My Morning Do . . . Down on the Farm — IV

A Snowy Nostalgia

by tkbrown

20 February 2021 — Growing up in the Ozarks, I was so blessed to experience four distinctive seasons each year. The snows blanketing our country during the past two weeks brought back memories. Just prior to the onset of winter storms Uri and Viola, one of my siblings and I were talking about the winters of our youth bringing much more snow than we have seen in recent decades. We were a bit nostalgic about the memories associated with those snows–at times they were two feet deep or more with drifts three to four feet deep. One Christmas Eve, an older sibling drove in from another state and parked their Volkswagen in front of the house. The next morning, there was just a big hump in the front yard–no visible evidence of the car buried beneath all that snow.

Winter brought with it the excitement of holidays, snows and ice coated trees which I thought were absolutely beautiful with the sun shining through them early in the morning. Riding the bus to school, I often commented on how much I loved seeing that aspect of winter. Other bus riders could not see what I saw. I suppose, in their minds it was too early in the morning and they were still snug in bed and fast asleep. They wanted no part of my icy reveries which threatened to eject them from their warm ones.

On days when conditions were too dangerous for the busses to risk the drive to school, and on weekends, etc., I could enjoy the evidence of Jack Frost’s visit during the night. The etchings on our windows boasted designs far more intricate than most paintings. The beauty of winter escaped many, but I never missed a beat of its cold heart. I loved looking out the windows to see God’s handiwork. Even having to carry in wood and coping with one side of me getting too toasty as it faced the old wood heater while the other side froze could not diminish its value in my heart. To me, even during the season others viewed as representing death in life’s cycle, nature’s beauty surpassed any ugliness that came with it.

My heart goes out to those who suffered hardship and loss during the past couple of weeks. I understand the blessings of modern technologies have allowed many of us to advance beyond the primitive realities associated with the wood heating of my childhood. However, news of the suffering many endured due to the overwhelming frigidness of the temperatures and accompanying snows brought back memories of always being able to stoke a fire in that old wood heater or turn-on the gas heater and kitchen range even as the electricity failed us. Living on the coast and enduring a number of hurricanes, I loved being able to cook a pot of beans and rice or cornbread on that gas range for us to eat until. We never missed a hot meal during a power outage. That is one part of having less than others I have never regretted.

As the days of my childhood grew warmer and steadily longer, springtime dropped in for a visit. When the dogwoods and redbuds began to bloom, I knew spring would soon be in the air. Our springs were long enough to truly enjoy the rebirth of life associated with the cool days of fragrant, variegated greens and yellow greens. The fresh bursts of color in both nature and homestead, and the planting of seeds–as the days grew warmer–from which we would enjoy the produce over the coming year. These were fertile reminders of life budding anew. Springtime in the Ozarks is a rebirth of every aspect of living.

As school let out, days were becoming hotter and longer. Soon, summertime was in full swing. The heat–sometimes blazing heat–in luscious green surroundings seemed to embrace me with appreciation for the growing and reaping to be done. The mouth-waterin’ vegetables, fruits, and berries we harvested each year were my favorite part of livin’ off the soil. I looked forward to the watermelons, the peaches, and other produce peddled to locals by other locals because these were never locally grown in sufficient quantity. The annual hog-killin’ in late July or early August with the fresh tenderloin to follow at breakfast the next morning was usually assisted by cousins from other states. Afterward, we would all gather ’round to enjoy a feast of fresh pork and fresh vegetables from the garden. If we were lucky, the activities of this day coincided with the peach purchase mentioned above, thus prompting a bowl of peaches ‘n cream for dessert. Summertime food was always so delicious. To this day, I love the abundance of produce available during spring, summer, and fall. UUMmMmmmmm!

Fall in the Ozarks blanketed the area with bursts of color on every hillside–red, yellow, orange, and crimson mingled with green and brown–with the cedars etching a bit of evergreen and each frost increasing the browns. Vegetables that had not been harvested from the garden were brought in, preserved, and stored for winter. The Halloween Carnivals (now Fall Festivals) and Thanksgiving only added to the excitement and anticipation of Christmas ahead.

