Chet’s Five Crazy Easy Happy Tips

 

  Chet Day, fabulous aging boomer and all-around-handy-health tip guy,  drops me a note every now and again, with some simple handy hints.

This week was a quickie but a goodie on simple way to keep the happiness momentum from getting stuck in a rut.

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On a Fast Road to Hell

 

If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there anyway to turn him around in a hurry?

I still hear those words just as clear in my ears as I did that morning.
I can hear his thin, frail voice and I can see his eyes staring at me in absolute terror.
His face was hollow, and white with an oxygen tube out of each side of his nose.
Thomas clenched my hand with strength that should not have been in such a tiny body.

“Bob So-and-So had to go on oxygen and once they put you on that, its just a matter of time” Thomas informed me,
“If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there any way to turn him around in a hurry?”

My heart sank and as quick as it sank, it leaped for joy, “Oh yes, Thomas,”I grinned from ear to ear “ it is so easy and you don’t have to be afraid of anything ever again!”

Tears ran down his cheek.

We all have Thomases in our lives.
One day, when we expect nothing but they ordinary, they just walk in, and our ordinary has suddenly  taken on the resemblance of something  of purpose.

We aren’t quite sure what to do with them or why they are there.

But we do believe there is a reason, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the reason isn’t about us.
God is the most purposeful being there is, whether it’s a someone or a something, when our lives are His own,  there is significance in the insignificant.

I met Thomas 9 months ago in the  spring.
He was a dear sweet unassuming man, but wise in the simple things of country life.
His sweetness had a humor about it that would make me grin ear-to-ear, a little mischievous, and brilliantly witty.
You would find your self caught between wanting to hug him or slug him.
Mostly I wanted to hug him.

Thomas was a man with little time on the clock. He had several heart attacks, and was in and out of the hospital regularly with close calls.
He was a man that did not want to die.
He was desperate to live and that is how we met.

Thomas invited me to be his nutritional consultant (the other hat I wear) to see if I could find any flaws and glitches in his diet that may be stealing valuable years of life.

I found Thomas, doing everything right, and then some.
He raised his own chickens, ground his own flour and dug the dandelions out of his yard for salads.

This man ate better than I did, and the brutal truth was that his 88 years old body was just wearing out.

On a professional level, there was nothing I could do for Thomas.
How badly he wanted to throw away the rainbow of pills that he was taking every day.

But as a nutritionist, by law, I could not even discuss his medical condition with him, just his food.

All summer, I drove out to visit Thomas and his wife, mostly asking myself why.
Sometimes grumbling to myself.   More often, however, just praying.
There was nothing I could say or do that would turn back this man’s days.

Only a miracle from God.

I explained that to him, but still he wanted to see me.

So I would drive out early on my mornings off for a house call. The one hour consultation would turn into a morning of tea and bran muffins, and I found myself telling him to put his wallet away when time came for me to leave.

I would tell him to keep doing what he was doing, and there was nothing I could teach him anymore;  my service was now a friendship.

He would smile delighted, and ask me to come back soon.  Come early in the morning, but not before 6.

I would leave, discouraged and heartbroken, like I was failing him, and thinking of all the “better” things I could be doing with my  one morning to myself.

Our odd little friendship continued to blossom.
Thomas would go into the hospital, and as soon as he was out, I’d receive a call from his wife, asking for a visit.

Visit we did.

My  son, who has a wonderful knack with the elderly, would come to.

Trevor would captivate them with all his profound 12 year old knowledge and dimples. Personally, I think the dimples charmed them more than his knowledge.
Trevor took a particular fancy to Thomas’s  chickens, and Thomas loved to share stories about “the flock”

Shortly before winter, “the flock” came home to roost with Trevor and mom, when Thomas and Irene decided to leave the farm for  an apartment.

Thomas was obviously displeased at the thought of leaving home and  of the apartments.  “All those people and all those germs”. But I never saw him complain or refuse.   He would just have to take more garlic, he would say.

I believe his love and support of Irene and her decisions was far to strong.
They would go together, what ever may come.

Thomas was  scared to die.
Although he made jokes about cheating death, it was breathing down his neck, and Thomas knew it.  Fear emanated out of him.

It was during these drives out to Thomas’ that I would let my mind work through my BLESS steps.

I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do, or what to say anymore.
But I did know that this man and his wife were in my life for a reason and I had to keep my heart ready.

Off of myself, my thoughts and my plans and ready for what ever God wanted to do.

The beauty of the 5 keys in  BLESS is that they prepare you to do that.

