I watched a show tonight on the often overlooked fuel of sleep. When I short myself on a proper amount of sleep I compromise my mood ( i get pouty), capabilities, productivity, clarity of thought, and in general my outlook on life becomes negative. Without good sleep any circumstance I face is met with depression, anger, impatience, with maybe more than a smidge of hopelessness. It is often easier said then done when sleep deprived is to get more sleep, but when I do those clouds of confusion and irritation part, and what once felt hopeless is now met with a more rationale and healthy vantage point leaving me scratching my head why I ever thought my situation was hopeless.
Then just as bad, no actually worse is when afflicted by spiritual deprivation where I do not take time for God declaring myself too busy. To miss out on a daily devotional time, and compromise my prayer times with God compromises my spirit and perspective on life just like operating on 4 hours of sleep while eating junk food all night. YECH! I may even confuse my days by including the good disciplines of exercise, work, play, along with the above mentioned fuel of sleep BUT IF.. I do not take time for my relationship with God I find my perspective, attitude, and joy fall short of what God intends and desires for me. In contrast, when I honor God with prayer and devotional times the clouds of doubt and loneliness part as God is now included included in my day as he should be.
So note to self: Be sure to get a proper amount of the overlooked fuel for my body of sleep, AND be sure to include the discipline and joy of a personal relationship with God.
May God bless each of you in this journey to honor Him with all your resources. Jeff
Black Friday the day for all great sales NEVER to be seen again has come and is pretty much gone. Technically Black Friday started as early as 6pm on 'Thursday' with many stores in our area opening their doors to us 'poor and needy' shoppers in search of a big screen TV, or coffee maker. LOL My wife and I have participated in past years in this shopping mayhem, but not this year. In fact it has been MANY years since I have given in to the urge to fight the lines and madness found on Black Friday. In contrast our Thanksgiving was peaceful with not even a food line to our Turkey day dinner. Thanksgiving was truly a great day in the Larson home. Good family, good laughs, and good food as we ate our fill of turkey, side dishes, and deserts. We then watched some football, played with the grandkids, colored turkeys, and took time to celebrate my mom's 86th birthday. It was a great day and I am thankful especially this year for God's protection on my life this year, and for his grace and forgiveness allowing this prodigal 57 year old son to be his child again. I am truly blessed beyond my dreams with food, water, 'toys', and shelter just like my big brown dog Baylie. I too am a blessed old dog with all that I need.
From time to time.. ok daily.. I find it important to declare the truth of what I believe beyond any circumstance in my busy busy mind that may troubling me.
What I believe should not be reduced to a cute Christian cliche.. but instead IS a rock steady truth that goes beyond the high or low found in any day. What I believe should not be reduced to a rote list of dos and don'ts. What I believe is in a personal relationship with the creator of this world.. the rest of what I believe is trivial pursuit in comparison.
So today I am re-sharing and tooning the song ‘The Creed’ written by Rich Mullins and later performed by Third Day into a cartoon vehicle for the Gospel message. Here we go… THIS IS WHAT I BELIEVE TO BE TRUE..
THE CREED.. I believe in God the Father, Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth, And in Jesus Christ His only begotten son our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate where he was crucified dead and buried.
Chorus: And I believe what I believe in is what makes me what I am. And I did not make it, no it is making me It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.
2nd Verse: I believe that He who suffered was crucified, buried and dead. He descended into Hell and on the third day He rose again. He ascended into Heaven where He sits at God's mighty right hand. I believe that He's returning to judge the quick and the dead of the sons of men.
Chorus: And I believe what I believe in is what makes me what I am. And I did not make it, no it is making me It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man. I believe it, I believe it. I believe it. I believe it, I believe it. I believe it.
3rd Verse: I believe in God the Father, Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord. I believe in the Holy Spirit, one Holy Church The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sin I believe in the resurrection I believe in a life that never ends.
There you have it. We all have to believe something, and this is what I believe. It is a powerful song based on the powerful message of the Apostle’s Creed, based on the very truth of the Gospel message. Of course cartooning the Creed (which this day forward will be known as the CREEDtoon) may make some of you cringe.. but hey.. that’s what I do.
May God bless each of you in great ways today with a faith and a creed stating your devotion to the ONE true God. .. accept no substitute!
As we prepare for Thanksgiving I recognize there are many roles (and rolls).
My wife .. plans the menu, buys the turkey and all that goes with it. She will bake the pies, the rolls, stuff the turkey, cook the bird and all the trimmings that go with making for a perfect Thanksgiving dinner. My role .. watch football, and add a new notch in my belt as to accommodate my planned dinner intake.
