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Holiday Stress

“But do not let it trouble your mind that we see the unrighteous possessing wealth while the servants of God experience hardships. Let us have faith, brothers and sisters! We are competing in the same contest of a living God and are being trained by the present life in order that we may be crowned in the life to come. “~Clement of Rome

As the holidays approach us, it is only natural to have some holiday stress come creeping in. However, do not let that stress ruin your winter break or Christmas. This is a time to have some quiet time with yourself and rest your body. This past year has been challenging for everybody, but try not to focus on what you don’t have. You know, what Clement of Rome wrote resonates with me because it’s so easy to get jealous over people who have more things than you do, and you feel like you have more to offer the world than they do. At the end of the day, you have to take a step back and admire the things you do have. For instance, think of a time where you felt like quitting but didn’t, and you were rewarded for that. Or think of a time you were happy that something good happened to a person other than yourself, and then later something good happened to you.

The holidays should be about memories spent with the people who have the same mindset as you, and that is being happy for others who do good things and spreading love and sharing God’s love with the people who don’t have it. This unprecedented time should not ruin your Christmas but bring your family closer and help you learn more about gratitude. Also, make sure that when the new year comes and this whole pandemic is over, your spending time with the people who do not waste your time! Time is so precious, and the more you spend time with the people who are not happy for you, the more you put on a mask, and the right people for you see right through you. Life is short, so don’t feel guilty spending time with the people who love you over the people who laugh at you and are jealous of you. Success comes to those who spend quality time with like-minded people like you who see something in you that you don’t. You should never feel bad about having time to yourself or not wanting to waste your time on people who merely want you to fail because they are not doing well. Please try not to be so hard on yourself this holiday, and remember that the right people for you are cheering for you.

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How to Make Better Coffee at Home

First and foremost, making coffee taste good is not as easy as some people make it out to be. Of course, drip coffee is the easiest way to make coffee, and it does taste good, but you will need the right brewer at home to have a decent cup of coffee using this method. Many people at home want a good clean cup of coffee without the nagging stress that comes with it. One way to get a good cup of coffee at home is by trying the pour-over method. There are many types of ways to brew your coffee using the pour-over method. One is the Chemex. Peter Schlumbohm invented it in the 1940s. The Chemex is a great brewer because it gives you a good clean cup of coffee without the bitterness, and it’s super easy to use.

Another way to make pour-over coffee is with a V60. The V60 is a fantastic brewer, and many specialty coffee shops have them, and many baristas have won tournaments when using them. From my understanding and from the articles I have read, “the V60 was designed for thermal conductivity, which leads to a better extraction due to better heat retention.”(If you are interested in the V60, check out the article entitled Hario V60, The History & Brewing Guide.)

Another way to make better coffee at home is by investing in a better grinder. Many people make the mistake of buying a blade grinder, and the problem with those grinders is they do not grind the beans well enough to get a good clean cup of coffee. Many people have noted that the blade grinders lead to an uneven grind and a bad extraction. Investing in a good bur grinder is a good starting point to making better coffee at home, but why are bur grinders better? Well, I think James Hoffmann summarized it very well. When he said, ”a bur grinder will cut beans into evenly sized pieces and can be adjusted to various grind sizes. They are an ideal investment for making a great brew at home.”

If you are a coffee connoisseur, you might want to invest in an espresso machine. There are some really good espresso machines made by a company called Sage, and their espresso machines, for the most part, are easy to use. If you want something that is a step up from the Sage machines, you might want to check out machines like the Lelit Bianca. It’s a dual boiler machine that has a built-in (PID) and has a flow control paddle. At first glance, I didn’t know too much about flow control because I have an entry-level machine, but the website explains it like this “Rotating the paddle you gradually vary the water flow inside the group until the highest pressure is reached. This way, you can manually control every single phase of the coffee extraction to obtain the best possible result in the cup with every type of coffee blend.” (Usually, you find these types of features on the more high-end machines. The Lelit Bianca retails for $2,800.00. ) However, a good cup of coffee will always be possible with a good grinder rather than an expensive machine. What you will get with a more high end espresso machine is more features, and that makes it easier on the workflow of things if you have a large gathering of friends over.

