Are the outcomes really coincidences?

October 1, 2018

From a recent post on the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “When I pray, coincidences happen.  When I don’t, they don’t.”  (William Temple)

Temple is referring to things that “happen” which seem to be the result of, or at least associated with, a prayer. Sometimes, if the coincidence is important or significant enough, it may even be called a miracle. A logical explanation that one may pursue is thewoman-praying thought that praying for something in particular, or some outcome to an upcoming event, forces one to visualize the steps necessary to achieve that outcome. Visualization is a well-known technique for success in athletics and other pursuits in life.

Another possible explanation for the coincidences of success after prayer might be that prayer puts one in a positive frame of mind and being positive and confident going into a situation has a strong influence on the results. The feeling that you have God on your side is a huge positive motivator and comfort through any adversity. I’m sure that research could prove some proof that prayer releases some endorphins inman praying the brains of those who fervently pray and they feel better (perhaps even invincible) as they tackle the challenge that they prayed about.

Perhaps prayer forces us to take the vague and amorphous fears that we have about whatever it is that we are praying about and put them in a box that we then hold up in front of God and ourselves. We are able to acknowledge that we need help with the things in that box. The fact that we express that need for help in prayer allows us to admit to ourselves what our fears are mind at workand forces us to deal directly with them. The feeling that, through our prayers, we have God on our side in dealing with those fears provides the strength and courage to take the first steps towards overcoming them. Prayer often provides that little push that we need to get started.

Oft times, we allow things in our lives to grow in importance all out of scale to their actual meaning or impact. I posted not too long ago about a great piece of advice that I got from a friend who had noticed that I was obsessing about something that had little real significance in the grand scheme of things. He just looked at me as I was lamenting something that I hadn’t done and ask, “Did anybody die?”  As absurd as that sounded initially within the context of my diatribe, it was actually the exact thing that I need to hear and think about to put things back into perspective. I use it often now to re-position the importance and priority of things in my mind

Finally, taking things to God in prayer allows us to reset our perspective on things thathelping hands might be going on in our lives.  In my prayers, I often use the little phrase “not my will, but Thy will be done”. For me, that is the quickest and easiest way to let go of things that I have no control over anyway and put my trust back into the coincidences that God makes happen in our lives.

What works for you?

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#MeToo! vs. #ItWasn’tMe

September 29, 2018

The recent spectacle put on by the Senate Judiciary Committee proved to be gripping TV, even if it wasn’t much of a real hearing. Like most political hearings, it was used as an opportunity for the Grumpy Old Men who make up most of the Senate to host yet another good ole boys “let’s give a speech” show. It even provided yet another forum for airing out the old excuse, “boys will be boys”, which more than one Senator used by pointing out – “Good grief, we are talking about things that happened when he was in high school and college”.  Apparently, the kind of behavior that was alleged is OK with them if it occurred during that young phase of life. It’s possible that a close inspection of their own youthful behavior might produce similar accusations for some of them.

Now there is an argument that some also made that people change as they mature and that we should look at what they have done as adults, rather then into the deep past of their youth. That line of reasoning holds up a bit better when used against less serious youthful indiscretions, such as having to answer yes to the question, “Did you ever smoke pot?” or in this case, even the question about whether he ever getting really drunk.  It’s still not right, but there are some wrongs that might be attributed to youthful experimentation that the person has outgrown. Other offenses committed by the young are more difficult to forgive, because they may (as was pointed out in the hearing) point to more serious flaws in character. If one is being a bully or a thief when young, that points to a character flaw that may still lurk in the mind and cloud good judgement.

Being labeled a sexual predator really points to several character flaws – a sense of entitlement, lack of concern for others and devaluation of the victims. Having that frame of mind, while in a drunken stupor that removes the last constraint, the fear of the consequences of your actions; is what allows even the most model youth to become a sexual predator.  It would not give one comfort to face judgement from someone who starts the process in the frame of mind that – “I am better than you, I deserve to be here judging you, you are nothing to me, and I could care less what happens to you because of what I do.”

