Posts Tagged ‘misc’

Time Matters

May 14, 2015

The last time that I remember being bored was the winter of 1982-83 in Beirut, Lebanon.  I was serving in the Marine Corps and was a part of the multinational peacekeeping force.  A part of my duties was to stand twelve hours of guard duty every other day.  Six hours on, six hours off, repeat.  Standing guard for twelve hours on the perimeter of an airport where you normally did not see anyone was conducive to boredom.

That was a long time ago.

Now, I have far more things to do than I have time or energy to do.  Since I have so much to do I find it helpful to make a daily list.  This list is kept on my computer and updated each work day.

The first thing on my list is the Today category.  In this category I list those things that are scheduled for that day, or that really should be done that day.  The minimum goal is to have those things completed each day.

The second category is Daily.  This category lists those things that I would like to do on a daily basis.  These are good, routine things that I try to make a part of each day.  This list includes things like make list, take vitamins, read the paper, do some other reading, pick up around the house, do some weeding, and so forth.  I really want to get these things done each day, but sometimes it doesn’t happen.

The third category is Should Do.  This list contains a list of things that I should do, that are waiting to be done.  Once the first two parts of my list have been completed, if I have any time or energy left, then I turn my attention to this list.  On a good day, I will get numerous things scratched off this list.

The fourth category is Call/Contact.  I place peoples names on this part of the list that I need to call or visit.

The final category is Could Do.  This part of the list is all of those things that I would like to do if I can find the time.  Sadly, if an item is on this part of the list, it is not forgotten, but it may never get done.  It’s only real hope is that someday I may feel the desire to bump it up into the Should Do category.

The nice thing about the list is that it helps me to stay organized.  I can get the things done that I need to get done.  I can have a sense of accomplishment as things are scratched off the list.  If I am having a day that is overwhelming, or that I am just not very with it, I simply go to the next thing on the list, do it, and check it off.  My wife can provide input to help me in prioritizing my day so that important things are not left out.  It works well for me.

Some people do not like lists.  They feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume, or they feel that everything must be done.

I can assure you.  Everything on my list will not be done today…or this week….or possibly ever.

I can live with that.

It is merely a tool by which I organize my time.  So if you want me to do something, I will write it down,  get it on my list, and it will get done…eventually.

Advertisements

Why Run 24 Hours?

May 10, 2012

I am still recovering from the 24 hour run that I participated in this past weekend.  My muscles are no longer sore, but some of the blisters on my feet have healed, and some are still an issue.

Why do a 24 hour run?

It is not for health reasons.  You don’t have to run for 24 hours to experience health benefits.  Actually, there are definite health risks involved, besides blisters and sore muscles, the possibility of joint issues arising is very real.

It is not really for competition.  I know that I am not good enough to be competitive.  Although this years winner was 58, so maybe I will improve with time.

It’s not really for fun.  I do enjoy participating but it stops being much fun after about forty miles.

I do it for the personal physical and mental challenge.

It’s not really about how I do, compared with others.  It is about what I can do compared with myself.  This year I improved my distance by 13 miles.  I am already thinking about a goal for next year.  I realize that it might be a little bit crazy, but I enjoy the challenge of seeing what I can do.

I think I can do better next year.

Clearing My Mind

April 12, 2012

I am back in school as a student after a fifteen year break.  I am taking a graduate course in philosophy and the majority of the grade is based on one assignment.  I have been thinking about this paper since the beginning of the semester and have done some preparation for its’ writing.  This past Monday, I planned to spend the day at the library, meet with the instructor, and thought that I would be well underway when the day was finished.

After the day was spent as planned, I had a million, jumbled thoughts rattling around in my head.

This was not good.

Tuesday morning came, and I was still wrestling with the information that I had gleaned from the previous day.  I had thought that I knew where I was going with the paper, but now I was no longer clear about a specific direction.

Still not good.

