Wednesday, May 31, 2017

If You Pray for Me: The Weekly Hodgepodge


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What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.

Several things: Getting a room fully cleaned and organized, finishing a book, getting all my laundry washed, dried, and put away in the same day, completing an art project, meeting a goal. 

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.

Someone local:  Brooke Nelson, former president of the Anniston Runners Club and organizer of the Cheaha Challenge--the state's biggest cycling road race.  I've know her for years, but would like to pick her brain on health, nutrition, and training.  I'd also like to know her story.  Did she start unhealthy and work to get healthy, or has she always been an athlete?

Someone famous: Jeff B. Davis, improvisational comedian from Whose Line is it Anyway?  There's a lot of information about many of the other stars in his genre, but not much about him.

Someone Spiritual:  Mylon Lefevre.  In the 80's, he and his band, Broken Heart, was among the first contemporary Christian music artists I'd ever heard.  Before that, all I'd ever heard referred to as "gospel" music was a bunch of sad singing and glorified funeral dirges.  Then Broken Heart, Petra, and Carman came along and saved my ears.  In his later years, Mylon has released some great worship CD's and has been preaching around the country for a number of years.  He has indirectly been a spiritual and musical mentor to me since the late 80's.

Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?

I enjoy a good hamburger.  I used to be proficient at grilling them, but I haven't touched a charcoal grill in probably fifteen years. So this is my best hamburger recipe:

Step one:  Go to Jacks
Step two:  Order a Big Jack with cheese and condiments of your choice
Step three:  Unwrap and enjoy

What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?

Driving.  Going to work is not much of a problem since I'm out there with like, three people.  Leaving work and running errands during the daylight hours is different; more traffic, more goobers who can't drive and/or think the left lane is the Autobahn.  I absolutely panic if I have to drive after dusk since I rarely have to and have gotten out of practice. 

This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.

I'm going to take things a day at time.  However, I'm endeavoring to include more fun and restful activities into my summer.  As far as I know, I won't be taking any kind of vacation, so I want to use my weekends as mini "staycations."

Insert your own random thought here.

A big thank you and God bless you to all who prayed for my request last week.  The past week has been rough.  My sweet housemate, Mrs. Sue, passed away last week.  We had her funeral Sunday.  On top of all that, I've been sick since Friday and have not slept well.  Today has been the first day I've felt like writing.  This summer is going to be one of change, but I still believe that in the grand scope of things, they will be good changes.  I'm standing on two Scriptures:

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Psalm 3:3 - But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

Keep praying y'all.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Door Into Summer: The Weekly Hodgepodge


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What color is prominent in your home? Are you glad about that or wishing you could cover it up or remove it?

Blue.  Fortunately I like the color since I can't change it.

What's something you'll NEVER do again?

If I can help it, I'll never go another event that I'm only invited to in order to bring someone the inviting party really wanted there.  Over the last several years, I've been involved in several events--most of them weddings--where it was obvious I wasn't wanted.  I was there merely to chauffer someone else who they did want.  I don't think people understand how crappy that is or how worthless that makes a person feel.

Tell us a couple of ways you fit the stereotypes associated with your gender, and a couple of ways you don't.

Are you talking negative stereotype or positive?  Let's start with how I don't fit the stereotype.  As much as I love kids, I'm not obsessed with the "mom" thing.  That's more of a societal dictate that all females over the age of 12 should be aiming for nothing but motherhood.  I might know more about cars and computers than the average female.  I play musical instruments that are definitely not feminine (and I don't play them daintily either). 

How I fit the stereotype?  I like pretty things and want to look pretty even thought I can't most of the time.  I worry too much about other people's feelings and needs to the point that I neglect my own.  Although I spent way too many years stifling and packing down my emotions, my concern is that I'll flip over to the complete opposite and become an emotional basket case.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. Have you ever owned a motorcycle? Ever ridden a motorcycle? If the opportunity presented itself would you hop on a motorcycle and go for a ride?

