Archives for the month of: June, 2018

I am going to tell you something about which I know very little. If you want to stop reading now, I understand.

Recently we had some water damage that required moving everything in our home office. Desk, bookcases, and the contents of a closet had to be relocated. It was an inconvenience but we managed alright.

The biggest problem was disconnecting all the electronics that we depend on. This involved our computer and related equipment. We have a wireless network that requires a modem and router. Additionally, our phones are connected through a device that routes our calls over the internet. This allows us to have a “home” phone without the high monthly expense that usually accompany it.

I also have a desktop device into which I scan receipts, business cards, and other documents and it stores them in digital files. Complicating matters even more is the fact that the cell phone reception in our house is abysmal without a device called a Microcell. This device furnished by our cell phone provider boosts the frequency to allow use of mobile phones inside the house.

You have probably concluded from my explanation above that I am somewhat technologically impaired. Nevertheless I managed to move all this equipment and maintain functionality over a several week period while the damaged flooring and walls were repaired.

Then came the happy day that all the repairs were completed and we could put everything back in place. It was going to be a bit of work but I had done so well with moving everything without losing connectivity. I was not worried. I should have been!

The web of gadgets, wires, USB ports, Ethernet cables, coaxial cables, power supplies and connections to a modem, router, CPU, monitor, etc. complicated by multiple user names and passwords presented quite a challenge. Eventually everything was reconnected properly but I could not get connection to the internet. After calling my ISP (I threw that in just to appear smarter than I am), the customer support person on the phone told me her equipment showed that I had a strong signal. She could not understand why I was not connected. The only thing left was to schedule a technician to come to my house. After agreeing to a time for the on-site tech support I hung up the phone and stomped around the house (this was not the first time during this process) in complete frustration.

Despair Alone Being Alone Archetype Archet

After a while of fussing and fuming I realized that there was one thing I had not done. What harm could it do? Maybe it would work. So I re-booted my computer. Turned it off, waited 20 seconds and then turned it back on. Voila! I am a genius! Everything began to work exactly as it should.

Photo of Reboot - Buena Park, CA, United States. Logo

Later (much later) I realized that the same thing probably happens in life, not just with electronics. Problems arise. Difficulties come. All my efforts fail to produce the desired results. Frustration sets in and I behave in very unseemly ways. I try everything I know and things don’t get better. The harder I try the more negative feelings take over. Why can’t I learn to stop? Step away. Shut down. Re-boot.

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all. That might mean a vacation or just going outside for a walk or a quiet moment. Disengaging from the task at hand can clear your mind and calm your nerves. Simply taking a break can give a different perspective and help to maintain or regain balance in one’s life.

When things are not going well, the psalmist encourages us to “be still,” to “quiet down before God (and) be prayerful before him” (Psalm 37:7). Re-boot!

Jamie Jenkins

 

 

 

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Last week I shared William Arthur Ward’s Six Ethics for Life. Since then I came across Six Rules of Living that the late Rev. Billy Graham’s shared in his book, The Journey. I pass them on to you with my comments, not that my perspective is better or my manner of expression is superior.

MAKE IT YOUR GOAL TO LIVE AT PEACE WITH OTHERS

“As far as it is possible, live in peace with one another.” That was the advice given by the Apostle Paul centuries ago. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount teaches that peacemakers are children of God.

Inspirational Image for Matthew 5:9

AVOID REVENGE

I have heard some folks say when they are wronged, “I don’t get over it; I get even.” Living by the law of retaliation is one way but it is not the best way. The end result of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is that we will all be blind and toothless. Words of wisdom from the Bible offers an alternative:  “Turn away from evil and do good. Try to live in peace even if you must run after it to catch and hold it!” (I Peter 3:11 The Living Bible)

Before you embark on a journey of revenge dig two graves - ancient chinese philosopher confucius quote printed on burned wood board.

GUARD YOUR TONGUE

“It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell” (James 3:5-6, The Message). The tongue is a powerful tool for good or evil. Therefore we must be diligent with our speech.

Silence Talk Freedom Of Speech Woman Girl

NEVER REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL

Jesus instructed us to turn the other cheek. To “turn the other cheek” does not imply pacifism, nor does it mean we place ourselves or others in mortal danger (www.gotquestions.org). Rather it is an attitude that we must cultivate that chooses to return good for evil, love for hate, kindness for harshness, affirmation for insult.

One kind word can change someones entire day. Inspirational saying about love and kindness. Vector positive quote on colorful background with squared paper texture

TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT THEM TO TREAT YOU

“The concept occurs in some form in nearly every religion and ethical tradition and is often considered the central tenet of Christian ethics. It can also be explained from the perspectives of psychology, philosophy, sociology, human evolution, and economics” (Wikipedia).

