Lighthouses – They Warn of Danger and Are a Beacon of Hope

Yesterday was an interesting day. And when I say interesting, I mean sort of weird, at least to me.  I have always had elevated blood pressure – sometimes is a bit above normal, other times it’s much higher than it should be, but it’s never been dangerously so. When I got up, after I put together breakfast and packed Hubby’s lunch, I popped in a stretching DVD.  Years ago, this was out in a VHS video but has been re-done as a DVD with a morning portion and an evening portion. You may have heard of the woman who does it – Callan Pinckney.  Callanetics is a gentle exercise routine with a focus on protecting the spine, knees, neck, etc. It’s very effective though. When I did this years ago when it was a VHS tape I felt great results, so I thought I’d start all over again and do the DVD that I’ve had awhile and not really used much.  I got through the morning session and was just going to do the afternoon one and get it done for the day, but when I came to the part where she had the hamstring stretch, I got so dizzy I nearly fell onto my face and immediately felt the need to be sick.  The dizziness hung out for quite a while, as did the sick feeling.  Hubby asked me to please take my blood pressure and the numbers were really high. As bad as this sounds, I’ve never really put any focus on what the numbers mean when it comes to danger, so I went along my merry way and did my grocery shopping. I took it again when I got home, and it was slightly lower, but not by much. In the evening I took it before bed and it was down a bit more, but not enough for comfort. Today I am not rushing around anywhere. I am staying home, doing some laundry, pushing the vacuum around and I think I’ll be getting onto the treadmill and taking a slow stroll while watching a show. It’s going to be too hot out to exercise outside, so that will have to do, while the air conditioner in the bedroom keeps things manageable for comfort.  This is scary to me because I guess I’ve taken my overall health for granted. Yes, I know I need to lose weight, yes, I know my thyroid is messed up and I have arthritis starting in various joints. Overall though, I’ve always felt pretty healthy.  Take your health seriously. Make sure you are doing the best you can to eat the right foods, get exercise, reduce your stress and take your vitamins and healthy supplements. Laugh as often as you can, tell the ones you love how much they mean to you, and take quality time to snuggle the kids, grandkids, dog and cat. Get right with God and stay there – you never know when your moment will come to greet Him face to face and you want that meeting to be a great one, not one filled with shame or regret.

Oh, and a funny thing happened to me last night – which falls right in line with my love of talking about coffee.  I was pouring some ground coffee into our canister last night, and shaking it around (with the lid on) to mix the new grounds in with the ones that were already there, when the lid popped off and a shower of coffee came out, all over the front of me – including down my shirt – all over the counter, and onto the floor. Thank goodness it looked worse than it was, and the kitchen and my clothes smelled amazing, but geesh! I hate wasting good coffee! I saved what was on the counter but the rest was a sad loss.


Verse of the Day

August 7, 2018

The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.

Isaiah 33:22


Thoughts on the Verse of the Day           

When we think about God’s being our judge, we normally think of falling into judgment. Isaiah reminds us that God’s being our judge means that he will be there to judge us based on his will, his rule, and his grace. He is on our side and is looking to save, not condemn. Using the New Testament idiom, when we stand before our Judge we see instead our Father.



Food for Thought

A young man walked into a local pot shop yesterday (right next door to the store where I do much of my grocery shopping) allegedly wielding a machete, and took off with a couple ounces of product. Let’s let that sink in . . . armed robbery for a couple ounces of marijuana. He was caught on security cameras with a full facial view and he would be recognizable even though he was wearing sunglasses. Not only that, his car was caught on camera too. He has ruined his entire future – because he WILL be caught at some point – for this? It just doesn’t make a bit of sense.  I have to wonder why this was so important to him? Granted, I have zero idea how much it costs to buy marijuana, but this just doesn’t seem like there is enough of a value to risk ration to make it worthwhile.


