What happened to integrity?

There seems to be no limit to the insanity that is going on in our world today. I read something every day that makes me shake my head in disbelief.
A realtor was recently called to list a house. The owners had already left and were doing the business by email and/or text. When the realtor went to the house, she discovered the owners had left behind their beautiful German shepherd. Really? What is wrong with people. My animals are like family, even our chickens. It’s like leaving one of your children behind and believe it or not, I’ve read where that happened as well.
In some places it’s the political season and some politicians seem to have lost their minds as well. I don’t handle mud-slinging very well. I don’t understand why a candidate goes crazy because someone is challenging them. Those with integrity don’t mud-sling and I respect them immensely. A little competition is good and should keep you humble but that doesn’t seem to be the case in many cases. Politicians who have been in an elected position like to use the word “experienced” in their campaigns. While I know you should at least attend meetings and pay attention and have some kind of good sense, this is not like an engineering job and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist. Experienced to me, usually means you’ve been in office too long. No one should make a seat on a council or elsewhere a lifetime position. You need new ideas at times and someone to question decisions, etc.
Maybe I’m missing something here but people who have no political background at all, get elected to council, county, state and national seats all the time and most of them do a good job.
Taking up signs of the opposition is just childish, as it slashing the signs as someone did to Becky Smith’s in Roberta. How old are we anyway?
I’ve refrained from making any kind of public comments on social media a lot better and as much as possible. Don’t need the drama and the correct thing to do is approach the person personally to have a discussion. Social media is not the place for such discussions of disagreements. Can’t we all be adults and do the right thing?
I was reminded that what I feel is the right thing, someone else might not. True, but having integrity in each situations and chewing over your words carefully before uttering them, as well as filtering them through God’s word, goes a long way. God doesn’t like ugly and I remind myself of this all the time when I want to respond negatively. He is the only one I have to answer to and that fact matters to me and helps me keep myself in check most of the time. Hey, we all slip once in a while!!
Politics can certainly bring out the worst in folks. Brings out true colors and if I was going to vote for someone, as soon as they begin mudslinging, I rethink that decision. I do not want someone representing me who would do that to another person. To me, it’s unethical and downright mean- spirited. Is winning a seat on council or a commission really that important? There is enough tearing down of people in our world and we need to be encouraging people and uplifting them, not trying to tear them down. If you need to resort to mudslinging to help you win a campaign, I wonder if your heart is in the right place or what is your true motive for being in office. I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way.
It’s time we stop pointing fingers at others and look around our own door. There is an old Indian saying that goes, “Don’t judge (criticize) someone unless you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” We live in such a fast-paced world that is quick to criticize and judge, we haven’t forgotten to think about others and what they may have gone through.
We pass people every day on the street, but I wonder, are we really seeing them? Even the ones you might stop and talk with, are you really listening to what they have to say? Most of the time we are quick to make assumptions about people that we don’t even know. One thing I have learned over the years, is that you certainly cannot always judge a book by its cover. We need to apply that premise to people we want to judge or criticize.
Even people we think are so put together may not be as they appear. We can all put on a good front and put on our game face when in reality we are dying inside. Life’s challenges confront us all. Many people courageously carry a burden while also carrying on with life. There is no way we can know whether the person seated next to us has shoes lined in velvet or nails. More importantly, we don’t need to know. Did you get that, WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW!
Being compassionate and accepting can change the course of an encounter with another person. We should always offer a smile and be polite and when possible, offer a kind word. It will come back to you in ways you don’t expect.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Running on empty?

October is almost over. What a whirlwind year it has been and I don’t know how it went so fast or where it went. I feel as if I’m running on empty this time of year.
We haven’t had cooler weather for long lengths at a time so doesn’t really seem like fall. It usually gets cooler when the fair is in Perry, but that certainly was not the case this year. It was hot and muggy.
I used to enjoy the fair but as I’ve gotten older, it doesn’t entice me as much. I like some of the exhibits and occasionally one of the concerts. Of course, it’s not the fair without a candy or caramel apple and that’s about the extent of my eating fair food since I am gluten intolerant. Thus, that’s probably another reason I don’t enjoy it as much!
I was thankful for the rain this week though, as we really did need it. Supposedly, cooler weather is on it’s way as well. We shall see.
