Something only a Man would do …………..

I saw this posted on face book and it really made me laugh. I retyped it and thought it would be a good blog. I think part of the reason I found it so funny is that I know a guy . . . who is a twin to the man telling the story. I bet you also know someone who could have done this very thing.

Here it is:

Last weekend I saw something at Larry’s Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our up-coming 15th wedding anniversary and I was looking for just the right gift for my wife Julie, something that was extra special.   What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse sized Tazer (stun gun).

The box said the effects of the Tazer were short lived, with no long term adverse effect on an assailant, but it would allow her enough time to safely escape a mugger ….??

WAY TOO COOL.  Long story short, I bought the devise and brought it home. I loaded the two AAA batteries according to the instructions into the darn thing, pushed the button and . . . . NOTHING! I was quite disappointed. I discovered, however, that if I pushed the button and pressed it against a medal surface at the same time I’d get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs.

AWESOME!!  Unfortunately, I have yet to try to explain to Julie about the burned spot on the surface of her microwave. I haven’t really felt well in the past few days and just didn’t want to get into it.

OK, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn’t be that bad with only two little AAA batteries for power, right?

There I sat in my recliner, our cat Gracie looking on intently while I was reading the instructions more thoroughly and I thinking to myself that I really needed to try this out on a flesh and blood moving target before I gave it to Julie for her protection.

Ok, I admit I actually thought about  zapping Gracie for a fraction of a second, just to try it out, but then thought better of it … she is really a sweet cat. But still, if I was going to give the devise to my wife for personal protection, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised.

Am I wrong?

So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top, with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose . . .  directions in one hand .. . and Julie’s Tazer in the other.

The directions said:

A one second blast would shock and disorient your assailant;

A two second blast would cause muscle spasms and a minor loss of body control; and

A three second blast would purportedly make an assailant flop to the ground like a fish out of water.

Instructions said there was no benefit to any longer blasts —  it would only waste the batteries.

All the while I am looking at this little devise measuring about  5” in length, less that ¾” in circumference (with two itsy, bitsy AAA batteries); it is pretty cute, actually, and I thought to myself, “…. There ain’t no way.”

What happened next is almost beyond description, but I will do my best.

I’m sitting there alone. Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side so as to say, “Don’t do it, stupid,” reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny lil ole thing couldn’t hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one-second burst just for the heck of it.

I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . . .

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD . . . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. WHAT THE . . .!!!!!

I’m pretty sure Hulk Hogan ran in through the side door, picked me up from the recliner, then body-slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and a serious tingling in my legs! The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.

NOTE: If you ever feel compelled to ‘mug’ yourself with a Taser, one note of caution:

There is NO such thing as a one-second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor! A three-second burst would be considered conservative!

A minute or so later (I can’t be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up, and surveyed the landscape.

My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace.

  • The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was;
  • My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching;
  • My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 80 lbs.
  • I had no control over the drooling.
  • Apparently I had crapped in my shorts, but was too numb to know for sure, and my sense of smell was gone.
  • I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head, which I believe came from my hair.

I’m still looking for my testicles and I’m offering a significant reward for their safe return!

P.S. My wife can’t stop laughing about my experience, loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it!

If you think education is difficult, try being stupid!!!!

A Day of Reminders . . .

Two meaningful events on this day . . .  

Holocaust Memorial Day: Today, Israel observes its annual memorial of the six million Jewish people murdered by the German Nazis during World War II. This is the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

During the ceremonies, rockets were being fired upon the tiny nation by the Hamas-ruled territory located at the southern border.  In that region of the Nation, people fled from ceremonies as the Code-Red sirens blared; warning of rockets being launched.

The Holocaust was a tragic and ugly time in history, and it reminds us that there is evil in the world . . . and the current bombings remind us that evil continues.

  Margaret Thatcher Died.  This great lady came upon the scene at a time in Britain’s history when the struggling nation was in desperate need of a strong leader . . . and Margaret Thatcher was that strong leader . . . for that moment in time. Mrs. Thatcher was a strong woman, and her strength was motivated by her convictions; she was determined and unwilling to be distracted. She was a leader who stood for what she believed was right . . . and history has shown that she was generally right and that those who opposed her were generally wrong; even our own Nation when we challenged her and tried to discourage her on action.  She was often referred to as the Iron Lady, a nickname given to her by Soviet journalists, media representatives from a Nation that generally does not view women as being capable of leadership.

