Thursday, December 26, 2013

A review of Whispers of Hope!

Whispers of Hope by Beth Moore, is an amazing 10 week prayer journal with devotionals.  I love keeping track of prayer requests, praises, and answers to prayer in my regular journal.  So, seeing this special journal set up to chronicle six aspects of prayer each day, excited me.

The six aspects of prayer are what Beth calls the P.R.A.I.S.E format.  P is for praise, R is for Repentance, A is for acknowledgement, I is for intercession, S is for supplication for self and E is for equipping. There are blank lines under each of these aspects to be able to journal. 

I especially love the equipping aspect because I wouldn't think to journal about that specifically each day, but it is important.  I love the P.R.A.I.S.E format, and will continue to use it in my personal journal.

I have to confess that I am a big Beth Moore fan.  I have yet to read a book of hers, or do a Bible Study that I don't love.  Whispers of Hope is no exception.  Beth Moore delivers once again with a wonderful devotional prayer journal that is unique and has depth to it. 

I highly recommend it!

Previous posts about other Beth Moore books:
My Favorite Time with God Stuff!
Summer Thank-fulness!
10 Quotes from my 2012 Journal!
My Life Now...



Sunday, November 24, 2013

My TV Show Smorgasbord!

These are my favorite shows this season!

1) Justified--This has been my favorite show for awhile.  I just bought the above T-shirt from the show.  The next season (Season 5) starts in January.  I was thrilled when I found out last year, that Rush loves this show as well.

2) Chicago Fire--
This show just started last year and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It doesn't hurt that quite a few of the firefighters are hot.  An example is Taylor Kinney, who was recently featured in People and makes more than one Sexiest Male Actor's list.

3) Nashville--
I love this show. I fell in love with Connie Britton when she was on Friday Night Lights.  I think I like her character even better on Nashville as Rayna.  I also never realized what a hunk Charles Esten was until this show.  He has been on other shows but never caught my attention until now.  The rest of the cast is stellar as well, especially Hayden Panettiere.  

4) Grey's Anatomy--
There are certain shows that I can watch over and over again and Grey's Anatomy is one of them. I often say that it is free therapy because of how the show deals with issues so well. I still love this show even though its in its' 10th season. It will probably make my list of top 10 shows of all time.

5) I Survived...--
My son and I watch this together. I like it better than my murder shows because its a little more optimistic in that the people live ;-).

6) The Good Wife--
This show does such a great job of keeping you hooked into the story line. The actors are great as well. My favorites are Julianna Margulies and Matt Czuchry.

7) Sons of Anarchy--
I have watched all of this show with a friend. I still haven't gotten caught up to the current season yet. Its a gritty show but good, you can vicariously imagine life in a motorcycle gang when you watch it. Since, that will probably never happen for me, its fun to watch. I of course, love Charlie Hunnam, and am really impressed with Katey Sagal, this is by far her best role ever.

8) The Middle--
I'm pretty sure this is my favorite family comedy of all time. I have never really been that impressed with family comedies in general, but this one is priceless. It reminds me so much of my family.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

My "48 Days to the Work I Love" Journey--Days 5 & 6

Three words are used interchangeably and shouldn't be: vocation, career and job.  The distinctions are significant.

Vocation is the most profound of the three, incorporating calling, purpose, mission and destiny.

Remembering the happiest times in your life and the times when you felt most fulfilled are better indicators of your calling than just knowing what you can do.--Dan Miller
Day 5
--Read Chapter 3
--Are you making deposits of success in the other important life areas?

Day 6
--Talk to 2 people about your new understanding of vocation, career and job.
--Answer questions from Chapter 3
Ultimately, money is never enough compensation for investing our time and energy.  We need a sense of meaning, purpose and accomplishment.  Anything that does not blend our values, dreams, and passions will cause us, on some level, to choke.  A life well lived must go beyond just making a paycheck--even if it's a very large one.

If money is the only reward of your job, you will begin to see deterioration in your life physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally.--Dan Miller
One of the most significant things I learned from this chapter is that it will help my job search if I am making deposits of success in other areas of my life.  These other areas are: family, recreation, community, church and personal development.  They should all be in balance with my work, instead of work being the most important thing.