Now, we cannot forget the annual harvest celebration in a neighboring county. As we grew a little older, we could most always see a slew of people we knew at the Hootin’ ‘n Hollerin’ celebration. The Hog Callin’ contest was the most sought after prize of the day. Usually, this prize was taken by a woman ’cause she had looootts o’ practice from callin’ her husband in for supper every night.

When I was young (early childhood–preschool age), the fall also boasted an Annual Pie Supper to benefit the school. I was too young to participate, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching older sisters baking pies to be auctioned off and eaten with the highest bidder. Some of those pies were well-known and sought after–bringin’ a right-good price to compliment and redden the face of some young lass.

Then there was the Annual Talent Show. Local talent turned out in droves to assist in raisin’ funds for our school. As I mentioned above, I was too young for the Pie Supper, but Mama and Daddy were sure to sign me up for the Talent Show. I began singing at the tender age of three. The Pie Suppers and Talent Shows fell by the wayside by the time I reached school age, but I remember the fun they provided all who participated. All of the excitement added to the bliss of those fall days, which were cooler and reminded me of the holidays and winter wonderlands yet to come.

I look back on my growing-up years, and although there were bad times, I do not remember too many of them. I always felt blessed somehow to be a part of all my surroundings–family, neighbors, friends, and nature. I learned so very much from all that I experienced. You just had to be there and see it through my eyes to understand the level of nostalgia felt at times when engrossed in reminiscing those days of yore.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo at the Top: by MikeGoad @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

II — The Way He Should Go . . .

~~ a multiple stanza quindecim

by tkbrown
I
A parent gives name to a newborn child
hoping for temperament low-key and mild.
Impossible to foresee the path trod,
they--two--prayerfully implore most high God:
Watch over and keep him on the right track;
when in smelting fire, please hold to his back.
Help him to learn the pathway he should choose
with plenty of room and nothing to lose
so long as he looks for the Lighted Path
and seeks to help others avoid God's wrath.
When he grows weary give lift to his wings,
replenish his strength,  give voice as he sings.
Help him tune in to your heavenly voice;
as he ponders  the way, then makes his choice
give mom and dad a vision to rejoice.
(Written: 10 February 2021 by tkbrown.)
II
As he grows: infant to toddler, then child,
as mom and dad pray for guidance compiled,
lead them through the inspired books of your Word--
reading instruction, insuring child heard
and lives what she learned as their lives portrayed
words of scripture and their actions conveyed
the faith, the hope, and the love from above,
relied upon strength when "push comes to shove."
Show them the way to plant inside his heart
those treasures from God--whose way doth impart--
knowledge and wisdom for life upon earth
to circumvent and give Satan wide bearth.
The foundation instilled in early childhood
will help her to know which pathway she should
take and follow toward her eternal good.
(Written: 18 February 2021 by tkbrown.)

~~~~~~~~~~

(To be continued: Please tune in again next week for the second quindecim.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Bessi@pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

I — The Way He Should Go . . .

~~ a multiple stanza quindecim

by tkbrown
I
A parent gives name to a newborn child
hoping for temperament low-key and mild.
Impossible to foresee the path trod,
they--two--prayerfully implore most high God:
Watch over and keep him on the right track;
when in smelting fire, please hold to his back.
Help him to learn the pathway he should choose
with plenty of room and nothing to lose
so long as he looks for the Lighted Path
and seeks to help others avoid God's wrath.
When he grows weary give lift to his wings,
replenish his strength,  give voice as he sings.
Help him tune in to your heavenly voice;
as he ponders  the way, then makes his choice
give mom and dad a vision to rejoice.
(Written: 10 February 2021 by tkbrown.)

