Sunday, May 3, 2015

In the Spring of the Year

In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants and all of the Israelites.
(2 Samuel 11:1 New Century Version)

This line always cracks me up. It’s as if baseball season just started. “Ok, all you kings, it’s war season, get out there and lead your troops”.

I was talking to someone this week about this verse. We had to ask ourselves why there was so much war in the Old Testament. Didn’t men have better things to do? Shouldn’t they stay at home and make a living, provide for their wives and children? Most of these men were probably single, but from this chapter in Samuel, we know that some of them were married.

Also, if you ever look at the numbers, thousands upon thousands of people (men, women and children) were killed in these wars. The Earth’s population couldn’t have been that great four thousand years ago. All this fighting could have wiped out the human race. And without our modern conveniences, day to day living was hard enough, but then add constantly fighting to it? How did anyone survive?

For me, it is the difference between the Old and New Testaments, the time before Jesus and the time after. Before Jesus Christ walked the Earth, life was about death. After He died for our sins, life was about life. And life should continue that way. It’s not okay to kill other people in war or for any other reason. It’s not okay to kill unborn babies. Maybe in the Old Testament, killing was okay, but today, God is the one who calls the shots on who lives and who doesn’t. And that’s all just my simple, uneducated opinion.

But there’s more. I have an assignment for you. 2 Samuel 11 not only starts with this crazy verse, it ends with one too. So if you are not familiar with this story, drag out your Bibles or go to Bible Gateway or another on-line Bible and read what David does instead of going to war. I’ll be back next week to discuss it with you. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flashback Friday with the Family - Aunt Hi

May Day! May Day! I wonder why they use that as a call for help. Isn’t it really a call to celebrate spring, to plant flowers or watch last year’s daffodils return to life, to frolic around the May Pole, to suck in the smell of damp earth. Well, that’s what I think. May is a time of year for animals to be born as well, not just cows and other barnyard animals, but apparently for us humans too. Quite a few of my relatives were born in May. Today I will pay tribute to the one born on May 22, 1920.

I don’t know if I have an older picture of Aunt Helen, my mother’s older sister, but here she is on her wedding day. It is pretty obvious that Uncle Bob’s best man was his brother, Jack. The maid of honor was Aunt Helen’s cousin Tudie. Jack and Tudie were already husband and wife, so cousins married brothers.

In May of 2000, the family had an 80th birthday party for her. Her youngest son Philip had already passed away and Dick, in the wheelchair, passed away in June 2004. Aunt Helen had not had an easy life. 

Here is Aunt Helen at a wedding in July of 2004. Isn’t she a cutie? I have had many adventures with her over the years. She had always been like a second mother to me.

I’ve written here before about the day Aunt Helen left us. I live in the faith that I will see her again someday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

WSMA Wednesday

For heaven’s sakes, here I go again! Will I ever get around to Wellness Wednesday? I really had big plans for it this week, and then I said to myself, “No, Chris, you should pay a tribute to the day job for a change.”

So here we are.

This past weekend was the annual conference of the Wisconsin Society of Medical Assistants. 200 certified medical assistants and medical assistant students from across the state attended. I have attended the annual conference every year except maybe two, since becoming a member in 1990. My little local chapter even hosted the convention in 1993.

The conference runs from the executive board meeting Thursday night through Saturday evening. As a past state president (that was in 2004), I also attended the past state presidents’ breakfast on Sunday morning.

But what of this is of any interest to you? Let me just tell you about two of the speakers.
 Dr. Don Bukstein has spoken to our group in the past. I suppose because his wife is a CMA in the society, he is a pitch-hitter. On Friday evening, after we were full of tacos and cake and the chocolate party favors, he spoke to us about happiness. What makes us happy and what we can do to make others happy. The most common denominator seemed to be showing others that you care.
 I don’t think that anyone can be happy in a bubble. Happiness comes from inside of us, but if we don’t share that happiness with others, it’s like making a death-by-chocolate dessert and then not eating any of it.

 Kiah Calmese Waker was the third speaker on Saturday morning. She was so positive and upbeat, reminding us that we are “all of that and a bag of chips with an order of fries on the side.” Ok, so maybe good nutrition wasn’t her topic, but just like with happiness, what’s on the inside that comes out is more important then what is on the outside bombarding you. 
Her opening slide sounded pretty dry. Good thing she didn’t talk about anything like that. 

Kiah was followed by guide dogs in-training. Who cannot smile when they see a sleeping puppy? 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What's your house look like?

