Trends: Positive & Negative

For better or for worse? (July 2021)

A trend shown in the logo to the left may be a considerable negative for a business. Such a downward trend is likely to lead to considerable uphill struggle to get back to the starting point. Just like cycling.

Fortunately, this Excel chart is a positive delight to me and records my actual weight loss over the last eight weeks. This is deliberate and not through illness, so good news for me. Health may have motived the required effort, but the target is based on the Newcastle diet to reverse type two diabetes. For me, prevention not reversal, but there were other health related motives.

8 Week Weight Loss

My wife thinks I’ve started to look like I did in 2015 when I cycled over 154 miles (248 kilometres) in a day at a Kilo To Go cycling event. To demonstrate she sent me two photographs. It’s positively good that after eight weeks there are no more Kilograms to go for me. Target reached. It’s a negative that there won’t be another Kilo To Go sportive, the organisation has ceased trading due to insolvency according to Cycling Weekly. More highs and lows here, but the event in 2015 went well, it was called, “Flat Out in the Fens” because it was indeed flat. In this case, a level line was good news for me.

The toughest part of weight loss has been to see others enjoy their food, like the smell of fresh bread prepared by my son. It’s so easy to be jealous of what others have. I’ve had to wait for such pleasures to manage my weight. No bread for me, just three 200 calorie meal replacements and one 200 calorie dish of low starch salad or veg. I read online that to lose 1 KG a week requires the body to burn approximately 1000 calories more than it consumes every day to be down by the 7700 calories for the required ‘fat’ loss per week. This is easier at the start of a diet where I lost more than 2KG each week for a while. By the end, burning just 1KG was good news.

Hard work but I’ve been blessed. I will celebrate for me, but I won’t assume such effort would reward all similarly. Apparently, genome-wide genotype data, shows that persistent healthy thinness or severe obesity, can be inherited.  Issues of nature and nurture. It’s not all about eating and exercise, although it may be for many, particularly in the “developed” world.

I’ve been going through a lot of medical tests to try to clarify the cause of ongoing problems that are probably related to brain injury and/or resulting medication. Sometimes it is not easy to know whether you want low or high results. Lower ones were a positive for sleep apnoea and 24-hour water flow measures, but high has been positive for calories burned and steps walked. Even medical ups and downs can be a good thing.

Beyond pulse, trends in either direction can be good or bad news depending on the context. It can get a bit Topsy Turvy without understanding, and we must be careful how we judge what we see, especially in others. We need to be careful what we wish for too.

I’ve seen my daughter lovingly want nothing but the best for her own daughter. I do too! A mother once asked Jesus for something for her sons without understanding what she was requesting. Perhaps the right wish for the wrong reasons. (Mat 20: 20-28)

In response, “You don’t know what you are asking, Jesus said to them. Can you drink the cup I am going to drink? We can, they answered.” (Matthew 20:22)

This was a request to be best beside Jesus without understanding the cost of the self promotion. “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28)

There appear to be simultaneous ups and downs, positives and negatives here. This Topsy Turvey conflicted reality is perhaps best expressed in the famous, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Mattew 20:16) Life is full of simultaneous ups and downs and Jesus made it very clear that becoming a Christian would bring additional worldly challenges as well as joys. This cost is stated in the bible repeatedly, even if it’s not really talked about in a consumerist driven church community aiming to entertain, please and attract. This results in scripturally imbalanced teaching. A coin of real value may have two different sides. We need to hear and read all scripture to get a full understanding. The frequently used biblical example of a negative after a positive opportunity is, “Then he said to them all: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) We pick up our own cross of suffering whilst remaining reliant on the cross of Christ for a positive eternity with the family of God. Positives and negatives to understand theologically. Can we drink from his cup? Do we understand what we ask of God? Positives and negatives coexist everywhere physically too.

Are you going electric vehicle? Is it because you want to, or because it seems inevitable? Electric current is primarily the flow of electrons which exemplifies this need for both a positive and a negative. Which way does electricity flow? We often think of electrical charge circulating from positive to negative, which may be called ground in contexts like car maintenance. I’ll put Earth to one side but we need to take special care with the positives and not take them for granted. Alternating Current (AC), as found in our mains plug sockets, looks a bit like my pulse when viewed on an oscilloscope. The up and down sine wave pattern ‘∿’ for AC represents flow in each direction alternately.

The actual flow in Direct Current (DC) batteries must be easier to grasp. The current flows in one direction only. Unlike AC, one pole is always positive, the other negative. But electrons are negatively charged atomic particles, and that means electron flow and charge might be confusing even in DC. Electrons actually flow from negative to positive. We need both a positive and a negative pole in an electric circuit. Both parts are essential for our understanding and practical application. This is true scientifically and theologically. I’ll not charge for this low level charge banter. We need to do better to understand the choices we make. We need to remain grounded in Earthly reality before charging off. Like that mother, we often act hastily in, ‘now or never’ moments, rather than wait for, ‘now and forever’ eternity.

We need balance even at an atomic level. Atoms, out of which all things are formed have; those orbiting electrons (negative), protons (positive) and if you really don’t want to take sides, we have the neutral neutrons as a third particle. Are there more particles known now, in the days of the Hadron Collider? I am drifting beyond basic school science. We can never know and understand everything made by our creator.

As in a previous post, we might best just remember that Jesus is the first and last! Our Alpha and Omega. We must Trust in his love for us and that He does know best and wants the best for His children. He is with us during all our ups and downs, negatives and positives.

Christian commitment and obedience is an eternal positive. Full stop.

Diode of Grace

Grace flows from God to us, and should be allowed to flow through us to all. There may be, a diode like, will of God here. A consistent continuous direct flow of grace. To go with it we, should flow with it.

Jesus has been described as the bridge to God the Father. Is he my Wheatstone bridge too? With all lifes changes between positive and negative, named David Channon (DC), I certainly need bridge rectifier connection.

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