~~~~~~~~~~

(To be continued: Please tune in again next week for the second quindecim.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Picture Above: by Bessi @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Picture Above: by Bessi @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Child Poverty

~~ an essay

by tkbrown

When I began actively blogging on tkbrownwriter.wordpress.com and Tweeting on Twitter–@tkbrownwriter–there were many who were constantly orating regarding the hunger, starvation , and homelessness plaguing children from other countries. These children were being swarmed to and across our southern border by parents who would never qualify for entry if they entered via the legal immigration requirements. I agreed somewhat with what they were saying, but I was also concerned about children in America who suffer similar needs which were not being met.

Finally, I responded to the orations with an appeal acknowledging the validity of the needs being promoted while also noting the responsibility we hold to meet the needs of our own chidren. I told them, every night here in America many children go to bed hungry because there is not enough food to eat. In winter, many of those same children go to bed cold because the family budget was not sufficient to pay the heating bill. Many don’t even have a place to call home. How can we be an example to the world if we neglect our own to care for others. We need to first address the hunger and housing needs of our own America born children before trying to meet the needs of children from other countries. Now, the coronavirus has compounded these problems exponentially.

“There is currently a push in Congress to address the needs of every American child living in one-parent households earning $75,000 or less per year or in a two-parent household earning $150,000 or less per year. This plan would provide families of children ages 0-6 an additional $300 per month per child. It would also provide families of children ages 6-17 an additional $250 per month per child. These monthly disbursements would be made via the IRS Department” (Stein, 2021). The children of America are in much need of this additional assistance. The wealthiest country in the world should never be plagued with a reputation of not caring for its own.

While I am not one who typically condones regular and continuous dependence upon government subsidy funds. I do believe we owe it to our children to ensure they are not going hungry, or cold, or living on the streets. If we cannot take care of our own children, why should we be considered the country of choice for these needs by parents of children in other countries.

~~~~~~~~~~

Source:

Higgins, Tucker. (4 February 2021). “Romney child-payment proposal would spend more than Biden plan – but also aims to cut welfare programs.” CNBC. cnbc.com. (8 February 2021). Romney unveils plan to send families up to $4,200 per year per child (cnbc.com).

Stein, Jeff. (7 February 2021). “Senior Democrats to unveil $3,000-per-child benefit as Biden stimulus gains steam.” The Washington Post. Microsoft News: msn.com. (7 February 2021). Senior Democrats to unveil $3,000-per-child benefit as Biden stimulus gains steam (msn.com).

~~~~~~~~~~

Charity

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

I Corinthians 13:13: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

The word “charity,” in the New King James Version (NKJV), is translated “love.” Thus, in this passage written by Paul to the Corinthians, the two words might be used interchangeably. Apparently, there were many issues concerning the Christians at Corinth. In chapter 13, Paul addresses the need for love to abound. He notes a number of achievements to be worked toward as Christians in Christ’s church; then he cautions that without “charity” or “love” none of these is worth anything in Christ’s church. Though one may attain a high level of honor, without love, that person is nothing in God’s eyes.

How often do we, today, teach the importance of “charity” or “love?” Love, or charity, should be a frequent topic of our Bible lessons. It takes extensive study on the topic to exhibit the love Christ had, and has, for His church.

Love is one character trait deserving of frequent address. Too often we “go through the motions” but they mean nothing to us. Verse 2 says:

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”–I Corinthians 13:2–NKJV.

Though it is possible to have faith enough to accomplish any feat—with God’s help–if I have not ”charity” or “love,” faith profits me nothing.

Faith, hope, and love are the three most essential characteristics of a Christian. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17–NKJV). “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1—NKJV) Faith is instilled by hearing, reading, and learning the word of God. It is important to follow hearing with study in order to learn the true meaning of the scripture presented. Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15–KJV). When we hear the Word, that hearing must be followed by our own private study to ensure we understand what is being said, when it was said, to whom, and about what. Thus, we learn the true meaning of the scripture uttered in our hearing.