I've never driven or owned a motorcycle, but would like to learn to ride, and possibly purchase one someday.  The couple of  times I was on a motorcycle was when my older brother, Marvel, let me ride on the back of his.  When I was a kid, I thought my brother was the coolest dude on the planet because of his bike.  Both of my Pastors, who I consider pretty cool dudes, ride also.

If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and listen to?

They would have to read books by Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore, watch Star Trek:  The Next Generation, and listen to Weird Al Yankovic.



What?

Insert your own random thought here.

I believe God is instigating another major shift in my life for the better.  Please pray for me to know what to do and when to do it.  Good things are on the horizon and I don't want to miss any opportunity for positive change.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 17

Book:  Beauty for Ashes.
 
Author: Joyce Meyer

Info:  Copyright 1994: Tulsa: Harrison House Publishing.

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

Where Acquired:  Library book sale purchase.

What it's about:  Meyer uses scripture and elements of her own testimony of abuse and recovery to encourage the reader to seek emotional healing.

Favorite Quotes: 

"We human beings pretend for the benefit of others, not wanting them to know about our misery, but we also pretend for ourselves so that we do not have to face and deal with difficult issues." - p. 28.

"God's love is the main factor in our emotional healing....If you can believe that God, Who is so perfect, loves you, then you can believe that you are worth loving."  p. 38.

"In John 16:7 Jesus told His disciples that it was better for them that He go away to be with the Father, because if He did not go, the Comforter could not come.  The Comforter is the Holy Spirit.  In The Amplified Bible version of this verse He is called the Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener and Standby.  During your recovery process, you will need to experience every facet of the Holy Spirit's ministry." - p 43.

"You cannot go beyond your opinion of yourself--no matter how many good things God may say about you in His Word.  Regardless of all the wonderful plans God may have for your life, none of them will come to pass without your cooperation." - p. 75

"Unless you accept your value and worth by faith through Christ, you will always be insecure and unable to trust those who want to love you." - p. 86

"The pathway to freedom is not necessarily easy.  However, pressing forward toward freedom is definitely easier than staying in bondage." - p. 151.

What I liked:
  • The author didn't hide behind Christian clichés.  In other words, her answer to everything was not "read the Bible and pray more."  Yes, those are elements to healing, however, she also advises the reader to seek counseling, mentoring, and accountability to go through this painful process.  In that, this is not a self-help book that advocates trying to conquer these deep issues alone.
  • Meyer was very open about her own struggles and the work it took to become free.  She didn't simply say, "Oh, I just prayed and it went away."  Sorry, but it doesn't happen that way for most people.  Not only was her advice biblical, it was also practical.
  • Continuous navel gazing and digging up past hurts ad nauseam was not advised.  I found in my own recovery that this is an area where many get stuck; we keep digging and digging up the past that we spend no joyous time in the present, thus never really recovering...just uncovering.
  • Meyer includes a bibliography for further reading.

What I didn’t like: 

This book wasn't perfect, however, there was nothing that stood out as unlikeable about the text.

Takeaway:

This book is a good starting point for anyone who wishes to be delivered from emotional damage and baggage.

For me, Meyer seems to have the ability to put into words the very attitudes and pains I face, and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, can get to the very heart of how to get well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Horse Apples: The Weekly Hodgepodge


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May 17th is National Pack Rat Day. Sidebar-should we be celebrating this? Hmmm...Are you a pack rat? Even if you're not a full fledged pack rat, most people have one thing or another they struggle to part with. Tell us what's yours.

I used to be, but not now.  The problem I have now is...how do I put this tactfully...I tend to be a collector of stuff other people don't want.  However, I've learned to pass on anything I don't want or can't use.


What are two things you know you should know how to do, but you don't?

Drive on the interstate and change a tire.  I've seen them both done, but have never successfully done either one.

Do you crave sugar? Do you add sugar to your coffee and/or tea? Do you use artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes? When dining out is dessert a given? Are you someone who has slain the sugar dragon, and if so tell us how you did it.