So, what are the Senators and we, the citizens, to do with what we saw and heard. They wavered enough to get the Tweeter-in-Chief to ask for a one week delay so that there could be an FBI investigation. That will likely prove to be a continuation of the Lose-Lose situation that we find ourselves in now. It does create a new hashtag – #WasHeThere. Kavanaugh has testified that he wasn’t even at the party, which several of his friends have corroborated; so, what happens if the FBI finds 1-2 people who say that they were also there and testify that he was there that night? What happens if they don’t? How about if more women come forward to the FBI with stories of inappropriate behavior during his youthful years in high school and college?

I don’t think there’s any way to see this as a win-win for anybody involved? Certainly not the two parties in the recent testimony; and not, I suspect, for many the good old boys sitting on the Senate Committee panel who have exposed themselves to critical public scrutiny and came out worse for it on both sides. Worst of all, not for the American people who don’t need another Justice sitting on the Supreme Court under a cloud of doubt about their moral character. We deserve better than that.

Maybe we need the hashtag #Let’sMoveOn.


Ain’t that the truth…

September 26, 2018

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog certainly rings true – “Believe those who are seeking the truth.  Doubt those who find it.”  (Andre Gide)

In today’s world of “fake news” and “alternative facts”, the search for the truth can be difficult. Jack wrote that he often checks out things that he sees or hears on the web site Snopes.com. Do you check out things that you read on the Internet or hear in casual conversations, or do you just believe them to be true because you saw it on the Internet?

judge thingsUnfortunately, we live in a world where snap judgments based upon shaky and unproven “facts” are the norm.  Just saying “my bad” later, when your rush to judgement has been proven to be baseless, does not repair the damage that might have been done to someone else and certainly not to the damage that it has done to your own reputation. Once you become known to others as someone who makes hasty decision or acts upon unproven rumors or allegations, you will likely be labeled as arrogantsomeone who is untrustworthy, and that’s not a good thing

It may still seem to be a bit negative, but it is much better to be known as someone who in cautious and slow to pass judgement. Be that person who is always questioning what they hear and seeking the truth, rather than rushing to decisions or action based upon unsubstantiated “facts” from questionable sources. The real “truth” seldom lies on one side or the other of a story, though both accounts are said to be true by the person telling each side. The truth is not what you believe, it is what can seek-truthbe corroborated and substantiated. It is that validation that you are seeking when you seek the truth and it is usually the absence of validation that causes you to doubt those who purport to know the truth.

And that’s the truth.


Forever young…

September 25, 2018

A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog quoted this interesting question – “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”  (Satchel Paige)

Satchell PaigeSatchel Paige was a black baseball pitcher who played at a professional level in the Negro League and then the Major Leagues. In 1948, he was the oldest rookie ever to join the Cleveland Indians at age 48. He played his last professional game when he was 60 years old with the Peninsula Grays of the Caroline League.

Our minds are interesting when it comes to the issue of age. We never think we are too young or too old for things, but our bodies might not be ready yet to take on certain physical challenges or perhaps they have aged past the ability to take on those challenges. I know that, as I age, I’m occasionally disappointed by the realization that I no longer have the strength or stamina or perhaps the agility to do things that I once would have jumped right into and done. In some cases, I can still enjoy a sport or activity, but at a different level than I did in my youth. Like many others, I Tiger Woodsjoined the millions rooting on Tiger Woods this past weekend as he had a moment of recaptured youth in his PGA Tour Championship win. Even Tiger realized what a special and rare moment that was for him and he’s only 42.

We may feel trapped in bodies that continually remind us of the passage of time or which bring up the pain of past injuries or indiscretions on the playing field or elsewhere. It would seem that the key to remaining happy as one ages is to find outlets for the energy and creativity of our minds within the limitations of our bodies. There are sports and activities that have age appropriate leagues or teams that we can join. There are clubs and organizations providing activities that stimulate and satisfy the mind without overtaxing the body. Though we must accommodate the limitations of aging bodies, our minds can stay forever young.

If you’re into music, here’s Alphaville’s mix of “Forever Young”.


Find God; you’ll be glad you did…

September 20, 2018

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog come this challenging question from Zig Ziglar –   “Will you look back on life and say, I wish I had, or I’m glad I did?”

coulda woulda shouldaI’ve posted her a few times about not ending up with a bad case of the “coulda, woulda, shoulda’s” in your life. Most of those posts concerned making good decisions in life. Most of those decisions involve being able to distinguish good from bad, right from wrong or maybe constructive vs. destructive behavior.

