Prescription for Life

In Sunday School today we talked about I Thessalonians 5:16-18, and the Pastor suggested that these three verses could be considered a “Prescription for Life”. I’m inclined to agree.

They are short verses, and seem to be literally impossible, so I think that we tend to pass over them rather quickly.

Be joyful always;

pray Continually;

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

As a programmer, I am uncomfortable with words like “always” and “continually” and “all”. Looking at the first verse, though, it doesn’t seem out of reach. What is joy, after all? We think of joy as being synonymous with happiness, but it isn’t, really. You can have a joyful expectation and anticipation of God’s power and triumph, even in the midst of unpleasant conditions, as witness Paul and Silas’ conduct in the jail in Phillipi. Hard to imagine being ‘happy’ while sitting in the stocks after a severe flogging. Inspired by the Holy Spirit to display a joyful spirit, these two prisoners were able to sing and praise God in spite of their condition.

So to be joyful always — this means that I should have ever-present in my mind the hopeful anticipatory expectation of possessing the promise of salvation in Jesus Christ. That joy ought to be the backdrop against which my life is played out. It seems to rule out fear and despair.

Pray continually. This one really challenges me, because I am far from having a regular prayer time (apart from daily prayer with the kids), and my sentence prayers are fairly sporadic. I subscribe to the Brother Lawrence Practicing the Presence of God school of thought, in that I think the only way to do this is to live your life as a conversation with God, to include him more and more in your daily tasks. I think that a major part of my struggle over these last 16 months of unemployment and self-employment comes from a lack of a steady conversation with God.

Give thanks in all circumstances. This is a hard one, especially when we have our hearts set on some thing, rather than on God. Frankly, I expected that God would answer both of my prayers regarding my consulting business, and that He would give me both the number of customers and the amount of income I requested for the month of February. Unless someone shows up with a bag o’ cash in the next hour or so, the answer seems to have been yes, with regard to customers, but no, with regard to the amount of money I requested.

Let me step out in faith, then.

Thank you, God, for NOT giving me the money I asked for as earned income during the month of February. I accept that this was not your will and I submit to that will. I can see that several good things can come out of this ‘no’ answer, and I am committed to seeking God’s glory in this situation.

I have so much for which to be thankful. God has repeatedly met our needs, and most of our wants, since I was laid off in November of 2002. Perhaps I will devote a blog entry to listing just a few of the reasons I have to be thankful.

In case you missed the last part of verse 18, this is not merely Paul’s personal suggestion for us: “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We often complain that we don’t know God’s will for our lives, usually when faced with a difficult decision or opportunity.

In many ways, these verses are the New Covenant version of Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Not a bad prescription for life.

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I’m a fan of the online world

Online gambling is booming even between poker players and is becoming one of the favorite pastimes of many sports enthusiasts. Many believe it is the future and its impact will go beyond just sports. In fact, it is in the top 5 online gambling market as per Google Analytics, sites like FanDuel are one of the most popular sites for sports betting.

Why Are We So Involved with Online Gambling?

There are a number of reasons as to why we are such a big proponent of the business. First and foremost is the fact that gambling is not illegal and it is entirely free of cost. It’s not legal to place wagers online in the US, but with our extensive network, we can take care of your bets and our customer support team will always be ready to help. Secondly, online gambling gives players the chance to play with real money, which is of course more fun. Thirdly, online gambling can provide you a way to participate in sports betting and make some extra cash in a fun way. And finally, online gambling has given players the chance to become a part of a business that can really benefit the community and our world.

So why should you play online casino?

Well for one, you will always be playing against other people. When you play online casino, you’re actually playing against other people and their computer and their odds. For all you know, a computer sitting in the corner may be playing faster than you are, thus winning you a million dollars or losing you a million. This makes it more fun when you play online casino because you can be a part of the game. You might get stuck at the casino for a few hours wondering if you did good or bad. Then you will win or lose and get some real cash. You will never lose and you might even make a few bucks.

Why Should You Play Online Casino?

