Archive for August, 2017

Hitting Home
August 30, 2017

PoliceLights Prw

 

Last night a 15 year old African American kid was murdered in his home by another 15 year old friend. I’m not sure what started it, as details will emerge eventually, but it ended in murder.

I see this all the time on television. You do too. Newscasters reporting the murder of teenagers by other teenagers. Mostly gang related, but not always. We shake our heads and say “tsk, tsk” or “how awful” then turn the channel because we are tired of bad news.

This was different. This was my neighbor. His yard connects with mine. He walked past my house on the way to school, or to play basketball. But I didn’t really know him.

We’d nod and say “hi”, or sometimes just nod. We’d had issues in the past, some problems in the neighborhood that were associated with him. The police knew him. I had talked with him. But I didn’t know him. I mean I never invested my time to get to really know him.

And for the first time, instead of saying “this is awful”, I am saying “this has to stop”. I have worked with teens for over 30 years. I have seen very troubled youths, confused youths, but usually very angry youths. White kids, black kids, rich kids, poor kids, male, female, and those trying to figure out what they are. Confused.

Suicide is the number three killer of teens. Murder is number one. The kids are killing each other. It has to stop.

It’s not a gun issue. It’s a heart issue.

I wonder if I would have presented Christ to him if he’d still be alive? Would he have made better decisions? I wonder if I would have even mentioned the freedom that comes from knowing Christ personally if it would have made a difference? What if I had prayed more than I did or if I stopped him along his walk, if it would have made a difference?

People ask if I’m afraid in this neighborhood. No. It just reinforced something I already knew. This is my missions field. This is where I am to be. To bring hope and light to a dark part of the world.

While others may sit in their ivory towers, I am not permitted to do so. I see troubled teens all the time. Suicidal teens. Angry teens. And hopeless teens. Teens without hope. And how can I not bring Christ? I can’t. I have to bring Him to a dying world, a dying generation of teens who feel that death is better than life.PoliceLights PrwSomewhere a mother is crying because her son is dead. Not just somewhere, but next door.

 

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The Story and How It Goes
August 13, 2017

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Sooooo, I’ve been busy. LOL.

It’s been quite a while since I blogged. But here’s what is happening.

I have been enrolled in a pilot program from UPMC for people with various ailments (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure) to teach proper eating and appropriate replacements for foods not so good for you. The purpose is to see how people’s blood numbers can change for the better by proper eating and live a healthy life.

This is how it works. They send you 3 meals for two people, (Bonnie is in the program also,  she’s healthier than me but also a cancer survivor, praise God) every Monday, with all the fixin’s and the recipes for the week. Then for three dinners, you eat what they send you. The rest of the meals are on you. But they give you a goal for the week.

For example, the first week is to divide your plate into four sections: protein (so far that can be meat), grains, fruits, vegetables. So that is the focus for week one. For week two it’s focusing on including different vegetables into your diet. This will go on like this for 16 weeks with different goals.

This is a great program and we both want to do well because this program could save lives and relieve the need for pharmaceuticals.  We are both very excited. It’s not a diet, it’s a changing of eating. A changing of living. The first thing Bonnie and I noticed were “portions”. They’re small in regards to protein, but not small with healthy veggies and fruit.

I realized that my portions prior to this could feed a small African village. I had been exercising but never losing weight, and it was because of portions and crappy food selections. And the change in all this has been easy.

Today is Day 12 and I’ve lost 12 pounds! That excites me. I no longer drink anything but water. I thought not having pop (soda) or diet pop (soda) would be difficult, but it isn’t at all. It’s not even a challenge, or even an “urge”. We don’t drink alcohol, so that’s not a problem. No sweets either, and there’s no temptation. Bonnie had a zucchini brownie she made that was very good, and satisfied the cravings for sweets, which have been minimal since I started this. I’ve had issues that my blood pressure is TOO LOW! That has never happened. This trend will quite possibly result in less medicines or getting off the medicines all together. That’s the plan.

Also, if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (please feel free to do so) you’ll notice I am at Buhl Park a lot. Bonnie and I walk three miles at least 5 days a week and usually 6 days. This also is what is helping I’m sure. We are both just so excited with this and our kids are behind us 100% and are very supportive. They will glean off of us for the recipes.

I love that this isn’t a diet, but a changing of eating. The nutritionist asked me what my goals were and I told her I just wanted tools. Tools on what to eat, tools on how to cook, and tools on how to adjust my mindset.  They give me these.

This program has been an answer to prayer, as we both asked the Lord to help us learn what to do right when it comes to eating. And this program does just that. We eat much less meat (If you’ve never watched the documentary “What The Health”, you should). People are giving me advice, but all I know is that what I am doing is working.

Now, I take no credit for this, but give the glory to God. I don’t buy into this “self love” thing, I do this for my love of God. I’m a miserable sinner and God loves me, so I don’t need to love myself, because there is nothing lovable about me. It’s ridiculous, because that is the problem with most of the world, “Look at me”. I prefer to point to God. That’s why I won’t post pictures to say “Look at me”. I took one of those “before” pictures, but that if for my own chuckling. It was pretty repulsive.

I won’t post my weight, maybe when I get down to where I want to be. I will post my progress (you know, up a pound or down a pound). I won’t post recipes or “plans” other than diet and exercise is the answer. I’m 61 and never been so excited. I will be encouraging others to take control with God’s help. If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, hit me up on Social Media and we can talk.

My life is a vacation. I have everything I need with Bonnie, kids and grandbabies. I am happy. And if losing weight makes be around longer, I’m for it. Because my bucket list only has one thing on it.

I want to dance at my grandchildren’s, all my grandchildren’s, weddings.

I covet your prayers.