Monday, November 04, 2013

My "48 Days to the Work I Love" Journey--Days 3 & 4

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need.  If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us.  We would not be as strong and we could never fly!--Dan Miller

Change, even if unwelcome, forces us to reevaluate what our best options are.--Dan Miller

Day 3
--Read Chapter 2
--Recap your own work history 

Day 4
--Answer the questions at the end of Chapter 2

The secret of success is focus of purpose.--Thomas Edison

When you get to heaven, God is not going to ask you why you weren't more like Mother Theresa.  He's likely to ask you why you weren't more like you.--Dan Miller
I finally reflected on the question from Day 2,
"What was I born to do?"
--I realized how to combine all of my interests.
--I was born to write and/or talk about issues that I'm passionate about.

In reflecting on my work history, I realized I have had a lot more jobs than I realized.  Since, I've been a Homeschool Mom for so long, I hadn't really taken into account how many jobs I've actually worked at.


Saturday, November 02, 2013

Christi Paul, Christians and Divorce




"Think about it - hasn't every good thing that's happened in your life happened because something 'changed'? So why do we fear it?"--Christi Paul
"If you live off a man's compliments, you'll die from his criticism". - Cornelius Lindsey
Earlier this year, I did a post reviewing Christi Paul's book, Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt.  It is an excellent book, because it shows how difficult it is to leave an abusive marriage as a Christian when it's verbal abuse.

I think the Christian world has done a disservice to women, in that they want marriage to be saved at all costs.  It is a reaction to the high divorce rate, even among Christians.  I understand the reaction, but many women are trampled upon in the process.  The Christian world doesn't want people to come up with "excuses" to get a divorce.  Yet, abuse of any kind is not an excuse.

The other thing that bothers me, and many other divorcees mention this as well, is that often used quote in Christendom and other places, "divorce is the easy way out."  Divorce is many things, but an easy way out, it is not.

I didn't initiate the divorce, and I didn't want my kids to go through the repercussions of divorce, but in reflecting on my marriage, I put up with things that I never should have.  And why did I do that?  It was because Christians aren't supposed to get divorced.
But after four years of a marriage like that, I knew I was either going to have a breakdown or a breakout.  I chose to breakout.  I finally realized I'd rather live authentically than live a lie.--Christi Paul 
Recently, Paul wrote a great article entitled, The Benefits of Verbal Abuse.  Despite it being on the Huffington Post website, it's worth reading.

"The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to get rid of what you don't."--Christi Paul
Paul empowers all women to learn from their difficult situations and change their lives.  She has encouraged and inspired me in my life.  She was hesitant to speak out for many years, but now that she has, she has been a source of great encouragement.  A lesson to all of us to be open to sharing the difficult areas of our life, we never know who we might uplift.    



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My "48 Days to the Work I Love" Journey--Day 2


Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.--Confucius

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion.  He hardly knows which is which.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.  To him he is always doing both.--James Michener
Day 2
--Read Chapter 1 and answer the questions at the end
--Ask yourself what you were "born to do"

The frustration of that go beyond those even at high-income levels reminds me again and again that money is ultimately never enough compensation for unhappily investing one's time and energy.  There must be a sense of purpose, meaning, and accomplishment.--Dan Miller

When we are not true to ourselves, to our unique God-given characteristics, we lose the power of authenticity, creativity, imagination, and innovation.  Our life becomes performance-based, setting the stage for compromise in all other areas of our lives.--Dan Miller
This was an inspirational and encouraging chapter to read.  The questions at the end of the chapter really made me think about what I've done in the past as an indicator for what will work in the future.  I am still thinking through what my answer will be for what I was born to do.

2013 Book List--Part 3

2013 is biography year for me. I have read 19 biographies so far.

