Hoosiers: Where’s the LOVE?

IN: Why the heartbreak?

IN: Why the heartbreak?

WHERE’S THE LOVE?

I weep for ALL the people. In reference to the new RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act), our Hoosier Indiana home is under vicious attack! I especially am concerned for our children who are witnessing such nonsense. There are so called adults throwing temper tantrums to gain attention for themselves at the cost of civility, proper respect and the peaceful accord of a loving community at large. There are so many people causing discord and strife while demanding others be more loving. It’s ugliness! It’s divisive, unloving and flat-out wrong!

God’s law (acknowledged to supersede all man-made others)

it’s simple…LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS YOURSELF.

14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14 (NASB)

It doesn’t say agree with one another or be exactly like one another, but it does say LOVE one another.

Sadly, “Love” is not what I am seeing now, all over the media, with signs of hate and personal attacks on the civic & business leaders who sacrifice their time to serve us. This is not inclusive and loving but divisive and goes against religious freedoms for all. Name-calling, motivation-assigning and group profiling is uncivilized and shameful.

•Please don’t shame yourself or your particular cause or organization. This is not about “us” vs. “them”. This applies to us ALL!

•Please stop spraying the mace of malice in an emotionally charged crowd—people are hurting people with swords of words that cut deeply.

•Please, look at your own heart…the only person’s you can really know…and ask yourself: am I being loving?

•If I were mistaken or misunderstood, how would I want someone to treat me?

What is the right way to behave? Not just for yourself, but in regard to others? Am I open to hearing the others concerns and point of view.
Then do that. Do the next, right thing.

KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW RATHER THAN PRESUME TO KNOW

I cannot know any other persons motives. So I would be foolish to state that “so-and-so is doing this because …”. Yet there are organizational leaders who are doing just that. Some people are loudly declaring that the lawmakers of this state have passed a law that promotes discrimination against people. Yet I don’t read that in the law itself. So who am I to trust: what people say that it says, or what it actually says?

I can’t righteously say that RFRA is an anti-gay law anymore than I can proclaim it is an anti-toddler law. I can only go by what I see. I see a law, which as it’s name says, promotes religious freedom for all people… applied equally to all people is NOT discriminatory.

As I read it; this law protects us from government forcing us to violate our religious convictions (as long as they do not violate established authoritative laws or morals which limit their expression or exercise). I want that freedom for me and I want that for others. Who doesn’t? And why not?

COMMON SENSE

I would not want my Jewish friend to be forced to sell non-kosher food so that the preference (not a “right”) of every ham sandwich eater is not violated.
Does one man’s preferences supersede another person’s strong moral or religious convictions? We are speaking of living in harmony here, right?  Then, it seems logical that out of respect and love, one could either choose something else in accord or take their business elsewhere. Why would I want to force anyone to serve me? That’s like coercing someone into telling them you that they really like you and what you are doing when they don’t. Using threats and extorting behaviors; that’s manipulative oppression. How is that respectful or loving?

# What gain is there in making a loud scene within his deli, calling him a discriminatory bigot, or threatening to sue him in order to force him into acting otherwise?
# Is an attack on his personally held convictions while asking him to respect yours not self-defeating?
# Should his menu be repealed because it doesn’t include ham? Or in the same vain, should all restaurants be forced to serve the same items? Goodbye making decision between Italian vs. Chinese atmosphere and cuisine; a burger joint vs. formal top-chef. That might be viewed as discriminatory.

# Is it reasonable to hold a rally publicly declaring that this deli man has some kind of ill-intent toward all ham-eating people?

# Is it right that one proclaim what another person’s intents are when they are declaring something totally different? Who am I going to believe: the person that had the thoughts and intentions or the other who “thinks” they know?

# Is it loving or even wise to inflame emotions against large classes of people, businesses or states who have never even had any experience with you; let alone for you to presume that they will treat you poorly?

# Is it right to boycott an entire state filled with places that would happily sell you your ham sandwich had you just asked them?

JUDGEMENT: Judge for yourself.
At this time I have been grieved to read many remarks from people that classify ALL Christians as unloving or un-Christ-like. These same people do not generally demonstrate a Christ-centered faith but use His name or scripture (often out of context) for self-gain.

