Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Lost Art of being Humble. Are you? Take.The.Test.

Humility. 

An elusive state of "being" that we all ruin, when we open our mouths or open our social media. 

Of late, not too many folks are discussing this. I hashtaged #humility on my twitter account and not much came up. I guess its not Cool, not Hot, not really in with the IN crowd. NO ONE is talking about it on TMZ... Being Humble is NOT trending.

oddly enough.

The last couple of months, however, this elderly baby boomer has been ruminating on the Lost Art of Humility.   

 Where did it go? 

How in the CatHair can we rediscover it?

Do we want to?

 It would seem we would rather clutch our huge Super Bowl Trophy and beat our chests in glee, or clench our fists in anger, and scream "no fair" at the top of our lungs.


For me, as I struggle with the Lost Art of Humility and what to do about my own problems in this area, I consider people I might like to emulate. People of strong character, quietly exuding strength, while simultaneously making you think of the word "humble" while watching all they do. 

When Tim and I were in Papua New Guinea an Australian fellow with another mission was a good friend of ours.  Bill Eckerman was a brilliant bible translator who on the side built guitars and violins.  One night early in our time there we were all required to sleep overnight in the bush with our families. Tim and I along with others were ill equipped to do this.  I remember Bill quietly helping all of us, at the same time building the equivalent  of a multilevel condo out of bush materials for his family.  Unassuming, kind, funny, and humble. Bill and his wife Dianne raised their kids in the bush, finished their momentous Bible translation project in record time,  and now live quietly and humbly back in their Motherland.

What about humble people in the public eye? 

For sure those are getting harder and harder to come by. A couple of people that come to mind are Robin Roberts, a hardworking broadcast journalist who seems to have beaten cancer, and Kawhi Leonard a 24 year old NBA superstar who drives a 19 year old truck and shies away from the limelight. "its paid for and it runs" He uses coupons to help pay for his favorite wings,and gives lots of cash to charity. Both of them slow to anger, positive, and HUMBLE.










The last seemingly humble person I want to highlight is Ruth Samuelson, a former politician (yes amazing) pro life and environmental activist.  She walked away from politics three years ago to work for a non profit that helped donors make charitable decisions. While she held political office in the state of North Carolina, she became known for her ability to "forge agreements between warring sides" While I did not personally know her, everyone I spoke to about her spoke of her with respect and love, both Democrat and Republican.  Ruth died earlier this week at the age of 57, after a battle with cancer. The essence of STRENGTH AND HUMILITY.  You can read about her here:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article128167464.html

And NOW: THE HUMILITY TEST!

1.Do you think and pray about how you can be humble?  What are the hands and feet that go with that?
2.Do you look for people you consider to be humble? Are they mentoring you?
3.Watch humble people, they know when to speak and when to shut up.  Do you?
4.I have not known a humble person that fights with people on social media, don't do it!
5.Be an example!  If you don't know how to do that, here is some great input for you:)

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Before a downfall the heart is haughty,
but humility comes before honor.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

Humility.

The essence of this rare trait is hard to come by. When you actually get a whiff of it you will know it, my friend, by the attitude and demeanor of the bearer. 

We are starved for it lately, in the actions of our country's leaders, the supporters who shamefully gloat, and the angry voice of the fisted opposition.

It makes me Weary.

It makes me Sad.

I pray daily that humility will come back to us, like a humble man that walked on this earth, long ago, not a political leader, but a Savior for all.








Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Evangelical" is a political term?

Thirty seven years ago last week, I knelt on the floor by myself in my one bedroom apartment in St Paul, Minnesota and committed my life to serving my Jesus.  To the best of my ability, with many fits and starts I have done just that. 

 By Webster and the Wikipedia definition of "evangelical" ...

That is who I am. 

I follow the "Good News" of scripture presented in the New Testament of the Bible, in so much as I believe Jesus, the man that came to this earth over 2000 years ago is both 100% God and 100% Man. I follow His teachings, and pattern my life after Him.  

Is "evangelical"  a political term? According to the Media, and some candidates in this year's election it most certainly is. 




All I can say to that is WHAT IN THE CAT HAIR? 

Most of you who know me know that I am not a very political person.  Whenever the polls open, I educate myself about the issues at hand and I vote.  That is my  American privilege and duty.  

BUT.....

I grieve for days past when the label of "evangelical" had more to do with a Billy Graham Crusade and less to do with the antics of a rich, crazy, narcissistic ridiculous person running for president.  

For more information about this and fake Christianity "christianism" have a look at the below blog. 

http://skyejethani.com/trump-and-the-heresy-of-christianism/

Also the above opened my eyes to why 20 and 30 somethings are rejecting the term "evangelical". They pretty much only understand it as a political term.

This makes me sad.

Thirty seven years ago when i knelt on the floor I did not sign up for this. Today, the same as then, as an evangelical I only want to love and serve my Jesus. 

