Saturday, August 30, 2014

What is your calling?

Calling, noun – 1. a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence; 2. the vocation or profession in which one customarily engages.  - Merriam-Webster

When I was a younger man I had no idea what a calling was, not to mention what my own was or was to be.  All I know was what I enjoyed doing, and later realized that some of the things I enjoyed, I was actually good at!  It wasn't until just a few years ago that I took these two parameters: 1. things I enjoy, and 2. things I was good at that, and added a third - things that I have a passion for.

The thing I loved most as a child through today is making friends and building relationships.  I am of people person.  As a 6 year old, I would sit on the curb and wave at cars passing by, hoping they would wave back.  As I grew older I naturally fell into the education field, and found I was particularly good at training and partnership building.

It wasn't until I started working with at risk kids, unfocused youth and prison inmates that I had an Ah-Ha moment of how important my job was.  I realized God had woven a tapestry with my life, giving me opportunities to use these gifts to help others.  Mine has not been a career of sharing God’s Word or the gospel message because I can’t.  I've worked for the government for the past some-odd 30 years.  But what I can do in my work and daily life is share the love of Christ as I can, as He and others have shown me.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (KJV)

I hope this will help you to look deep into your own life to find your natural skills and abilities, so as to narrow down what your calling may be sooner rather than later – and then act upon it!  As parents, we need to help our children find theirs.  As much as we may want to give them a calling, we can’t.  Each of us must find our own by divine help.  When we’re doing what we love, and what we’re good at – when ability, skill and passion all come together we can find happiness and fulfillment in our work, and which may be our calling.

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go
It may not be on the mountain’s height, or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle’s front my Lord will have need of me;
But if by a still, small voice He calls to paths I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Thine,
I’ll go where You want me to go. -  Mary Houghton Brown (1856-1918), Song History

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Counselor and Friend

Over the past few months I've had the opportunity to meet with my pastor, one on one for counseling.  Our discussions are centered on my desire to serve in some type of ministry for the church.  We discuss my strengths and weaknesses, my education, professional, volunteer and family background and how these areas might help me discern what part of the ministry I am being call to.

During the discussions he listens intently, offers advice, gives feedback, asks thought provoking questions and often shares scripture or stories that relate.  His demeanor is always calm and comments positive.  It's not always serious talk, sometimes our discussions drift into sports related stories or even a joke now and then.

I realized not long after our last meeting that this is what my prayer life should be like.  When I approach my Father in Heaven in prayer, I can be myself without fear or intimidation. I can talk to Him as my friend and counselor and acknowledge my own strengths and weaknesses. I can ask for help and guidance.  He will speak back to me through the Holy Spirit and scripture and give me insight and wisdom, without judgment or condemnation.  As a husband, father, employee or any of the other roles I play, issues arise and I can always use some counseling or good advice.

In the New Testament, Book of James 1:5 it tells us: "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (NIV)

I hope we can all consider our Heavenly Father, as our counselor and friend whom we will go to without hesitation.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

All Things Good

Sometimes we just need to count our blessings.  A few years ago someone gave me a Catholic Rosary.  I held it and it brought me comfort when I was sad.  I didn't know how to "pray the Rosary" like Catholics do, so I just went around each bead and named a blessing of mine, then another and another.  One for each bead.  I named each of my children, my legs, my home, my truck, etc, simple things and complex things.  I named things that made my life better, comfortable; things that if I didn't have my life would be a little "less good".  In the end, I found myself going around the rosary three or four times naming all good things in my life.  So in this story I am counting my blessings.

My definition of All Things Good: Words that describe good things, words that transcend race, religion, economic status, geographic location and gender; things that make the world a better place.  If a specific person, place or thing is mentioned, it must be of significant influence to have changed the life of millions of people, such as Gandhi, or Christmas.  Yes, I am a Christian, but this isn't a christian list.  I want it to go beyond one belief system - so words like Jesus, a flower and physics can all be together, because they all make our world better.

Yesterday the world learned of Journalist James Foley being killed by terrorists, so I added the word Journalists.  When you consider what they do, they bring the public news, the truth of what's going on in the world, and we should be thankful for that.  Each word below can be thoughtfully considered in that manner. This list is in response to all things bad going on right now.  We need to count our blessings.