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This is the Golden Rule. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? If everyone practiced this, there would be no need for laws and everyone would have a wonderful life. Obviously it is not so easy and does not happen automatically. Nevertheless it must remain one of our guiding principles.

 

PRACTICE THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness Is Not An Occasional Act, It Is A Constant Attitude

No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. When you are the “victim” of someone’s imperfect action, attitude, or words, you don’t have to wait for them to ask to be forgiven. It is possible to forgive so spontaneously that you rob the knife of its cutting edge. Forgiveness does more for the “forgiver” than for the “forgiven.” We forgive others when we let go of resentment and give up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered.

As I said last week, there is no simple formula for rich and full living but these six principles are a good start.

Jamie Jenkins

Recently I have run across a number of sources providing “ethics for living.” They offer different numbers and slightly different suggestions but all are basically the same. William Arthur Ward, one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims, offers six.

Merriam-Webster defines ethics as “a set of moral principles.” Among those principles that provide good guidance are the following.

  • LISTEN before you speak

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It has been said that the reason we have two ears and one mouth is to remind us that listening is more important than speaking. Jane Blaufus, author, speaker and Catalyst for Courageous Conversations, says being “polished, poised, well spoken, or practiced” is important if a person is to be a successful public speaker. However, she says “one of the key skills I believe speakers need to master in order to be successful is to know how to listen effectively.”

The Bible offers this advice: “It is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry” (James 1;19 TLB).  I have often heard the suggestion that when you listen, you earn the right to speak and be heard.

  •  EARN before you spend

Human beings are hardwired to want things and to want them now! This desire (demand) to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment is powerful. Neil Patel, entrepreneur and online reminds us that “the ‘pleasure principle’ is basically the driving force that compels human beings to gratify their needs, wants, and urges. When we don’t get fulfillment, our psychological response is anxiety or tension.”

The desire to fulfill basic needs to breathe, eat, or drink can be essential and beneficial. But when the “need” is the latest gadget or some other cool new product, the result can be detrimental, not only emotionally but also financial.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson advised “Never spend money before you earn it.”

Staffan Jacobs, writing in Catholic Stand, states, “Debt is the single biggest form of instant gratification in our society today. (And) the problem isn’t stagnant income, nor is it inflation and the rising cost of living. The problem is instant gratification and the attitude that ‘I can just pay for it later,’ which is basically the same as ‘I’d rather pay more than its actual value because I want it now and I don’t have the cash to pay for it now’.”

  • THINK before you act

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Everyone has heard that it is wise to “look before you leap.” Spontaneity is a good thing but acting without thinking it through first can sometimes lead to unpleasant results. Jens Ludwig and Anuj Shah, University of Chicago: “Research has shown that most human behavior occurs intuitively and automatically, with little deliberate thought or consideration for long-term consequences or benefits.” 

Author Kamand Kojouri suggests that you should always ask yourself, “What will happen if I say nothing?” Or do nothing? John Wesley, a religious reformer of the 18th century and the founder of the Methodist movement, provided three simple rules to guide the lives of his followers. The first of these was: Do No Harm. Whether acting or refraining from action, it is wise to think first.

  • TRY before you quit

Nothing Is Over Until You Stop Trying

It has been said, “Think you can; think you can’t. Either way you will probably be right.” I think it is true quitters never win and winners never quit.

Recently I was visiting a 95 year-old woman in a rehab facility where she was recovering from a fall. She had been away from home and her normal routine for several weeks and the physical therapists were working her hard every day. I asked how she was responding to all of this and she said, “You have to keep on keeping on.”

  • BELIEVE before you pray

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Jesus said, “When you pray and ask for something, believe that you have received it, and you will be given whatever you ask for” (Mark 11:24). One writer says that “believing takes the emphasis off of prayer itself, and puts the emphasis entirely on God Himself. It is all about God and God’s faithfulness. The Bible does not teach is to rely on prayer alone. It teaches us to rely on God.”

  • LIVE before you die

A couple of weeks ago I talked with my cousin, Carlton. He and his wife had just returned from a several months around the world cruise. He mentioned a friend who often was among those who travel with them.  He related how this friend recently told him of his travel plans for next year. And the next. And 2020. Oh, did I tell you- the friend is 101 years-old.

Frank Sinatra Painting Art Portrait Singer Music 32x24 Print Poster

Frank Sinatra sang, “I’m gonna live till I die! I’m gonna laugh ‘stead of cry. I’m gonna take the town and turn it upside down. I’m gonna live, live, live until I die.”

Jesus said, I came so that you can have real and eternal life, more and better life than you ever dreamed of” (John 10:10).

There is no simple formula for rich and full living but these six principles are a good start.

Jamie Jenkins