Period.

What about you?


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dance Party!? YES, Please.

Recently I read Amy Poehler's new book (Amy is perky Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation on TV. ) She is pretty funny, but some of her stuff I just didn't get.  One thing she mentioned however, is way true. 

DANCE PARTY should occur regularly and often in our lives.

 
 
 
 
Not talking about "American Bandstand" (although that WAS  awesome. )  Or going out to clubs.
 
 
 
Denise's definition of "DANCE PARTY" :
 
 
A good song comes on or you put it on. You, and whoever else is there start to dance. DANCE PARTY can last 30 seconds or 3 hours. It puts a smile on your face, and gives you 3 minutes of exercise (if that is how long you dance.)  You can do it alone or in a crowd, or in your back yard.

People from one year old to 100 years young can participate.


To be honest with you, this fall, I have been feeling a little down. Then it hit me:  I haven't had DANCE PARTY in a long time.

When the kids were little we had DANCE PARTY lots, them in their walkers, me grooving to some dance aroebics. The autistic fellow I work with and I like to DANCE PARTY to the theme song from Star Wars. When we lived in Papua New Guinea, my posse and I would DANCE PARTY inside our houses for exercise.  We didn't go outside, the local folks would have thought we were nutty. When Anna  my daughter was dating Matt (her now husband) back in 2008, she was home for Christmas and she and Ruth did DANCE PARTY  by Skype with him to "I Need a Hero".    (She got one)

DANCE PARTY is awesome!

Ten Reasons for DANCE PARTY:

1.Laughing at yourself is way good.  At my age, my dancing makes everyone laugh.
2.Spontaneity is good for the soul, like chicken soup, but different...
3.You don't have to be wasted or high or loaded, you can just do it when you pop out of bed in the morning.
4.God approves.  I know He does. I might even stretch this and say we can DANCE PARTY unto the Lord....King David did:)  Wouldn't it be cool if you went to church this Sunday and your Pastor said "no sermon today, we are just gong to DANCE PARTY unto our Lord."    Yup.
5.There are some songs that just have to be DANCE PARTY songs:  try the Tanya Tucker version of "Someday My Prince will Come."
6.It will make you silly for 5 minutes.  The way the world is today, we NEED that.
7. There is no reason.  Don't overthink it just do it.


8.

9.Its good for you, body, mind AND Spirit.
10. I said to, and you all know how BOSSY I am, I insist.
 
When Amy's book reminded me of DANCE PARTY, I said to myself: Yes, Please. (that's the name of her book, too:) And I just jumped up and had DANCE PARTY to "Christmas Means to Me My Love" that is what was playing at the time. (and also a great DANCE PARTY song by the way)
 
When I go see my 2 year old grandbaby next week, I will be saying Yes, Please, to DANCE PARTY loads with her.  I already have my cassette tapes with all the kids music I used with my babies packed.  (Yes I did say cassette tapes, and a mini tape player) Emmie and I will do DANCE PARTY till we drop.
 
DANCE PARTY.
 
Do it often.
 
With your kids and your grandkids and your friends and by yourself.
 
Who can stop you?




 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Make Someone Laugh Before You Die: Top 10

Humor is a funny thing.

What is hilarious to one is not funny to others. I love the esurance commercials with the elderly gals dealing with technology in their own way.  Here is the latest one that kills me where the old chick gets the wrong idea about candy crush saga...

http://www.popisms.com/TelevisionCommercial/100929/esurance-Commercial-2014.aspx


We all know it has been proven that laughing, and having a good sense of humor helps you be healthy and live longer. #IndisputableEvidence

Right now, though, I want to zero in on something else.

I am not to concerned about you getting a good belly laugh...
In this age of entertainment, we can go on youtube or watch a clever commercial and chortle.

Nope, not that.

It is not all about YOU, and your entertainment.

What I want to zero in on is this:

When is the last time YOU helped someone else to smile, or laugh or hoot and holler?




Yesterday the world mourned the death of Joan Rivers. As a kid growing up, she, Bill Cosby, Erma Bombeck and other stellar comedians of the 20th century helped me develop my own sense of "funny". Although she was a real person with troubles, she could always make me snort and not take myself to seriously.


Comedy, though, is sometimes not a laughing matter. Successful comedians take their work seriously. Making people laugh can come naturally for some, but others must work at it.

I wonder, when is the last time YOU purposed to get a snicker out of someone? 

Ok, it is true we are not all naturally funny, but please the next time you are telling a long yawn-able story to someone, think again  about how you can keep the other person from nodding off and snoring really loud before you finish...

I am no expert, but I think if Joan were still with us she might agree with a few of my below points:

TOP 10 WAYS TO MAKE SOMEONE LAUGH BEFORE YOU DIE

1.Don't take yourself to seriously.  Yes, life is not always a bowl of cherries, but daily I see irony and humor all around me. Try being a missionary, or communicating with autistic people, or growing old.  It would not seem so, but there is humor in all of it.

