Thursday, December 31, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 21

BookMorning By Morning.

Author: Charles Spurgeon

Info: Copyright 2000: Nashville:  Thomas Nelson Inc.

Where acquired: Thrift store find.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #

What it's about:  Written in the 1860's, Spurgeon, a Baptist minister, shares daily devotions and meditations on scripture. 

Favorite Quotes

"A part of the host will this year tarry on earth, to do service for their Lord. If this should fall to our lot, there is no reason why the New Year’s text should not still be true. "We who have believed do enter into rest." The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance; he gives us "glory begun below." In heaven they are secure, and so are we preserved in Christ Jesus;  there they triumph over their enemies, and we have victories too. Celestial spirits enjoy communion with their Lord, and this is not denied to us; they rest in his love, and we have perfect peace in him: they hymn his praise, and it is our privilege to bless him too. We will this year gather celestial fruits on earthly ground, where faith and hope have made the desert like the garden of the Lord. Man did eat angels’ food of old, and why not now? O for grace to feed on Jesus, and so to eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan this year!" pp. 1-2

"Tell me where you lost the company of Christ, and I will tell you the most likely place to find him. Have you lost Christ in the closet by restraining prayer? Then it is there you must seek and find him. Did you lose Christ by sin? You will find Christ in no other way but by the giving up of the sin, and seeking by the Holy Spirit to mortify the member in which the lust doth dwell. Did you lose Christ by neglecting the Scriptures? You must find Christ in the Scriptures. It is a true proverb, "Look for a thing where you dropped it, it is there." So look for Christ where you lost him, for he has not gone away." p. 17

"Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover and sin in other cases brings broken bones." - pp. 138-139

"Earth should be a temple filled with the songs of grateful saints and every day should be a censor smoking with the sweet incense of thanksgiving."  p. 300.

What I Liked:
  • Spurgeon's wording is poetic at times, rebuking at other times, and the section on Song of Solomon where he describes the relationship between Christ and His church were downright sexy.  Sexy?  Yes.  Not sexy as in dirty, but sexy as in the purest form of intimacy between a beautiful unsullied bride, and the groom who is crazy and tenderly in love with her.
  • These reflections were full of faith.  They made me hungry for the Word.
  • It was hard to read just one entry per day, yet they were so full that I couldn't absorb their entire message in a 24 hour period.
What I didn’t like: 
  • There are quoted passages with no references. 
  • The scripture passages quoted at the beginning of each entry is in a scripted font that makes the chapter and verse numbers hard to read.
To sum up:  I'd heard quotes from Spurgeon, but I'd never read any of his books.  Morning by Morning was an absolute delight to read.  I've already ordered the companion book Evening by Evening for next year's devotional time.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

See You Next Year: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


Share a favorite memory/moment from the week of Christmas.
Christmas week started out very sadly.  My oldest brother, Melvin, passed away and we had his funeral on the 21st.  It wasn't all grieving and sadness though. 
One of the items on my 101 in 1001 list was to be a secret sister/pal for someone for a year.  This was something we did ages ago at my home church and I felt God wanted me to do this for someone at my new church.  Christmas day I revealed my identity to her.  We both enjoyed this year of secrets.  It was fun for her trying to find out who it was and fun for me trying not to give myself away.  That, our beautiful Christmas Eve service, and spending time with a couple of my nieces' and their kids were the highlight of my week.
If someone wrote a book about your life based on the past year, what genre would it fall under? What would the title be?
A horror novel called Aw, Hell Naw! by Steve Harvey.
It would be funny if it weren't so true.  This year was better than last year, but it still been a rough one. 
What made you feel patriotic this year?
Playing patriotic tunes with the Community Band at the Memorial Day weekend concert at the Community Center. 
What experience from this past year would you like to do all over again?
Riding the entire Ladiga Trail on my birthday.  I may do it again for my next birthday.
What song lyric sums up or is a reflection of your 2015?
I'm through with you.  I don't want to be your just for fun.  Don't want to be under your thumb.  All I want to be is DONE.
On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate 2015?  (10=stellar) Why?
I'd give it a 5.  Like I said, it was rough. 
What part of the upcoming year are you most excited about?
Trying again to get it right.  Hopefully new possibilities and opportunities.
Insert your own random thought here.
Happy new year, y'all.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The $30,000 Question: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, December 27, 2015
 

Outside my window …  After days and days of nothing but rain, we had a brief reprieve this weekend before it cranks up again tonight.  A day off from work and no worship team practice gave me a chance to get out on the Jacksonville end of the Ladiga Trail for a nice long walk.  The stream near the train depot was higher and running more briskly than ever.









