November 23, 2017

Sandia Peak Tram

Today while camping out here at the Balloon Fiesta in Alburquerque, we took a bus trip and the tram up to Sandia Peak, a 4000+ ft elevation rise in the

A Sandia Peak Tramway car ascending the mountain.

A Sandia Peak Tramway car ascending the mountain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sandia mountains to the east of Alburquerque. The weather here was clear and warm, even though temperatures at the top were about 30 degrees below those in the valley.We had a nice lunch at the restaurant at the top, and enjoyed the view.

Today, I was thinking about “spiritual support” for those of us, who by nature of our RV lifestyle, can’t be regularly associated with a local church, as we never are in the same area very long. I am pondering about finding or forming some kind of “virtual church”, so we can experience some worship, fellowship and support experiences, while we are “on the road”. Perhaps a special type of journaling, to the “virtual congregation” could be included in this experience.

I would appreciate any comments or your experiences with this type of concept.

 

From the Balloon Fiesta,

 

Glenn

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The Balloon Fiesta Journey

We are on the road again, here at the Annual Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM. There about 1500 RV’s here sitting on an old garbage disposal site next to the balloon park. We are with a group from Adventure Caravans, who organized this 13 day tour. The balloons didn’t fly Saturday morning due to winds, but yesterday, Sunday,  the morning and evening shows came off with tens of thousands of people on the balloon grounds. At the mass ascension in the morning, there were hundreds of balloons launched at the same time. It was a wonder they didn’t collide with each other.

 

 

One of the most colorful sights, for me at least, are the “shaped balloons.The “Wells Fargo” balloon is one of the most detailed shape.

So, as you journal today, consider what you might write about, what adventure you will take today. You might not be at the balloon fiesta, but find something in your day to brighten up your spirits, try something different, you might be surprised at what happens. Have a wonderful day.

From the Balloon Fiesta,

Glenn

 

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The Journey of Love and Laughter

 

 

Yakov Smirnoff

Yakov Smirnoff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last evening, we attended a performance by Yakov Smirnoff, who is an inspiritional comedian based in Branson Missouri. The theme of his presentation was about the Journey of Love and Laughter. Yakov is a former Soviet Russian, coming to the US in 1977. He told his story of how people in New York helped his family and him survive and thrive here in the United States. Yakov gave the large mural which is at the site of the World trade center bombing on Sept. 11th.

Yakov’s speech was as much educational and inspirational as it was humerous. For months now, as those of you who read this blog know, I have been disillusioned and even depressed about the sad state of this country and in particular the failure of its political system. Yakov reminded the viewers that the word politics comes from two root words: “Poli” meaning many, and tics” meaning blood sucking parasites. I think that pretty much sums up the current group of politicians in Washington, ie. “many blood sucking parasites”. As I watched the recent political conventions, the primary emphasis was to see how much blood they could suck out of their opponents. Not much if any mention of how they would help this country, only that “they” would be better than their “blood sucking’ opponent. I still subscribe to my plan to “vote them all out” in November. No more blood sucking parasites, enough already. At least we could get a new group of “parasites” in, which might help a little, at least for a while.

Enough of the blood suckers. The real point of Yakov was that through the language of “laughter”, that life in this country could be improved. The giving and receiving of the gift of laughter to each other is the key. He used magnets, with opposing and attracting forces as a visual aid to understand this. Another key uses the word “gift” as an acronym. G stands for Giving, I for importance, F for Fun, T for time. If we want to have a postive relationship with anyone, we need to give them a GIFT, that is Give them a feeling that they are Important by paying attention to them, acknowledging them, etc. Then give them Fun, but using the language of laughter, our humor, and finally spend quality Time with them. So, that’s it, give them feeling of importance, tell them a joke, and spend time with them. Pretty simple, eh.

So, as you journal today, consider who you will give your GIFT to. Yakov reminded us that is always takes at least two people to laugh. So give the GIFT, laugh a little, enjoy life today.

 

Glenn

 

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On the road again

 

RV Park

RV Park (Photo credit: Bill Ward's Brickpile)

After having our RV sit in our shed since last March, we are finally on the road again, here in Sedalia, Missouri, attending the Escapees RV club annual Escapade Rally. So, we are ready for a week of entertainment and seminars learning how to improve our lives. So, I will try to post more often now that we are away from the drugery of constructiong our RV storage and apartment shed and get back to informing my readers more about journaling, the RV lifestyle, etc. Many of the participants here at the Escapade are on the road either full time or part time so have a wealth of information on surviving and thriving on the road. So, we are anxious to learn more about learing about this great land and sharing our journeys with each other. Last night after we went out to Golden Corrall for supper, we walked the Rv sites here at the fairgrounds and met several couples with fascinating stories of their travels on the road. So, as you meet someone today, consider sharing your story and your journey with them.