She set policies that changed things in Britain . . . and changed them significantly for the better. She led with strength, honor, and dignity, and she turned the Nation around and improved its standing amongst the Nations of the world. If she had not been the leader she was  . . . if Britain had continued on its course at that time . . .  the nation would have fallen into a third-tier status.

Her life reminds us that God continues to use people to fend off evil, accomplish things, and to serve others.  Her life reminds us that one person can make a difference.

 

 


Family Finances . . . Does it Always Have to be a Struggle?

Yesterday, a young Dad came in the office and asked me if he could borrow $20 until payday  . . .  Of course, I loaned him the $20. It took me back to another time in my life and caused me to think about where Sandy and I were back then . . . and where we are today. That young Dad today was a reflection of me at one point in time. In fact, when Courtney was a baby, she got sick. We had to borrow money from our little country bank to pay the doctor and hospital . . . and then I had to be the night janitor at that bank to repay the loan. Work by day to provide my family . . . work by night to pay the medical bills. That was good stuff; it taught me a great deal about responsibility, being dependable, commitment, hard work, determination, goal setting, and finances.  Indeed, they were hard times . . . but they were also good times.

Because Sandy and I were there, I like to have a discussion with young couples about finances and the path to financial freedom. It is a subject I know a little something about . . . hard times are a good teacher. I want to help young families learn something wonderful that Sandy and I have learned as we have walked through life. It is something we knew very little about when we first married. I am not selling anything . . . I just want to share an amazing financial principal  . . . Here it is:  God can be trusted . . . and He wants to be able to trust you!

I like to remind young couples that opposites attract . . . and that can be great . . . or it can be a disaster, depending on how it is handled. I know in our situation it was great while we were dating and having a good time . . . we liked the same music, we like the same foods, the same movies . . . we pretty much liked everything the other one liked. We were just happy to be together. The struggle didn’t show up until we got married and had to start making some decisions about life, money, home, autos, furniture, and then later about parenting. It was at that point that we began to discover how different we were.  I remember early on, I bought her a small diamond ring for Christmas.  When she opened the box, much to my chagrin she put her face in her hands and began to cry . . . duh, and I thought diamonds were a girl’s best friend (that is what the bill-board said).  Confused I asked her why on earth she would cry over a ring.  That sweet girl said, “Honey, we need a new sofa.”  She has always been practical, and I have always loved to give gifts.  She did manage to overcome that thing about jewelry.

To my way of thinking, I believed that you can trace a person’s heart and devotion by where his or her “minutes and money” are being invested . . . wherever one invests those two things says a great deal about what is important in his or her life.  I simply could not buy a sofa for the house and call it a present for my wife.  I believed if we needed a sofa, I was responsible for earning the money to buy it and I was glad to do that . . . just not as a present for Sandy.  The present was about her . . . my love and appreciation for her . . . It simply could not be about what we needed for the house.  I am still like that, and she has come to appreciate that now.  What happened for us is that we influenced each other and found a comfortable operating place somewhere toward the middle . . . and we became a team. On occasion, there is still some debate about who is the Team Captain . . . and that can be good, too.

Sandy is still, for the most part, a very practical person . . . and I still have the “minutes and money” philosophy, but we have made some important discoveries along the way.  The most important discovery is that “part of what we get and have is not ours . . . it belongs to God and we are responsible for returning it to Him.”  It is called Tithing.  There are mixed messages being sent across Christianity today on this subject, with some declaring it as only having been an Old Testament thing, while others use the subject to preach a “Name it and Claim it,” and “Nab it and Grab it in Jesus’ Name” theology.

This is not how it is with us; we view tithing as a bridge . . . a bridge about trust . . . a bridge that leads to prosperity (not wealth, but wholesomeness).  How does that happen?  We view it is a matter of our trusting God and God being able to trust us.  Our experience is that it happens in four (4) ways, as follows:

  1. It deepens our discipline.  We fully believe that God wants to prosper us (prosper in the context of doing well); but we also believe that He fully expects us to participate in that exercise (see Proverbs 11:25).  We get up in the morning and we go to work . . . neither of us has ever been lazy . . . and we have never expected anyone to give us anything, nor believed that we were owed anything.  Many today operate on a philosophy of “Get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the lid.”  We are very thankful that we know that is not how it is supposed to be for us. We want to always be faithful to share what we have and what comes our way.  We believe that God wants to bless us . . . and that He wants to bless others, too . . . and sometimes He wants to bless them through us, so we try to be sensitive to those opportunities.

 

Here are three things we have learned about discipline:

Initially, it is painful;

It is reliably progressive; and

It is ultimately profitable.

