Something to Think About - keep (343)

Observed by Christians all over the world we currently are in Lent the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. While it is described as being for 40 days it actually is 47 days from February 17th to April third. 

Lent is the time when Christians are called upon to abstain from something they enjoy like chocolate, alcohol, or meat in order to demonstrate repentance for their sins.

Forty-seven days is a long time so a common question among Christians is - are there any cheat days during Lent? One answer found in Google is that Sundays during this period might be free days because they are considered feast days in Christianity, so even during Lent, feel free to cut loose and indulge a little bit on Sundays! 

I concede this explanation of the Lenten season may not sit well with some more devoted followers, but of course, the final answer is between each person and their Maker.

The following was posted recently on Facebook and while it isn’t exactly abstaining from anything it would seem that if we followed these suggestions God would be very pleased with us. Here goes.

When you are alone, Mind your thoughts.

When you are with friends, Mind your Tongue.

When you are angry, Mind your Temper.

When you are with a group, Mind your behavior.

When you are in Trouble, Mind your emotions.

When God starts Blessing you, Mind your ego.

This year Lent likely has a different feel for many as we all are sacrificing in many ways during the Pandemic. My prayer is that the end of Covid 19 is upon us, but that we all continue to follow the rules so that at this time next year we will be free to attend Easter church services in masses.

Have a blessed Lenten season and No! Abbey, giving up corn for Lent doesn’t qualify.

I’m Steve Sauder

Monday morning I caught a conversation between two British gentlemen, Harry and Oliver who were curious about the recent Impeachment Trial in the United States.

Harry says to Oliver, Ollie, did you pay attention to that trial of former American President Trump?

Oliver responded, “Yes, I did and the result has me confused because it seems that while the majority of the Senators found him guilty he was acquitted. How does that work?”

Harry says, “It’s their Constitution which says 2/3 of the jurors have to say “guilty” to convict.”

Oliver responds, “So, Not Guilty doesn’t necessarily mean innocent in America?

Harry agrees saying “Yep. Americans have some interesting rules. Do you remember that when that same President Trump was elected in 2016 he did not receive the most votes? Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Mr. Trump won what they call the Electoral College vote.”

So what’s that?” asks Oliver.

“It’s another strange rule coming from their constitution, I believe,” opined Harry.

Oliver was curious asking, “so, how old is this “Constitution” and why and how did Americans come up with it?”

Harry says, “I checked with Google for that answer.

It says, “By 1787, the union between the states was unraveling. To save the young nation, delegates from 12 states met in Philadelphia and, with George Washington presiding, created a new form of government.

Nothing like it had ever been done before!”

After learning the U. S. Constitution is almost 400 years old Oliver asks, “so, the American’s are governed by a document that was created in 1787 and it still works?”  

“Absolutely! It was a unique idea then and it’s working. There is a way to amend it and that has happened a few times, but by and large, the U.S. Constitution is the same document agreed to in 1787. Many say that’s why America is America. In the end, Americans turn to the long-standing rules in their Constitution and succeed because they adhere to them.” offered Harry.

Oliver astutely concludes, “Harry, that’s one hell of a story!”

I’m Steve Sauder

          Here’s my take on Super Bowl 55. First, congratulations to Tampa Bay. They beat our Chief’s in every possible way and didn’t need any help from the Zebra’s even though they got some, but referees did not cost KC the game.

          The Chiefs were poorly prepared to play and seemed distracted throughout the contest. I have two theories to share.

          First is that repeating as a Super Bowl champion is one of the most difficult tasks in sports. The Chiefs won 16 games in getting back to the championship game in Tampa.

          In every game, their opponents gave our Chiefs their very best effort.  In defeating Buffalo 38-24 for the conference championship KC dominated in a game that veterans like Tom Brady and Aaron Rogers claim is “the hardest game of all to win.” My theory is that after whopping the Bills our Chiefs relaxed and celebrated their job well done - fooling themselves a bit in the process.

          Fans and the media didn’t help with discussions about whether or not to have a parade and other topics to celebrating our not yet complete “Run It Back” season.

          Feeling this well earned, but the premature sense of accomplishment the Chiefs did not prepare enough for a Buccaneer squad that had totally transformed itself since playing the Chiefs in November. 31-9 is the proof.