Sugar is my frenemy.  It's horrible for me, but I do crave it.  My sugar usage has (thankfully) diminished greatly over the years.  I used to drink sugar sweetened soft drinks like water and so much sugar to my tea and coffee that you could pour it over your pancakes.  Not to mention all the sugar laden foods I used to stuff my face with.  Now, I only drink a soft drink when my tummy is upset.  I do consume unsweetened tea (I know my fellow Southerners are weeping in their hankies right now) and coffee with half and half (I'll only drink it black if there's a famine).  I found that with soft drinks, it's not the sugar I really want; it's the bubbles.  I drink flavored sparkling water instead and am completely satisfied.  As far as artificial sweeteners go, I can't tolerate any of them.  Saccharin tastes horrid (plus it kills lab rats), I'm allergic to Aspartame (plus chewing a beer can would taste better), and Splenda (sucralose, sorbitol, sugar alcohol, etc) chains me to the potty, so, no thank you.  I haven't totally conquered sugar, but I attempt to make any indulgence worth it.  In other words, if I want it badly enough, I don't want to waste it on things that taste mediocre.  I'd rather have something rich and creamy like ice cream or good cheesecake than to waste the craving on candy or snack cakes.

Y'all are making me hungry.

What's a trend it took a while for you to come round to, but now you can't imagine living without?

Smart phones.  If not for my niece insisting on (and paying for) a phone for me, I'd still be completely satisfied with using my flip phone--what I call my "Verizon ghetto phone."  My attitude was...well, and still is...what do I want a smart phone for when I have a computer that does all that?  I just need something that makes phone calls.  I'm not engrossed in my phone, but the extra features have definitely come in handy.  I've looked up recipes while grocery shopping.  I've run scripture references while at church or Bible study.  I've use a fitness app to track my mileage.  I use it listen to music and read.  Good thing since if I'm at home, I can't make a phone call with it!  Thanks, T-Mobile!

What's a song that reminds you of a specific incident in your life? Please elaborate.


The Horse by Cliff Nobles.  I know, I know, it looks like I'm cheating on the question because this is my high school's fight song.  BUT it does remind me of a specific incident.  During homecoming week of my senior year of high school, the marching band was given permission to go to the bottom floor of each building and play the fight song.  We enjoyed it, the student enjoyed it.  The teachers?  Well, some enjoyed it while some were scared peeless by the sudden rush of loud music.  One teacher in particular, who will remain nameless because she might read my blog, was very distraught and thought the repeated opening and slamming of her classroom door would drown us out or make us go away.

It didn't.

Go Eagles!

Insert your own random thought here.

WARNING:  This is going to take a hot minute, so you might want to take a pee break before proceeding.

Mrs. Joyce asked about trends.  One that I'm glad to see is the Little Free Library (LFL).  In case you're not familiar with LFLs, they are creative boxes placed in both private and public spaces for the purpose of sharing books.  Individuals may choose a book and either bring it back after reading it, or swap it for another.  We have several in our area, and they're great.  Quite frankly, I've not met anyone who didn't like them.

Until now.

In a blog post/article here, "researchers" from Toronto have slammed these little gems as "an example of 'neoliberal politics at street level', rather than a charming component of the sharing movement."

What the Sam Hill does that even mean?

