Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good News From The World of Medicine

Its great when I hear that foods I like are actually good for me,
like coffee, chocolate, beer, the list goes on ....
Well, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from Penn State University, a serving of pistachios each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Results showed that consuming pistachios significantly lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels.
So I'm going to Wal Mart later today to buy one of those big bags of pistachios, and I won't feel at all guilty about eating them.
Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prospering In A Declining Economy

"Let yourself be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you,' so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid" (Hebrews 13:5-6)

The financial pressures on America’s families continue to mount. The current economic challenges, the Wall Street crisis, declining home values, and higher gas prices have placed a great strain on many of us. People are losing their homes, food and energy costs continue to rise, the list goes on.

While these things are all true, what we are experiencing is nothing new. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that "there is nothing new under the sun."
For example, in the Old Testament the nation of Israel was taken captive and was forced to endure 70 years of hard labor in Babylon before they were finally freed and allowed to return to their homeland. We pray that our current economic downturn won’t last that long!

In the meantime, here is a list of things that can help you to survive and even thrive in our current economy.

+ Pray for our nation and its leaders.
+ Learn to be content with what you have.
+ Read what the Bible has to say about money.
+ Pay your bills faithfully as a positive testimony to your creditors and a good example to your family and neighbors.
+ Downsize if it puts you in a better position.
+ Have a garage sale or yard sale to to pay down debt or increase savings.
+ Capitalize on your most valuable asset - your family.
+ Start a garden, use fresh vegetables and fruits in season.
+ Cancel your cable or satellite. Read books, play games, take walks, invite friends over, spend time with family.
+Remember God's Promises.

“God is our Refuge and Strength, a present help in times of trouble."(Psalm 46)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God at Ground Zero

We are all part of of a thousand stories. As we hear them being told, as we feel them touch us directly and personally, the stories become part of us. That's the way it is with the greatest story ever told - the Gospel. It is a story of life and death to life again. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus comes and fills us up from the outside in, until as Luther said, “Christ is poured out in us.” We receive the Story of the Gospel by grace through faith in Baptism, through Water and the Word, when the pastor marks us with the sign of the cross, and we die and rise again in Christ to walk in newness of life. It is a story of life and death to life.

Today is a day in which we remember another life and death story.

On 9/11, terror literally filled the air in New York City. Terror arrived on wings. Planes loaded with jet fuel exploded into the Twin Towers. Crews, passengers,and innocent citizens were incinerated.The buildings tumbled. Dust and smoke thick with the smell of death and destruction covered the area immediately and for weeks thereafter.

As the cloud of darkness began to grow, thousands of horrified people ran for their lives. One said “I'll never forget the sight and sound of the dust and smoke coming at us; it looked like the world was coming to an end.” Thick darkness covered the earth. Yet Christ was still the Light of the World.

A Lutheran missionary tells of standing with other Christian chaplains and praying with firefighters. As they prepared to enter the burning cauldron that was the Trade Center Plaza, he recounts, "We made the sign of the cross on their foreheads. We wanted them to remember their baptism. That’s the only promise they could know for sure at that moment — their baptismal promise.” Many never came back. But marked with the cross, they were reminded of God’s sure promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

The dust has settled. The nightmares are receding. But the stories continue to be told. And one strong Story stands above them all.

It is the story of the cross of Christ. His death is our death. His resurrection is our resurrection. His life is our life.
(excerpts from Lutheran Witness, March 2002)

Monday, September 8, 2008

War Games

Stephen Green of vodkapundit has brought back the way of looking at the presidential race he used during the 2004 campaign, "Wargaming the Electoral College".
He takes a look at the current polls in each state and creates a red-blue map. The maps change as voter opinion shifts week by week. At this point in time his map looks like this.
Dead even.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Picture Perfect Palin

It wasn't just a home run, said CNN's Wolf Blitzer; it may have been a grand slam. "A very auspicious debut," said NBC's Tom Brokaw. A "perfect populist pitch," said CBS' Jeff Greenfield. "Terrific," said Mort Kondracke on Fox News Channel.
"A star is born," said Chris Wallace on Fox.
"A star is born," said Anderson Cooper on CNN.
"A star is born," said Blitzer.
Could we be getting our first look at our first female president?
Only time will tell ....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

the day will soon be over

The days are getting shorter. The evenings are becoming cooler. Summer is almost over. Fall will soon be here.

Sometimes I wish you could just grab the sun and hang on to it, and make it stay just a little bit longer.

Like on Thanksgiving Day, when we're playing our annual football game and ping-pong tournament. Or on Christmas Day, not wanting the celebration of Christ's Birth to come to an end. Or when our whole family is together for a reunion in a beautiful place. You just don't want it to end. But it must, and it soon will.

As summer ends, September begins, and the light of day begins to wane, I begin to remember that next year I will turn 40, and I realize the truth of the words "time stops for no man".

So since I can't hang on to the sun and hope to make it stay, I'll continue to hold on to the Son - my only hope and stay.