          Andy Reid is a coach known for making adjustments on the fly and always finding a way. Sunday the Chief’s offensive game plan got shredded early and often yet the Chiefs kept sending out receivers while failing to protect their absurdly talented quarterback who scrambled for 498 yards avoiding the Bucs pass rush. Reid seemed completely distracted.

          As you likely know Reid’s son Britt, a Chiefs assistant coach, Thursday hit 2 parked cars with his truck. Afterward, he admitted to having had 2 or 3 beers. He also uses Adderall a prescription drug that doesn’t mix well with alcohol. Britt Reid who has a substance abuse history was reportedly coming from the Chief’s practice facility which raises other questions.

          Two children were injured in the wreck – one a five-year-old girl who as of Sunday was in critical condition.

          Do you suppose these events could have taken Andy Reid’s concentration away from the Super Bowl game? Something certainly did!

          Put a team that had already reached a very difficult goal with a coach revisiting his family’s history of tragedy involving drugs against a supremely motivated team led by a freak of nature quarterback, and Sunday’s results are a lot easier to understand.

          I rest my case and ask for prayers for the five-year-old girl.

          I’m Steve Sauder

          When recognized for accomplishments in my business career my practice has always been to mention my family which gave me leg up which hopefully has never been taken for granted and the fact that much of my success was due to the efforts of the dedicated people who work with me.

          My desire for today was to mention a bunch of these good people, but when my list reached 100 people it became obvious a different tact would need to be chosen.

          So, here are in 25 words or less the stories of six very significant associates in efforts.

          Lea Firestone was in Sales and Sports at KVOE before becoming our General Manager. His vision is what our radio stations are today. Lea added real estate and hotel development to his resume before moving on.

          Fireman Rick Tidwell hired himself at Valu-Line then became a telecommunications legend. ValuNet Fiber was his dream. Unmatched in planning and reliability, his passing leaves a large void in my heart.

          Fortunately, Stormy Supiran answered our calls to join both Valu-Line and ValuNet Fiber. He’s unbelievable at organizing and problem-solving. When health took out our partners Stormy stepped up. He’s our unsung hero.

          Bob Agler was our family’s accountant before he became Valu-Line’s CFO. He was instrumental in building ValuNet Fiber’s business plan. Great friend, Christian, and man of unquestioned integrity.

          Ron Thomas said “yes” to being KVOE’s GM before the question was completely ask! He has taken our radio stations to unimaginable heights. Ron is a community treasure as well.

          Erren Harter is our COO – Chief Operating Officer. He is involved in every aspect of our efforts. His ability to multi-task is incredible. Another unsung hero.

          There you have it. Six incredibly hard-working and honest friends and associates have made me look accomplished. They too are blessed with co-workers that respond daily to the challenges and opportunities presented to them.

          It would be a mistake to not mention my three sons all of whom are key advisors in our efforts.

          My hope is that my appreciation and respect for all our associates is visible. They are the best! And I thank them.

          I’m  Steve Sauder

Like most of you, I like good news and locally we have quite a bit of positive activity to report.

          This is Lyon County Basketball Tournament week in Emporia and the games are underway for the 100th time and with Gridley native (like me) Ted Vanocker, still at the helm. Awesome!

          Saturday our Hornets, both women and men thumped Washburn in round ball! Always good news!

          Sunday our Chiefs took the next step to “Run it back” as they beat Buffalo to advance to Super Bowl 55! Two weeks celebrate before we get nervous.

          As we take positive steps locally to flatten the Covid curve school kids from kindergarten to ESU and Flint Hills Tech are back in school with many in person. Hallelujah!

          While Covid 19 testing has become standardized the process to vaccinate Lyon County residents has entered Phase II with excellent organization by our Lyon County Public Health Department! Last Friday 600 doses were given with 400 more this week scheduled with the only hold back being enough vaccine coming from the manufacturers, but when Lyon County gets an allotment the process is amazing.

          To know when your opportunity to be vaccinated is coming go to the Health Department’s website and listen to KVOE. When we know, you will know!

          If you are not computer savvy find a friend that is and set up a plan for them to register you when your name comes up.