All Things Good is an ongoing project, and my initial goal is 365 words or one to ponder each day of the year.  All contributors will be mentioned when it's complete.  Thank you for your assistance.  So far 25 people are contributing to this list, worldwide. 

Note to Editors and Contributors. - Please leave your comments in the comments section under the post, or email me directly guskoerner@gmail.com.

All Things Good
347 listed, as of 29 September 2014
_____________
A Job
A Kiss
Accomplishing A Goal
Advocacy
Air Conditioning
Airplanes
Anniversaries
Annual Leave
Antibiotics
Antiseptic
Apologies
Appreciation
Art
Assembly Lines
Assistants
Awards
Awareness
Bacon And Eggs
Bacon Cooking Smell
Beauty
Beds
Being Yourself
Berries
Bible, The
Big Trucks
Birthday Cakes
Blessings
Blue
Boats
Boots
Brand New Babies
Bravery
Brotherhood
Bubble Bath
Butterflies
Buy One, Get One Free
Campfires
Candle Light
Cardinals
Cast Iron Cookware
Chairs
Character
Chastity
Cheap Gas
Cheerfulness
Children
Christmas Day
Christmas Eve
Church
Civil Rights
Clean Sheets
Cleanliness
Coffee Smell
Colleagues
College Football
Cologne/Perfume
Comfort
Communion
Community
Compassion
Computers
Confidence
Conservation
Consolation
Conversion
Conviction
Cool Water
Counseling
County Fair
Courage
Courtesy
Cows
Creativity
Crisp Apples
Croaking Frogs
Cushy Carpet
Cushy Chairs
Dad, Fathers
Dawn/Sunrise
Deliverance
Demilitarization
Deodorant
Determination
Dignity
Diligence
Discernment
Discovery
Disposable Diapers
Doctors
Dusk/Sunset
Earth
Earth Worms
Easter Baskets
Einstein
Electricity
Encouragement
Engineering Marvels
Faith
Fall Leaves
Family
Fast Cars
Favorite Songs
Fern Plants
Fertile Soil
Finishing A Book
Finishing A Project
Fire Extinguishers
Fire Flies
First Day Of School
Fishing
Fitness
Flowers
Food
Forgiveness
Found Money
Freedom
Friendliness
Friendly Debate
Friends
Friendship
Front Porch Swing
Fruitfulness
Fruits
Full Moon
Games
Gandhi, Mahatma
Gardening
Giving
God
Good Books
Good Ideas
Grace
Graduation
Grandkids
Grandma
Grandpa
Grass
Gratitude
Growing
Hands
Health
Health Insurance
Heart
Helpfulness
Holiday Lights
Holiday Songs
Holy Spirit
Honest Conversation
Honesty
Honey
Honor
Hot Chocolate
Hot Shower
Hotdogs
Humanitarianism
Husbands
Ingenuity
Innovation
Insight
Intercession
Intuition
Jesus Christ
Jokes
Journalists
June Bugs
Jubilation
Justice
Kids
Kindergarten
Kindness
Kittens
Koran or Qur'an, The
Labor Day Holiday
Life
Light Houses
Light Rain
Listening
Little League
Locks
Long Talks
Long Walks
Love
Love Notes
Loyalty
Mac And Cheese
Maps
Mathematics
Mechanics
Medicine
Meditation
Ministry
Mom, Mothers
Moon
Moonlight
Mosquito Repellant
Motivation
Mouse Traps
Music
Naps
NASCAR
National Public Radio
NBA Playoffs
New Car Smell
New Pencils
New Snow
New Socks
New Year's Eve
News
Nice Bosses
Nurses
Oak Trees
Obedience
Old Friends
Olympics, The
Open Doors
Optimism
Orange Blossoms
Our Flag
Pain Relievers
Paper
Parenting
Partners
Passing away of someone in pain
Pastors
Patriotism
Pay Day
Pay Raise
Peace
Peace Talks
People
Personal Letter Received
Pets
Phones
Pizza
Policemen and Women
Popcorn
Positive Role Models
Prayer
Progress
Promises Kept
Protection
Protectors
Puppies
Puzzles
Quiet Time
Radio
Rain On A Tin Roof, The Sound
Rainbows
Reasoning
Receiving
Reconciliation
Recycling
Relief
Resolve
Respect
Responsibility
Rest/Sleep
Reunions
Reverence
Road Trips
Roads
Sacrifice
Salvation
Saving
Science
Seat Belts
Second Chances
Secrets Kept
Serenity
Service
Shelter
Sick Leave
Sight
Singing out loud without reserve
Sisterhood
Skinny Jeans That Fit
Sleeping Children
Small Business
Smart Phones
Smell
Smiles
S'mores
Snow Days
Snow Men
Sobriety
Soldiers, including all branches
Solidarity
Song Birds
Sound
Spare Change
Spices
Sprinklers
Stars
Stewardship
Success
Summer Vacation
Sunday Dinner
Sunrise
Sunset
Super Bowl
Talking
Tall Tales
Taste
Tears Of Joy
Testimony
Thank You Cards
Thanksgiving Dinner
The Beach
The Red Cross
The Word "Please"
The Words "Thank You"
Theme Parks
Thinking
Thrift
Toilet Paper
Toilets
Touch
Traditions
Trees
Trust
Truth
Unity
Vaccines
Valor
Vegetables
Veterans
Volunteering
Vows
Waffles
Walking
Warm Sand
Warm Soup
Warning
Washing Machines
Water
Water Fountains
Water Parks
Watermelon
Wealth
Wedding Rings
Weekends
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Wildlife Spotted In The Outdoors
Wives
World Cup Soccer
Worship