A core principle that should guide most of those choices may be stated – “do unto others and you would have them do unto you.” Underlying everything upon which you might base the decisions in your life is the foundation of your faith – what you believe in. Bob Dylan put believeit rather starkly when he said – “you either believe or you don’t believe, there ain’t no in between.”

woman-prayingSo it is in life; you either walk with God or you walk alone. You may both turn to God for help with your decisions, and trust in the direction that He takes you; or you have nothing to turn to for help and find no happiness in your decisions, no matter how things turn out. In the end, will you be looking back and saying, “I wish I had found God in my life”, or will you be saying “I’m glad that I had God in my life to guide me?”

gods-hands-2

Don’t end up saying, I coulda, woulda, or shoulda; say instead, “I found God”.

You’ll be glad that you did.


Lots to do in Milford today!

September 16, 2018

Today is day two of the Milford Home Tour, with homes open from 11 Am until 5 PM.800 E Commerce There are 6 really nice homes to visit, as well as the Milford Historical Museum and the Log Cabin next to the fire station.

Tickets may be purchased at the Museum at 1124 E. Commerce Rd or at any of the houses on the tour.

For more on the home tour, go to our web site – http://www.milfordhistory.org.

2018 Car Show pictureThe annual Milford Car Show is going on in downtown Milford today, too. Over 350 cars of every type and description will be on display from 9 AM until about 3:30 PM this afternoon. This is a free event.

 

Finally, there is also a vintage tractor show going on out at the Huron Valley State Bank tractor_show_graphicparking lot at the corner of S. Milford Rd and GM Rd.

This is a free event.

 

 

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the Rivers Edge Brewery this weekend or anytime this Resized - Feelgood Tap Sept2018 Historical Societymonth to buy a “feel good tap” beer and support the Milford Historical Society.

The Rivers Edge Brewery donates $1 from each beer purchase of the featured “feel good tap”beer to a non-profit in the area and this month that is the Milford Historical Society.

 


Milford – a sense of community…

September 9, 2018

In a recent post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed posted these words –

“Do you want to live on Flip Flop Lane in Margaritaville?”  (Parade Magazine 8/12/18)  The new trend in housing is to develop neighborhoods which attract people with common interests: singles, children, Boomers—even one for veterans with PTSD.  “The hot word is communal!  People are looking for a new kind of living, real neighborhoods.  “The old has become new.”

Perhaps that is why the little Village of Milford where I live and work has become so popular of late. I’ve posted here before about what a great place it is to live, with a very walkable and useful downtown and a density that allows and encourages neighbors to get to know each other. It is probably just a fortuitous thing that it located far enough off the major highways (about half way between I-96 to the south and M-59 to the north) that it did not attract the attention of the big box stores. Local merchants and locally owned restaurants remain viable in the Village.

I don’t think of the Village of Milford in Margaritaville terms. For me it’s more like the fictional town of Mayberry in the Andy Griffins show Mayberry R.F.D. That image is a romanticizing things a bit too much, but it is a little more like that sleepy little town in South Carolina than like a party town such as one imagines with the name Margaritaville.

While Milford certainly has its little cliques, there is a sense of belonging and community that one feels which seems to transcend any feelings of exclusion. If one was not born and raised in Milford, they will forever be an outsider to those who were; but, that group is now a minority of the overall population of the Village. Things are changing in the Village and, for the most part, that’s a good thing. The changes are mainly associated with the growth of the Village and growth is certainly better than the alternative being faced by many small towns in America which are slowly dying out (quite literally).

We are fortunate in Milford that most “newcomers” to the Village appreciate its historic housing stock and the quaint downtown stores to want to keep it looking that way. There are no restrictive ordinances in place to prevent making updates to the old homes, but most do so with an eye to maintaining the style and appearance that make them so appealing. Inside they be very modern; but, from the street, they still look much like they looked when they were built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Perhaps the biggest draw to the Village is its walkability – the fact that most Villagers can walk to the stores and restaurants in the downtown area and to the parks and the concerts and the Farmer’s Markets and all of the other activities and events that are staged during the year. Probably 75% of the Village residents live within 5-6 blocks of the downtown area, and 85 % within 10 blocks. Combine that accessibility with a downtown that still has useful places to shop, as well as wonderful restaurants, and a plethora of services locations and churches, and you have the formula to support the feeling of community.