Ironically these who decry that other people are unloving have themselves used base language and personal attacks while working to incite strong emotional responses making it look on the surface as though some grievous injustice is occurring.
Emotionally charged reactions based on perception generally insure that a bad problem will get worse. Alternatively, stripping away the emotional perceptions to analyze the truth and carefully considering the other point of view is a much better way to approach a problem to get to a solution. Either we are a part of the problem or we are working to solve the problem.

PRAYERS FOR PEOPLE

I have been praying for our Governor Mike Pence who himself is being persecuted for taking a stand on what he and our state legislators believe is right and in the best interest of the people of Indiana. I pray for public servants, civic leaders, general citizens who are scurrying about as a result of emotionally charged threats against the businesses and livelihood of our communities. I am praying for a particular Jewish friend Annette Siegel Gross who is a well-known PFLAG leader who is passionately voicing valid concerns, but is doing so with personal attacks on our elected leaders in an unflattering if not disrespectful manner. Additionally, I know that God is grieved when those proclaiming to live according to God’s principles treat others with disdain and malice instead of loving consideration. Golden rule here, people. I pray for those who are fighting to gain better standing but are doing so in the wrong way. I hate seeing people rejoice in the fact that this turmoil is causing injury. I have actually read peoples’ statements that they are happy about this turmoil happening at the perfect time to do the most damage via the court of public opinion. Just as people are about to come into our city for the Final Four basketball tournament which will draw further attention to the situation. I pray for ALL of us who call this home. I pray that TRUTH and LOVE win over perception and self-serving agendas.

I am thankful to live in a time and place where freedom of speech and assembly is valued. I also am saddened by some of the disrespect shown in language, signage and threats. As the world is judging how Indiana is based on the images and perceptions that are portrayed through the media, I pray that the power of LOVE brings forth peace and charity that can once again unite us as neighbors willing to live and serve alongside one another to make this place one we can be proud to call home.

NO JUDGEMENT! NO DISCRIMINATION!
God is our judge, not man. Yet, God did not create us as robots. We have a conscience and innate sense of right and wrong. He intends for us to use that. We stand up against what is wrong and take a stand for what is right! True, loving brothers, friends, and concerned citizens will point out error so that correction may prevent or mitigate dire consequences. God’s Word does tell us to use wisdom, discernment, and exercise judgement in both how we act and why.

The person who declares that there is no god, has just made a “judgement”. Even a five year old uses “discrimination” when he decides that he likes ice cream better than cake. Is either the atheist or the five year old deserving of my disrespect because of their personal beliefs or choices? I think not. I still view both of them as a fellow human being; a soul deserving of my regard.

I am judgemental at times. I judge that child abuse is evil. I judge that it is deadly to stand in the middle of I-70 in the middle of rush hour traffic. I judge that choosing to act wrongly will bring about consequences that can be avoided if I act righteously.
I am also discriminatory at times: I chose this pink blouse over the blue one. I prefer the salmon to the steak for dinner. I place my precious china on display while keeping the paper plates in the cupboard. I think that my right to consume alcoholic beverages and my right to drive an automobile with my drivers license are both outweighed by the communities need for me to not drive while impaired.

Yes, I make judgements and I discriminate, so how does that make me evil? The fact that I place my faith in God and His word as a guide in basing those judgements and preferences makes those decisions less about me and more about God. Since I make mistakes and God never does, I believe I do well to live according to His statutes. Still, I may make mistakes in judgement or discrimination? I for one would like someone to point out the error of my ways before they start building a gallows upon which to hang me in ignorance.

Many angry constituents opposed to the RFRA are claiming that there is “NO JUDGEMENT IN LOVE” or “Jesus never Discriminates”. However that is not true according to the totality of God’s Word. In fact it would be extremely unloving and inconsiderate not to judge right from wrong, good from better when it comes to considering our relationships with God or one another. There would be absolutely no justice without judgement, nor any love without forgiveness.