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Sun On The Horizon

New Sun On The Horizon

A couple has formed, their relationship new, where nothing can go wrong for the sweethearts two. A few years pass, and suddenly what was cute is now not so much.  The cuddling at night is now barely a touch.

Harsh words are spoken, sweet gestures gone. One thing leads to another and they wonder what went wrong. Trust is broken, hearts saddened, love dwindled, yet they both hope it can be rekindled.

So they come together with a hope to mend something that was never meant to end. The strife between a husband and wife can pull the joy right out of life.

But when the two strive to be one, a new beginning has begun and they can start to see the rays of the sun.

Gus Koerner August 13, 2014, 11:40 pm

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Favorite Prison Songs

This started with a tweet, and the list is growing. The title of this story is kinda off, because these aren't really my favorite songs, it's more like prison songs are in my top favorite genre's.  So what's yours? Comment here or tweet me @guskoerner #prisonsongs

Here's the list...

Blake Shelton - Ol' Red
Merle Haggard - Mama Tried
Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
Johnny Cash - San Quentin
Jimmy Page - Prison Blues
David Allan Coe- If That Ain't Country


A Frugal Family Recipe - Laundry Soap

I am posting this recipe of course for everyone, but especially to my children, my friends at Financial Peace University and for me and my wife.  We love this recipe for Home Made Laundry Soap!

I first learned of it from a University of Florida Extension Symposium, but have since found it at multiple Cooperative Extension sites like my Alma-mater Utah State University, at the Borax site and on some frugal living blogs such as MamaEconomics.  They're all slightly different but commonly they use 1) a hard soap grated and dissolved, 2) Borax and, 3) Soda Wash combined with water.  I can get all three ingredients at my local Wal-Mart or funny enough, Ace Hardware.  Most grocery stores will have at least one of the ingredients.

The Recipe I used most recently: 

2 quarts near-boiling water
2 c. or 1 Bar Soap grated (Ivory, ZOTE, Fels-Naptha)*
1 c. Borax
1 c. Washing Soda
  • Add finely grated bar soap to the hot water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low, heat until soap is melted.
  • Pour the soap water into a large, clean pail and add the Borax & Washing Soda. Stir well until all is dissolved. 
  • Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
  • Cover pail and use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. Stir the soap each time before you use it (will gel)
  • We keep the laundry soap in left-over water or laundry soap containers.  Shake, use, works well.
* depending upon preference, availability, cost, and allergy considerations use one of the three.  For example, our daughter is allergic to Ivory Soap, so we use Fels-Naptha.

Economics of the project:
I am working on this part.  I requested the information published with the University of Florida, but at Dollar General I found these prices today (09/29/2014)

Arm and Hammer Laundry Soap, 75 oz., 50 loads, $5, 10 cents per load
Gain Laundry Soap, 50 oz., 32 loads, $6,  19 cents per load
Tide Laundry Soap, 75 oz., 48 loads, $10, 21 cents per load
Xtra Laundry Soap, 75 oz., 50 loads, $5.  10 cents per load