Appreciation depression

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We’ve all felt the cold chill of unappreciated effort. We work extremely hard and make something truly unique, useful and/or satisfying and recently there seems nary a word of thanks. Not even one word of encouragement. I’m a true believer in the power of positive words. Spoken words, like “good job” can have an overwhelming effect on people. I even venture a claim that if Christians corporately appreciated each other the general populace would round us all up to have our heads examined. Unappreciation feels like a growing trend on TV shows, schools, evaluations and especially the workplace. In order to change the world we simply need to verbally appreciate people.

Words have enormous power. This power can be either good or bad simply by the tone and choice of words we use. I daresay whole careers have been made or destroyed by our spoken words to one another.

Once there was a brilliant manager of a technical network operation center. I’ll call him Bob (not his real name). Bob had a heart for the end users in the world. He could scan a log file and catch a bad interface faster than any automated system. One day while under a very high stress outage Bob was asked a seriously silly question. Bob popped off an answer and within an hour he was no longer an employee.

Make a Difference Mondays

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I listen to  KLOVE, a radio station that has decided all mondays are now "Make a difference Monday".  Everyone is suggested to do something nice to someone else but try not to let them know who did it and  so far, it’s been a lot of fun.

A couple Mondays ago, I’m in the drivethrough buying some fast food, and I hear the next person behind me over the speaker inside. He was speaking mostly spanish, and my spanish is not good, it seemed he wanted to buy a burger. I ask the attendant what he wanted and the attendant said he wanted a couple burgers but doesn’t have enough to buy more than one and get a drink. There must have been a couple people in the car. I told the attendant to let me pay for his meal. She looked at me and asked if I knew him. I said nope, and by the way add in an extra burger… and a another medium drink. She swiped my card and I drove off. I thought to myself "I’m having way too much fun with this".

 Later the next week there was a lady in front of me in walmart. She had a basket full of groceries and a cash card which she thought had $40 on it. The cashier advised her she only had 80 cents left on the card. The lady looks scared for a second then blurted out that her friend had cash and she would be right back. Well, I really didnt have time to wait. I paid for both hers and mine. As I walked out she was running back into the store with her friend. I just about busted up laughing when she found out it was paid for. I jumped into my car before the cashier could point me out.

We don’t do this every day but just watch for the chance when we can remain anonymous. I remember hearing the stories about how people survived the depression. They shared, fed each other and sometimes just picked up a bag of groceries for a neighbor they knew was on hard times. I’m just trying to do what our parents did. It seemed to change peoples lives back then I suspect it should do the same now.

I recently bought a bag of groceries for a young family down the street. I Just left it on their doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran. The next day I saw her husband walking out of his garage start looking at all the houses nearby his house. I assume he was wondering who it was.

My hope is this. If I help someone, and that person helps someone, then in a very short time we are all helping each other and soon we can all praise God together. All due to a few items in a grocery bag. Maybe the city I live in all begin to praise God. Maybe we, as a community of humans, begin to find in our hearts a desire to direct and employ the professionals who know how to treat mental illness, so to slow down the every increasing number of homeless on our streets. Maybe then we can funnel our private efforts into churches which specialize in homelessness, or reconcilliation or new beginnings/life and ask the churches to send ministers out to the poor and the needy in our local towns. Maybe the churches, in turn, will call on city leaders to build new facilities and employ unemployed nurses and doctors to heal the homeless and the poor in our communities. Perhaps we can tell Washington’s BIG OVERLORDING GOVERNMENT to go home and fix their own crime rates in their own towns because my town has already ended the healthcare problems in Colorado.

All of this maybe from a simple bag of groceries. If you find a fresh bag of groceries on your door step, smile, because God has great plans for you! :)

Our Republic

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Our public officials have officially lost their perspective. This week we dined at a luncheon with our state representatives. At our table, we were literally rubbing shoulders with solid Democrats.  They spoke frankly about the hardships which shackle them each day. After listening intently, my wife and I made an important observation. Our government is filled from the top to the bottom with democrat controlled majorities and they all have lost the ability to represent the views of the working class. The three critical perspectives which they fail to realize revolve around their purpose, their inspiration and their responsibilities.

How did our public officials forget what their purpose is? Our representatives are supposed to represent the views of their constituents toward governmental issues. Please stop pushing personal beliefs on the people being represented.  The officials who sat at our luncheon table spoke of their frustrations with Colorado law. The law forces our state officials to add every little thing they do to the Colorado Constitution. Now at first glance this does look a bit ludicrous. In the beginning, it was easy to keep passing these laws onto the people. Now after the Colorado constitution has grown to roughly 118 pages, and by all accounts is unwieldy. Perhaps the intent t of this law was to force our government to think really hard whether they need to pass new laws onto the people because this is a very big lesson. Our government officials should take pause and consider the requirement of adding every regulation to the constitution. Maybe it was the perfect failsafe, limiting big government and also ensured a complete re-write of the state constitution every 150 years.  

The inspiration, the drive that gets people up in the morning, the drive is gone from our politicians. U.S. Senator Mark Udall recently sent out a newsletter. In this letter he states:

“Whether in Washington or on my visits home to Colorado, my top priority is doing everything I can to support job creation and strengthen our economy. In the last month, I took advantage of a recess from Congress to continue my "Colorado Work Force Tour" visiting Coloradans on the Western Slope to talk about ways to produce more jobs and invest in our economy.”     

