Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Life Coach

I may have found a second career!

I saw an advertisement on my Facebook feed about becoming a Life Coach. Hmmm...
Actually, I don't think I'd be a very good Life Coach  -- unless you're looking to become an overweight, out of shape, grumpy, almost 60 year old person that likes to be left alone.
I could help you with that!

I'm not even sure what a life coach does or why anyone would pay for another person to advise them on how to live. I probably have a poor concept on what a life coach actually does. I think of each of us with three main components -- physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. And it seems to me that each of those components needs its own expert. The closest thing that comes to mind would be a good yogi. While I do believe that most people can harvest mental gains and meditative peace from yoga, I would still say it is not a good substitute for a psychologist nor a substitute for seeking God.

If I really looked into it, I'd probably find that not only am I extremely unqualified to be a life coach, but I would benefit greatly from having one, myself. Personally, I'd rather just have an honest friend that gives good advice. Maybe that's what a life coach is -- someone you pay to be an honest friend that gives good advice. Apparently the free kind are in short supply.

Maybe I should check into it and see if anyone wants to pay me to be their friend!

John <><

Monday, December 10, 2018

Christmas songs that don't suck!

There are several radio stations that have banned a certain Christmas song and much written about such decisions and the controversial message of the song.
This post isn't about that.

The Venues Church is going through a sermon series entitled Christmas Songs That Don't Suck.
You might think that the series would focus on Christmas hymns and the message that they bring to this Christmas season, but you would be wrong.
Yesterday the Rev Dev brought a message from the Christmas classic Frosty, the Snowman.
Frosty doesn't seem like the person you would turn to for any life lessons, much less for something of a spiritual nature.

I invite you to take the time to join us for his message.
If you want to skip the opening worship music (pease don't), go to the 23 minute mark and it will bring you in at the song just before Rev Dev comes in with his message.
You can also follow the link to past messages in the series -- Santa Clause is Coming to Town and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

John <><

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hakuna Matata

I'm enjoying a new Ethiopian coffee today...
Hakuna Ma Latte

I think it means -- No worries, I have my coffee!

Have a great Sunday!
John <><

Friday, December 07, 2018

Recess Time!

Tonight is another night of rEcess at The Venues!
It is a night for parents of kids with special needs to be able to have some much needed time for themselves.

I was pretty impressed last month at my first rEcess event.
The kids with special needs get one on one or even two on one attention for the entire night. There is an area and activities for siblings, as well.

It's a challenge to do magic for young children as many of them are really too young to appreciate magic.
Think about it:
Everything is new and amazing to a young child. A ball that vanishes from one hand and appears in the other is unexpected, but it isn't magical because they don't know that it isn't supposed to be possible. And because young kids are very tactile, the want to touch everything. It's how they learn.
One on one that isn't so bad. In a group (even a small group) it isn't very practical.

I'm working on a few things for the individual kind of magic and also a little show for the siblings. I'll see how it goes tonight. In any case, every day I am more impressed by the love and service shown by the people of The Venues. I think they are making me into a better person.

John <><

Thursday, December 06, 2018


In the past few days, much has been said of the humility of our 41st president.
His "kinder, gentler nation" didn't always sit well with those that use power, fear, and intimidation to control others, and yet he is remembered as a diplomat and respected for his foreign policies.

Naturally, I thought of that today when I read this quote from Mother Teresa:

Perhaps wishes of peace during the holiday season are futile if they are not accompanied by true humility.

John <><

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Blue Christmas

I had never heard of "Blue Christmas" in any reference other than the song ... until last year.

Most people know that the holiday season can be a very depressing time of year for some and that those that are missing loved ones can have a particularly difficult time when it comes to the family holiday traditions.
On Wednesday, Dec 19th, The Venues Church will have its Blue Christmas service. The Venues realizes that not everyone feels joy during the holidays and this service is to remind them they are not alone. It is  special service for those that are having a difficult time with the season, and for those that want to support them.

If you are in the Springfield MO area and know of someone that struggles through the holidays, why not pick them up and bring them to The Venues for this special service.

