Archive | June 2012

Warning for all high school graduates

Since the first days of September, you’ve been thinking about graduation day, but more, perhaps, as a closing, and rightly so. It’s the end of a phase of your education and life. Now things will change. These changes will be far from subtle as were the ones from grade to grade. They will be drastic in comparison, and they’ll come at you fast.

Remember the sing-songy mantra you used to chant at the beginning of summer vacation? “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks”? In one sense, your dreams have come true. Seriously. Even if you’re going on to college, those days are gone. Nothing will be the same. Sure, you’ll have classes with pencils (now replaced by technology) and books (now coming with huge price tags and little resale value), but the classroom will change. The teacher’s dirty looks will no longer come as a result of mischievous behavior. Instead, they will challenge your previous 18 years at the core and possibly the entire foundation of your life, especially if you are a Christian or hold traditional values. Are you ready?

Many college professors project a persona of having all of the answers and view you as an unenlightened blank page on which to write their agenda. Their goal is not to see you learn to think so that you can become the innovators of tomorrow; rather, they want you to join them as they espouse their theories of the way the world should be based not on lofty ideals or fact, but on failed programs from the past. Their goal? Land you like a fish – hook, line and sinker. Are you ready?

One thing you’ll learn in your history classes is history repeats itself because people ignore the results achieved the first time around. Sometimes they just rewrite it altogether. I achieved my degree a lot later in life and watched professors distort facts about some of the time periods I had already lived through as an adult. This coupled with the way they changed the events themselves helped me recognize what they could do to young people unless they were prepared. Some of the sources they quoted had fancy names, but no real quantitative results to substantiate their data. To be fair, some of these proponents are only repeating what they had been taught and likely had not done their own research. If I were just coming out of high school, however, I might not have been as well prepared to see through their views. Are you ready?

With today’s ready access to technology, you have resources available to challenge the best classroom orators. Don’t be so quick to toss out your core values. God does not change nor do His principles. If you want to know truth, go to the source. The Bible will not take you down the wrong path. Are you ready?

Just for fun, check out this video to see how things used to be, why they were that way and how things are changing. You or even your parents, just might be a part of making a real difference. BTW — CONGRATULATIONS!

Just drink it

Are you interested in losing weight, having younger-looking skin, and having more energy? Who isn’t, right?

If I told you there is something that could help in all three of those areas, would you be interested? And if this commodity were easily accessible at practically no cost would I have your attention? The fact is, we – you and I – already have it in our houses, but we fail to use it to its full advantage. You may have guessed already that I’m talking about water.

It’s time for a true confession. It’s hard for me to drink it straight. When it’s hot outside and I’ve worked up a sweat, there’s nothing better than a cool glass of water to quench my thirst. Yet for some reason, I do not turn to this precious and valuable commodity at other times. It’s not my first choice. I’d rather have a cup of coffee or tea or flavor it with lemon and sugar to make lemonade. I figure you start out with water, so I should get the same benefits, right? Wrong. Instead of taking advantage of this natural appetite suppressant, I’ve been hindering my chances of losing unwanted pounds by adding extra calories. Oops! A hole just popped up in my logic.

Here’s something else I have learned. Pangs of hunger may not really be a craving for food, but in fact a symptom of dehydration and a body’s cry for water!  By not drinking enough water, my body actually goes to plan B to try to obtain some from food. Here I am with more calories and the ensuing pounds.

Water actually satisfies my body’s needs and provides a feeling of being full so that I don’t look for snacks. That’s a good benefit with little effort and no huge price tag. And there’s more. Drinking water can actually boost my metabolism by making my in-body furnace burn fat more efficiently. Just increasing my intake of water by 1.5 liters per day will burn an extra 17,400 calories which equates to a weight loss of approximately 5 pounds. 1.5 liters per day is equivalent to approximately 51 ounces or 6.34 cups. Hey, that’s doable.

There are so many more benefits we can gain from drinking water, but alas I’ll wait for another time. But here’s one you may not have thought about.  When you choose to get your spiritual nourishment from sources other than the Bible, you just get a “watered-down” version rather than the full blessing God intends. Just as I missed the health benefits of drinking pure water when I chose tea or lemonade, you may not get all that God wants to reveal if you depend totally on a godly speaker or author rather than going directly to the Scriptures. Just a thought. Now I’m off to get a glass of water.

June Celebrations

In our family, June is a busy month with fifteen members celebrating either a birthday or anniversary. This year we’re also adding two graduations to the mix. To say that we should consider investing in Hallmark stock is an understatement.

For those who have no weddings or 2012 graduations, be of good cheer.  You still have cause to celebrate, and it may not even require any cash outlay.

June 5, aka Festival of Popular Delusions Day, provides a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of a quality or what otherwise might be considered a short coming and celebrate it. Just think. You could create your own slogan, promote it on Facebook and you and hundreds of your closest friends can enjoy the day free of charge.  I’m going for “Connect with Clutter” so I don’t have to clean my office, but I doubt it will catch on – especially with my husband, aka Mr. Clean.  How about “Pound Proud” for those who on other days might need to lose a few. Celebrate today start your weight reduction program tomorrow. I think it might have potential.

What about June 16 and National Hollerin’ Contest Day? I’m not sure if I’d be interested in judging this event, but I have a neighbor who could provide some stiff competition to any contenders.

If you don’t mind spending a little, you might consider either June 20, National Ice Cream Sundae Day or June 22, National Éclair Day. June 29th is National Camera Day, so if you want to upgrade yours, you could be looking at a significant expense.

Need other reasons to celebrate in June? Take your pick of these bizarre holidays. There are 30 from which to choose. Some of them seem rather lame, so here’s a different idea? Why not come up with a list of blessings throughout your life and celebrate those? Seems to me, we’d never run out.

First strawberries

When it comes to weather, you take what you get. Yet if I could order a perfect day, I’d order the 75- degree, blue-skied beauty we enjoyed today. And besides the glorious conditions, I picked my first strawberries of the season. My yield thus far is only one cup, but the strawberries are nice and range in size between a nickel and a quarter. Considering where I started, this is huge!

I began my patch three years ago. Each year the plants multiplied and the berries increased in size, but last year I experienced problems with bugs, depleted soil and a horrific weed, which I call Satan’s counterfeit. I was able to deal with the pests and build up the soil with fertilizer, but the bogus berry was another issue.

This weed not only grows in the same plot, it sets its roots so close to the real strawberry plant that it is difficult to separate them. I lost some of my best plants trying to do so. The weed’s leaf appears almost identical to the real plant, and it flowers and bears fruit that resembles a smaller version of those I’m seeking. The problem is the fruit on these counterfeits is very bitter. Take my word for it. You don’t want it in your garden. It will take the best nutrients from the soil and choke out the good plants. I was hoping that last year I’d have enough berries to make jam, but instead the weed prevented the good plants from producing at all. Once I discovered what it was, I tried to remove it, but it’s a sneaky devil. If it has an inch, it will take a mile. It took a lot of work to get it out and even with my best effort, a remnant remained.

I’m sure botanists have a scientific name for this sham of a strawberry, but I chose the name Satan’s counterfeit because it illustrates how Lucifer tries to get close to those who trust Christ as their Savior. Satan appears as an angel of light but the fruit that results from following him is as bitter as wormwood.

For me, gardening is more than a pleasant past time or stress relieving therapy. I love it because of the life lessons I learn. In this case, I want to be sure to follow the Lord because it’s too costly in life and the garden to choose Satan’s counterfeit.