Little Free Library in
Weaver, Alabama
It's now full of books provided
by the community.
In this piece of horse manure overarching tripe, these dipsticks poor uninformed souls make a lot of ASSumptions I'd like to address:
  • The concept was developed in the United States and they are from Canada.  I think they're just jealous that they didn't think of the idea themselves.  One of the "researchers" is a librarian--so the piece is already a bit suspect.
  • They assume that to have the LFL, a person must purchase the building kits and pay to use the name.  Yes, Little Free Library is a copyrighted name, however, a person doesn't have to pay for a charter or even use the name to have their own.  Also, the building kits are not a mandate.  If you go on the company's Facebook page, you'll enjoy many creative LFTs that are cleverly homemade.  Besides, what's really wrong with spending a couple hundred bucks for a charter and building kit if you want one?  Then the authors go into some nonsense about the "corporatization of a grassroots phenomenon."  So?!  Do they honestly expect for the organization to provide everything for free?  Oh wait, they're from Canada where the government supoosedly provides things for "free," so yes, they do.  Guys, this isn't a government organization; they are staffed by volunteers and can't just give away what they don't have.  Building materials, shipping, and maintaining and promoting the organization costs money.  Logic, Spock, logic!
  • They assume that LFLs are only placed by the rich in upper class, predominantly white neighborhoods where books are plentiful.  If you read the article, you'll notice that they only looked at Toronto and Calgary and nowhere in the United States.  I'm not a researcher, but I know locations.  The LFLs I've seen are in public spaces used by every demographic and sponsored by non-profit organizations like the United Way.  One in particular is right in front of my workplace.  I've seen well-to-do families of all races add and remove books.  I've witnessed impoverished families of varying ethnicities excited about the children getting to read books they've not seen before.  I've even seen those who are homeless choose a book and find comfort in it.  This isn't a rich vs. poor thing.  This is sharing the love of reading and the commonality of the power of reading.
  • They imply that LFLs have the potential harm public libraries.  How?  Name me one public library that has every book ever published?  To me, this is an extension of the public library.  Plus, (and this is the only political sentence I'm writing), in the US, our government is threatening to cut funding to public libraries (a huge mistake if they do).  For the love of Mike, we need something to keep people reading!
  • Most importantly, they offer no alternative solution.  Yeah, that helps a lot, thanks.  By the way, I wonder how many books they donate to the poor?  Hmmm...just a thought.
My conclusion?  These people would complain about anything and turn it into a socioeconomic war just to keep strife and division active because they don't have anything better to do.  Their whole argument is pointless, not to mention tacky.

Hey, they could have been reading instead of writing this mess.

Why the rant?  If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know I love to read.  That wasn't always the case.  When I was younger, my eyesight was a lot worse and reading was physically painful.  As a child, audio books provided by a library service for the visually impaired were a great help to keep me interested in reading.  As an adult, both reading and listening to books is still quite enjoyable.  I know the power of both the spoken and written word and I'm very passionate about encouraging others to maintain and extend their education.  I taught preschool for many years and in my present job observe many children go through the YMCA's afterschool and summer programs;  I know how much influence good books possess.  However, teachers and librarians can only do so much.  Parents need to instill a love of reading in their children, as well as in themselves.  I know for a fact that many children, despite programs like Success by Six and Dolly Parton's Imagination Library (I wonder what croakings of doom they would have about this one), many parents still don't see the value of reading to their children and too many adults stop reading after leaving an academic environment that requires it.  From what I can see, this program bridges some of that gap.  Please don't let propaganda like this turn it into yet another political division point...or a reason to stay ignorant.

Please!

Would it be mean if I said these Canucks need to stick with hockey and leave the rest of us alone?

OK, rant over, I'm going to go enjoy a book now.  See y'all next time.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Taking it Off Repeat: 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, May 14, 2017
 

Outside my window  Sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures.  The honeysuckle smells glorious.

I am thinking...  too much and stressing myself out.

I am thankful...  For good rest and healthy food to refuel and recharge my body.
 
From the Workshop...  I still have several projects going, but none completed.  Hopefully this week will prove to be a productive one in the Workshop.


I am reading... I recently finished Man's Search For Meaning by Dr. Viktor Frankl.  The author describes the experiences and psychological damage suffered by him and his fellow prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.   I'd read it my freshman year of college.  My reaction was much different this time.  OK, I understand intellectually and spiritually the nature of evil and that there exists many sadistic evil people.  However, my soul cannot comprehend that kind of blatant disregard from a fellow human being simply because of racial, religious, or cultural differences.  I know that my own country took the Native American Indian, the African slave and the Japanese immigrant through similar dehumanization, so we in America are not immune.  Yes, all that was before my time, however, don't we have some of this evil disregard going on today?  I still think of the recent footage of that poor elderly man who was gunned down for the world to see.  I think of the young man who murdered nine people who showed him nothing but love and respect.  Yes, these are individual cases and we don't have systematic segregation and government-approved mass killings of "undesirables" in play, however, Frankl's account reminds us that given the right circumstances and the continued choice of our citizens to be ignorant of history, it could happen again.  Heaven forbid!
 
