Thursday Verse

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of tender mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation

2 Corinthians 1:3,4

A number of my friends and lots of our customers have lost relatives during the past ten months to the virus that has shaken all of us in one way or another. I was thinking about what to say to say to one of my friends who has just lost his father.

What came into my mind were the worst kind of clichés, which made me cringe. It made me realize I need to sit down and think about this.

Apparently the Greek word that is translated “comfort” literally means “to call to one’s side”. So, it means being there, staying close to the person grieving. That is hard to do maybe during a national lockdown. But we can still make sure we are in close contact and maybe arrange to go for a walk outside so we can listen and offer encouragement.

I also read that the Greek word is much more than sympathetic words, it is more about imparting some motivation, perhaps practical measures and comfort in order to help someone cope with all that life may demand of them. In other words, the actual loss of a loved one might just be the start of our friend’s challenges. We may need to be aware of the huge hole in their life.

Encouraging them to go on, speaking positively about the future hope for those who have died and being there for them are all part of what comfort can mean – definitely not clichés.

Last Man Standing

The unimaginable has happened! Four members of the pharmacy team are having to self-isolate. One is ill, and tested positive for Covid-19. Everyone else was tested again, three tested positive. I tested negative.

Work over the last two days has been manic! Better get myself to sleep and get some rest before another crazy day tomorrow.!

Tuesday News

The good news I found this week was a BBC article about Mike Hind from Teeside, who donated three thousand meals to children in his areas. There was a lot of attention on the poor standards of food parcels issued to children entitled to free school dinners. But the story on the BBC website shows you just how far Mke Hind went:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-55681924

Any news report highlighting someone with the giving spirit, generosity in action is truly good news! This is absolutely what the world needs so much more of.

Monday Motivation

MORNINGS

Best way to start the week is with an early night on a Sunday (after taking a bi-weekly covid test). Then my habit for as long as I can remember is an early rise on a Monday morning. I can get a lot done it that time.

If I tidy up after the weekend, the rest of the week seems easier. I work out on a Monday morning, get my heart racing and blood pumping. I get to work early – boss is pleased with me. Work goes more smoothly. Sleep routine sorted for the rest of the week.

Work is always busy on a Monday, but starting early and feeling sharp makes a difference. We have loads of prescriptions landing on our screens from at least four main GP surgeries in the area. We have a delivery to organize. There is always a lot to do. But getting a head-start feels great.

JUICE

We were asked to pick a song today that starts with either D or J. I have gone with “Juice”. You can pick if you listen to my girl Lizzo or the cover by Harry Styles. Both are wicked.

Song Credits: Sean Spencer Small, Sam Michael Sumser, Eric Frederic, Melissa Jefferso and, Theron Makiel Thomas

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Don’t say it ’cause I know I’m cute (Ooh, baby)
Louis down to my drawers
LV all on my shoes (Ooh, baby)
I be drippin’ so much sauce
Gotta been looking like RAGÚ (Ooh, baby)
Lit up like a crystal ball
That’s cool, baby, so is you
That’s how I roll

If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine (Yeah, I’m gold)
I was born like this, don’t even gotta try (Now you know)
I’m like chardonnay, get better over time (So you know)
Heard you say I’m not the baddest, bitch, you lie (Haha)

It ain’t my fault that I’m out here gettin’ loose
Gotta blame it on the Goose
Gotta blame it on my juice, baby
It ain’t my fault that I’m out here makin’ news
I’m the pudding in the proof
Gotta blame it on my juice
Ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee
Blame it on my juice, blame it, blame it on my juice
Ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee
Blame it on my juice, blame it, blame it on my juice (Ooh, baby)

No, I’m not a snack at all
Look, baby, I’m the whole damn meal (Ooh, baby)
David, you ain’t bein’ slick
Don’t dare try to cop a feel (Ooh, baby)
The juice ain’t worth the squeeze
If the juice don’t look like this (Like this, like this, like this)
Hold up, nigga, please
Don’t make me have to take your bitch, shit (How I roll)

If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine (Yeah, I’m gold)
I was born like this, don’t even gotta try (Now you know)
I’m like chardonnay (Okay), get better over time (So you know)
Heard you say I’m not the baddest, bitch, you lie (You lie)

It ain’t my fault that I’m out here gettin’ loose
Gotta blame it on the Goose
Gotta blame it on my juice, baby
It ain’t my fault that I’m out here makin’ news
I’m the pudding in the proof
Gotta blame it on my juice
Ya-ya-ee (Ya-ya-ee), ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee
Blame it on my juice, blame it, blame it on my juice
Ya-ya-ee (Ya-ya-ee), ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee
Blame it on my juice, blame it, blame it on my juice (Alright)
Ya-ya-ee

Somebody come get this man
I think he got lost in my DMs, what? My DMs, what?
You better come get your man
I think he wanna be way more than friends, what?
More than friends
What you want me to say?

