Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Fare Regurgitated

For Thanksgiving, I am reposting this from last year.

One of the most painful aspects of ministry to the elderly residents of our Christian home is the inevitability of death. And it is on those occasions that my staff often participates in sharing their feelings of loss and their fond memories. I have come to realize that, for my employees, this is a ministry of love. And the ministry is reciprocal; many of the folks we serve have made immeasurable impacts on the lives of those who are serving them.

Over my past fifteen years here, there have been many times when the holidays have been especially hard for us; these seem to be the times when we lose an unusual number of long-time residents. Yesterday was not the first Thanksgiving Day that we lost one of our residents. She had gone out with her daughters for a family Thanksgiving dinner. Late in the afternoon she began to feel nauseous and complained of stomach and back pains. They took her to the emergency room at the hospital where she was diagnosed with flu symptoms and discharged back to our care by early evening. My staff monitored her every thirty minutes through the evening. About 12:45 AM they found her unresponsive and called 911. When I arrived the paramedics had pronounced her "dead on arrival." I called her pastor and the two of us spent the next few hours comforting and praying with her daughter until the funeral home reps arrived to remove her mother.
Our resident pastor keeps very busy conducting about 30-40 funerals a year. One year, he had seven services in one week. That certainly takes an emotional toll on residents and staff alike. These are hard days for us as, typically, the death rate rises significantly following Thankgiving Day and Christmas Day.

As hard as that is, others have experienced far more in terms of loss. In 1636 there was a pastor who buried 5,000 of his parishioners in a single year. That was about fifteen a day and it happened during the Thirty Years War, one of history’s costliest in terms of casualties, epidemics and economic devastation. He endured some of the worst conditions and experiences that life could dish out.

His name was Martin Rinkert and in the middle of that terrible time of incredible loss, he wrote a table grace for his children that has come to be one of our most loved thanksgiving hymns:

Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, In whom His world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, And still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God Through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills In this world and the next.
All praise and thanks to God The Father now be given,
The Son, and Him who reigns With them in highest Heaven,
The One eternal God, Whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, And shall be evermore.
One contemporary pastor, Joel Gregory, referring to Martin Rinkert as "The Unlikely Thanker" asked, “If I'd spent the year holding 5,000 funerals for the people I served, could I write a song of thanksgiving for my children?”

It is interesting to note that many people who, seemingly, have the least to thank God for are the very ones who thank Him the most.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Government Takeover of Television Talk Shows; The Oprabama Show

Dear Mr. O,

Bummer about that bad news, eh chief? Just when you are taking the hits about your grossly overstated estimates of jobs saved or created, Oprah drops the bomb. She will be ending her show and LAYING OFF 600 EMPLOYEES. That doesn't look very good for your economic policies.

But I have an idea about how you can turn this lemon into lemonade. Here's the plan:

GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HER SHOW. After all, it's "too big to fail." And YOU could be the STAR. Think about it; "The Obama Show." This could really work for you because there are so many similarities in you and Oprah that the transition should be nearly seamless and the success can be almost guaranteed.

  • Oprah's father left when she was young and she was raised by a poor single mother. Hey, so were you.
  • There is some question of accuracy in her birth certificate. There is some question of the existence of your birth certificate.
  • Oprah also hails from Chicago.
  • Some considered her a likely prospect for U.S. senator from Illinois. You've been there.
  • You would not have to change the show's logo. You could just use the same letter, "O."
  • Oprah has millions of adoring fans. You used to have millions of adoring fans but I can't find too many of them that would admit that anymore.
  • Oprah loves you. YOU love you.
    Oprah is considered a spiritual leader. Some people think you are the messiah.
  • And, just like you, one of Oprah's favorite things is an open microphone that allows her to talk to millions of people.
  • Oprah used the backward spelling of her name, Harpo, for the name of her production company. Harpo is a Marx brother. It's ironic, isn't it, that you are a fan of another Marx?
  • Oprah loves to take her money and use it for the benefit of others. You also want to take HER money and use it for the benefit of others.
And one other thing. By taking over her show, you could actually save 600 real jobs as well as creating one new job - yours, because you're gonna need it when you are fired in 2012.

I hope this has been a helpful suggestion. I remain happy to help whenever I can.

Ralph M. Petersen

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Brown is the NEW Green

Fifteen years!

That's how long I have been the Administrator and President of Valley Christian Home (a residential facility for the elderly) in Hemet, CA.

And in all those years (and probably many more before me) we have been using those triple-fold paper towels in all our public restrooms and kitchens.

So a couple weeks ago I got involved in some purchasing activity after some staffing reductions (attributable to Obama's promises of Hope and Change). Staff had informed me that we were out of towels and needed to reorder. So when our supplier's sales rep showed up, I informed him of our need.

"Do you want the white towels or the 'green' towels" he asked.

"What are you talking about," I asked, "I've never heard of 'green' towels."

Then he explained, "The 'green' towels are the ones we used to call 'natural.' You know! The brownish colored ones that are manufactured from recycled paper."

"No thanks," I said, "I used to like green when it was a color in my Crayola box. Now that it is a religion, I hate green."

The he opened his price book and showed me that white towels were $40.00 per case and "green" towels were $20.00.

"O.K." I said, "I just changed my religion. Give me the 'green' towels."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nancy's Brain Damaged by Botox?

When you use too much Botox on your face, Do you think the tightening of your skin probably puts too much of a squeeze on your brain?

How else would you explain THIS?

Just Wondered!

Obama's Three Biggest Lies

  1. "I will not raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $250,000 per year."
  2. "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
  3. "I did not watch the election coverage Tuesday night."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Newest Addition In My Arsenal Of Personal Protection

I've just added this one to my arsenal. When they come and take our guns away, I will still have my pitchfork.

I am already a member of the NRA but I'm thinking about starting a new organization - the NPA (National Pitchfork Association).

Looks great hanging from the mantle in my office, don'tya think?

I found the rifle stock at a swapmeet for $3.00. The pitchfork was at a yard sale for $3.00. And the sling was .75 cents at another garage sale.
Total cost - $6.75. Assembly time was 30 minutes.
Now I'm ready!