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Benzodiazepine Awareness

Today I would like to talk about something I have been somewhat stagnant to talk about, and that is Benzodiazepine awareness. At a young age, probably at 16 years old or younger, I got prescribed a Benzodiazepine called Klonopin. My experience with this Benzodiazepine at first was not too bad. Well, that is what I thought at first. My psychiatrist wanted to help me sleep because I was still in High School during this time, and I needed my sleep to further my studies. During my high school years, I had trouble being social with other students and meeting new friends because while on the Benzodiazepine, I would sleep most of my days away. I remember thinking, what is wrong with me? Why am I sleeping the whole day away? I also struggled to keep up with good school attendance because although the prescription drug is said to treat anxiety, it works more like a tranquilizer than anything else.

Benzodiazepines also hampered my ability to have any healthy relationships. I remember being 16 and wondering what the hell is wrong with me. Why do I have anxiety? And why can’t I be normal like the other kids? And one day, I met a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with anxiety and first introduced me to Klonopin. I didn’t know Klonopin was addictive and that I wasn’t supposed to take it for as long as I did because the psychiatrist did not educate me on this matter. So, I went through the years, thinking it was normal to take this medication every day. I remember if I didn’t take the medication, I would break out in sweats and get horrible shakes throughout my body, and if I went a very long time without it, I would vomit.

I went through life thinking if I have to go through hell to not be on this stuff, it’s not worth it! So, I stayed on Klonopin until I was 27 years old. A turning point for me was when I told my mom that this stuff is not healthy for my body; I can’t go on living an artificial life. The next day I found out I had to switch insurances, and I had to get a new doctor. I went to see my doctor, and I informed him about what was going on with me. He surprisingly educated me on Benzodiazepines and advised me to do a slow taper with them. As I did the taper, it was hard because I vomited so much from the withdrawals, and my weight was all over the place. I also lost some of my motor skills, and I could barely walk because of the crippling fears from withdrawal.However, in a few years or so, things started to get much better for me, and I joined a support group for Benzodiazepine withdrawal, and I met some amazing people who helped me through some pretty dark times. At the moment, I am a student right now and working hard to get a degree in psychology. I could never even fathom going back to school while being on Klonopin, but healing will come and there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

Psychopharmacologist Heather Ashton once said, ” No matter how hard it seems at first, grit your teeth and persevere. Benzo withdrawal symptoms do diminish in time but only get worse if you stay on the drug. It is important to realize that no permanent damage has been done. All sorts of neurological tests in cases like yours have shown that things are normal. Symptoms are worsened by anxiety and fear. You can return to normal health. You must keep a positive attitude and be courageous. Allow time for your nervous system to recover. It will.”

Continue reading “Benzodiazepine Awareness”
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You do not need to prove yourself to Anyone.

As you go through life, people will have a negative and positive impact on your life. The people who try to belittle you are not beneficial to your well being. In this life, there will always be that one know it all who thinks he knows everything about every little thing in this world, and you’re just not as smart as them. However, God has made us all differently, and what I’m good at you might struggle with, and you might have talents that I do not possess.

Over the years, I have accumulated a bunch of knowledge. I have learned that we are not all the same, we all have God-given talents, and just because some people are good at algebra and you’re not doesn’t make you unintelligent. John F Kennedy was one of the most famous and youngest presidents and prevented nuclear war from happening, but some people less famous than him made an impact on this world that should not be ignored. Less famous people like Detrick Bonhoeffer, who went up against the nazis and was put to death for his strong opposition against national socialism and his willingness to speak out against Hitler, should not be forgotten. Dietrick still prayed to God from prison and was one of the most influential people in a time of great uncertainty. So, while J.F.K might have had all the tabloids, Dietrick had a fearless heart and was not afraid to die for something he felt was unjust. Also, Bonhoeffer felt that even if he did die, that was not the end paradise existed for God-loving heroes like him.

