Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I really enjoyed this book...I guess a disclaimer of sorts is necessary as I am friends with the author and he is my Sunday School teacher. But I think I am still unbiased enough to be able to recommend a good book for Christians or for those simply looking for a more authentic Christmas experience.
The book is set up as a devotional reading for the advent season and as such is uniquely Christian...unashamedly so. Each morning through this advent season, with coffee in hand my Hubby and I read this book and pondered the readings all day and then quietly in the evenings, as a couple, talked about what the reading meant to us and as it turned out it meant a great deal to both of us.
It is easy I think...or maybe it is just easy for me to be swept away with the consumerism of Christmas and because of that the simple joy of Christmas and it's meaning can be lost in a journey of emptying one's wallet. Not very inspiring! The reading of this book will become a tradition in our home, which for my Hubby and I is heartwarming! We are Empty Nester's now...and if we needed our children to help us conjure up Christmas...it wouldn't have worked this year! Because while we are a close family and we did see them often...things are not the same. And that is a good thing! But, My Hubby and I without realizing it started a new tradition for us!Our morning and evening devotional... kept us focused in the right direction. This has been a difficult year for us financially and at times I have felt panicked but I have been able to keep myself sane and feeling loved because of the reminders in this little gem of a book!
My pastor, whenever we read scripture always says to ask..."Who? What? When? and Where?" and then... "So what?" Scripture needs to be made relevent for your life and you are the only one who can do that for yourself! "Who said this?" "What was happening?" "When did this happen?" and then "So What?" meaning "So what does this mean for my life?"
Derek answers these "So what?" questions with beautiful examples from his personal life...while reading his... it is very easy for you to ask yourself...
"So What does this "Christmas" mean for my life?"
Saturday, December 27, 2008
My grandson, The Cutest Boy in America ...waiting for the food to be done!
Christmas is over...if the presents that Santa did or did not buy you is all you think there is to Christmas...if so, then you may feel a lot like my family room looks!
May you feel the real joy of Christmas all the coming year... no matter how messy our economy looks. May you always feel the presence of God no matter what your circumstance!
God Bless you!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I don't know if any of you get emails asking questions but I do...I am little surprised at how many...these are emails from people I don't know. There have only been a few unkind ones and I have tried to answer them respectfully!
But...I thought maybe you would like to hear my answers to the most popular ones ...
During the Election...
This question asked nicely and not so nicely...
How can you be a Christian and a Democrat?
How can you vote for Obama and be a Christian?
Well, my answer is that we will have to agree in love to disagree about our idea of what a Christian is...I don't see a conflict in my values and faith here but I accept your right to disagree with that idea.
How can you as a Christian speak to Muslims?
Because I want to understand and I am hoping to be understood. Nothing more than that...just an understanding and respect for one another.
Do you know that there are people who follow and comment on your blog that are not nice and they post vulgar things?
Do you know that one person posted a racist comment on her blog and no one not even you called her on it?
This set of questions...I struggle to answer...first...I don't believe in censorship of any kind...now saying that and living with that are two different things!
Vulgar...I am not really interested in it but I don't object to it...I just move on!
Racist...is a different thing and I do struggle with how to handle it, while I would never tolerate it in my presence...commenting on it in a blog would attach my name to it and I don't want that!
So far my policy has been to just move on!
How did you hurt your foot?
I've always walked and have done fine but I was trying to start running and I think from lack of support (old running shoe) I have hurt my arch in my right foot! It has depressed me a little and made me feel old...I am doing what the Doc said and hopefully it will be better. I am looking into Pilate's, as I love Yoga!
That's it...what's in your mail bag?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I have had a restful Sunday as I am staying off my injured foot and I am feeling better.
I am reading In My Heart I Carry A Star by Derek Maul for Bloggy Book Club. It is a great book to read for an Advent Season devotional or if you just want a Christmas book that has a wonderful collection of heartwarming stories!
This book reminds us about the real reason for the season which is not to shop until you drop exhausted or to overeat until you feel like popping.
Derek has a great blog where he discusses this book and other great topics.
I have enjoyed this book so much and will blog later in more detail for December's Bloggy Book Club.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Leave a comment here about how much you love Bears or Baers and I will enter you in a give-away for $10 gift card to Build-a-Bear Workshop!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
When I am in physical pain...I become less tolerant of others and their stupidity...
That is to say...when I am not in pain...I overlook things I should...when I am in pain...it seems necessary for me to set others straight...I guess so I may become a pain in their heel!
