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Everything posted by VonNoble

  1. An interesting point raised recently by my very conservative neighbor. He LOVES his church. I know this because he mentions it darn near every time I see him. He has never actually invited me to attend but he has told me quite a bit about how he was a different man before going there. His pastor is amazing and you all can fill in the rest. One point I hear over and over and over is about the GREAT program for kids there (and it does sound like they have lots of stuff for kids to do)...then he continues about the super duper extra great teen program (and I bet the kids do love the outings and trips and weekend fun things.) So are the non-church going people (and their kids) missing some social outlets that are important for balance? There are not too many programs other than athletics for teens, for example. Most teens i know don't join scouting or 4-H these days. Weekend dances at school never happen any more that I know of.....so this is a non-electronic social event for kids. Do you think parents ever join in name only just to give their kids more do? (or to get cheap child care for kids?) von
  2. One of the most helpful things I have learned from meditation teachers .... was the fact i did not need to pick up a ton of ritual in order to reap benefits from meditation. One of the most helpful things to me especially during my work years was - meditating quicker (and more often) beat the pants off of not doing anything at all - for effectiveness. If I had to carve out twenty minutes it was less likely to stop and slow down than if I had a "drive through" version that I could do in five minutes. I NOW find either way is good. Lots of little hits during the day can be as effective on a hectic day as a true and deep session on a relaxing day. It seems far too many how to medication books really offer suggested length of time per sessions that are daunting for may - especially beginners. it might keep someone from joining in the very best - self induced wellness program I know. Anyone else a fan of drive through/short but effective - style of meditation? von
  3. So churches open their books for verification to the IRS? (Our church had a great relationship with the IRS and applaud them....they were VERY helpful to us.) ....however - we never sold things, ran raffles, played bingo - had school tuition, owned church vehicles, sponsored church sporting leagues, ran a church child care center, carnival, or a church coffee shop or gift shop....so there was zero chance we had any "profit" I am not sure that churches are audited in the same way individuals are audited. Are they? Are churches required to complete an annual tax form like a business? And submit their revenue annually for scrutiny. If not - then how would anyone know they have a profit - I am wondering. If they do - then I guess it would be self evident. von
  4. Hmmmm....I have been to some lovely church events and ....some of the worst gossip sessions I have ever heard - in church basements. I think they offer (some of them) a WIDE array of social venues. They raise lots of money and constantly need to expand the empire to feed the growing list of staff to support all that. It can often be accomplished without the tithing requirements too - maybe? If it can be - than why not have the churches focused on spiritual betterment and do it effectively? I am not sure the diluted efforts is making current church structures very effective as anything more than a social club. Maybe.....jus mulling it over a bit. von
  5. This might qualify as the dumbest question I have asked (lets not put that to a vote) however, I just got to wondering about Halloween and stupidity. Is this about the worst time of year for Wiccans to put out verbal stupid fires around them? Does it get exhaustive? Or is just something you ignore? Or you just don't hear anything about "witches" etc. that irks you about now? von
  6. You raise a reflective moment here.....the fact that any person with an agenda is looking for a way to wield their weapon. Interesting. Folks are seeking a way to weaponize their opinions/beliefs....to some degree. Interesting concept. Thx von
  7. You are right - I was unintentionally exclusionary in my wording - I would be most happy if you would contribute as I know you have, very often, helped me to cement my own thoughts. von
  8. Your legacy...

    The only thing about you that will live on forever is the kindness you have given. Is that true? von
  9. Curiosity question ...again to the religious folk affiliated with Yule logs, mistletoe, pine boughs in our homes and such. Do you feel compelled to explain the origins at this time of the year to those who do not know the origins....or do you just go with the flow and let them associate all of it with Christ's birth? von
  10. Films or live performance

    I just saw the play: It's a wonderful life: A live radio play. Watching how the old time radio shows were put together - complete with a Foley set up on stage - was fun. The special effects unfolding in front of you was like watching a magician showing you how the magic is done. Another vote for live performance as seeing that on film would not at all have been as entertaining. von
  11. Recently I heard the distinction between a film production and a stage production boiled down to the very basics. In a film, the words matter less. Films rely on stunts and special effects far more than a stage production ever could. Therefore, a stage production by nature of the event requires far more emphasis on the words and also the ability of the actors. Agree? Preference? HATE live performance? How does that translate to music (going to a concert versus a recording?) ......and even to a sporting event (attending a game versus watching it at the local sports bar?) Personally, while I enjoy a good tailgating party, I have to admit I prefer the comfort of my recliner at home. von
  12. Apple 8, X....new watch

