Archive for November, 2015

Some Thanksgiving Thoughts

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

BLOG_Thanksgiving2_pumpkinLife isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

When in doubt, just take the next small step.

Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

Pay off your credit cards every month.

You don’t have to win every argument.

Cry with someone.

It’s OK to get angry with God.

Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

Don’t compare your life to others.

If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

Life is too short for long pity parties.

It is never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

Forgive everyone everything.

What other people think of you is none of your business.

Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

Believe in miracles.

Growing old beats the alternative

Get outside every day.

Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

Read some good books.

Envy is a waste of time.

The best is yet to come.

No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Yield.

Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Be thankful.

Something to think about

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab, forgiveness and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

Slow Churned

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

edyI recently noticed that Edy’s Ice Cream is “slow churned”. There is something inherently ironic about marketing the quality of something that is slowly churned to the high speed – generation of the 21st Century. Growing up I remember my mom being in the kitchen all afternoon preparing supper from scratch. She would actually peel the potatoes, snap and pull the strings off the green beans, wash and cut up a chicken then roll the pieces in flour on a well-worn wooden cutting board. Then when mom starting cooking she used every eye on the stove including the oven. I recall that our house used to smell really good back then. Seems like the slow churned days are pretty much bygone days.

The quality of our lives can be significantly enhanced by incorporating a little slow churning into them.  For most of my life, I went to work early and stayed late. At my last church I was teaching the Sunday messages, counseling the members, visiting the sick, burying the dead, facilitating the Bible studies, watering the flowers, buffing the floors and cleaning the commodes —- all in the name of the Lord.I didn’t do that because I had to or because we couldn’t afford help; our pockets were deep.  I was driven because I felt that I had to prove my worth. Someplace along the way I learned to equate being a fast churned overachiever with being OK.

Today, I’m in recovery from me. No longer do I feel compelled to supply the appropriate answer to every question or to meet every want. In fact, I now realize that not every question requires or even merits an answer. In the process I’m learning to enjoy life like never before.

Thanks for the reminder Edy.

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab, forgiveness and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

There is a Good Reason to:

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

loveyourenemies1The holiday season is a time of great stress for many people because they are choosing to hold grudges. I hope you are not one of them. If you are, there is a solution. Prayer and hate do not mix. They cannot coexist. To really be praying for someone, while hating them are mutually exclusive. I did not read this in a book. I proved it for myself with people whom I tried like the devil to hate.

Just this week, I experienced an incident demonstrating the potent power of prayer; albeit, this one did not involve hate. However, it makes a similar point. There is a man at the gym who really bugs me. I try to avoid him. The problem is not with the man, but with me. This fellow is a nice guy, but extremely verbose and without borders. I am pretty much the opposite. I want to go to the gym to work out and not chit chat. Unless I really know you, I’m an introverted kind of guy — a man of few words. So, the very last place I want to be with this man is in the steam room, where I prefer to simmer in silence.

The other day he walked into the steam and even before the door had closed, he started telling us that he lost his car keys the previous day. It all went on and on and on. Every detail of the lost keys was covered more than adequately. He then told us that his wife was sick and had to have an operation. He described everything. For reasons, I can’t fully explain, while sitting there in that cloud of steam, I was moved to silently pray that he would find his keys and that his wife would be OK. I said those prayers for the last five days.

This morning he came into the steam room; of course he told us every detail of his weekend. When he finally paused for a split second, I asked if he found his keys. He seemed surprised and replied that he had. I asked him if his wife was better and she is. We talked for a few minutes and I had to leave or pass out, but for the first time I enjoyed being around him. I think I’m going to like him. I want you to understand, that is what prayer does.  There is a reason that Jesus gave us all this command:

Luke 6:27 But I tell you who hear me, Love your enemies.  Do good to those who hate you.  Bless those who curse you.  Pray for those who mistreat you. 

And the reason is…..it changes US!

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab, forgiveness and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

Old Timer’s Prayer

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

old man prayingLord, You know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject.  Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody, helpful, but not bossy even though with my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it at the end.  Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details: give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my many aches and pains.  They are increasing, and my love of retelling them is becoming greater as the years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally, it is possible that I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably good; I do not want to be a saint — some of them are hard to live with — but a sour old man / woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.  Lord, help me to extract all of the fun out of life.  There are so many things around us; I don’t want to miss any of them.  Amen*

*Author unknown

Something to Think About

The online version of my book for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab, forgiveness and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877