My wife is very good at her role and I love her for it... and .. I hope she feels the same about my participation. We are a regular walking talking Norman Rockwell painting.
Ok, I hope I am not really that big of a 'turkey' on Thanksgiving. All kidding aside I do participate in the process and preparations.. and Mary let's me carve the bird. But I only have a supporting role, but the dinner is truly Mary's creation and it is always great.
Birds & Psycho together.. There is not a meal in the calendar year that compares with the dinner spread we share on Thanksgiving. We traditioinally partake in in stuffing ourselves with turkey, stuffing, potatoes & gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, pumpkin pie, and more putting ourselves in a near triptophan coma. It is a family eating frenzy like no other day. The whole event becomes a bit surreal like a Alfred Hitchock Birds meets Psycho movie where we are all STUFFED and the BIRD of the day is carved with a BIG KNIFE by a brother in law named NORMAN. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe I am hallucinating on triptophan. but.. I DIGRESS..
Simply Amazing.. or a True Miracle? Though the amount of food I consume on Thanksgiving is amazing it cannot be not classified as a miracle, BUT then,, after the meal, after watching football in my easy chair and fitting in my traditional Thanksgiving day nap, I return to the kitchen to find LEFTOVERS! So many leftovers that I truly believe we could feed the multitude Jesus fed in the gospels with just a few loaves and fish.
How is it possible for one family to eat that much at one meal, and then fill the fridge with leftovers that last for weeks supplying us with spur of the moment turkey sandwiches, and countless Thanksgiving reprise meals. This is the MIRACLE I speak of.
Well.. maybe not a miracle but it is a really really good illusion leaving my mind and stomach full through the middle of December.
While I do admit Thanksgiving Leftovers are not a 'true' miracle I do believe God is still in the business of very real miracles. Some big, others small but I believe God answers our prayers with the heart of a loving Father. This is the true miracle that I do believe in. Answered prayer is... God's loving intervention for his children altering the outcome of their circumstances. This supernatural intervention is personal and never arbitrary.
May God bless and use each of you in ways that are beyond your dreams. I pray your Thanksgiving Day is blessed with faith, family, friends, and the subtle miracle of LEFTOVERS.
Ok, admittedly this falls short of the Holy Sacraments, but instead is a celebration of the Green Bay Packers versus Minnesota Vikings football game on Sunday, November 23, 2014.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--Packers or Vikings, slaves or free-- and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Co. 12:13 The Better Cheddar Translation
This email is again an INSTANT REPLAY of my Packer Viking toon collection. With Brett Favre now finally retired from football playing on neither the Pack or Vikes..
Let's get things started with a toon honoring the Sabbath.. because.. The 7th Day Shall be Kept Holy. .. good thing it is Sunday!
Now more Packer Viking toonage/carnage... - CONTENTMENT found while living in Minnesota. - Cheering for TWO TEAMS?.. not gonna happen! - The UNEQUALLY YOKED problem in the Midwest. - The classic battle between GOOD and EVIL. Who will you listen to? - One body, ONE BIG FAMILY.. rejoicing & suffering together? - Showing LOVE and KINDNESS?
Even in Heaven... we see traces of our little indescrections here on Earth like.. TSHIRTS on casual day, and DRESS CODE VIOLATIONS on Sundays
The Mental Health Picture of Sports Fans is captured with.. This is your brain, and this is your brain on.. CHEESE .. or LUTEFISK
Have a great day.. may Sundays game be great, and may the POWER OF CHEESE be with you.
Finally two versions of a cartoon theme I call FOOLS START FIGHTS. The first was if the Vikes win and the second was for if the Packers win.
Psalms 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, my God.
I grew up in 'rural' Wisconsin where deer (but no antelope) played until that appointed time each year when the men dressed in orange and brandished guns with the plan of shooting an elusive big ol' buck deer with a 12 point rack.
Now let me segue awkwardly back to Psalms 42:1 where the deer pants for water and and my cartoonist mind sees deer pants (aka waders) for water so their little hoofies down get pruny... AND a buck deer along the lines of Bobby Boucher 'aka Waterboy' also knows quality H2o when he sees it and is known as 'Waterbuck'.
Now I segue back 'awkwardly' to the important truth of Psalms 42:1.
What does it look like to desire the Lord that way? How do I become a Godly man desiring the Lord when I am so busy with work,responsibilities, and this or that crisis and/or percieved crisis? I could lie, but.. honestly this is easier said than done.
My desire today is to slow down, turn away from my rush hour paced life, and seek the Lord as poetically described in Psalms 42:1.
What would life be like if this was truly.. TRUE?
May God bless each of you with this journey... and a note for any 'deer' reading this blog.. remember to wear your deer pants when in the water.