Posted by: Kimberly | Tue Nov 15, 2016

The Storm

When you’re trying to be the calm in the storm, when it’s raging around you, keep your focus on the calm, not the storm. When it seems all around you will not keep silence and are focusing on the storm raging, can you keep your focus on the calm, or do you react to their constant noise? Do you engage in peace or do you get distracted by the turmoil surrounding you? I’ve done both, I admit. That is when I become Peter. I want to take that step out on the water. I want to head toward what I know is the only peace that will calm.

wm 804 clouds still low ED

I step out and start walking, but then I hear the clap of thunder or see the bolt of lightning in my peripheral vision – at first I ignore it. I might notice the wave swell next to me and how close it is… then my mind starts to drift and my focus falters. All of a sudden, my eyes are not on the peace, but on the turmoil and I start slipping. The waters start to envelop me and I start sinking; I’m no longer walking on the water, but I’m submerging. No…! I’m going under… my head bobbles above and below the surface, I can’t see… Panic sets in. I can feel and taste the salty water in my mouth and I start to sputter and spit, my arms are flailing, and I realize… I’m drowning!! Where did I go wrong? What was I doing? I was in a storm… a million thoughts flash through my mind as I try to recall my surroundings and how I got here. How do I get out of this? Why am I drowning? Why is this storm killing me?! Why isn’t anyone helping me?!! Then I cry out, ‘Lord! Please help! Rescue me!! Get me out of here! Please! Save me!” Instantly, He reaches out and pulls me up out of the storm’s surge and I’m in the arms of my loving Savior. Relief! As I start to regain my senses and try to piece together what just happened, I ask him… “Lord, how did I get here?” He lovingly answers, “You were distracted by your surroundings and you took your eyes off me.”

That is the answer isn’t it? We get distracted by the things of life that trouble us, and we take our eyes off Jesus, who has the ability to save and rescue us. All the cares of this world will fade away, but He will always be there. What are we distracted by today? Where is our focus? Is it on the turmoil or is it on the answer? The peace.

Psalm 107:27-30 They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. “LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!

Posted by: Kimberly | Mon Oct 17, 2016

Have a Good One…?

‘Have a good one’ is a phrase I don’t recall growing up. Perhaps, because my mother was a stickler for using proper English and not using any slang. By slang, I also refer to idioms and cliches, which were taboo in our house. My mother welcomed them by other people, but we were not allowed to use them. She wasn’t hateful to us about it either, she would carefully guide us to choose our words appropriately. Most people never knew that about her, because she was such a welcoming person! She accepted people and loved linguistics, especially hearing different accents and dialects. She reminded me a bit of Professor Higgins with a warm heart, not a taskmaster at all. In a social setting, she would be Mary, not Martha, sitting at the feet of her guests, taking in every word, enraptured by what they had to share. I find myself betwixt and between — oops — sorry Mom! But I have to be a bit of both, making sure the kitchen is in order and listening to my guests. I’ve learned through the years to prepare beforehand and do my Martha before my company, so I can be more like Mary. This way, hopefully, my guests can ‘have a good one!’

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This phrase has confused me since I moved to the southeast, because I don’t recall hearing it in my hometown or in my many years later in the Midwest. However, when I posed the question, in social media on the usage of the phrase, many from my generation and birthplace say they use it now. As I hear it more and more, I answer the way my mother taught me, with a polite, “Have a good day!” or another phrase that makes more sense to me. I honestly don’t know what “good one” they’re wishing upon me! I have a little self-satisfied quiet chuckle afterwards that nobody else can hear. 

I’ve even heard it in local broadcasts and decided to do some research on the phrase and I found the most information at a site I’ll quote below: 

This is, as you noted, a very American idiomatic phrase which apparently dates from the 1970s. One dictionary includes the phrase in its definition of good, but notes it is American English. An idiom dictionary further refers to the phrase as a cliche. Interestingly, the only idiomatic definition they give is from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.

One should be cautious when using this phrase, however. A blog found that the British explanation of the origins of the phrase were: ‘Have a nice day’ Meaning: A salutation, ostensibly to offer good wishes.

In fact a banal and insincere form of words given to anyone and everyone. Evidence of the meaninglessness of the sentiment is the fact that it is even used last thing at night when the opportunity to have a nice day has all but disappeared. Origin: US origin – around 1970s.

The blogger notes that British people may construe this parting phrase as highly sarcastic, so it may be best to keep its use to the American English arena.” -simchona

Having grown up with that phrase in Colorado, I know how it was used there: In the context of having a good run (down the ski slope). For a long time, it seemed unique to Colorado. Although I lived elsewhere, I would only hear it used (with pleasure) when I returned to visit Colorado, although even there it was being used more and more often outside of the original common usage. I read online it comes from military history relating to paratroopers heading out of the plane and that having a good “one” meant landing. 

