Five Minutes to Closing

August 30, 2013

Why do people wait until it’s almost closing time to come in? I can understand if you are working and can’t get away until then, but 9 times out of 10 it’s someone who isn’t working and just decided to wait until the last minute. These people could’ve come in at any time during the day, but decide to come in 5 minutes before closing making me late counting the money, closing down, and getting home. I have a theory that people who do this must never have worked for retail, otherwise they would understand and try harder to not be last minute shoppers. I’m pleading with you, if you do this, and can help it at all, please stop! It literally drives those of us in retail crazy. If you’re on the receiving end, please remember to be polite and don’t lose it. I think most people do this out of ignorance, not to spite us.

Have you ever had to deal with this? What are your thoughts on why people do this?

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Living What You Say

August 28, 2013

It’s easy to say we believe this or that all day, but when it comes down to it, how we live shows what we really do, or don’t, believe. My speech teacher in college used to ask us if we believed what we were saying in our speeches, and if we did, then we needed to say it like we believed and meant it. Speaking with conviction is good. Living with that same conviction is a rare thing. We live in a society that twists words and meanings, and loves to rationalize. Actions, however, always have and always will, speak to the heart of the person. You can hide behind words and forced actions for a while, but your real colors will come out eventually. Jesus gave great sermons and wonderful parables and told many people they were healed. What if those words weren’t backed up with actions? What if he didn’t live out the lessons from his sermons and parables? What if those people he said were healed weren’t really healed? He would have been debunked immediately and thought of as a lunatic (which some tried to say he was, but it wouldn’t stick because he spoke with power and backed the words up with actions). Words have real meaning and power, but only coming from someone who backs those words up with action. If someone who is a chronic liar and promise breaker tells us something we tend to disregard it. However, if someone who follows up with what he says by what he does tells us something, we listen. Be a person of integrity in word and deed. Follow through on what you say with what you do. People are always watching Christians, wondering if we really live out our beliefs. You never know when your living out what you say you believe may make a difference in someone else’s life, drawing them to the point where they will believe.

Speak boldly for Christ! Live boldly for Christ!

Poetry Monday 8/26/13

August 26, 2013

The central Mississippi weather
Slowly stripping away
My energy and strength
Makes me not want to stay

It beats you down by mid-morning
By afternoon it makes you faint
Doesn’t cool off in the evening
Heat and humidity are a wretched taint

The heat index is a cruel master
All of us slave to its desires
We all just wait for the weather to change
That’s the only thing to cool summer’s fires

I’ve got three things I think everyone should check out. First, if you haven’t gotten in on the Dresdenverse, you should. Harry Dresden is a wizard who happens to be a private investigator. Jim Butcher has taken the fantasy of wizards, faeries, vampires, etc, and done a splendid job of setting it in modern times. The latest book out is Cold Days. It has lived up to the rest of the series so far.

Second on the agenda today, if you like food and you like podcasts, you need to check out Spilled Milk. It’s a fun, relatively short form (between 15 and 30 minutes usually) podcast about food. They eat things, rate them, and share recipes. It’s funny and straight forward. I’ve really enjoyed it.

Finally, Popcap Games has come out with a sequel to Plants vs. Zombies, arguably one of the best tower defense games ever. It’s called, simply, Plants vs. Zombies 2. It is fun, frustrating at times, and funny. These guys over at Popcap Games have done it again. Check it out. It’s free on iPhone, iPod, and iPad. You have nothing to lose and fun to gain.

I think time is relative. Not in the way scientists do, but I think our amount of time to get things done changes as we get older and as our priorities change. When I was in college it seems I could always find time to do something with my friends. Now that I’m married and working over 45 hours a week it is very hard for me to find time for just hanging out. Too man times I’ve said, “We need to get together and catch up. I’ll call you,” and I haven’t followed through. I’ve been the recipient of the same words too. How does this happen? Why do we let life dictate what we do with it? I think it’s time to take our time back and make it our own. We need to make plans and follow through. We need to start making those get togethers happen. I’ve been trying, but it’s hard when everyone else is in the same boat I’ve been in. The worst part is, most of us don’t even see it happen. We don’t realize our time has been stripped from us. Take a stand and make your time your own again. I’m doing it for my wife, my family, my friends, and my dog.