I am thinking...   about goals for the new year.  Life goals, blogging goals, fitness goals, reading goals, you name it.  I'll get things down on paper this week and most likely start on some of it before the year starts.

I am thankful...  for safety during all the flash flooding we've had here in Alabama.  I'm thankful for the start of a new year.  I'm thankful for improving health and vitality.

From the Workshop...  After my long project, I took a short crafting break. I'll be back to it this week.
 
I am reading...  I finished Good News of Great Joy by John Piper.  The review is here.  Got just a few more days to finish up a couple of books, then a whole new challenge will start.  I haven't decided what to call it yet, but when I do, I hope you'll join me.
 
I am looking forward to...  The new year.  It's like a fresh page to write or a blank canvas to paint.  I'm looking forward to the new 5k race season.  None of the dates have been set for the races I'm thinking of doing, but I think my first race will be the Parker Memorial Pancake Run in March.  The next couple of months will be for training and getting my mind right.
 
And now for something totally different...

I'm often told that I don't sell my art for enough (generally by people who never purchase it).  I suppose now I should add my friendship to the list of things I sell too short.  I've been reading articles and blogs by respected leaders.  I've got great respect for people like Dave Ramsey, John C. Maxwell, and Joyce Meyer.  I'm still having trouble relating to Jon Acuff and because of this, I'm seriously wondering about Michael Hyatt...or maybe I should wonder about myself.  This guy can actually get away with basically selling his friendship for $30,000?  Dang, if I just charged $500 a head for everyone who claims my friendship, I'd be out of debt in no time.  Of course, they wouldn't be my friend for long if it cost them $500, much less $30,000.  Am I missing something?


From Distractify.com: 25 Hilarious Tweets from 'Explain a Film Plot Badly' Hashtag.

From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted:  "How do you know you're a student pastor? You're preaching on the Sunday after Christmas."

From Twitter:  @ChrchCurmudgeon tweeted: "If your preschooler sings 'Death Star in the sky looks down where He lay,' you've been talking about Star Wars too much."

From Facebook:  D.Havens shared:


From YouTube:  A New One from the Southern Women Channel:  Warning, this one is a little more risqué than they normally are.


 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 20

BookGood News of Great Joy.

Author: John Piper

Info: Copyright 2013.  Minneapolis: Desiring God.

Where acquired: Free download from author.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #

What it's about:  Piper carries the reader through the Advent season by giving fresh perspective on the familiar Christmas story.

Favorite Quotes:  Note:  Page numbers refer to the PDF version of the book.  The MOBI (Kindle) version only had location numbers.

“The key that unlocks the treasure chest of God’s peace is faith in the promises of God. So Paul prays, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing’ (Romans 15:13). And when we do trust the promises of God and have joy and peace and love, then God is glorified.” - p. 12

“I feel so strongly that among those of us who have grown up in church and who can recite the great doctrines of our faith in our sleep and who yawn through the Apostles Creed—that among us something must be done to help us once more feel the awe, the fear, the astonishment, the wonder of the Son of God, begotten by the Father from all eternity, reflecting all the glory of  God, being the very image of his person, through whom all things were created, upholding the universe by the word of his power.” - p. 45

“Christ will really help us in our fight. He really will help you. He is on your side. He didn’t come to destroy sin because sin is fun. He came to destroy sin because it is fatal. It is a deceptive work if the devil and will destroy us if we don’t fight it. He came to help us, not hurt us.” - p. 53

What I Liked:

  • The author challenges the reader.  It's not simply, "God is love.  Love is God.  Let's color a picture about it."  The reader is given solid biblical evidence of the first advent of Christ and is challenged to be ready for the second advent of the Messiah.
  • The readings were short, but meditative.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Unlike most Bible based books, this volume does not include a notation of which Bible version is used.
  • Some of the selections tended to be a little repetitive and could have been combined into one entry while some of the additional information could have been included as a daily reading. 
To sum up:  This devotional was very helpful to me since I know next to nothing about Advent.  I plan to use this devotional again to celebrate next year's holiday season.  I would recommend it to a new Christian or a seasoned veteran of the faith.