2.Your Faith is a serious matter, of course. But even our God of the scripture had a sense of humor. If you don't believe me read 1st King Ch 18. It would seem Elijah, speaking for God was asking the people where their god Baal was... maybe "busy or on the toilet?" Yes, our God uses irony and humor throughout the Bible.  Thank Heaven!

3.LOOK for humor.  You will find it in the funniest places, I promise.

4.CHANGE your gloomy attitude. Take a guess why Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and the gang didn't want to hang out with Eeyore too much.... Would You?

5.Be Goofy.   Its ok even for old people to be goofy once in awhile. Next week I am going to try to talk my posse in to having a glass of wine and then going out to see Guardians of the Galaxy in 3D.  Do you think they will?

6.Make a little fun.....It's not OK to be cruel and make fun of people of course, but poking a little fun? I find myself the best target, with Justin Beiber a close second....or almost anyone in Hollywood who is a little bit of a head scratcher.

7.Be a FUN friend. Do you have a group of friends who love to watch paint dry? And then talk about how great that was? YIKES! Get new friends or revamp. Take them to a carnival or Monster Trucking.

8.Take a tip from the babies.  Remember the funny faces we make to get babies to laugh? Skyping now with my 18 month old granddaughter is so fun but a challenge to keep her interested.  Gramma has to come up with many silly songs and facial expressions and props to get her to squeal. Try that with the adults sometime.....you might get a smile, who knows?

9.Use a little imagination! One of the things that drew me to my husband of 34 years was his sense of humor.  When we were dating we used to go to the mall and he would make up stories about the people walking by. He had me close to peeing my pants on many occasions.  Ask my kids about the elaborate "neighborhood" stories he told them at bedtime when they were little.  He had them in stitches AND tears.

 A genius at work.

10. Finally, JUST DO IT. Joan is no longer with us. We need some folks to look for and point out the funny things in this life.  Let that be YOU.  Purpose in your heart to get a belly laugh out of someone once a day. Quit boring your friends and family to death.  Yes I do know that some things in life are NOT funny, but it's up to YOU to find something that IS.

If you DO need a belly laugh today look at this:

http://siegesdotorg.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/gmt-good-missionary-training/


you will laugh till you cry:)


 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Domestic Violence: A-OK if provoked?

*this blog was written with input from my 21 year old son, Evan, who knows the heart and mind of young men pretty well.  Thanks Bud! BTW- he agrees with me on this matter!


Recently in Sports news there has been a plethora of news concerning professional athletes and others having severe problems with domestic violence. This issue has far reaching moral, ethical and legal ramifications.



 Even one of our beloved Charlotte Panthers recently asserted he was "defending himself"  against his fiancĂ© who had hit him. (Really? He weighs 240 and she probably 120?) Another football player was caught on tape hitting and dragging his girlfriend from an elevator.  He was suspended for 2 games, while a different NFL player was suspended for the whole year for his marijuana offense. (I am not condoning marijuana use, just wanting the crime to fit the punishment))

A prominent ESPN analyst recently hinted on his show that in situations of provocation women have some blame in these matters. (He got suspended for a week and apologized for his comments)

You can read about that here:

https://tv.yahoo.com/news/stephen-smith-suspension-exposes-espn-bigger-problem-013417782.html

I listen to a good deal of sports talk radio, and while most of the commentators understand the gravity of these offenses, some of the men calling in are appalling. I listened to one guy say that in this world of women wanting equal rights in the workplace etc, absolutely - if a woman hits him he would hit her back. 

Can I throw up now?

CAN I SAY WHAT IN THE CATHAIR?

CAN I SAY WHAT IN THE CATHAIR IS WRONG WITH MEN NOW-A-DAYS?

Back in the "code of the West"  John Wayne days, you didn't hear about this much. (although I am sure it did happen) NEVER HIT A WOMEN WAS THE CODE

Here is a Denise true confession:

In my life as a hot headed Yeggy woman, I have provoked my husband beyond belief.  I was much younger and I am not proud of it, but I did PROVOKE. With my words and my actions. 

To his credit as a MAN

and NOT a coward or bully,

He never laid an angry hand on me. For that I thank him and my Jesus, because I was a pistol. To my shame.

In the case of these professional athletes, if they get hit by a women, I am pretty sure they will live, being 100 pounds bigger.......


A few thoughts:

1.Never hit in anger someone smaller than you.

Period. No discussion.


2.Never hit a woman. Ever. Period. No Discussion.

3.Never hit a woman. Ever. Period. No Discussion.

4.Never hit a woman. Ever. Period. No Discussion.

5.No yaaaa buts.....

6.Not ever.

7.End of Discussion.


Are you a Man or a cowardly bully?