Please remember that if you are trying to reach your goals in life, there will always be one person trying to one-up you, but they do not matter. Know that some of the most influential people in this world, like David Ruettiger, had to go through many struggles before he came out on top. People will doubt you, and they will also try to make everything into a competition, but it is not the person who wins the race first in front of millions of people. Its the person who leaves the most everlasting impression that wins the race.

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Never Give Up

When we see the word struggle, we attribute it with something negative, like no good can come from it. However, is this the right attitude to have? Did Jackie Robinson turn away from his struggle when he broke the color barrier in baseball? No, he went through endless racism and the pain and suffering that came with that to bring justice to the game of baseball. Did Michael Jordan just quit basketball for forever after his father died? No, he came out of retirement and scored 26.9 ppg at the age of 31 after missing an entire year. Did David Cone after he needed surgery to remove an aneurysm say I quit this is just too much for me to come back and pitch? No, and he might have had some doubts about coming back too quickly. However, Cone came back from his aneurysm surgery to pitch five no-hit innings. Then, later as a Yankee at the age of 36, he threw the first perfect game of his career. It was an accomplishment he did not think he would achieve at this age.

The point that I’m trying to make is when we pull back this massive facade, that struggle is never a good thing; we finally see that we would have never experienced the greatness we have achieved or can achieve today without that struggle we experienced. In other words, pain exists to teach us how to cope with the real world. It’s as simple as that. God uses people throughout history to give us stories about Kings and queens and how they dealt with pain so we can be prepared to teach our children how to rise above it and thus instill in us a future scholar and teach us how to conquer it!

Mr. Lewis put it perfectly when he said, “I did not find the front-line trenches or the C.C.S. [Casualty Clearing Station] more full than any other place of hatred, selfishness, rebellion, and dishonesty. I have seen great beauty of spirit in some who were greater sufferers. For the most part, I have seen men grow better, not worse with advancing years, and I have seen the last illness produce treasures of fortitude and meekness from most unpromising subjects.”

I am not saying that this is an easy concept to grasp, but when we learn how to light a candle during any darkness we experience, we learn how to shine our light on any dark time and show the rest of the world that they are not alone. I hope you have enjoyed my blog posts, and I hope you are doing well today. Please be kind to yourself, take time alone just to bask in the sun and get some vitamin d, maybe read a book or listen to something. Try to stay busy, and never give up my friends!

Image via Dick Raphael for Getty Images
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The Iron Horse

Not many people can leave behind the legacy of a Michael Jordan or even Babe Ruth. However, Lou Gehrig was the Yankees’ first baseman from 1923 to 1939. He was born in New York. His parents were poor immigrants. That didn’t stop Gehrig’s father from helping his son train harder for the MLB. Later in his career, he would become one of the Yankee’s best players, and up until 1995, Gehrig played an MLB record of 2,130-games. Cal Ripken would then shatter that record in 1995 as an Oriole at the age of 34.

Before Gehrig became one of the Yankee’s most prolific power-hitting first baseman, did you know he was first a left-handed pitcher? At an early age, Gehrig only earned 5 dollars for every game he played. As Gehrig transitioned over to being a hitter, he played a game at Wrigley Field, where he hit a game-winning home run against Chicago’s most well-known high school team. Shortly after high school, he was offered a scholarship to play football, but he tried out for the Giants and then got demoted. Shortly after this, Gehrig would return to playing ball again, where he batted 444 and finally was signed to a deal by scout Paul Kitchell.

Gehrig would go onto win a triple crown with the Yankees, and he won an MVP too. We cannot forget that Lou Gehrig was just as important to the Yankees sweep in 1928 as Babe Ruth was. Gehrig in the 1928 world series batted 545 with four homers. However, even with all those accomplishments, Gehrig struggled with staying healthy, and during his streak, Gehrig battled many complications he played through back pain broken fingers and sore muscles. When Gehrig’s body could no longer take the abuse of a long baseball season, and he began to decline, Gehrig was then diagnosed with a fatal disease called ALS. Also known today as( Lou Gehrig’s Disease) most people’s life span, when diagnosed with this disease, is only about 4-5 years. Before Gehrig would die in 1941, he delivered one of the most iconic farewell speeches at Yankees stadium, where he said, ” Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.”