These words were heartening. They seem to reflect what we wish our representatives to do.  Then in the very next paragraph, the heartening words froze in mid air and broke into a thousand pieces.

 “We’ve returned to work here in Congress, and this week, I co-sponsored a bill to help improve our national security at a time of two wars by repealing the outdated "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" law. Below is more information about my work to fight for you in the U.S. Senate.”

What the… this is a clear lack of inspiration and also a clear loss of connection with the people of Colorado. Coloradoans are simply asking our US government to please stop spending money the people have yet to make. The constant spending of monopoly money is devaluing our currency and building an international credit bubble that is going to force this population to experience hyperinflation. That’s not a prediction it is a promise. Only 2-3 years left at 20% monetization.

Our representative’s responsibilities are rather simple. Searching the web found this snippet:   http://www.senate.gov/general/common/generic/officer_responsiblities.htm . The whole pages is written with almost 1100 words and yet, no clear direction other than following the leader in much the same way lemmings follow each other.  A quick query out on Google revealed even less information. Therefore it’s understandable why our representatives and senators are handicapped when it comes to explaining their accomplishments. They simply do not understand what they are to do. It is NOT to rule over the public that voted them in. First learn what the state, as a corporate whole wants, then act accordingly when bills or statutes come up for a vote.  Be cognizant of the tax pain we are already in and do no harm to our future.  If an example is required, read Thomas Jefferson. A great statesman and someone both sides should listen to. In a letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816, Thomas Jefferson said:

 “I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continual freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude.”  

We can only pray, today, some person in office acquires such a strong defense of the people’s liberties. A new proposal of a responsibility might be to read every word Jefferson wrote about the government. That might actually yield a good harvest out of our local and national governments.

In conclusion it seems our governments have lost their inspiration, purpose and sense of direction. They have all the power and neither sympathy nor empathy for the people. Sadly my vote which once was partisan now has become a activist for non-partisan issues. I’m voting all the incumbents out and choosing anyone new to get in. I’m sick to death of the 40-70 year old kindergardeners I’m force to vote for each year. Tired of the arguments, the lack of important legislation, sick of a single party system that delights in reaching so deep in my pockets they actually take money I have not even earned yet.  My government has all the power and no clear direction. A solid party of democrats produces nothing. My president is a democrat the US house and senate and majority democrat, my governor and state house is solid democrat, even local government. A democrat might think this is heaven but I can say as a citizen this is far from a delight and my pockets are emptier than they have been in 50 years. I can’t wait to vote for some real change and drop everyone currently in office.  

   

 

45 How Can I

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  45

  How can I be 45?
 I was a kid just yesterday
 The sun was shining and we played
 The forest was so covered in shade
 How can I be 45?
 .
 How can I be 45
 Here lies my baseball mitt
  It’s funny how well it  fits
 The bleachers where mom used sit
 How can I be 45
 .
 How can I be 45
 Here on this earth, still, alive
 After wars and peace and a quiet life
 Even winter has lost some of its strife
 I guess technically I’m 45
 .
 I guess I’m 45
 The sun is still shining
 The girls are still shining
 My life is still shining
 I guess it’s ok to be 45

 

Agrapha

A Christmas Angel Story

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 Here is my Christmas Angel story and now is the season to tell it…

We moved from Texas to Colorado in the summer of 1978. That winter it snowed something fierce and we got stranded in our own house. Digging out five acres of driveway with a cheap snow shovel taught us to find some horsepower for big snows in the future.

A couple weeks before Christmas, we called grandpa and he said there was a nice Massey-Ferguson tractor for sale back in Texas. So my dad, mom, and I jumped in our Ford F100 pickup, rented a trailer and headed to Texas. On Christmas Eve morning we heard the news that a storm was coming. Dad, Mom, cousin, and I decided to go back early to Colorado.

It was bitter cold that day and just north of Amarillo, Texas we heard a pair of bangs and realized one tire on the trailer blew which caused the other tire on same side to blow. After discovering the trailer had no spares, we took a wheel from the good side and put in on the blown side and hobbled into the town of Dalhart, Texas. A gas station was the only thing open at 11:00pm on Christmas Eve.

The station attendant said the tires on the trailer were mobile home tires and they didn’t carry them. The hotels were all closed so we were looking at spending the night in the truck. Suddenly, a big burly guy walked out of the darkness and asked me what was wrong. I explained what happened and the big guy said, "Go get your father and let’s take a little ride."

My dad, this "guy" and I jumped into the truck leaving Mom and my cousin to guard the tractor while we drove into the darkness. We drove down miles of dirt roads and pulled into a fenced area where big truck trailers lined both sides. We drove past a lot of trailers to the far end of the lot and the guy jumped out and opened the side door to the last trailer. In the back he pulled out 4 brand new mobile home tires on the rim already aired up. He could have charged us anything that night but the price seemed like $100 for all four tires with rims. We drove back to the station to put on the new tires. Before we could thank the guy, he just disappeared into the darkness again.

We all saw him that night but he never told us his name. The gas station person didn’t know who he was and hadn’t seen him. My cousin and I figured he must have been an angel. We drove the rest of the way home arriving early on Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas,
Brian

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