If you are interested in this book, it is available for free download at
www.DesiringGod.org 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Marvelous Light: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, December 20, 2015
  
 


Well, I'm back from a self-imposed hiatus from blogging. There was a lot swilling around in my grey matter, but I just didn't feel up to writing it down. The 31 Days of 5 Minute Freewrites took me to a very dark place that I felt I needed to start working my way out of before I sat at the keyboard to create again.

There's been many happenings the last month, so be warned, this will be a long one. Grab a cup of coffee and sit down for a spell.
 
Outside my window …  Partly cloudy skies, crisp air with just a tap of coolness and the smell of the neighbors' fire places, and the sound of crunching leaves.

I am thinking...  

Melvin Brewster
1951-2015
...about my oldest brother, Melvin.  He passed away this week.  He was 63.

I'm pondering the coming year.  Many prayers and tears have gone up on my behalf; I don't want anyone to feel like they wasted their time.  I want to set some real goals and meet them.  Not pie in the sky resolutions, but real goals that will guide my life in the right direction.

I'm formulating my reading challenge for 2016.  What do I call it?  What are my reading goals?  How do I get y'all to participate with me? (Yes, that was a hint) 

I'm making decisions on what kinds of art to create in the coming year.  Art based on my photographs and creating Christmas cards tops the list right now.  Also, I want to figure out how I can find out about local craft fairs a little sooner than two weeks after they happen (Hard to participate that way). 

My 101 in 1001 list is on my mind.  I need to update it and get cracking some of the things I've started.

I am thankful...  for hope.  I'm thankful for mentoring and guidance.  I'm thankful for people who care even when I don't.  I'm thankful for the "little" things God does to answer prayers that may seem ridiculous to anyone else.  I'm thankful for my Savior's birth and the freedom to celebrate it.

From the Workshop...

Baby Elephant Hat

Made two of these peppermint afghans.
 
 
I am reading...  I finished My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  The review is here.  I've got several books in the works and hope I can finish them in the next two weeks.
 
I am looking forward to... 
  • Our Christmas Eve service.
  • Auntie spending Christmas day with some of her babies.
  • Tomorrow is Winter Solstice, so I'm looking forward to the days starting to get longer.  Have I mentioned how much I loathe the time change?
  • The new year truly being full of new things instead of the same old crap.
  • Reading new books.
  • Getting some sleep.

I am learning

Last week I learned from Pastor Staples that there is another stanza of Hark the Herald Angels Sing:

Come, Desire of nations come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the Woman's conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent's head.
Adam's likeness now efface:
Stamp Thine image in its place;
Second Adam, from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,
Glory to the Newborn King.

Powerful, isn't it?  Sadly, I've never heard anyone sing it, nor is it included in many hymnals.  It makes me think that we are missing something, no, missing a lot, by either not having all of the lyrics of songs in the hymnal or music book, or by having them in the books but never singing them.

Look, I know I'm still very new to being Baptist, but seems like singing all the lyrics of a song wouldn't throw the service too far into overtime.  Yeah, I can hear some of my Non-Denominational friends wagging their hair weave at me (I can tease, I are one of them too), BUT we've got our own musical sacred cows that need to be slaughtered.  I've seen many a lyric unnecessarily changed.  Not because of something questionable, something with heresy, or something just plain wrong, but because of "confession." 

Here's what I mean.

Many moons (and worship leaders) ago I was told once that we would either change the lyric "I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it" in the song Heart of Worship, or we wouldn't sing it at all.  Why?  According to the powers that be, they were "tired of being sorry."

To quote the great Lewis Grizzard:  Do what?

Can I tell y'all a secret?  I've been in some form of music ministry for 28 years, and it is rare that I finish a worship service feeling satisfied.  Out of the thousands (yes, thousands) of services I've participated in, there are maybe 20 that I can say, "Yes, I believe the musicians, singers/choir, Pastor (yes, he counts) and congregation (yes, they count too) were all in tune with the Holy Spirit.  Jesus was duly honored, and everything that was said and done pleased the Father."

Maybe 20.

We are so worried about making a good confession (or in this case impression) that we don't care about honoring God with true, unbridled worship.  Yes, I believe that our words are very important, and making proper scriptural confession is biblical.  However, God "calls the things that be not as though they were," (Romans 4:17) not "call the things that are as though they were not." 

