A Visit to a Recycle Center

So over spring break this year in keeping with our typical family fashion we opted to have an educational experience and visit a local recycling facility where my parents live in Lexington, KY. It was a great opportunity and I think the whole family liked learning about the process and how we can be better stewards of our resources. I have written about some of the highlights below.

1. Weighing in

The first part of the process is to make sure to account for the material coming in and going out of the recycle facility. Every truck that comes and goes gets weighed. This helps give an accurate account of what is being saved and reused as well as keeping track of the the accounting end of the business. So far this recycling center is not only helping to save the environment but has been able to pay for the center with the products that it has recycled. It pays for it self in more than one way.

2. The Dumping Floor

After the material has been weighed it is dumped onto the dumping floor. Workers then manually pick through items to make sure there isn’t anything that shouldn’t be in the pile. There is a bulldozer that is periodically pushing the items against the sorting wall to loosen the material and make room for more. And there is plenty more to come.

3. Shaking and Tossing

Next the items are picked up by a forklift and tossed into a bin that slightly shakes the material helping to loosen the compacted items more so it is prepared to go to the manual picking/sorting station.

4. Sorting the materials

After the material has reached the belt line it is sorted through manually as well as by using several unique machines. The steel items are picked up magnetically and sorted from the rest. This facility just acquired a new machine that sorts the aluminum cans by using two negative polarized magnets to pick up the cans and propel them through a two story shoot. Items are sorting and placed into different large containers to get ready to package for shipping.

5. Getting it ready to ship out

Finally items are ready to get compacted and packaged ready to ship out to various recycle vendors. Various different vendors take the materials and reuse them. The trucks come and pick the items up and weigh on the way out of the facility, giving the center an idea of how much material has been saved and reused.

I was amazed at this facility how many types of items were being recycled; paper products, steel and aluminum cans, plastic containers, glass and other items.They have a dedicated employee that even looks at items they aren’t currently being recycled and pursues ways that vendors can reuse them. This facility services the city as well as other surrounding cities and counties. Even items that can’t be recycled at this plant are still being collected and transported to other facilities that can recycle items such as car parts, household items and electronics. Their goal is to be Net Zero and to strive for 100% reuse of products in the near future.

Some of the uses for the recycled materials so far:

  • Paper- furniture products, recycled paper products such as newspaper and paper towels, napkins,plates toilet paper.
  • Aluminum- new cans, furniture, car parts
  • Steel- new cans, furniture, cars, machines ect.
  • Glass- new bottles, glass art, other glass products
  • Plastic- plastic ware, carpet and even Fleece products!

I would say they are off to a good start.

The tour was truly educational and really made me think about how we treat our environment and things I can do as an individual to help make this world a better“Greener” place to live in now and in the furniture. I am encouraged to see so many people coming together to make our nation a more sustainable environment and a healthier place to live.

I encourage you to check out facilities and recycling programs in your area. Many government, schools and corporate initiatives and programs are available and waiting for you or your organization to be a part of.

Think Big, Start Small but START!

SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF RECYCLING Recycling reduces waste that goes to landfills and produces revenue for our city. Besides reducing waste, recycling also:

Saves Energy: Recycling one aluminum can saves as much electricity as it takes to run a television for three hours.

Conserves Natural Resources: Recycling a four-foot stack of a local newspaper produces as much paper pulp as a 40-foot pine tree. Bottles and jars can be used to replace high grade sand, soda ash, limestone and feldspar in making new bottles.

Improves the Environment: Pollutants from manufacturing processes are reduced through recycling–50% for paper and 90% for aluminum

Strengthens the Economy: Reclaiming resources from our waste puts money back into the local economy and provides many jobs in the recycling industry.

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Car Preparation for an Emergency. Surviving the Unexpected

 

Great information from my Friend Earlene Young at Life Essentials on Car Preparation. Are you prepared to survive the unexpected?

Car Prep

Whether you’re evacuating a flood in Tennessee, Pennsylvania or Ohio, or  Hawaii and

California as a result of tsunami waves from the earthquake in Japan, you could end up on your own.  If you’re not at home when a disaster strikes, your vehicle could become your only way of escape or even your only place of shelter. 

With this in mind, there a certain items that you should carry in your car at all times.   You could get caught in a blizzard, break down in the mountains or in a desert area or be stranded by an earthquake or other natural or man-made disaster. 

