Monthly Archives: January 2015

Etymology

Wow! That is a big word. Etymology means “the history and origin of words”. In this case, as it applies to us, is the origin of the name “What Would Jesus Do?”

You would think that we came up with our own name. Many organizations do. There are the I.B.M.s and Xeroxs of the world. Then there is Apple computer which started from memories of being a fruit picker. All were derived from the organizations involved. These are really brand names since they are also the names of the products that these companies sell.

A small case in point. Xerox at one time wanted to trademark its own name as it related to the process of making a document copy. Too many of its competitors were making copiers and referring to Xerox as in “Xerox this” or “Xerox that”. The court refused to allow the trademark because the name had fallen into “common use”.

There are service organizations such as The American Red Cross. It’s name originated from its logo or emblem, a Red Cross on a white background. We are a service organization as well. But our name comes from a different source.

220px-Charles_M_Sheldon

The name itself may have started as early as the late 19th century. In 1896, Charles Sheldon wrote a book that he called In His Steps. The subtitle was What Would Jesus Do? The book was actually about Christian Socialism. The book was popular at that time and was translated into more than twenty languages about 40 years later. It was about a homeless man who asks the reverend why so many Christians ignore the poor.

But do to an error by the publisher, the book was never copyrighted. It was reprinted again and again, selling more than 30 million copies. Of all of the copies that were printed, he was denied most of the royalties because the book was not copyrighted. In some cases, some publishers felt sorry for the author and would send him a pittance of the normal royalties. Still, he felt that his point was made and was happy that so many people were interested in his book.

This takes us to the 1990s and the appearance of bracelets that said “W.W.J.D.”

wwjd braceletsJanie Tinkelberg, a youth leader in Holland, Michigan, read the book and took the title to heart. What Would Jesus Do became a guiding light for her group of people. She wanted the message to remain in their memory and focused so she put the initials on a wristband for her group because at that time bands were the “rage” and exchanged between friends. The problem was that the name was too long for the band so she just used the initials, WWJD.

The wrist band with WWJD was born. And to many, just the initials was a large selling point since it attracted attention and required the owner to explain that WWJD stood for What Would Jesus Do. Janie stumbled upon a gold mine and before long her supply ran out and she needed to make more. In a few months the company making them was making millions of their own. Other companies copied it and soon WWJD was everywhere.

Then things became even more strange. Soon there were board games and $400 necklaces. This was becoming too commercial. It had nothing to do with the original mission but was now down upon the “money changers” who had taken it over to use it as a commercial vehicle.

To try to control its name and to use the funds for a non-profit youth ministry, Janie applied for a trademark on the WWJD. She was denied the trademark because she had waited too long and the name was in “public domain”.

None of that applies to us. We are not associated with a bracelet, wristband, necklaces, board game, or anything else of a commercial nature for the name. However, it is interesting to note that the name was not our own either. We did not coin it. It was coined more than a century ago by a book similar to our following and dealing with the homeless. The book is available on Amazon if you are interested. The book is in public domain and a copy is free from Amazon if you want it for their Kindle reader.

So, I guess that we can trace our roots back to the late 19th century. How’s that for a history.

In the book, we are still trying to answer the homeless man’s question of why are so many Christians against the homeless? We don’t know the answer to that question.

Amateurs built the ark

Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

I do not know if you remember the Titanic. It sunk in 1912 on its maiden voyage from Southampton (London) England to New York Harbor. It was constructed by professionals for the White Star Line (which later merged with its rival Cunard) and was one of the first ships with riveted steel plates on its hull. When it hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic, the ice tore down the welded rivets and sheared them off. And since the rivets held the plating on the side, the plating came off which then flooded five holds of the ship. If it only flooded four holds then the Titanic would have made it to New York. But flooding five holds was too much and the ship sunk; taking with it the lives of 1,517 people in the frigid Atlantic.

That is a historic fact.

The ark was another ship. It was built by one family and was strictly an amateur operation. It survived its maiden voyage and helped save the life on Earth during the great flood.

That is a historic faith. No records of that time survived and we have no personal first-hand accounts of the flood. However, in most religions there are accounts of a “great flood” which destroyed most life on the Earth. If we are to accept the large amount of empirical evidence of the great flood then it too is a fact. If you don’t accept it then it is a faith.

The reason that I am mentioning this is that our group is strictly “amateur”. We are not paid. We are therefore not “professionals”. Like Noah of ancient times, we do what we do because we believe in it. We do what we do because we have a desire to help others. I am not ashamed to call our group a “bunch of amateurs”. We should be proud that we are amateurs who built an ark and not the Titanic.


