The Great Fruit of the Loom Expedition

Well… Hello… I was hoping you would show up.  I have been out for a short time, trying to make friends with Fruit of the Loom at Wal-Mart.  Yes, even your local Professional Friendly Person needs replacements once in a while.  So after an already stressful morning, I set out on a shopping trip that turned out to be an exercise in complete and utter frustration.

Since I last went on such an expedition, it seems someone has hired a professionally certified Madman to package women’s underwear!  There is an astonishing selection, devised, it seems, to be the ultimate shopping challenge.  Choices, choices, choices!  There are hi-cut, lo-cut, French cut, bikini cut, full cut, briefs, boy-shorts, thong cut, string cut, classic cut, and comfort cut.

Comfort cut?

Really?

How stupid of me to assume that all undies would be comfort cut!

Not done yet!  More choices… 100% cotton, cotton blend, cotton/spandex, nylon, microfiber, wicking fiber, polyester, polyester blend, and modal… whatever that is.

After reading all the labels, if by some miracle, you have made a choice… surprise… there are size and color options.  I have been here for a half hour already and my frustration level is in the red zone!  Mercifully, I spotted what I thought would work, but there it was, hanging two feet out of my reach on the highest hook.  To add insult to injury, after making a complete tour of the entire store, looking for someone to help, it appeared that every salesperson had vacated the store, opting for lunch.  This included cashiers!  Another dose of frustration!

I am practically in an all out frenzy!  It was then and there, I got a hold of myself, took a deep breath, and recalled some of the “magic tips” I had learned at Doorway to Recovery.  We have discussed that “Magic Show” in an earlier conversation.

Practice His presence was one of the “tricks”… it is simple… it involves just asking God for his guidance and help or simply thanking Him, briefly, all throughout your day.  No long, formal prayers required… just stay in His presence and simply ask directions!  He will be there… even in Wal-Mart!  My mind silently inquired of Him, “God, could you please help me find some clarity and calm in my day?”  He whispered, but I heard… the message was clear, “Go home…. let it go… remove yourself from this endless frustration.”  How simple!  (God will make it all plain.  Timothy 2:7)

Practice His presence… He will guide you through even the smallest of life’s daily stress.  I know… I found Him in the undie isle at Wal-Mart.

Trade the Daily Trash for Treasure

Hi… I am so glad you stopped by to see me today, because I have a question for you.  Do you ever share my feeling of being overwhelmed and emotionally drained by all the trash and social debris coming at us every day?  If you too have had this experience, I have someone I would like you to meet… his name is Randy Pausch and he can help deliver some treasure to you today.  He was born on October 23, 1960 and he likes to talk about achieving your childhood dreams.  He actually did reach some of his childhood goals before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer… a diagnosis that is almost a death sentence!  So, for Randy, with that diagnosis made for him, he had only about six months to live.  He was then, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and he was a perennial favorite with the students.  They loved his innovative class and his lectures!  So, with his unusual upbeat personality and sense of humor, a genuine sense of character that came through loud and clear, he courageously delivered “The Last Lecture” in September, 2007.  Randy passed away on July 25, 2008.  His message, for all of us, has been preserved in a small book, aptly entitled, “The Last Lecture!”  The message in the book will inspire you, and the following is a preview of Randy’s profound ant thought provoking quotations.

“Brick walls are there for a purpose… they let you prove how badly you want something!” James 4:17, So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

“Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted!”  Job 12:12, With the ancient is wisdom and in length of days understanding.

“Critics are your best friends… if they stop telling you what you are doing wrong, it means they do not care anymore.”  Proverbs 13:18, Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored.”

Want more?  Get the book!

Boom-Boom’s Advice On Well Calculated Risks

For every success we experience, we have usually had to venture out into the unknown, to get there.  We have had to step out of what is comfortable for us, but sometimes our own personal comfort zone, is a zone that restricts our growth!  In order for us to move forward, often we have to take a well calculated risk.  There is always a safety net… ask God for his guidance… the good places you can go with Him are not always clear from your vantage point… we are not in control.  Let Him open the door for you.

A decision may bring you to the very edge of a wonderful new experience… a promotion, a fresh love, a new friend, a new destiny.  Listen carefully… you have asked for His direction… He may whisper, but He will guide you.  The opportunity before you may present itself only once!  Do not be afraid to try something new.  Don’t negatively “what if” yourself into a life of confinement or stagnation.  Take God with you on the journey of a well calculated risk.

Revelation 3:8, “I know your deeds.  See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.  I know that you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”  NIV

A Musical Blast From the Past

“Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd

 

You know the song…do you understand the lyrics?

