Friday, September 23, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "Five"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.


Sometimes I miss being five:

I was pretty happy and laughed a lot without having to justify my joy.

When I cried, it was because of physical pain that subsided, not heart pain that lasted for decades.

My family was close (or at least I thought they were anyway).

There were no rules that you had to color in the lines.

Sure, I knew I was fat, but it wasn't a make it or break it factor of life and acceptance like now.

There was not internet showing me on a constant basis who I was supposed to be.

I was me, and I liked it.

What the heck happened?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "Listen"

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.


Wherever I go, I wish I could wear a shirt that says this...


Yeah, I know it's crass, but true.  Sometimes I want to jerk a knot in people while screaming that very phrase!
Hearing is different from listening.  Hearing is usually passive; listening is active.  I think people hear me when I speak, but do the listen?  Rarely.
Is it because what I have to say isn't important?  Is what I say important, but ceases to be so because it comes from me?  What is it? 
I'm always telling myself that I talk too much, but then again, I can feel that way and not speak a word to another human being.  Yes, I know I'm a woman, but I can (and do) go through long periods of time without speaking to another person.
I've told my friends before that I feel like I'm like a doll in a glass case.  People take me out and "play" with me when they want/need something, then put me back in when they're done, all the while I'm longing to connect and be heard.  It doesn't happen.
People who won't listen to instructions are the worst.  I could tell you stories, but I've only got five minutes.  :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Classical Education: The Weekly Hodgepodge

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

What's changed in your life, home, or community since your last birthday?
Since that was just in May, not much.
September is Classical Music Month. Do you like/listen to classical music? If so what's a favorite piece and/or who is a favorite composer? 
I developed a taste for classical music while I was in college.  Not only through studying music history, but through playing those types of pieces in the various music classes I took.   I'm not sure who my favorite composer is, but my favorite piece is Turkish March by Mozart.

Besides The Bible, what's a book that has positively changed your life, relationships, career, or perspective? How so? 
Gosh, I've read so many; it's hard to say.  Right now I'm in the throws of one that may help me make those positive changes for good.  My mentor recommended the book The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene' Brown.  I've only read the introduction, but it's already speaking to some of the things I'm dealing with.  We'll see.
I read (here) these ten hobbies will make you a musical instrument, read voraciously, meditate regularly, work out your brain (puzzles, sudoku, board games, etc), exercise often, learn a new language, write your feelings down (blog, journal, just write), travel to new places, cook different kinds of meals, participate in sports actively.  Are any on this list your current hobbies? Which hobby on the list would you be most inclined to try? 
  • Playing a musical instrument - I play several.
  • Read voraciously.
  • Work out my brain - I enjoy playing Words With Friends if that counts.
  • Exercise often - some weeks are more often than others.
  • Write your feelings - I blog and journal.
  • Okay, so I do several of them.  So, I have to ask, smarter than what?

What sports traditions does your family have? 
None, really. 
In a few words, weigh in on the current football/National Anthem brouhaha. Keep it family friendly please.

Where do you have loads of patience, and where do you most lack patience? 
I have more patience with others than myself.  I don't know other people's situations, but I know mine.  I should know better than to do some of the stupid things I do.
Insert your own random thought here.   I think we all need a laugh.


Monday, September 12, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Challenge 10

Book: Crazy Love.

Author: Francis Chan

Info: Copyright 2013:  Colorado Springs, CODavid C, Cook.

Where acquired: LifeWay Purchase

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

What it's about:  Do we love God like crazy?  Chan uses scripture, stories, and his experiences to show the reader where they are lacking in their love for Christ and declares that believers can go from lukewarm to red hot for God.

Favorite Quotes:

"Some people claim that we can be Christians without necessarily becoming disciples.  I wonder, then, why the last thing Jesus told us was to go into the world, making disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that He commanded?  You'll notice that He didn't add, 'But hey, if that's too much to ask, tell them to just become Christians--you know, the people who get to go to heaven without having to commit to anything.'" - p. 87

"When you are pursuing love, running toward Christ, you do not have the opportunity to wonder, Am I doing this right?  or Did I serve enough this week?  When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt, worry, or fear.  As long as you are running, you are safe." - p. 104

"Something's wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers." p. 112

"If one person 'wastes' away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one?" - p. 133

"Our view of the Holy Spirit is too small.  The Holy Spirit is the One who changes the church, but we have to remember that that Holy Spirit lives in us.  It is individual people living Spirit-filled lives that will change the church." - p. 171