Long story made short...Hubby and I are no longer speaking...because clearly...I can't say anything nice!
I am half way through my friend Derek Maul's book In My Heart I Carry A Star...it is a collection of stories to be read during the Advent season. This week is Love...so...I am feeling anything but loving and loved...pain does that to us...it takes our eyes off of our God and makes us become isolated and mean...okay, maybe just me! Derek makes this point so much better than I here.
I am heading off to the Doctor to find out what is wrong and I am going to do exactly what he says for me to feel better...
Many of us are worried about the economy...and they are real worries...I don't intend to make light of it...I am in real pain!
But, regardless of my pain or the world's...God is in control...and we are His personal children and he cares deeply about our pain! There is no greater love than His...
and we are commanded to love one another as I have loved you...
I have some work to do!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
The book cover states:
Two weeks before Christmas, Duncan Wagner gets into his car for another attempt at kidnapping the son of his most despised enemy, State Representative Win Booker. When he drives into the wealthy Boston suburb, he is surprised to find the boy hitchhiking.
So begins Wagner's quest for revenge as he finds himself face to face with a real boy and without a clue about how to run a kidnapping. Wagner, a self styled charity Santa Claus, comes to realize that eleven year old Gabriel Booker is truly a runaway, much more curious than scared. Gabriel has no idea who Duncan Wagner is- or could be.
In an old apartment in downtown Boston, the odd pair makes an unforgettable team, providing each other with what they have been missing in life. Author Stephen V. Masse captures the friendship with a blend of suspense and humor, showing that love is a resource which can bring redemption to the most damaged souls.
This book certainly isn't the typical Christmas story...it reminded me that so many people do not live the typical Hallmark Christmas but rather sad and lonely ones.
A Jolly Good Fellow is a short read that surprises you with it's ending and touches you in it's telling of the relationship that develops between Duncan and the small boy, Gabriel.
I had wished the ending had been different but upon reflection realized it couldn't have ended any better for all characters involved. This is a sweet and sour Christmas story with humorous moments sprinkled throughout while telling the lovely relationship of a young boy and a lonely man during Christmas... and a kidnapping!
This would make a great holiday gift!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I have found this amazing book by The Turner Publishing Company called Historic Photos of Tampa, Text and captions by Ralph Brower. It is a collection of old photographs from Tampa, many that have never been published, and information about the history of Tampa to go with the pictures. I love this book...in fact so much so that since I have been invited to three parties this holiday season, this will be my hostess/host gift for each party!
If you go to The Turner Publishing Company web page...you will find other amazing books on other cities across America! Perfect Holiday gift!
My Hubby and I sometimes light a fire outdoors and sit and have long chats...the rules are we have to be positive...no negative comments...not about our family or the economy! We talk about movies, books I have read or our house we want to build in the mountains! This is free and it is one of my favorite times with Hubby.
What bugs me is people who are negative and critical of other people...I don't know how I keep finding these people. My theory is that like some kind of creature from outer space I morph into their persona...I dislike that about myself! That I allow their negativity to absorb into my pores and become a part of my being! I have started being very choosy about my friends...I have allowed relationships to drift away because they were more about what I could do for them than a mutual relationship.They were exhausting! When I started to say "No, I wouldn't be able to do that for them!"...I wasn't quite as popular as I once was however, my time with my family is quality time and I feel very good about the relationships I have left!
I wonder if people consider what we are teaching our children with this "You Can't do this!" attitude. We seem as a country ready and very quickly to find what is wrong with each other but slow to see what is right...to encourage each other and be kind to each other rather than tearing each other down! These people rarely talk about what they have learned from their mistakes...they use others as example to make a point. The best teachers in my life have used their own life experience to teach me..not by talking about others! When I look back on my life...it is the mistakes that I have made that have taught me the most...the times I have been humbled that have given me a compassionate out look on life! I am grateful for every one of my screw ups as they have made me who I am today. I think, as a country we could be a little more tolerate of others as they find their way...if you can't just don't sit next to me...I have big pores!
rejoice in our suffering, suffering produces perseverance, perseverance- character and character - hope...
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The Cutest Boy in America makes me happy!
He doesn't look happy but he is...this is his serious modeling look...The Magnum look...for really, really good-looking people!
We are Empty Nester's ...so our home isn't really big...so when you have 48 people coming you take the party outdoors for overflow!
We emptied the patio and the living room and filled the space with round tables!