This past Saturday, I spoke at a women’s conference in Cordele. Theme for it was “Fill My Cup, Lord.” So many people seem to be running on empty and need to be refilled. We can get free refills at most restaurants when our cup becomes empty. Likewise, when our car’s gas tank gets on empty, it has to be refilled. The “e” on the fuel gauge lets you know when you’re empty. We don’t have that kind of gauge and sometimes we don’t want to admit that we are running on empty. But our bodies tell us if we pay attention.
When we have gone through storm after storm after storm, we can feel we are on empty. If left to our own devices and we try to fill our cups by ourselves, it can be filled with what the world has to offer us. That could be pride, jealousy, envy, unforgiveness or something else worldly.
But God’s mercies are new every morning and if we ask Him and make sure our cup is turned right side up, He fills us with blessings beyond measure. God fills our cup with patience, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, peace, understanding, gratitude, hope, love, healing, compassion and other good things.
If our priorities are all wrong and out of whack, our cups become empty. When we fail to make time for God or fail to spend time reading His love letter to us, we can become empty. Or, if we forget God’s greatest weapon – prayer, we find ourselves empty.
We have the choice of which cup to choose. But for God to fill our cup we have to empty it of ourselves. That means giving up control of what goes inside. That’s hard for many people. But doing so gives more blessings than we can imagine. Most of all, it doing so brings peace to your soul.
God offers refills that never run dry and they are unlimited. You see without God we are nothing and can do nothing and our cups will always be on empty. An empty cup means we are draining ourselves because of self-reliance, ambitions, speculations and fears about the future. There are people who live their entire lives never knowing the satisfaction of having God fill their cup. That’s heartbreaking to me.
Even those who go to church all the time can end up feeling empty if they aren’t ready to take God at His word and let Him have control. They don’t expect God to bother Himself by being involved in their lives. They just figure they can do the church thing, get just enough of God to be at peace and fulfill their religious responsibilities. We have to come to the end of ourselves to be ready to receiving the filling of what God has to offer.
Faithful obedience is required for us to keep our cup filled and our sin self doesn’t always want to do what God requires of us. Even when faced with things that don’t make sense, we have to trust and believe anyway. Keeping our cups filled is limited only by our capacity to receive and believe. God’s power is inexhaustible. The enjoyment of spiritual goodness increases the desire to our cups to remain filled.
God offers more than an abundant supply for our cups. It is never God who fails but always us who come to the end of our capacity. We have to prepare ourselves to accept what God has for us. Maybe your cup is cracked from your circumstances or your past. If so, anything that is put in it will run out. We let the world and its sin crack and tarnish our cup. We have to depend on and allow Jesus to repair those cracks, to shine us up and make us new, worthy vessels.
Let God fill your cup. It doesn’t have to be porcelain or plastic or even your cupped hands toward the Lord. The cup is just a metaphor. You just have to ask to be filled. The living water God offers is real and if you trust Him your cup will overflow with goodness and mercy. When it overflows you should share it with others.
Whatever you need to today, hold out your cup to God. We choose your Lord. Come, fill our cup Lord.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Keeping it ‘real’

National Newspaper Week ended Sunday. For the first time in my 40-year journalism career, I feel like I am getting too old to handle the drama that you have to deal with from week to week. Mainly, because the drama has increased dramatically, people are too easily offended and people just don’t understand the role of a community newspaper, yet they want to tell you how to do your job. The longer I am a journalist, I am realizing why there are so few of us who do not drink, smoke or both. Many drink lots and lots of coffee and that was once me, but I’ve had to cut back on the coffee. Still drink it but not as much.
The theme for National Newspaper Week was “Real Newspapers, Real News”. No one understands that better than those of us journalists who work at a community newspaper. We’ve been real for years and have kept it real when the mainstream media took a wrong turn somewhere. We’ve continued to cover real meetings in an effort to keep the real public informed. We’ve continued to have real deadlines, so we could get printed and out on time. We’ve continued to work hard on real stories, whether they are real good or real bad. We have a real staff who not only cares about the community but cares about the job we do in that community in trying to keep the public informed.
A newspaper’s role in today’s society is more challenging than ever. In the era of “fake” news, community newspapers do not have the time nor resources or the desire to fabricate a story. There are plenty of real stories in our communities. But sometimes the public gets the lines confused and finds it hard to know what is real and fake. I can tell you if you read it in the local paper, you can bank that it is real.
We strive to be accurate but as humans we do make mistakes and we own up to them when we do. Fake news sources do not; in fact, they love the controversy. We double check facts and our writing but on deadline at times, we can miss something. We never intentionally try to make a mistake or report something that is not true.