1) Eleven On Top--Janet Evanovich
2) Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt--Christi Paul
3) The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression--Amity Shlaes
4) A Journey Through the Life of William Wilberforce: The Abolitionist Who Changed the Face of a Nation--Kevin Belmonte
5) Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family--Condoleezza Rice
6) Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member--Emily Keller
7) Raging Heart--Sheila Weller
8) Silent Partner--Dina Matos McGreevey
9) 60 Days to Self-Love for Moms--Nicole Burns
10) The Cold War--Andrew Heritage
11) Staying True--Jenny Sanford
12) A Stolen Life--Jaycee Dugard
13) Broken on the Back Row--Sandi Patty
14) Columbine--Dave Cullen
15) Pol Pot--John Allen
16) Twelve Sharp--Janet Evanovich
17) I Beat the Odds--Michael Oher
18) The Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian Genocide--Sean Bergin
19) Taking Heat--Ari Fleischer
20) Out of Captivity--Tom Howes, Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell & Gary Brozek
21) The Favored Daughter--Fawzia Koofi
22) How to Pray--R.A. Torrey
23) Drinking and Tweeting and Other Brandi Blunders--Brandi Glanville
24) Rinnavation--Lisa Rinna
25) Ali Was Here--James Kirkpatrick Davis
26) Kinsey and Me--Sue Grafton
27) Remembering Jackie--Life Books
28) Not my Turn to Die: Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia--Savo Heleta
29) Prairie Tale: A Memoir--Melissa Gilbert

Previously:
2013 Book List--Part 2
2013 Book List--Part 1
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My "48 Days to the Work I Love" Journey!--Day 1


So, my life has been turned upside down in the last 2 years.  I have been through a divorce, several job changes and a move.  I have been reluctant to blog about it, but I have missed blogging tremendously, and I decided that I needed to blog for myself and for those that my story might help as well.

I home schooled my kids for 13 years, and was a stay-at-home Mom primarily for 18 years.  Now, I have 2 kids in College and 2 in public school, they are all doing very well academically.

I now find myself in the work force, trying to find a job I love.  I really enjoyed a temporary job that I had working for a freight company, but it didn't pay enough.  I am now working at an assembly line job which pays well, but is sucking the life out of me.

A friend had bought me 2 of Dan Miller's books, 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Dreaded Mondays.  I figured now is the time to read them and see what where they lead me.  I figured I would blog about my journey to help keep me accountable.

Below is the description for day 1, which I have completed.

Day 1
--Review the 48 day schedule
--Read the Intro and sign and date the commitment

Additional Links:
48 Days Success Stories
Funnyrat's 48 Days Journey



Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Favored Daughter! (A Book Review)


Politics was in my blood and I believe it was my destiny. God wanted me to live for a purpose and what greater purpose can there be but to improve the lot of the poor and bring pride to a nation torn apart by war?--Fawzia Koofi
Fawzia Koofi is truly an amazing and courageous woman.  I can't remember how I heard about her book, but I am so glad I did.  I not only learned a lot about Afghanistan, but about the taliban, the mujahideen, the roles of women in society, etc...
Even at that early age I had a sense of the injustice of the position of women in our culture.  I remember the quiet despair of the wives who weren't loved or noticed by my father, and the trials of those who were.--Fawzia Koofi

Koofi was born into a family where her father had 7 wives, she was the nineteenth child and her mother was her father's favorite wife.  Her father was a respected politician, but was murdered when she was only 4.  She survived abuse and death all her life, including the murders of her brother and husband.
Marriage is an important rite in a woman's life, but I truly believe marriage should not prevent her from living her dreams.  Rather, her dreams should become those of her husband's and her husband's dreams should become part of hers.  This new couple should stand together and make the world theirs.--Fawzia Koofi

Out of all of this she was the only daughter in her family to go to school and even started medical school.  She surely would've graduated, had the taliban not taken over while she was in the middle of her education.  When the taliban took over, women lost the few rights they had.

After the United States freed Afghanistan from the taliban, Koofi took hold of her future and ran for parliament in the first free elections in many years.  Her life is constantly in danger, but she knows the cause she serves is too important to quit.  She also ran for the Speaker position in parliament and won as a virtual unknown at the time, and is the first woman to have the role.

She now wants to run for President in 2014.  I can't imagine a better champion or leader for Afghanistan.  I wish her godspeed.

2013 Book List--Part 2

2013 Book List


I have made time for more reading this year and its been very rewarding.  I realized that a lot of my book ideas come from seeing something on tv, movies or on the radio.  I found the above book after watching an episode of I Survived...  Three Americans were held hostage in Columbia for more than 5 years.  Their story was truly amazing.