The essentials for life are shelter, water and food, sanitation, and first-aid/survior aid.  Keep these in mind.

Always carry a first-aid kit.  You could be the first one to arrive on an accident scene or be the one needing aid as the result of an accident.  It doesn’t have to be expensive; you can put your own kit together.  Be sure to have some pain relievers.

Water is more important than food.  You can only survive for about 3 days without water, so carrying a few bottles of water could save your life.  Food should be snacks that won’t be compromised in a hot car.  Carry either vacuum packed snacks or shelf-stable items.  Snacks like nuts and trail bars will give you the protein.   Consider carrying Coast Guard Approved survival bars, http://www.survivorind.com.   They have a 5 year shelf life.

I always carry a backpack with a couple emergency ponchos, emergency blankets, a regular blanket and a large metal cup to boil water if I run out of fresh water and have to find water.  (I also carry a travel mug that plugs into the power socket)  If I’m going to boil water I have to be able to build a fire.  I carry water proof matches, a lighter and a fire starter with tinder, a couple of glow sticks, a flashlight and a whistle.  You should have several plastic trash bags and a roll of toilet tissue.  I keep a roll of tissue paper inside a coffee can in my vehicle.   Carry some nanny wipes, hand sanitizer and a toothbrush and toothpaste.  I also carry a good knife.   If you’re going to carry a multitool, get a good one.

Hyperthermia can happen at 55 degrees, especially if you get wet.   Always carry a coat, hat, boots and a pair of leather gloves.  You’ll need them for changing a tire or digging out of a ditch or walking for help if you have to self rescue.   Also, you should carry a change of clothes.  If you have to shelter in place or evacuate, you’ll want a change of clothes.

You should always, always, always carry a spare tire and jack.   No exceptions.  Check it often to make sure the spare has air. 

Change your wiper blades at least once a year.  The winter weather, salt and snow deteriorate wiper blades as does the hot summer sun.  Keep your car maintained. Check belts, hoses, fluid levels, and tires.

Carry a pair of jumper cables.  If you often travel in remote areas you should consider carrying a jump box.  Unless you’re a mechanic, a few simple tools will be all you need to carry. A pair of vise grip pliers and a pair of regular pliers, a flat screw driver, a Phillips screw driver, an open end and a box end wrench to fit <span>your</span> battery cable ends should be about all the tools you’ll need.  Duct tape can be used to temporarily bind a leaking radiator hose or patch a broken tail light lens.  Electrical tape is great to repair an exposed electrical connection or bandage a cut. 

You should always carry a good flashlight and flares.  A pry bar can be used to straighten a fender that’s rubbing a tire after a fender bender.  You may want to carry one of those mini-air compressors.  If you spare is flat or you have a low tire.  If you find a nail or screw in your tire, leave it until you get to a service center.   Carry a bag of kitty litter in the winter for traction on ice and a small shovel.

Keep a good pen or sharpie and pad in the car.  If you have to leave your vehicle, you need to leave a note telling rescuers which direction you went and if you were alone or with someone else.

Put your mind to this.  Imagine that you can’t get home from work tomorrow.  What do you want in your car and in your backpack to get you through the next 72 hours minimum?  Or imagine that you have to get in your car and evacuate because of a chemical spill or other event.  You want your kit in your car and a go bag in the house that you can grab and go.   Scenario planning is the best way to prepare.

This has been an emphasis on you being on your own, in your car.  If you have a family you’ll want to plan accordingly for evacuating  your home with your family or sheltering in place.   Log on to http://www.redcross.org  for information on getting a plan, getting a kit and getting ready to survive the unexpected.

Earlene Young

Life Essentials …..Preparing Business to Survive the unexpected

902 Tuckahoe Drive

Madison, TN  37115

615-310-4674

http://www.survivetheunexpected.com

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Still On The Same Page

This morning I saw a tweet from some friends of mine Justin and Trisha Davis. They have a marriage ministry called Refine Us. Their story is incredible and you should definitely check out their blog. The tweet was for a new blog entry they had written called “Not on the Same Page”. The post relates to a husband and wife not always being aligned with one another.

Maybe my thoughts were skewed from hearing Pete talk at Cross Point yesterday on the subject, but at first glance what I saw was “On the same page”. My first initial thoughts had nothing to do with my marriage, or what the Refine Us post was about,but just about my life in general. My thoughts were

“Not on the same page,yes I am still STUCK on the SAME page!”