It ain’t my fault that I’m out here gettin’ loose
Gotta blame it on the Goose
Gotta blame it on my juice, baby
It ain’t my fault that I’m out here makin’ news
I’m the pudding in the proof (Puddin’ in the proof)
Gotta blame it on my juice (Blame it on my juice)
Ya-ya-ee (Yay-ya), ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee
Blame it on my juice, blame it, blame it on my juice
Ya-ya-ee (Ya-ya-ee), ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee, ya-ya-ee
Blame it on my juice, blame it, blame it on my juice
(Blame it on it, yeah)

Saturday Snaps

It’s cool looking at the pictures that other people post on their blogs – travel and nature pictures. I don’t have a great camera, but I have tried to snap some things over the years. Viewing what other people feature has given me the idea to trawl through my holiday snaps and see what I can find.

I found about twenty photos of this bird – heron I think. We were walking through the park and this guy was stood feeding tiny fish to the heron. It was taking them right out of his hand. We videoed the heron as it wandered around the park throughout people, totally cool, not freaked out by all the people who wanted to take a picture.

Never Give Up

Don’t give up just because you are tired. Don’t give up just because you feel like nobody and because you believe no one else cares.

Just being alive is a miracle in itself. How dare anyone else take away your hopes and dreams. Keep wishing. Don’t let anyone discourage you until you see those wishes come true.

Thursday Verse

“The stupid one is reckless and overconfident.”

Proverbs 14:16

There is a deadly disease on the rampage, but some people still don’t seem to take the warnings seriously.

We ought to comply with all that has been asked of us – it is for our protection. We may have a lot of questions and concerns over jobs, education and all sorts of other things. But the restrictions are there to save our lives.

To go around thinking, “I’m be fine, I’m fit, I won’t get ill,” is inviting pain and heartbreak. We ought to think about how our actions will effect not just us and our family – but others too.

I was chatting with a London-based blogger who said that she was sad but convinced that cancelling her plans to travel at Christmas was the right thing to do. She said, “I wasn’t just thinking about the danger to my own mum, I was thinking of everyone else in the train carriage if I had travelled. I don’t want to be responsible for someone else losing their mum.”

How can we expect our Creator’s blessing if we are not showing appreciation for the cost of life?

Sheep Need Protection

I was at work a couple of months ago with a locum pharmacist. He’s a great pharmacist and a nice guy, but for some reason he loves listening to a well know radio station which features political controversy and tends to milk it for every contentious sentiment.

That morning the radio presenter was commenting on some lockdown protestors actions. Now I don’t remember everything he said, but I do remember him criticising people for being like sheep. He seemed to be encouraging people to question authority over their guidance during the pandemic and challenge it, rather than meekly obeying. I was angry that he can take to the airwaves and preach a message like that, and I found it weird that the locum pharmacist was listening to it in earshot of our patients.

I was listening to him and feeling angry. In many parts of the world, for thousands of years, sheep have been protected by shepherds. Although you could say that the shepherd was only caring for them for the sake of their fleece, milk and their meat, the point is the shepherd protected them.

At the moment, during this pandemic, governments and authorities are trying to protect us. There are so many bizarre theories flying around and people protesting the protective measures and even claiming it is all a hoax. I suspect with some of these people, the only way they will realize how wrong they are is when they catch the virus. I would not wish this virus on my worst enemy.

Most people have the sense to realize that as a vulnerable flock we need some shepherding, protecting, guiding, and in some cases strong direction to prevent people who are putting themselves and others at risk. It is so much easier for those providing that shepherding if we just obey.

Tuesday News

My 2021 goal is to look for good news, positive reports in the media that warm the soul. Well, this past week has had the craziest news, with US politics dominating newspaper headlines and television news bulletins , but I still managed to find a great report to make the world feel better:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/omar-atiq-doctor-medical-debt-patients-650k/

This is the story of Doctor Omar Atiq who was retiring. He chose to write of the debt owed by around two hundred cancer patients. That amounted to $650,000.

Doctor Omar Atiq – what you did was priceless and you will be remembered for it by those two hundred patients and others for sacrificing those wages.

I read in the article that when he asked why he did write the debt off, Dr Atiq answered, “some of those patients might need they money more than we did”.

If only more people thought that way. “They might need it more than I do” – what an awesome way to see the world.