“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.” So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. ”When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.”

(Original Caption) 7/4/39-New York: Lou Gehrig, the “Iron Horse” of baseball, who was forced to the bency by amyotrophic lateral scherosis after playing 2,130 consecutive games, is touched by fans demonstration as he is acclaimed in a manner unrivaled in baseball history. Upwards of 75,000 jammed Yankee Stadium to honor Lou. He is shown here–handkerchief to his face, deeply moved by the ovation they gave him.

This post was inspired by a short bio I read: if you ever wanted to learn more about Lou Gehrig, I strongly recommend this Lou Gehrig Encyclopedia of World Biography Online, vol. 19, Gale, 1999. Gale In Context: Biography.

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A Fresh Start Somewhere Else

Do you ever stop and think I wish I could move far away without a care in the world? Maybe start all over again where nobody knows you, and there is no stupid drama. I have felt this way for a long time. Massachusetts is not my cup of tea. It is not because it’s not a safe place to live, but because there is nothing left here for me. I am by no means saying that if I decide to move, everything will be perfect because it won’t. I think every place has its pros and cons.

Times like this can make us all feel negative, but truthfully I have felt this way before the pandemic. Moving somewhere does not fix everything, but I need a fresh start somewhere else. It’s not because I have a bad reputation here, I don’t. I need to put myself in the best spot to live out my full potential as a person. Some of the greatest men did not get where they are at in the record books just being stagnant in their aspirations.

I need to stop being afraid even if I fail in a new place or new work environment I will be okay. C.S. Lewis once said, “Failures, repeated are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. ” I think we get so comfortable in stuff that we do for money or because we have been there for so long we feel we can’t do something new or something that will make us happier because we are afraid of change. We can’t let fear be the motivator here. We have to step outside our comfort zones and truly trust the process repetition kills, but it is the only way to get something right.

Also, I want to thank anyone who takes the time out of their busy days to read my blog posts. I also want to apologize for the long wait concerning my new Yogi Bera write up. I have been so distracted and will eventually have that finished at some point. Be safe, my friends, and I am praying for you all as we go through this tough time.

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Remembering Jazz Legend Louis Armstrong.

Lewis Armstrong once wrote:
“I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
what a wonderful world.”

What a Wonderful World became one of Armstrongs’ most popular hits. However, Lewis Armstrong’s path to stardom was not an easy one; he did not have the easiest of lives. When he was just an infant, his father abandoned him, and his mother left Armstrong with his grandmother. Armstrong also got into trouble with the law once. One night he had a loaded pistol with blanks and while he was outside, he then fired the pistol at a boy. Armstrong would then be taken in by the police. Instead of serving real jail time, Armstrong was then brought to a place called a waif home. Waif homes were a type of school that was strict, kind of like a military school.

These types of schools were run by African Americans who took in youngsters who strayed away from the narrow path. While at the waif home, Armstrong did not let their strict guidelines get to him because he had decently cooked meals and clothes. Armstrong would later on, be introduced to a band while at the waif home. He began playing the tambourine and then started playing the cornet.

By the time Armstrong was released, he was a self-taught jazz musician, and he could play songs on his own. Armstrong’s real dream was to become a professional musician, but at times he had to work unpleasant jobs to get by. Armstrong at night, would roam the streets and listen to other bands.

Armstrong’s luck changed when his friend gave him 10 dollars to purchase a cornet, and then he began to try to work at making his sound even better than it was. Armstrong also learned under some of the best such as legendary performers like King Oliver and Kid Ory. After playing with King Oliver and the Creole Jazz band, Armstrong had aspirations of creating his own band. He began adding some singing and dancing and even some funny stuff to his performances. Fans began to love the sound of his raspy and yet different take on performing jazz music.