The more we study God’s Word, the more it impresses upon us the need for love in our own character. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-47

43 — “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy,”

44 – “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;”

45 – “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

46 – “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?”

47 – “And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?”

 The more we try to emulate Christ, the more love we will extend love to others. It is a tall order to “love our enemies and do good to them.” This tells us, if we have not love we are not emulating Christ—we are but pretenders. This pretense means nothing to God and will not ensure entry into heaven. We must grow as Christians if we are to hold the love for others that Jesus requires.

A new Christian has learned to love him-/herself enough to want to spend eternity with God and Christ. A mature Christian has grown in the emulation of Christ so that love is evident. Christ laid down His life to save us. How many of us would do the same?

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by reenablack @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Eds. biblegateway.com. (2021). Holy Bible – New King James Version (NKJV). 1975 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

Eds. Biblegateway.com (2021). Holy Bible – King James Version (KJV). 1987 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. www.biblegateway.com. (26 January 2021). www.biblegateway.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

My Morning Do . . . Tears

Tears of Grief — Grief of Tears

~~ by tkbrown — ≥∑

28 November 2020 — The worldwide loss associated with the Covid-19 pandemic has, is, and will have far more impact on us as individuals, as families, as communities, as states, as countries, and as a world than we might ever imagine. There is nothing to reference in responding to these losses. Yes, there have been pandemics before, but the world population, the interaction of countries around the world and the commercial interdependence around the world are far greater than ever before, so the impact of this type of phenomena is unprecedented.

The manner in which some of the losses have occurred, the extent of loss one individual must bear, the burden on families trying to somehow fill the shoes of a person, or persons, no longer with them–these are just a few of the personal losses being experienced. Similar losses have occurred in the professional/work realm, and at the governmental realm–and we are far from done with the related losses.

I believe these losses may be part of the impetus behind the need to protest to such extent as we are seeing in society today. There is no visible, touchable culprit causing these losses in our lives. There is not a “person” we can blame and vent upon, because it is not a person who caused the losses. This invisible force is ravaging our world, and the only way we know to let others know how much we are hurting is to savagely molest something that physically represents some other area in which we feel an intangible loss.

I would encourage caution in this approach. The one thing our families, governments, world do not need right now is another area of major loss. We need to shore each other up and find healthy outlets for our grief. A house divided is a house that falls. The same applies to governments and countries. Learn to grieve in healthy ways rather than creating more pain and grief. I know the tendency may be to lash out at the first possible expression of tangible loss. Remember, this only creates layers of losses. Do what you can to relieve the situation rather than add to it.

True grief, the cleansing kind of grief, involves the shedding of tears. If we do not ever cry, we can never release all of the negative. This release allows us to truly hold the good close to our heart. Many times, I have cried for the loss of someone I love. Many other times, I have told myself to “suck it up and be and adult.” Big girls don’t cry is the message I was sending myself. The question is: “Why did I send myself that message?”

Society teaches both girls and boys not to cry. “Big girls don’t cry” and “Big boys don’t cry” are phrases children are taught as they grow. No one wants to deal with a whiney crier, so it is deeply ingrained into a person by adulthood. We all “need” to cry sometimes. When we experience a loss, it is oft important to acknowledge that loss with tears. If we do not do this, we are never truly cleansed of the negativity associated with the loss (i.e., self-talk: “I can’t go on without _____.” “I can’t do this alone.”). There are any number of negative things we may say to ourselves when loss occurs.

This, “big boys and girls don’t cry” is much more deeply instilled in boys than in girls. It is generally acceptable for a woman to cry–sometimes. After all, women are the weaker sex, so we cannot be expected to go through life without crying. Men, on the other hand, have to “suck it up.” The message sent to men says it is never ok for them to cry. To that, I say: “Hogwash!”

All of us need to cry sometimes to release the pain associated with loss. Men hurt, too, when a loss occurs. We need to make a special effort to teach boys and girls it is ok to cry when we are deeply hurt. We also should accept that there are times tears are shed from joy or gratitude–and that is ok too.