With these keys you are trained to  be ready for when the insignificant significant invades your world.

You are prepared, and while you may not know exactly what to do, you will have all the tools and guide lines that will lead you.

With BLESS I have learned to effectively give God my hands, my words and my heart.
And I trust that He uses them exactly as He desires.

Because of BLESS I can have confidence that I am making a difference in the live of everyone who crosses my path. Whether I ever see the evidence of it.

I know God did that in Thomas’ life.

I believed God would use me and speak through me and touch him. I let my heart open up to fall hopelessly in love with this little man and his wife, and trusted the love of God flowing through me to captivate and  draw them.

Because I now know how to BLESS, I know that every thing I do and say is seasoned with the power of life.

I was just planning to sit down and write a Christmas card to Thomas and Irene, when I received the news.
Thomas stepped into eternity yesterday. December 9, ironically my son’s birthday. My heart broke into a million pieces.  I shocked myself at the thought of how much I will miss him and how much I loved him.

Over the last few visits Thomas let me pray for him.  I think he realized only God could heal him, and prayer was his last option.

When he begged me for a way to turn him “from his fast road to hell”, I had the honour of praying for him.
Sadly, Thomas could never find the courage to pray with me.
It is a question that I will carry until I, too, walk over into eternity.

I must be real with you at this point, dear ones, there are many times when we may never know what God has done with and because of us.
We may very well have to walk out our own days wondering.

You will have nagging questions as I will always have that question in my heart about Thomas.

But what you learn in BLESS will anchor you to a confidence and a peace you have never dreamed, so that the questions never become unbearable.

Tears streamed down Thomas’ face and he marveled at the simplicity of the “good news’ and the saving love of the Father.
“Thank you” he smiled softly “now I have something I would like to give to you…. a hug”

Its funny how you always think you will have the chance for that one last visit.

I had mentally prepared one more appeal to convince Thomas to trust God.
But tomorrow is not something promised to any of us.

It is the one thing that Thomas has forever changed in me.

I am thankful for it.

I am humbled because of it.

I will never look at my minutes, days and moments the same.
They are an immense precious gift.
A gift that many would desperately do anything to have more of, as Thomas did.

Bless you Thomas.  You made a difference to me.

man feeding chickens

If you invite Jesus to dinner will He show up??

 

“You can have your religious tradition, but COUNT ME OUT!”

My jaw hit the floor! What do I do?  What do I say?  DO I SAY?

Tradition? Religious?

For a first generation evangelical Christian, those words had been subtly burned into me as taboo.

“Its not about RELIGION! Its about RELATIONSHIP” we tell everyone.
To me, the words stir up a taste of everything empty, cold and legalistic.

Now, here they were coming out of the mouth of someone I respected and loved.
Someone who, too, loved God.

But  he’s sitting across from me firmly refusing to have any part of in mealtime grace.
How in the world do you not say a blessing over your meal?
My mind was reeling. How do I respond. Can I argue his attitude?

Apparently not, because after I gathered  my indignant and offended self together, I did what I usually did.
I quietly sulked away.

Maybe it was God, keeping my mouth shut.
I would like to think so.
I’m sure at the moment anything that would have fell out would have been the WRONG THING! But, my oh my, how I would have love to have had the right THING.

Over the next few days, my mind rehearsed the conversation with a quick and brilliant rebuttal that would leave him speechless and, of course, humbly repentant.
I would have explained, very nicely, of course, that I could certainly understand how one could see dinner prayers and blessings as religious.

After all, I use to think that too.

And of course, how tradition in itself is not a bad thing.

Certainly, I would agree, that cute little poems and songs sung over your meal, really means nothing if your heart is not sincere.
By all means, I could see where he was coming from.

But noooo, not my family! Not anymore.  We were much more evolved!

I would straighten my back, look him right in the eyes, and tell him that I have stood, humiliated, in line for too many food hampers to be ungrateful.
I have cried myself to sleep too many times, partitioning God for our “daily bread” for my babies to not give thanks.

Maybe I would even recite, Psalm 37:25
”I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread”
If that didn’t make his jaw quiver, I would remind him how God has brought me out of years of eating disorders, and how overwhelmed I am that I no longer look at my plate as an enemy.

Yes sir, I  planned it all out.

If I could do it all over again, I would have hit him with the good stuff.

Now, don’t get me wrong. All of it is good. All of it was sincere from the bottom of my heart.

Gathering around the table with the family, holding hands (yes, we even hold hands) and giving thanks is a beautiful thing.

Jesus gave thanks when He broke bread and that’s good enough for me.