WHO CAN TELL OTHERS WHO THEY CAN LOVE

Now, as far as me telling you who you can and cannot love…that is not my place. I believe every person has the God-given choice to love who they will. Neither should man foolishly try to legislate emotions.

I have many friends and acquaintances that have different sexual orientations or attractions than I do. As their friend they know what I believe and feel and vice versa. On some thing’s we agree, others we do not. But our love for one another is not jeopardized by how I treat them because I treat them the same way I would like to be treated. They don’t go out of their way to make me uncomfortable or disrespected and vice versa. As friends we communicate in genuine love and concern for the other. As friends we sometimes hurt each other and can call each other out on grievances in a kind way. As a neighbor, I CARE about how others treat each other. As a loving friend I do all I can to see to eat that all people are treated with humanity and justice.

ALL of us are human and make mistakes. Rarely (thank God) are the mistakes fatal. Always there is something that can be learned as a result. So many needless mistakes are based on a misunderstanding, acting or speaking out in error.
The wisdom of asking questions to get a better understanding of what doesn’t appear to make sense is something I like to employ in gaining a better understanding of things, people and situations. Therefore, will you kindly help me grow in understanding by telling me what you think about this post?
I just want LOVE for everyone. I want people to STOP hurting each other and dividing our community rather than uniting in purpose of making this a better place for all of us to live.  Thanks for being a friend.

Scammers: What To Do About Phone Rats & Roaches

(null).
Tis the season of the phone scammers and identity thieves. Post-holidays and pre-taxes seems to be the time that the cockroaches and rats crawl out of their cracks and spread out to attack as many unsuspecting people as they can.

Having received my annual uptick of unsolicited calls this week prompts me to share this reminder. DO NOT BECOME A VICTIM OF THEIR SCHEMES.

See if you recognize these:
#1. The caller identifies themselves (usually in accented voice) as being from “Microsoft Windows Support” and say “we are calling today because your computer us sending us error codes indicating that your computer has a virus (or that someone is trying to steal your identity)”. The irony of this one is; if you do follow their instructions that’s exactly what could happen. This is a scam! Don’t do it. Windows will not call you like that! Just hang up!

#2 Health care. A good percentage if the population has some kind of chronic health concern. So these vermin call up and say that they can get you free meters, supplies and equipment or medications because of the new government health care plans. They just need your personal information. No! No! A thousand times no! I even had one fool come right out and ask me to give them my social security number and birthdate! What?! How stupid do you think I am? This scam is identity theft with a bow on it!

#3 Debt Collector. They claim to be from some debt collector. They may even have the name of a company or medical group or hospital that you have used. They claim that you owe some amount of money and that they can take care of that amount right now by phone. They want you to give them either your checking account information to process an electronic draft or your credit card information!! GREEE GREEE GREEE! Listen to those loud alarms going off in your head.

BE SMART. RIGHT FROM THE START

There are people right now who make their living by taking your money. These cockroaches get you to believe they are helping you while all the while they are getting into the cupboard and going straight for the goodies.

They prey upon the fact that people are ignorant. Most people don’t know that our computers are running self-diagnoses quite often and these “codes” that they show you with a right click here and a double click there do not actually mean what they say they do. They are trying to get you to give the commands to your computer that will allow them remote access to your personal computer or device! Once they have you convinced that they will diagnose it for free with “just install this free download” or “click on this link”, you have just invited an army of hungry cockroaches to the feast. And they bring all kinds of worms and viruses with them.

Then the rats are those brazen enough to actually steal your identity. They can convince you that you’ve overlooked a bill that needs to be taken care of right now! Please, please think before you fall for it.

While it is true that most of us have computers, bills and maybe debt and health concerns… It is simply evil to use those cracks as thoroughfares into our personal lives!

SO WHAT DO WE DO TO PROTECT OURSELVES?

👍KEEP A RECORD📝
Time; phone number, who was speaking and what was said.
Many phones have ability to record which I have used with the statement “excuse me for interrupting, but, by law I must inform you that I am recording our conversation. Now will you please repeat that from the beginning? Thank you.”