However, Armstrongs struggles began to follow him again. First, he faced many financial problems. He dealt with many tough times where he was mistreated and taken advantage of by his manager, who helped him break into the industry in the early 1930s. Tommy Rockwell was his name, and he helped Armstrong find some stardom. At this time, he began to be seen in movies and even did some radio shows too.

Armstrong would later on fire Rockwell and meet a man named Joe Glasser, who would help Armstrong with his financial struggles. Armstrong would go onto become the first African American to get his own promoted radio show. Armstrong long time fans didn’t like this and thought he was going too mainstream.

In the 1960s, Armstrong would get the recognition he deserved when his rendition of Hello Dolly overtook the Beetles number one spot on the billboard chart. He would go on to record 2000 songs; some came from the 1920s- 1930s. Many of these songs from these eras are still played by many today. Louis Armstrong left behind an untarnished legacy in the Jazz community. He overcame coming from a broken home, and betrayal and hate. In the end, all these things did not stop Armstrong from becoming a Jazz legend.

I do believe that my whole success goes back to that time I was arrested as a wayward boy at the age of thirteen. Because then I had to quit running around and began to learn something. Most of all, I began to learn music.

Louis Armstrong

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Fear Can Be Contagious

Recently, I have been dealing with writer’s block. I know this whole lockdown is getting to me. However, I am not that much of a social person at this moment in my life. I do miss going to my favorite coffee shops or even just having dinner with my family at my favorite restaurant. COVID 19 has brought on some much-needed self-reflection too.

For one, I don’t want to feel guilty for not posting as much as I used to on social media. I will no longer torture myself about how long its been since my last Instagram/Facebook post. I will instead cherish the moments and hold onto them in my heart. I also don’t want to live in fear because of this virus. I know its a dangerous virus, and I need to be careful because I have asthma, but I will not overdose on any news I watch. I feel like fear and the constant watching of the news & every single day them reminding us of the death count of COVID19 is just as dangerous for our mental health too.

It’s good to be informed about this virus; however, please know that overloading yourself on anything can be a real significant detriment to your life. A wise man once said that what you feed yourself will eventually grow, and if you continue to watch the news obsessively, that fear will only grow biggee, and you will only spread it onto others. Fear is man’s worst enemy, and it can be contagious too. It’s hard to refocus on something other than news in times like this, but we can beat this thing. We, as a country, have recovered from hurricanes and terrorist attacks and other disasters.

Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”

— C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)

A true hero is not somebody who does a great deed in front of a million people; a true hero is the nurses & doctors risking their lives for you. If you are feeling sick, please see a doctor and be kind to your nurses & doctors!
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Covid19 Rant

The other day I was watching a movie because what is there really to do in quarantine anyway? The film is called Rudy. It is about a kid who has always wanted to go to Notre Dame College, and he also has a dream of playing on the football team someday there too. In the early stages of this film, Rudy is working at a factory. His father and his best friend work there also. Tragically Rudy’s best friend dies in a fire at the factory, which prompts Rudy to pursue getting into Norte Dame a lot quicker than he expected because that what his friend would want him to do.

Rudy, in the early stages of the film, deals with people who don’t think he can get into Norte Dame or let alone get onto the football team. The reason for this is because its an expensive and hard college to get accepted into; also, Rudy sometimes struggles in school, and Rudy always has to confront the doubt that he may be too short for football. It has been a long time since I have seen this movie in its entirety, so I haven’t finished the rest of it.

However, can you relate to what Rudy was going through in this film? I know I can say yes to this question. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is doubting you, but in actuality, it is like what M.R. Robert Kenandy once said, “too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others.” Be a standout from the crowd, and don’t let the opinion of others failures make you afraid to achieve your goals.

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A Short Bio of C.S. Lewis

When it comes to Clive Staples Lewis, there are many different things you can write about with regards to his life. For now, I will focus on the interesting facts about C.S. Lewis’s life. He was born on November 29, 1898. C.S. Lewis grew up in Belfast, Ireland. When he was younger, he lost his mother to cancer.

Early on into Lewis’s academic career, he attended Oxford University; he initially arrived at Oxford on a scholarship.  However, his studies were put on hold because Lewis was stationed in France during World War 1. Later Lewis would accept a teaching job at Magdalene college where he would teach literature and classic philosophy.    