The grieving process in the loss of a dear loved one is never complete until tears are shed. If we want to let go of the negative aspects we associate with that person’s leaving us, we must release those associations with our tears.

When my Daddy and Mama died, I didn’t cry at all until the funeral (just before–on the way to it) for Daddy. When the tears started, they would not stop until I had emptied those feelings of loss and–yes, deprivation–I was feeling. I cried so hard it worried so me who were there. I knew I would never be able to see them, hug them, tell them I loved them–ever again. The pain associated with knowing this had to be released. Only then could I know I would always be able to talk to them, because they are both a part of who I am.

Just as God dwells inside me because I am His temple, there are bits of the people I have lost inside me too. It matters not whether they are family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers–whatever the interaction that made us care for them as a person–to some extent, we need to release those feelings of loss. The death of a loved one–other than Mama and Daddy–has never pulled so many tears from me before I could stop them. Yes, I love my siblings–and I cry when they die–but it is not as intense as losing Mama and Daddy. The important thing I must stress here is: the tears did not occur with that intensity again. Yes, I would tear up occasionally; sometimes, I would cry for a minute or two, but I never cried like that again. I released the intensity of the loss with those tears. This left me with the ability to remember the good parts of my life-giving interaction with them–to hold those parts of them close to my heart. It also left me able to meet the responsibilities of job, family, etc. in the days and months that followed.

This need to cry when loss occurs applies to men too. It is not likely they will cry as hard as I did, but they may. It depends on the extent of loss they are feeling. The loss of some loved ones is no less painful for them than for a woman. Society tends to instill the “no tears” approach much more deeply in men. Whether it is the loss of a person, a thing, or a place–either permanently or for a time, tears may need to be shed. The more dearly and more closely held to our heart, the greater the need for tears. This is true for men as well as for women.

I believe this message allowing tears to be shed at times can be conveyed through learning, in books, the media, social studies, and via other means. It can begin during early childhood and progress into adulthood. In this way, we can give each other–both male and female–permission to release the pain through tears. It is when this is not allowed, the grief of tears becomes a negative concept–so we learn to “suck it up, be an adult.”

The grief of unshed tears can be far more damaging to our psyche than tears of grief ever could be. Tears held in and never released may sometimes be seen as anger toward self or others, negative views of self and/or others, or in other ways too difficult to explain or discuss in a brief manner. It can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and require the need for extensive processing to facilitate the healing of release. Whatever the setting, eventually those tears of grief must be shed or the grief of tears begins to become the norm.

If we think we cannot release our grief–that it must be held in until it is gone–we will never allow ourselves to properly grieve. It will not go away if we hold it in. So, if we can ever truly overcome our grief, the freedom and permission to cry will be a part of the path we take to the ultimate, healthy acceptance we desire to achieve. Healthy acceptance will never mean we do not miss the object of our loss. It means we accept the loss and its importance in our lives; we give ourselves permission to grieve for that loss when the need arises. This allows us to move past the grief and back into productivity.

I know, we don’t typically think of our familial and friendship relationships as an area of productivity, but a lack of productivity in these areas means those relationships die. Thus, a lack of interaction with family and friends–when it is within our ability–signals the probability of a loss that has not yet been resolved within. An unwillingness to interact signals that irreparable damage has been allowed to develop at some point in time. If not addressed and worked through (processed)–with or without the other person–healthy relationships are not likely to occur in the future because there will be a lack of trust. This lack of trust will impede the closeness of all relationships.

So, when loss occurs, give yourself permission to cleanse the unhealthy pain by allowing the tears to wash it away. Holding that pain in will cause its own grief–separate and apart from the loss. Big girls and boys do cry sometimes. These tears allow us to go on meeting other responsibilities so long as they do not dominate our life. Don’t allow your tears of grief to become the grief of tears not released.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth & D. Kessler. (2014). On Grief & Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss. Scribner. New York.

