Thursday, March 26, 2015


It is getting close to Easter and there are many profound character, twists, and turns to that story. The one that often comes to my mind is where Pilate and Jesus meet. Philosophical banter ended with the most intriguing question. Pilate asks Jesus, "What is truth?"

I guess I've become the cynical type. I find truth elusive. I double check and triple check the sources on everything I see on the news and read, especially on-line.

It is a common thing to twist the truth. A public figure can answer questions about dog breeding and the newspaper headline will read "Mayor Discusses His Pregnant Bitches."
A half-truth is the same thing as a full lie.

Fanatics with a cause often misquote their enemies or quote them out of context. They will dig up something an individual said or did 20 years ago when the person was of a different mindset from the person they are in the present. 

There are those who believe that a lie that furthers a good cause is fair game. Propaganda is what it was called during the Cold War times. It was said that "If you tell a lie long enough, the general population will accept it as the truth."

Truth is not a relative term. There are not a multitude of truths. There is only one truth. 

Don't be deceived.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I've been thinking a lot about challenging myself, lately. Occasionally, I get the courage to do something new, different. The past couple of days I've been doing things that are a break to my normal routine or pattern, doing things that might not work out the way I like. 

I started out yesterday by scheduling an appointment to do my taxes. Tax time is a gut wrenching experience for me. I never understand how one year I can get a refund and the next have to pay in taxes. It's like spinning a wheel in Vegas. Some years I win and some years I lose. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the experience.

This year I got a refund. Whew. I survived the ordeal.

That gave me enough courage to move onto another challenge, a haircut. I wanted to go really short, experiment with several styles before my son, Adam's wedding. It was a little scary to watch the hair dresser chopping so close to my scalp, but I encouraged him to "Go short." I like my new cut because it is different. I won't get the same cut next time, but the experience turned out well and the cut is nice. I survived again.

Today I went to the YMCA for my work-out. I decided I needed a new challenge to my exercise routine. I wanted to try a vertical elliptical machine, as well as my horizontal one. Since I still have some stiffness and pain in my left leg, this is a challenge. The trainer suggested a machine (an arc elliptical) that I was able to mount and work on for a few minute. It was difficult, a challenge, but again, I survived.

I hope this will encourage you to challenge yourself and try new things. If you try, you'll accomplish more than you expect. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Character is shown when you are generous to people who may never be able to return your kindness. Character is how you treat the vulnerable. It is a mother caring for children or an adult mentoring a youth. Or maybe it is shown by Karen, the lifeguard who works at the YMCA on Saturday afternoons.

I am a member at my local YMCA and right after Christmas had some difficulty walking. I had to exercise at home before I could even return to the gym.

What I really wanted was to exercise at the YMCA pool. The warm, salty water would be soothing to my achy muscles, but more important, exercising in that water would greatly enhance my recovery. It was weeks before I was steady enough to walk down the steps of the pool to get into the water or surefooted enough to even venture into the damp, slippery pool area. I was afraid of a fall on the concrete or maybe getting a cramp while swimming. 

A wave of shame overpowered me the first time I walked into the pool area. A lifeguard, Karen, approached as I grappled with the handrail while easing into the pool. She made small talk until I was safely in the water. 

The water was liberating and I could exercise in a way I couldn't otherwise. Still, I quickly grew tired and could only swim a few laps. Karen was kind enough to give me some water weights so I could exercise my arms while wading back and forth in the deep water, getting the exercise I needed. 

When I finished, Karen met me at the steps. She allowed me the independence of walking up and to a nearby bench and we chatted. I knew she wanted to make sure I was able to walk to the dressing room, but still needed to rest.

I mentioned feeling vulnerable and embarrassed. She was so kind and encouraging that I soon felt at ease. What could have been a humiliating event was pleasant because of her kindness. Because of her, I continued to come to the pool to exercise.

If you asked her, she might say she was only doing her job. She might not think her kindness was anything out of the ordinary. Good people are like that.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


Those who follow my current blog posts know I've been doing a little rehabbing. It's going well and I am walking short distances without a cane.

Even before that, my son and I got a family membership at the local YMCA. It was convenient, only a few minutes from my home. Had I realized what a membership had to offer, I would have joined long ago.

I remember being nineteen-years-old and taking my first college physical education course. The coach talked about how the body hits its peak in your twenties and by thirty, without proper maintenance, it is on a downhill journey. 

"Hah," I thought. "Not me." 

I was sure I would be young forever--effortlessly.

Many, many years later I was discussing this matter with Dr. Scott Morris of The Church Health Center in Memphis, . He said something I never really considered. Dr. Morris said that God created our bodies for movement.

I never really thought about it like that. If God created our bodies for movement, why was I acting like a couch potato?

I have lots of excuses, some legitimate, some are not.

The bottom line is, I feel better after going to the gym. Yeah, I'm sweaty and sore and all that, but there are benefits, too. There are those endorphins running through my body, almost immediately making me feel more happy. I sleep better at night and feel more rested the next day. Of course, there are the health benefits, a stronger body, stamina, range of motion, and if one's lucky, you'll lose a pound or two.

I have more to say about exercise and the YMCA, but that's all for today.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


 I want to share this story because I have heard it myself several times this week. When I hear a story repeatedly, I get to thinking that God might be trying to tell me something.

The story begins with Jesus teaching a crowd along the river, in Galilee. The crowd pressed so close that Peter, a fisherman, allows his boat to be used by Jesus. Jesus climbs in and continues to teach.

Perhaps as a way of thanking Peter, when he gets out of the boat, Jesus instructs his friend to cast his nets into the water. Peter responds that it is the wrong time to catch fish, but if Jesus said to do it, he would obey. As it turned out, Peter had to call for help because the catch was so great.

Sometimes I think I'm like Peter. Jesus gives him a blessing, but he argues and says, "Thanks, but that isn't the way things work." If Peter hadn't put his net, he would have never known what he'd missed.

How many things have I missed out on because I hesitated? How many blessings have I missed because of my indecision? 

I have voices in my head, loud voices that tell me that I can't do things that others do. They tell me I'm not talented enough. I'm not athletic enough. I'm not creative enough. I don't have the right connections. I'm too old and the time for change has left me behind. 

Life doesn't have to put up roadblocks for me. I do that all by myself.

My son isn't like that. He frequently has the courage I lack. As I watch him, I think I should be braver. I need to walk out on faith more often. I need to cast my nets and stop missing out on the blessings. 

I hope you will do the same.