I went for a run Tuesday morning.  I try to run three times a week, six miles each time.  I run primarily for health reasons.  There is a history of heart disease in my family, and I would like to stay healthy.  On this run, as I was bouncing along the gravel shoulder, my thoughts bounced into place.  I had an idea, then an outline, and now I feel better about what I am going to write.

That is much better.

I thank God for bringing the ideas together in my head and for the peace that came with a chosen path.   I thank God foremost, but I do believe that He used the process of running to clear my mind, and to bring some order out of chaos.  Of course, I still have to put the thoughts down on paper, but at least I have a clear idea of  what I am going to do.

Grassroots Politics

March 20, 2012

I am in my fifties.  This is the first year that I have participated in the local political caucus.  I also had the opportunity to participate in the county convention.  What this experience has shown me is that there is an avenue for the average person to be involved in politics.  If you feel strongly about issues, you can bring like-minded people with you to these events and it is possible to have an impact.  You simply need to be willing to invest some of your time, energy, and a little money and you can be a part of the democratic process.

It was also surprising to me the range of opinions that were represented.  I certainly did not agree with all of them, but I recognize that everyone has a right to their opinion, and a right to be heard.  It is my hope and prayer that, in the end, right decisions will be made for our country.  It was fun to be a part of the process.  Why did I wait so many years to get involved?

Yield!

February 28, 2012

When the light is green it is your right to drive through the intersection.

Way back in high school, I was driving home after class, when I had an interesting event.  I had stopped at a red light, a block away from my house.  When the light turned green I started to accelerate, but I noticed a truck coming out of the corner of my eye.  He wasn’t slowing down.  I stepped back on the brake and watched him sail through the intersection directly in front of me.  I can still see the look on his face as he realized, too late, that the light was red.  My friend who was riding with me, said “Wow!  I’m glad you were driving!  Greg or John would have accelerated right into the path of that truck.”

I learned an important lesson that day.  I had the right to drive through the intersection, but to avoid a collision, I needed to yield.  That lesson has served me well through decades of driving both automobiles and motorcycles.   You may have the right-of-way, but sometimes it is right to yield for the sake of safety.

Knowing when to yield is important in many other parts of life.  There are many situations where we can either stand firm, or “yield” the right of way.  This is true in family matters, work issues, neighbors, politics, and so on.  The first step is to recognize that things do not have to always go our way.  The second step is even harder.  That is being able to recognize when to stand firm, and when to yield.

Adjusting

January 31, 2012

Yesterday I ran three miles. .. I was supposed to run six.

When I was considering going back to school Gloria asked me what I would be giving up.  My initial reply was “Sleep”.  However, that was meant to be a joke.  Since my heart issues of over a year ago, I have been more conscious of my need to rest, and not to overdo it.

That can be challenging.

I have decided that I am going to take each day as it comes.  I will do what has to be done on that day, and then I will try to work in as much of the things that should or could be done, for which I have the time and energy.

It means making judgement calls about what is important.  Like yesterday, it is important that I continue an exercise routine.  My health, possibly my life, does depend on it.  However, I did not have time to run the six miles, and do other things that I felt should be done.  So I compromised.  I ran three miles, and got some others tasks accomplished.

What have I given up?  Hopefully, I am giving up the idea of a rigid schedule.  Day by day, I will try to adjust as needed.

Out of the Habit

December 26, 2011

It has been a while since I was blogging with any consistency.  I used to blog four days a week.  Then it dropped to three days. Then maybe two.    Life is busy, blogging is not high on the priority list, and so now, blogging has been almost dropped.  I am out of the habit of blogging.

I wonder how many people get out of the habit of practicing Christian disciplines in the same way?  Whether we are talking about prayer, Bible reading, or church attendance:  I wonder how many people allow those practices to slowly slip out of their lives?

The difference is,  the Christian disciplines are important to our spiritual health.  If I never wrote another blog entry, it would probably not matter much in the scheme of things, but if I stopped praying, reading my Bible or attending church, my spiritual health would decline, and my relationship with God would deteriorate.