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Poetry Monday 8/19/13

August 19, 2013

Get back in the groove
Back to the grind
Vacation was a nice
Little break for the mind

Now we’re back
And it’s time to get ready
Get dressed and eat
Hold yourself steady

Let’s see what happened
What work is waiting
What has been done
And what awaits sating

I always thought Mississippi held the record for dumb, undereducated, or just plain jerky drivers, but now I realize they are everywhere. If people are using cars, there will be people who shouldn’t be allowed to drive. Here are a few things I’ve observed that should be common sense, but apparently as soon as some people get behind the wheel common sense is thrown out the window at 80 MPH.

1. Follow the speed limit!: This is the craziest to me. You’ve heard of “go big or go home,” well I say, “go the limit or go home.” There is a slight grace area of +5 to -3 MPH, but I don want anyone going 10 miles or more under or over the limit. Everywhere on the road it seems people Are either going really fast or really slow. Lets do something crazy and all go a consistent speed around, oh I don’t know…..the speed limit!

2. Pay attention!: Pay attention to what’s going on around you on the road, not what’s happening on your phone or radio or anything else. Focus on driving.

3. Go around roundabouts!: It seems this is only logical, but people here in the states can’t seem to get it right. Here’s the skinny on roundabouts. You go around them, not through them, not to the left of the center, but to the right of the center. That’s it. It’s not hard, so why won’t people do it correctly?

4. Don’t yell/get angry at someone else for following the rules!: This happened. Someone was yelling at us for going around a roundabout while they where trying to go through it to the left instead of the right and around. Basically this sums up to “don’t be stupid.”

5. Don’t be a jerk!: That’s it. Just don’t do it. Don’t cut people off and do follow the rules. It sounds easy, but I guess it isn’t because many, if not most, drivers are jerks. The only good and cool jerk is a soda jerk, so don’t be that way.

I hope this little tirade of mine helps, though I doubt it will. At least it will bring a little smile to your day because you know you’re not the only one appalled by how most people drive.

What would you add to this list?

Arts and Gardens

August 14, 2013

Yesterday we went to The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens. Admission is free on Tuesday evenings, so it definitely has that going for it. I’m not a huge museum person, but as museums go, this one was very nice. They currently have a car exhibit with concept art for all these “cars of the future” from yesteryear. They also have several rare cars on display. The art hit a broad range of eras and styles from more traditionalist to abstract to some classic surfboards.

What I really enjoyed, however, was the gardens. They are huge and expansive. There is an Italian garden, an English garden, and a tea garden with stone cup-like chairs. I would love to see it all in bloom. They are currently working on renovating some areas and redoing others. I highly recommend checking it all out. In the words of one of the TV stars from my youth, “You don’t have to take my word for it.”

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Poetry Monday 8/12/13

August 12, 2013

Driving quite a while
Getting there with a smile
Stringing a hammock up
Having a delicious sup
Having good times and fun
Hanging in the sun with my hon

More Thoughts on Prayer

August 9, 2013

I’ve been continuing to think about prayer and how to pray. Specifically I’ve been thinking about the times when I’ve felt I couldn’t pray. Either I’ve been so distraught, caught up in a sin, or doubting whether God cares and hears (he does care and hear by the way). I can’t believe I’m the only one who’s dealt with these things and the feeling that I can’t pray or don’t know what to say. My answer for these times is to go to Scripture. I know that sounds like a Sunday School answer, but let me explain. I pray through God’s promises, not to remind God, he remembers them, but to remind myself. I pray through whatever Psalm or Psalms fit the situation I’m in (they cover a lot of ground). The Psalms are really ready made prayers. Many times just getting started will fix the prayer’s block going on. The Lord’s Prayer is a wonderful starting place too. On paper (or screen as the case may be) it sounds too simple, but it really works. Use the resources God has given you and work through the block, whether it’s being mocked by Satan as being insignificant or feeling like you don’t know how to do it right, God calls us to be a prayerful people.

What do you do when you’re at the end of your prayer rope?

On another note...

This is about my struggle to confront my fears of changing my direction all for a better life.

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