    I made the decision to buy an Apple 8 instead of the X (thanks to all for assisting with that decision) .....I have no idea if there will be any sale before, during or after the holidays so I am holding off on that purchase just in case I can catch a break. However, having said that - if I had not already made the decision to not buy a X the current crop of problems would be off putting . The thing I find amazing is that in spite of a significant bit of not-quite-finished-with-this tweaking by Apple the darn thing is sold out and backordered. Eh.....THAT I do not get. I get wanting the newest thing but maybe at that price its best to let them finish working the bugs out of it before plunking down the money - maybe. Now, I was talking to some long time tech-heads (been at it since the late 60's) and they tell me Apple pretty much is now designing things to implode (become not financially fixable) in a less than four year time span. If you buy Apple - you better plan on replacing what ever you buy in the four year window...the batteries won't last - or they won't be worth fixing if you try to send them back in......anyone else hearing that? ALSO - if you DO send something in for a battery change - you do NOT get your original item back. They give you a "exact replacement"....send yours to the home office to be refurbished and old but YOU DO NOT retain the equipment. You go home with a replacement item...anyone know about that? von
  13. There is zero point in pretending I even understand remotely the electronic devises I already have.... 1) I am certain the devices can do way more than I use them to do 2) I am sure I am an easy mark when I go into any electronics place to buy something... I ask questions but often feel my head start to spin when sales people explain it I have a low dollar Apple wach. After a decade plus if not needing or wanting a watch... I was intrigued with the fitness watch craze. I like it as a reminder- record type tool. I really like the little reminder gizmo to stop and take a minute to breathe. i had intended to get a new one as a package deal with the X phone around the end of the year After looking at reviews online... there seems to be connectivity issues with the new version of the watch ( that I do not understand) so I am folding the money over and skipping any upgrade. The one I have now is working fine. There is no need to change that But my phone is getting old (like me) and more than one place this past year told me I needs new version of it. ( planned obsolescence?) as the guts ( my understanding) although currently- working... are less able to keep up. I am told I need a " smarter" version of my smart phone. I am reasonably confident the 8 version of the phone will handle all I need to do. I am Wondering why anyone would want an X version? Am I missing something? Is there any reason a non-jet setter would have a use for a X? Thx von
  14. Your legacy...

