Reflections:…………………………………Sabbath

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Reflections:…………………………………Sabbath

“………..and on the seventh day He rested.” If you could have a conversation with God would you ask Him what he meant by making this phrase one of the BIG TEN? I certainly can remember when this phrase was literally taken by my parents. Every Sunday was a day of rest. My mother would prepare the Sunday meal on Saturday to avoid cooking on this special day. All commerce stopped as stores closed. Sunday sports events were contained in the pasture next door and only with permission of your parents,–after a time of rest. The silence was golden as we took our Sunday afternoon nap. As an active person, being still can be very difficult. Try doing absolutely nothing at least for 15-20 minutes. We now know resting your body like this can be quite restorative.

Sabbaths are associated with religion, however, we have found this important concept is critical for everyone and especially for people in leadership positions including active moms and persons working in service of others. When we stop to think of all we have been through the past two years everyone’s emotional and relational well-being is at an all-time low.

So, you need to regularly unplug your brain for eight hours or more–this includes your whole self—from whatever you are doing on a regular basis, especially work. A sabbath is an effective way to do so. Here are some suggestions to help you to “be all you can be.”

Block off your calendar and don’t allow any last-minute commitments or interruptions to creep into your sabbath time.

A significant body of research suggests that even thinking about work is a stressful, anxiety-inducing activity, so stay away from your desk and devices which are likely to continually remind you about work.

During your sabbath, do things that nurture your soul. For some, you might read a book, for others, eating a good meal or being active outside might be best. Do whatever works to liven your spirit.

Practice silence. Turn off the television, radio, and podcasts. Go for a walk or a ride, or drive without listening to anything. If you are an active person, like me, this will be very difficult. At first, your mind might race with a million thoughts, but after a while, you’re likely to experience peace, clarity, and those flashes of brilliance that would otherwise be crowded out by all the noise in your life.

These suggestions may seem impossible to some of you who lead such busy lives. The importance can be measured by God making these suggestions when he said “remember the Sabbath” Rest is not a distraction from work. It is a critical part of it. When you are well rested you contribute more passion, energy, and fresh insights into your work and especially into your life.

May you be watchful of over busyness and over-commitment so that you have the capacity to listen and love the place where you are….……………………

Gary

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Reflections………………………….”Be Still”

In his book “the no complaining rule:” Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at work: Jon Gordon suggests the But–Positive Technique. It works like this. When you realize you are complaining, you add the word but and then you add a positive thought or positive action.

It was Thanksgiving and Charlie Brown was enjoying a feast with his family. Poor Snoopy wasn’t invited. Snoopy was all alone on his doghouse with dog food and a dog bone. He wasn’t a happy camper. But then he had a thought that changed everything. He thought it could be worse. I could have been born a turkey. A classic example of the But…..Positive technique.

Over the past several weeks I have found myself being somewhat cynical and critical. I have noticed my sleeping habits are noticeably different. Whether resting or awake, I feel drained. I have an unexplainable headache and my lower back is starting to get next to me. As of this writing, I read that the popularity of Putin, Russian President, has risen to 87 percent among the Russian people since his invasion of Ukraine. This completely escapes all reason. Has the world turned upside-down and everybody is right in their own eyes?

What gives? I have begun the “thought of positive action” with every negative I have placed the ‘but’ and put forth a positive action to replace the negative. I hasten to add, in many cases, this is difficult to do, however, negativism is a giant killer.

With waves crashing and thrashing over their boat’s stern, the disciples were understandably in a state of panic. Jesus? He was fast asleep.

Jesus was noted for leaving the chaos and sneaking away, He was able to welcome in the calm that surpasses understanding because of God.

“Be still.”

Two words were all it took to calm the waters. Being apart from the panic allowed Jesus time to reconnect with His Father and to push away the noise–literally and figuratively. I plan to take a similar course of action in my own life and push away for a period of time.

This week I encourage you to slip away, pray, repeat and ‘be still’. Let me know how adding these habits into your routine serves you in your daily life. I would love for you to e-mail me and share your thoughts. I am always a text away. Gary

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Reflections…………………………………….Reset

One of my favorite times of the year is when the National Collegiate Athletic Association, (NCAA), play for the National Championship. Invariably, a team will come out of “nowhere” to take on the giants who have ruled the “roost” for most of the year. However, something has happened to my favorite sports event that is internal with me, and I have to fight my heritage, ‘upbringing’ and cultural mores to overcome the negative impact.

As an avid spectator and participant in the sports world, I viewed the coaching and participation as an opportunity to teach athletes, not only the fundamentals of the game but an opportunity to present themselves in a positive light. Athletes were to be well groomed, and all players were to be dressed alike. There was no individualization in how you presented yourself, i.e., all shoes were to be the same color as was the uniform and how it was worn. Tattoos were taboo as was facial hair, and hair longer than the nape of the neck was not permitted.