I am learning... Speaking of reading:  Along with other materials, I'm reading Joyce Meyer's book Beauty for Ashes.  This book is teaching me more about myself, my relationship to God, and my relationships with others.  This is not a self-help book written by some psychologist doing an experiment; she's lived through some major abuse in her life and been set free through the power of God.  She points out that there is no other way to freedom.  I hope to be another degree of free by the time I finish reading the book, praying through the issues she beings out, and studying the scripture references she includes.  Yep, it's a goodn'!
 
Favorite quote(s) of the week

"The problem with a self-made man is that he worships his creator." - Pastor Rick Warren

"The prisoner who had lost his faith in the future--his future--was doomed.  With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and be subject to mental and physical decay." - Dr. Viktor Frankl
 
I am looking forward to...  Learning to have a life worth looking forward to.  I know that sounds morbid, but think about where I've come from.  A couple of years ago, I was ready to hang it up and get out of here.  After much prayer, counseling, and soul searching, I want to live.  The only problem is, I don't really know how...yet. I've got my long term things to look forward to, but not sure how to have daily things to look forward to.  More accurately, I'm not sure what is proper to look forward to other than special events.
 
And now for something totally different...

Five minute Friday word of the week:    Should

 


From Facebook:  R. Spoon shared:

From Facebook:  Musical Humor shared:



From Facebook:  A. Crook shared:




















 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Five Minute Friday: "Should"


I had to laugh when I saw this prompt.  Here's why:

I was at the doctor's office yesterday filling out paperwork.  New to the mix is a mental health questionnaire.  Though there wasn't a lot of margin for answer clarity, I answered the questions as honestly as I could.

Big mistake.

Why didn't I just answer "no" to everything?

After I had my vitals taken and got comfortable waiting for the doctor in the examination room, a nurse came in and asked me was I OK.  "Sure," I said.  "O...K," she said as she wagged my paperwork at me.  "I'm just concerned that you're depressed."

First, a disclaimer, the questions are VERY general and don't give the patient a way to explain.  Second, it's not secret that I do deal with depression, but it had been several weeks since I had any such dark thoughts.  As I said, I had no way to explain that.

Anyway...

I had hard time not laughing at the nurse and saying the following:
So you think I'm depressed?  Alrighty, you put me on a scale that weighed me SEVEN pounds heaver than my scale at home.  Your blood pressure monitor took THREE tries before it displayed a reading that was MUCH higher than the one I took a few hours earlier.  I've been on meds that made me sicker than if I hadn't taken them at all.  You put me in a cold room with magazines from 1997 and won't let me pee.  I SHOULD to be depressed!
Have mercy!
----
Prompts provided by Mrs. Kate over at Heading Home.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

101 in 1001 v2

 
 
We all have them; dreams and goals we'd like to accomplish along with fun activities to try.  If you're like me, though, if you don't write them down, they either won't get done or won't be remembered.  So here I am again with another 101 in 1001 list.

In case you're not familiar with the concept, this is a list of 101 activities one wishes to complete in 1001 days (about 2.75 years).  I may not compete them all, or I may complete more than listed (thus the bonus round).  The point is to give myself momentum to continue my life moving in a positive direction, plus have a lot of fun along the way.

So here goes...

In no particular order (unless logically dictated):
Time frame:  January 1, 2017 - September 29, 2019

As I finish each item, I will list its completion date, and blog posts about finished items will appear as a clickable link.