1) Eleven On Top--Janet Evanovich
2) Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt--Christi Paul
3) The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression--Amity Shlaes
4) A Journey Through the Life of William Wilberforce: The Abolitionist Who Changed the Face of a Nation--Kevin Belmonte
5) Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family--Condoleezza Rice
6) Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member--Emily Keller
7) Raging Heart--Sheila Weller
8) Silent Partner--Dina Matos McGreevey
9) 60 Days to Self-Love for Moms--Nicole Burns
10) The Cold War--Andrew Heritage
11) Staying True--Jenny Sanford
12) A Stolen Life--Jaycee Dugard
13) Broken on the Back Row--Sandi Patty
14) Columbing--Dave Cullen
15) Pol Pot--John Allen
16) Twelve Sharp--Janet Evanovich
17) I Beat the Odds--Michael Oher
18) The Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian Genocide--Sean Bergin
19) Taking Heat--Ari Fleischer
20) Out of Captivity--Tom Howes, Marc Gonsalves, Keith Stansell & Gary Brozek
21) The Favored Daughter--Fawzia Koofi


Previously:
2013 Book List--Part 1
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Friday, April 26, 2013

George W. Bush Presidential Center Dedication!



Yesterday, on the 25th of April, the George W. Bush Presidential Center had its dedication ceremony. As I watched Bush's speech, it reminded me once again why I love him and am so proud he was our President for 8 years.

I am a huge fan of Presidential Museums and my goal is to eventually travel to see them all.  Bush's is a must see for me.  So, I'm planning on taking a long weekend trip and going out to see it sometime this summer, can't wait!!

I got to see Ronald Reagan's and Richard Nixon's last summer when I took my daughter to college in California.  I wasn't blogging at the time, so I may have to do posts on them sometime this year.

Previously:
Gerald Ford Presidential Museum 
Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Museum
Abraham Lincoln


Monday, March 25, 2013

Columbine!



I recently read Columbine by Dave Cullen.  Cullen spent 10 years on Columbine with his book coming out in 2009.  I was surprised by how many myths and misconceptions were alive and well in the early days and even years afterwards.

Columbine was a tragedy that affected many.  One of the things that struck me from Cullen's book was that both Eric and Dylan came from good families with parents who cared, by all accounts.  Yet, the parents were vilified since both boys were dead and everyone needed someone to blame.

Columbine was emotional for me.  I was still in my 20's at the time, and it reminded of a close friend who died while I was in high school.

As I looked up more on the tragedy, I was encouraged by the stories of the survivors and the victim's families 10 years later.  Nothing can bring those loved ones back, but how the rest choose to move on is inspiring.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Stolen Life! (Book Review)


I remember being captivated when I first heard about this story.  An 11 year old girl named Jaycee Dugard went missing in 1991, and was found 18 years later at the age of 29.  She had been kidnapped, raped and tortured for all that time by Phillip Garrido, who was also aided by his wife Nancy. Jaycee gave birth to 2 girls during her time of captivity.  Yet, her Mother never gave up hope, and neither did Jaycee.

It broke my heart to think that she had 18 years stolen away from her and suffered all of that abuse.  Yet, when you read Jaycee's book and see her talk in person, you are amazed at how she not only survived those years, but is now thriving.  In the past, when I have heard about stories similar to this, I was always sad because my belief was that they could never lead a normal life.  Jaycee Dugard proves that not to be true.

 A Stolen Life was painful to read at times because of the horrors that Jaycee lived through at such a young age. It also saddens me that she lost so much of her life. But I was amazed at how resilient she has become. Her strength is inspiring. 

She did a great job writing this book, and I found it to be a compelling story.  She is very brave, and says that she wrote it to so that victims would have a voice.  She also hopes that it will help reform the justice system which failed her so badly.  Phillip Garrido was a sex offender and a drug addict on parole, and yet somehow during all of his visits from parole officers, they never found Jaycee or her girls, who were located in his back yard.  Here is what the state of California did for her:

In July 2010, the State of California approved a $20 million settlement with Jaycee Dugard, to compensate her for "various lapses by the Corrections Department [which contributed to] Dugard's continued captivity, ongoing sexual assault and mental and/or physical abuse." 



Jaycee has started a wonderful foundation, The JAYC Foundation.  The foundation helps families like Jaycee's after they escape and reunite with their family members.
Jaycee Dugard was awarded a "Lifetime Leadership" honor at the third annual Diane von Furstenberg awards on March 9, 2012 for her courage and her JAYC Foundation which gives support to families dealing with abduction and other tragedies. The DVF awards honor women who are courageous and fight for justice. --Oprah and Jaycee Dugard honored at the DVF awards
I can't think of anyone who deserves that award more than Jaycee.  May God bless her and her family and her foundation!