From the Escapade,

Glenn

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Journaling For Happy Endings

I always wanted a happy ending...

I always wanted a happy ending... (Photo credit: geezaweezer)

I am a member of the International Association of Journal Writers (IAJW) and we had our monthly teleconference last night. The guest speaker was Rachel Ballon, who is a noted psychologist who uses the power of writing to assist industry executives to achieve personal success. The title of the teleconference was “Journaling for Happy Endings”. Rachel is writing a book on the topic “Happy Endings- Re-Write your life”, that she will be publishing this fall. So, be on the lookout for this new book.

She stated that “We are the stories we tell.”, that our brains retain much more from good stories than a listing of facts. Good stories need developed characters and we need to see our character development as a key part in writing our life story. She presented the following  formula for writing your “happy ending” story.

1.Start with some relaxation time, perhaps play some relaxing music or do deep breathing exercises.

2. Then do some visualization exercises. Consider and review some stories from your past. Use all of your 5 sense which will help your story come alive.Pick out a story you want to write about, something that is weighing on you, or you want to further explore.

3. Then write non-stop for 15 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, just free-write what comes to mind.Write in first person, present tense (I am), for greater effectiveness. Use your senses as you write.

4. Then reflect and reread what you have wrote. Perhaps you could read your story to a trusted friend. She claims reading the story to someone helps you process its meaning. Stories are meant to be told, not just  kept inside.When you share your story, something touches a different part of your brain. You need others to bear witness to your story.

5. ReWrite your story to achieve a happy ending. Consider what you might change in your future to achieve the outcome you desire. Consider if your inner character may need to change to write a more interesting story for your life.

So, as you journal today, consider these techniques. Write your story for a happy ending.

Glenn

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The Washington Stupids, Act II, Revisited

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. " (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t still don’t know why this gay marriage issue still bothers me so, but I will journal about it again and hopefully get it out of my system. I’m beginning to think I am the one getting “stupid” about this issue as I continue to read the numerous on-line reports, pick up a newspaper, etc. The media has certainly latched on to this one. I think the president really stepped into it this time. The black pastors came out condemning the fact that gay marriage is against all biblical principles, but they were reluctant to condemn or chastise the President. It seems like they too are waffling about whether they want to support their belief system or bow to the modern forces of society which continue to erode the basics of Christianity. I attended a Methodist church yesterday, my wife’s mother’s church and the sermon was on how Christian principles were in a continue state of decline over the last few decades here in the U.S. Like President’s Obama, whose belief system has continued to be corrupted by the power of Washington (I think he used the words evolving, more politically correct, I guess), Christians in the U.S, have their beliefs under continual attack.

I am a member of the Lutheran church, Missouri Synod. I have always thanked God that in this changing world there was one unchangeable belief system that the church and myself can cling to. It is:

“The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod believes, teaches and confesses that in Christ alone is there salvation — by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Scripture alone.

Pretty simple right, If its not from scripture, its not true and not important. So, no depending on any ‘pastor” or “president” to “intrepret” or tell us what or how to believe. Just look in the bible, and if its there, its true, and if it is not, its not true or not essential to our faith and existence. Of course, that wouldn’t bring in many campaign contributions or sell many newspapers, but it pretty simple and straight forward.

So, as you journal today, consider who you will look to for your belief system, will it be scripture, some book, the book of Mormon, the media,  a pastor, or the president?

Glenn

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The Washington Stupids, Act II

I thought that I had gotten over being so upset by the “stupids” in Washington, but this week, they topped all their stupidity, and so I must journal about this, if nothing else to calm my nerves and try to preserve some principles and morals in my life.

This week, our chief “stupid”, finally decided that he had to change his belief system and knuckle under to the pressures from the gay community, (CNN said they were withholding campaign contributions) and so he became the first president in history to sanction gay marriage. Oh, I’m sorry, that is not politically correct, “same sex marriage” makes it sound more human. As I stated in previous posts about the stupidity in Washington, my goal is to vote them all out, all incumbents out, even the chief one.