It is one of those moments when we as a family we are focused, even for a minute, in the same direction.
Jesus said that when 2 or more are gathered in His name He shows up (Matt 18:20)
So, YES!! Lets open our mouths and give thanks, if we are thankful.

My muddle was not so much identifying my thoughts on this difference of opinion.
It was , first, how do I handle my original response of offense, and second, how do I respond to a dear brother in the Lord, who obviously sees things differently.

Truth be told,  it could have been another thing that nailed the proverbial coffin on our friendship. (we have a lot of different opinions)

I could have thrown my arms up in the air, said “to hell” with the friendship and walked away, one final time.

But I thank God, first for keeping my mouth shut and,  second, for the keys in BLESS.
The keys in BLESS come very quickly to me, at times. I have been walking it out for years.

But there are other times, like this, when I have to sit down and choose to make myself remember what I know to do.

Yes, I confess, I still have a very carnal side to me, that loves to rear its ugly head.
I’m working on it, but its still there.
(don’t be so hard on me, now, you have a nasty carnal side too!)

The real test is this… What do I do with that side of me when its rearing??
That’s where BLESS comes in.
When I sit alone that night, sit quietly before my Jesus, and put myself to the side, I walk through the keys in BLESS.
My heart can quickly change and respond to this man.

I know there is more for him.
I know God wants him thankful.
I know God has done so much for him to be thankful for.

But I also know there is something inside him that has that bound up.
Setting him free is not my job.
Loving him with the love of God is my job.

BLESS helped me do that.

I remember that he is my Father’s precious son, His pride and joy, and I walk thru each letter of BLESS in my heart until I can enjoy that brother for who he is, as he is right now.
Unconditional.

The rest will be up to God.
I do know this… this man will be set free.
This man will know what it’s like to sit at the table and have a tidal wave of thanks take over him.

Yes, Jesus will come to dinner that day.
It would be an honour to be there.

But for tonight, I am thankful that I walked out my test and didn’t let my mouth, my self righteousness, and pride get in the way and do more damage.

Lets really learn to love them as they are.

Lets meet them where they are and see them as He sees them.

Then we will be the ones being BLESSed.

Thank You! Once again…

I am humbled and amazed at the grace that surrounds this project.

With absolutely no promotion but only word of mouth, May I BLESS You” has had close to 50 downloads in less than 2 weeks!drop of water

That is almost FIFTY people whose life will be eternally altered,
and who will go out and touch the lives of who knows how many others.

Facebook has almost 30 fans, again, all by word of mouth.

It is truly a privilege.
I say that in all sincerity.

Thank you,
XOXO
Jo

I Guess Its a Compliment

 I guess it all means good things…

For all of you on the edge of you seats, abated breath, anxious anticipation for your copy of “May I BLESS You”
the hold up seems to be this…

I am just too wonderful!

Yes, its true.  The book could have been in your hands a week ago except for two things.

1.  Frankly, it is  just to long to upload/download.
NO!!!  Not because I am long winded!  But I wanted to make certain that you had everything you needed, nothing missing, nothing overlooked.
God is never stingy with me and I also wanted only the best for you and for Him.
You work hard for your money and I wanted you to get very penny’s worth! 

Friends, by ebook standards, this is one HUGE BOOK!

But I refused to chop and edit.  There is nothing in here that is not important. So, I have been busy as can be reformatting and mulling over every option to find an effective way to get it online and for you to get it off line.

Well, as of this morning, I can officially say, it is up, tested, tried and true!
WHOOP! WHOOP! WOO HOO!!

2.  Second problem.  I AM JUST TOO GENEROUS!!!!
Absolutely serious!  Hard as I tried, I  could not find a shopping affiliate
that would respect my 100% money back guarantee!

They all thought that it was absurd! Too risky.  Way over the top.
But it was what was dropped in my heart , and I believe that is exactly what He wants you to have.
Nothing is ever too absurd. Too risky. “Or over the top” when God is behind it.

Well, ok, maybe “over the top”…. But a little climb and leap of faith can be a good thing!

I am pleased to announce that, once again, God came to the rescue.
I found a wonderful little vendor site at www.paydotcom.com who are fabulous to work with and let me control the guarantee COMPLETELY!!

Between them and PayPal we are FINALLY days away from being up and at em..

I thank you for your patience and prayer during my adventure. 

Some how, I expected the writing to be the complicated side of this, little did I know!
  But God definitely knew.
He has kept it under control, on “His” schedule, and on budget. 

Somedays I feel like I’m just along for the ride.  😉