The staff here is real. We only have one full time employee. The rest are part-time or volunteers who see the importance of a community newspaper and step up to the plate to help us. We love our volunteers and their service is priceless to us.
When we quote someone, the people we quoted are real and usually people in our community. We advocate for government transparency because the public should demand it. We help hold those in our local governments accountable. We defend the First Amendment and uphold the Constitution.
We are committed to our communities and the areas we serve. By providing real news reporting we are giving a voice to the voiceless and empowering the powerless. Governments, whether local or national, belong to the people and we strive to remember that in our reporting on where your tax dollars are being spent.
When I first got into the world of newspaper, even then they were saying it was a dying industry. That has been 40 years ago and while we are having to make changes to stay up with the times, newspapers are still a vital and real component of a community.
According to recent surveys, newspapers are still the top choice for people seeking real and reliable news and information. More than half of all Americans still subscribe to newspapers and this exceeds TV news watchers.
Yes, we have survived radio and TV but the real threat these days is a 24/7 internet-delivered media which disrupts the reality for which newspapers were first introduced. Because of this more and more people cannot differentiate between real and fake news. It may be called social media, but the reality is that it is really anti-social. Tweets or posts do not protect the public’s right to know or help keep the government in check.
The entitlement generations thinks news should be free and delivered to their phones without a thought. They don’t care that it took someone time and effort to attend a meeting, do research and double check facts and then write a story before it could be published. They don’t care that many hometown newspapers have gone out of business and that journalists have lost jobs right and left.
None of us really know what the future holds or what a newspaper, if it will even be called that, will look like in years to come. But those of us who made it our life’s work and were a part of a newspaper’s productions in one way or other, know exactly how real it has been. The long termers would probably bleed ink when cut.
I’ve often said your friends and enemies change on a weekly basis depending on what’s in the newspaper that week. That is even more real now as if leaders don’t like that you reported a truth that was unflattering, they threaten to take away some of the revenue you get.
Reality for newspapers in the next decade to stay alive is going to require real leaders who understand how important members of the fourth estate really are, and real revenues to keep them being published. Have you read your local paper lately? Keep it real and be a part of their survival. ©2017
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Let go and trust God

My heart aches for all that is happening in the world. Seems like every day it is something else that has happened. Monday, after hearing about the Las Vegas shooting, all I wanted to do was cry.
The last couple of weeks have been especially draining emotionally. Whenever I start working on a conference, the enemy moves in like a lion and not only tries to distract me but tries to discourage me and in case you haven’t noticed he’s getting stronger in the world. On one particular point in my message, he has really been trying to get me. But I know that Greater is He that is in me, than he who is in the world. It’s a real battle sometimes and we have to put on God’s armor and fight when necessary.
While I know and even preach that we don’t put our trust in people, I still get disappointed. Especially in people who call themselves Christians. Posting things on social media that are Christ oriented, does not make you a Christian. We need to be people of our word; mean what we say and do what we say, and so many aren’t. If your walk and your talk do not line up with the word of God, people know it. For some, Christians are the only Christ they will see. If what they see looks just like everything and everyone else in the world, we need to examine ourselves and spend more time on our knees in prayer.
We have to live in the world but we should not become like it. We should be different and people should recognize that there is something different about us. If they don’t we need to ask ourselves why not and do some soul searching.
This world is not our home and we shouldn’t be that comfortable in it. John 15-17; “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
Loving and being sold out to the world prevents fellowship with God. It’s what is wrong with the world.
I’ve heard many people, including myself, talk about being in the end times. I believe it, but if we truly believe it we need to be about the Father’s business of saving souls and acting like He would act. I heard someone once ask if you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? A very sobering thought because many of us would not have enough evidence to convict us.
If we’re not acting Christ-like, why should be expect someone to believe that we are a Christian?
With everything going on in the world and you’re not praying and seeking God, you are going to feel anxious and afraid. God is the only answer. He already has a plan and before the world ends, things are going to get much worse. You need God to hold onto and to get you through so you can feel His peace and presence. If you don’t know Him, you will feel more than a little anxiety and fear; you will be terrified.
Someone recently asked me why I could keep smiling while all of the mess of storms, riots, etc. is going on in the world. First of all, I love to see people smile back. A smile lights up your whole face and it changes your demeanor. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled at someone and they did not smile back. I love to see people smile and a smile doesn’t cost you anything. Also uses less muscles to smile than frown. Sometimes I have to smile to hide back tears or conceal pain. Just helps to smile through your troubles.