Lewis is best known for a book called Chronicles of Narnia, but did you know he wrote books on Christian philosophy too? Lewis wrote a book called Screwtape Letters, wherein the book he talks about the struggle of good and evil and how Wormwood, the demon in the book, tries to tempt the believer in God but can’t corrupt the believer because the relationship they have with God is stronger. Lewis also wrote a book called A Grief Observed, chronicling how hard it is to live without his wife after she passed away from breast cancer. This book is filled with melancholy, but anybody can relate to Lewis’s struggle of losing someone he loved so dearly. He also wrote another popular book called Mere Christianity, where he outlines his thoughts on Christian doctrine.

In closing, there are many things about C.S. Lewis that sparked my interest in him. However, I find the facts about Mr. Lewis’s life to be the most interesting thing about him.  For Example, I never knew that Lewis taught literature before. 

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Seasons Come & Go Poem: By Nick Albano

Pain and suffering come and go, but like a season, they will not last forever. For the flowers bloom every spring, we must remember that with all seasons, we can all sing. Babies laugh & cry during the spring, and couples gather around to share a ring. Every summer, the beach is the spot where we go and walk around on the boardwalk. We watch as the waves splash around and listen to the ocean, slowly calm the anxiousness in our souls. The beach is our very own hospital where we go to get better again. The sun never leaves us, and as we bask in the sunset, we know that at last summertime is here for us to enjoy.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com
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How To Deal With A Broken Heart.

Do you want to know what is so annoying about being single? It is the fact that everyone in their mother thinks they know what is best for you, and some people act as their cupid themselves. If you knew that woman for a very long time, it’s naturally going to take a long time to heal. It is entirely okay to have a hard time with a breakup. You are not damaged goods, please know that, and you are not weird for being heartbroken over this for a long time! You are human, and you will eventually heal; it takes time and a lot of self-help books to help you ease your hurting soul. I have been there, and there is nothing worse than people pestering you to move on when you are not ready to move on!

Also, keep in mind if your relationship did not withstand the test of time, try not to beat yourself up. If it wasn’t your fault that you broke up with that person, then try to focus on something that you did right at-least you wanted to make it work. Try taking a walk outside and observe your surroundings. Even little trips to Barnes & Noble, just to read a little in silence, can make a big difference.

If I am not mistaken, there are also groups on Facebook to help with a broken heart. Remember to treat yourself to a good meal once a week. Below is three things I try to keep in mind throughout the day.

1. Take time to heal alone.
2.)Take time to think things over.
3.) Sometimes something that you believe is beyond repair might require a little renovation. Not everything in this world has to result in a complete teardown.

Robert Frost once said, ”I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have out-walked the furthest city light I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.”

”I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet. When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street, but not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night .”

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Old Harmonicas

Recently I was reading an article entitled Domestic Harmony by Marley Brown. In this article, she discusses the findings of 2,000 artifacts that have been recovered at a communal dump. Brown mostly focuses on a German-made Harmonica that was found that appears to have come from the nineteenth century.

The outer plate of the harmonica inscription reads Friedr. Hotz. This leads Brown to think that is was made by the Friedrich Hotz Company. Brown explains that this company started producing harmonicas in as early as 1862! Brown explains later that the company was bought by Matthias Hohner, who began to first show the instrument to America in 1862.

Harmonica
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Corrie Ten Boom the Forgotten Hero

When I think about a hero, I think of people like Abraham Lincoln or Dietrich Bonhoeffer. However, have you ever heard of Corrie Ten Boom? She was born on April 15, 1892, in Amsterdam. Corrie Ten Boom got her first taste of notoriety after writing a book called The Hiding Place. The Hiding Place chronicles what Corrie Ten Boom and her family went through when they got imprisoned in a concentration camp in the time of the Holocaust. Corrie and her sister were moved to another concentration camp in Holland.

The both of them faced hard time labor, and near starvation. Boom, a devoted Christian, still held bible studies in the knitting rooms. Boom and her family set up a secret resting place where they provided help to many victims of the Nazis in the time of German occupation of the Netherlands.

By the time of Christmas 1944, Boom was finally free and put on a train for Berlin. Boom would then arrive at the severely bombed station where an older janitor would help her locate a train back to the Dutch border. Boom had not eaten in days because her food was either stolen or lost! She finally found a safe place at a hospital in Gottingen, where her health improved.

Later on, Corrie Ten Boom would start touring, and she began to share about what she went through. Corrie Ten Boom would go on to tour Europe, and then all around the world. Boom would later go on to set up a refuge house for victims of the concentration camps. She also would become the first licensed watchmaker in the Netherlands. Corrie Ten Boom, unfortunately, at the age of 93, would pass away. It has been said that Corrie Ten Boom would go on to save the lives of 800 Jewish people. Even though she is not here with us today, her legacy still shines bright and is one of the most influential women in history.

What wings are to a bird, and sails to a ship, so is prayer to the soul.

― Corrie Ten Boom

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Ghosting On Dating Apps

At times, I see a lot of people beat themselves up over women ghosting them. Women don’t just do it, but it can be disappointing to have a conversation die after you think you were having a good conversation with someone. For now, all you can do is accept it and take a deep breath and stop overthinking what went wrong because sometimes it’s not what went wrong its something on their end that is wrong. People on these apps make a very common mistake; they join these dating apps when they are not ready for a relationship because they are lonely. People crave companionship, and there is nothing wrong with testing the waters when you are alone.

However, are your priorities in line with the life you live? Smart career-oriented women see right through the counterfeit you. They want somebody who is stable and is working towards a better life.You can’t be the same person you were in high school you have to mature as a person and take the time to discover who the real you is. Remember, even if it might take you longer to do that don’t beat yourself up over it, Sean Connery didn’t get his first real break until 31, and Melissa McCarthy didn’t get her big break until her forties. Love has no age limit, and when you’re ready for it, God will move mountains for you.

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Never Forget Number 42

Robinson was born on January 31, 1919. In 1947 he broke the color barrier in baseball, standing up against racism and fighting against injustice. Although Robinson was an advocate for standing up against racism, an interaction with Branch Rickey might have changed Robinson’s life forever. Branch Rickey wondered if Robinson had enough guts not to fight back. Robinson later would make his debut at 28 years old, silencing any of his friends’ doubts and winning Rookie of The Year. Early on, Robinson was abandoned by his father at a young age & had to deal with segregation.

In 1945, Robinson would sign a contract with the Kansas City Monarchs for 400$ a month. He didn’t like the money he was making, and the constant traveling it came with. Robinson surprisingly didn’t have baseball in mind as a full-time career. Branch Rickey would later try to change Robinson’s mind & in 1945, he would sign him to a deal to play with the Montreal Royals. At the time, Branch was very confident in Robinson & liked his attitude and his desire to become successful despite the current adversary he faced. Branch Rickey’s decision to take Robinson under his wing did not come with approval from his peers.

However, Robinson & Rickey were determined to change people’s hearts. According to baseball writer Harvey Frommer in his book on Robinson, he says that Robinson said, ” I think I am the right man to pick for this test. There is no possible chance that I will flunk it or quit before the end for any other reason than that I am not a good enough ballplayer.” Robinson did not have an easy spring training because of segregation laws. He was told to ride in the back of buses, and even in games he was supposed to play in, they would sometimes be called off. Despite this, he would lead his team to The Little World Series, batting 349 with 40 stolen bases that year. Robinson’s legacy has held up for over 70 years, and what he has done in the baseball world will never be forgotten.

Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson
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Did the Babe Signal for A Homerun in the 1932 World Series?

Harvey Frommer said in his book when Ruth was playing in the time of the World Series, he and his wife were spat on by Cub fans and called grandpop. Also, he claimed that people of Ruth’s day were divided on his called shot. Some claim that the gesture was him taunting the Cubs players back because they didn’t get along. However, some of Ruth’s teammates, like Lou Gehrig, had no doubt he did. Whether or not you believe he did that year at 37 years old, Ruth hit 341 mashing 41 homers and driving in 137 runs. The Yankees went onto win the World Series that year.

