I love looking at this picture of you and your dad working to haul wood into your house to burn this winter when it gets cold. I've watched you and your dad closely for a long time, from a couple of hours after you were born to now and I can say one thing with certainty.
Do you or somebody in your family take eyedrops everyday for glaucoma, a disease where high eye pressure can lead to blindness?
Right now, I have three different drops that I take everyday to maintain a healthy eye pressure. My visual future depends on me taking these medications. This means that over the years I have had to learn how to instill the drops in a way that ensures their effectiveness.
It's easy to squeeze the eyedrop bottle and have them hit an eyelid or some other area where their effectiveness is diminished or lost completely. My ophthalmologhist who diagnosed me never showed me how to do it. I was handed the prescriptions and told to start using them.
That changed with a glaucoma specialist I started seeing this spring who at the first exam had me watch this video showing an easy method for doing this and for making sure that you hit the target.
I invite those who take these types of meds to watch this.
How will the death of the Lansing State Journal affect daily life in Michigan's Capital city?
Read this story from the Lansing City Pulse's website and you see that our city's daily paper continues a death dive that it doesn't seem able to recover from. Meanwhile, the citizens in mid-Michigan don't have an independent set of eyes and ears to keep public officials and public bodies accountable.
What are the long-range consequences?
Have you ever heard God's voice talking to you?
How closely did you have to listen?
I'm listening for his voice as I get ready for another birthday. As a member of the first class of baby-boomers, I turn 67 years-old in a couple of weeks. As I move into this next chapter of my life, I want to make sure that I'm listening for his guidance on the rest of my life. Am I doing what he wants me to do?
As a retiree, it's easy to get distracted by a lot of interesting stuff, a lot that can be described as good. But, am I following Jesus and what he wants me to do?
My church--Ada Bible Church--emails everyday a short Bible study to extend personal thinking and talk about the previous Sunday's sermon. Today, it said:
Think of your life. Are you really interested in following Jesus? Have you held anything back from him? If you have, how well are you really following him?
Remember, following Jesus doesn't necessarily involve earthly riches or self-advancement--it may lead to suffering. We're called to place our whole lives at Christ's disposal.
My son Justin and I were sitting in our rented car parked at the Thomas Mack Center at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas eating lunch. On the way to the car, he bought a Third Day CD which we then listened to as we ate a sandwich with a view of the Luxor Hotel in front of us.
That's where I heard Mac Powell sing two songs that stuck with the recesses of my memory, "Cry out to Jesus" and "The Creed."
In an email that our church--Ada Bible Church-- sent out this morning as part of their Beyond the Weekend effort, pointed to the Cry Out to Jesus song. I clicked on the link.
I know that parts of daily life can quickly turn to mush and there seems to be no place to go. This morning's email said:
Our "cross" may involve the burden of rejection, temptation, loss, and possibly even death. Nevertheless, we can find inspiration and strength as we "fix our eyes on Jesus" (v. 2)--remembering his suffering, his faithfulness, and his promise to be with us.
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash from Grand Rapids has been a leader in the Congress on the issue of the federal government spying on ordinary, everday citizens. He says they are also reading the e-mails of everybody in this country.
Here's an idea: Why not just add the feds to my cc: list so my emails go directly to them? Why not?
It's time to let the U.S. Congress know that it has gone too far. Our federal spy network needs to rein it in. At one time, privacy was a commonly-held value that was guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
Here's what Amash said today in a Tweet:
Gov't getting *content* of Americans' e-mails w/o warrant if 6+ months old. Anonymous R Senator holding up bill to stop unconstit'l policy.— Justin Amash (@repjustinamash) August 6, 2013
These voices get louder when I get up in the middle of the night to pee and I find myself wide-awake. Everything seems to be fair game when I'm sitting in the darkness in our living room. My thoughts go down a freeway where I can stop off just about anyplace in my past. I find myself wishing I could have a "do-over" on lots of stuff.
Another voice competes for attention and I hear Matt Redman singing his song 10,000 Reasons. It's his ode to how many reasons he has to praise God. He throws out the figurative number of 10,000.
Then I start itemizing in my head a list of reasons to praise God. These are things specific to me and they can be big or small. But, they touched me in some way. I usually get tired by the time I get to number 50 on my list.
I keep asking myself, could I list 10,000 Reasons? How many more than 10,000 could I list?
On the top tier of my list, I'd have to list my mother who died many years ago, but had a birthday on July 29. Her name was Frieda. She was a single-mom who took on the impossible job of raising a child by herself in the forties. My mom reflected the love that she received from Jesus. I got my start from her. Life could be bumpy, but she never gave up.
She was an example for me, for my kids, my grandkids and for everybody else.
It was God who lined the two of us up together. I continue to learn from her example. She wasn't perfect, but she knew where her strength came from.
She paid it forward. I hope I can do the same with the rest of my life.