But my real answer is I’ve read the back of the Bible. It says God wins and that means as His child, I win too. Contrary to the fact that some peoples’ actions seem as if they think the world revolves around them, it doesn’t. It’s not about us at all so it doesn’t matter if the world is falling apart around me, God is sovereign. He’s in control. He has a plan He is going to see to fruition just as the Bible says, so why should I be downtrodden and lose my joy? Why should I complain if things aren’t going exactly like I want them to go? I need to be about the Father’s business of saving souls, transforming the world for His glory and letting Him take care of the other details.
We’ve forgotten who God is and who we are in Him. Those who have accepted Christ as their personal Saviour, are children of the most high King and we need to start acting like it. We want to proclaim God’s love but we forget He is just and about His justice. It’s not the same as the justice we would give. He is patient, more so than any of us could ever be, but His justice will be doled out. We see it over and over in the old testament and He gave more than enough ample time for them to turn back to Him. When they didn’t after being given chance after chance, they experienced His justice. We can’t accept His love without His justice. God hates national sin, just as much as He does personal sin. As a country, we definitely have sinned. I don’t believe it’s too late for us to come back to Him, but the time is growing short. Start spending more time with Him and in His word. Develop that relationship daily with Him. And pray like you never have before in your life. Let go of all that is going on in the world and around you and trust God. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Just more ridiculousness

Utterly ridiculous! That’s how I feel about the NFL nonsense of taking a knee during the National Anthem. All of a sudden, everyone is offended by everything, even if it’s been around for a thousand years.
I do not like the words President Trump used about the situation but I do believe his heart was in the right place. He doesn’t know how to use tact when using Twitter and sometimes speaking but I do believe he loves America and does want to do the right thing. Someone needs to take his Twitter account away.
Yes, I know that the Constitution gives the NFL players the right to do what they are doing as it does the President to respond as he did. It also gives me the right to express my opinion here. Having “the right” doesn’t mean it something I have to do or that it is the “right” thing to do. There are a lot of rights which are actually wrong.
Someone said they would rather be embarrassed by his demeanor, manor and tone in making right decisions than having to be embarrassed and suffer the consequences of very wrong decisions. I agree with that statement, after having lived with results of a president who made wrong decisions with confidence but given accolades for statements that divided our country even further. One of those decisions was turning against Israel, God’s chosen people, so it’s no wonder our country is in turmoil.
The problem in our country did not start with Trump and if you want to blame it on him, you are very shortsighted and not paying attention to what has been going on the last 15 years or so. It’s a sickness, a plaque which was not brought on by Trump. It was brought on by our sin and slide into the sewer of the “me” attitude and anything goes and I can say whatever I want, when I want it and it doesn’t matter. It has come from taking God out of everything and turning our back on Him. Such actions and words do have consequences.
Players say they do not like the direction the country is going in and that’s one reason they are protesting; the other is President Trump on some fronts and others say the anthem is about slavery. The excuses are endless. The only thing the anthem is to me is about freedom and patriotism.  These players make enough money they can make a difference in other ways. I know some of them do but if they want to change the direction the country is going, they should get involved by running for office, or helping someone get elected.
I don’t care how they paint the picture to make their point, to me, it is disrespectful and unpatriotic to not stand during the national anthem.  If you disagree, I’m sorry. Too many lives have been lost in the service of our country, too much blood shed, to not express patriotism.
As long as people continue to watch, buy NFL paraphernalia and attend games, owners won’t care. So, if you feel adamant about it, you should stop supporting them.
It’s ironic that Tim Tebow was berated and criticized for taking a knee to thank God but it’s okay for players to take a knee during the National Anthem. Lord, help us. They make heroes of those players who carouse every night, get in trouble for hitting their significant others and all other things, but they vilified Tebow for his faith and pro-life stance. Yet, we continue to support those other players who won’t even stand for our national anthem. Now, Trump is being villinized because he has a problem with players taking a knee during the national anthem.
I’m on board with kneel at the cross but stand for the national anthem. Even God tells us to give Ceasar his due.