Kirby, Stephanie. Med. Rev. by Santa, Melinda. (17 September 2020). “The 7 Stages of Grief and How They Affect You.” betterhelp at betterhelp.com. Mountain View, California: betterhelp.com. (28 November 2020). https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/grief/the-7-stages-of-grief-and-how-they-affect-you/?utm_source=AdWords&utm_medium=Search_PPC_c&utm_term=_b&utm_content=80082676786&network=g&placement=&target=&matchtype=b&utm_campaign=6459244691&ad_type=text&adposition=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwqrb7BRDlARIsACwGad7NNf5XmV3-_em0YWLV2asKoQx8ZSJ4JJZ5K4bxBrDIFplE2zwlaWoaArSQEALw_wcBl.

Eds. Web MD. Reviewed By: Goldberg, Joseph, MD. (13 April 2018). Grief and Depression. WebMD at webmd.com. (28 November 2020). https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-grief#3.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by pen_ash at pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Living in Today

a devotional

~~ by tkbrown ~~

Scripture Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

~~~~~~~~~~

Matthew 6:34 — “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

So often we hear someone refer to tomorrow and what it may bring, or another may rue something that happened a year ago. Do we not realize that when we are worried and fretting about what has already passed or what will happen in the future, we are forgetting–even neglecting–what is happening right now?

For those familiar with the 12-Step Program, the phrase, “One Day at a Time,” is heard often. It is a reminder to quit worrying about what is over and cannot be changed or what has not even arrived yet. It is a reminder to focus on “today” and the events occurring “right now.”

Some, who prefer a more crass reference to the thought might say:

“If ye have one foot in yesterday and ye other in tomorrow, ye are a-peeing all over today.”

Michael J Fox

When you think about it–crass or not–there is much truth in this saying. We simply cannot address, enjoy the events of, or resolve the problems of today, if we are rolling around on the ground wailing about yesterday or tomorrow. “. . . Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present,” Alice Morse Earle.

“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

Alice Morse Earle — as per Travis Dultz (below).

So, in this light, I would like to bring our attention to the woes presented in the media today. Each–and every–day, the media complains about what one politician or the other has been doing or saying. If not about what has been done or said, then about what will be done or said. We cannot do anything about the many speculations and even falsehoods found in modern media, but we can change our response to it. While it may be important to be aware of what is being touted as real in the media, it is also important to realize most of it has either already happened or is yet to occur–if it does present itself. So, worrying and fretting about what the media says does no one any good.

  • It can raise your blood pressure. — Not good for you!
  • It can cause a heart attack or stroke. — Not good for you!
  • It can drive you to drinking or doing drugs, if you are so prone. — Not good for you!
  • It can make you depressed. — Not good for you!
  • It can lead you into actions you might never consider if you had not read it or heard it on the news.

So, why does the media have such power over our lives in this day? Perhaps because we have lost the ability to focus on those thoughts, events and concerns of “this day.” When we lose this perspective, today becomes “lost” in the quagmire. Are you guilty of this?

If so, I challenge you to “grab hold” of your focus and shift it back to its intended position. Practice focusing on what is happening right now. Give “it–right now” your undivided attention! You cannot change what happened yesterday, and you cannot do anything about what may or may not happen tomorrow. So, focus on what you can do something about–whatever is happening “right now.” Only when you regain control over your focus can you do anything about the concerns that are most important–the people, places, and things in your life right now.

Yes, sometimes it is important to remember the positive events of the past to help us through the trials and tribulations of the present, but we must limit our past focus to those memories we can utilize to improve the present.

Regarding what the media is saying in reference to this or that politician, I would refer you to the thirteenth chapter of Romans (NKJV), verses one through seven:

Romans 13:1-7
  • 1 — “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.”
  • 2 — “Therefore, whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
  • 3 — “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.”
  • 4 — “For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”
  • 5 — “Therefore, you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.”
  • 6 — “For because of this, you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.”
  • 7 — “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

As we, here in America–and in other parts of the world–adapt to new leadership styles in new governing authorities over the next months, many are predicting failure and trepidation. Others are touting the reduction of governmental authority and power. Which will it be? Only time can tell the true tale of what lies ahead. One thing is certain, living in a mode of fear and dread will only exacerbate the situation and make it worse. Therefore, I would caution against deciding now what next month, or next year, will hold. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Sometimes we make the events of our lives worse than they would normally be by worrying and creating a “Self-fulfilling Prophecy.” Sometimes we actually create the very problem we worry might occur.

“In 1948, Robert K Merton coined the term, “self-fulfilling prophecy” to describe a false definition of the situation evoking a behavior which makes the originally false conception come true. . . . “

Derek Schaedig.

It will help us to remember, God says He put the current leaders into power, and we are to be subject to them. We are not to denigrate and denounce the powers that be. We are not to oppose the powers that be. That does not say we cannot work for change, but if we do, we must do it in a respectful manner toward the present powers that be–because those powers are ordained of God.

Hopefully, the thoughts presented in today’s devotional will help with some problem you are facing today. If it does, please let me know that in the comments section below. Just a general summary statement is good–do not feel you are being asked to give personal details. This might make you uncomfortable, and I would never intentionally do that. If you like what has been presented here, click the “Like” button and share it forward. Thank You Much!

I pray that we might always be reminded to keep life as simple as possible by focusing on the “right here, right now” instead of allowing the past or the future to complicate things. May we always look to God, His Son, and His Word for guidance in coping with concerns of this day! Blessings!

