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FIVE W’S OF GOOD PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL HEALTH

I’m not going to talk much about bad habits because I’m not equipped to help with them. I just know the old jingle, “I don’t smoke and I don’t chew and I don’t go with the boys that do.”

On a more serious note before we move on, my father died of throat cancer at age 50; I was 13. In 1960, we didn’t know much about the health hazards of smoking. We just knew Baptists weren’t supposed to do it, but they did anyway, and it was not the best, but okay because we were eternally saved. But Daddy didn’t have to have the AMA or the Baptists to tell  him his prognosis. He told my mother, “This is killing me.” So, don’t smoke, and if you already do, ask God to lead you to someone who can help you quit. Your life is too valuable. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), and your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Take care of it before it’s too late.

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Mother and Daddy in the early 1940s

 

Now for the good, but sometimes hard W’s

WALKING

David doesn’t like to walk around the neighborhood. He prefers Fisherman’s Bend. There we not only get physical exercise; we plan and dream about the near and distant future, watch the Santiam River flow–and flow it does!  And just be together in God’s green Northwest USA. It’s great when you can take your grandkids along.

Oh yes, and the best way to walk at Fisherman’s Bend (or anywhere) is with one of David’s handcrafted walking sticks.

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If it’s getting close to dark or I have to walk alone, I settle for the neighborhood walk. But this is not all bad. In the neighborhood, you can prayer walk, praying for each neighbor as you pass his house. You can wave or even stop and chat if he’s in the front yard–that would be in June after it stops raining in Oregon.

How often should you walk? More often than I do. We try to go about four times a week, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. Remember, we live in Oregon. Maybe in June we’ll make up for it and walk 15 times a week.

WATER

Drink water! It’s okay to drink coffee, tea or juice–or even on rare occasions a soda–but when you’re drinking these things, it means you’re not drinking water!

There’s not much more to say about water.I prefer mine with ice. Any way you pour it, just drink it!

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WORD

Be in the Word–God’s Word. Satan will give you every reason not to do this. Kick him in the shins! Find a place and a time and have a plan. I’m now studying the Psalms of Ascent with our church ladies. Rich stuff. When I get behind, I’m the loser. Again, just do it!

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Georgia Lou is often caught reading her Bible

WORK

As as child, for whatever Freudian reasons, I didn’t learn to do physical work as I should have. Again, I was the loser. I now find it rewarding to work–in the garden (though I’m far from a gardener) in the kitchen, cooking and washing dishes (I’m better at dishes than cooking, but I like to eat). When I lay my head on my pillow at night and I’ve worked with my hands, there is a satisfied feeling.

Work alongside your kids. Hopefully they’ll follow your example. Better they work with you than smoke with you. So, get busy!

Grandmother (Lita), Granddaughter Jenny and Great-Granddaughter Sadie

WORSHIP

What a great habit to get into. Not just at church–and it’s not just singing. It’s adoring someone. The best Someone I know to adore is God, the Three in one–God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

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Mill City Baptist Home Fellowship (converted from our pastor’s shop)

I will tell you a crazy habit of mine if you promise not to tell anyone. You see, I am an alphabet nut. I even make my lists in alphabetical order. (Did you notice my W’s are in alphabetical order?) During the night when I can’t sleep, I think of attributes of God, starting with A: Almighty, Bulwark, Creator…I don’t think I’ve ever made it to Z before I fall back asleep. But if I did, I guess I’d say, ruler of Zion. I also do the same with hymn titles: A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Because He lives, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. I sing as many verses as I can remember. It’s okay, David is deaf without his hearing aids, so I’m not disturbing anyone unless it’s the neighbors. If you’re under 69, you’ll probably want to song the praise songs. This is not the war of the worship music. So, just do it!

I could add one more W: Sit down, relax and WEAD a good book!

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SUN TEA AND OTHER AMUSEMENTS

I set a jar of cold water and six tea bags on a tree stump in the back yard.  I don’t know if sun tea is better than the boiled kind.  It’s simply a symbol of a good Southern country good times. 

We used to have a hand-crank ice cream freezer.  The kids sat on it while the adults turned the crank.  I didn’t do much of either.  I mostly got in the way because I was too skinny my weight was worthless to keep the thing still.  And I certainly couldn’t turn the crank.  Nevertheless, this was good ice cream, making good memories. 

My daughter, Jenny, used to fish for crawdads at the ditch by our mountain church in New Mexico.  I hope she got as much out church as she did out of fishing with her friends. 

My sister who is nine years my senior remembers going to youth camp when they had to pay $7.50 and a pound of bacon.  She also remembers driving the tractor when she and the cousins weren’t old enough.  But she wasn’t four like Cousin Jimmy and I were.  We scared the aunts and uncles–did we get attention!  

In the 1920s, my mother’s family had an old car.  It didn’t run.  What she used it for, it didn’t need to run.  She quickly got her chores done, took an old hymnal out to that car.  She’d sit in the back seat and let the sun beam on her. She’d sing to the top of her lungs, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning,” “Brighten the Corner Where You Are,”Standing on the Promises” and whatever else was in the hymnal that she knew–and maybe some she didn’t. 

A couple more from my mother.  She and her brother smeared axle grease all over each other.  She says she doesn’t know why her mother didn’t beat the tar out of her.  One Halloween she and friends stole a chicken, roasted and ate it.  She said it was sure tough!  Mother!  I’m ashamed of you!

David and his life-long best friend, Gary, once camped in the back yard.  They cut weeds (the weeds we had in the 1950s) about 1-1/2 inches, punched holes through them with a nail, burned one end with the outdoor barbecue and blew smoke.  They did not inhale! 

My friend Denise tells a couple of good Southern California memories.  They had an apricot tree in their yard.  In the summer, she hid in it.  This is where she did all her thinking and planning.  Nobody knew where to find her.  In the fall, she and her brother raked the leaves from the tree, then jumped in.  She also remembers in the summer some kind of fruit dripping down her dirty arm.

Here is one from this sophisticated friend I can barely believe.   She said she and her brother would be walking home and it would be hot and they’d be thirsty.  They’d pass a yard with sprinklers not turned on.  He taught her to put her mouth on the sprinkler head and suck on it and water would come out.  Yuck, Denise!

We all remember Hide-and-Seek, Mother May I? and Red Light-Green Light.

Jodie, my sister, says she is now sitting on their deck in Ohio watching the lightning bugs.  I’m about to go swimming with my husband, but not in the ditch.  Does that count? 

Come on, turn off that computer and get to living this summer. 

Be sure to take a copy of Ebenezer and Ninety-Eight Friends up to the apricot tree with a cool glass of sun tea. 

Blessings!

Marty

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