The Steelers actually had one player come out and stand for the National Anthem. He had served his country and saw first hand what that service means. Now, he is being chastised because they say he threw his teammates under the bus. The craziness never ends. Those players who want to take a knee need to visit the Vietnam Wall in Washington. They need to sit down with some Vietnam veterans and hear firsthand what it was like. They need to be transported to Normandy beach. And they need to get over themselves and quit trying to make everything about slavery or race. I’m not saying sometimes it isn’t about race, but most of the time not, but becomes so because someone wants to make it about that to draw the masses into hysteria. While mainstream media has overemphasized the NFL saga and they continue to harp on it, we don’t hear about the shooting at a church in Tennessee or how Texas and Florida are recovering from the hurricanes. Mainstream media can take credit for part of what’s wrong with our country today. They won’t but they are just as responsible as Trump’s ill-thought out tweets.
Everyone definitely needs to be on their knees but it is not to be in protest, but to pray to God to change their hearts. Money goes to people’s heads and hardens their hearts. They need to be on their knees thanking God that He has not doled out His justice yet to our country and that we are still a great country in spite of all the flaws. While our constitution grants liberty and justice for all, it is truly only God who provides those things for us. So instead of protesting, I suggest praying for our country. Show some respect the flag and our national anthem.
Have them go to those hurricane stricken areas and do some real humanitarian work. Or visit other deprived countries where clean water is something they would give their life for in some circumstances.
We’ve got to take pride in the country and take a stand sometime or the other for what’s right. Only thing is, what’s right in many’s eyes is now wrong. God is our only hope and prayer is a key. Pray without ceasing.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Pondering and meandering

Hopefully by now everyone has power restored. The only thing I have a problem with when power goes out, is not being able to take a bath.
Though many say the quote “cleanliness is next to Godliness” as being in the Bible, it is not. There is one verse, and probably others as well, that could be construed as advocating that idea. Psalm 19:9.
I can handle it for about a day and a half, but that’s about all. Thank the Lord, we didn’t have to worry about it this time around. If so, I would have been knocking on a friend’s house asking to use the shower.
We get so used to modern conveniences and begin taking them for granted.
I wish our furbaby felt the same way about baths. But, alas, she doesn’t. She doesn’t like them at all. We have to physically pick her up and put her in the tub for a bath and then hold her there until done. She acts happy once it’s over but bathing her is anything but fun.
We’ve tried many things, including the hose outside which she likes drinking out of, but that didn’t work. She loves running and playing in the pond, at least on the edge, and loves the edge of the beach water, but anything over her knees and she freaks out.
As a puppy we envisioned getting her a lifejacket and taking her on a boat ride with us and having her play in the pool with us. Nope, nada, she’s not having anything to do with that kind of fun.
She doesn’t like going out in the rain, either but will out of necessity at times. She doesn’t want to wear any type of garment either, so there’s no use me thinking about getting her a doggie raincoat.
We can’t figure out why she is this way about water, but after five years, we’ve realized this is just who she is and we have to accept it and deal with it.
With Boxers, it’s kind of mixed bag anyway. Most don’t like water, but there are some which do. My previous Boxer, Rhett, loved the water. When he came down with arthritis, it seemed to relieve it some by him getting in the pond.
It’s the same with cats, though cats who like the water are really a rarity. I have had one, Benjamin, who loved the water. He would walk into the shower while you were bathing and get under the water. If you took a bath, he wanted to get in with you. He loved walking in the rain. Such personality.
He also loved riding in the car and would get in every time a car door opened, which was unusual. So when he went missing one day, I am sure he got into someone’s car and they didn’t know it. Benjamin was always up for an adventure and I could even get him to ride on one of the horses with me from time to time. He was very affectionate and not persnickety like some cats. He never turned down attention and never failed to give you plenty. I haven’t had a cat with that much personality since. In fact, David is allergic to cats so we don’t have one at all since Cally married and took hers with her.
I cannot believe the number of cats and dogs that were abandoned during the two hurricanes. Our pets are like part of the family. Roxie is the child David and I couldn’t have so we would never just up and leave her. She wouldn’t know what was going on and would be scared to death. Dogs and cats do have feelings. If we ever have to evacuate, you can bet she will be with us.
We recently had to leave her for my daughter to take care of when we attended a funeral in Texas and it was not only hard to do, she hasn’t settled down from it quite yet. She is even more clingy than before and looks worried when we leave the house.
I’m hoping that this will eventually change and she will feel more secure.
Pets are like children in that there are just some things they can’t do for themselves and when we bring one into our family, we should be responsible enough to take care of them for the duration of their lives.
