Damn Hot

HeatDamn Hot

Last week was the hottest scorcher of the summer in New England. People in the South say you get used to this. I grew up in the south and never got used to it. The heat made me sick— migraines, dehydration, exhaustion. Now I live in New England where people never need air conditioning! Wanna bet? Last Wednesday it was 99º. The heat index for the day felt like 105º. Add to that the 78% humidity…, oh never mind. Maybe it’s just me.

How does the heat affect you?

No, not the daily temperature: HEAT; PRESSURE; being pushed to your limits and then some. STRESS! The majority of us cannot stand too much heat. We simply give into the pressure and blow up. Thankfully, there are still some stalwarts who will give our lives for what we believe in and not give in.

Various sciences of our day have offered healthier stress-coping mechanisms for dealing with the HEAT. Here are some—

§  Take care of yourself.

§  Eat healthy, well-balanced meals

§  Exercise on a regular basis

§  Get plenty of sleep

§  Talk to others. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.

§  Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help with the stress. In the long run, they create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.

§  Take a break. If your stress is caused by a national or local event, take breaks from listening to the news stories, which can increase your stress.

Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress.aspx

Here’s my list—

§  Go into the woods & hit a tree: or, into an alley and pound a wall.

§  While you’re in the woods, let off some steam.

§  Contrary to the professional opinion above, find a “mate,” you can have a nice, cold Fosters with. This is a great way to dissipate the Heat.

§  Take time to process everything.

§  Write things down to clarify what really happened, or, what was said. Put it away for a week; then take it out & read it again. Still accurate?

§  Don’t blame God. [You know it’s not His fault.]

§  If you are the cause of the heat & stress, apologize.

§  If you are the recipient of the pressure, the stress, the HEAT, find people to help share the load. Then do the same for them when they need help.

There are probably many more ways to handle the HEAT. But I’m tired of thinking about this on a 90º day.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

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Recovering from Betrayal

Gary, Davis, betrayal, recovering, recover, revenge       One of the deepest hurts that happens to any of us is that first time someone betrays us.  Not so much the actual betrayal, rather it is when we discover that we have been lied to, betrayed, deceived. It is a deep, soul-slashing hurt. It is not the kind of pain we want to experience ever again.

Then, of course, the stings of deception and lying continue throughout the entirety of our lives. It seems to be an aspect of human nature that we lie to protect ourselves, to look better, to hide the truth, and even, sometimes, to intentionally wound another person. This is the most painful bite of all— the friendly fire rained down upon us.

Recovering from such wounds is no simple matter. Some of us never recover; its pain either seethes within, becoming a poisonous infection or it lingers, waiting for the day of retribution. Still, our revenge is only temporarily satisfying. What we truly need is a full recovery from the corruption that eats away at us. Some recovery suggestions—

1.      Though forgiveness may not be the first thing on our minds, in our rage and anger, eventually we must come to a place where we forgive the other person, or group. If we do not forgive, our broiling antagonism will slowly destroy us.

2.      Processing the wound with a close friend is also advised; not a friend who will support you in your anger, rather one who will guide you to a clearer perspective. You don’t want to fan the flames; rather, you want to find a friend who will help you tame the flames to warm and calm you. Retribution burns everything in its midst: never rekindle its embers. Let it die.

3.      Time is on your side. You will grow past this. You will emerge from the dark tunnel of seething anger. But you will, you must, grow your way out.

4.      In worst-case scenarios, seeking the counsel of a psychiatrist might be needed. To this day, I know people who cannot let go of their desire to seek revenge on those who have wronged them.

5.      Not surprisingly, vigorous exercise (sports, running, chasing after small children) releases toxins while it brings body-mind balance back in line. Something to think about.

There are many more solutions to help you recover from betrayal and the inner scars it leaves behind. May these simple suggestions start you down the right road to recovery.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Groundhog Insurrection

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christians, Groundhog, holiday, snow, winter, Phil                  After this past week of weather catastrophes it seemed a propitious time for a little fun. So let’s start with this odd question— What kind of culture could ever choose a Ground-hog’s emergence from his burrow and turn it into a national event?!? I mean, really!?!