Lighthouse Day – There is something special about lighthouses, something magical about them, that tugs at my heart.  Many mornings I sit in my chair, with the window open to let the fresh, pre-dawn air into the house, and the music accompanying the click of the keys on the computer is the mournful cry of the foghorn at the lighthouse down on the point.  Today we honor and commemorate a beacon of light that symbolizes safety and security for ships at sea, recognizing the importance of lighthouses. Through an Act of Congress, the Federal Government took over responsibility for building and operating our nation’s lighthouse on August 7, 1789.  Throughout maritime history, lighthouses have shined their powerful, sweeping lights through the fog and storms, allowing all kinds of ships to find their way back to port during bad weather.  As GPS and radar have begun to be used so frequently, lighthouses have taken a back seat to guiding ships to port.  They still remain the universal symbol of safe harbor to ships and communities that rely on the sea for their livelihood.   To me though, lighthouses are symbolic of something bigger and more amazing than sending out a beacon of light or a loud horn into the fog.  We wander through life, making our way through the storms of confusion, societal expectations, home responsibilities, spiritual quagmires and sometimes – especially lately – it gets difficult to make our way through the disinformation being thrown at us in an attempt to take our attention away from what is really happening in the world.  That distraction takes our focus off of what we are supposed to be doing, what our direction should be, and what we should be doing with our own lives as things spin out of control.  God is that beacon of light though, and He sent His word to keep us grounded, to sound the alarm into the fog we wander through.  As I sit here typing this, my windows are open, and though we don’t have any fog right now, I know that as the autumn season approaches, it will once again be singing a mournful song as the early morning fog swirls in and out of the trees. What a wonderful reminder to keep the attention on the One who will bring us through the fog and get us through any struggles we face. (this is a picture of the Point No Point Lighthouse just a few miles from my house.)


National Psychic Day – I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that there is a holiday set aside for psychics, since there is one for everything else. This day is the start to National Psychic Week. It was started as a publicity stunt by Richard R. Falk in 1965. He was a Broadway press agent who managed some well-known celebrity psychics. He figured he’d create this holiday to get some more business. I don’t know that I believe in psychics, but I know that some people are very intuitive in a way that cannot be easily explained. Personally, I wouldn’t say no to something like that being possible since we don’t know everything the human brain is capable of doing. For myself I have had some very odd dreams that do sometimes seem to come true . . . of course most of the time my dreams don’t do anything but wake me up, but sometimes they do make me pause and wonder what might happen next. Take this one as you will, I just wanted to let you know it was happening.


Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day – Don’t you hate ridiculous packages that are so difficult to open?  How many times has a bottle of aspirin defied your attempts to open it, or you’ve had to scissors or a knife to get one of those horrible plastic packages open?  I have NO idea why someone decided to set up a special celebration specifically for these packages . . . but for whatever reason they did.  How should we celebrate this one?  I don’t know . . . maybe do what you have to do to avoid this kind of packaging today?  Sounds good to me.


Professional Speakers Day – Most people seem to have an aversion to speaking in public.  I understand the fear – it makes sense to be nervous in front of a crowd.  Today we celebrate the folks who set aside those nerves and get up on the stage anyway, to teach, inspire or motivate people.  Personally, I don’t have a problem with public speaking.  Sure, I get a little jittery before getting up in front of people, but for the most part, I really enjoy it!  Back in high school one of my classes was a public speaking class.  Ever since that time it’s not been a problem for me. I truly admire the people who get up in front of a crowd and make incredible speeches without notes or teleprompters. It shows that they are confident in their knowledge of their topic.


Purple Heart Day – Do you know anyone who has been awarded The Purple Heart?  Have you really given much thought to that award, what they went through during their service and their struggle afterward?  So many people just nod in brief acknowledgement, but they don’t really take to heart the depth of meaning and sacrifice went into someone being given this award.  Our freedom has been bought and paid for with these soldier’s blood and pain, their suffering and survival, or loss.  Give it more than lip service, more than a mere acknowledgement.  Thank our soldiers, be grateful for their willingness to put their lives, their health and their futures on the line for us – for even the stupid who walk among us have been given the right to do so by the sacrifice of these men and women.

