In the time we live in it is often considered old fashioned to have one partner or companion. It is often that a man and women fall in love, just to find that a few years down the road the lust fades with each passing day. The person you fell in love with is not the person you are married to now so many people think. Men and women often let their self go, get to consumed in their career, let the financial stress of life get to them, and let the constant strain of raising a family burden them. These are all marriage killers. A marriage is something that requires constant work. I have found that anything in life takes work. Marriage is no different. Just as you have to maintain your car so do you have to maintain your marriage. You wouldn’t consider driving your car for twenty years without changing your oil. You have got to work to keep your marriage strong just the same. No matter how busy you are, always have time for your spouse. Tell them you love them outside the bedroom. Send them flowers just to let them know they are special. Spend time together, even if it is just for a slow walk down the street. If you are feeling far apart, chances are they are too. Work at it. Everyone will argue and personally I think it is healthy to disagree every once in a while as long as it don’t get out of control. If you never disagree just a little then it is a warning sign that one partner is to controlling. Compromise. You should go into a marriage with the attitude that it is 60/40 not 50/50. You should give 60 and expect to get 40 back. If both partners do this then you have a lot better chance of spending many years together. I got married very young to my spouse and people said we were to young. It would not last. They don’t know what they are getting in to. Sure things haven’t always been perfect by any stretch of the imagination but at the end of the day we talk and work things out. I recently told my teenage son when he was having dating troubles that if you love someone you have got to treat them like a prince or princess. My wife is the most precious thing in my life. The older I get the more I love her and the more I value her companionship. Sure there has been times through the years that money was tight but we always found a way to spice things up just a little. A Friday night dinner, meeting for lunch, flowers unexpected, a small gift, quiet walk. These are all things that I cherish with my significant other. If things are getting bad then to talk to each other. If you once loved each other enough to get married then you can find that love again. I couldn’t imagine life without my wife and would give my life for her in a second. So many men that I work with talk bad about there wife and how bad it is. I tell them if it is that bad then fix it. Don’t just give them up for someone else. Often grass isn’t really greener on the other side. Once you burn that bridge there is no repairing it. I know there is situations where it can’t be helped and divorce has got to happen. If you are in that spot just remember there is someone out there that is your soul mate, but it will also require maintenance. If you follow these steps and pay close attention then you will get to experience the blessing of a good marriage.
In days of old all you needed was a good name and a handshake. Country stores all over the country accepted a shake and a promise on payment. Many, many times my grandfather said he charged at the country store and paid at the end of the year when the crops were sold. Those days are gone. Today it is hard to find a friend good enough to loan you money on a handshake. This is where the power of the almighty credit score comes in. No matter if you are trying to get a new job, get a loan for personal use or buy a house it depends on that score. Even if you get approved a lower score can cost you a lot more money in interest rates. You cannot get a good score overnight. It takes work to get that good score so it should be took care of and maintained. How do you do this you ask? The easy things are the ones you probably already know. Make your payments on time, dont borrow excessively all at once and time of history of credit. These are very important but there is more to a good score than this. A big thing that gets a lot of people in trouble is credit utilization ratio. You might think because you have a credit limit of $10,000 that it is ok to go borrow this amount. Makes since, right? Wrong. Banks and financial institutions look very hard at credit utilization. They like for it to be under 30%. On a $10,000 card that would mean that you could borrow $3,000 with out it hurting your credit much. Utilize personal loans if your credit card debt gets to high. Watch you credit report. You did have to buy reports in the past but most credit cards now have free credit score look ups. Stay on top of it. Report anything that is wrong immediately to the credit bureaus. You can watch your score and see it fluctuate regular. You will learn what helps it and what makes it fall. Don’t get to many hits from loan applications. A hit is anytime someone runs a report. These stay on your report for two years! Once you have an established mortgage stay with it. The longer the history of good payment the better the score. Work with medical facilities to make payments in house if you owe any. Medical debt hits a lot of people hard, Once this debt is turned over to a credit bureau it is on your record for years. It drains a score. Try to keep this from happening at all cost. One last note before closing. There is companies out there now that advertise getting you a lower payment on credit card debt by dealing and negotiating with the companies on your behalf. BEWARE! Yes they often will get you a lower payment and debt settlement but this severely damages your credit score. This is the same as default and these companies pretending to help you make the money off the transaction while your credit is ruined. Just remember to be smart and pay attention to your score. You too will see the power of credit scores!
