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The rambling thoughts of Dr. Giddy

The Silent Mentor

Disclaimer.
The events in this blog post are factual.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent, as well as the guilty…  And also, in case the real life Jerry reads it, to prevent the unfortunate side effect of pride – swollen head syndrome – from afflicting him.

Jerry.
Jerry is in retail management.  Long hours.  Moderate pay.  Marked by demanding bosses, demanding employees, and demanding customers.  This is not a glamorous job, but someone must do it.  Jerry thinks he does a pretty good job.

He has strong opinions on just about everything – politics, religion, family life, and work ethic.  He believes he (and those under him) get paid to do what they are told, when they are told to do it, and how they are told to do it.  Neither Jerry nor his team get paid to complain, or argue, or even reason – execution is the goal.

If the powers that be decide they want the store to look like a cluttered, garage sale today; that is how Jerry will make it look.  If, after Jerry has convinced all the nay-sayers the cluttered, garage sale look is in, the powers that be decide the store needs the clean, less is more look; Jerry will retrain his team to be sold out believers in the clean, less is more cult.

Why?  Because the bottom line, core values of the retail company are: Respect, Service, and Excellence.  So long as those three things are not compromised – everything else is negotiable.

Mary.
Mary worked with Jerry for a few years.  They were partners, working third shift.  Mary is a working mother, a very busy woman.  Torn between the demanding bosses, employees, customers on one hand – and her husband and children on the other.

Third shift does not afford much for relationships, so those that are committed to it are a tight knit group.  Jerry and Mary became friends.  They would share lunch and discuss life, dreams, and goals.  Remember, Jerry has strong opinions on everything – sometimes sharing those opinions can cause friction.  Mary may or may not have been offended by Jerry’s opinions, she kept her thoughts to herself.  Eventually Jerry moved to another store, and they didn’t keep in touch.

She kept her thoughts to herself, until about five years after Jerry moved on.  Then, because she was moving out-of-state – Mary decided she should call Jerry and tell him exactly what she thought of him.
She said something to this effect:

“Hi Jerry.  This is Mary.  I know it’s been years since we spoke.  My husband just got a promotion so we are moving, and I didn’t want to leave town without telling you a few things…  First, after working with you for so long and listening to you talk about your family – I have decided my children are worth more than my pay check so I am becoming a stay at home mother.  Second, after listening to you talk about finances, I bought a book by a guy named Dave Ramsey and my husband and I have decided it is time we make good use of the money God has provided us.  And – thirdly, after seeing your faith in action, we have found a church in our new city and are committing our lives back to God.  I just thought you should know that you made a difference in my life.”

George.
George was an assistant to Jerry for a few years.  George was a pretty dedicated assistant.  He had his quirks, but he also had a desire to succeed.  George watched as Jerry demoted or (in some cases) fired other assistants that refused to do their jobs.  George did not want to be in that number.

After a few years, George transferred to a larger store that offered more opportunity to advance.  George left Jerry on less than ideal terms, but maintained a respect for Jerry and his strong opinions.  George took a temporary assignment at a challenging store to show the powers that be that he is in fact ready for advancement.  Jerry had spent a few months at the same store a year earlier, with much the same mission.

George was doing his time, trying to make a difference and give some direction that would help this store. A few of the employees told George what they needed to do was what Jerry had implemented when he was there.  George didn’t think about the Jerry he knew until a few days later when the name was mentioned again…  and then again.  George finally asked, “You mean Jerry from that other store?”

“Yeah, that’s him.  When he was here we did this, and that.  And this wasn’t a problem because Jerry had us do it this way – you know, work it the way it is designed,” was the answer.

So George called Jerry and said something like this:

“Hey, Jerry – It’s George.  I’m over here at this other store for a while, and I guess you were here a while back too.  I know a lot of times people do things and don’t realize the effect they have on others – we usually hear the bad…  So, I wanted to call to tell you that you sure did make a difference to several of these folks.  They were telling me all about how you did this and that and made their jobs better — and I thought about what you’ve done for me and just want you to know I appreciate it and these folks appreciate it.”

Linda.
Linda was looking for a job.  She used to work for the company Jerry worked for.  In fact, a couple of years after Jerry had moved on, she managed the same department he had.  She had not met Jerry – there had been several managers over the department between them – but anytime she would do something or asked for help it seemed someone would say:  “Well, Jerry did it this way.” or “Jerry would do this.” or “That’s not what Jerry did…”  Linda learned a lot from Jerry during her time in that department.

But she had moved away, and was now coming back.  She needed a job, so she called her old boss.  “Sure, I have an opening,” he said, “I’ll have someone call you for an interview.”

A few days later a man called Linda to conduct a telephone interview.  He introduced himself.  Linda couldn’t believe it.  “Jerry?  Did you used to work in that department at that store?”