Note:  This list is subject to change without notice.
  1. Finish this list (Completed 05/04/2017).
  2. Give myself $5 in fun money for each completed item on this list. ($15 so far)
  3. Go shopping and have a fit for myself with the money.
  4. Finish the Bible Correspondence Course I started ages ago.
  5. Fully celebrate at least 5 holidays or special days.
  6. Learn to draw.
  7. Redo my wardrobe
  8. Donate blood at least 5 times.
  9. Get a massage.
  10. Attend a LIVE conference or workshop that is not work related.
  11. Attend a concert.
  12. Make 1000 pairs of baby booties for ministries who help new moms or minister to abortion minded women.   Sav-A-Life (117). (117/1000)
  13. Run a 5k in 45 minutes or less.
  14. Complete ARC's 1200 mile challenge. (225 miles so far)
  15. Run a half marathon.
  16. Get into "one-derland"
  17. Get down to my goal weight AND STAY THERE.
  18. Get a new(er) car or truck done the way I want it.
  19. Pay off all my debts and do my debt free scream on the Dave Ramsey Show. In order to do this, I will need to...
  20. ... Pay off Discover Card.
  21. ... Pay off shitty Citi Bank card.
  22. ... Pay off student loan.
  23. After this, complete Dave Ramsey's baby step 3
  24. After this, start on Dave Ramsey's baby step 4
  25. Finish the A-Z Challenge I started 2 years ago.
  26. Buy a good blender.
  27. Learn to make a decent smoothie.
  28. Publish something...even if I have to self publish it.
  29. Go to a University of Alabama football game at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
  30. Go to at least one Marching Southerners reunion.
  31. Work out with someone I admire.
  32. Learn to do pull ups/chin ups/whatever ups.
  33. Redo my business cards.
  34. Try Sushi
  35. Go on a missions trip
  36. Help someone else go on a missions trip
  37. Knit a pair of socks.
  38. Get my ACE fitness certification.
  39. Learn to scrapbook and complete one. If not, make one on Shutterfly--I've never done that either
  40. Get a new computer done the way I want it
  41. Get an external hard drive
  42. Get a new bicycle done the way I want it
  43. Get the accessories to go with it
  44. Stay in a Bed and Breakfast
  45. Stay at the Jacksonville Hampton Inn for Christmas again.
  46. Go on a picnic.
  47. Paint 3 paintings at Paintology 101.  (Completed 07/08/17)
  48. Take a photography class.
  49. Start a podcast.
  50. Learn to use the Audacity program.
  51. Take a Bob Ross painting technique class.
  52. Get paid for playing music.
  53. Take a trip on the interstate.
  54. Get paid for writing something.
  55. Get a paid speaking gig.
  56. Get a tattoo.
  57. Visit a friend in another state.
  58. Really learn to make a quilt. (Completed 07/13/17)
  59. Complete a coloring book.
  60. Create an inspiration notebook.
  61. Read 100 books (28 read so far)
  62. Read at a school for Read Across America again
  63. Start a Bible study.
  64. Bike ride the entire Chief Ladiga Trail again.
  65. Start an online fitness group for people who aren't already fit.
  66. Do a nonconventional sprint level triathlon.
  67. Find lucrative work and/or a lucrative side hustle.
  68. Get off my blood pressure meds.
  69. Eat cake and ice cream guilt-free for my birthday.
  70. Learn to use Instagram.
  71. 30 days of...projects (some will overlap)
  72. ... out of the gym
  73. ... of self love and care
  74. ... of laughter
  75. ... of happiness
  76. ... of total immersion in God's Word
  77. ... of practicing the presence of God
  78. ... of writing
  79. ... of painting
  80. ... of RAK
  81. ... of letter writing
  82. ... of 10,000 steps
  83. ... photo challenge
  84. ...off the grid
  85. Learn to tie die a shirt.
  86. Cycle 1000 miles (36 /100).
  87. Get re-certified in CPR
  88. Learn calligraphy
  89. Redesign this blog
  90. Redesign my Auntie's Workshop blog
  91. Purchase (and show up for ) 5 sessions with a personal trainer.
  92. Get my own place.
  93. Tip a server $20.
  94. Go berry picking.
  95. Read through the Message Translation of the Bible.
  96. Read through Matthew Henry's Commentary as I read through the Bible.
  97. Create a basket of giveaways for the 2018 Honduras mission trip or another such mission project.
  98. Create a basket of comfort items to give away.
  99. Blog about the completion of the major portions of this list.
  100. Inspire someone to make a list of his own.
  101. Celebrate finishing this list and start a new one.
The Bonus Round:  Bonus bucks for finishing any incomplete item from the last 101 in 1001 that have not been moved to the current list.
  • TBAchieved