Friday, March 01, 2013

The Good Wife?


 


My present circumstances have me in a place where it is therapeutic to read about how other women have survived troubled marriages that led to divorce.  I first read Christi Paul's book, Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt and then Dina Matos McGreevey's, Silent Partner.   I really liked both books and so I went in search of other books that were similar.

I found Jenny Sanford's book, Staying True.  The common thread between her book and the other two is that they all relied on their faith to get through.  It has been so encouraging to see that.

When I went looking for books, I came across some interesting articles about political wives whose husbands cheated on them.  It was interesting to see who stayed and who left.  It reminded me of one of my favorite shows right now, The Good Wife.

The two articles are,  5 wives who stayed-and 5 that didn't-after political sex scandals and The Two-Timed Wives Club: 14 Spouses of Cheating Politicians.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Review of Silent Partner!


I was married to a man who had lied to himself for a good part of his life, who lied to others for the rest of it, and who lied to me in word and in deed, in mind and in body, in acts of commission and omission.--Dina Matos McGreevey


...over the last two years my faith has grown and my spiritual practices have deepened.  Otherwise, I could not have survived.  Faith, or at least my faith, is not passive.

I know that I'm a stronger person now than I've ever been or thought I could ever be.--Dina Matos McGreevey
In 2004, Dina Matos McGreevey's world fell apart.  Her husband, who was the Governor of New Jersey at that time, confessed to Dina and the world that he had been having an affair with a man.  Dina had noticed some of her husband's deceptions, but had no idea how many there were and that many of them started when they began dating and lasted throughout their marriage.

I saw and was drawn to Dina's story after seeing it on an episode of, "Who the Bleep Did I Marry?"  I found out that even though she did stand next to him during his public confession, she separated from him soon afterwards.   I was impressed with her strength of character that she displayed throughout it all.

Again, just like when I read Christi Paul's book, I could relate to some of the things that Dina shared in her book, Silent Partner.  It was therapeutic and encouraging to see how she coped and was able to successfully move on with her life.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Review of Raging Heart!

Raging HeartRaging Heart by Sheila Weller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I will never forget where I was and what I was doing when I heard that O.J. Simpson had been found not guilty in his murder trial.  I was in shock, I had heard about all the evidence and couldn't fathom how he wasn't convicted.

So, when the books started pouring out I decided to read them to figure out what happened.  I read 2 of them soon after, and the other 3 right when O.J. attempted to publish his "confession, that wasn't really a confession." 

The 5 books I read on the O.J. Simpson case were: Evidence Dismissed: The Inside Story of the Police Investigation of O.J. Simpson, Without a Doubt, Murder In Brentwood, How I Helped O.J. Get Away With Murder: The Shocking Inside Story of Violence, Loyalty, Regret, and Remorse and If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer.

Yet, in reading all these books on the case, I never really read a book that described O.J. and Nicole's lives before the murders.  Weller's book is wonderful in giving you a vivid and detailed account of their lives and their marriage.  It helped me to understand the dynamics a lot better and even helped me to learn even more about domestic violence. 

View all my reviews

Previously:
  Posts on or related to O.J. Simpson

Monday, February 11, 2013

Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle--American Hero!



As a testament to the gratitude of the American people, nearly 7,000 attended Chris Kyle's memorial service today.  Kyle is an American hero for all that he has done for our country as a Navy Seal sniper.  Taya Kyle, his beautiful wife, spoke about him at the service:
Slain ex-Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was a devoted husband, father and friend who will never be forgotten, his widow told mourners at his memorial service Monday.

Taya Kyle said she was broken but that the family will “put one foot in front of the other” to get through their grief. She told her two children that they will remember Chris Kyle’s silly side, Texas twang and prayers they prayed together.

“Chris, there isn’t enough time to tell you everything you mean to me and everything you taught me,” she said through tears.

Its sad that he died trying to help another soldier.  I think thats a testament to the kind of guy he was.