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Psalm 27(New International Version)

This is only the first half of Psalm 27. I thought it was a bit long to share here and I stopped at this point because these verses caused me to picture the many types of dwellings that people live in. Whatever our homes look like, as believers, whether or not we live in a fortress or a tent, a sturdy house or a mud house, we are safe in God’s House. Though storms, wars, or any number of disasters may destroy our physical homes, nothing can destroy the Home we have with God. 

I honestly wasn’t thinking of this when I started writing here, but please pray for the people who have had their lives destroyed by the earthquake in Nepal. And if you are able and so called, make a donation to any number of organizations which are already sending aid. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A park, a nursing home, a day care - Streets of Hatchet Creek

It feels like a long time ago that I walked these streets. In reality it was just one week, but with the change in weather we had over the past seven days, it is hard to remember what a beautiful day last Friday was.
 I started out at Pride Park where Tyler Kahle Memorial Field is.
 Hopefully you can read about it on this picture so that I don’t have to type it up.
 Playground at Pride Park. I wish I was still a kid when I see playgrounds like this; I just want to crawl on this stuff.
 Also at Pride Park is the Andy Maas Memorial Skate Park.
 Wisconsin River beautiful as always.
 Golden Age Nursing Home.
  Tomahawk Day Care Center, celebrating week of the young child.
And here is my map, still old and dumpy. This week I walked the blue route. 
I tried adding the landmarks to the map. Kind of looks crappy, but oh, well, it is what it is.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Whitewater Wednesday

This week I was going to start Wellness Wednesdays (sometimes resorting to Fitness Fridays when I am off track), but apparently I am already off track. I just couldn’t wait any longer to share Whitewater Wednesday with you – or by the end you might call it Wacky Wednesday. (In tribute to Mercer, the loon capital, I would even say loony, but no days of the week begin with "L".)
This past Saturday, the hubby, Dino the wonder dog and I took a ride to Black River Harbor in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I have been there many times and continue to be awed by the beauty of the river and its many waterfalls. I’ve been there in different seasons, when the water was at different levels and even when it was frozen. (I will have to scan those pictures someday and share them too.)

I have never seen anyone kayaking the river before.  They look pretty peaceful going in just below Gorge Falls. We didn’t think we would see them again.

We drove down the road a few miles and found them checking out Sandstone Falls, plotting their attack.
I have videos of one who went down like he was cruising the lazy river and another of the guy mostly upside down, but he was able to right himself. I have no idea how they keep from drowning. The first time my kayak tipped my head into the river, I would suck in a lung-full of ice cold water and that would be it for me.  (Hope the video works. I am not too techy. I also got a little excited at the end and forgot to turn off the video, and I don’t know how to edit it.)

This is where the Wellness Wednesday part comes in. As crazy as these guys are, imagine how fit they must be to get out of a jam like that.

Hubby talked to two of the guys for quite a while. They only kayak this river once a year, when the water is at its highest. Otherwise they hit bottom. Three of them were planning on taking the next falls. When Hubby told me that, I freaked out. I had been to Rainbow Falls several times. It is tall and steep and scary any time of year.
We didn’t think there was any way we would catch up with them at Rainbow Falls, but we jumped in our car, headed that way, and hiked the ¾ mile trail to get there. And just in time.
See the guys little head? Some might call it an adrenalin rush. That is beyond wacky, that is insane!
He made it out (the other two changed their minds – smart men), and they continued on their way out to Lake Superior.
A beautiful day, and one where I was totally happy to stay on dry land. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Psalm 124 and the ride of a lifetime

1 What if the Lord had not been on our side?
    (Let Israel repeat this.)
2 What if the Lord had not been on our side
    when men attacked us?
3 When they were angry with us,
    they would have swallowed us alive.
4 They would have been like a flood drowning us.
    They would have poured over us like a river.
5     They would have swept us away like a mighty stream.
6 Praise the Lord. He did not let them chew us up.
7 We have escaped like a bird from the hunter’s trap.
The trap has been broken, and we have escaped.
8 Our help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124, International Children’s Bible 

My husband and I took a ride up north yesterday. We’ve always been in love with Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and have been to Black River Harbor many times. We have never seen anyone kayaking down the Black River though, at least not over the falls. This is Sandstone Falls, one of the shorter ones. All nine kayakers made it through. I don’t know if my praying was the key or not. All I know is that even though God has my back every minute of every day, you will not catch me participating in this sport.