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

May the Sneer Be With You: The Weekly Hodgepodge


Join the fun! 
Come on over to 
for the Hodgepodge link-up!
Can you tell I'm embracing a Cinco de Mayo theme here this week? Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? How about on the side-black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, rice? What about heat-mild, medium, hot? Will you celebrate with Mexican food and drink on May 5th aka Cinco de Mayo?

Since I've never been to Mexico, I've never had authentic Mexican food.  I am, however, a big fan of Americanized Mexican food and medium salsa.  We have a restaurant in nearby Jacksonville called Baja California Grill, where the food is scrumptious.  My favorite dish from there is called Pollo Rico:  a sautéed chicken breast surrounded by rice, salad, and a side of guacamole.  My second favorite is their Raquel Salad:  a combination of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables poured over a bed of lettuce.  I'm licking my eyebrows just thinking about it.

Ever been to Mexico? For work or holiday? Love it or no? If you haven't been is this a place you'd like to visit? Can you speak Spanish?

No, I've not had the privilege (or budget) to visit Mexico, but hope to some day.  I used to speak Spanish fairly well, but I've lost a lot of it due to lack of practice.  It frustrates me because we have customers for whom Spanish is their native language and I can't comfortably converse.  That something I would like to work on.

What's one thing you may accomplish this month?

Finishing a lesson in the Bible Correspondence Course I've been working on.  I'm sending my latest test in today and hoping for a good grade.  I got an 88% on my last test and wasn't happy.

If you were mayor of your village, city, or town, what's one thing you'd like to see changed, done away with, revamped, or accomplished? Is serving in public office something you've ever seriously considered?

I don't think I'm cut out for politics.  BUT, If I were mayor of Weaver, Alabama, I'd be more communicative and accessible to my constituents.  I've lived in Weaver for three years now and wouldn't know the mayor if he came up and slapped me in face.   The only encounter I've had with any member of the city council was one person who also "served" the local Lion's Club.  Trust me, that experience didn't give me faith that he was capable of walking across the street, much less helping to run a city's government.  I would also unlock the bathrooms in the city park and set up a system of monitoring to keep the bathrooms clean and vandals out.  In fact, I think that I and the city council members should be first in line to take turns monitoring and cleaning.  I could go into making sure our infrastructure projects aren't halfway done then left untouched for months and months, making sure that Weaver Elementary is included in Read Across America, and stop saying that citizens of who have a Weaver address and pay taxes and utilities to the city of Weaver aren't part of the City of Weaver when the city doesn't want to do something they're supposed to do, but...


What's something that may be popular, but that you just don't get?

A lot of what's being passed around as music.  I know, I sound like an old fart and every generation goes through this, but I'm willing to give new music a shot if there's real musicianship and effort involved.  I don't consider a autotuned voice wailing obscenities accompanied by a $12 drum machine music.



Can't let this week slip by without mentioning Thursday May 4th is Star Wars Day. As in 'May the 4th be with you' ahem. Are you a fan of the Star Wars series? Exactly how much of a fan are you? On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being 'I've seen every film, own the action figures, might have dressed as Darth Vader for Halloween one year', and 1 being, 'what's a Vader?' -where do you land?

Hmm...I'm around a five, I guess.  I thoroughly enjoyed the original trilogy and have no plans to see the newer incarnations.  Plus, I actually like Star Trek better than Star Wars

Scroll back through your blog posts and in three sentences or less tell us the general theme of your fourth blog post. Does it still ring true today? Is it a topic you re-visit on your blog from time to time?