Just as the flower pushes through the soil in the spring and begins to grow, every man, women, boy and girl in the vast world was born sometime in history. As that baby, the first air you breathe sets in a chain of events that in its self is a miracle. No matter what your religious beliefs as soon as you are born you are destined to die. What you do with the time between birth and death is up to you. Life is like a hour glass. When it begins the sand starts pouring through and as a child it seems like eternity before all that sand could get through that glass. Soon the innocence of that child leaves and we venture through adolescence. We think we are on top of the world. No worries, no pain. Not thinking even once about that hour glass in the background. We take risk and do dumb things without ever thinking of the end. Before we know it we meet the companion of our dreams and set out with nothing more than the clothes on our backs into the hostile world on the horizon. No longer are we protected by Mama and Daddy. We are on our own, still not thinking about that hour glass. We have our children and the hard times come, looking for God to guide us out. The work it takes to pay the bills requires long hours, often times leaving our children behind at child care. Often times we are so tired on days off we ignore the children and their wants to rest our tired bodies. A few years pass and we manage to get that big promotion at work that we have worked so hard for. We tell our family at home but they are not excited for they are preparing for college and their lives ahead. With them driving down the road toward their own life we stop and look over our shoulder at that hour glass that we had forgotten about and think, my gosh a lot of sand has poured through. Grandkids come along and you love to play with them but wish you could see your children more. They are so busy and tired from their own careers they don’t have time to come around. You finally reach retirement and can afford that big rv to travel the world. The whole time though that hour glass is sitting on your shoulder. You can here the sand pouring through. Man, how different it is than when you were young. Now looking out the window of the rest home you think of your great- grandchildren and their hour glass that just begun. Yours no longer matters. It is their but life has passed you by and you no longer have to worry of the disappearing sand. The hope is there that those new additions to the family will stop, enjoy life along the journey, and do the good things that matter,for life is like a hour glass.
Every time I turn on the news there is another article about a civil war era statue either coming down or being protested to come down. I think every man,women and child are created equal. Let me get that out of the way up front. In no way am I a racist person. The problem with this new culture is we cannot turn our back on history and pretend it never happened. I don’t look at these statues and such as glorifying the confederate army or individual, but this war did happen. We can’t change that, only learn from it. The civil war resulted in 620,000 American deaths. Weather we like it or not this shaped our great country. If not for this war The Thirteenth Amendment of The United States Constitution might not have happened for years down the road. This amendment formally abolished slavery. The question comes in if these monuments serve the purpose of glorifying the person or are they a reminder of history that we don’t ever want to repeat. I say the rather. If we wanted to forget and pretend it never happened all names of these people would have to be stricken from history books and never taught to American youth. Just as the holocaust was a terrible unimaginable time in history for Europe you can still visit sites. I have never got the opportunity to visit these sights but a good friend of mine has. It said it was a life changing experience. The feeling you got to stand on ground where ten of thousands died in vain. This visit was not to glorify the terrible people who done this but to remember the victims and vowel to never let this happen again. All through history there has been terrible things that have happened. Presidents owned slaves, the White House was built by slaves, this does not make it right but it is history. We have got to educate our children by whatever means we can as to where this country has been and where we never want it to go back to. Will history fall and we repeat or will it stand and we learn from it?