Since our house was flooded back in May in the Nashville Flood my life has just seemed to stop at the same page. It is like reading a book at bedtime and you have to re-read the darn page 20 times because you keep falling asleep. You can’t move on to the next page and on to the next chapter. You are just so tired. You feel lost and don’t know what you just read.

This is my page I re-read everyday.

The details just don’t seem to go away. There is always something related to the flood that keeps hovering over my head. Whether it is finances, tax filing, house renovations, worrying about termites, mold….. the list goes on. I am just plan tired from it all.

Then I start to think about things more. There have been lots of times in life where I have felt like I have been on the same page forever. You wonder how long can God keep you in this state of ambivalence.

When will things get better?

When will you be healed?

When can you finally move on to the next page and the next chapter?

The answer varies each time. I think it does depend on faith, coupled with growth in character. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get a growth lesson. Yes I am blond, so maybe that has something to do with it. ; )

All in all though ,I trust God’s timing is perfect. Sometimes I just hate the wait.

    Ecclesiastes 3:11
    He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (NIV)

So what page are you stuck on? What are you ready for God to move along in your life? Love to hear your thoughts.

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My Hiding Place

Yesterday at Cross Point we started our “More” series. Over the next several weeks we are exploring what life would be like if we did not settle for the mediocre. What if we could get “More out of Life”. 

A couple of the points that Pete brought up really got me to thinking.

The first was related to our hiding place.

Where is it that we go to hide that keeps us from reaching our full potential in life?

He threw out a few suggestions, fear, pride, procrastination,failure. I didn’t really relate to any that he mentioned, so it got me thinking ….what is MY hiding place?

 After evaluation, I think I nailed it, Guilt and Inadequacy.

I think several of you can relate. During my younger years it would be more the inadequacy that dominated. I am the youngest of two and a “PK”- aka preacher’s kid. Everyone always seemed to have such great expectations for us. My sister always held the bar high as far as academics, appearance and personality. Being only a little less than two years younger, this could be a little daunting at times. I always felt like I was competing in everything. During my teen years this became increasingly hard and other verbally abusive relationships just made that inadequacy stand out even more. I never felt like anyone noticed me or really cared, especially not God. If he did care,then why were things so hard. It became my crutch. So I would go to my hiding place, not developing my true potential, because after all I wasn’t “good enough” for anyone and especially not God.

Of course, when someone feels unworthy and inadequate, that usually leads to behavior to find worthiness, that can lead to feelings of guilt and then to being unworthy again.

A vicious cycle I couldn’t break.

There were moments where I had a person or two invest in me and I did grow. What I realized after those seasons passed, was that acceptance by others does not equal growth….. only acceptance by God.

As humans we often are drawn to what we are used to, so that cycle didn’t really change when I got older. In fact, it got worse. I continued to have unhealthy relationships that led to needing acceptance and produced feelings of guilt. It wasn’t until after my divorce about 6 years ago, that I finally wrestled with this guilt and sense of inadequacy. God truly came beside me in an amazing way to help me rest in him as my hiding place. I truly think since that moment I have quit feeling sorry for myself. I quit beating myself up over things I had done and couldn’t change and really started to embrace the “More” in life that he had for me.

Psalms 32:7 “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

What a BLESSING?

I know what you are thinking, because I have felt it myself.

I have cheated on my husband or wife.I have been dishonest in business. I have withheld love or verbally abused my family and kids. I am addicted to gambling, drugs, alcohol, sex, food. I gossip. I am prideful about my appearance. I have a disability.The list can go on small and large. It doesn’t matter. It all produces feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

So it poses the question-

?How Can God possibly use ME?

Well to some of you this may seem like a surprise and to others you already know this …… but have you really taken it to heart?

I am convinced that God uses the most messed up people!