By the way, did you know that “amateur” means “for the love of it”? It is derived from “amare” meaning “love”. It has nothing to do with the technical competence of the people performing the task.

What are you doing for others?

Yes, that is correct. What are you doing for others?

That is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. No, I did not make it up. It is really a quote. Perhaps it is almost as famous as “I have a dream”. Don’t believe me? Well, check it out.

Yes, so, what are you doing for others? Are you saying “well, I will get around to it later” or “Don’t bother me now” or “I am too busy.” Believe me, I can understand those sentiments. I personally felt the same way some years back.

Then, perhaps something happened. Perhaps it was something that bothered me. Perhaps it was something that was missing in my life that led me to wonder what I could do to help my fellow people on this planet. Some may say “well, it was God.” I feel that it was just something a bit more basic than that. I feel that it was something called a conscience. We all have one. It is what guides us in knowing what is “right” and what is “wrong”.

We all know that it is wrong to steal, to lie, to cheat. Yes, even politicians know that. But at the same time, there is an inherent desire to help. It comes from the same sense of right and wrong. Firemen have it. Doctors and nurses have it. Policemen have it. They act on that need to help.

I wonder what you think when you see someone out on the street holding up a sign saying “need money for food”? Do you just think “well, there is another bum”? Or, perhaps it is “Call the cops. Get him out of here!” Maybe you just turn your head and look the other way. If this is the case then are you sure that you are not just wanting to hide the problem? You want to remove it from your sight because you don’t want to think about them?

There is another saying. I am sure that you have heard it before. It goes something like “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” The reason that this statement is so powerful is that you don’t really know why the person with the placard is there. He could have had been your neighborhood banker last year. He had a good steady job. However, the bank where he worked had merged and he was let go. Unable to find work. He went through his savings trying to find work and still could not because no one was hiring him because he was over-qualified for the job. After a period, another banker foreclosed on his house and he was now homeless.

Does that mean that he wanted to be homeless? Does that mean that he made some errors in trying to find work? No. It just means that he is homeless and does not have a job.

Yes, that could be you too.

Then, perhaps your neighbors will say of you “Call the cops. Get him out of here!”

So, again, I ask What are you doing for others? Or, perhaps another way of saying it is “What are you doing for yourself?”

2004’s “Ten Year Plan” for the Homeless “Problem”

The following information is drawn from the report
Ten-Year Plan To End Homelessness In Placer County which was commissioned by Placer’s Coalition on Ending Homelessness in 2004.

The report is quite thorough and I recommend that if you have the time, please read it. It may be obtained from the website at the following location.

What is interesting to me are the common myths and misconceptions that are banished by those concerning the homeless population.

What follows are excerpts from the plan.


The Realities of Homelessness—Myths and Causes

Dispelling common myths regarding homelessness and discovering the actual causes were important parts of our planning process.

Myth: People want to be homeless.
Fact: Only ten percent of the people experiencing homelessness in Placer County prefer to remain homeless.
 
Myth: All homelessness is caused by poor personal choices.
Fact: People who work below a living wage are frequently unable to pay for housing, food, childcare, medical care, and other basic needs. Difficult choices must be made when insufficient resources do not cover all basic necessities. Persons living in poverty know that an illness, an accident or a missed paycheck can result in living on the streets.
 
Myth: Providing services for homeless people will result in a migration to the area.
Fact: The 2002 Placer County Homeless Census indicates not only that homeless people do not migrate for services, but that

  • 28 percent of our homeless population has lived in our community for over ten years
  • 31 percent of our homeless have lived in our community between one and ten years
  • Those who most recently relocated here had lived in their previous community for an average of 12 years.

Causes of Homelessness

A shortage of affordable rental housing

The Housing Element (2000-2007) for Placer County documents that there exists a shortage of housing that is affordable to many residents and that this shortage is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. This shortage is exacerbated as the demand for affordable housing swells and housing costs increase.

Poverty and low-income jobs

In 2002, almost half a million of California’s working families were “officially” poor—they had incomes below the federal poverty level (FPL). Almost 1.4 million had incomes between the FPL and twice the FPL, a level of income that falls short of providing an adequate standard of living. The 2005 Federal Poverty Level for a single person is $9,570; for a family of four is $19,350. According to 2002 U.S. Census Bureau Data, almost 6% of Placer County’s residents live in poverty.