What I Liked:
  • His "Profile of the Lukewarm" in chapter 4 was an eye opener.
  • The stories of faith he shared were compelling,
  • The author's premise was formidable though his execution was sorely lacking.
What I didn’t like: 
  • I approached the purchase of this book with much trepidation.  I hardly ever purchase brand new books from authors I have not previously  read.  People from diverse ages and stages recommended it, so I figured I wasn't getting a one-sided view of the text.  Crazy Love fell way short of my expectations.  My hope was that the content of the book would be a presentation of the love story between us and God; how crazy His love is for us, and how we can show our crazy love for Him in a more meaningful and intimate way.  That ain't what I got.  The main problem with Chan's book is that it is full of mixed messages, plus he targets one audience; middle and upperclass churchgoers who put more faith in their money than in the God they claim to serve.  I am not that audience.  He spends most of the book bashing the rich, or practically anyone who owns more than one pair of socks.  He says that he's not saying that we need to work harder and give more to earn God's love while saying that we need to work harder and give more to earn God's love.  God's grace is a mere afterthought.  Sorry, Brother Chan, I'm looking for more intimacy with God, not more work that keeps me away from Him.
  • The story of "Brooke" on page 50 is very suspect.  Why would a 14 year old girl be out driving alone?  The story sounds overhyped and bogus, or the wording is awkwardly misleading.
  • I'm quite disturbed that Chan takes on the role of judge and decides on people's eternal destination.  He says he doesn't want people to doubt their salvation while wording his chapters as if to say that everyone is lukewarm and should doubt their salvation.  Yes, being perpetually lukewarm in spirit is dangerous, but quite frankly, if someone lukewarm is reading his book, it's not because they want to stay that way.  Revelation 3:14-22 was written to the church of Laodicea.  They were believers who had lost their fire for Christ.  God urged them to repent and come to Him for what they needed to get back on the right path.  He warned them out of love, not because He was itching to dish out some harsh judgment.  Verse 19 of that same chapter says, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
  • I'm troubled by Chan's message that in order for others to be served and blessed, someone else has to have less--as if to say God wasn't smart enough to put enough resources on the planet for everyone.  Yes, we who follow Christ should be extravagant givers, and no, God is not pleased with selfishness.  The point is that we shouldn't be ashamed of what God has given us, but to be more than willing to share it and to glorify God with it. 
  • When it came down to the "how," Chan gives the Prince answer, "You're on your own!"  This book totally beats down the reader, yet never builds him back up.
Takeaway:  Going through this book was quite a depressing experience and I was left very empty.  The only joy came from the wonderful book discussions I had with my sister-in-blog Annie.  I do feel as though I flushed $16 down the potty (yeah, $16 and the book wasn't even hardcover!), but hey, I'll keep the book in my collection for when I become one of those middle class people he hates so much.  I can guarantee that my time will not be spent in hoarding my blessings...then or now.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookwork Challenge 09

Book: Come Rain or Come Shine.

Author: Jan Karon

Info: Copyright 2015:  Farmington Hills MI:    Thorndike Press (Large Print Edition)

Where acquired: Library check out

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

What it's about:  Of all the adventures of Father Tim Kavanagh in the Mitford series, the marriage of his adopted son, Dooley, is the most extravagant of all.  Dooley and his fiancĂ© Lace, two throw away children from abusive homes who slowly fell in love, experience the absolute nuttiness of planning what was to be a simple wedding.  With humor, romance, and a little bit of animal wrangling, the town of Mitford comes together to help them pull it off.

Favorite Quotes:

"What am I gon' wear?" said Harley.
"Your teeth, for sure," said Lace. - p. 34.

"Go out there and be as happy as a bird with a French fry."  p. 245

"Tommy grinned.  He'd never heard so many amems, and he'd been raised Baptist." - p. 270

"Danny Hershell had read the program and knew this was it, it was now or never. 'Kiss th' bride!' he hollered. What was wrong with people in this religion that guys didn't get to kiss th' bride?  His mama would kill him, but she had killed him before any number of times." - p. 276

What I Liked:
  • Lace's journal entries about her relationship with Dooley were darling.
  • This may seem strange, but the fact that everything was not neatly tidied up at the end.  There were still unresolved painful situations, and some of the character's stories were left open--whether to the reader's imagination or to the possibility of the author adding to the series.
  • The wedding ceremony was more beautiful that anything Hollywood could come up with.
  • I simply enjoyed the emotional effect of the story.  It was romantic without being mushy, dramatic without being exaggerated, and joyous without being ridiculously over the top.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The reference to the "OMC."  If someone hasn't read any of the other books, he may not know that it refers to Esther Bolik's famous Orange Marmalade Cake.  They also won't know why this cake is pivotal to the entirety of the series. 
  • This is a little bit of a SPOILER:  I would like to have known more about the specifics of Sammy's experience with Teen Boot Camp. 
  • This might be the last book of the Mitford series.
Takeaway:  I'm not sure if this truly is the last book in Karon's Mitford series, but if so, it beautifully drew together these beloved characters for a triumphant finish.