A few examples:

  • Genesis Chapter 9: Noah got drunk, yet he was the one person that God thought was worthy to carry on civilization. Noah believed and obeyed. He wasn’t perfect but he did Great things.
  • Exodus:Moses was a murderer, fearful and even had a speech impediment. Yet he finally consented to letting God use him and he is only one of a couple of people who had such a close relationship with God that he actually was able to be in his presence face to face. He led the Israelites out of Egypt.
  • 2 Samuel 11:David was a real piece of work. He was a murderer, adulterer, filled with pride. Yet, his heart for the Lord was so pure in his confession of his sin, that his relationship with God was unprecedented. The lineage of Jesus came from the birth of a child from a women who he married after having an affair with her. David was greedy and had her husband killed after he found out that he had impregnated her. He wanted her for himself as well as to cover his wrong doing. The child of the affair died, however, God still used David and his lineage to bring forth the biggest offering of grace and sacrifice through his son Jesus!

So for goodness sakes, if he can use them to do such big things, how can we be so arrogant to think he can’t use us despite our messes and disabilities!

This is not to say that their aren’t consequences to our actions. There are. Sometimes BIG ones. When we let God shape us and find our hiding place in him and not other things, it gives him the ability to do “MORE” through us. I love this because that is where I was six years ago.

The last thing that stuck me,I will mention briefly, but I think it is important to note. Everyone is not called to be in the spotlight, to do something “Big” in the eyes of men. Everyone is not called to go overseas for missions, or preach from a pulpit, or be the popular one. Sometimes, it is not the big leaps of faith that brings us more out of life. Sometimes it is the little steps. Maybe you are called to love or befriend one person who won’t get you public recognition. Maybe your “job” ,whatever God has called you to be, is to be ethical and open in your faith no matter where he has placed you, so he can shine brightly through you to bring ” MORE” in your life and the life of others. God calls us to a life of obedience in faith.

Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”

 

Come out of hiding and soar to new heights….

Take that first step of faith …. there IS MORE out there!

What is holding you back from getting “MORE” out of life? What is your hiding place?

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Upon Reflection of The Balancing Act

I am getting ready to do one of my least favorite things….. Balancing my checkbook. UGH!

So this got me thinking… “Why do I hate doing it so much?”

Upon further reflection this is what I discovered about myself.

I am sure at least some of you can relate. : )

The first thing I do once I have everything in front of me is to quickly scan over the entries since the last time I balanced. Now, sadly enough I am scanning over to find mistakes, possible misreads of my writing or just plain possible miscalculations. I am already preparing that I will have mistakes. That way when I am off by a certain amount I may have some clue as to why.

REALLY….. argh already I am second guessing myself. Maybe because I don’t take long enough on the front end to make sure each entry is written correctly and legibly. hmmm

I rationalize to myself…..well I was in the line at the store and was in a hurry to get here or there and so I just quickly wrote it down, or saved it for later entry (which never works) and so now I can’t read it at all, or worse I didn’t even enter it!

 Are we really that busy that we can’t stop and do something so simple correctly. Must we always be in a hurry.

So then I continue to check off every detail of the last month. This really starts to get me now. I spent how much on what? I bought that because why? I am not going to have enough to live on!I hate having to relive every transaction related to money. It really shows what I find of value. Sometimes, it is pretty basic, but other times I realize how much I am blessed with and how little I show it monetarily.

“Balancing my checkbook is like an examination of my soul.”

Sometimes I do not like what I see.

So after examining my months details ,I have to add up the coming and going to see what is left. I hate this part. It rarely EVER balances the first time when I subtract what I have spent from what is available. I am then on a mission to find what is wrong.

My husband laughs as I blame the bank, blame the establishments I have purchased items from ect. ,but 99.9% of the time it is ME that is to blame. I just would never want to admit that out loud. It is usually my carelessness, miscalculations or writing that is to blame. But I am quick to tell the one time that is was the bank that was off.

Finally, I get the blasted thing to balance. I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Like I was just that good. Yep that’s right…. I did it!

Oh My, this reflection is scary. I think I know why I do NOT like to balance the books.

I have been, mistaken, humbled, greedy,blaming and proud. Not the best of characteristics.

So it got me thinking that this year I will strive for the following:

  • Taking time to do things right the first time

2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as an approved worker who has nothing to be ashamed of, handling the word of truth with precision.”

  • Being thankful for what I have been given

1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

  • Being generous with what I have received

Deuteronomy 8:18 “Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

  • Accepting that I am not always right and accepting blame when I am wrong.

2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

  • I have help, it isn’t all ME when things work out! I can be excited but not boastful.

Psalm 48:14 “For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

Well off to balance the checkbook for the first time this year. Wish me luck! Hopefully, I will do it with a more positive attitude this time.

