Archive for the ‘Everything else’ Category

English: Times Square, New Year's Eve, Decembe...

It’s funny. For years and years people have welcomed the new year with hope and expectation. Parties have been set up all over the world, and eyes have been glued to televisions here in America as people have tuned in to watch that ball drop in New York. “Auld Lang Syne” has been sung in countless bars and public squares with strangers kissing each other, trading smiles and hugs.

Not so much this time around. Even though Times Square was filled to the brim, many are feeling fearful. For some reason, the ending of ancient Mayan calendars has stigmatized 2012 with doomsday stories all over the place, and probably based on the Mayans simply running out of ink or getting tired of writing! Just kidding, maybe there are more profound theories behind it, but seriously, I do think that there have been major changes in how people approach the coming of a new year. We don’t seem to celebrate as much as we worry about what the year will bring. So much around us has become challenging, just look at the economy, politics and all the strife going on in the world.

There’s great news: With God, the new year is filled with excitement, hope and joy! See, with Him, life is no longer defined and controlled by circumstances or actions of others or results. It is defined by the relationship with the one who made us and loves us! His plans for us are good, and He has promised to use even the most difficult circumstances for our good. If we are able to grasp this, the new year can become incredible! I pray that you’ll find your way closer to Him, He’s waiting to set you free for the adventure of a lifetime!

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Grainy B&W image of supposed UFO, Passoria, Ne...

Image via Wikipedia

And now for something totally different. As life would have it, things happen to show who you really are, not who you would like to be. Quick caveat: By no means do any of the following statements refer to the writer, far be it from me! Enjoy and comment if you have more ideas along these lines!

You might be middle-aged if…

…you start seeing more and more younger people than yourself everywhere.

…you wake up one morning with UFOs (Unidentified Fighting Objects) running around your home. You have no idea how they got there. They have a lot in common with their more space-y siblings: They can go at warp speed, turn on a dime against all the laws of physics, and their heads are disproportionally big for their bodies. Oh, and they also have big, wide eyes and they may talk in a foreign language!

…you end up driving a big honkin’ SUV or even better, a family van that you desperately try to call your “man van” (who the heck came up with that stupid name anyway?) Sorry, dude, you can call it whatever you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that while driving it, you look enviously at other guys in their real cars and imagine the roar of a real engine instead of the 4-cylinder you had to settle with, because your kids ate up all your car savings!

…your hair stops growing where it should and starts growing where it shouldn’t.

…your “me time” consists of endless “yes dears”, referee sessions with the aforementioned UFO’s and falling on your bed before it all hits you again in the morning.

…your body starts telling you what you can and can’t do instead of the other way around.

…you start finding out that most all of your favorite foods and drinks will not just be passing through, but are deviously setting up permanent residence above your buttocks (love handles) or/and around your bellybutton (heart-attack fat!) Cheeks and necks are also favorite spots for these permanent vacationers, and that’s just for men. By this time, self-preservation instinct has taught this writer to not even go to the ladies!

…you have a cup of coffee at 7PM thinking it won’t affect your sleep, but the caffeine ends up keeping you awake until 2AM while you keep thinking about the endless possibilities of writing a blog titled “You Might Be Middle-aged If…”

…one of the aforementioned UFOs ends up waking up to a nightmare or getting sick, keeping you up in the middle of the night. Hey, that was your “me time!”

…the same UFO wakes up at 6AM and jumps on your bed playing his video game. Hey, that was your “me time!”

…you find out that your scepter, the tv remote, starts mysteriously levitating all around your home, never to be found in the crucial last minutes and seconds before start of the game. In time, it will pass permanently into the hands of the aforementioned UFOs to symbolize the switch of power on the throne of your home.

…you start finding out that more and more of your favorite foods will give you heartburn or mess with your body in unending ways.

…you start realizing that it takes less and less luck and more and more hard work and focus to reach your goals.

…you look enviously at younger guys with ripped bodies and can’t even make it to the gym three times a week to stay in some kind of decent shape, not to mention just stepping out the door and taking a short walk!

…you convert your garage into a “man cave.” Cut it off! The last time men lived in caves, they were cavemen. (A joke, lighten up, you religious readers!)

…you work your butt off to bring in the bread only to find that it ran out because the store didn’t happen to have it that day.

…you realize that the lyrics in the old song, “Yeah, money talks, mine always says goodbye” are not only true, but that it feels like you’re the only one it happens to. Rest assured, you’re definitely not! The more money, the bigger the pile it says “goodbye” in!

This might just be the tip of the iceberg. Chime in and leave a comment if you have ideas about the issue!

One of several tornadoes observed by the VORTE...

Image via Wikipedia

The link below goes straight to a CNN video of the destruction the tornadoes caused in the South. What blows my mind is the sheer power of the tornadoes and the faith of the survivors, I was surprised that it was shown so openly on CNN!

Check out the video by clicking here.

Let’s pray for those who survived the destruction and put our money where our mouth is. There are lots of great organizations that will have boots on the ground to help those in need and show the love of Jesus to them. I’m going with Samaritan’s Purse, you make your own choice, but put your faith in action today!