It’s not appropriate, in my opinion, to use the idiom related to everyday affairs such as leaving the grocery check-out counter, which makes it equivalent to “have a nice day.” It belongs to special events: a ski run, a landing, a race, a game, a date, etc., where the “one” is specific. –Lisa

In 1962 I & my wife took over a leather shop arts & craft gallery in the Topanga Shopping Center, Topanga Canyon in southern California just north of LA. The shop had been started by Peter Presnell in 1958. I’m sure many will remember the name of the shop “Christoons”. While on a trip Big Sur, Peter asked me if I & Leslie would like to take over the Christoons, that he was tired of dealing with it, and wanted to move on to something new. Leslie and I felt honored and accepted [sic] the offer. 

I used the shop as a studio to build and showcase my & Peter’s handmade luggage. Leslie, my wife, made leather clothing. Many craft-persons sold the work through the gallery as well. 

I work there seven days a week. I had a house on the beach in Point Doom. Where were friends and many actors who hung out there during the course of the day & night, The shopping Center was also a hangout for the hippies, artists, actors, musicians, craft-persons, and travelers of the hippy set. It was at the time the crossroads of the Hippy moment in southern California. 

The term “have a good day” was the phrase of the times. Everyone used it, I had to hear it so many times during the course of the day that I nearly went mad with the boredom of the phrase. So, after a while I started to return “Have a good day” with “Have A Good One” meaning have a good whatever got you off. Now I hear it everywhere I go, from every lifestyle of people. 

…. and so for those who never past through Topanga canyon during the 60’s, that’s the real story. Have A Good One.” –Don Puckett

The Grammarphobia Blog says: The earliest appearance is from the headline of an article about Washington’s Birthday in the Feb. 10, 1981, issue of the Spokane (Wash.) Daily Chronicle: “Whatever, George, / Have a good one!”

The Saturday Review discusses its rising popularity (probably 1982): As I said, Have a nice day seems to be dying out, at least around here. What we hear increasingly often is “Have a good one,“ spoken usually by young men. “Have a good one” is flip, cool, and cryptic. “Have a nice day,” wishy-washy or not, was specific by comparison. — Hugo

I found all of these entries interesting. Even the man who claims to have started the phrase, because we know every phrase originated somewhere. I realized why I didn’t hear it, because it became popular at the time when I was growing up and wasn’t widely used or popular. I also blame media and those who use it in their send offs now for the current popularity and common usage. Please, have a nice day and feel a bit more enlightened when you hear or use the phrase, ‘have a good one’ next time! 

Reference: english.stackexchange.com 

Posted by: Kimberly | Wed Jul 20, 2016

Dousing the Fires that Destroy

We would be in a better frame of mind to remember when someone sets out to attempt to destroy us or assassinate our character because of envy, jealousy, or “perceived” offense, that it is our opportunity to shine. We are the only ones who can actually destroy ourselves by our re-Action to their tactics. They are exposing themselves and their own vulnerability and character by their attacks. They will eventually cause others to look at them more carefully and see their faults, if we keep a positive outlook, by focusing on who Jesus says we are and not others.

Unfortunately, some live a life of attempting to attack those around them who don’t cater to their every whim. We must allow them to self-destruct, however painful it might be. Jealousy, envy, and name-calling are at the root of a very bitter person. These behaviors are antithetical to a life led by the Holy Spirit. When a life is led by Jesus, it is full of the fruits of the Spirit; which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gossip is the opposite of these and one of the most insidious, because it entraps people and entices people to participate.  There are different forms of gossip also, as explained here: Proverbs 6:16-19 The definition of gossip is idle talk or rumors about the personal affairs of others; hearsay, scandal, and usually gossip isn’t a firsthand account, although there are those who gather evidence to use against you, posing as friends. Psalm 41:6 Many will try to disguise gossip and think it’s innocent to tell of another’s ‘troubles’ in a caring manner, but it isn’t and some don’t stop at caring; they do it out of vindictiveness. Gossip is a wildfire that must be put out – Don’t give an ear to its licking flames, don’t listen! Stop those who want to tell you the latest about others. When we shut our ears; by not listening; we are stopping those who want to share a ‘Bless their heart’ story. We are throwing water on the flames. If all of us did this, there wouldn’t even be a cinder left to ignite the flames.