Plus, it's not all about us.  As they say in Celebrate Recovery, "Don't forget the newcomer."  We don't know what others are going through, nor what impact what is sung or preached may have on them.  OK, sermon over...for now.

A favorite quote for today... 

"Both nations and individuals have tried Christianity and abandoned it, because it has been found too difficult; but no man has ever gone through the crisis of deliberately making Jesus Lord and found Him to be a failure." - Oswald Chambers

A few plans for the rest of the week:   Work and rest mostly.

And now for something totally different...

From Twitter:  @JonAcuff tweeted:

Talk I overheard my kids having:

My 12yo: I like NYC! There are so many types of people.

My 10yo: I know! In Nashville we only have hipsters

From Facebook:  D.Havens shared:  "Saw Star Wars last night. Can't believe Jar Jar is Darth Vader's father. Did not see that coming."

From Facebook: 






From Twitter:  @ChrchCurmudgeon tweeted: 

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But my coffee is so delightful
And since I've no place to go
I'm going to have another cup of coffee

From Facebook: 


From Facebook:  M.Getto shared:









From Facebook: G.Wade shared:

 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 19

BookMy Utmost for His Highest.

Author: Oswald Chambers

Info: Copyright 1935.  Grand Rapids: Discovery House Publishers.

Where acquired: Borrowed from a friend.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # 1/2

What it's about:  This is a year's worth of daily devotionals.  Each daily entry features a scripture passage and the author's expounding on the passage.  This volume has been deemed a classic that all Christians should read.  Well, I'm a Christian, so I guess I'm supposed to read it. I made my first attempt more than 20 years ago, but became very frustrated after about 60 days and gave up.  This year, I finished it.

Favorite Quotes

"If we imagine we have to put on our Sunday moods before we come near to God, we will never come near Him. We must come as we are." - p. 136

"At your Bethel you will find yourself at your wits’ end and at the beginning of God’s wisdom. When you get to your wits’ end and feel inclined to succumb to panic, don’t; stand true to God and He will bring His truth out in a way that will make your life a sacrament. Put into practice what you learned with your Elijah, use his cloak and pray. Determine to trust in God and do not look for Elijah any more." - p.  164

"God nowhere holds a man responsible for having the heredity of sin. The condemnation is not that I am born with a heredity of sin, but if when I realize Jesus Christ came to deliver me from it, I refuse to let Him do so, from that moment I begin to get the seal of damnation. “And this is the judgment” (the critical moment) 'that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light.'" - p. 206

"Never be sympathetic with the soul whose case makes you come to the conclusion that God is hard. God is more tender than we can conceive, and every now and again He gives us the chance of being the rugged one that He may be the tender One." - p. 263

What I Liked:
  • Chambers writing style is very intellectual.  In other words, he uses more complex language than other such reading material and one must actually ponder over what was said.  It's is quite understandable, but not an easy read. 
  • The readings were short.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The author is an absolute killjoy and I wonder if he was suffering from manic depression when he wrote it.  Anything that seems the most enjoyable, including our walk with Christ, he scoffs at.  It seems Chambers had forgotten I Timothy 6:17 - "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy."  Apparently Nehemiah 1:8 - "...for the joy of the Lord is your strength." wasn't in his Bible.  He's also forgotten his own words, "wherever the joy of God is not present, the death sentence is at work." (December 8th reading) By these writings, if he'd had his way, Chambers would prefer all Christians ball in the fetal position in a corner and cry, rather than show any joy.  This book could make you hate God, yourself, and others.
  • Chambers often uses the phrase "give up our rights to ourselves."  What does that even mean?  Plus, he makes God out to be a bully, ready to shame and humiliate His children into obedience. 
  • Many of the scripture passages are taken WAY out of context.  I had many experiences of asking myself, "What did I just read?"  Chambers explanations didn't make them any clearer.
  • There are quoted passages with no reference cited, so we have no way to know where the quote came from.  There are also reference abbreviations that are explained nowhere in the text.
To sum up:  I honestly don't see what all the hype is about this devotional.  That was a year where I could have been reading something more productive, more encouraging, and more faith strengthening (like the other devotional I will finish at the end of this year.  Instead, I spent too much time suffering through most of the entries.  I finally hurried through the last two weeks worth of reflections so I could be done with this mess. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 18

BookThe Weight Loss Mindset. (Kindle Edition)

Author: Sarah Patterson

Info: Copyright 2013.  TCK Publishing

Where acquired: Free Kindle Download.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # #

What it's about:  Patterson asserts that there are 10 common thoughts those who are overweight struggle with.  She discusses how those thoughts keep people overweight, or at least makes the struggle for health harder than it should be.