Well…, that would be the United States. No other nation would use free-speech so frivolously. Nonetheless, in the northern hemisphere, it is the dead of winter. It’s dreary. It’s Sno-maggedon. Depressing. SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, blankets every city, county, and state. It’s a wonder we get through it at all. But we do have our skiing, snow-boarding, winter camping…, and warm fires, and hot chocolate, not to mention hot-tubs in the snow; 12+” more today. AND, Punxsutawney Phil, or Pete, or whoever it is now. Patricia? NAH! Real men would never stand for it.

First celebrated in Morgantown, PA (1841) on Candlemas Day, Groundhog Day was the forecaster of a second bout of winter or the heralding of an early Spring, depending on whether the little rodent saw his shadow. But earlier forms of GhD have been noted in both Germany & Scotland, two countries which definitely need an early Spring.

In my winters, getting out of bed in the dark just seems wrong. The cold, I can take. The snow, I love! But early mornings…, in the dark of winter! Not so much. What does get my warm feet on the cold floor is the thought that, today, I may just make a difference in someone else’s life. Right before the blizzard hit last week I handed a $20 bill to a homeless person. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Thank you. I’m going to go get something to eat, now.

Maybe we can’t change the weather with our actions, but we can most definitely change other things. Might I suggest we start with ourselves— then move on to help others grow. Small acts are sometimes quite significant in the lives of others.

                  What can you do today to improve another person’s life?  Not to feel good about yourself, or for some kind of recognition; simply do something for someone else because it’s the right thing to do.

So venture forth, Punxsutawney Phil, it’s a new day! You work on Spring: We’ll work on today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Stay calm; and dig out…, again.

 

Honor God, honor people…, make a difference,

  Gary

Playing God

Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, God, Playing, reality, pride, self-centered, atheist, beliefPlaying God. How many of us do this unconsciously every day of our lives. Of course, if you are an atheist, you cannot play; there is no one to impersonate. But if you are anything else you have probably wanted to be God in some situation or another. Sometimes, for the good—as in saving a life or preventing a disaster:  other times, for your own selfish control—you just want things to go your way. Everyone else be damned. This last reason is the most likely explanation why you are not God. You’re not that good at playing Him. It’s always too much all about you.

            Too many of us believe that playing God is about exerting absolute power over things. Some of the men I know try to do this in their immediate families with varying degrees of disastrous results. Fathers want to be dictators or drill sergeants, yelling out commands with unquestioned authority. Thank God He isn’t like that. To the contrary; he actually tells us what He wants from us, so there will be no question.  Psalm 51:16, 17 puts it best—

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

You do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.

You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Basically, outward shows of worship do not compare in any way with an inner understanding of our place in the universe. But why broken?” Really?!? Do any of us truly need to ask? Our propensity to play God is only usurped by our arrogant assumption to become God, at least of our own little realm.

            So thus do we come to play God with everything and everyone around us. Our species has a natural proclivity to assert ourselves. We are restless. We cannot wait for definition or direction; we must determine our own direction with only a casual glance to the impression we may leave on this planet, in the universe, or on other creatures. It truly has become all about us.

            We become the God we reject and complain when others will not play the game our way. And so follows war, cultural degradation, family dissolution, and a re-writing (in many forms) of the internally inscribed moral-code; for there is no one left to constrain us…; but us.

            Really!

            Though I am but one man, one human, of one species among many, I do have a sense that I am part of something far greater than myself. And though I do dare to play god at times, in my own little universe, I am always mindful that I am but a small player in a grand scheme, designed by Someone much more omnipotent than myself.

            So the next time you are tempted to assert your manhood, or your womanhood, or your position or authority over another, do so from the perspective that you are no greater than the God of the Universe dares allow you: and prostrate yourself before Him. Next to me.