I sit here on a Sunday night thinking about the weekend and time spent with my family. Where did it go? Time flies when you are having fun! My mind moves to the week ahead and a small sad feeling comes over me. Seven o’clock will come early at the office. I call it the Sunday Night Blues. It is normal, right. Of course it is. If you just loved heading to work everyday it would not be work. I always said if you had a job picking up one hundred dollar bills everyday you would eventually get tired of bending over. That is just how we operate. I think ahead of the news that will break this week and what hot topics people will talk about. What we might write about in the week to come and I think of how blessed I am. I can get up every morning, shower, get dressed, hug my wife, kiss my children, and drive to work. Sure there is a lot of dead beats out there that wont work when they could, but there is also a group out there that would love to go to work everyday. Medical facilities are full of people that wish they had to be at the office at 7:00. It is full of people who wish they could get there self out of bed. People that would trade places in a second. My mind goes to a good friend of mine that had an accident last fall at his home. He fell about ten feet and is paralyzed for life. Confined to a wheelchair. I am sure he would love to go to work every morning. Think of the people who are born with disabilities. Hands, legs, feet, back, mind. I start to think just how blessed I am to have to work everyday to support my family. Is it really the Sunday Night Blues or should it be the Sunday Night Blessing?
I am like most people I try to buy as cheap as I can. This is a smart practice if you are buying personally or are running a business. As I reflect on my buying habits I start to think, just how much do I buy that is American? Nope, not this. Nope, not that. Sorry this isn’t either. They were such good buys though I think. This is the problem with American buying habits. We are hooked on cheap stuff. We will boast with our friends about the cheap buy we made at lunch and complain with them mid evening about the local factory that just announced it was headed for Mexico. Five hundred jobs gone from our town we will complain, not stopping to think that the decision to close that factory lies on your shoulders and mine. Companies big and small has got to have sales to survive. Higher the product equals less sales. Cheaper the product equals more sales. This way of buying and thinking is what has brought us to where we are. We must as a society change our buying habits. How many of you have complained in the last month “ things just aren’t made the way they used to be.” How many washing machines have you had in your lifetime? My grandmother used to brag that she bought a new washer and dryer in the early sixties and it lasted forty five years. I can’t get one to last ten years. You and I have caused this decline in quality. We want cheap! As American factories close their door and move out of this country so does the quality. If they are trying to cheapen their product with cheap labor it goes hand in hand with quality. We want American high quality products at a cheap price. This is like two opposing magnets. It does not happen and most of the time we go for the price. Let’s say we start small. Ten percent. Let’s shoot for ten percent more American made products in our buggy. One in ten items. Go with the smallest items to start your habit. The five dollar item you need that is made in Bangladesh can be bought with a Made In USA tag for seven dollars. Buy it. If you need to get that two bucks back cut out your afternoon soda and candy bar for the day. ( If you are like me you don’t need it anyway). There is 324 million people in the USA. Just think if all 324 million increase their American product by ten percent. Just ten percent. That factory in town that is leaving would remain and add another five hundred jobs. It can happen. It must happen. As this buying practice becomes habit new business and factories will start to go up. Wages will increase but we have got to kick the habit of buying cheap. Buy American. Be American.
Yesterday the White House announced that President Trump and Kim Jon Un would sit down to talk. Just weeks ago we were hearing every news cast, special report , and commentator talking of nuclear war. They talked of the worst kind of war ahead. Millions on millions would be dead. The Korean Peninsula would be totally demolished. Millions of Koreans, thousands and thousands of US troops killed. The economic expense would be mind boggling, putting the global economy in a position to take years to recover. The experts warned of all these outcomes. Just weeks ago they were talking about this. 2018 was projected to be the year of war by experts. Not one military expert said this would be a pushover for the United States. Yes they all agreed we would win but at a high price in money and life. Yesterday there was hope. Yesterday there was hope for the first time in decades that there might be a peaceful outcome. No it wasn’t a guarantee or anything even close to definite, but it was a sliver of hope. People of generations past held on to hope and faith everyday for the future. Today that is gone. As soon as the news broke social media sites lit up with complaints. Trump done this or he done that. Kim would do this or he would do that. It wouldn’t work. It was a mistake. This kind of talk was everywhere even on major news outlets. Maybe this is correct, or just maybe, maybe they are wrong. Why in this day and time would we put our politics, our pride, our views in front of peace. Why would anyone want total destruction over peace. No matter where we stand, left, right, Democrat or Republican we should hope and pray for our president to make this work. If we can stand and hope he fails just because you don’t like him or his other views and wish war with North Korea then we are no better than Kim. Hate has concurred peace or hs it?