A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving Day! Before you enjoy that turkey, and other traditional treats, take a moment and think about what you have to be thankful for. Even as we struggle with the worst moments of our lives, we can still find reasons to be grateful. Maybe today is one of those days for you, but I hope not. I truly pray that this Thanksgiving is a day full of joy and reminders of everything amazing in your life from the past year.

Here’s a little bit from my list:

  • I’m thankful for my God, the Father and Creator for the universe that we live in and all of the wonders in it. I’m thankful for the Earth, and the beauty that we find in it. I’m thankful for how the whole of creation inspires the creators within us.
  • I’m thankful for my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for his sacrifice. I’m thankful for his mercy. I’m thankful for his words and his example. I’m thankful that I’m allowed to follow him.
  • I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit, the Helper and Comforter. I’m thankful for my growing understanding of his presence. I’m thankful for his guidance.
  • I’m thankful for my wife. For so many reasons, she is the perfect woman for me, and I wouldn’t have become the man that I am today without her inspiring and supporting me.
  • I’m thankful for my children, and the opportunity to raise them. I’m thankful that each one of them is different, and that they each teach me something new about myself.
  • I’m thankful for my family. My parents, grandparents, and sister. I’m thankful for the family I married into. I’m thankful for all of these voices speaking into my life.
  • I’m thankful that for the work that I am able to do. I’m thankful that I’m healthy enough, and skilled enough to work steadily. I’m thankful that my work allows me the time and resources to give back through my church and charities.
  • I’m thankful for the growing community of friends and mentors that are a part of my life. I’m thankful for what each one of them contributes. I’m thankful that I have been entrusted with each relationship.

There are so many reasons to be grateful, more than any list could cover. What are you thankful for today?

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November 22, 2012 Posted by | Christ and Church, Food and Booze, Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , | Comments Off on Thankful

As You Will It

A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.

“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”

“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work. Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.

“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.

“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”

“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”

It’s convenient to give others power over us. It’s simpler to claim the world is working against us. Your pain is easier to bear when it’s there because of somebody else. Staying down as a victim will always feels safer than standing up and owning your life. We don’t like thinking that we’re responsible for our own joy and satisfaction.

Still, we are responsible.

We get to choose who we let speak into our lives. Which people will advise us, and who will be our mentors.

While others may still say and do things that hurt us, we control the weight that pain will carry into the future. We control how much their words matter, and how quickly to forgive them.

We get to decide if we will see problems in our home or workplace as the fault of others, or if we’ll see them as opportunities for us to try amazing and interesting solutions.

Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others.

We also get to choose how to interact with the world, and everything in it.

Food. Do we eat for energy? Or for inspiration? Or for comfort?

Money. Do we earn to provide? Or to be charitable? Or to gain power?

We can answer similar questions for our education, our work, our homes, our investments, our toys, and on and on. What is the purpose of each named thing in our circle of influence? In every part of our lives, we can do so much more with it when we clarify the reason why it’s there.

So, what will the next “town” be like for you? It’s as you will it to be. Any change of venue you make will still have you in it. What will you be bringing with you? You do get to choose. Maybe it’s time to unload some of that old baggage so you have the ability to experience something new.

Final Thoughts: Matthew 25 is pretty clear that everything that we have has been given to us by God, and that he expects us to do something with it. If that’s true, why did he give you a home? Also, what if this applies to relationships? What does that mean for the children he’s given us?

June 18, 2012 Posted by | Food and Booze, Marriage and Family, Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on As You Will It

Links of the Week, Christmas Eve Edition

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Welcome to another episode of “What Jonathan has come across on the Interwebs that he finds interesting, entertaining, inspiring, or just plain weird.” I’ve got quite a few things saved up from the last couple of weeks, so this is going to be a bit on the long side. Enjoy!