Mental illness, substance abuse and disabilities

Mental illness, substance abuse and disabilities increase the risk of displacement for the precariously housed, only to be compounded by the difficulty of finding and keeping housing on a limited income. In the absence of appropriate treatment, securing housing is problematic.

Lack of health care coverage

According to 2003 data, California has over 6.5 million uninsured persons, just over 20 percent of the non-elderly population. Almost 25 percent of California’s uninsured population have family incomes below the federal poverty level. Many of these are childless adults who are ineligible for publicly-funded health insurance, such as Medi-Cal.

Lack of training and education

There is an evident relationship between education and the likelihood that an individual will become homeless. The Placer County 2002 Homeless Census indicates that jobs, training and housing are the greatest barriers to self-sufficiency. Lack of knowledge about the job market, educational opportunities and training programs also were cited. Of the homeless surveyed, 32 percent left school prior to the 12th grade, 36 percent completed high school and 25 percent completed at least two years of college, five percent completed four years of college, one percent completed graduate school and one percent attended vocational training.

Domestic violence toward women and youth

Women and youth are susceptible to homelessness resulting from their flight from physical, sexual and psychological abuse.

Lack of discharge planning

Some institutions and systems (such as foster care, jails/prisons, hospitals mental health facilities) may discharge their wards without adequate supports in place to ensure housing stability and/or continuity of care.

Pearls Of Wisdom

pearls-of-wisdom

I do not know who thought up these items. Their thoughts are far better than I have. I wish that I had coined them. It would have save me a great deal of time in trying paths in my life that only needed to be altered.

Here a few the the “jewels” that I have found in my searching for “pearls of wisdom”. Enjoy this small list. Perhaps they will put a smile on your face and a glow in your heart.

  1. Opportunities are found by those who look for them! The bee has a sting but honey too… so look at every negative and make a positive out of it.
  2. It’s important to focus on one thing at a time. Even in the Roman times they understood this with their Proverb; "The man who chases two rabbits catches none."
  3. Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.
  4. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
  5. May your life be like toilet paper… long and useful.
  6. If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito!
  7. Success comes in cans, failure in cants.
  8. It’s all about your attitude… Some people complain because there are thorns on roses, while others praise thorns for having roses among them.
  9. Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
  10. I’ve learned that to ignore the facts does not change the facts.
  11. I’ve learned that it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. So start enjoying those little things in life – it does make a difference.
  12. I’ve learned that everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. It makes his or her day, and mine too!
  13. I’ve learned one very interesting thing about money… it doesn’t buy class.
  14. I have learned that when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.
  15. I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.
  16. The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
  17. It’s a funny thing about life… if you refuse to accept anything but the best… you very often get it.
  18. Laughter is the shock absorber that eases the blows of life.
  19. Always laugh when you can. It is cheapest medicine.
  20. If you could have everything, where would you put it?
  21. No one is perfect… that’s why pencils have erasers.
  22. Great dancers aren’t great because of their technique; they are great because of their passion.
  23. There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.

And last, but certainly not the least of it is:

There are only two things to worry about, either you are healthy or you are sick. If you are healthy, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you are sick there are only two things to worry about, either you will get well or you will die. If you get well, then there is nothing to worry about. But if you die there are only two things to worry about, either you will go to heaven or to hell. If you go to heaven, then there is nothing to worry about. And if you to go hell, you’ll be so darn busy shaking hands with your friends you won’t have time to worry.

Debbie’s Story

My Story

by Debbie

Debbie

Hello, my name is Debbie, I am NOT an alcoholic, drug addict nor felon. I am however, homeless. I have been homeless since 2008; I lived two years in a 1994 Honda Prelude, two years in a tent in the mountains and now I’m in a trailer, still in the mountains.

I relocated to the North Fork of the American River in November 2008. I had heard that on every Tuesday, in Colfax, a church group (WWJD) handed out food and clothing from their van. So I went to check it out. Sure enough there were people near a van standing in a circle praying. I stood back watching and waiting for them to finish, hoping I wouldn’t have to participate in prayer to get food. The people in charge of WWJD, Jerry and Junia Babylon, were very kind, helpful and non-threatening. I felt comfortable there so over the course of my homelessness I’d come back. While I did stand in the circle, I would not participate in prayer…except maybe to pray that we’d hurry up and get to the food!