          Countywide vaccination is going to take a while, but when we reach 75% life should normalize. In the meantime – mask up, stay distant and keep washing your hands. We aren’t there yet, but there is reason to hope!

          Lastly, Representative Mark Schreiber shared his Newsletter last week with lots of good information and some timely challenges. He starts with a quote from Martin Luther King that Mark suggested challenges him.        

           The time is always right to do the right thing.

          A prolific thought indeed, followed by Schreiber’s questions.

          Can we show respect for others’ views instead of scorning them with name-calling and finger-pointing?

          Can we be more interested in helping one another and our communities and less interested in the latest conspiracy theory?

          Can we sincerely call for bipartisanship without, in almost the same breath, complaining about the actions of “the other side?”

          And last: Can we work to restore trust between people and institutions, or will we allow that trust to further erode?

          These thoughts from a “politician” are definitely some good things to think about.

          I’m Steve Sauder

          Big alert! I’m traveling way above my pay grade today talking about the Bible. My thoughts come from Pastor Adam Hamilton, on-line, this past Sunday.

          Hamilton agrees there are parts of the Bible that are just flat impossible, improbable, or morally wrong. His message was designed to help Christians who believe in the Word of God workaround, explain, or tolerate those questionable parts.

          Point number one is that the Bible was written entirely by humans who were trying to explain their understanding of events they had observed and unfortunately in some instances, they simply got it wrong. Hamilton pointed out of the over 31,000 verses in the Bible less than 300 are considered controversial with some because they are taken out of context.

          So, as Christians, how do we deal with these verses that call for killing people, wives being subservient to their husband, making slavery acceptable, or are simply not possible using scientific logic?

          For starters, as was suggested earlier, we need to understand sometimes the author’s renditions are simply wrong, but an even better theory is that one of the reasons God put his Son, Jesus on this earth was to help straighten things out. Remember the words Jesus spoke came from God and in some cases do conflict with earlier versus.

          Consequently, the teachings from Jesus serve as a lens or filter through which Christians are called on to evaluate every situation.

          Hamilton shared a story from the Old Testament where a man discovered his daughter-in-law was a prostitute and was instructed to burn her to death. If we run that situation through the lens of  “what would Jesus do?” we get an entirely different answer. Jesus actually befriended prostitutes.

          I hope this simple attempt at explaining some of the controversial things found in the Bible helps you. It was enlightening for me so I decided the share.

          I’ll conclude with scripture from my daily Guideposts devotions from Martin Luther King Day. It’s Matthew, 5:44.

          “But, I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”

          That verse inspired Dr. King to say “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

          Truly, some things to think about! I’m Steve Sauder

          Our country is more divided than any time in its history. Brother against brother, fathers against sons, and the points of conflict are complicated. President Trump and the election are popular topics, but questions about the pandemic, censorship, and many others have our country paralyzed with division.

          Is there an answer or a simple solution? Probably not, but we are doomed if we don’t reverse this direction.

          My on-line church preacher spoke about this challenge Sunday and used scripture to illustrate a solution to the polarization that has the USA so stymied. His idea was simple – “love your neighbor as yourself.”

          Here’s my personal example.

          I did not vote for Donald Trump and I don’t much care for him, but he is our president and I’ve tried to respect him by trying always to call him Donald Trump or President Trump, not just Trump. I have not wished for or prayed for him to fail. I don’t have a “TRUMP IS NOT MY PRESIDENT” bumper sticker.

          I won’t claim that I love him, but I understand as a Christian I am called on to try.

          To make his point my Sunday Pastor lifted up a familiar scripture about love. One we’ve all heard many times. Heck, I even read it at a wedding some time ago.  

          But, let me explain Chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians took on a whole new meaning for me Sunday when it was used in the context of “loving my neighbor as myself!”

          My hope today is that sharing these mighty words with you might help make our world a little kinder?

          Please listen carefully to these powerful words from 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13.

          Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.

          Love never fails…...

          “Love your neighbor as yourself!”

