know that the sleeping child you are holding is the great, the Great I Am?

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That cleared everything up for me. Jesus is the son of God, and Mary is His mother.

Be blessed knowing that Jesus has the perfect CHRISTmas present for you. Eternal life.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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How Do We Handle the Stress of the Holidays?

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It is the stressful time of the year. Rushing to buy presents. Getting that tree up. Planning the dinner for a gathering of family. The list goes on. How do we handle all of this stress?

I have come up with some thoughts on that:

  1. Stop and take a deep breath. I find that when I do that I feel much more relaxed.
  2. Sit and think quietly. Do not think of anything that needs to get done. Veggitate! : )
  3. Read a soothing book. (Yes you have time.) The Bible would be a good choice.
  4. Call a friend and just talk. Not about any rush, just talk.
  5. Go for a walk. This one helps me a great deal.

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I am sure you have your own list, but use it if you need it.

My greatest suggestion is to seek God’s comfort. He is always right there for you. Never let stress overcome you. Give it all to Him.

God loves you and even made you in His own image. Trust Him to guide you down the right paths.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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It is So Hard to Lose a Loved One

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It was so very sad to hear that a Navy Seal Officer was killed while training. My prayers go out to his family.

I have been there. I have lost several dear people in my life. My mother and father have passed. One of my brother-in-laws has passed. A friend, who was a groomsman at my wedding has passed.

I lost four students I had while teaching. I was very close to each of them. One was a suicide, which struck my heart even more.

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We may ask why God has taken them away from us. I can’t give you a good answer except that God is in charge, and He chooses when we go to meet him in heaven. The loss is hard, at best, to accept, but we must carry on in this earth. We are only here a short time compared to the eternity we will be living in heaven.

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Be strong. Stay the course and enjoy each day God has given you. You will see all those you lost again in heaven.

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Never be angry at God for His choices. Praise Him; love Him: and obey Him. He loves you more than you can ever know.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Just Because We’re Getting Older, Doesn’t Make Us Weaker

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I had a bad/good time going to see the Singing Christmas Tree in Tigard. It is a incredible show that has you feeling the Christmas spirit.

However, I have slowed down considerably the last couple of years. I had to have a cane to walk. Of course our seats were at the very top. I struggled big time going up those steps to my seat. People were looking at me with sympathy. Several wanted to help me, but I turned them down.

Of course I had to go to the bathroom twice during the performance! My nephew graciously helped me both times.

Like I said, the performance was incredible, with professional sounding singers. My favorite part was when the children’s choir sang. Their little angelical voices warmed my heart.

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Are you having similar problems? Do you struggle to go grocery shopping? Do you need someone else to get things for you?

You certainly are not alone. The number of 65 and older group in our world has grown a great deal. Many more people are getting past their prime.

Here is the most important thing for you to remember:

Having to need help does not make you any less of a person than anyone else.

You breathe the same air. You put your clothes on the same way. You have a lot to contribute to society.

Never let anyone degrade you for your slowness and incapacities. They will be there themselves some day.

God loves you the way your are. Know that you will have a new body when you get to heaven. There will be no pain, and no death.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are enver unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Old Age Ain’t For Sissies.

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Today, I am going to talk about aging. I am an expert! (80 something)

It is so hard once we reach the “golden,” years. Things slow down. Not just in the world, but in your body.

I try to walk as much as I can, but things aren’t going in my direction.

Yesterday, I decided to go on a short walk on my own street, which is a Cul-de-Sac. I did the first trip around, and headed for my second. I got about half way and suddenly realized I had rubbery legs for some reason.

It got worse quickly. I started wavering like a drunken sailor. I was afraid I was going to fall. I struggled big time to finish.

I made it back into the house and crashed at my desk. It took me a long time to recuperate.

What was going on?

I was getting older, and the tent I am living in was getting leaks!

This frightened me big time. Do I need to make funeral preparations?

NO!

I just need to accept that I can only do what I can do. I shouldn’t try to stretch my abilities beyond what I can do.

I am not going to stop walking, but I will start out at a shorter distance and work my way up to longer walks.

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Do you have this same problem? Is age creeping up on you, and you are really feeling it? You certainly are not alone. The majority of humans on this earth are getting up in years.

I have been thinking hard laterly. (It is giving me a headache.)

Why am I fighting old age? I should embrace the days God is giving me.

I saw a great acronym the other day. Instead of TGIF, It should be TGIT Thank God it’s today. We need to thank God for every day He is giving us, and not worry about how things seem to be getting very tough for us to do.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

_____________________________________________________

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

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