“Yes…”

“Jerry!  You were my silent mentor!  Even years after you left they would tell me about you and I always tried to live up to the expectation they said you set.  Wow!  I always referred to you as my Silent Mentor.”

The Silent Mentor.
The point is not to make Jerry feel good – although, no doubt he felt like a rock star after getting these calls.  The point is no matter what you are doing, you are being watched.  So long as you have a job, or child, or walk outside to get the mail — someone is watching.

What will they see?
Something worth emulating?  Or something humiliating?
Something elevating?  Or something draining?

Romans 14:7, Matthew 5:16, Colossians 3:17 – and many more.

There is no doubt: You are a Silent Mentor.

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Musings

 

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Heaven’s Door

Heaven’s Door

Tonight, I learned a bit about Emily Dickenson…  There was a performance of “The Belle Of Amherst” at the library this evening, so we had a home school field trip to see it.

I am not into poetry, and never have been – mainly because I don’t get it.
A little Poe, a little Frost.  I can’t handle much else.

But I ran across this, by Dickenson:

Going to Heaven!
I don’t know when —
Pray do not ask me how!
Indeed I’m too astonished
To think of answering you!
Going to Heaven!
How dim it sounds!
And yet it will be done
As sure as flocks go home at night
Unto the Shepherd’s arm!

Perhaps you’re going too!
Who knows?
If you should get there first
Save just a little space for me
Close to the two I lost —
The smallest “Robe” will fit me
And just a bit of “Crown” —
For you know we do not mind our dress
When we are going home —

I’m glad I don’t believe it
For it would stop my breath —
And I’d like to look a little more
At such a curious Earth!
I’m glad they did believe it
Whom I have never found
Since the might Autumn afternoon
I left them in the ground.

I have absolutely no idea what she means with the third verse (or whatever you call it in poetry).  The first two, however, are pretty plain and I sure do get it – as sure as flocks go home at night/unto the Shepherd’s arm!

Emily wrote somewhere around 1,775 poems…  Maybe I’ll read them.
So far this is my favorite:

A Door just opened on a street —
I — lost — was passing by —
An instant’s Width of Warmth disclosed —
And Wealth — and Company.

The Door as instant shut — And I —
I — lost — was passing by —
Lost doubly — but by contrast — most —
Informing — misery —

 

When people pass by me, I want my door to be open – wide with warmth, wealth and company –

for the lost.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Musings

 

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Unplugged.

Unplugged.

For sometime now I’ve been meaning to take one night per week to have an old-fashioned Amish family night.
Not really Amish – I’ll allow electric lights, and if we must leave the house we will drive the Town & Country (although a horse and buggy would be a notch higher on the ‘cool’ scale).  I think this will be the week it happens – Thursday.

SO…  I am determined to make Thursday our UNPLUGGED night.

What will Thursday Unplugged look like at the Pelletier home?
It will NOT look like this:

Really!?!  If Megadeth unplugs is there any sound at all???
Or this:

And – definitely not this:

I bet their parents are so proud!  “How’s Billy, you ask?  Oh that boy, he is one of those Sick Puppies!!!”
And I’ll have to beg your mercy on this tasteless pun insertion:

Our unplugged night better not look like that.
While looking for images for this post I also found this…

Now…  I love Jesus and am not ashamed of it – BUT I have two issues with this shirt:
1.  When Jesus unplugs you it tends to be a permanent thing…  I’m not quite ready for that.
2.  They spelled unplugged as unpluged…  How can you mass produce a t-shirt with a typo on it?
Unless they really meant it as “pluge” –
Wikipedia (Google’s informative cousin) educated me as to what a pluge is –

In television, picture line-up generation equipment (PLUGE or pluge) is equipment used to generate greyscale test patterns in order to adjust the black level and contrast of a picture monitor.

I suppose that could work, (Jesus takes the grey out of life’s decisions!) but then the design doesn’t make sense.  It should have something like this on it:

Oh!  I found a third issue with the shirt –
3.  It’s short-sleeved…

Our unplugged night will look more like this:

Can I get an amen?!?!
Thursday night…  how about no I-pod, no Wii, no DSi, no cell phone, no text messages, no email, no Facebook, no WordPress (sorry), no lap tops – maybe, just maybe, no radio (we already have no TV).

What, oh what will ever we do?!?!
Twiddle our thumbs?  Sit in silence and stare at each other?
I think not…  play pool (not the water kind, the billiard kind), play Clue, play Phase 10 – read the Word together a little more than usual, pray together a little longer than usual.

I cannot wait!
(seriously)

Oh!  One last thing…  I found this for my vegan friends (yes…  I have more than one):

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2012 in Musings

 

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How’s Your Vision?

How’s Your Vision?

The other day I heard that 9 out of 10 people have vision problems.

Can this be true?