Happy New Year!

 

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Everyone is Useful and Special!

 

My daughter said the sweetest thing when we were hanging up ornaments this year that stuck with me. There was a broken snowflake ornanament,it was missing 2 spokes.I told her that we didn’t need to put it on the tree since it was broken. This was her response

 ” I think it is perfect- broken and all- I love it just the way it is. It is… beautiful I want to use it.” Wow!

Made me think for sure.That’s how God sees us. How many times have we felt useless because we have failed morally or because we have a physical or mental disability. We think God can’t use us. Yet it is in our brokeness that we are made whole.

Listen as he speaks:

Through Christ you are made perfect! I love you and will heal your brokeness. You are the only one like you and I think you are beautiful.I want to use YOU for my Kingdom purpose. 
 
 
 
 
 He wants to use YOU! Will you let him?
 

Psalm 50:15- NAS

And call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
 

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Peter 2:24 ESV

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

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Work-A Gift From God or a Punishment?

So today I braved the nasty weather to head to the monthly Tennessee Christian Chamber Luncheon. The subject was ” The Theology of Work”. The speaker was the president of Travecca Nazerene University, Dr. Dan Boone. Dr. Boone was a very prolific speaker and was full of insight on the Christian perspective of work.

Here are my take aways from the meeting that really touched me.

Do you consider work a Gift from God or a Punishment?

Most people would say that work was a punishment from God. When in actuality work existed before the fall, however, it wasn’t until after the fall that we actually perceived it unsatisfying.

Dr. Boone used the book of Ecclesiastes to explore this topic. This book has a great deal to say on the subject of work and toiling. Below are some insights that really hit home to me.

The first comes from Ecclesiastes 4: 4

And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

“Ouch!”

That is from the 2 x 4 that just hit me over the head.

Think about this for a minute. We work or rather toil endlessly so when we compare ourselves to others we can have the upper hand. We say “I have to do this or that so I can have this or that or so I can look like this or that.” We wear ourselves out! It is all about slaving to please man in the present instead of our creator. The comparison game will kill you.

Rather, if we would look at our job as a means to provide for our family and give us the creature comforts we need in this world, we can see work as a blessing or a gift. Being grateful for our job that provides even when it is hard or not glamorous is truly a sign of maturity in ones faith. Sure, God delights in giving us the desires of our hearts, but he first wants to know we are grateful for what we currently have. When you see work as a gift and not a drudgery your whole attitude is different.

Work becomes toiling when we worry about our future. We hoard up riches, and create future anxiety about money. Will there be enough? I must work hard to assure my future. So our work is stressful because there is never enough money and we waste time worrying and working for things that will inevitably disappear, instead of using our work for things eternal.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-12

10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
   whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
   This too is meaningless.

 11 As goods increase,
   so do those who consume them.
And what benefit are they to the owners
   except to feast their eyes on them?

 12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
   whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
   permits them no sleep.

So if you find yourself saying that your Work= your identity and self-worth, then you will find yourself sad and unsatisfied.

On the other hand if you equate Work as a sacrifice to God and a provision from him for your family, you  will perceive it as a Gift from God. Live your life knowing that God has a purpose for you right where he has you. Whether you are someone at home struggling with a disease, a manual laborer, a stay at home mom, or an executive in a big company, be grateful for the influence God has placed within you through your work, and USE IT for HIS GLORY!

I love how the 5th Chapter of Ecclesiastes ends. It sums it up perfectly.

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20

 18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

So what is your perspective;Punishment or a Gift?

My Maker’s Plan

To all there is a goal in life

Sometimes it is hard to see.

What may be right for others

May not be right for me.

 

I can’t stop to smell the roses

In someone else’s lawn

For the touch of jealous envy

Only brings on decline

 

I will forget about uncertainties

And be joyous of suspense

For the best things in life are spontaneous

And the grandeur more intense.

 

My life could be a hassle

With stumbling blocks array

Or it could be the best thing

That has ever come my way

 

It is all at how I look at life

My perception must be right

So I will give it to the Lord

And see it through his sight

 

For this way I know

My vision is clear

There is no need for worry

For God’s always near

 

All else will be

As he wills it to be

For I know that my maker

Has the best plan for me.

 

by: Anita Howell Ryan

 

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