Favorite Quotes

"The truth is, nature and nurture may nudge you towards an unhealthy weight, but being overweight doesn’t have to be your fate. There are examples all around you that counter the beliefs you’ve accepted without scrutiny."  Location 114

"Dave Ramsey is famous for saying, “If you’ll live like nobody else now, you can live like nobody else later.” Meaning, live within your means now and you’ll have what you need and want later. It’s the same thing with food. It’s as if there’s a food budget you can work with. If you eat everything now, you will not have the health you need to be able to enjoy food later."  Location 153

"Give some thought to your attitudes about food. In reality, it is fuel. It is not an emotional crutch, a prize, a validation of your worth . It is to be enjoyed, but not gamed."  Location 234

"Not to be gross, but is food just something that you’re going to stuff into one hole and eliminate through another? Your perspective on food is a huge factor in whether you will be able to release the excess weight that you are carrying."  Location 367

"If you cannot support your health and your body by proper eating and exercise, all these other things that you think you’re so busy doing, will cease to be a problem for you because you’re going to end up sick or dead." Location 371-376

"Are you going to look at life as if it’s never going to go your way, that it’s a constant battle, that it’s hard? Or are you going to look at it as a joyful experience that’s full of opportunities? Can you see that you are fully equipped to face any challenge that comes your way? To enjoy the wonderful life you have every moment you’re here?" Location 422

What I Liked:
  • Many of the mindsets she dealt with were right on point for me. 
  • The writing style was conversational.
  • The author deals with why these thoughts derail ones efforts to gain health.  She doesn't simply say, "These thoughts are bad.  Stop thinking that."
  • This is not a "think yourself thin" book of psychobabble.  The author doesn't leave out the need for diet and exercise changes; she simply says that to do these things but still think negatively will stall one's efforts.
What I didn’t like: 
  • At 51 pages, the book was too short.  It contained some good starters, but it needed more practical solutions to change the damaging thoughts she describes.  Yes, she does deal with the what and why, but the book is lacking in the "how" department.
  • There was nothing of the author in the book.  She doesn't describe how she (or anyone else for that matter) defeated these thoughts, lost the weight, and kept it off.  Is it merely theory with her, or is she a fellow struggler?
  • This electronic edition had no real page numbers.
  • There were typographical and grammatical errors that any decent editor should have caught and corrected.
To sum up:  This book gave me incentive to tackle some of these damaging mindsets.  Since the author doesn't really offer any, I will have to seek out solutions to changing the thought pattern.  I would recommend this book to anyone who struggles with weight issues.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Chimney Peak: The Simple Woman's Daybook

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today:  Sunday, November 1, 2015
 

Outside my window …  One word: rain.

I am thinking...   Last week, I was thinking about how to handle a baby shower situation.  I decided not to make anything.  I just don't know them well enough to risk the possible rejection.

Speaking of rejection...

I think I should just write the words "So What?" on my forehead.  I got a dose of it online a while back.  No big deal; online BS is easy to minimize (if not eliminate) with the click of a mouse.  However, I'm getting it in person and it's really starting to burn my grits!  I'm tired of being a charter member of the Fraternal Order of Who Gives a S&%t.  Sorry to be so crass, but when I pour my heart out to people who claim to care and their response is "so what," I tend to get a little on the edgy side.

I'm considering suspending blogging for a little while.

I am thankful...  for sermons that give me hope, for a Pastor who meets you right where you are in your pain, rather than questioning your faith in God and belittling you for having a less than perfect life.

From the Workshop...  Still working on several projects.  No pictures yet.
 
I am reading...  Finally!  I finished They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat by Lewis Grizzard.  The review is here.  I also finished The Calling of Emily Evans by Janette Oke.  The review is here
 
I am looking forward to...  a couple of days off.  I'm not sure when they will be, but I am looking forward to them.