I am reminded of the day Kareem Abdul Shabar returned after the Christmas break with a beard. It is noteworthy Kareem was an all-American athlete and had led UCLA to three national championships. Upon arriving for practice, Coach John Wooden approached Kareem and reminded him of the rule forbidding facial hair. Kareem, in a moment of anger, told the coach, “You can’t make me shave my beard”, whereupon Coach Wooden replied, “we are going to miss you.” A similar incident happened when Sidney Wicks returned after the holiday with an “AFRO” haircut. When the coach told him he had to get a haircut, Sidney replied “you can’t make me get a haircut.” Similar to the incident with Kareem, coach Wooden said “Sidney you are right, I cannot make you cut your hair; however, I remind you I am the one who makes out the lineup for who plays in the game”. Needless to say, Sidney got his haircut.

Coaching, teaching and other activities where adults have students, athletics and other persons in ‘their charge’ is the window to reinforce principles of discipline, group behavior and presentation of self. It is a team activity, “we all dress alike”. One person doesn’t decide to wear “leggings” or a different color shoe or a chain around the neck……It is a “Team”, not an individual sport. Presentation of self is in accordance with the team not the individual.

Not only in the sports arena have I had to reset my thoughts. The same is true in a society where the platform for ‘life’ was based upon Judeo-Christian principles. It has been the foundation of the American society. Like the basketball team with five different players who are doing their individual “thing”, our society is a similar situation. America’s greatness was based upon a shared destiny. The RESET of our society is also the destruction of our society. We are being called upon to accept WOKENESS as a peaceful protest at the expense of anarchy. We are called upon to accept individualism at the expense of ‘good of the whole’. The way we dress, the way we speak, the lack of common courtesies has become a monster in the development of a positive concept, especially for our young people, the very people who we as adults are called upon to train and teach. Our grandparents passed the baton to us. We have dropped that baton and are in need of returning to the principles upon which we were taught and produce the greatness we now share.

team

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Reflections……………………………………The death of Truth.

One day in the future, Americans will come to realize that the great denial of truth can be traced to a swimming pool just days ago. A former Penn State swimmer who, heretofore, swam on the boys’ swimming team just won the NCCA championship in women’s swimming. No, there were no unusual circumstances. Lia Thomas, biological male, decided he preferred and felt like a woman. Therefore, he announced he was a transgender female in a male body. He entered the College National swimming championships and won. Will Thomas, whose new name is Lia Thomas, is a man, confused, but nevertheless a man.

Here’s the real disillusion. If a man winning the NCCA women’s swimming championship is not enough, all this is added to crossover school restrooms with boys declaring their gender to be female and using the girl’s restroom. Furthermore, the mainstream media, cultural elites, school administrators, leaders of organized sports and a long list of self-proclaimed ‘know-it-alls” insist that I make the gender transfer and call the individual by their new ‘gender’. Heaven forbid the kindergarten teacher call a “she” “he” or “he” “she”. However, and therefore, as of today, ‘they’ demand that women who have committed their lives to women’s competitions must give way on the victory stand to a man who now declares himself to be a woman.

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn asked Ketnzi Brown Jackson, new selected candidate for the Supreme Court, “Can you define the word woman?” “I can’t”, answered Judge Jackson. “You can’t define woman” responded Congresswoman Blackburn. “No, I am not a biologist.”

Albert Mohler president of Boyce College and editor of WORLD magazine sums this situation up like this, “as Chrisitians, God requires that we see the swimmer identified as Lia Thomas as a human being made in God’s image, deserving of our concern. But the concern cannot justify a blatant attempt to undermine the order of creation. The Bible reveals that any attempt to subvert creation ends in disaster, not in human liberation.

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Good Morning: Beautiful Deer, Inspiring Quotes — gfpacificbeeintrospection

Good Morning Sunshine It is a Lovely Day….. The sun is up and the deer are grazing isn’t it amazing. Please do not disturb me I’m trying to enjoy my breakfast Hey, let’s go this way they’re watching us let’s go Wait up we’re coming But first we eat Advice from a Deer Happiness is […]

Good Morning: Beautiful Deer, Inspiring Quotes — gfpacificbeeintrospection
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Reflections…………………………..Prayer

As a young boy, church attendance was a part of life. Attendance at an Evangelical church was the only church and worship style I knew. I vividly remember the Wednesday night service or prayer meeting as it was called. Parishioners would speak their prayer requests to the general audience. Once this process concluded, large numbers of individuals would move toward the altar at the front of the church while others knelt in place at their seats. The church would become a beehive of voices lifting up prayer requests to their Heavenly Father. This would last fifteen to 30 minutes and then members began the process of returning to their seats for a closing hymn and, ‘yes’, a closing prayer. It was as a young boy of four or five years of age that I listened to these ‘prayer meetings’ praying for seven young men from my community who were in battle in the Pacific and Europe during World War II. It was this group of ‘prayer warriors’ who sang the Hallelujah chorus when all seven of these boys returned home safely after the war. This made an immeasurable impact and impression upon me. It was out of this foundation of prayer I entered college and my adult life.