👍STAY VIGILANT
It’s simply good advice to keep your personal information private. If a legitimate person calls you and says something like those examples above, simply get verification that they are legitimate. How? Ask them their full name and company name including spelling and a phone number where you can call them back. Lol

You can say: “thanks for bringing this to my attention. I need to research how this could have happened. I wasn’t aware of that bill; would you please mail me a copy. (they should the exact date, provider and have your address with any legitimate debt). Just ask them to read the address that your file shows and you will verify. After all THEY called you, remember.
Tell them “I do want to take care of this but must call you back later.” When they say that they will call you instead insist that you call them. Legitimate callers will provide a name, number and extension.

I once had one particularly creepy scammer actually give me a phone number. I always read back number to verify I don’t get wrong number too. When I immediately dialed the number, I spoke with some young lady visiting a condo on vacation!! The dude intentionally gave me a bogus number. The innocent lady said that she appreciated the heads up to be able to handle any future calls like mine.

⚠️ DO NOT GIVE OUT INFORMATION TO THEM ON THE PHONE AT THAT TIME.
No matter how URGENT their claim, or threats of legal action. They legally have to provide written notice.
Learn about the company.
Obtain a copy of their claim.
KNOW who you are speaking with!
You can start by doing a web search of the number. Just enter the number into websites such as CallerCenter.com and Whocallsme.com or just Google it. You may discover several complaints that mirror your own experience.

⚠️ DO NOT PUSH BUTTONS.
The caller or recording may ask you to push a certain number with the promise they won’t call you anymore. Good idea? ⚠️ACK!! What you really just did was verify that if they call your phone number they get a real live person and not a machine.

⚠️ DO NOT PAY ONE PENNY UNTIL YOU HAVE PROOF THAT YOU OWE IT.
Some of these debt collectors are collecting on debts another company has already taken payment for! Pay what you owe, but good luck trying to get back money you’ve overpaid.
Get proof!

If someone thinks to themselves that just paying the $49 that they say I owe is easy to take care of by giving them credit card information, they may find they’ll have a whole lot more problems to deal with in trying to account for a slew of unauthorized charges or their identity being stolen.

⚠️ JUST BE SMART.
Although we do have legitimate dealings by phone with service providers and such. I am trying to help fight the growing amount of victimization by bringing a growing awareness of some of the schemes and ploys that are at work right now.

💡 TURN ON THE LIGHT! Send the vermin scurrying away and tell the exterminators. Turn on the light of truth and awareness of the schemes.
Report your experience of violators of ‘No Call List’ to your state attorney generals office, the better business bureau, FB friends and family. I have even gone so far as to contact Microsoft Windows (the company who was being false represented) via Twitter so they can put their vermin exterminators to work. They don’t take kindly to such activity.

SIMPLE STEPS WE CAN TAKE TO STOP THE CALLS & PROTECT OURSELVES.

▶️ Join the no call list to stop unsolicited phone calls.

▶️ Use your phone and/or phone carrier to block unsolicited callers. Be sure to find out if your carrier charges for this. It at least helps stop the repeat calls until they switch numbers.

▶️ Screen your calls. Just don’t answer calls that your caller ID does not recognize. If it is important they will leave a message and you can call them back. No message? No call back.

▶️ Keep yourself and others safe.
Just like we tell our kids. Don’t give personal information to strangers.
What you say can be used against you if you trust someone who says they are for you but are really just serving themselves.

▶️ Consider enrolling in an identity protection service like Lifelock.

FEEDBACK TIME:
Did you like this post?
What experiences or tips can you add?
When it comes to these kinds of things we really can help save each other from a lot of harm.

What to do when “To-Do” becomes “Undone”

IMG_2319-0.PNGToday I am sharing what I have learned and am still learning about practicing peace with the unfinished.
It boils down to realizing that I, myself am unfinished. It is amazing to me how a new attitude can change frustration into forgiveness and disappointment into acceptance of what was just not to be. Frenzied fervor which has whipped me up into a tornado of inefficient, disorganized activities can intentionally be reformed into a planned strategy of purposefully taking whatever comes next, doing my best and realizing that is ALL I can do. If something remains undone I will assess it factually and without guilt. What can I learn in the failure?