  • “It’s easy to be homophobic if you don’t know anyone who is openly gay.” Steve Chapman tells the story of how he grew out of his own homophobia. I suspect this is fairly common, I know it’s true of my experiences. See, it’s hard to continue vilifying that broadly labeled group when you meet individual members of the group that don’t fit the evil in your head. Maybe it would just be better if we dealt with each other as individuals to start with?
  • Monet Parham, single mother of two, is suing McDonald’s to stop them from using of toys to market directly to young children. The money quote: “I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.” They also take control of her vehicle, her pocketbook, and her ability to say ‘no’ to her children, I suppose. Parenting is hard enough without abdicating responsibility to marketers.
  • How secure is your password? If it’s less than 10 characters and doesn’t include capital letters, a few numbers and a special character or two, it probably isn’t that secure. A recent hack at Gawker reveals that people make some stupid decisions when creating their passwords. Try to be more creative with yours.
  • It may seem strange to associate the behaviors and traits of leaders with those used to describe love, but I find Perry Noble’s gut check list compelling. These are good things to be working through in general, but especially if you are in a position of leadership.
  • I believe that one of the results of this Communication Revolution we have been living in, and the Information Age that it has spawned, is the total revamping of education and schooling as we know it. If you’re interested, let me suggest a couple of videos to you. Education scientist Sugata Mitra’s child-driven education talk at TED from July of this year is fascinating. There’s also an animated version of a talk presented by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert, on changing education paradigms. Both are challenging discussions and completely worth watching.
  • A message from last year that I think is very appropriate this Christmas. There are a lot of reasons to not like Christians. Shane Claiborne asks you to please forgive us, because God is not a monster and Jesus is worth getting to know better.
  • Presenting the all new taste sensation, coming to the snack aisle at your local food mega-mart: Haggis Chips! No, really.
  • This is a very long interview with Matt Ridley discussing five books that he believes are well worth reading. Some of these will probably go on my reading list. Ridley is very adept at making the case for an optimistic view of the future, and I am happy to be persuaded by him. I hope you take the time to read what he has to say.
  • This past week, pigs grew wings and began to take flight. Pat Robertson and I can agree, in part, about US drug policy. He stated, on the 700 Club, that “criminalizing marijuana [is] costing us a fortune and it’s ruining young people.” I couldn’t agree more. (There has been some understandable back-pedaling from the organization, but let me have my moment of joy, won’t you?)

That’s should be enough for now. Everyone have a Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Food and Booze, Marriage and Family, Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Happy Turkey Day

It’s Thanksgiving. I’m going to be enjoying my turkey and cranberry sauce with some family and friends this year. I have a lot to be thankful for.

If you’re stuck working today, I’m sorry. I hope you can get some time with your family. Thanks for being available to perform the needed service that the rest of us might require today. We really do appreciate it.

If you’re not looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner, because the turkey will be more like jerky or your family will be less than friendly, then I can only offer you a small consolation. Be happy you don’t have to eat this instead:

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That very angry looking meal is from James Lileks’ Gallery of Regrettable Food, which has been published in book form, and also has an occasionally updated Interweb presence. The Gallery re-introduces the viewer to the cookbooks of days gone by. Using images and text from these forgotten tomes of the “Golden Age of Butter,” Lileks masterfully puts the entire era into its proper and most humorous frame of reference.

For example, did you know that you can “fresh up” those everyday dull dishes with the lively flavor of 7-Up? Use it to baste your ham, add it to salad dressing, or even bake a cake with it (with 7-Up icing!). How can we have forgotten, in a mere two generations, the endless culinary uses of this simple soft drink? It’s a travesty.

The Gallery contains an amazing array of such wonders and educational moments. I encourage you to take just a few moments and learn all about:

There is more, of course, but I don’t want to deprive you the joy of exploring the Gallery on your own. So, before you’ve stuffed yourself on the Thanksgiving spread, take a few moments and go appreciate what you don’t have to eat. You’ll be thankful that you did.

November 25, 2010 Posted by | Food and Booze, Read and Reviewed | , , , , , | 2 Comments