The chief stupid claims he is a Christian, but anyone who had even a little knowledge about the Bible knows that it does not sanction or approve of gay relationships, let alone blaspheming the sanctity of marriage, one of the major sacraments in the bible. It seems like most Christians however, have climbed under some kind of rock, and are not protesting or rioting in the streets. Maybe they are just too weary to fight off the evil in Washington. I’ve heard more women now like the chief stupid,  for in addition to having the freedom to kill their babies, if they choose, now it will be easier for them to not even involve any member of the opposite sex in marriage. I guess they still need the males to provide some sperm to propagate the species.

So, what to do, besides my campaign to vote all stupids out. I’m not sure what to do. We must certainly be in the end times, so maybe the end will come quickly. If not, I guess the US will go the way of all major nations who lose their way to immorality, greed, and degradation in character. Like Rome, this nation will fall, perhaps even as soon as Greece, who appears on the brink of anarchy and collapse any day now. All I can do is pray for some moral revival in the leaders of this nation.God have mercy on the USA.

 

Glenn

 

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Dialogue Journaling, A new way to a happier life

friendship

friendship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I started this blog, I developed the principles behind what I called “Contemplative Journaling”. See the Categories under this topic on the right. I have found journaling to be a powerful tool for Self improvement, self growth and in general finding a happier life. Mari McCarthy, in her blog www.createwritenow.com wrote a post recently about self improvement and self growth:

“I’ve been toying with these two terms, as we move on in to our next adventure with CreateWriteNow. We talk so much about using journal writing to achieve personal goals, and we use self-growth and self-improvement pretty much interchangeably. Maybe we can gain new perception if we differentiate these two intentions. Let’s consider the reasons a person might embark on a program to change (or modify) the way they are. It’s either because something about your person or personality irks you or because you want to become more aware of your potential. These are two very different motivations. If you want to change because you are unhappy with your current status quo, indeed self-improvement is your goal. An aspect of today’s You is unsatisfactory, so you determine to create a better tomorrow You. You will probably find journaling to be an indispensable tool for achieving your goal…..Facing a personal challenge is nothing short of heroic. It’s supremely hard to admit you have a problem in the first place. And then, to make the decision that you are going to change is another gigantic step. When you actually begin your new regimen, it takes everything you’ve got to stay on track. But the job can be made significantly easier if you journal your experience. By keeping a journaling log, you’ll create a coach who will help you see progress, get over setbacks, and persevere until you have triumphed. That’s where self-growth comes in. While self-improvement journaling will involve a lot of documentation, self-growth journaling is done more for the purpose of discovering new things. We are all always growing and changing. Keeping a journal that’s focused on your self-growth allows you to be cognizant of these changes. It also leads you to become more self-aware: you’ll recognize more clearly what influences you and become more familiar with why you react as you do. Self-growth is a lifestyle, one that values awareness and seeks to continually expand it. Self-improvement is more project-oriented and time-bound. In sum, while many may undertake self-improvement initiatives at various times, everyone can benefit at any time from self-growth journaling. “

For some people who have the discipline to journal regularly and then “self coach” themselves by applying the principles that Mari notes in her post above, the results can be truly beneficial. However, there are many of us, myself included, that struggle with achieving the desired effects from journaling, by going it alone. I find it much easier to move ahead in areas of self-growth and self-improvement, if I have some resources to help me along. Reading other people’s blogs, like Mari’s certainly helps, but I need some feedback, someone to ask me the powerful questions about where I want to go, someone to hold me accountable.  In short I need a coach. In the life coaching world, people hire a lifecoach to help them through major struggles in their life. However, this is expensive and few of us have the luxury of enough finances for this approach. A few years back, I ran across this concept of peer to peer coaching, which really interested me. This was done on a person to person, face to face basis and I’m sure is quite effective, but here again a good deal of time, travel expense, and coordinating calendars is involved. So, I am proposing combining the principles of journaling, with those of “coaching” and those of “friendship”. I call it “Dialogue Journaling”. It involves finding one (or possibly two) persons with whom you want to coorespond with  (over the internet, not the old pen pal snail mail) and in effect “journal to each other”. While this won’t involve expenses in paying a coach, travel, or coordinating schedules, it will require a commitment to spend a couple of hours each week to write your journals and respond back to the friend’s journal. I suggest that  the journal interchanges occur at least twice a week, but no more than 5 times per week, to avoid burnout. So, in the weeks ahead, I will be fleshing out the principles behind Friendship Journaling.

Please give me some feedback on your feelings about this approach.

Glenn

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Who is your firestarter?

