Friday, April 28, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "More"


I started not to attempt this prompt.

In fact, I haven't done a 5 minute Friday in nearly a month.  If the mere suggestion of the prompt ignites negative emotions, I usually don't bother writing. No use bumming y'all out.

So, why am I taking this prompt?

Heck if I know.

Well, actually, I do know.  When I don't respond with my own words and thoughts, the mommy bloggers win. 

Not today, sister!

I'm going to say something that isn't popular...

I WANT MORE!

People are afraid to hear that because they've been brainwashed to think that if someone gets or has more, someone else must have less. That's horse crap!  Only the government and its entities would believe such nonsense!

Yes, I want more:

More fellowship with God and His Word.
More real worship services where the congregation "gets it."
More real friends.
More respect.
More love.
More joy and laughter.
More self-esteem.
More of the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10:
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). [AMP]
More money.  Yes I said it, and I'm not taking it back either.

I've spent a lot of time saying what I want less of.  It's time I asked for the more and receive it.

One of my favorite songs about "more."

----
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Down With Mimi: The Weekly Hodgepodge


Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April?

We're still recovering from last year's draught, so any rain was welcome.  For the most part, I simply make a run for it.  I've usually got too much to carry to add an umbrella to the pile. 

April was better than March, but it was still too rough a month. 

What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

Beginning crochet. 

Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

As a child, I used eating as a coping mechanism, so I don't think I can give a good answer to the question.

What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

Are you kidding?  Wrong lyrics are my specialty.  Do you know how long it took me to decipher the line "smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy" in the song Uptown Funk?  When I don't understand the lyrics, I either mumble through or make up something that fits, whether it makes sense or not.

OK, don't be offended, but when I was about four or five and heard the song Amazing Grace for the first time, my mind interpreted the lyrics as such:

Amazing grapes
How sweet the sop
that saved a witch like me.
I was the lost
but now I'm fount
mumble, mumble, I see.

Take that, John Newton! 

According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are- Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I've not been to any of these, however, I would love to see them and be as touristy as possible.

Your signature clothing item?

Black pants.  I hardly wear any other color of trousers.

What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

Several:
  • The experience of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Why?  It not only eternally impacts the sweet by and by, but it impacts the rotten here and now.
  • A JSU Marching Southerners Halftime show.  Then you'd know why many of us would rather see the band than the talking heads during televised football games.
  • Seeing the entirety of the Chief Ladiga Trail.  Just gorgeous.
Insert your own random thought here.

Joyce is usually really good at finding celebratory days to focus on during our hodgepodge.  Well, today is Administrative Professionals / Secretaries Day.  I want to give a shout out to all my fellow Administrative Professionals.  Whether anyone else knows it or not, we aren't soulless automatons who type, file our nails, and make coffee all day.  Please don't use Mimi Bobeck from The Drew Carey Show as your secretarial template.  We are much, much more.  I wish more people knew that.

Friday, April 21, 2017

G is for Garlic Ginger, and Good Stir Fry [A-Z Blog Challenge 2015]


 
Experiments From Auntie's Test Kitchen
 
Intro  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

                                                                                                                    
 
G is for Garlic, Ginger, and Good Stir Fry
 
 
Ok, I felt I needed to redeem myself from the last stir fry disaster (letter P above) by sharing my favorite "go to" recipe.  Unlike my experiment, this stir fry is quite tasty, plus, it's really hard to mess up.
 
Ingredients:
  • Chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Your favorite fresh vegetables, diced, or, what I use, frozen vegetable mixes.  My favorites are Great Value's Broccoli Stir Fry and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry
  • A clove of garlic, minced...well, I don't know how to mince it correctly.  I smack it with the knife and cut it up like the cooking shows tell you, but I don't ever get as fine a mince as they do on TV.  So, we'll call it "finely chopped."
  • Your favorite spices to your taste.  I use rubbed sage, Italian seasoning mix, ground ginger, and salt.
  • About 1/4 cup Teriyaki Sauce (maybe).  Sorry, I'm southern and we don't measure stuff in our own recipes.  It's kind of like how we make potato salad--we mix ingredients until it "looks right."
  • A couple of tablespoons olive oil or sesame oil.  Tastes good with either one.