Around the Spring/Summer of 2012 I went to Iowa Hill Church, just to see if they served food. (Food is important to homeless people.) I met a non-local whose name was Heather. We would chat on occasion. I learned we had the love of nature, outdoor adventures, strong will and perseverance in common. I was gold mining on the American River during this time.

Sometimes she would come down and help for a day. The trail we used to go down to and come back up on is no small task. It’s about a 2000′ elevation drop in less than a mile. Perseverance, strength and probably a little stupidity was required of anyone wanting to take such a trail.

Her visits meant a lot to me, I enjoyed her company and she worked hard and never complained. It didn’t go unnoticed that Jesus would always enter our conversations. More and more I would ask, not just because I was curious, but because she would light up. She exuded a natural, free, uninhibited love and passion for Jesus that was very infectious. While on one hand I wanted to share her enthusiasm, on the other I was terrified for things were happening in and around me that I wasn’t capable of dealing with. Surely, I could not share these “things” with my friend Heather, lest she not like me. (This was my thinking.) So, I focused on all the wrong “things.” Keep in mind I’m pretty much living on the river, mining for a living.

By summer 2013, I had dug a pretty big hole, both literally and figuratively. The physical hole I was mining is now about 20′ in diameter and ranges from 2′ to 8′ deep. It’s massive. One day while digging on the “up” river side of the hole I encountered a slab of bedrock; the way it fell created a small cave, but one I could fit into. I built steps leading to it. It was my plan to crawl inside and collapse the wall. Yes, I was planning suicide. No one knew of my thoughts or intentions.

Heather had called and asked if she could come down and help dig. I said, “Sure”. I did want to see her and enjoy our mining time together, but I didn’t want her to find out what was going on in my head. I intentionally set us up to dig on the “down” river side of the hole. Pretty soon I noticed her looking over towards the “up” river side where my cave was. She said, “Debbie, I really think the gold is over there. Is it ok if I dig there?” I really didn’t want her to but let her anyway. After a couple of whacks with the shovel the entire wall caved in. My steps, my cave and my tomb were gone. I was not real happy, but what could I say.

By fall 2013, my gold production was getting thin, I was getting thin, and my will to live was getting real thin. I would find myself praying, then I’d get mad at God. “How could you do this to me.” What have I done to deserve this?” I was throwing one big pity party. Immediately following one of my pity-parties, He showed up. All he asked was “Are you ready yet?” I said, “No.” Not a meek little no, but an emphatic NO!

A week or so later I’m on my knees praying for gold. “God, if you’ll just put a pennyweight of gold in this bucket, I’d be ready.” Yeah well, that didn’t work so good for the gold production got worse. Finally, it became winter. I was cold, broke, broken, and not getting gold. I fell to my knees, crying and praying “God, please take me, remove me from my misery.” He shows up again, and he asks, “Debbie, are you ready?” I said, “Yes, I’m ready please take me.” He said, “I’m not taking you, you have work to do. Now climb out of that hole.” And he left. I remain in the hole; processing what just happened and thinking, once I climb out of the hole what do I do? I hear, “Go home.” So, I went home.

I then got a call from Heather asking me to do some work at her house. I usually try to have all of the work done before she gets home, but on the day I was doing the work she got home early. I’m clearly anxious about something. She asked, “What’s wrong?” I respond, “I’m scared. I gotta go home now.” She follows me to my car and I begin to pace, I am scared, ok terrified. Finally, I said “I’m ready,” and she says, “Ready for what?” I said, “I’m ready to live a life of grace, but, I gotta go home.” I am trying so hard to get out of this but it’s not working. She says, “If you are ready, then I am here and will make time for you.” I do end up staying, but believe me when I say I was scared.

We are sitting at 90 degree angles to one another. I’m in a chair, I’m freezing because I’m scared, my arms are crossed and shoulders tense, great body language. She’s walking me through the process of accepting Christ. She starts to pray and I am supposed to repeat this prayer. After a couple of lines she reaches over and touches my arm. At the same time I felt a very large hand being placed on my left shoulder. I begin to feel warm and relaxed but I’m having trouble concentrating on the prayer because of the large hand that was upon me, which unbeknownst to me at the time was Jesus. That was an awesome experience and I accepted Jesus Christ in February 2014.

In April 2014, I returned to WWJD. They have grown since 2008 and they are now feeding and helping 40+ people every Tuesday. I now volunteer with them. Remember how I wouldn’t pray in the beginning? Now, I give testimonies and pray, pray, pray. We take approximately 15 bags of food plus surplus up to Iowa Hill to help feed the community. The Iowa Hill Store has a Community shelf where people can get food at any time. If there are left over perishables, you can count on Pricilla to cook something up and feed anyone who comes into the store.

