Category Archives: Sidetrips

Belief in Jesus Christ

Some believe Jesus Christ did not exist.

Some believe Jesus Christ was a famous person

Some believe Jesus Christ was a great prophet and teacher

Some believe Jesus Christ died on a cross.

Some believe Jesus Christ the Son of God, died on The Cross, was Resurrected, and accept Christ as their Savior.

December 25 we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and have done so for decades and decades. We are not completely sure  December 25 is the exact birthday, but that day is the day we have chosen for Christmas.

There is no bigger birthday celebration. I believe Jesus Christ deserves such a party for the impact his life has on the human race. A really great, extremely big party requires lots of hard work, lots of food, lots of gifts, and lots of love. I cannot imagine there ever being a bigger and better birthday party than the one people have around the world at Christmas. I believe Christ is quite impressed and is especially pleased with our giving the gifts to one another.

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Belief in Santa

As a part of going to see Santa Claus each year, my mother would save the picture of my sitting on Santa’s knee. She would display these in our dining room each holiday season. When I was six years old I vividly remember reviewing the pictures of three previous visits to Santa. I had a question.

“Hey, Mom.”

“What is it, Topper?” She called me Topper. I don’t know why.

“In these three pictures, Santa looks different. Which one is the real Santa?

“I believe they are all Santa, Topper.”

“No, Mom, that can’t be. The one in the middle is the real Santa. The others must be Santa’s helpers. Santa can’t be everywhere, all the time.”

I wasn’t ready to let go.

There was a time I thought we were both wrong and I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. A few years later I began to believe Mom was right, they were all Santa. Today I believe we were neither right nor wrong. Simply, we both believed in Santa Claus.

Character of Health Care

After a two-day hospital stay, triggered by chest pains I visited a specialist to discuss options. The reputable internist rattled off a number of tests he recommended. One by one I tried to understand the value of the particular exam or procedure, but I was never clear why there was evidence the test was likely to reveal the problem. As I continued to quiz the expert I began to realize the answer was invariably ‘to rule something out.’ Frustrated, I switched direction and asked:

“Do you have a brother?”

“Uh, yes I do, why do you ask?”

Because I want to know what you would recommend to your  brother, if he were I.”

The expert seemed puzzled, as if this was an entirely new view of the matter. He finally said,

“The only thing I would be concerned about is the heart, but you already were given a treadmill exame. I would say the other tests are unnecessary.”

This interchange occurred a few years ago. It was the first time I realized that, even in the health care industry, decisions had become more and more economics-based and cover-your-ass based, rather than care-based.

The rest of the story is I took those tests recommended by the internist. None of them turned up anything. I only took them because they were almost free. Why not get everything checked out? Insurance covered them. Somehow the ‘system’ made it very easy to rule things out. Economics based decision making works sometimes. Sometimes it does not.

Expectations and Adversity

Quotesqueen recently posted an awesome Michael J. Fox quote about expectations. Check it out.

Healthy Nuts

Do this leg stretch! Use this new ab machine! Drink two juices!

We are clearly bombarded with diet and exercise tips from countless sources. Certainly, having accurate information about our health is something we all want to be perfect. We will have discovered on our life journey it never becomes perfect.

I generally take the time to research health information before I make it a part of my life. I wish it were easy. The very best example of how I’d love to get health information happened the middle of last year.

In a regular visit with my primary care physician, I was told to eat a handful of walnuts each day. One handful; no more, no less, would increase my good cholesterol 10 points. I researched it and decided to try it.

It absolutely did increase my HDL from not so great to very good, about 10 points. I’m not aware of any other change that might have contributed. It’s easy to do, I love walnuts, and the result is pretty amazing.

If anyone has a diet or exercise tip that really works for you, I’m sure a lot of us would like to hear from you.  

Elder Care

Mother and Dad retired and chose to do what many did at the time and go to a warmer climate. After Mother passed away, Dad lived another seventeen years. I remember visits to my father’s home in Florida. 

He always wanted to take me to one of his favorite places for dinner. During each trip he would give me step by step directions: turn the headlights on, turn left, one more block, turn right-on-red here, park in the back… After several trips to Florida, several drives to the same restaurant, same step-by-step directions, over and over, I became increasingly angry. How can he think I don’t know the way to the restaurant by now? He must think I have the brains of the parking lot in the back. I tried to tell him, but nothing changed.

Then things changed. Dad continued to give directions, but I began hoping for the directions, silently cheering as he gave each step of the way. The situation didn’t change, only the way I viewed it. I became grateful, for it told me he was still able to get around at his age. Also, in my heart, I knew he had always been proud of me.

It was the first time I realized the roles of responsible adult and dependent might have to change. 

Santa Claus

Yes, I believe there is a Santa Claus.

As a part of going to see Santa Claus each year, many years ago, my mother would save the pictures of my sitting on Santa’s knee. She would display these in our dining room each Christmas season. When I was seven years old I vividly see myself reviewing the pictures of three previous visits to Santa. I had a question.

I asked my mother to look at the pictures. She said “what is it topper?” She called me topper, I don’t know why.

I told her it looked as if the three Santa’s appeared different. I wanted to know which one is the real Santa. She answered, ” Why, I believe thay are all Santa, topper.”

“No, Mother, you have to be wrong. The one in the middle has to the real Santa! The others must be Santa’s helpers. Santa can’t be everywhere, being so busy you know.” I wasn’t ready to let go.

There came a time when I thought we were both wrong and I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. Later, I decided mother was right, they were all Santa Claus. Today, I believe we were neither right nor wrong. Simply, we both believed in Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas.