Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Stand and Pray Challenge

With the number of Covid-19 cases starting to decline, many people will soon return to attending whatever sports events become available to spectators.

If you decide to attend a post Covid -19 sports event, please accept the following challenge.  At the sports event you attend, when the announcement comes to please stand for the national anthem, stand and pray.

Pray with thanks that God showed you Grace to allow you to survive Covid-19.  Pray for the families of the 100,000 plus in the United States and those around the world who died from Covid-19. Use the time to pray for help with the personal challenges you are facing in this world. Make your prayer personal.

Standing for the national anthem was a long time ritual meant to support patriotism during wartime.  But now we find ourselves in a different type of war.  Please use the private time you have before your sports event starts to simply StandAndPray.  Then enjoy the distraction of the sports event for the next few hours before returning to the realities of life.


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Ridiculous Covid catch words/phrases!

"Unprecedented times", "we're all in this together", "uncertain time" this are the words and phrases I see in the emails, commercials, and other Covid propaganda being sent out these days.  My general reaction has been, "well that's a stupid comment!"  Especially the "We're all in this together".  Now people, you know that is a bunch of non sense.  Those in customer service jobs are the ones who are "in this all together".  They were the ones providing services to the more economically well off.

Unprecedented times?  Really?  Doesn't anyone study or look back at the history of this world?  There have been many pandemics and health crises throughout life on planet Earth.  "Uncertain times"?  All time is uncertain.  Again, look back through history.

Some marketing "genius" was paid big $$$ for creating and regurgitating those terms at us.  Of course everyone copied the terms and used them in relation to their business or service.  Now when I hear a commercial or an email with those terms I just say, "Shut up!"

We know we are all going through a personal trial, major trial, or even a life changing or ending event.  We don't need your stupid phrases and comments on us all being together.  What's next, the slogan "air is good"?

IHG Hotel Inconsistencies

Last week I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express for 3 nights in the Mesquite, Texas area. This week I am staying in another Holiday Inn Express in the Port Charlotte, Florida area. I have noted inconsistencies in the IHG brand and reported those issues.

In Mesquite, the stairwell is painted all gray to include the stairs and the landing. It is difficult to ascertain if you are stepping on a step or a landing requiring the person to slowly walk down to ensure you are on level footing. It is an accident waiting to happen.

In Port Charlotte, the stairs are painted red which helps to clearly show you are on a stair versus the landing.

In both locations housekeeping was not wearing masks during this Covid virus season. This is unacceptable for both the workers and the guests. Can't IHG afford to purchase and require housekeeping wear masks for the safety or the workers and of the guests?? The same for gloves. I don't believe I saw any of the housekeepers wearing gloves. IHG can and should do better. Workers such as housekeeping are among the first line people who deal directly with people. Just because these are typically low level jobs does not mean the workers should be given low level treatment. Do better or you will lose my business. Respect your employees more than you are.

Lastly, at Mesquite the breakfast buffet was still in effect and was well done. In Port Charlotte the buffet was stopped. Guests are given small packaged muffins, and can get milk or juice (while available) from a gallon jug and pour it into a cup. Gallon size baggies are available for putting the fruit, muffin, and cold cereal packages into.

I understand each community has different levels of Covid rules, but IHG should have consistent policies on housekeeping attire, and on breakfast buffets. Is anyone addressing these inconsistencies? What is being doing to correct the situations? Especially in the area of personal protective equipment for your housekeepers? Is is every person for themselves with IHG?

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Covid. The Newest Bully on the Block

There is a new bully patrolling the world.  No it's not a new dictator.  It's not the head of a cult.  It's a ferocious, quick attacking, diabolical virus we have commonly called Corona or Covid-19.  This bully is making its way through neighborhoods and applying major beat downs to the human race.  Maybe not as powerful as it's ancestors, The Spanish Flu or Typhoid Fever.  Covid still is brining havoc to our daily lives.  Disrupting every aspect of our life.  Covid is such a bad bully we don't even come out of the house in fear of meeting up with Covid on the street somewhere.

We hide our faces behind masks so Covid won't recognize us and track us down later.  Covid has bullied us out of our jobs, swept us out of our churches, made us hoard food at the store that normally would take us 8 months to eat.  Now you can't find a tub of margarine in the store thanks to Covid!

So why is Covid picking on us?  Only because it can and no one is stopping Covid yet.  Where is Batman, Superman, Spiderman or even the Incredible Hulk?  If those super heroes can make billions of dollars and save the world on the movie screen, why can't they beat up Covid for us?  I don't understand it.

I think we should get ESPN (they have nothing else to do now) to sponsor a boxing match between Covid and Governor Cuomo of New York.  Now that would be worth the price of admission.  So grab your sanitizer, after washing your hands for 2 minutes.  Pop some popcorn, get your beverage of choice and get ready for the main event.  Covid-19, undefeated, versus the challenger, the  man of many charts and slides, Governor Cuomo of New York State!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Open and Safe? Now what do you do?

And here we go. May 1st.  The restrictions on stay at home are being eased.  You have already made a decision on whether you should resume your pre Covid-19 activities.  First, I would suggest you think about how difficult was it for you to deal with the restrictions?  Then ask yourself if it was difficult, why?  How did you personally benefit from the restrictions?

Did your behavior change during this Covid-19 outbreak?  Was that change a positive change in your behavior? 

Unless you were already leading the life of a Saint, we all had the opportunity to initiate positive change during this Covid outbreak.  For those who lost jobs, you had a sudden change forced upon you.  Your opportunity to change for the positive was limited.  You were forced to find a way to continue the lifestyle you had established.  You may have been forced to determine where is your next meal coming from?

Each of us know how we benefited and how we may have suffered from this Covid outbreak.  One thing is certain. We have been prepared for the next outbreak.

General global lessons learned.  The government wasn't prepared.  It was a medical 911 event.  One day we are told "there is no need to wear a mask."  A month later we are told, "You should wear a mask in public".  Based on that  statement alone, I will never fully trust the government to put out medical information that can be trusted. 

So what do you do now?  Prepare for the next wave.  You know what products you should have in your home by now.  You know what activities that you really did not miss during the Covid outbreak.  If it wasn't essential consider not going back to those activities.  If you were able to save money, you know how you did so.

If you improved in a major way, stay the course.  If you found yourself spiritually, do not let the temptations and offerings of the world take you off course.  Remember, you cannot see the virus.  It is still out there and it is possible for you to still be infected.  Continue those safe sanitary practices.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Stand and Pray - Post Covid Sports Events

Post Covid-19.  After the virus, there will be changes put in place designed to deter the spread of viruses.  That's good. That's fine.

Now is also a time to modify one our great traditions.  The tradition of playing the national anthem before sporting events.  The tradition began during World War II when the anthem was played at NFL and Major League baseball games to support patriotism within the country.  The tradition continued after the war well into the 21st century.  We tend to get stuck in our traditions.

Forgotten was the point that sports was supposed to be a distraction from real life drama, including military conflicts.  In the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised a fist during the medal ceremony while the national anthem was being played.  They were protesting racial inequality and racism in the United States.  For that act of protest they were banned from the Olympics and sent home. Their futures, what little there was for black men then, were ruined.

Some 45 plus years later, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, began taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem as a social protest against the mistreatment of black people in the United States.  As in 1968, politicians and others attempted to place Colin's actions as a form of disrespect against the military and those who fought and died in past and present wars.   It was a brilliant technique and distraction to cover the real reason for the social protest.  Of course many people fell for the distraction.  Colin was blackballed after the 2016 NFL season and no team has given him the opportunity to play in the NFL again.  Welcome to America Colin!

As we reflect  during Covid-19, we realize that it will be awhile before people will gather in arenas and stadiums to watch sporting events. During this pause, we have the opportunity to rethink the national anthem tradition.   Do we continue the current tradition?  Or do we use the moment to finally and publicly acknowledge that we were created by a God whose Grace has allowed many of us to survive a world wide pandemic and many more events in the past?

Before each sporting event, let's try this.  Play a soft quiet instrumental melody, devoid of human words. Invite the audience to "Stand and Pray".  Allow each person to stand in place and pray to God in his or her own way.  No one person leads the crowd in prayer.  This is personal.  Each person says or doesn't say what ever prayer they want.

What happens if players' don't stand and pray?  Nothing. They have that right not to pray.  Will they be blackballed out of their league?  What happens if someone in the audience doesn't stand?  Nothing.  They too have the right not to pray.

The first sporting event after Covid-19 would be a great time to start this practice.  Whether it's high school, college, or at the professional level.  Stand and Pray.  Raise your hands above your head and Stand and Pray.  Give thanks for surviving Covid-19.  Pray for those who did not survive Covid-19.  Pray for the families who lost loved ones due to Covid-19.  Pray for nursing homes in the future  being safe from such devastating events.  Pray for events not related to Covid-19.  Just Stand and Pray!

Covid-19 is a worldwide humbling event.  It got our attention, by force.  It  changed many of us, even if we were not infected.  It put our sports idols on the shelves.  It made many entertainers irrelevant.  Standing in line for over an hour for  a box of food can make you forget about that personality you idolized for years.  The social distancing brought some of us closer to God or introduced us to God for the first time.  Covid-19 gave us time together in our homes.  It separated some of us from loved ones in hospitals.  It made us appreciate whatever blessings we have in our lives. The virus was the means by which we were given the opportunity to reflect on our behavior and actions.

Lessons learned.  Now it's time to react.  At our sporting events Stand and Pray.  Even if the national anthem continues to be played.  Raise your arms, and Stand and Pray.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Lessons Learned and Revelations from Our Covid-19 Season

We are into the fourth month of the decade of the 2020s.  In the past there  have been many doom and gloom predictions regarding the future of mankind.  We are living through one of those scenarios.  Yes, it is a repeat scenario from past years.  Over 300 years ago, small pox and other diseases decimated the Native American population.  Within the United States,  there have been Spanish flu epidemics, typhoid fever and other pandemic situations.

Since we as people are more students of "The Now" we are not commonly aware of the repeat nature of such pandemics.  We do not remember the health scares of the early 1900s.  Within my own family are ancestors who died from the Spanish Flu and typhoid fever of the 1900s.

We also are a world where recognition of the existence of God and living the life God intended for us is not our priority.  Instead we live out our lives following the principles of what we think is a successful human life.  Many of those principles involve success based on accumulation of material things and how much wealth we are able to obtain.  In a 24 hour day, the average devotion to God (if we measured it among all people in the world) would likely be less than 2 hours out of 168 hours in a week.  Subtract 56 hours for 8 hours of sleep each week and we are left with 112 hours of our weekly time.  Two hours out of 112 hours to acknowledge, thank, pray, and reflect on our relationship with God.  That's about 1.7 per cent of our time devoted to God.

Yes, of course there are many exceptions.  Some people likely spend over 50% and some spend 0%.  Throughout our existence as people, we have been sent constant reminders of the need for us as people to get our lives together and focus on our relationship with God.  The goal being to continue with a life after human death.  There is more ahead of us if we decide to pursue it.  Human death is not the conclusion.

This virus season is another time out warning from God.  A reminder that God really is in control.  Our governmental institutions scramble around trying to find the " human solution" to Covid-19.  We don't realized the  "solution" will be given to mankind when God wants us to have it.  God wants us to each reflect on the conduct of our lives.  God wants us to turn towards him, not to the human idols we have constructed.  Our fascination with sports and athletes we have made our idols is one example.  Have you noticed that your life is fine without the distraction of professional sports and professional athletes?  Has any athlete developed a cure for Covid-19?  Remember that when this pandemic ends.  Remember that many professional athletes were tested for Covid-19 well before you were tested.

Maybe this season is a reminder that we as people are seriously at the breaking point of straying too far away from God.  In the past year many people  have memorialized  personalities who have tragically passed away such as athletes and social/entertainers more than have paid attention to God.  Our commercial television shows commonly feature and promote homosexual lifestyles never promoted or condoned by God as His plan for humanity.  As we stray away from God's plan, do not be surprised by events such as pandemics and other events to come.

Ask and you shall receive.