Instructions:
  • Heat your oil on high (or whatever works on your stove) in a wok or skillet.  Add the garlic and cook until it just starts to brown.  DON'T BURN IT OR THE WHOLE DISH WILL BE NASTY!  Been there, done that, ate it anyway.  If you burn it, wash the pot and start over.
  • Lower the heat slightly. Add the cut up chicken, toss it in the oil and garlic.  Add your spices.  After the chicken starts to cook (it starts to turn from pink to white on the outside) add the teriyaki sauce.  Completely cook the chicken.  This takes maybe 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the frozen vegetables.  Toss them with the sauce and chicken.  If it doesn't look quite right, add a little more spice and sauce.  Cook the vegetables to your desired doneness.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa (whatever the heck that is), noodles, or my preference, "as is."
Looks better than that last mess I made, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 15

BookIf I Ever Get Back to Georgia, I'm Gonna Nail My Feet to the Ground.
 
Author: Lewis Grizzard

Info:  Copyright 1990: New York: Villard Books

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭ 

Where Acquired:  Library check out.

What it's about:   Grizzard recounts his newspaper career.  His initial love for newspapers as a child led to a long career of editing, sports writing, and eventually being a world famous newspaper columnist.

Favorite Quotes: 

"I'm always amazed at how angry readers get at columnists.  If Carl Rowan or William Safire or Richard Reeves writes an opinion, that's his prerogative.  I might say to myself, 'Carl Rowan must have drunk some bad buttermilk when he wrote this.' or ' What on earth was William Safire trying to say?'  But I don't ever get mad at them and call down to the paper and threaten to cancel my subscription.  Disagreeing  with a columnist is a lot of fun.  A good columnist will stir debate and reaction."

"The story went that once he [Bill Monday] was going to do the Harvard-Yale game back in the 30's on nationwide radio.  The night before the game, he was having dinner with Harvard officials.  At one point Monday, a Georgia alumnus and son of the south, was asked 'Mr. Monday, who will you be pulling for tomorrow, Yale or fair Harvard?'  Monday thought for a moment, then replied, "Neither one.  You're both a bunch of damn Yankees and I wish there was a way you both could lose.'"

"Can my husband [Norm Van Broklin, then recently fired coach of the Atlanta Falcons] be happy on the farm?" Mrs. Van Brocklin asked back, "Let me put it this way; pecan trees don't drop touchdown passes."

What I liked:

Reading this account is partially a trip through my childhood.  Grizzard, an avid baseball fan, lived during the Braves' move from Milwaukee to Atlanta.  During the height of his sports writing/editing career, he saw Hank Aaron break Babe Ruth's homerun record while enduring the plethora of horrid Braves seasons.  My dad and I watched the Braves lose week after week from the late 70's through the early 90's.  It's a shame he passed away the year before the Braves actually won the World Series. 

Like Grizzard, I used to love newspapers.  I'm not so fond of them now and I'm not sure Lewis Grizzard would be very fond of them either.  I'm also a big fan of typewriters; Grizzard never used a computer.  Bless his heart.

What I didn’t like: 
  • The profanity.  Usually Grizzard writes in what I call "drunk uncle cussing," which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't so bad.  However, he admits to using more intense profanity in this work because his mother wasn't alive to read it.  He should have stuck with the drunk uncle cussing.
  • His time at the Chicago Sun Times really angered me.   Though not politically correct to say so, Grizzard was right.  Read it; you'll see what I mean.
Takeaway: I laughed and cried my way through Grizzard's tale.  The laughing was for obvious reasons.  The crying?  Well, that takes a little bit of explanation.  See, my Bachelor's degree is in Mass Communication.  Upon my 1995 graduation, I had dreams of writing for a living.  Here I am 22 years post graduation and I'm a chunky monkey working at a fitness facility and writing a mediocre blog read by an average of 36 people (thanks for reading, by the way).  Grizzard's story reminded me of my dead dream and made me want to find a way to resurrect it.

This book was published just four years before the author's death.  I wonder what Grizzard's writings would have looked like had he lived.  Have mercy!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 14

BookThe Spirit of Christ 

Author: Andrew Murray

Info:  Copyright 2015: New York: Scriptura Press (Originally published in 1888)

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭ 

Where Acquired:  Free Kindle book.

What it's about:   The Holy Spirit--the third person of the Holy Trinity of God--yet many believers really don't know exactly what His role is in their lives.  Murray takes the reader on a voyage through the Bible to teach the principles of walking on the Spirit.