What I read stated 60% of Americans are farsighted, and 30% are nearsighted.  To me this seems like an inflated number.  I saw in one place on-line that there was only an estimated 75% of Americans with vision impairment – yet it stated the same 60/30 far/nearsighted stats just a few sentences later.  Either way, 9 out of 10 or 3 out of 4, seems high.

I thought of the people I know…  While my wife, children, and I all recently tested 20/20 vision – neither of our immediate families fare so well.  She is the only one in her immediate family, and I in mine, that has not required some sort of vision correction.

With scriptures like Matthew 7:1-5, Proverbs 29:18, Hebrews 12:2, Luke 11:34, and many, many more… it is clear that vision is important, having the correct vision is ultra-important.

So I did a little looking into (pardon the pun) vision problems.
Here’s what I learned – though, I will try to keep my interjections and spiritual conclusions to myself…

Far-sighted – up to 60% of us?
These folks have trouble seeing items up close.  Those in the distance are clear, but the here and now is a bit fuzzy.  Untreated this can cause them headaches and fatigue.

Farsighted

Near-sighted – one out of three?
These are the opposite of the farsighted folks.  They can’t see far off, but items that are near to them are crystal clear.  I read that these folks are “unaware of faraway objects.”  Interesting choice of words.

Nearsighted

Color blindness – it’s a guy thing…
Only one-half-of-one-percent of females are color blind, yet up to 8% of males have some form of color blindness.  Color blindness is simply perception problem…  These people just don’t see the full scope of the situation.
While there are several different variations of color blindness, the most common form confuses red & green…
Do I stop or go?  Hmm…

Do you see a number?

Cataracts – The leading cause of blindness.

Basically a cataract is a barrier between the light source and the eye.  It’s a cloudy covering that seeps in while pushing everything else in your view out – until it is the sole object of your focus.  This affliction targets mostly the elderly, but it also seems to attack those that set their sights high.
From the Wikipedia Cataracts page:

A study among Iceland-air pilots showed commercial airline pilots are three times more likely to develop cataracts than people with non-flying jobs… Supporting this theory is the report that 33 of the 36 Apollo astronauts involved in the nine Apollo missions to leave Earth orbit have developed early stage cataracts…

Glaucoma – The second leading cause of blindness.
I was amazed to learn several years ago that many people who are blind have nothing wrong with their eyes – their eyes will dilate when the light changes.  Yet they cannot see simply because their optic nerve does not communicate with the brain.  The optic nerve is the go-between of what we see & the power source of our sight. If there is damage to the nerve, your eye may operate as it is designed but to no effect.

Glaucoma

There are two main types of glaucoma – open angle & closed angle.
Closed angle comes on suddenly and is painful The person experiencing it usually finds help before permanent damage happens.
Open angle, on the other hand, is called the “silent thief of sight.”  It attacks slowly and steadily over a period of months and years.  The victim is unaware what is happening until it is too late – the damage is done, the connection is all but severed.

Macular Degeneration –
This is an interesting one.  A person with AMD seems to have the middle of their picture burned out.  They can see all around the peripheral, where much activity happens, but not the center, the core, the main object of focus.  Again, there are two main types, but both have the same main effect.  Both cause a detachment of the retina disrupting communication to the optic nerve – therefore to the brain.

Corneal Opacity –
The cornea is the front of your eye.  It’s the clear covering that covers the iris and pupil.  Clear being the key word there.  The cornea is what takes the information entering the eye and puts it in its proper place.  This is more than half the battle!  Putting the light in the right place, focusing the information, and filing it where it is meant to go.  But when the transparency is compromised the light cannot pass through.  Instead of the light hitting its mark there is confusion.  Usually this is caused by trauma, or infection.

Opacity

Retinopathy –
The retina is the lining of the inside of the eye.  It is very sensitive and actually considered brain tissue.  The retina is what develops the pictures our eye takes.  It interprets what we see and makes them real to us.  When  the retina becomes damaged it causes those pictures to become spotty and incomplete.  The primary cause of retinopathy is diabetes…  Diabetes is closely linked to diet.  It is not a far leap to conclude that what you take in affects how you see things.
Here is what retinopathy looks like:

Retinopathy

Trachoma –
This is the roughening of the interior of the eyelids.  Trachoma is caused by an infection – external and controllable – and is usually spread within a family.  Bacteria is passed from member to member and soon the thing that is meant to protect your eye becomes rough and calloused and destroys the eye.  Approximately 41,000,000 people are afflicted with this disease – many of them children, simply due to dirty faces.