I am learning… that doctors should call their own patients, or at least make sure the receptionists don't overreact and freak people out.
 
A favorite quote for today... 

"Has he once failed to justify our trust? Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head he has held aloft the shield of our defence. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is, that he who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God, proves that he will keep us to the end. Let us not, then, reason contrary to evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as to doubt our God? Lord, throw down the Jezebel of our unbelief, and let the dogs devour it." - Charles Spurgeon

A peek into my days

Last Friday at work...

Our CEO, Shane, is a Tennessee fan (bless his heart).





















Last Sunday was Pastor Appreciation Day at church.  It was tough to sit through two services knowing I had nothing to give.  Maybe I can make it up to them at Christmas.

I found another pretty spot in our county.  I lived in JackVegas for more than 30 years and didn't know about Chimney Peak.  It's the highest point in the city.  I drove up there after church last Sunday.  With the fall colors popping out, the ride and the view were gorgeous.
 


Thanks to the couple there who were gracious enough to take a picture for me.
















A few plans for the rest of the week:   Nothing special.

And now for something totally different...


From Twitter: @ChrchCurmudgeon tweeted:  "Just a friendly reminder: If you don't like one of my tweets, treat it like the third verse of a hymn. Skip it and move on."

From Twitter:  @JimGaffigan tweeted:  "How many chapters are you allowed to have in a daily entry of a food journal?"

From Twitter:  @GregBQuotes tweeted:  "Rick, they have 'big and tall', but they don't have 'squatty and short', they don't have those sizes." On @BillBubbaBussey's Blue Jeans

From Bro Science webpage:




























From Facebook:  D.Goodman shared:



From Facebook:  D.Machen shared:



























From Facebook:  M.Michaelson shared:


















 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 31: "Almost"


GO!  

Oh, for the love!  I was hoping we'd end this thing on a happy note.

Along with "last," part of my name should be "almost."

I've had too many almosts in my life.  I'm ready to actually be something and accomplish something.

STOP!
 

I don't think I'll be doing this challenge next year--I didn't have a good experience with it.  It produced some of the most depressing blog posts I've ever written.  Have at it mommy bloggers.

Friday, October 30, 2015

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 30: "Bacon"


GO!  

"It's BACON!"

"Bacon's the best;  even the frying of bacon sounds like an applause.  (Sizzling sound)  Yay bacon!" - Jim Gaffigan

My friend Eric posted a video similar to this a couple of years ago.


There's been a lot of controversy surrounding bacon.  I'm not going to go all Jillian Michaels, so don't worry.  Too much of anything isn't good.

I've seen some strange concoctions with bacon; the weirdest was the recent trend of bacon milkshakes put out by several restaurants.

Saw this on the internet...


Wish they'd had these when I was a preschool teacher.  :)

STOP!
 

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 17

BookThe Calling of Emily Evans.

Author: Janette Oke

Info: Copyright 1990:  Bloomington MN:  Bethany House Publishers.

Where acquired: Free Kindle Book.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # 

What it's about:  Set in Calgary, Alberta in the early 1900's, Bible school student Emily Evans feels a call to the ministry.  Enduring many hardships, the Deaconess is sent to start a small parish in the community of Wesson's Creek.

Favorite Quotes

"When I marry--if I marry, Emily reminder herself, it must be to someone who shares my commitment, not robs me of it."  - Location 2793

What I Liked:
  • Though fiction, this book was based on the actual Missionary Church of the Canadian West.  This missionary workers endured many of the same hardships as the fictional character.
  • Emily's commitment to God was very encouraging.
  • This is only the second Kindle book I've read.  The first was on my laptop; this one was on my phone.  This one was much easier to handle. This was my 'waiting room" read that helped take my mind off things.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The book had real page numbers for a while.  I got about halfway through the book and instead of page numbers, I got position numbers.  When I went back to see if I could get them back, I couldn't.  Weird.
  • Typical for this author, but a little bit of unbelief always has to be thrown in.  I knew it was coming, but it's still annoying when it does.
  • SPOILER ALERT - I also found it annoying that the author just HAD to marry off the females in the story.  Are there any good Christian fiction novels that have strong single female characters that don't have to be married off to make the books "Christian Correct"?
To sum up:  The Calling of Emily Evans is a very interesting read.  The spiritual nature of her journey, plus the historical context makes for a pretty good book.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 16

BookThey Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat.