I first heard about Kyle when he was on O'Reilly's show for his book, American Sniper.  I fell in love with him when he had to punch Jesse Ventura for bad-mouthing the war, Bush and America.  Of course, what really broke the camel's back was Ventura saying that the Navy Seals deserved to lose a few guys, and this was all at an event connected with the funeral of some Navy Seals.  Classy!

I had wanted to buy Kyle's book before, but now I can't wait to buy it and read it.

May God bless and comfort Kyle's many family and friends!!





Saturday, February 09, 2013

A Review of Argo!



I was skeptical about how Hollywood would portray the Iranian hostage situation, but I went to see Argo anyway and loved it.

I was in the 5th grade when Americans from the U.S. embassy in Iran were taken hostage.  I remember it well, because I had a phenomenal teacher that year who made sure we were informed about current events.

Argo tells the little known story of the 6 people who escaped from the Embassy and took refuge in the home of the Canadian Ambassador.  The story has been called the Canadian Caper and a TV movie was first done on it in 1981, entitled  Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper.

The 6 men and women were in great danger because it was only a matter of time before the Iranian militants would discover that there were some people missing from the embassy.  A CIA agent then comes up with a plan to get them out of Iran.

I really liked the movie and am impressed with Ben Affleck's ability to direct.  The only part that I didn't like was at the end when Jimmy Carter started talking.  Also, it is rated R because there is a lot of language.

If you can handle the language, it is a great movie.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

A review of "Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt"


I read somewhere that in order to be walked on, you have to be lying down.  Well, I wasn't going to lie down any longer.  I knew in that moment that I had to find the power God had given me.  And I had to learn not just to stand in it but to stand tall.--Christi Paul
Christi Paul is currently a TV anchor for HLN and TruTV.  I have always liked her, so I was thrilled when I found out that she is a Christian. 

I discovered Paul's book, Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt when I was looking at the Free Kindle daily deals.  The Free Kindle site lists different books that are free for that day only.  I am so glad I found it.


Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt: Christi Paul from Tyndale House Publishers on Vimeo.

The book shares Paul's personal story of surviving an abusive marriage.  Yet, she doesn't stop there.  She talks about how she got out and the process she went through.  Throughout the book she shares how her strong faith in God empowered her to make it through.  It is truly inspirational.

My story isn't as bad as hers, but it was amazing how therapeutic the book was for me.  I felt like I was getting free counseling as I read it.  I was able to process and journal a lot of the steps she shared about how to heal. 

I highly recommend this to everyone, but especially people who have dealt with verbal abuse.

Previous Reviews:
Frances Perkins
The Help
A Place of Yes!
John Adams
1776
My Grandfather's Son
Stephen Mansfield's Books
Stori Telling

  

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard!



Amazingly, Bruce Willis returns yet again for an unprecedented 5th sequel in the Die Hard series, entitled A Good Day to Die Hard.

When the 4th movie came out in 2008, I did a post on how much I love Bruce Willis and the Die Hard series.  Willis is a conservative, so not only is he a great actor, but he also has brains too ;-).

I am looking forward to seeing A Good Day to Die Hard when it comes out on February 14th.

Previously:
Yipee-kai-aye!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rush and Justified!!



I mentioned in a previous post that Justified is my favorite show right now. 

So, I was pretty excited to find out that Rush is a big fan of the show as well.  Two weeks ago Rush interviewed Nick Searcy, who is one of the main characters.  It turns out that Searcy is an outspoken conservative.


The Justified Tv series is based on the book, Fire in the Hole by Elmore Leonard.  I am in the middle of reading it right now, along with several other books.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pastor Saeed is an Inspiring Example While in an Iranian Prison!



Pastor Saeed Abedini is an American citizen, but is being held in an Iranian prison where he has been since last September.  Before that he was under house arrest.  Pastor Abedini is in Evin Prison in Tehran, it is considered to be one of Iran's most brutal.

The above video is a reading of a letter that Pastor Abedini sent to his wife.  I am amazed at how strong his faith is during this horrific time.  Today on Air1 radio they were talking about Abedini's situation and shared a radio interview they had with his wife.  She said that Abedini is showing love to all those that torment him.  A guard actually had tears in his eyes after how Abedini responded to a beating he had given him.

This so inspired me and it was the ultimate application of my Pastor's sermon this past Sunday.  He talked about finding our spiritual gifts, but that every Christian should be loving God and loving people.  He said that we needed to go out and be loving on people.  Pastor Abedini is doing this under the most extreme of circumstances. 

The ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice) has a petition you can sign to encourage his release.  Please pray for this godly man's release, but that while he is still in prison he would continue to be a witness.




Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sing to the King!

 
Sing to the King!
sung by Candi Pearson

Come, let us sing a song
A song declaring that we belong to Jesus
He is all we need
Lift up a heart of praise
Sing now with voices raised to Jesus
Sing to the King


For the rest of the lyrics, go here! 
When I went to look this song up, I became a big fan of Candi Pearson.  I love all of her songs, so expect to see more of hers.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

2013 Book List--Part 1


I'm hoping to write reviews of 3 of the books below.  Condi's book was especially good.  Right now I am reading Rove's book and it is fascinating.  My respect for him is even greater now.


2013 Book List
1) Eleven On Top--Janet Evanovich
2) Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt--Christi Paul
3) The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression--Amity Shlaes
4) A Journey Through the Life of William Wilberforce: The Abolitionist Who Changed the Face of a Nation--Kevin Belmonte
5) Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family--Condoleezza Rice
6) Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member--Emily Keller


Previously:
2012 Book List
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Review of "Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member"!



"In her senior year she was elected class president.  Perkins was a nonconformist who sometimes broke rules--such as 'lights out'--when she wanted to talk.  This may have annoyed the school administration, but she was good-natured and popular with the girls, who called her 'Perk' or 'Perky'.  A few students agreed with her father that she talked too much and labeled her the 'loquacious linguist.'"--A description of Perkins during her college years

I loved the above quote because it reminds me of me, "loquacious linguist" ;-)!

I don't think I've ever read a biography about a liberal Democrat. But, after reading The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression I wanted to learn more about the 1st woman to hold a cabinet position.

While I don't agree with Frances Perkins' "progressive" and socialistic ideals, I do have great admiration for her. First, she was the 1st woman to achieve a cabinet position. Second, she believed in social justice and helping the poor. Third, she juggled a career while having to deal with a bi-polar, alcoholic husband.

Perkins paved the way for other women to excel in politics, that alone is worthy of admiration.


Previous Reviews:
The Help
A Place of Yes!
John Adams
1776
My Grandfather's Son
Stephen Mansfield's Books
Stori Telling


   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

10 Quotes from my 2012 Journal!


A friend of mine did a post entitled, 10 Things I Heard at Church This Year about quotes that she had in her journal on the sermons.  I thought that was a great idea and I thought I would expand it to 10 quotes from my journal. 

Last year was one of the toughest years of my life, so I did a lot of writing in my journal.

1)  "I believe that God totally, absolutely, intentionally gives us more than we can handle.  Because this is when we surrender to Him and He takes over,  proving Himself by doing the impossible in our lives!"--Katie Davis

2) "I was thirsty, You gave me water.  I was an orphan, now You are my Father.  I was desperate, hungry and seeking.  You are love."--Laura Story

3)  Verses about the Lord fighting for me:
--Exodus 14:13-14--...Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today...The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.

--Deuteronomy 20:3-4--Do not be fainthearted.  Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you!

--Deuteronomy 1:30-31--The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son...

--2 Chronicles 20:12, 15--O our God, wilt Thou not judge them?  For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on Thee.  ...thus says the Lord to you, 'Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.

4) "God whispers to us in our pleasures and shouts to us in our pain."--C.S. Lewis

5) "God not only fights for you but also provides you with a safe refuge.  He actually fights in your place while you rest in the safety He gives.  He shields you, saves you, and gains victory for you."

"Lord, You are great and there is no other God but You.  You are my safe refuge from the storm.  Help me to find my rest in You as You go to battle against all that opposes me.  No matter whether my battles are with finances, relationships, health, or obedience, I know that because of Your presence in my life, I will never face those challenges alone.  I depend on Your strength and not mine."--Stormie Omartian

6) Habakkuk 3:17-19--Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls.

Yet, I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.

The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places.

7) "We are called to exclamation mark living."--Beth Moore

8) 2 Timothy 4:17--But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me...and I was delivered out of the lion's mouth.

9) "It is God who made you into a beautiful woman.  He has been taking care of you, even when you didn't notice His provision."