I am reminded of an incident when I was a child about nine years of age. I grew up on my grandparents’ 80 acre pecan farm, with plenty of room to roam, and I loved it. One crisp, clear, cool fall afternoon, I piled up leaves about 30 feet from the back of our house to make a fort, which I was able to stack a couple of feet high. It was high enough that I could hide behind the walls if I scrunched down. I had plenty of material of twigs and dead leaves. The leaves were damp, so they stacked well. I had an active imagination and I was the youngest of three, much younger than my two older brothers, who usually couldn’t be bothered with a little sister. This allowed me to make up stories and play alone. But after I built the fort, sitting there became a bit boring and I wanted more excitement! I started to pretend an enemy had crossed the moat (our ditch) and set my fort on fire! But even then it wasn’t enough; I wanted to make it realistic. I knew we had matches in the house, because we had a gas range, which my mother needed the matches to light. Although I was forbidden to play with matches, I snuck in the back door, through our utility room, which led to the kitchen and waited patiently for my opportunity. I snatched a few from the box while my mother wasn’t looking. I ran back out and lit one on our concrete cellar and tried to catch my ‘fort’ on fire, but it wouldn’t spark right away, so I kept trying. I was on my last match when my father stuck his head out the back door to tell me dinner was ready. Knowing I shouldn’t be playing with matches, I dropped the match and ran for the house, forgetting the match was lit.
lit match
About 15 minutes into dinner, my father said, “I smell smoke! I wonder who’s burning today?” as he looked at my mother, he asked if any of the other farms had gathered their brushfires yet, and she replied that she didn’t know. Our closest neighbor was a quarter mile away. Suddenly it dawned on me how I’d dropped the match, so I jumped up and peeked through the dining room drapes to look. Just as I was about to be scolded for getting up from the table, I yelled, in a panic stricken voice, “My fort’s on fire!!” and pulled open the drapes. Everyone jumped up from the table to see, and my father barked out orders on what to do to put out the fire. We had to keep from burning all the leaves on the 80 acres, and I stood frozen there staring, then burst into tears. The fire was spreading quickly, even though the leaves were wet. I wasn’t thinking about the farm, I was thinking about all the work I’d done in building that fort for hours. Finally, I went outside and watched — the hose from the front yard was now hooked up to the back spigot, and my fort was almost gone, as I stood watching in horror! Then, I realized I had started this pandemonium with one small careless match. I snapped out of my remorse as I heard my father yelling about the pecan orchard, because I helped my grandfather on the farm all the time and realized the bigger picture. It wasn’t about a fort, it was about an orchard! I pitched in and all five of us worked with water and gunny sacks to put out the fire. Obviously, I was in trouble with my parents for playing with matches and starting a fire, but thankfully, it had only spread about an acre. About the time we had it almost out, my grandparents drove up to see why smoke was coming from our house, because from their vantage point it looked like our house was on fire. I don’t remember what my punishment was, because I was in so much remorse with what could have happened that my parents must have decided I had learned my lesson. But they weren’t easy on chastisement, so I must have had to do or go without something. 

I can think of so many parallels between gossip, responsibility, and carelessness from this story. I had to sneak into the house to get the matches. I was doing something that I knew I wasn’t supposed to do, but I went ahead, and when I got caught, I didn’t confess, I dropped the tiny lit fire. In starting the fire, I could have destroyed a whole orchard, think how many lives are destroyed by gossip. Also, when the fire caused the smoke, it caused panic and alarm, even bringing my grandparents hightailing through the farm to come to our aid. But some people don’t think of all the consequences of their actions. If I had thought about that lit match, I don’t I would have dropped it, but maybe I would so I wouldn’t get caught. Do you know people who even in the midst of telling gossip in front of the person they’re talking about, will quickly tell the story quietly? Gossip doesn’t stop with telling stories, relating facts, because sometimes the facts you know shouldn’t be shared and become misconstrued. If you ever played the game “Rumors” as a child, where you whisper a sentence in the ear of the person next to you and then it’s repeated and whispered through the ears of even just ten people, by that time it’s a completely different sentence. With gossip, the story is usually embellished, and every person has to add his or her own perception, that’s when the fire starts. Once the fire starts, it’s hard to put out, even if there are wet leaves (those who won’t listen) because there are a few dry leaves (those who will listen), so eventually you get a spark and then a smolder. Sometimes it takes a while for the smolder to linger, before the fire rages, like my fort fire. Then there’s damage and everyone comes running to put out what just one person started by being disobedient. This is why we must control our mouths and control our perceptions, we should never make presumptions or speculate. We cannot read other people’s minds or feel their feelings, those are theirs alone. It is best to contain a fire, by never allowing it to ignite. We should mind our own business and contain the fires. We should stop the fires that others want to start. 

People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,  saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,” Are worse than careless campers who walk away from smoldering campfires. When you run out of wood, the fire goes out;  when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down. – Proverbs 26:18-20

A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell. – James 3:5-6

 

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