          I’m Steve Sauder

         

Never have I felt so conflicted about what to talk about! The situations surrounding the presidential election and pandemic are so discouraging it’s
easier to ignore them than to wade in. 
Before I share some positive thoughts I agree wholeheartedly with an editorial from the Topeka Capital Journal re-printed in Tuesday’s Gazette thanking the judicial system of the United States for doing its job in attempts to change election results. It said our judicial “stood strong” as a “pillar of democracy.” More accurate words have never been printed!
Secondly let me lift up my unsung hero award for the year 2020 in Emporia.
The Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund is my choice. With the Covid 19 alarm barely audible 4 Emporia groups put their thinking caps on and created this amazing fund the collected $205,078.11 to help area businesses and organizations plow through the pandemic.
I’m not sure who dreamed up this idea, but I know the Emporia Community Foundation, the United Way, Main Street and KVOE were at the table.
Our community responded in a magnificent manner. This was a spur of the moment appeal. Not an annual drive. There were way more questions than answers, but the Emporia area responded. The funds were carefully distributed and became life saving difference makers for many of the recipients.
Becky Nurnberg from the Community Foundation shared that she had visited with leaders from other cities who were proud of raising ten thousand
dollars to help victims. We raised over two hundred thousand! We should be proud!

Becky pointed out “this is what makes this area so special is that people genuinely care for each other…” I agree!
Let me finish with a social media post for the new year.
If you want 2021 to be your year:
Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it.
Go out. Make a change. Smile more.
Be excited. Do new things. Throw away what you’ve been cluttering.
Unfollow negative people on social media.
Ge to bed early. Wake up early. Be fierce.
Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude.
Do things that challenge you.
Be brave.
And let me add, throw in a prayer once in awhile.
I’m Steve Sauder and “there’s some things to think about.”

          Finally, it is the next to last day of this frightful year. So, today as has become the habit I’ve stolen or maybe borrowed some thoughts former ESU Interim President Jackie Vietti posted on Facebook. Hopefully, you will agree these are a good way to end this year. Here goes.

  • The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.
  • I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone. He asked me what I was wearing.
  • 2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020 stay away from positive people.
  • The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors.
  • This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog. It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came inside and told my cat. We laughed a lot.
  • Every few days try on your jeans to make sure they still fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
  • Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?
  • This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down bars, and keep men at home.
  • I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him with a six-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!
  • I need to practice social distancing from the refrigerator.
  • I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the backyard. I’m getting tired of the living room.
  • Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and ask for money.

     I hope you enjoyed the corny humor. This has been a difficult year, but we are survivors and have lots of reasons to be optimistic about 2021.

     Let’s end this year and begin the next one with my favorite prayer.

     God, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

     Happy New Year! I’m Steve Sauder

Today, a Christmas gift in the form of a workable and sustainable health hint to my friends who like me have fought the battle of the bulge for most of their lives. Translated this is a weight loss plan that is working for
me.

My cardiologist hooked me up to a daily report called CardioMEMS which keeps track of the fluid level around my ticker. After a few weeks of bad numbers, my Doctor told scolded me, saying “if you don’t drastically change your diet you will be in serious trouble within a year.”

Fortunately, I followed his instructions and my new eating habits resulted in excellent results. How does minus 25 pounds sound?

Today I’m sharing the three changes that spelled success for me. One STOP, and two ADDS!

The STOP was table salt. This isn’t rocket science but it is working. The average American eats 5 or more teaspoons of salt each day. Our daily need is about ¼ teaspoon a day. We ingest 20 times more than we need!

I haven’t touched a salt shaker in months after years of salting everything even before tasting it! I’ve learned what foods are loaded with sodium in them. A good example is barbeque sauce. I still eat pretty much
what I like, but without salting any thing and it’s working. 

The ADDS are simple too. Water and Pop Sickles! My daily goal is 80 ounces of water. Five, 16-ounce bottles get me close, and once my body adjusted it has become a routine.

The pop sickles probably surprise you, but 3 or 4 a day of the single stick, the all-natural kind that Bobbi found, have helped me stay the course. 

I have tried so many diets I can’t count them all. They all worked as long as I didn’t cheat. But most diets aren’t sustainable. My low sodium plan does leave me craving salt on food like baked potatoes and watermelon, but there are substitutes and my success helps me maintain.

Like I said earlier – this is not rocket science, but it's working, and guess what? Christmas cookies don’t have much salt in them, so enjoy big boy!

Merry Christmas, stay safe and for this year please stay home.
I’m Steve Sauder

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