  Gary

Mystery & Mysticism

 

 Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, science, mystery, awe, universeWe’re missing something in Western culture. We’ve lost a sense of awe of amazement, of wonderand reverence. We’ve settled for scientific discovery as a finding in the natural world, be they earth-bound or galactic. Though the scientists, biologists, geneticists, astronomers and medical researchers who uncovered them are far more thrilled than the rest of us, in general, outside the scientific community; we have come to accept discovery as commonplace— as if we have been doing this since the inception of the universe. Not so.

             Though the Ancients may have been visited by extra-terrestrial beings to start them along their path of technology, in more recent days, say the past 2,500 years, we have come to rely on innovation and invention. A rudimentary scientific method was initiated by Parmenides in the 5th century BCE. The “scientific method” as we know it, was formulated almost entirely by Galileo Galilei in the 16th century; his question-hypothesis-speculation provided us with an even more precise approach through which to screen and test our findings.

            Still, there is something missing. It is that sense of mystery when we gaze into the heavens. With the naked eye we cannot even see their end:  with a telescope, a little deeper; with the Hubble Telescope, deeper; a radio-telegraph, even deeper. Wouldn’t you think that measuring something 45,000,000,000,000 light years away might provoke a sense of awe onto the gazer? How far away is that, actually? Well, try this— http://scaleofuniverse.com/

If we could use the world’s largest electron microscope, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, we would see the order and accident of the universe at a minutia level, far below the atomic level. Coupling the breadth of the universe with the order and accident at the 0.0000000001 yoctometric level (quantum foam & string theory stuff), it should be observably obvious that the universe, this earth, and our own bodies are very intricate entities.

But with these incredible measuring devices where is the mystery? Where is the awe and amazement? As science uncovers more of the complexity of our world, be it across the universe or within the electron of an atom, it seems, to this writer, that there is little probability of it all staying in balance through mere coincidence and chance. The survival of the fittest hypothesis seems just too simplistic.

Is it possible that the mystery and awe have been there all along? Just not discoverable with our measuring tools. Rather, it is within the human spirit, of which we all partake; but also for whom this universe was created. It has been said that God creates: we measure. Maybe our past mystical experiences were not merely flights of fancy after all; but rather explanations of what we had actually seen, yet not measured. Mysticism unmeasured.

If it turns out that We are what all of this is about, then there will truly be a time of celebration and rejoicing…, not to mention our great humility and contrition.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

 

Putting a finger on Dignity

Dr, Gary, Davis, NEEDinc, Clueless, Christianity, Clues, Dignity

 

What exactly is dignity? It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is. Some people attach it to position or authority; some to rank or leadership. Others tie it to a civility in a situation gone chaotic. Still others will automatically attribute it to old age and longevity. One’s physical stature may come into play as the respect shown a tall man or statuesque woman. Some beauty projects dignity as well; but not all beauty.

If you would aspire to be one considered to have dignity, allow me to proffer 10 considerations.

  1. Be honest with yourself about yourself. Facades taint dignity.
  2. Be forthright with others, with respectful graciousness. Crass openness is offensive.
  3. Always be considerate of the rights and needs of others. You do not need to win to be right.
  4. Steep yourself in humility before the God who created you. We may be at the top of the food-chain on this planet, but the universe has many surprises in store for us.
  5. Take on the deportment of a servant, especially if you are a great leader of industry. This must be genuine, flowing from deep within your being.
  6. Take on a heart of compassion. Express it tangibly. [James 1:27]
  7. Hold others in higher esteem than yourself.
  8. Do not take yourself so seriously; or your position, or those who laud your accomplishments.
  9. “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” [Romans 12:18]
  10. Do not sit in judgment over another unless you are paid by the state to do so.

Genuine dignity is the blending of inner character and external action, without façade, without pretense, seeking only personality integrity and the betterment of others. BE who you have been designed to be without affectation. As we say around here—

Honor God, honor people…, make a difference.

THAT is indisputable dignity.

‘Nough said,

Gary