Jesus Christ

Image by SheilaTostes via Flickr

The Christmas and New Year season is my favorite time of year for a simple reason, it’s a new beginning. It’s impossible for me to celebrate the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the beginning of a brand-new year without being filled with hope. All the toil and hardship of 2010 has passed away (as well as some great blessings!), and the promise of 2011 is has arrived.

Our celebration was different from previous years, where hard work kept me from embracing its meaning to the fullest. Even though I worked plenty last year, God helped me focus on the true meaning of His Son’s birth, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I read the Christmas story from Matthew & Luke over and over every morning, and God showed me how supernatural it was. The angel spoke, the virgin gave birth, the star led the shepherds & wise men to the stable… Every single detail is impossible for man, but everything was and is possible for God and with God. This is the single revelation I got this season, and I’m so grateful for it. We worship a supernatural God, who still chose to come and give us life instead of creating us and leaving us hanging like some would like to suggest.

This is exactly why I’m filled with hope for 2011. The same God who brought about all the supernatural events of Christmas is in charge of my life to the extent that I let Him be. His plans for me are perfect (just check Jeremiah 29:11), and as I am able to learn to chase Him instead of my plans, He will do amazing things to lead me and my family in His perfect will. This makes me excited, and instead of rushing after the latest and the greatest, I pray that I will rush into His Word to find out who He really is. The rest will fall into place. I love the verse “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” (Prov. 16:9, NLT) As I make my plans for 2011 and beyond, I will first give them to God and see what sticks. Imagine all the hassle I save when I don’t have to worry about half of what I was going to do?  😀

Happy 2011! May God show you His way and His favor this new year.

Here’s a classic to cheer up your Christmas week! Larry The Cable Guy sets the story straight about Santa Claus. Here’s the bottom line from a perspective of relentless faith: It’s Merry CHRISTmas and happy HOLYdays, like it said on a t-shirt that I saw at a local Starbucks the other day. May you have a blessed Christmas and remember the reason for the season. Jesus came as a baby and grew up to be a man, the perfect, holy sacrifice for our sins, and through His death took away our wrongs and gave us a free gift to become free and to know His Father again. I, for one, welcome it… Enjoy the video!

Dumb and Dumber

Image via Wikipedia

Life gets so serious sometimes, and the Christmas season can be really hard on many of us. That’s why I love these lists, they make my day so much lighter! Of course it’s tragic that these people’s lives are so messed up, but man, every single youth should read this before trying out a career in crime! Enjoy and click the link below!

21 DUMBEST CRIMINALS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

 

A cow

Image via Wikipedia

I hate Daylight Savings Time with a passion. The problem is simple: Nobody remembered to tell our kids to sleep an extra hour last Saturday night, so our 2-year-old girl, Tea, got up at 5AM. I mean 4AM in the new time! This was the night after my birthday and before a major worship celebration at church, and we had an early morning rehearsal with two back-to-back services without much of a break. This morning (Monday) she was gracious enough to get up at 5AM… What did you say? Put her to bed later? Did it, but as usual, it has absolutely no effect on the time she gets up. She wakes up like a clock, and she doesn’t follow this Daylight Savings Time stuff. Now, despite “getting” an extra hour of sleep, I’m more tired than in ages due to this stupid clock switch!

I am angry at the guys who came up with this, but I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt and checked “Daylight Savings Time” on Wikipedia. Turns out that the result of this ordeal is totally unclear. Tons of studies have been done, and results are all over the place. It saves lives, it causes more accidents, it does this, it does that… Seems like every study had different results. I’d like to add my own, very practical results to this mess. Daylight Savings Time STINKS! In the spring, we lose an hour of much needed sleep and end up groggy and mean for at least a week. The older you get, the longer the period, and the longer the anger. In the fall, we “get” an extra hour of sleep. Not so. My empirical evidence clearly points out that at least two groups are left outside of the equasion: Kids and cows. I already explained the kids, cows are pure hearsay in this blog, but I’ve heard that their udders are close to exploding every fall, as the friendly Mr. Farmer is getting some well-deserved extra rest (Trust me, I know this. My uncle & cousin are farmers, and those guys work the longest hours I’ve seen anybody ever do!)

Coming from Finland, they do switch their clocks, but I can’t for the life of me understand why, except to feel accepted by all other countries that do the same. What’s the difference? In my hometown, come January, the sun will rise at 9:30 and go down at 1:30. So how would moving the clocks give you “extra time after school or work,” as they like to claim? You go in, it’s dark. You get out, IT’S DARK AGAIN! In the summer it never gets dark, so once again it’s useless! To me, the only sensible solution is to reneg our deal with the Sun and the Earth. How about they start working together to provide everyone with equal amounts of daylight?

So say what you want about DST, but I hereby announce my complete opposition to this stupidity. Since God created the Universe and gave us the length of days and nights, let’s just settle in and enjoy the ride. This, in my opinion, is what you get for going against His will! All it causes in our home is more loss of sleep, and we’ve already lost enough, thank you very much!