I don’t think we will ever see another baseball player like the Babe again. He was a pitcher & a hitter, and with the Sox in 1916, he pitched 323 innings. Later on, he would go on to hit a total of 714 homers. Babe, also in his life, donated to many charities involving orphans and people who may not have been in good health. In my opinion, Ruth is the greatest Yankee of all time. To put it simply without Ruth, the home run record would not be made to be broken.

Baseball player Babe Ruth in uniform at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by Ralph Morse//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

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A Short discussion on Papyrus P52

Papyrus P52 is a new testament fragment from antiquity; it preserves John 18:31–33, & John 18:37–38, where Pilate questions Jesus. Colin Henderson Roberts wrote a small detailed report about this manuscript. (Papyrus P52) is still the earliest greek fragment we have of John.

One paleographer from Roberts day even dated P52 to the first century A.D.
However, the (consensus) among some scholars during Robert’s day is this fragment comes from the beginning of the second century A.D. Though recent analysis on the fragment points to a 200 A.D date. Paleographers date manuscripts or fragments based on their handwriting and do a thorough analysis of the fragment with other old writing from antiquity. It’s truly amazing how one little piece of a papyrus can bring so much knowledge to scholarship!

From the report an Unpublished Fragment of The fourth Gospel by Colin H Roberts.
High quality image of P52
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A Brief Discussion On The Huqoq Synagogue.

I recently learned about the discovery of an ancient synagogue that was found in Huqoq. The Huqoq synagogue surprisingly had well-preserved mosaics, as shown in the photo below. A synagogue is a type of building where people would go to for worship or instruction. The shul was excavated by female archaeologist Jodi Magness and her team. 

The synagogue dates to the early fifth century CE, and Magness also said she feels an earlier date should also be given to other synagogues found too. “Preferably the so-called Gallien type synagogues which she says should be pushed back a couple of hundred years to at least the fourth or sixth century CE.”

Sometimes in the archaeological world, you will come across synagogues that date to perhaps the fourth century CE. However, archaeologists will find that the foundation of that later synagogue was built over an even earlier synagogue. We see this to be the case with the shul at Capernaum. In short, archaeology helps us enhance the verisimilitude or the believability of an ancient text.


    “The 2017 excavation season at Huqoq uncovered more stunning mosaics depicting Greco-Roman and Biblical scenes, including the construction of the Tower of Babel.” Photo: Jim Haberman   

Isolation is not aways a bad Thing.

Ever since this pandemic has happened, I have had to keep up with current events. However, it just seems like nothing but bad news. In addition to that, people do not see the bigger picture of this pandemic. For example, we have more time to rest now, more time to get our thoughts in order. We have time to research more things to better ourselves and improve our health and mental well being. Instead of going out with friends and drinking and doing things that might not be good for you, you now have time to pick up a book. You currently have time to think about your life now. Please don’t get this misconstrued; I’m not a preacher or anything like that. However, take time to rest and find inner peace. Take the necessary time to get your thoughts in order. This time right now is about bettering yourself now so that you can have a better future.

Everybody thinks that this pandemic is horrible, and it’s sad that so many people have died. It is unfortunate that when I want to go to my favorite place, I have to hide my face behind a mask and distance myself from everyone I love, but I will do it because that will keep me safe but do you want to know something? I will not let this pandemic get the best of me. I’m not going to let people make me feel bad because I’m not sacrificing my health to hang out with those people. This isolation time is a time for me to take some time by myself and reevaluate my life, and that is what you should be doing. Don’t worry about the friends who are upset over you not going out with them during the pandemic. At the end of the day, you are doing your best to stay safe.

Work on yourself, and as I said before, you need to better yourself for the future. Your parents will not be around forever. So, think about that for a little bit and if you have time today, go to your quiet spot and try to listen to some relaxing music, maybe with a coffee or a tea and think about life and remember to breathe.

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