We believe giving our tithes and offerings deepens our discipline because it requires us to dedicate, consecrate, prioritize and sanctify a portion of our finances . . . for God . . . and for God alone!  Honestly, in the early years it was actually quite difficult for us to reserve some of the finances just for God, because we live in a culture that teaches us differently. A culture that says, “If you are going to have, then you have to get.”  The truth is that our culture in the USA is incredibly undisciplined . . . and the news we are getting about the budget battle, the deficit, and the way our government functions in Washington certainly reflects that truth.  Proverbs 21:20 has something to say about that . . .

We had to learn to live on a budget . . . that taught us to live within what God gave us . . . and it prepared us to live with what He would later give us.  We had to learn that a budget is not a restrictive element in our family life . . . in fact, what we discovered is that it is actually a liberating element. As we learned to live within our budget, we soon found that we could sleep at night rather than worrying about things falling apart.  We learned that financial disaster can, generally speaking, be avoided by discipline and proper planning . . . and living with what we have.

We adopted a financial program of Give 10%, Save 10%, and Live on 80%.  In the early years, it was difficult because our culture is designed to get people spending . . . and to keep people broke.  Just look at the ads and marketing campaigns. As an example, you can buy a new smart-phone (actually any electronic device) and very quickly, it is out-dated and the marketing trick is to make you replace/update . . . even if the one you have is working.  Unfortunately, as a nation we have been duped into believing that our cell phones say something about our status . . . so the pressure is on to keep up!

Here is what Sandy and I had to learn (and our Federal Government must learn): When your out-put exceeds your income . . . then your upkeep will become your downfall!

2. Tithing declares our devotion.  Our faithful tithe demonstrates our love for and devotion to God.  We have come to believe so strongly in tithing that it seems to us that when we give, Heaven hears and windows begin to open.  Of course, that is not the reason we give . . . but it sure seems to be the result.

 

We believe an important element of true worship involves sacrifice and giving. We struggle with the new notion of this generation that true worship involves making noise, calling attention to oneself in corporate worship, raising hands, dancing in the aisles, and singing the same words over and over with closed eyes.  We believe that giving is a very tangible expression of worship and devotion.  In fact, we believe that worship without sacrifice is more akin to entertainment than it is to true worship.

 

I am reminded of an old story about a wealthy older man who married a beautiful young woman. Several months after their wedding, he worked up the courage to discuss the object of her love . . . was it him or was it his money?  He asked her, “Honey, if I lost all of my money, would you still love me?” she said, “Absolutely, I would still love you . . . and I would really miss you too!”

3. It defines our distribution. We have learned that we can always do better than the 10%, and we have come to understand the “Storehouse of the Lord” is far greater than just the place where we go to Church.  We see the Children’s Home as a wonderful place to give, as are mission projects, purchasing school clothes for low-income kids, helping a sick person buy needed medicine, helping one struggling with a utility bill, or helping a young, struggling family with several kids get a much needed car.  The truth is the Kingdom of God cannot be put in a box or inside four walls. I find that sometimes it even includes buying a meal for a person standing on a street corner holding up a sign, or buying a plane ticket for a struggling waitress to fly home to see her dying mother.

We have learned that God’s economy is built on a firm principle, “If you have, you need to give.”  We are faithful to share what we have and what comes our way.  We look for people we can bless and do it with an open heart . . . but we have often discovered that when we were blessing someone . . . we are putting future blessings on lay–away.  We fully believe that God gives favor . . . and we always try to be willing to go where His favor is trying to take us.

4. It provides protection. We firmly believe that God blesses what we do and that He looks after us.  We believe that is the protection of a loving father.  We are amazed how He has blessed our investments; how He has taken things that we had to do and caused them to prosper.  How He has taken things that could have turned out badly for us and amazingly turned those very things into a blessing.  The point here is simply that we believe that God seeks people He can use as a channel . . . where He can put something in one place and then get it to another place when He wants it there.  If He gives you something to hold on to, He is not going to allow something bad to happen to it while you hold it for Him.  We are amazed how He has blessed us . . . Lest you misunderstand . . . this is not about money and wealth . . . it is about love, trust, obedience, and the fruits of those disciplines.

 

The truth is that one’s possessions do not define a person . . . it is what he does with those things that defines him.

 

Recommended reading . . . Luke 12: 13 – 21 . . . a family feud over money . . . and a story (parable) Jesus used to explain the danger of greed. In fact, he began by saying, “Watch out!!”