Favorite Quotes: 

"In our preaching and in our practice, He does not hold that place of prominence which He has in God's plan and in His promises. While our creed on the Holy Spirit is orthodox and scriptural, His presence and power the life of believers, in the ministry of the word, in the witness of the Church to the world, is not what the word promises or God's plan requires." - Location 56

"To worship is man's highest glory. He was created for fellowship with God:  of that fellowship worship is the sublimest [sic] expression.  All the exercises of the religious life; meditation and prayer, love and faith, surrender and obedience, all culminate in worship." - Location 291

"Most Holy God!  we confess with shame how much our worship has been in the power and the will of the flesh.  By this we have dishonored Thee, and grieved Thy Spirit, and brought infinite loss to our own souls.  O God! forgive and save us from this sin.  Teach us, we pray Thee, never, never to attempt to worship Thee but in Spirit and in Truth." - Location 365

"We must not simply rest content with the faith that trusts in the cross and its pardon; we must seek to know the New Life, the Life of Glory and Power Divine in human nature, of which the Spirit of the glorified Jesus is meant to be the Witness and the Bearer." - Location 504

"To cease from all hope in the flesh and the law is the entrance into the liberty of the Spirit." - Location 1660

"May my whole heart be so filled with the longing for Christ's honor, and His love for the lost, that my life may become one unutterable cry for the coming of Thy Kingdom. Amen." - Location 1854

What I Liked:
  • Murray does not take the subject of the Holy Spirit through a denominational (or non-denominational) filter.  He simply takes the Scriptures and expounds on them in light of other biblical passages.
  • This book gives much instruction, yet reads like both a devotional and a prayer journal. He writes both poetically and intelligently.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The Kindle version has no real page numbers.
  • Murray quotes many scriptures, but doesn't always reference them.
  • My main criticism of the work isn't a problem with the author himself or the book itself, but with the publisher and editors (or lack thereof).  There are tons of typographical errors, missing words, punctuation placed on the wrong place or left out, the use of the number 0 instead of a capital O in places, plus other errors in editing that distracts the reader from the subject matter.  Yes, it was a free download, however, just because it's Christian and free doesn't mean it should be done in a lackadaisical manner.  By the way, I purchased a book from the same company and it was edited just as badly.  I tried to find information on the publisher to possibly get some clarification or give some assistance, but apparently, the company doesn't exist anymore, or is some grassroots project with no physical address or internet presence.  Oh well, I tried.
Takeaway: This will definitely be reread for years to come, flaws and all.  There's too much information and spiritual instruction to get it all in one sitting.

Monday, April 17, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 13

BookThe Adventures of Captain Underpants:  An Epic Novel.

Author: Dav Pilkey

Info:  Copyright 2000: New York: Scholastic

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭ 

Where Acquired:  Library check out.

Category:  Impulse Read. 

What it's about:   Best friends George and Harold are the misfits of their fourth-grade class.  When not suffering through academia, their favorite activity (other than stirring up trouble) is creating their own comic book heroes.  One of their favorites is Captain Underpants, an unlikely superhero bedecked in a cape and tighty-whities with very little in the way of defensive weaponry.  Through a set of unfortunate (or fortunate) events, George and Harold turn their overbearing principal, Mr. Krupp, into their superhero.  Full of unlikely (not to mention ridiculous) adventures, this is a fun story for young readers...well, and older readers if you have a silly side like I do.

What I Liked:
  • In all its immature silliness, the book was pretty funny with hilarious illustrations to boot.
  • It was a short fun read that only took about an hour to finish.
What I didn’t like: 
  •  Nothing I can think of.  This book isn't serious, so not a lot of analytics going on here.
Takeaway:  Nothing serious, just some great laughs from a fun story that got me through my day.  I just might read the rest of the series later.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 12

BookEsther Ried's Awakening. Alternate title:  Esther Ried.

Author: Isabella MacDonald Alden.  Also sold under her pen name:  Pansy.

Info:  Copyright 1995: Wheaton, IL:  Living Books (Originally published in 1870)

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭ 

Category:  Glorious Reread.

What it's about:   Nineteen year old Esther Ried has grown bored with the daily grind of serving in her mother's boarding house.  Worse yet, she has bored of Christianity and anything having to do with religion.  Surprisingly she gets an opportunity to spend a few weeks away in New York to attend her cousin's wedding and Esther thinks she's finally free.  However, this time away proves to bring her freedom of another kind.