~~~~~~~~~~

Sources:

Dultz. Travis. (27 August 2015). “Who said ‘Yesterday is history tomorrow is a mystery today is a gift?'” Yesterday Tomorrow Today Phrase Origin. yesterdaytomorrowtodaypresent.blogspot.com. (15 November 2020). http://yesterdaytomorrowtodaypresent.blogspot.com/2015/08/yesterday-tomorrow-and-today-phrase.html.

Schaedig, Derek. (24 August 2020). “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and The Pygmalion Effect. Simply Psychology. simplypsychology.org. (15 November 2020). https://www.simplypsychology.org/self-fulfilling-prophecy.html#:~text=A%20self%2Dfulfilling%20prophecy%20is,ways%20which%20confirm%20the%20expectations.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: from Public Domain Images @ pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

My Morning Do . . . 17 September 2020

The Supernova

~~ by tkbrown
The path to somewhere comes out of nowhere,
curves out of sight up beyond yonder bend.
Perchance twill meet a worthy source out there
with whom to ponder just how we got here
and destination just out past Land's End.

Perhaps there will be a quaint launching pad
from whence to be flung past each orbital
rung, far outpacing mechanical cad
where stars procreate amongst ironclad
components of every known mineral.

Out where the white dwarf stars dance side by side
until one pulls too hard, with a great 'kaboom'--
a new supernova's elemental glide
casts heavy metals in universe-wide
spectacular view--chemical mushroom.

This luminous dispersal from the core
of a massive star in nuclear fusion
or gravitational combustion for
white dwarf collapse with outside forces more
than internal mass--remnant explosion.

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Alex K 83 @pixabay.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Just a Note: by tkbrown