Albert Schweitzer, 1952

Albert Schweitzer, 1952 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week has been a whirlwind, with traveling to Missouri to attend a funeral, and now back in the “construction mode” with the building project. At least the tornado weather has passed and we are enjoying nice warm spring weather. I’m feeling exhausted and running on fumes, probably need to slow down a little and pace myself or something.

I got this quote in an email this week.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:

In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

As humans, we all need someone to keep our inner fire lit. Perhaps that person is a family member, a special friend, or someone who speaks to you through worship experiences, or in another away. So, as you blog today, consider who, in your life, is your fire starter. Then “plug in” to that energy source, cultivate those relationships, so that you can continue to be a flame and light in this dark world.

Glenn

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How we survived the Kansas Tornadoes

A tornado near the Harper/Kingman county line ...

A tornado near the Harper/Kingman county line in Kansas on May 10, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, yesterday, I posted on finding purpose and meaning in life. This morning, I am just thankful to be alive. I should have got an inkling of the severity of the weather yesterday afternoon, as I spoke to my uncle in western Kansas. He said that dozens of weather spotters were flocking into his section of the state, anticipating a major storm outbreak. In the late afternoon, I noticed that there were some developing supercells on my radar on my trusty “droid” cellphone. Living the RV lifestyle, one always has to be aware of severe weather. Several times on the road, while in a campground, someone would bang on our door and tell us to get into the storm shelter. However here in Kansas, we have our RV backed into a bay in our pole building, so it is safe from rolling over, at least until the wind destroys the shed. Once about 5 years ago, we had our RV fifth wheel, parked nearby my brother’s shed, a very small twister went through the yard, lifted up the front jacks of the fifth wheel, move them over about 2 ft. and set it back down. Fortionately we weren’t in the RV at the time.

My two grandchildren live in a mobile home on the same farmstead as our RV shed. They were getting scared as the storms developed as their parents had went out to shop so they came over into the RV. Then the power went out. Fortionately I had installed an automatic RV generator in the shed and it fired up and got the phone modems and the TV back on line. The weather men and women certainly did a great service last night. With their super doppler radar and the dozen of storm trackers out, they could identify the tornadoes and notify the public within seconds. Having their constant updates probably saved the evening for us. For most of the evening there were at least 3 tornadoes on the ground at once. The governer reported over 97 tornado sightings in Kansas alone. When I checked my phone weather service, it said that a tornado had been spotted just 4 miles to the south west of us. This was the time I knew we had to seek more secure shelter. When my son and I developed this farmstead, one of the first things we did was to put in a storm shelter, This structure is a 8″ thick concrete room buried underground with a quarter inch thick steel door. I think it would survive a bomb blast. When I went outside of the RV shed, I observed that the wind and rain had completely stopped. The air was deadly quiet. Now this is a very bad sign, as this is what usually proceeds a nearby tornado. Then I heard the tornado sirens go off in nearby Lincolnville. Then I heard it, as it was dark now and a sighting the tornado wasn’t possible It sounded like a freight train somewhere in the distance, but this train had no whistle. I quickly yelled for Marcia and the two grandchildren to get into the storm shelter. They gathered up two dogs and a cat, and we all got safely inside. Once inside this concrete vault, we couldn’t hear much of anything except an occasional rattle of the door. However, I had installed standby power in the shelter also, so we had light. We were able to track the storm with our cell phones when in the shelter. A half hour later we emerged from the shelter and didn’t note any damage on the property, but Marcia has heard debris hit the roof of the shed before we went into the storm shelter. Then my brother called. He had learned that the tornado had hit 3 farmsteads just a mile north of our property. This morning we went to survey the damage. One newer house had its entire roof torn off, the walls were still standing, and the family was alive, only sustaining minor injuries. A short distance away, another older two story farm house still stood, but with tree limbs on its roof and the yard full of down trees. A hedge-tree row along the road had been flattened. In the trees were odd pieces of tin, metal siding and other debris. A paddle boat was perched up high in one standing tree. A peculiar sight was up in one tree there was an American flag. It was so torn and tattered, you could barely make out what it was, but there it was, reminding us that in spite of these great tragedies (and the stupids in Washington), we still live in a great country. At two of the farmsteads, neighbors were gathering up debris and wheel loaders were moving large branches. Dump trucks were hauling the debris away. By tonight, you probably won’t even know (at least by the debris) that a tornado had come through.

So, as you journal today, consider how fortionate you are to be alive. Consider how you can share your blessings with your fellow man. In the midst of tragedy, this is still the greatest country on earth.

Glenn

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