    The here and now - no matter what the topic - your choices in the now - affect your future trajectory even if you don't weigh that into your actions, no? So I can eat what is on hand because that is all I have.....and not give a thought to the consequences of nutrition, nor amount (gluttony because I can today) .....I just DO...and let the consequences fall where they might. Nonetheless the hangover for many on January 1st was due to decisions made December 31st. TRUE TO YOUR POINT...we can't know....then again - I would not drink a bottle of poison because I would not be certain it would not kill me. There is such a thing as calculated risk taking and decisions based on probability that most of us work into our current decision making..... For those who might be fortunate enough to have accumulated any wealth - they have choices to make regarding the outcome of the material estate (providing for the family, leaving a scholarship in your name for eternity...a trust fund to care for a beloved pet until they too die....) Lots of decisions are put upon us (including naming a beneficiary to an insurance policy) so in many ways WE DO think of future consequences. That i true to how we will be remembered or would like to be....no? von
  15. The first year our little church was in existence.... our funds were at rock bottom. Since we did not take up a collection”...of ever even remind people about donations; initially people just didn’t think about it. So the liturgy committee has exactly what they were willing to pull out of their own pockets to work with....and they hit upon a plan that we repeated every year after. They literally emptied their pockets and came up with just under fifty bucks. We had twenty members at that point (four months old)..... They brainstormed searching for a tangible item they could tie to the Refection I was about to offer to the congregation and came up with an item. We DID NOT originate journaling. We certainly did not invent the idea of a gratitude journal. What they did organize was a system of making the ideas real and part of their day. Every person received a journal ....even the kids. We were tasked to list three and ONLY three specific reasons we were grateful before going to sleep each night. Grateful for events of just that one day. We were to share them with the family at breakfast the next morning. COUPLES.....were to include one specific reason to thank their partner each day. Kids were to include a thank you to a parent each day. We hit a home run. People LIKED hearing reasons they mattered to their partner.... and liked hearing thx from the kids. often the reasons were inside jokes or funny. They ends up saving the journals and insisted those little holiday books be an every year event. We still get letters about that.... i suspect writing it down solidified the thoughts... Anyone else doing gratitude journals? von
  16. Thanks for your additional insights! Yes, like the other church members we follow the tradition once we receive our booklet. Usually it has around fifty pages. At the end of the booklet we quit writing. When we had kids...the rest of the year our family reverted back to announcing one reason we are grateful today. One of our foster kids announced the same one everyday. He was thankful to whomever invented ice cream. we never found a reason to budge or to nudge him off being stuck on that one. He really did love I’ve cream! Now that the kids are gone. It is back to just the two of us. And at every meal we select our favorite reason to feel grateful. I used to battle depression by keeping a journal. I would get writers cramp now as my cup runneth over with blessings.... it takes several minutes to pick the best one of the hour. NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE....finally! von
  17. I am going to propose a series of topics....and separate them so the post is not too lengthy. Please feel free to pick and choose as your individual convictions, belief system or opinion warrants. Grab Bag topic: Gift giving......something you do for others or the truth be told something we most often do for ourselves? ...thoughts to consider...if it is FOR them....why put a name tag on the gift......they love it just as much if Santa brought it, no? ....because THEY need to thank someone...or because you want credit for giving it? ....do you ever find yourself taking the spotlight telling everyone the great lengths to which you went to find this perfect gift? ....is it just fun as heck to tell everyone the GREAT bargain price you scooped this thing up for? Just a kick start string of ideas about gift giving..... von
  18. All of us flux on tons of stuff in our life. As kids we had years of wonder and delight if we were lucky. At least a couple of them. As adults - it can be a roller coaster. Years we want to see the family and years we don't. Years we are flush with cash and jolly as heck and years we are depressed for whatever reason. You can do your level best to keep the holidays in the mid-range of stress ...but you are not living in a cave or under a rock. People will gift to your (often without you wanting them to)....they will demand you be jolly, be a good sport and sing along at the office party....the family will EXPECT things from you......even sending a handmade card can get expensive. The one thing that is very difficult is to get people to just let you be alone that holiday in particular . It is both a good thing - and a bad thing - that people just will NOT let anyone sit alone for that one day. Even for introverts it is both a good thing and a bad thing. So......let's take a positive spin with this thing for anyone that needs a push that direction. Picking no more than two things....why are you GRATEFUL for the holiday season (it can be you love seeing the Grinch featured on so many items.) What ever you pick - it has to be stated in the positive. von
  19. Coming from a rather large family (or at least large for the income my folks had to work with) - the holidays were sort of stressful. We KNEW not to ask Santa for anything over $10.... Once my mother got a post-holiday thank you note for the lovely inclusion of $20 in the box of chocolate covered cherries she gave to one of dad's co-workers. Two problems. The box of candy was a re-gift - they had no money to buy gifts for co-workers and they scrambled when someone came to the door and mom...just took a gift she had received (the candy) and re-wrapped it to cover the moment. Probably because they could not afford to give anything - giving something was important to her - I guess. She would not have felt that way later in life I am sure but she was a young mother trying to do too much with too little We would have loved the candy. She needed the twenty bucks she did not know was in the bottom layer of the box. She was saving it and never looked beyond it was the best treat that could have been for us....so she gave it away in a moment's haste and later regretted it big time. How do you feel about re-gifting if the gift is new - nice - and something you will NEVER use? What is you know someone who would really, really LOVE it...okay to let them have it ? Tell them it is a regift? Wrap and save yourself money? The money you saved then becomes your gift? How do you feel about people giving you gifts that require you spend more money? A painting that you might well WANT to select a frame matching your taste ...but there is no money to buy frames so it sits in the closet? Some sort of coupon book that only works if you spend money to go out to eat...the savings is great - if you have the funds to begin with..... Plants that need watering when you travel? Of heaven forbid surprising you with a puppy? When you are low on funds......(like broke) .....what would you like OTHERS consider for your holiday happiness? von
  20. Your legacy...

    I am repeating the entire quote as it has heft and worth. I appreciate your not giving up on me. We sometimes DO pretend things are simple. And sometimes we attempt to make the more complex than they are....as all of us rationalize to our own point of comfort. We are not necessarily pretending. It is the reality we can work with sometimes. I appreciate the points you raised. They have much worth. von
  21. Since my far-flung family will not be together.... we always try and have one thing we ALL do....a “theme” item for lack of a better word... we photograph “ our” family of the day (whoever is gathered at our various homes) and send it to the other siblings to have a together moment of sorts. THIS YEAR....we will each be including a Thank You Puerto Rico poster.... as the kindness of the citizens there saved our eldest brother ( who resides there as a permanent resident)..... Bt happenstance in enlisting any help possible for news.... all of us siblings...independent of one another.... visited with transplant Puerto Rican’s (all of whom did what they could to help us)......in my case a couple young people at a nearby military base and three university students stuck in the dorms over the holidays....you better believe we are inviting them to our homes.... i’m Thinking our annual photo this year might feature a flag or two from Puerto Rico von
  22. Anyone generously hosting STRANGERS at next month's Thanksgiving dinner. For the sake of discussion I am removing finances as an issue ( there is zero requirement the meal needs to be elaborate or expensive) There are lots of reasons not to do so. Who is opening their home in spite of the reasons not to do that? And what is motivating you to do so? von
  23. Your legacy...

    Agreed. Whew...got that one von
  24. Your legacy...

    I agree. Up to a point. Every action has a consequence. Not every imprint becomes a memory. John McCaines legacy is not the fact he was a prisoner of war. It is a fact that changed him and the trajectory of his life.... but it is the fiber of his character that we remember Or maybe I am still not getting it... you have helped me before. I have faith you’ll somehow turn the light on for me von