If only I had all the energy, strength and time to fulfill ALL the things that I’d like to do. When I was younger I did not have so many considerations; I just thought of something and did it.
However, as age, injuries, obligations and wisdom have hammered on me a bit, I now have to intentionally consider the steps that I take.

The fact is:
I will NEVER have enough time to do ALL the things that:
• I NEED to do,
let alone all those that
• others EXPECT me to do, or
• even those I WANT to do (pleasure, leisure, vacations & hobbies).

As time marches on, seemingly faster and faster like a downhill snow boulder, I have been plagued by all the “should’a, would’a, could’a” done things.

I have felt the pain of failure so many times. The perceived guilt I’ve felt of letting others down by not completing a task may not have been the case at all, as I learned when I honestly analyzed later. I discovered it wasn’t that important to them. It was only a big deal because I “thought” it was a big deal. A part of me believes that a person thinks less of me because I have disappointed them. To look at that honestly, I had taken the focus off of the joys of doing something to help others and perverted it with misconceptions as to what they would think about me?! Yikes!

I think there is a tendency for some people to lean more toward the people-pleasing side of social interactions. On the opposite side of that pendulum swing is that “I really don’t care what anyone thinks of me” attitude. Of the two sides I definitely lean more toward the former.

As I realign myself with the teachings of God’s Word found in the Bible and taught in wonderful church sermons and small group studies, I have learned a far better way that brings sharper focus and overwhelming peace…God’s way is the best way.
My Type-A, driven personality makes sure that the most critical person of what I do or don’t get done is ME! So my natural bent is to be very hard on myself. I used to reason that as long as I demand perfection from myself no one else will be hurt or hurt me. Nope. It’s still sin. I was still putting my own demands above everyone else’s…most especially God’s. But God is working on me to transform my thoughts and actions. He is ingraining the thought that I am not good or bad because of what I DO. Rather I am only good because of what Christ did. It’s not about me or what I do or do not do.

As a reasonably intelligent person, I try to avoid unnecessary pain and learn from my mistakes. This life lesson is obviously still underway, yet I am making progress.

Due to chronic and unpredictable physical challenges I have incomplete “to-do” lists that have items that have moved forward to the next list so many times that I should have them pre-printed on the pad of lists. Obviously, I have to approach my disappointments of undone projects in a new way.

It saddens me to have such great intentions and then not be able to complete that task to the degree I had planned. Therefore, I am trying to be more thoughtful about the tasks that I accept or add to my To-Do List.

Here is my suggestion for dealing with the perpetual to-do list. I ask myself this basic analytical question:

“is this really something I should do?”

Let’s look at that question a keyword at a time.

◽️Really — I need to tell myself the truth! Maybe a reassessment is in order. Maybe circumstances have changed and so should my list. This is especially true if we tend to have a hard time saying “no” to others or get easily diverted by creativity ideas popping into our head that we want to add to our lists. If there are too many demands, we have to intentionally postpone items or even eliminate some from our agenda. There are always more tasks than time to complete them.

How many times have we thought we could do something that later turned out to be so much more difficult than we had first thought?! How many times have we regretted agreeing to take on something without thinking it through first? This is a lesson that one either learns from or repeats often, isn’t it?

We have to say “no” sometimes.

And for me at least, I need to remember that I am NOT a bad person just because I said “no” to one thing (even in helping others). You see, in saying “no” to even some good things, it frees me up to say “yes” to even better things.

◽️SOMETHING — Is this the “right” thing? Is this a “need, an “expectation” or a “want”? What’s the priority? Is it in the right order or does order even matter (just do it)? Is this a task that has smaller steps that are required or easier to complete or require more assets than I first thought?

⚠️Warning: As much as helping others is beneficial and nobel, if we neglect meeting our core needs (self, God, spouse & family) we will have less to give. Then we may suffer frustration, loss of joy and even dread of becoming involved in other lives and activities.

🚨Not all thinking of ourselves first is “selfishness”; sometimes it is necessary self-care!