I was not humiliated to be homeless rather, I have been humbled by the experience and the many, many lessons I have learned from it. I believe this was God’s way to place me upon His path, to do His works for Him and through Him.

I am forever blessed; I am coached and mentored by some very special people whom I love. I will always treasure these individuals who have seen beyond the superficial and into the essence of who I am, and who I will become, rather than condemn me for who I was.

Thanks To Our Suppliers

We wish to acknowledge and thank the kind receipt of food, pastry, and other items for our feeding programs from the following agencies. Their kind support is well appreciated. Without their aid, we would not have the resources to help as many people that we can presently support.

  • Placer County Food Bank
  • Colfax Starbucks

In addition, the people of St. Rose Catholic church provide bag lunches to the homeless in Roseville several times a week. The people of the Life Community Church join us in Roseville to provide a breakfast to the homeless every Wednesday morning.

May they all continue to walk in Jesus’ good graces.

January is “National Poverty in America Awareness Month”

January is “National Poverty In America Awareness Month“. It shares that “honor” with the following causes, events, and other miscellaneous items such as,

  • National Be On-Purpose Month
  • National Bird-Feeding Months
  • Book Blitz Month
  • California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month
  • Celebration of Life Month
  • International Change Your Stars Month
  • National Clean Up Your Computer Month
  • Creativity Month
  • Financial Wellness Month
  • Get Organized Month
  • National Glaucoma Awareness Month
  • National Hot Tea Month
  • National Mailorder Gardening Month
  • National Mentoring Month
  • Oatmeal Month
  • National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month
  • International Quality of Life Month
  • National Radon Action Month
  • Rising Star Month
  • Self-Help Group Awareness Month
  • Shape Up US Month
  • National Skating Month
  • National Volunteer Blood Donor Month
  • International Wayfinding Month
  • International Wealth Mentality Month

I can understand “national clean up your computer month”. Hey, everyone with a computer should recognize that we all collect junk files, documents, web pages, and all of the other trash the comes flowing our way. But, “Oatmeal Month” or “National Mail-order Gardening Month”? Really …. Those are a bit on the “far side” of life.

OK, let’s ask the simple question “Who declares these items?

The answer is somewhat complicated. You see, back in 1957 two brothers by the names of William D. Chase and Harrison V. Chase decided to compile a list of calendar dates. There have been various dates floating around such as “National Horse Care Week” (retired) which no one was aware of its existence. So, they worked at creating a book of dates to list the various causes. They eventually published the book, called Chase’s Calendar of Events, and a copy was 32 pages and listed 364 entries. (That is almost one entry for each day of the year.) They sold 2,000 copies for the price of $1.00 each.

By 1959, the US Chamber of Commerce got into the act and the publication now included the “Special Days and Weeks” as part of the title. In 2000, the publication was sold to the publishing firm of McGraw Hill, where you can still buy a copy. It won’t cost $1.00, and it has more pages than the original. The most recent version is dated 2015 and costs $65 from Amazon. (Look for “Chase’s Calendar Of Events 2015.”)

The events are declared by congress when it is similar to “National Black History Month” (February), by state legislatures when it is like “California Dried Plum Digestive Health Month” or by some townships for various other items.

Events come from Presidential Proclamations such as “Mother’s Day”. (It was proclaimed in 1914 by public resolution.)

Events come from festivals such as “Ground Hog Day” or book and film items such as October’s “Starman Month” (the movie, not the general reference of a “star-voyager”).

Events even come from what would be political lobbies or organizations such as the egg council in the form of May’s “National Egg Month”.

There is even a suggestion box at McGraw Hill for ideas to contribute for days, weeks, or months. Anyone may make a suggestion.

National Poverty In America Awareness Month

Still, this month is National Poverty In America Awareness month. So, why did I include all of that above if what I wanted was you to focus on national poverty? Other than just wanting to give you some general information of a curiosity nature and keep you entertained a bit, I wanted you to keep reading.

serving the homeless in roseville

Fighting poverty and homelessness is what this organization is about. It is why we exist. We don’t just feed the homeless. Oh sure that is part of it; but we give them hope and a sense of the future. We try to find them jobs, give them some warm clothing, care for their needs, and in short offer kindness to those who have only kindness to give in return.

That is why we are here.