What I Liked:
  • Though this book was written in the 19th century, the text doesn't present situations too vague or outdated to understand.
  • Not every Christian character in the book was some poor, ignorant vagrant.  There were characters who represented various socioeconomic strata.
  • The evangelistic and redemptive nature of the story was appealing.  The intelligent and creative method in which is was presented was refreshing.
What I didn’t like: 
  • Esther's younger sister, Sadie, bless her heart, is quite intelligent, but has no common sense.  Many of her interactions were frustrating to read, plus she was for all intents and purposes useless to her family in times of need.
  • I think Esther's mother should have done more to ease some of her burden.  She seemed very hard on Esther, but lax in her discipline with her other children (thus Sadie's uselessness) I also believe that she should have put her family's needs first in many situations where she was conspicuously absent. 
  • A couple of the characters had similar names and I often got them confused. 
Takeaway:  I first read this book in the mid 1990's at a time when my faith had grown cold and stale.  I had recently graduated from college--a very draining process--and hadn't consistently darkened the door of a church for far too long.  As I engrossed myself in this tale, I saw how Esther's spiritual plight could have been my own.  At the time, her attitude frightfully matched my dark mood.  At the conclusion of the novel, I felt encouraged.  It motivated me to get back in the Word and begin the process of renewal. 

The book meant so much to me that I reread it every couple of years.  Like The Shack, Esther Ried's Awakening doesn't tell me how to live; it encourages me to seek the One Who is life.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 11

BookBad Feminist:  Essays.

Author: Roxane Gay

Info:  Copyright 2014:  New York:  Harper Collins

Where acquired:  Library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars): 

What it's about:  Bad Feminist is a collection of essays chronicling the author's experience with feminism.  She tackles such subjects as rape culture, popular music, television, and literature.

Favorite Quotes:

"We need to get to a place where we discuss privilege by way of observation and acknowledgement rather than accusation." - p. 19

On religious systematic misogyny:  "I am also reminded that women, more often than not, are the recipient of God's intentions and must also bear the burden of those intentions." - p. 99

On the objectifying of women and attitudes about obesity: "In the last Dear Fat People letter [in the novel Skinny by Diana Spechler] Gray writes, 'You wonder why we hate you?  You are the visible manifestation of the parts of ourselves we hide.' There is truth in that too.  Fat people wear their shit on the outside, with sagging breasts and swollen ankles and heavy thighs.  Unlike a heroin addict who might be able to cover track marks with long sleeves, a fat person cannot hide the fact that something has gone awry.  Fat people have secrets, and you may not know what those secrets are, but they can be plainly seen." - pp. 119-120

"Some statistics loom so pervasively they have become myths.  For example, a commonly recited 'fact' is that more black men end up in jail than attend college.  Ivory A. Toldson, a professor at Howard University, refuts this statement, noting in a series on black education for The Root that 'today there are approximately 600,000 more black men in college than in jail, and the best research evidence suggest that the line was never true to begin with.'" - p. 247

Takeaway:

OK, You might want to take a potty break and get a beverage before diving into this.

A caveat before I begin:  I've endeavored to make all of my reviews as open and honest as possible.  Also, I usually avoid politically charged themes or arguments in my blog because they go nowhere.  Everyone who agrees with me would keep reading, while those opposed would cut me off and never again read any of my work, no matter how innocuous.  However, because this book is fraught with politically charged themes, I must touch on them or my review won't be honest.

I relish books that make me think.  I loathe books that do nothing but make me angry enough to want to throw said book (or said electronic reading device) across the room.  There is enough anger, both warranted and unnecessary, choking the life out of so many people.  I am in no way interested in adding to the fire.  So, my job here is to wade through the minefield with honesty and decorum.

I have so got a stomach ache right now.

First, a simple question, could someone tell me where the humor is supposed to be?  In descriptions of this book, the essays were called "funny and insightful." There's nothing funny about this book. 

We'll get to the "insightful" part in a minute.

Second, let's look at the basic definition of feminist.  A feminist is
A person who supports feminism which is the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

Nowhere in that definition does it say that the feminist must be female, black, open to any and all sexual orientations, no wealthier than middle class, feminist but anti feminine, pro abortion, and anti male.  However, this, plus more, is Gay's definition, in addition, she feels that she (or others of her particular race and persuasions) is the only one qualified to tell the feminist story. I don't even qualify.  Yes, I'm black a black woman, but I'm not of her various qualifying persuasions.  In that, she is a bad feminist.