 

“So you think you can tell, Heaven from Hell…blue skies from pain?

Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail…a smile from a veil?

Do you think you can tell?”

 

Haunting lyrics, for sure! Lyrics that paint a picture of absence…people going through life with detached feelings…coping with their world by withdrawing from life, physically or emotionally. Being absent from their own life! Perhaps even soothing their poor lost souls by saturating themselves with drugs and alcohol. Is your spirit crying?

 

Man traded obedience for free will, many years ago, in the Garden of Eden as detailed in Genesis, the first book in the Bible. How are you using your free will to cope? Can you tell Heaven from Hell?

 

“How I wish you were here!

We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl. year after year.

Running over the same old ground, what have we found?

The same old fears…wish you were here!”

 

If you find yourself lost and swimming round and round in that fish bowl, maybe fearing the unkown, remember, you have free will! You can move to a better place….I really wish you were here, with me, and you can make that happen! Use your free will to join with the single most powerful force that will bring order to your world…Join with God! He already knows you , so no introductions needed, he loves you and he is waiting for you. Joining Him is where you will find peace, joy, love, and all the answers for which you have been endlessly searching for.

 

Want some ideas from Boom-Boom on how to get started? Open your mind and your heart, unconditionally. Get in a good 12 step program and hang out with these positive people, and practice what they preach. Read the Scriptures and call doorway to inquire what programs they offer that will keep you on track. You will be welcome there. Get connected…you’ll be able to tell Heaven from Hell!

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: You cannot continue to hang out with negative people and expect to lead a positive life!

CPR For Life

Hello Dear Friends:  I would like to tell you how much I enjoy your company and your comments, so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment space at the end of this story.  Today, I would like to share my thoughts on “CPR for Life.”  The tale of the $20.00 bill was sent to me and I hope you find my sentiments worthwhile.  I found this story very thought provoking… hopefully you will be able to take some meaning from it for yourself.

A well known speaker began his keynote address by holding up a $20.00 bill.  There were about 200 people in the room, and when he asked, “Who would like to have this $20.00 bill?”  Everyone’s hand went up.  He proceeded by saying, “I am going to give this to one of you, but first, let me do this.”  He proceeded to tightly crumple the bill up.  He then asked, “Who still wants this?”  Still, everyone raised their hand up in the air.  “Well”, he replied, “What if I do this?”  And then he dropped it on the ground and took his foot and ground it to the floor.  He then picked up the dirty and crumpled bill and asked, “Now who still wants it?”  And everyone’s hand was still raised!  “My friends, you have all just learned a valuable life lesson.  No matter what was done to this money, you still wanted it, because it never decreased in value, no matter how dirty, crumpled and damaged it became.”  It was always still worth $20.00!

Like this $20.00 bill, there are times, in our lives, when we have been dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by decisions we have made or circumstances that come our way.  We feel as though we are worthless.  However, no matter what has happened, or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes.  To Him, dirty and crumpled or clean and finely creased, you are always priceless to Him.  You always retain your original value!

It may be difficult to see the value at the time, but you can be certain God is waiting for you.  He wants to comfort you and extend his steadfast, omnipotent hand to guide you on your road to recovery.  Recovery from any hurt, habit, or hang-up!  God’s love for you is beyond any experience you have ever had here on earth.  It is always and forever unconditional and glorious!

Oh… wait… I think I just heard someone out there declare they are not a believer.  You can trust Boom-Boom when I tell you I get that!  I really do get that, because, at one time, I inhabited that place…  I know it well!  However, you can also believe me when I tell you the next words are coming from that same experience.  When you find yourself crumpled and broken, and you are completely out of all alternatives, this is indeed a dark and lonely place a low point in your existence!  When you find yourself here and out of options, you WILL, out of sheer and utter desperation, turn to God!  Yes, God!  The same God you claimed you did not believe in!  And when you call out to Him, He will be there for you…  your last option will be available for you!  And when you discover God is all you have, you will also discover God is all you ever needed!  CPR for life!

Heart - CPR For Life

 

WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS

Did you know that November 16th is the Great American Smokeout Day, sponsored by the American
Cancer Society? So this month, my blog is dedicated to all my friends out there who are still smokers! The following is a letter from your heart….endorsed by Ms. Boom-Boom LaRue!