The cosmos, with all its mystery, is an uncharted frontier yet to be explored. Will man ever truly know all that makes these uncharted spaces, or will it be like studies of the human brain in which we have found: “The more we know–the more we know we don’t know.”

~~~~~~~~~~

My Morning Do . . . “Grief”

~~ by tkbrown

16 September 2020 — The world’s anticipation of the year 2020 was something of a phenomenon. The 1920s were known as “The Roaring Twenties.” Perhaps we were wondering if the 2020s would be remembered in similar fashion. As the year began, we were looking at a world where economic recovery seemed to take hold, then it began to grow. Hopping a flight to the other side of the world was as commonplace as a trip to the next state was in the Twentieth Century. The concept of the end of the year being less was not one the world could grasp. There was no anticipation for the grief that lay ahead.

Today, six months into the coronavirus pandemic, the United States is groaning with grief. The country is coping with grief from losses no one could have dreamed of as the New Year took hold nine months ago. Now there is loss of loved ones, loss of work, loss of family gatherings, loss of in person worship services, loss of businesses, loss of seeing school friends, . . . the loss of life as we knew it. The United states is not alone in these losses. In many ways, the world is groaning too.

There is also anticipatory grief for the loss possibilities which lie ahead. The questions are just under the surface in most minds: “What next? Will I lose a loved one? Will I get sick and lose my life as I know it? Will I die too?” Everyone is thinking these things, but few will admit it. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, the anticipation of future loss is a grieving process in itself.

Are you grieving a loss? Are you anticipating future loss? Both forms of loss create the need to grieve, but few will acknowledge the fact. “Hold your chin up!” “You will survive!” “Suck it up and go on!” “No one wants to hear you whine!” One or more of these statements–and others–are heard by most as the struggle to get through the death and dying around us goes on. People are exhibiting every stage of the grieving process, but few feel free to let it show. Grief is discussed so very little–even though it is happening all around. Most probably do not even recognize the symptoms.

I am not going to discuss the various stages of grief in this writing, but over the next weeks I will describe the stages and some of the societal symptoms of those stages. Even the violence seen in this country, and in others, is a symptom of societal grief. I believe it is time for us to look at the multiple sources of grief around us and begin to embrace the associated needs–in society and in our own lives. It is time to truly begin the grieving process for all of the losses we are trying so hard to pretend do not matter. They do matter! Our societal ills are saying if we do not allow ourselves to admit the reality of it all, human behavior will regress even more.

Yes, we must go on, but we must also stop and take some time to grieve the loss of a close family member and of other losses. The losses in areas of daily living as we once knew it need to be waded through. It is important to remember, “We must go on!” Somehow, we must pick up the pieces and patch them back together. We must, and we will, survive! This is ‘the scraps’ life gives us sometimes. So, feel it and move on.

Have a Blessed Day!

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Dylan Nolte @Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~

Source: Kubler-Ross, M.D. and D Kessler. (August 2014). “On grief & grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss.” Scribner. New York. (16 September 2020).

My Morning Do . . . “Logical Reasoning”

~~ by tkbrown

15 September 2020 — While social distancing, by design, necessitates families spending more time together, time spent playing board games and other games strengthen a number of skills needed throughout life. Card games, checkers, Monopoly, Dominoes, Scrabble, and myriad others available for purchase online and in stores require players to look, listen communicate, and act. Decision making plays a large role in winning and losing.

In order to win at a game and in life, rules must be followed. It is necessary to pay attention to what is being done by all players. Math skills are needed in Dominoes, cards, Monopoly, Yahtzee, and others. Thus, when daily chores are completed, sit down together and play games. Communication skills improve because individuals discuss more when sitting together than when each is off doing his or her own thing.

It is imperative to be able to go out and function solo, but success also requires the ability to interact with others in a productive manner. Family mealtimes is an ideal time to increase discussion about the day’s events and any lingering concerns. Even when not spending so much time together, it is important to try and have one meal each day together. Sometimes this may require getting up a bit earlier, making breakfast for everyone so this can occur with all family members sitting around a table or in the same room eating and talking with no distractions.

When the pandemic is over, it will be important to continue these activities with family. Thus, you will be able to influence patterns of behavior with regard to decision making, problem resolution, communication skills, working–and playing–together. Television time and individual computer time can be adjusted to make time for these activities thereby teaching time management. All activities taken together as a family improve abilities to function in activities away from family. So, do not just work together at home, play together too!

Have a Blessed Day!

~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Above: by Tai’s Captures @Unsplash.com.

~~~~~~~~~~