In graduate school, I studied both a course in women's literature and history.  Yes, I know it was almost 20 years ago, but I do remember some of it.  In the beginnings of the women's movement, this basic definition was what feminism was about:  voting rights, equal pay, equal protection under the law, property rights, and battling to eradicate systematic misogyny.  Quite frankly, anyone in this day and age who doesn't believe in those things is a doofus and needs to crawl back to the cave and stay there.

In the 20th century, that definition was severely skewed to the things I listed above.  The author is a victim of that skewing.  In that, she is not a bad modern feminist.

Though written well, this book is a cacophony of schizophrenic contradictions:
  • The author bristles at the use of the term "sexual assault" instead of "rape."  At the same time she substitutes the term "reproductive rights" for "abortion rights" or the right to destroy the product of reproduction.  I find this a deplorable misnomer.  As she says, call it what it is.
  • The use of profanity.  This isn't even drunk uncle cussing; it goes deeper than that.  No, I'm not a prude, but I'm not very tolerant of the F word or crass descriptions of sexual organs and their use.  Yet, she is offended by the N-word, except, of course, when it is used by blacks about each other.
  • Her inference that she "doesn't believe in safety" betrays the fact that she does believe in safety for whom she deems worthy to be safe, ie: black women and no one else.
  • She spends several (and I mean several) chapters on racism.  What does this have to do with feminism again?  Well, let me rephrase that, she spends several chapters on the racism of whites toward all other races of humans.  Now, correct me if I'm wrong--and I'm not--but if a person of color hates, shuns, or otherwise demeans a Caucasian simply because his skin is white, does that not constitute racism?  Does Auntie need to pull out her dictionary again?  Gay only sees one brand of racism.  I also took great umbrage at her assumption that all Southern white people are racists.  I want to tell her "Dear heart, I'm only a couple of years older than you.  I've lived in the South all my life.  In Alabama, no less--the "Heart of Dixie," the home of George C. Wallace, the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, the attack on the Freedom Riders.  My parents lived the Jim Crow South; they didn't read about it in a book.  My older siblings were growing up right in the heart of the civil rights movement.  I've only had an extremely minute fraction of what my parents and older siblings went through.  We have all seen horrific things done by both whites and black in the name of 'I hate your skin.'   I work, attend church, and am friends with many kind, gracious, God fearing, whites and blacks who don't have a racist bone in their body.  Most of the overt racism I see comes from blacks toward whites, and, ridiculously, towards other blacks who are lighter or darker than they.  You, my dear, know nothing. Oh, a side note, my mother was (and still is) a domestic worker--and a darn good one, so you might want to watch what you say about 'maids' around me."
  • For the author, there are no good people, well if they are white or men, or worse; white men.  There is no possibility of change or redemption of anyone.  I guess you would think that if you "used to believe in God," but don't now.  She wants to see change, but doesn't believe that everyone has to change.    No matter how much progress is made, she keeps saying it isn't good enough.  Gay even goes as far as to assert that the suggestion that blacks stop tearing up their own neighborhoods, black men stop making babies they don't want and leaving the mothers to raise alone, get a job,  and stay out of jail is somehow kowtowing to "the politics of respectability."  Since when is being a productive citizen of any color (ie: not acting like a jackass) a political linchpin?  This chick is twisted.
  • Gay goes into the whole "privilege" apology thing, and I blow my stack...again."
  • She spends the last two chapters of the book completely contradicting everything she just wrote in the previous chapters.  Kind of a "do as I write, not as I do" hypocrisy.  Really? 
  • There is so much other crap visceral drivel that I don't have time, space, or blood pressure medicine to go into.  I think you get the idea.  It's a crying shame too. Annie had read and enjoyed the book and recommended it to me.  We generally like the same books, even if for different reasons.  So, it was disappointing that I dislike this work so much.
I need about 12 Ibuprofen right now.

Like Women, Food, and God, a book I read a couple of years ago, this book was misnamed.  Instead of Bad Feminist: Essays, it should have been called Bad Feminist Essays.  There is a difference.

Monday, April 10, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 10

BookThe Shack.

Author: William Paul Young

Info:  Copyright 2007:  Newbury Park, CA:  Windblown Media

Where acquired: Audio library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):  ✮✭✭  1/2

Category:  This one falls under two categories:  "Everybody's Reading it" and "Nobody Admits to Reading it."

What it's about:  Mackenzie Phillips, ultra religious, but having no viable relationship with God, encounters tragedy that brings him face-to-face with the Almighty. 

I'm going to dispense with my normal review format and cut to the chase.