That is why we believe in what we do, even it if is inconvenient, even if it is defiant. We hope to change the mindset of some people and perhaps open their hearts. I know that is tough to do. Many people have closed their minds and sealed up their basic human compassion. But, we still try. We still feel that there is hope for humanity; for the human spirit, that sense of pride which helped define this nation.

Abraham Lincoln once wrote in 1863 that we were a nation dedicated to the principal that all men are created equal. He was referring to rights of one class of people to be equal to another. It took another one hundred years for the 1964 civil rights act to start a reality. The struggle is still is going on in some parts of this nation.

Poverty is everywhere in this nation. It is what is called “omnipresent”. It is on the sidewalk of every city, every town, every burrow, every district. You can see it in the faces of the people. Some push all of their worldly possessions around with them because they have no place to leave them. Many do not. They may hide them in a “secret stash” only to return later. Still others are not truly “on the street”. They stay on friends’ couches, with family, or are even bused from one church to another by other charitable organizations. And every person that is homeless looks just like you and you and you and me. Like you, a homeless person has two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth, and a mind. Theologians would also argue that we all have a soul. But, one thing that we all share is that we are all human beings. I do not ask that you offer everyone that you see a job or even money. Perhaps all that is needed is to wave your hand and smile. Who knows, you may even get a smile and wave in return.

If you want to help by giving money, then please consider contributing to this charity. We can definitely use it and would put it to good use. None of the people who work tireless for this organization are paid. We are all volunteers who give our time and talents to help their fellow man. If you want a charity that does not spend $400,000 on collecting $500,000 then perhaps you should consider ours. It is worth your time to look into us. If you do wish to contribute, then please do so. All contributions would be greatly appreciated.

Please see the contribution page here.

With your help it might not take another 100 years to fight homelessness and despair and poverty. Start it today; please.

Thank you for reading.

Christmas in Roseville

This is the crowd who served on Christmas Day, 2014. Christmas is a special day. It is normally spent with family. It is spent with Friends. Here are some of our family and friends.

Vito Amurao and friend
Vito Amurao drove the van and brought family and friends
Margo
Margo manned the side
Vito and his Christmas hat
Vito and his Chistmas hat
the morning crowd
The crowd of “our” friends
the morning crowd
Still more “friends” for Christmas
LaDon, Tom B, George, and Tino
Ladon Mellen, Tom B, George, and Tino.

New Years resolutions

This is the birth of a new year; a new year marked and delineated by the calendar. Have you given much thought of the calendar? It is a piece of paper which lists all of the days of the year on it. On some calendars, there is space to write items. Others are electronic. Others are simply just the dates in as small of a space as possible and are meant to be carried in a wallet. But, there is one thing in common. It is just a list of dates; one day after another.

Cosmologists will tell you that before the “Big Bang” there was no time. It did not exist. Time started when the universe came into existence and matter was created.

We live our lives by a calendar. We live our lives by a watch. It marks the passage of time. Sill, the first of a new year is a special occasion.

It is a time to reflect on the previous year. It is a time to plan for the next year. It is the only day when we move from one year to another. Many people have new year’s resolutions. In fact, about 80% of the people start the new year resolved to do something about their life. However only 30% of those who made the resolution still have it in Feburary. Most forget it in the first month.

Did you know the most common resolution is to take care of themselves; work out, join a gym, run more laps, walk more or eat better. Did you make a resolution? Do you know why most of the resolutions are not kept? The answer is simple.

They are not kept because people forget about them. Something happens and the resolution is no longer important. The kids need to be driven to school and so the trip to the gym is pushed off. The gang at the office wants to go out for pizza so the healthy lunch is saved “for tomorrow” which never comes.

Or perhaps your resolution is to help someone; a very magnamous resolution. Let me tell you the easiest way to do that. It does not take any personal commitment of yourself. If you have some spare change then contribute to a good charity. May I suggest one? I know a great one, deserving your spare change. How about contributing just $10 a month. That’s about two cups of coffee at Starbucks. What you can do is to simply set up a monthly contribution of that $10. Have it billed to your credit card. In addition, if your card gives you miles or cash back or some other rewards then it is just another added bonus!

Don’t make a single contribution of a large amount. It is rare that people have a large amount “free” and want to spend it. Just give a small amount, one that you can afford monthly. It all adds up over the course of a year and you will be amazed the number of people that your small $10, probably tax-deductible, contribution each month will help.

To set up the donation, please click here.

Or, you can continue to have your new year’s resolution that you will work out more at the gym which was last year’s to join but you never got around to it.