I would like to introduce myself to you…..l know you, intimately, but I doubt you even give me much thought. I am the symbol of love, and I am the sole reason you are alive at this moment….l exist for you! I am your heart! I love you and because of that I remain on duty for you 24/7. I never sleep but I make sure you can, and then I make sure you wake up. But you have been trying to kill me….you have little regard for my dedication to you. You insist on smoking! Maybe you did not realize that one out of five deaths from heart disease are directly related to those filthy cigarettes!  I call them coffin nails!  Why do you continue to feed me nicotine? It is making it nearly impossible for me to get oxygen for you, it is raising blood pressure, and it is making me have to work faster and harder than I was ever intended. I need to pump 2 gallons of blood around every day, and those cigarettes are an obstacle to accomplish that! You are wearing me out before my time!

Damn it! That nicotine is speeding me up and trying to make blood clots! I am trying to protect you, but it is really difficult! And, by the way, everyone else around me is also complaining about the same thing! Smoking is damaging all of us in here……your lungs, your bones, your pancreas, and your skin, to name a few of us. You may not know it, but your poor lungs are struggling to keep you from developing bronchitis, pneumonia, and other diseases such as emphysema. Eventually, with emphysema, you would have to breathe through tubes attached to an oxygen tank! And smoking is a carcinogen causing all kinds of cancers. Believe me, they are all highly unpleasant and perhaps fatal! Your mouth, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidneys and bladder are all begging you to bring them some relief! Please….. stop smoking!

A cigarette has a fire at one end, a fool at the other, and a little toxic tobacco in between! Cigarettes are killers roaming the earth and traveling in packs! So be on guard! Your smoking bothers us, but it has the potential to kill you! We all care about you and we are cheering loudly for success in the effort we hope you will make, to give up “the habit!” Giving up smoking is not easy…..we are very aware of that. Each day is a battle, but you can win the war! Boom-Boom cares……really cares about all her friends . I am absolutely on your cheering team! Go for it! And while you are at it, perhaps you would consider working in a little exercise…..take a walk with Jesus!

For Love of Duty

Hi… how are you today?  I hope your day is going in the right direction for all you want to accomplish!  If, by chance it goes in the wrong direction, don’t go with it!  Stay here with me for a while.

I have a confession to make!  I love firemen!  I really love firemen and they are my heroes.  I am one of their biggest fans!  Every day they are my heroes, but as much as I love them, I hope I never have an emergency that requires calling them!  However, if that should happen, it is a comforting feeling knowing that they are there 24/7… they are right out there where all the stories are coming to life.  They are out there making house calls!  They were once just ordinary men, but when they trained and became firemen, they were converted by their very sense of duty, into courageous heroes!  I happen to know one very well and I have been lucky enough to spend a lot of time with him… you know… vacations, dinners, quiet, thought provoking conversations… that kind of thing.  Therefore, I feel somewhat qualified to comment about firemen.

Another firefighter once told me, “firefighting is all about ass… busting ours to save yours.”  Wow… irreverent?  Maybe.  Sassy?  Perhaps… but you have to admit, that pretty much sums it up!  And a male firefighter is the only man you will ever hear say, “She’s hot tonight”… and they will not be talking about a woman.

Firefighters are a critical element in our daily lives as they provide safety and security for all of us, yet most of us take them for granted… until the critical moment we need one!  For firemen, failure is never an option.  They operate on the slogan, “duty first”.  Gregory Widen in Backdraft, said, “the funny thing about firemen is, night and day, they are always firemen.”  Their sole purpose is to save the lives of strangers, save animals, and property.

Contrary to common public opinion, firemen are not lounging around the firehouse just waiting for the next desperate, emergency phone call.  They are continually going through extensive and frequently exhausting training.  This is necessary to stay current in all the new, complicated equipment, technology, and rescue techniques.  This training might encompass such things as high angle rope training to rescue someone from a tall building, water rescue, or underground and trench rescues.  Firemen in the position of paramedic must stay up to date on all the latest pre-hospital emergency procedures, medications, and proper drug overdose rescues.  They must be in top physical and mental performance even when awakened from a dead sleep in the middle of the night!  They never know what the next phone call will demand of them.

So, thank the next fireman you encounter and maybe even give that person a big hug… you will feel warm all over!  Yes, I do love firemen and may God watch over every one of them.  John 15:30 is for them!  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Our Great Nation… In God We Trust! Happy Birthday, America!

I absolutely love the 4th of July!  I love every part of it… the colors, the parades, the picnics, the music, the fireworks, the pagentry, and the significance!

Independence Day, or the 4th of July, is really my favorite holiday!  It is a federal holiday commemorating the day, in 1776, that the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress.  The United States was born… a brand new nation, that was no longer part of the British Empire; but God would always be a part of it!