The Purple Heart’s history reaches back to the time toward the end of the American Revolution.  The Continental Congress had forbidden General George Washington from granting commissions and promotions in rank to recognize merit.  He wanted to though, particularly among the enlisted soldiers, so on August 7, 1782 he ordered the establishment of the Badge of Military Merit:

“… The General ever desirous to cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit directs whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings, over his left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.”

This award was given only to enlisted men and granted them the distinction of being permitted to pass all guards and sentinels, along with the commissioned-officers.  The names of those who received this award were to have been kept in a “Book of Merit”, which has never been recovered.  (What a sad loss of amazing historical significance!)  There are three known recipients of the Badge of Military Merit . . . Sergeant Elijah Churchill, 2nd Continental Dragoons; Sergeant William Brown, 2nd Connecticut Regiment, and Sergeant Daniel Bissel, 2nd Connecticut Continental Line Infantry.  Washington stated that the award was to be a permanent one, but once the Revolution ended, the Badge of Merit was all but forgotten until the 20th century.  In 1918 General John J “Blackjack” Pershing suggested a need for an award of merit, but it wasn’t until 1932 that the Purple Heart was created in recognition of Washington’s ideals, and for the bicentennial of his birth.  General Order No. 3 announced the establishment of the award:

“…By order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart, established by General George Washington at Newburgh, August 7, 1782, during the War of the Revolution is hereby revived out of respect to his memory and military achievements.

By order of the Secretary of War: Douglas MacArthur General, Chief of Staff

And so, it was that on May 28, 1932, 138 World War I veterans were awarded their Purple Hearts at Temple Hill, in New Windsor, NY. Temple Hill was the site of the New Windsor Cantonment, which was the final encampment of the Continental Army in the winter of 1782-1783. Today, the National Purple Heart continues the tradition begun in 1932, of honoring veterans who have earned the Purple Heart.  It has gone through many changes with respect to the criteria for being awarded though.  At first it was exclusively awarded to Army and Army Air Corps personnel and could not be awarded posthumously to the next of kin.  In 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order that allowed the Navy to award the Purple Heart to Sailors, Marines and Coast Guard personnel.  In that same year, the Purple Heart was made available for posthumous award to any member of the military killed on or after December 7, 1941. The Purple Heart was originally awarded for meritorious service and being wounded was one portion of consideration for merit.  When the Legion of Merit was created in 1942, the award of the Purple Heart for merit was unnecessary and was therefore discontinued.  As regulations require, the Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917 has been wounded, killed, or has died after being wounded.



This Day in History

1782 – The “Order of the Purple Heart” is created by President George Washington (1782)

1789 – Through an Act of Congress, the Federal Government takes over the creation and maintenance of the nation’s lighthouses.




Food Celebration of the Day

National Panini Press Day – Why eat a cold sandwich when you can create one that’s hot, toasty and full of melted goodness? Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? If I didn’t already have dinner planned, this is what we would have! Maybe on the Saturday. I have packages of lower carb pita breads that I can use instead of traditional bread, so that could work very nicely! I realize that this is more about the press than the sandwich itself, but since they do create this bit of deliciousness, they SHOULD be celebrated. I have an amazing panini press that my mother-in-law gave to me. It’s a professional grade unit with cast iron plats. It’s incredible and puts out a crispy, delicious sandwich every time.


National Raspberries in Cream Day – Score! How fortunate is this? I went grocery shopping yesterday, so I have packages of raspberries AND a fresh container of whipping cream! One guess what we are having for dessert tonight? Did you know that raspberries are vitamin C rich and have more fiber per calorie than even prunes? What is also pretty awesome is that raspberries are one of the few fruits considered to be lower carb, so fit into a low-carb eating plan. This is going to be awesome!


Even though I am taking things easy and slowly today, there are some things I need to do, so I’d better get to it since it’s already time for lunch. Have a wonderful day, take some time to focus on your health and well-being, and to celebrate at least one simple thing today. Laughter truly is wonderful medicine, with smiling coming up close and what can make us smile more than a good celebration? See? You’re smiling already! God bless you and I’ll see you tomorrow.


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