You can play online casino for many reasons:

There is no limit on the amount of money you can earn in online casino. It is an online casino that will always keep your money safe. Online casino has no minimum cashout requirements. It is easy to make money in online casino. You can play online casino with money in your bank account. You can spend all your money there. It is also possible to play online casino with real money. You can play online casino for a short or a long time. It is easier to start with a shorter time.

Online Casino

This casino is free to play. There are no monthly fees or maintenance fees. You can play it whenever you want to. There are no deposit or withdrawal fee. You can play online casino when you are visiting a foreign country. You can deposit cash online casino or make a deposit from a bank account. You can also play online casino at a casino with your credit card. You can deposit credit card funds or make a deposit from a bank account. You can play online casino with cash at your computer. There is no transaction fee. You can also deposit credit card funds or make a deposit from a bank account. It is possible to play online

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Time for a haircut

There comes a time in a man’s life when he just needs shorter hair. For me, that time comes about once every three weeks, when the shaggy hair on the side of my head starts (ugh!) touching my ears. If this warning sign is ignored, the hair will sometimes even get so long that it actually (shudder!) needs to be combed.

Sad to tell, we’ve reached such a point here at the green house in the woods. Kathy’s been avoiding her duties as hairdresser but I managed to extract a promise from her to cut my hair tonight. Sometimes if I am overly obnoxious about it, I get the kind of haircut that I deserve, but in general she is pretty careful.

Back in 1992, when Kathy and I first moved to Connecticut, I went out for a haircut and was apalled (appalled?) to pay $16 plus $2 for a tip! I was used to paying $3.25 for a military haircut — these civilian prices seemed excessive. We rushed out to Caldor’s (a department store) and purchased our first hair cutting kit. Over the years, we’ve bought at least 4 replacement kits (it costs nearly as much for a new blade as for a whole new kit) and saved hundreds of dollars on haircuts. Figure $16 x 12 (minimum one a month) x 12 (years of marriage) less $18 x 5 (haircutting kits) — we’ve saved $2214 just for me, not counting the kids! (I admit, I had to use the calculator although I started out trying to do it in my head. In kinder days I used to give Kathy $10 for cutting my hair, but now I just take her for granted.

Uh-oh. Tina just called, jeopardizing my whole haircut scheme — just my luck that they will talk until Kathy is too tired to cut my hair, and I’ll have to go another day as shaggy Tim. Life can be hard, sometimes.

Tomorrow I go to see my doctor, to discuss blood pressure, cyatic (ciatic? psyiatic?) nerve trouble, and for a general tuneup. How strange to have my body begin to run down — I’m noticing little aches and pains and diminishing hearing and vision. What would it have been like to be one of those long-lived guys, like Adam or Methuselah — would you spend the last 200 years or so as a geezer, or were they hale and hearty up until the last 15 or 20 years?

Serious questions, for serious people. :)

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Rainy Day Thoughts

Today was a fairly typical winter day in western Washington — cool and rainy but not excessively so. I have been feeling vaguely melancholy most of the day — it doesn’t help that I am between projects in my work, reading a rather depressing David Gemmel novel, and lack a wood stove.

Really, when it comes down to it, a wood stove would really solve all my current ills. I can just imagine the cheery flames reflecting from the bright-colored enamel surface, waves of heat filling the great room and driving away the chill and gloom that seems to seep into my very bones.

Sometimes five children can be a real handful — we notice it particularly around mealtimes, here at the Duckabush Edgren houselhold. Lately Kathy has been doing aerobics with Casey at 5:30 in the evening, and I have tended to work right up to (and sometimes through) dinner time. The kids seem to sense that no one is paying attention to them, and the chaos builds until either Kathy turns off her aerobic tape or I come out from my office to find out why we’re seemingly being attacked by a regiment of enraged orangutans.

This is a really good night to settle in early to bed with a good movie. We’re thinking of re-watching an old favorite, “The Man Who Knew Too Little” with Bill Murray.

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