I encourage you to maintain the habit of daily prayer and Bible reading, and regularly attending church services.  Don’t let yourself get out of the habit.

Roofing

October 20, 2011

I have participated in roofing houses since I was a young teenager.  My father was gifted in many areas of home repair and did all the work on his own properties.  He also would help friends or family with projects from time to time.  I would frequently tag along.  In the early days I stayed on the ground and picked up trash or acted as a gopher…you know… go for this, or go for that.  In time I was promoted to going on the roof, passing shingles, getting nails, etc.  When I was finally trusted to nail down shingles, or cut them to size, it was big stuff.  By the time I was twenty, I was fairly accomplished, not professional, but good enough that I got job offers.

In my adult years, I have maintained my own roof and helped out others from time to time.  I have a section of roof that currently needs work, and I was going to do it last fall.

Last fall I had some heart issues.  It turns out that something triggered an electrical disruption of my heart causing symptoms similar to a heart attack.  It was scary.  Especially since my maternal uncles all had heart trouble.   I was certainly not going on the roof with heart problems.

Thank God, and modern medicine, after being carefully checked out, I was placed on some medication which allowed my heart’s rhythm to be restored.  I am no longer on medicine, nor do I have any symptoms.  I am cleared for all activity..including roofing, which is what I will be doing this Saturday.   I will probably move a little slower.  It might be a little harder than it was thirty years ago, but I think I still remember how to swing a hammer and use a knife.

A Brief Scare

September 13, 2011

We have been looking for a camper trailer for two years.  We were looking for some specific things.  We wanted a hard shell, no pop-ups.  We wanted a bathroom, a dinette and a separate bed that could be left up.  It needed to fit our budget, (which was pretty small)  be less than 3000 pounds, and not more than 30 years old.

It took two years, but we finally found one.

On the drive home, with the trailer in tow, we had a problem.  A couple of miles from home the van started to shake a little,  then there was a loud bang and the engine started making a very loud noise.  I pulled over thinking that I had blown either the engine or the transmission, the very problem we were trying to avoid by keeping the weight under 3000.

For the moment, it seemed as though our new purchase had cost us our van.  That wasn’t what we had planned, or hoped for, in our search.  Our joy was seriously dampened.

It turned out to be that a spark plug core  had blown out.  I didn’t even know such a thing could happen.  The fix was to simply replace the plug.

I thank God for watching over us, helping us find the right camper, and protecting our van.

God is good.

That Your Joy Might Be Full

September 6, 2011

Here are the main points from the sermon I preached on Sunday.  Please take the time to look up the Bible verses.

I.  God is Faithful  Lamentations 3:22-26

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him.  That means both to spend time in His presence, but also to be willing to wait for His timing.

II. That Your Joy Might Be Full  I John 1:4

The purpose of this epistle is so that his readers joy may be full.  We may identify several keys to that end.

III.  Do Not Love The World  I John 2:15-17

Sometimes Christians allow the things of this world to be more important to them than God.  That is never good.  God wants to be our first love, our first priority.  If God is reduced to second, or third place in our lives, we can expect our joy to be diminished.

IV.  Trust God  I John 4:17-18

Fear is the opposite of trust.  You cannot be both afraid and joyful.  If we trust God we have nothing to fear.  If we truly love God, we will not be afraid, either of Him, or of anything.  We will recognize that “greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world”.  (I John 4:4)

V.  Obey God  I John 5:1-5

The greatest commandment is to love God, the second is to love one another.  If our lives our filled with love, we will keep the commandments of God.  It won’t even be difficult because we are simply living out the love that is within.  A life filled with love is a life filled with joy.

Conclusion:  As Christians, if our joy has been diminished,  we should ask ourselves  three questions.  Is God first in our life?  Do we trust God fully, with all the details of our life?  Do we truly love God and is that love expressed by a life of obedience?

Is your joy full?