It was a Simple Woman's Daybook done around the time I'd gone to a mind-blowing worship conference with my home church's worship team.  I was in the throws of making some pretty drastic changes in my life--starting the blog being one of them.  I don't regret the changes; I only regret the melancholy that surrounded them.

Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of changes...

On axiom of life, or as Gretchen Rubin calls them "secrets of adulthood" is to surround oneself with positive people who uplift our lives, rather than naysayers who can never see the bright side of anything.  I've had to do a lot of that this year and it concerns my running.

This was, and still is, to be the year that I do complete more miles than ever.  The most I've ever done was 434 miles back in 2015.  I've already walked/ran more than 200, so I'm on track.  However, at the start of the year, I made the unfortunate mistake of telling someone from our runners club my goals.  She wasn't simply discouraging; she was downright insulting.  She literally sneered at me and said, "A little ambitious, don't you think?"  Then she proceeds to tell me about a friend of hers who has a "bit of a belly," as she calls it, who posts a great deal of miles that she doesn't think is possible for this person.  In so many condescending sentences, she basically told me that I was too fat to meet my goals, and even if I did, she'd tell everyone in the club I was lying.  What am I supposed to do with that?   This kind of elitist attitude makes me question paying $15.00 a year to be a part of a club that doesn't seem to think I'm good enough to be there.  For now, I wisely hid my hurt and I avoid talking to this person about my health goals at all (or much of anything else for that matter).  At the end of the year, I'll seriously reevaluate whether the runner's club is even worth it. 

I'm not even going into what was said to me by the local Black Girls Run group about a different matter that related to running.  Fortunately, getting rid of that catty-minded discouragement only took a mouse click and no loss of funds.

I wish I could start my own group.

Monday, May 1, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 16

BookThe Untapped Power in Praise
 
Author: Kenneth W. Hagin (Ken Hagin Jr.)

Info:  Copyright 1990: Tulsa: Kenneth Hagin Ministries

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

Where Acquired:  Correspondence Course curriculum.

What it's about:  Hagin gives a brief snapshot of the power of the true worship of God.  Using biblical illustrations, he encourages the reader to make praise and worship a part of daily life.

Favorite Quotes: 

"The greatest cure known to mankind can be found in praising God. The greatest deliverance known to man is within the reach of every believer on the earth--and it is found in praising God from a sincere heart of love and gratitude. " - p. 2

"Praise is so important to the believer because it provides an avenue to help you stay in faith and to rise above the negative emotions that would try to bring you down into the arena of doubt and unbelief." - p. 51

"Basically, our praise services should reflect our deep reverence for God. Our praise and worship should reflect hearts and lives of people who are excited about their Heavenly Father." p. 55

"Why does praise lift us to new heights in God? Because praise is the language of faith. Praise is the language of victory. Praise is the language of heaven. Praise is the language of believing God with your heart and confessing your faith in Him with your mouth. The Bible says whatever you believe in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth (Matt 12:34).... A positive praise life requires diligence and boldness." - p. 65

"Sad to say, Satan devours too many Christians because they don’t know who they are in Christ and what their rights and privileges are as joint-heirs with Christ. The devil has rocked others to sleep in the cradle of self-complacency; they have become satisfied with what they have and where they are in God." - p 85

What I liked:

This book served as an encouraging reminder that my role as worshipper doesn't end when I leave the doors of the church.  Also, he drives the point home that the privilege of worshipper isn't reserved only to those who sing well or play musical instruments; every believer in Christ is called to worship and praise.

What I didn’t like: 

The book was extremely repetitive.  After chapter three, Hagin rehashes the same points and many of the same scriptures from the previous chapters.  By the time I got to chapter six, I found myself saying over and over, "OK, I get it."

Takeaway: There were some great nuggets of biblical truth in this offering by Hagin.  However, it was sorely lacking and fell flat.  There should have been more in-depth study on the elements of praise, how prayer and praise work together, and more practical instructions than "You should be doing this, so do it...and do it right!"  Even if this book has not been part of a study course, I still would have expected more.