While during my young adult life, I was not a prayer warrior but I never drifted away from church and attendance. I wrote myself notes, as well as notes in the margin of my Bible. Highlighting special verses and sermon notes peppered my Bible and spiral notebook that I carried to church with me. I cannot tell you who said what, only that it impressed me. An example of these notes is “Seek the favor of Him who dwells in the burning bush.” I found myself drawing parallels between Jesus’ culture and the culture I lived in. For example, Jesus hung out at wells, and wells were the natural gathering places in ancient culture. Coffeehouses are postmodern wells. The only difference is that we draw shots of espresso instead of drawing water out of a well.

I have had the privilege to be the Head, Executive Director or President of several large institutions. In all of these positions I made it a custom to begin leadership or general meetings with an invocation or prayer. In retrospect I raise the question, was this a perfunctory exercise. Was it really communing with God? Or was it a process? I often wonder what would have happened at the end of the invocation or prayer if I had announced “today we are going to continue our invocation/prayer and have a prayer meeting. I do firmly believe we need to pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on us. I learned we don’t have to be afraid of the enemy’s attacks. They are counterproductive when we counteract them with prayer. The more opposition we experience the harder we have to pray and the harder we have to pray. the more miracles God does.

As the new year begins, I am committed to seeking the ‘Favor of Him Who dwells in the Burning Bush.’ I am going to seek a favorite place to pray, a place where I can get my mind focused. I will plead Psalm 84:1, 1 “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” In today’s language my prayers will be hyperlinked to His promises and will be double-clicked by earnest prayer.

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Reflections…………………The Other Side Of the Storm

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Reflections…………………The Other Side Of the Storm

“Your shoulder is worn out and needs to be replaced”. That was the comment of an orthopedic surgeon after examining my shoulder in February. Off to surgery I go on March 9th and got a completely new shoulder replacement. With my sling around my shoulder and neck, sleeping, what little there was, in my recliner, I said to myself, “I can do this.” I was thinking, in three months I will be good as new and I can return to all my normal activities. What I did not know on the third day after the surgery, four blood clots made their way to the central part of my brain resulting in a stroke of my body and brain.

After four days of intensive care with every conceivable type of test, scan, and body movement, I now not only had this ‘sling’ around my neck, but I also had haltering speech, faulty memory, and a gait that resulted in not being able to lift my leg properly. Home I go to my recliner, how exciting can it get.

Shortly the new shoulder decided not to stay in the new ‘cup’ the surgeon had placed in my shoulder. It dislocated. OOPS! Off we go to the emergency room to have the shoulder put back in place. Not only once did the shoulder dislocate but three times resulting in two more trips to the emergency room in Nashville. The trip to the hospital was 70 miles away from our home, and my faithful wife, who doesn’t like driving in heavy traffic on the expressway, became my chauffeur. After the third trip, the surgeon decided to remove and replace the old ‘new’ shoulder with another shoulder with a larger ‘socket’. By this time I knew all the physical therapists by their first name. But keep in mind, I have a faulty memory as a result of the stroke. Therefore, I was calling Susie- Mary and Mary- Susie. I became the comedy “act” of the physical therapy department, where I went twice weekly for 9 months.

Through all of this ordeal, my three sons, their wives, and 10 grandchildren became my cheering section. Daily and weekly telephone calls and visits. My wife has truly been my helpmate, guiding me through the storm helping me with memory issues, names of people, and every conceivable thing that came my way.

Next week I will graduate from physical therapy. I am able to walk a mile independently and daily I attend morning coffee with a group of senior “guys”. I have registered for my first golf tournament in Florida with over 120 participants in February.

This ordeal has caused seeds of blessings to spring to life. What amazing overwhelming, incredible grace.

Lord, help me recognize the evidence of Your grace in my

Life. Thank you that you have never given me what I

deserve. Instead, you have showered me with your

incredible protection, kindness, and love. Even though

my body is a little guarded, and I am a wee bit warped,

help me keep marching in the sunshine so I might

produce a harvest of fruitfulness for You.

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REFLECTIONS………………………Critical Race Theory

Re-blog by request.

dgcoker

Monroe arrived around 7:30 each morning with responsibilities to the farm animals and preparation for the day. I usually arrived around 8:30 when the dew had begun to dry off the grass. My responsibility was a five-acre yard with several flower beds surrounded by trees and outdoor stone benches. The grass cutting usually took the major portion of three days. There was no riding mower or weed eater. Everything was done by hand.

Emma, Monroe’s wife, was the housekeeper for two homes owned by the McGarity’s. Emma made the world’s best lemonade and Monroe and I on more than one occasion smacked our lips and praised her for her talent. Monroe was a man of color – black and African American were not terms used during this era. I am Caucasian or white. Monroe and I worked, laughed, joked and shared life’s joys and sorrows together. To my knowledge we…

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