Controlled Intake for 2012

If 2012 is to be better than 2011, I need to do a better job of controlling intake. Garbage In: Garbage Out is the old computer phrase. This is true in nutrition as well as information. It occurs to me that most of us would benefit from a food and information diet. Consider implementing these intake procedures:

1. Record your intake. I have the feeling that if I made an accurate measurement of the food and the information I consume I would be shocked. Not only do I take in too much, but the quality of my intake is not real good. Try this for a brief period, a month, a week, or even a day. Record everything you consume. For food, that’s relatively easy. It’s impossible to record every piece of information you absorb, so just try noting the major things: Television programs, radio programs, Internet sites, conversations, books, articles. The good thing about doing this is that the mere act of making a record will force us to change our habits. Before we make a note of something we are about to eat, or a piece of information we are about to absorb, considering the consequences may cause us to decide to skip it or to substitute something that would be better for us. A piece of vegetable instead of candy bar. A chapter of scripture instead of a sitcom we’ve seen several times already.

2. Cancel our smorgasbord. A Smorgasbord is a buffet meal of various hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, salads,casserole dishes, meats, cheeses, etc.. Most of us keep our pantry stocked with all kinds of stuff. It’s like we’re afraid we’ll get hungry and the object of our desire won’t be available. The information equivalent is probably our cable service. I know in our house we subscribe to every available channel in case there is all of a sudden something great on a channel we never watch. This leads to channel surfing, just like the full pantry leads to pantry surfing, looking for something to consume. Wouldn’t we do much better if we were deliberate about our consumption. If we made a thoughtful choice about what we should consume, and then acquire the necessary ingredients. 

In this area, I admire what my daughter in law does. She doesn’t subscribe to cable. She spends a fraction of the cost of cable on Netflix. Each viewing decision is a deliberate and usually wise one, instead of just watching “what’s on.”

3. Schedule some output. As I discussed a couple of days ago. Most of us are almost completely consumption oriented we don’t produce anything. We should deliberately schedule some creation time, whether it’s physical, mental or spiritual output. Producing something is much better for us and the world around us than just consuming stuff.

What about it? Are you ready to take control of your input?

I hope I am.

Be blessed.


2012 – How’s That Working Out For You

The LORD is my strength and my shield;

         My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; 

         Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, 

         And with my song I will praise Him.  Psalm 28: 7

Well, how’s the New Year resolution thing working out for you so far. I have to admit to kind of limping into 2012. It’s the third day and I’ve overslept three days in a row. I’ve gotten to bed early enough. I just can’t seem to get motivated to get up when my eyes first open.  I plan to forward a daily bible reading on to everyone on my distribution list and that’s not working right. My bank hasn’t adjusted my balances since last year so I have a stack of first of the month bills that I don’t have much confidence in mailing out. Even our water dispenser stopped dispensing and I just noticed I have a doctor’s appointment this morning that I’m not going to make because I forgot I had it. 

How about you? Those promises to read your bible more or watch your diet or whatever, how are  you doing? If you’re like me and things haven’t started off so well, don’t give up and keep your eye on the prize. You really didn’t expect that YOU were going to make things better. It’s not about you; it’s about Jesus.

Keep your eye on Him. He is your strength. Review Psalm 28:7.  It’s a process:
1. Trust in Him. He is your strength and shield. You are not your own strength and shield.
2. He will help. You need help. I need help. We all need help. He is the help.
3. Things will work out and bring joy in your life. Just when you realize you blew it. Here comes Jesus. Your help.
4. You will recognize Him as your strength and shield, your great help, the answer to every need and  you will praise Him.

Dust yourself off. Turn your eyes to Jesus. You get a fresh start every day. Not just the first of January.

Thank God.


Happy New Year

Every New Year presents new challenges, new blessings, new successes, new failures… just lots of new stuff.
This one started off differently. I overslept. I don’t know if this is a harbinger of things to come or just a one time deal. 
For the last few days I have considered the New Year and now it’s here. In many ways it’s no different than last year, so far. It’s just as dreary outside this morning as it was when I went to bed last night. Two birds just committed suicide by running into our windows. They have been doing that for years. I will go go church and thereafter prepare my “traditional” New Years Day meal. In our family, it’s tradition that I do the cooking on New Year’s Day and my repertoire is limited so the guests, if any, will know what to expect.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this year will only be new if we are new. The world around us is going to be pretty much the same. If we want anything to be different, we need to act differently and not insanely. By that I refer to the old saying that insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and yet expecting a different result.
The biggest thing about a New Year is like any other new day: new opportunity. Today we have a chance to do things differently, to do things better than we have before. We can trust Christ more. We can live more as He taught. We can love more. We can do more. Or we can do the same old same old.
What’s it going to  be?
Happy New Year.