Author: Lewis Grizzard

Info: Copyright 1982: Atlanta:  Peachtree Publishers Limited

Where acquired: Thrift store find.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # # 

What it's about:  The early 80's found Lewis Grizzard in need of heart surgery to correct a faulty aortic valve.  The news sent him to his typewriter for not only a humorous account of the procedure and hospital stay, but a nostalgic look back at his childhood in Moreland, Georgia.

This is the book that introduced me to Grizzard's writings.  My 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Godsdin gave us the choice between this book and Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor.  Having never heard of either author, I chose Grizzard's tome solely based on the title.

Wait, you read this already.  Does it count as a read then?  Yes, it does. The last time I read this book was 30 years ago, which means I was 13 and didn't get nearly as much of the humor as I did this time.

Favorite Quotes

"Here are some other phrases to be careful of the next time you go to the doctor or spend any time in the hospital....'This might pull a little.' They used to say the very same thing to enemies of the state just before they put them on the rack.  If a doctor says, 'This might pull a little,' prepare for your kidneys to be yanked up to your throat.  I'm no expert on the anatomy, but your kidneys have no business in your throat." - p. 30

"The Forth of July barbeque drew people from as far away as Newnan, LaGrange, and Hogansville.  One year, a man from North Carolina was passing through and stopped in to partake.  He asked for cole slaw.  'What for?' somebody asked, 'There's plenty of stew and light bread.'  'I want to put it on my barbecue,' the man from South Carolina said.  I learned my first rule about barbeque that day.  You don't put cole slaw on it.  I think that's in Deuteronomy somewhere.  Somebody pulled a knife on the man and he got back in his car and went back to North Carolina." - p. 46

"Nobody drinks just one beer.  That's why they come in six packs." - p. 73

What I Liked:
  • The humor, of course.
  • Grizzard goes into just enough detail of his surgery without being morbid or too technical.
  • Chapter 4 was a serious chapter about his parents.  The story about his mother's teaching career was very touching.
What I didn’t like:  Can't really think of anything.

To sum up:  The fact that this book held my interest at a time when I didn't enjoy reading and has gotten better with time makes it a great read.  Thank you Terry Godsdin, wherever you are.

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 29: "Sea"


 
Calvary is the Sea
Your broken form upon the cross,
Your holy love expressed
Stirs a passion in my soul,
Calling me to give my best.

No sacrifice I could give to You
Could match what You’ve given me.
For my everything is but a drop of dew
And Calvary is the sea.
Calvary is the sea.

If I could take the love I feel
And capture it with words,
More than what my heart could give
Is still much less than You deserve.

No sacrifice I could give to You
Could match what You’ve given me.
For my everything is but a drop of dew
And Calvary is the sea.
Calvary is the sea.

If I should ever doubt Your love
My only prayer would be
That You would keep Your rugged cross
Etched upon my memory.

No sacrifice I could give to You
Could match what You’ve given me.
For my everything is but a drop of dew
And Calvary is the sea.
Calvary is the sea.


 
GO!  

 
Ahh, the sea.  That great representation of the love, grace, and peace of God.  The waves calmly lapping at the shore.  The sound of the rushing water is like a heavenly lullaby.  The rocking motion is as if God has me in His arms rocking me and telling me it will be OK.  In light of present circumstances, I need two double handfuls of it.

We've had to write a lot about calm, silence, and hope in this challenge.  I don't know if God's trying to tell me something, or if it's the mommy bloggers wagging their collective finger saying, "You should need nothing.  We are the moms.  We are the martyrs in need of a respite.  We are the ones who should get peace, calm, and 'me' time.  Who are you?"

Either way, I know what I need and why I need it.  I'm going to get it whether anyone thinks I deserve it or not.

I need the peace. 

I need the grace.

I need the calm.

I need the sea.

STOP!
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 28: "Hope"


 
GO!  

We just did this word a couple of months ago (?!).  Well, let's have at it again.

Years ago, I heard Creflo Dollar describe biblical hope as "anticipation with an outstretched neck."  I like that description.  You do have to put your neck out to have hope.

Recently, I've heard a couple of sermons that have brought me a glimmer of new hope. 

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so the fear is that my hopes will be dashed to the ground.

STOP!
 