Other Afflictions –
There are several other things that cause blindness and vision loss – like parasites, and malnutrition.
One last interesting fact though.  The human field of vision is 180 degrees, in America you are legally blind if that field of vision is narrowed down to 20 degrees. Your vision may be crystal clear, your focus perfect within that 20 degrees – but you could still be blind…

Considering all of what I have learned – maybe 90% is a little low.
Perhaps my own vision isn’t quite as sharp as I’d like…

I ask again:  How is your vision? (Matthew 7:5)

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Musings, Sunday School

 

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But It Was An Accident!

Tattle-Tales & Cry Babies
A few weeks ago, as the girls (my two plus a friend) were playing with their toys in their bedroom at the back of the house there was a shriek that rang down the hall, around the corner, past the dining room and filled the living room.  Shortly following the noise was the smallest of the three girls darting to our side to explain how the oldest squashed the middle girl’s hands in the closet door.  Of course, following the tattle-tale was a guilty girl carrying those five words:

But it was an ACCIDENT!

I’m pretty sure only one child was hurt, but two of them were crying – one in pain, one in fear.
Of course, being a Dad, I say, “Unless the tears are fixing something dry them up.”
Then I look over the injury, offer five alternative words:

I can cut it off!

Giggles instead of tears… very effective.  Trust me, I’m a doctor.

Field Goal Attempt — not so good
Not too terribly long ago the boy got a new football.  The kind that is fun to throw and kick.  Even in the house.
Mother’s don’t much like kids throwing and kicking anything in the house.  So mother tells son, “Go to your room and put that thing away before you break something!”  Son disappears – no doubt to his room to put “that thing” away.

Moments later – CRASH! and “Uh oh!” – Then the son returns to the living room with a fan blade from the ceiling fan in his hand, with the explanation:

But it was just an accident!

Really!?  What happened?  Well, the son “punted” (his words) “that thing” (mother’s words) in the house.
How he “accidentally” kicked a football is beyond me.  Actually I know he didn’t mean he kicked it accidentally, but the ceiling fan broke accidentally…  10-year-old logic – focus on the Effect to distract Mom & Pops from the Cause.

The good news is the boy learned 2 important lessons:

1.  Listen to Mom when she speaks!
2.  But it was just an accident!  Doesn’t make bad stuff disappear… and it can cost you money.  We are those evil, mean, despicable parents that hate love their children so much they will make them pay for their “accidents.”  It’s called personal responsibility.

A Revelation
This past Friday night was an incredibly clear night.  One of those nights I look at the sky and can almost see the arc of the atmosphere – you know?  Where Earth stops and Heaven starts?  It was beautiful…  And I thought, “And some people would say – But it was an accident!”

Really!?  I’m supposed to believe that this planet, and all that is beyond it just happened?  I’m supposed to believe that my body (any human body, not just mine) was put together by sheer happenstance?

It’s unreasonable to believe the van I was piloting down the highway (at exactly the 70 MPH speed limit) was the result of happenstance.  It was designed.  Looking through the windshield I saw the new Devon tower miles away, and it was clear from that distance that the building was not being thrown together with happenstance.  It was designed.  How can anyone see this world and think it was an accident?

Sometimes bad things happen – sometimes it’s things we control and other times it’s not – and it hurts!
Trying to rationalize life as an accident will not make the hurt you cause others or the hurt you experience go away.  In fact, that kind of thinking breeds more trouble…

What helps then, is just what got the kids above through their traumatic experiences –
1.  Listen to your Father – you can trust Him, He’s the Great Physician.
2.  Submit to Him and the authority He placed in your life.
3.  Be willing to accept personal responsibility for your actions and pay the price to make it right.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Musings

 

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Updated: Fortune Cookie Chronicles

Eat me and ancient wisdom you will find!

Crack (or click) me open and ancient wisdom you will find.

Spaghetti was on the menu – but the Panda’s prevailed!!!

After over 30 days without hearing from my Far-Eastern friends, I indulged in not one, but TWO fortune cookies!

Tank-yu valy mush for vizting – kwik wink pho mo: Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Fortune Cookies, Musings

 

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Just What Kind Of Doctor Are You?!?

I have a friend that likes to ask this of me.

It’s an incredibly intrusive question – really.

My Boy & I

I don’t go up to the teller at the bank and ask:  “What kind of teller are you?”

Or the cashier at the grocery store:  “What kind of cashier are you?”

Or the lady at the counter of 7-11: “What kind of convenient store clerk are you?”

Or the guy in the white SUV next to me at the stop light: “What kind of driver are you?”
…well, there was that one time.

Or the waitress at Chili’s: “What kind of waitress are you?”

Or my boss: “What kind of…   – nevermind.”

Or my wife: “What kind of chef, educator, custodial engineer, hostess, laundry guru, chauffeur, repunzel-hair-wielding, accountant, coupon-clipper, domestic goddess are you?”

Anna & Afore-Mentioned-Wife

I mean seriously, these things are ob-vi-ous.

Just what kind of doctor am I?!?  Duh…

IDK.

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Musings

 

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