When I heard of this book years ago, all I heard was the negativity surrounding it.  I had plenty to read, so I could safely avoid it.  This year, I decided that other people's fears and prejudices weren't going to color my judgment about reading it.  Understand, this was before I even knew about the movie based on the book that was coming out.  Annie, my sister-in-blog and fellow reviewer, joined me in reading this tome.  During out discussions, we were both mystified by all the venom surrounding it.

First, many who had disparaging comments about the book had never read it; they were simply repeating what they heard from brother or sister do-dad.  I've begun to take the Dave Ramsey approach to books:  Never take advice from the firms I've Heard and They Said.  Like my experience with such over hyped books as Crazy Love and One Thousand Gifts, I took a chance of possibly disliking, or not understanding the book.  Unlike the aforementioned works, I liked this book.

Second, it is not wise to get one's Gospel theology from a work of fiction.  That wasn't the point of the book.  Like the beloved Chronicles of Narnia series (which everybody practically pees in their pants over, but I have yet to understand or get all the way through), this work is an allegory--a story one may glean meaning from.  Were some of the images and statements unscriptural?  Yes.  Were there things about the book I didn't like?  Yes.  So what?  Most of the Christian themed books I've read fall into that category.  I felt that the imagery was spectacular and the story was told beautifully.  Once I got into it, I couldn't stop reading.  BUT do I get instruction for how to live my Christian life from The Shack?  Absolutely not.  It is a story--not a Bible study.

Third, I believe the problem with this book is not what was written, or how, but how others presented it.  Annie and I discussed how in some circles, if someone's child passes away, everyone wants to flock to LifeWay and buy this book for them to read.  That's rather heartless and takes no effort in real relationship building.  I can't fathom that this is what the author intended--at least I hope not.

What I gleaned from this novel is that our relationship with God isn't based on religion; it is based on a beautiful relationship.  Not a new concept, but vibrantly played out in the words of the author  No, I don't believe I'll ever have the privilege of such a vivid vision of the Almighty until I cast of this mortal coil and stand face to face with Jesus.  Then, it will be no vision; it will be the real thing.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Yellow Submarine: The Weekly Hodgepodge


Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
April is Lawn and Garden Month. On a scale of 1-10 what's the current state of your lawn and/or garden. (10=a showpiece, 1=send in the professionals). Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

I really can't speak on that topic since where I currently live isn't mine to garden in.  I love gardens and have many ideas for when I have my own space in which to create.

"Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there." ~ Thomas Fuller  What does this quote mean to you?

Sounds like an ode to Kudzu!

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Love.  Not the ooey gooey cliché love.  No, the love I think of is an intimate love that heals the brokenhearted, gives a family to those who have none, to embrace someone in your arms and never let them go.

If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

I don't think I would be nervous talking to you Mrs. Joyce.  However, my nerves show when I can't look you in the eye, when I talk too fast, or clam up.  I also get where I don't know what to do with my limbs when I'm unnerved.

Do you like the color yellow? Would I find any in your home or wardrobe? Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black eyed Susan...which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

To wear, no.  Because I have bronze toned skin, I don't look good in most shades of yellow.  As a paint color, yes.  There's yellow on the walls of the kitchen in my living quarters.  Now, as far as flowers go?  Yes, yes, and yes!  I enjoy all the flowers you've listed.  Since they come around at different seasons and I can see them all, I don't have to pick a favorite.

Flip flops or bare feet?

Bare feet.  The only time I wear flip-flops is to the pool at the Y.  As a general rule, I despise flip-flops because they hurt my feet and they're butt ugly.  I call them the redneck Birkenstock.

Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations, or traditions you'll carry out this month.

Other than going to church, I haven't a clue.  I'm playing in both services, so I'll most likely be so tired I'll go straight home and head for bed.  Yeah, exciting, I know.  I long for more to celebrate the death and resurrection of the Savior, but I've also got to be realistic.  It's going to feel like work rather than pleasure.

Insert your own random thought here.

I'm thinking about personality types and how much I hate mine. Yes, I know I've talked about it before, but it still bugs me.  I fall in the category of Golden Retriever/ Melancholy/ Obliger.  Out of the four major personality types, this one is the weakest.  The others don't really need anyone to succeed; not my type.  The lion/choleric/upholder is the most desired.  They are ambitious self-starters who don't care about what anyone thinks.  In fact, they get people to work for them instead of being stuck working for someone who dehumanizes them or dictates their worth or success.  I'm hunting for my inner lion, but all I keep finding is Eeyore.