✈️ It’s like that famous statement given during every pre-flight safety training: “in the event of a sudden decompression of the cabin, oxygen masks will automatically fall down from the ceiling. Grab the mask firmly. Jerk down firmly to start the airflow through the tubing. Place the mask ON YOUR OWN FACE FIRST before helping to place a mask on your children or others.”

☑️Each and every step in that check list is important. If you just notice the mask but don’t grab it and jerk it and apply it to your own face, it will be of absolutely no use to you. . . And you will be of no use to anyone else!

If you pass out due to lack of oxygen you are suffering and will not even be able to help others. But, if you take care of yourself first, then you are equipped with what you need to help others.

◽️I — Am I the one who needs to do it? Am I the right person for the job? Is someone else better equipped to complete the task? Why should I go around in circles trying to perform something that I have neither the knowledge, physical ability or resources to complete in a timely fashion.

There are times when improper assignment of a task or changes in circumstances meeting the challenges gets overwhelming. How many of us enjoy the spinning beach ball or blank blue screen or all those error codes when the computer interrupts our productivity? I don’t know about you, but there are few greater prompts for turning to prayer. I am stopped…by a solid block wall of inability! I have been forced to address such emergencies when I am not well equipped to do so. I HAD to learn enough to get through or avoiding an emergency. However, I will plan on hiring a computer geek to thoroughly work on my computer. They can do it in a fraction of the time and with great skills that I do not possess nor have the time or desire to learn. This is an example of smart re-delegation; NOT me, but someone else gets this one.

◽️SHOULD❓Is it a true, right, useful, excellent idea or activity? Is this the best use of time, money and materials? Not that it is just a GOOD use of time (assets), but the BEST use of time (assets). Why am I doing this? I need to examine my motivation in even doing this. Are my motives self-serving, altruistic, or am I manipulating a situation or what others may or may not think of me? Does this solve a problem or create more? Am I progressing in my goals and in line with God’s will or what I value. Pursue the most excellent to accomplish those things that last. Oooh 😯

◽️DO — This refers to the specifics of actually doing something. When does it need to be done? Is there a deadline or a certain order in completing? How much time needs to be scheduled to complete and process? Too often we forget to include the time and resources involved in: gathering the needed tools & parts, set-up and clean-up or allowing for processes that require additional time (measuring, chopping, cutting, paint drying, food baking or cooking, etc).

The location is important because it has to consider size of work area, climate, access to tools and availability.

No matter what, the degree of effort that I place in doing my very best at a job — the quality of work — is far more important than the quantity. I have needed to remind myself of this often. It’s not how many things that I get done, rather, it’s the quality of the work that I do that really matters. My character is displayed not only in what I have done, but also in what I have not done as well as my attitude about what I do or do not do.

I can only hope that my sharing these thoughts and hints on handling the undone perpetual to-do list will be of use to you.

For those of you who, like myself, face even harder times managing because of unpredictable health challenges, I pray this has encouraged you to show yourself grace. Be kinder to yourself. Do what you can, take breaks often, and celebrate the accomplishment of even the littlest of steps.

It is said that life is about climbing the mountain getting ever higher. If one tries to look at the top of the mountain from it’s base, he likely will not even see its peak which has perforated the clouds. One could become discouraged and give up trying. But I encourage you dear friend…take a step. I don’t care if it is a long on or short one, fast or slow. Just take a step! Now you are that much closer to the top.

One person’s trek down the hall a few steps to the bathroom may be equivalent to another’s marathon in terms if effort and energy drain. So comparing our journey to another’s may be grossly unfair. So stop comparing your accomplishments to others. Instead, truthfully assess your own self in relation to the load that you yourself bear. Now, take that next step!!!

No matter what any other person says or does . . . NO ONE (including you) can ask for anything more than your best!

So, at the end of the day, if you are looking at an unchecked box or more on your To-Do list …so what? Did you do your best? If you did – then rejoice in what you’ve done; no matter how small, celebrate the victory. If you did not – then ask yourself what you can learn in the truthful analysis of the unchecked box…”is this really something I should do?”

By living this way, there is peace:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,”
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Page 5 of 98« First...34567...102030...Last »