Chocolate Time Outs: The Weekly Hodgepodge

Want to join the party?  Go on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

 
 Are you comfortable with silence? If you're home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What's your favorite place to find silence/be silent? 
It depends on the type of silence.  There are angry silences where the atmosphere is so thick it could choke you.  But there is the comfortable silence--a silence that calms the mind and brings rest to the body.  I need some more of that restful silence.  I also need some alone time where I'm the only one making any noise.

View from Chimney Peak
I'm in the process of hunting some of those quiet spots to read, write, create, pray, study, or just chill.  On my list so far is:  the library, upstairs in the hot tub at the Y, my front porch (maybe), the parks on the Ladiga Trail (though on the Weaver end there's nowhere clean to pee), and up to Chimney Peak in JackVegas.  How does that sound?  I'm also thinking of taking a Yoga class at the Y. I've already talked to the instructors and they don't do any of the Hindu meditations; they focus on the stretching and breathing.  Seems like that might be quiet and calm.
October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can't let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let's say you can have one of the following right this very minute... a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie...what's your pleasure?
No, I'll not be celebrating.  By the way, isn't it ironic that National Chocolate Day is just before Halloween?  I see a conspiracy.  Who comes up with these National Days Of...?
Given the choice, I'd take the ice cream.
How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don't own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?
"Men's jeans are sized by length and width and they usually fit, but women's jeans are sized by someone who hates women." - Ellen DeGeneres
I've become a huge fan of stretch jeans. I have two pairs of them.  I don't own a blue jean jacket, though I would like to have one.  I'm also on the hunt for a blue jean vest.  
We're not allowed to wear blue jeans to work, so I usually wear mine to church. 
Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?
Nope.


If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?


My outfit from the Woodstock race.  Or, I can make a makeshift Batman/Batgirl outfit.  I've got a Batman T-shirt, black stretch pants or shorts, and a cape.  Hmmm.. and they DID say we could dress up for Halloween at work and I AM working Saturday...

What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?
Sometimes driving scares me.  People are crazy!  I deal with it, take an alternate route, or if it's really bad, pull over and calm down.
Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.
Get a good night's sleep.
Insert your own random thought here. 
I've got a doctor's appointment Thursday.  I hope I get some definite answers about how to stop feeling like 9 miles of bad road on a semi-constant basis.  You know it's bad when I, at 43, can't get through a Silver Sneakers workout.  Yeah, that happened.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 27: "Perhaps"


 
GO!  

Perhaps, maybe, possibly, peradventure...

What seems impossible can be made possible.

What does perhaps mean in my life?  I'm really not sure.

I want to turn this impossible life into a possible--perhaps life. 

Perhaps, not haphazard.  A life where God's grace is revealed in a way that makes others ask if there are impossibilities that can be turned into maybes--perhaps in their own lives.

I feel like this is a ramble, but I know what I mean.

Do you know what I mean?   Perhaps?

STOP!
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 26: "Whisper"


Proverbs 16:28 - A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
 
GO!  

Have you ever played the Whispering Game?  That fun game where someone is given a message and each person down the line is to whisper it to the next person?  Never in the history of me playing that game has the message ever been close to the original.  Fun when it's a game, but momentously frustrating in real life.

Too many times satan uses others to pass the message of the Gospel incorrectly.  We are told that we must earn salvation through good works, rather than through the blood of Christ.  If that doesn't work, then he whispers untruths or half truths about what the Christian life is or is not.  Pass it along enough with just a little alteration each time and the message ends with something the Lord never intended.

What's the lesson?  No matter who is whispering in your ear, go back to the original source to know what is true.

STOP!
 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

31 Days of 5 Minute Free Writes 25: "Crash"


 
GO!  

I've had some great crashes in my life:

The crashing of a tiny preschooler's body against my leg, wrapping her arms around me for a hug. 

The thunderous crash of cymbals with the crack and rumble of drums on the marching field during halftime.

The crash of the waves at the gulf and the ocean.

I need some more of these crashes.

I think about the bad crashes going on in my life right now and wonder how I can pick up all these shards of what should have been and let God remold them into what can be.

Yesterday, I heard in several sermons the same theme:  No matter what the circumstances, God can be glorified.  I do not believe for one second that the Lord sent the crashes in my life (they are the results of mine and other's bad choices), but I've got to hang on to the hope that He can still make something out of it--out of me.

STOP!