John <><

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

The Unhealthy Guy's Blog

No post here today other than to let Out of My Hat followers know that I've been posting over at Healthy Living (by an unhealthy guy) lately.
Feel free to follow me there, as well.

John <><

Monday, December 03, 2018

Moving from "Bah! Humbug!" to "Merry Christmas!"

Christmas Eve is just three weeks away and I can't say that I am "in the Christmas spirit" yet.
In truth, I'm more the bah humbug sort of guy.

I am amused by Christians that make such a big deal of Christmas being about the birth of Jesus while fully immersing themselves in the secular aspects of the holiday. I am frustrated that we don't do more to talk about God's love during the other eleven months of the year and act like Jesus was really born on December 25th and so it's a big deal. I'm not sure that I really get the whole idea of needing a special day to celebrate His birth.

Don't misunderstand me. I rejoice that Jesus was born; that God became man.
I am thrilled that God loves me and that Jesus died for me.
But how much can we really gain from this infant Jesus if we fail to learn the lessons of the man Jesus?

Did I mention I'm more the bah humbug sort of guy?

In any case, I went looking back at some Christmas posts from years ago in hopes that the Spirit of Christmas Past (see what I did there, with the bah, humbug/Spirit of Christmas Past?) would inspire a more Christmas-y attitude in me.

Here's one from eight years ago today.
It's not very festive, but it does make you wonder...

Merry Christmas
John <><

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Yep! It's December!

The weather forecast for the Ozarks shows the nighttime lows dipping below the freeze line for the coming week and the daytime highs in the mid to upper 30s with a couple of breaks into the 40s.
Fortunately, the only precipitation will come in the form of rain on one of those warmer days.

It's a cloudy Sunday morning as I enjoy my coffee and quiet time. I don't usually get as much morning time on Sunday, but it looks as though Chris has decided to sleep later today and we'll end up at late church.

I'm in a good place on the church front; back to really looking forward to Sunday mornings and any time I'm with people from The Venues.
There's a saying that says a rising tide lifts all ships. That's how I feel at The Venues. I feel like I'm a better person because I'm with better people. If I hang around with them, I get to benefit from their reputation as a loving community. Hopefully I'll learn enough about how to be like them before they realize what a jerk I can be.

I'll try to keep Ugly John locked away for the time being and continue to refrain from posting bad stuff on my social media. It's a little scary living with such a beast inside -- especially when you decide on additional restrictions (like no negative posts). That anger seems to always find a way out.
I'd say that yoga and peaceful meditation would help, but I've recently learned that's of the devil, so...

Have a grand December!
John <><

Saturday, December 01, 2018


It is December 1st and I made it through November with a post every day!
Yeah, big deal.

Even though I managed a daily post, I didn't work on a novel -- at all. But the daily exercise of writing is a good thing and perhaps the novel idea will eventually come to fruition.

I do believe that I made a couple of positive personal gains in November--
     I found another way to minister to others through The Venues ReCess night.
     I am working more on an attitude of gratefulness and being grateful daily (still haven't done a journal)
     Two areas that are difficult are active kindness and making friends; but I'm working on them.
     And I've started playing with a little card magic again.

It's not much, but along with getting back to reading books, I'm calling it a successful month.

Now for December...
The two big things on the December list are to continue with the gratitude and active kindness things and to get some daily exercise. Sadly, as much as I know I need the exercise, my head just hasn't been into it lately. I added a step counter app to my phone since my replacement phone didn't come with one and I hadn't added one. I know that seeing my step count was an encouragement to walk or be more active in the past. I expect that I'll be using the indoor cycle more than in the past, but we'll see.

I also want to continue reading books.
It has been some time since I've enjoyed reading and I'm finding the time to be relaxing, especially on the days when I can sit outside and enjoy a cigar while reading.

There is a pretty good chance that I'll have no outside contact today, so my active kindness might be limited. I'm grateful that I enjoy my quiet time and I'll make sure to get some exercise (maybe cycling while watching the fights tonight).

Here's to a pleasant and positive December!

John <><