I can’t imagine our lives without our furbaby. She makes us laugh, provides comfort and love. I can tell her anything knowing she will never repeat a word of it to anyone else and she listens as if she understands every word.
There’s nothing like coming home after an exhausting and hard day to a loving dog who is glad to see you no matter what. It’s the kind of behavior humans should exhibit toward other people all the time.
Pastor Myke Harbuck recently did a sermon on how we are treating people who were created in the image of God. It spoke volumes to my heart when I look around at all that is happening in the world today with people. God created man in His own image. The Bible clearly tells us that fact. So every person on earth was created in His image and we should treat them accordingly whether we think they deserve to be treated well or not. Certainly something to think about in our interactions with people. Blessings.©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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Lessons to learn from storm

Hurricanes have devastated portions of our country and it will take years to restore some of the things lost. We must remember if we have our lives, the rest is just stuff. Yes, tragically lives were lost as well and those losses will be felt forevermore.

There are some lessons we can take away from the Hurricanes. As Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts are to be prepared at all times, we should be as well. Of course you don’t want to stockpile bread unless you freeze it and in the event of a power outage, it could defrost. But flashlights, batteries, candles, canned goods, etc. can be purchased way ahead of time and kept on hand for such emergencies.
For those who cannot possibly survive without their cell phones, they make special chargers that will hold a charge when power is out. Personally, I can survive without mine and there are days I wish they had never been invented. Then, I see a touching photo or an encouraging word and I appreciate it for those times.
One huge lesson, is that it can happen to any of us at any time. We just never know so have your affairs in order at all times. The Bible also tells us to be prepared. We should be looking for Jesus to return at any moment and live accordingly.
What is great to me is that everyone steps up to help each other during times of tragedy. Each of us can do something even when we are going through things. Whether it’s provide a meal, water, necessities or a shelter. Sometimes it might only be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on or just to provide a hug. We need each other and should always be kind to each other and help when and where we can.
I am so thankful that we did not lose power during this storm. We have lattice stripped off the deck, damage to our fireplace chimney and trees down in back which destroyed the back fence, debris everywhere, but we are unharmed and all that stuff is just minor in comparison.
We’ve got to start thinking differently and if these recent storms don’t push us in that direction, then I’m not sure what will. Too many people want to gripe and complain and we have lots for which to be thankful.
Life is too short and we make it about stuff when it isn’t at all. We take so much for granted.
Some people were complaining about power not being back on but it’s something you don’t really think about until you don’t have it. Instead of complaining about not having power, we should be thankful when it comes back on. There are going to be people in Florida where it will be weeks before power is restored. So we are truly blessed here if we are only without power for a few hours or even a day or so.
At the office, the power went off during the storm but was back on Tuesday morning when we came in the office. However, it went off shortly after and I was contemplating alternate plans of where to go to get the paper published on time. Though we have power at my house, we do not have internet service and it will be 24 hours or more before it’s fixed they say.
Judd Publishing, where we are printed, was also without power so that was not a possibility. Thank the good Lord, prayers were answered and power came back on before we had to go elsewhere. One employee was saying we needed another keyboard for one of the computers because the space bar was not working correctly. However, when the power went out and then came back on, we were just grateful we had a keyboard at all.
Some folks were complaining about being bored. We’ve forgotten how to entertain ourselves and rely too much on TV. What about playing games by candlelight , reading by flashlight or having good old conversations? It is my prayer that we rethink what we do and figure out way to be content even in storms like Irma.
Another lesson we should already know is that the weather people cannot predict hurricanes or other weather occurrences really. Hurricanes are too unpredictable and meteorologists and others in the science of weather are not in control. It’s actually kind of amusing to me when the storms do the opposite of what they predict. Just shows me whose in control and it’s not us. Knowing that and realizing we can’t control anything, should give us peace and not anxiety. It does for me.
It’s not good to listen to the weather 24/7 in a storm anyway, because it only pushes up levels of anxiety. I’m not saying don’t stay abreast of developments but it’s not really necessary for you to sit glued to the weather channel for the duration.
When possible, check on neighbors, relatives and others. It helps keep your mind off what’s going on around you.
Storms in our life will come and go and one thing I know for sure, is that we are not in them alone. God is right there with us, carrying us, protecting us and comforting us. We may not always feel Him, but He is there. He calms those storms for us, sometimes before we even know there was a storm.
Prayers continue for all those affected by these storms, for our country and for those people who have hardened hearts. Blessings. ©2017

VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: vsimmons54@gmail.com

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