At that time, John Adams wrote to this wife saying, “I believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.  It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty!  It ought to be solemnized with pomp, parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

So to this day, we, as Americans, carry out Mr. Adams’ expectations and we indulge in hot dogs, ice cream, fireworks, parades, music, barbeques with friends and families, all while adorned in clothes of red, white and blue.  But while we are enjoying our freedoms and the fun the moment provides, let’s not forget the blood, sweat, and tears that got us here… a nation with a foundation of strong Christian values!

These Christian values have come together to form a carefully constructed mosaic that is the very foundation of this great nation.  You may be surprised to know that of the 56 men who signed our Declaration of Independence, nearly half (24) held seminary or Bible school degrees.  The following quotes from some of our founding fathers, are small sampling of the strong moral and spiritual convictions that they valued and upheld.  These values and convictions have been passed on to you… treasure them!

George Washington, 1st U.S. President, “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion.  To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

John Adams, 2nd U.S. President and signer of the Declaration of Independence, “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited.  Every member would be obliged, in conscience, to temperance, frugality, industry, to justice, kindness and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love and reverence toward Almighty God… what a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”  – From the Autobiography and Diary of John Adams.

Patrick Henry, Ratifier of the United States Constitution, “The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed.”

Roger Sherman, Signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, “I believe that there is only one living and true God, existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.”

Our Christian roots are indeed deep and mighty!  This is truly a gift to all of us and we all share in that inheritance… get involved in it, covet it, and embrace the love and power!  Truly, In God We Trust!

Boom-Boom thanks you for sharing part of your precious day with me… In God I Trust!

Dynamic Quotes From Some Who Have “Been There”

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them!”  Roger Babson

“Either you run the day, or the day runs you!”  Jim Rohn

“If the addict is pleased with your help, you are probably enabling.”  Sandy Swenson, Author

“Rock bottoms became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”  J.K. Rawling, author, Harry Potter Books

“There is no person walking the face of the earth who demonstrates more courage, dignity, honesty, and integrity, on a daily basis, than an addict in recovery.”  Anonymous

“Recovery did not open the gates of Heaven and let me in.  Recovery opened the gates of Hell and let me out!”  Anonymous

“Addiction is the only disease that manipulates your mind and assures you that you do not have it” AddictsToday.com

“I am not defined by my relapses, but my decision to stay in recovery despite them.”  RecoveryExperts.com

“Just because your father was an alcoholic, or drug addict, or any other dysfunctional behavior, do not be tempted to use that as your excuse.  If you do, you are looking at the wrong Father!”

“Eventually, every addict WILL have their last high… choose recovery so you can talk about yours!”  (paraphrased author unknown)

 

Boom-Boom cares… really cares from the depths of my heart!  I am crying for those of you who may be lost and are resisting recovery.  Just know that He has cleared your runway and you are ready for takeoff to something much better, if you choose.  Additionally, if you are in recovery, I am filled with deep admiration for your courage and sense of purpose!  I am praying for all of you and your Father is calling you all near to Him.  His grace and mercy, for you, is far greater than your greatest sin!
1 Corinthians 13:1-8

This One’s For You, Best Friend

Have you ever lost someone who was dear to you?  If so, I can truly relate to how traumatic that is for you… a devastating loss!  I just lost a very dear friend.  She was the best kind of friend to have and the worst kind to lose.  Her passing was not unexpected, so we all had time to prepare for the good-bye.  I was jolted into reality… you are never prepared!

She got a lot more mileage out of the body that they once pronounced would not make it six more months.  They took her right to Death’s door with treatments, and she slammed it shut right in the face of Death!  They were stunned at her longevity and success.  She steadfastly credited that success to the personal, daily relationship she maintained with Jesus Christ.  She fought the good fight and kept her foot jammed into Life’s door… it could not shut!  She declared it would shut when God determined it would shut and she would be ready!

She lived many years beyond what they predicted… full of joy and a joy to all those around her.  But when the time did come, we all knew it was inevitable.  However, knowing that truth did nothing to ease the pain of the enormous dent left in our hearts when it happened.  I am bewildered at the loss, but knew a farewell would be necessary before we could meet again.  Easy to say… difficult to accept when it gets personal… this one is my friend!

She would not have wanted us to make a career of tears.  She set the bar and it was high… it was a stretch!  But before she left, she said, “the world is in need of good people… angels… look for them as they come in many forms.”  She ought to know… she was one to all those around her.  She made a positive difference in someone’s life every day.  Kindness and love were always with her and she generously spread them around.  They are beautiful, healing virtues.  She always made sure everyone knew Jesus Christ was the only explanation she had for her unexpected longevity.  She read “The Word” and lived it out!  I was a witness to this miracle!  There is no other explanation for that gift of life she received, except for her own explanation… Jesus Christ.  Believe it!