10) "If you are a follower of Christ, then you are called to fight for the heart of your king.  It is a life fueled by passion--a passion for God and a passion for people."--Erwin Raphael McManus
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

George P. Bush Looking at Statewide Office in Texas!

It looks like George P. Bush may run for office in Texas next year.  I have loved this guy ever since I first saw him. 

He is Jeb Bush's son, and my parents and I have discussed how cool it would be if he ever was elected President.  It would be the 1st time 3 generations of a family have been President, and of course he would be the first Hispanic President also.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Reckless!



It is Sunday, so time for a new worship video.  I'm hoping to go back to what I've done in the past and post a great worship video each Sunday.
Reckless
by Jeremy Camp

(Chorus)
I wanna be reckless
Cause You are endless
I wanna be shameless
And shout Your greatness
I will not be afraid
To surrender my way
And follow who You are
I wanna be reckless, reckless


For the rest of the lyrics, go here! 
 Jeremy Camp is my favorite male, Christian singer.  He is coming out with a new cd on February 13, 2013 and he has revised and expanded his book, I Still Believe which is also coming out in February. 

--Previous Jeremy Camp Videos


Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Review of The Help!




I am a big fan of movies/books when they are about people taking a stand for what they believe in, righting wrongs, fighting for a cause and bringing about some type of justice.  The movie, The Help is based on the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett and both are exactly what I just described.

I saw the movie first and was both horrified and inspired.  It was hard to comprehend that racism/prejudice was still so rampant in the 60's.  It helped me understand that certain areas of the south definitely took much longer than other areas of the U.S. in realizing how wrong racism was and seeing it for what it was.

In college, I took classes on combating racism/prejudice and I remember at that time being shocked at how there was still a strong stigma against interracial dating in the 70's.  While racism/prejudice still exist, we definitely have come a long way.  Yet, it saddens me that it took so long.

I watched the movie numerous times and decided it was time to read the book.  I was happy with how closely the movie followed the book, but as always, the book added a lot more rich, detail.  I especially liked learning more in depth about Abilene's faith in God.  It was amazing to see when you looked at what she had to endure in her life.

Obviously, I highly recommend both the movie and the book.

Previous Reviews:
A Place of Yes!
John Adams
1776
My Grandfather's Son
Stephen Mansfield's Books
Stori Telling

Friday, January 11, 2013

How do we Prevent the next Sandy Hook Shooting?



On December 14th, twenty-six people died during the Sandy Hook shooting.  We can all agree that we want to make sure something like this never happens again.  The disagreement is over what to do to try and accomplish that.

As many liberals scream for more gun-control, there is a lot of evidence that when the right people have access to guns, less people die.  Here are some examples, as listed by Tom Thurlow:
There are already many examples of this plan working to save lives. Just a few days before the Sandy Hook shooting, in Clackamas Town Center, outside of Portland, Oregon, a gunman entered a crowded shopping mall and started shooting people. A shopper there with a concealed-carry permit drew his gun and pointed it at the gunman. When the gunman saw that someone there might shoot back, he ducked into a stairway and killed himself. Although two people were killed in that episode, the presence of a good guy with a gun greatly limited the body count.
Almost the same thing happened at a movie theater in San Antonio a few days later, except the good gal with a gun, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, actually fired a shot that ended what could have been a massshooting. The San Antonio movie theater incident was almost an exact repeat of what happened in 2007 in Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. In that case, a gunman started shooting people in a crowded shopping center, and he killed five people before an armed off-duty police officer shot the gunman dead. That officer is credited with saving many lives.
Simply put, in these shootings, and in many others, lives were saved because a good person with a gun was there to fire back.
Another example just hit yesterday when a 15 year old protected him and his sister from 2 intruders.  He used an AR-15, which many are wanting to ban.

The problem is you don't stop gun violence by making it harder for law-abiding citizens to have guns.  Those are the people that can help stop the violence by the criminals.  Yet, as the White House and other liberal groups attempt to take people's 2nd Amendment rights away, gun-ownership has gone way up, as has NRA memberships.

How do we protect politicians, celebrities and others?  We give them armed guards.  Why doesn't that same common sense apply to schools?  Sean Hannity and others have suggested hiring retired military or retired law enforcement to be armed guards at the school.  I can't think of a better way to stop the next Sandy Hook shooting.  More gun-control wouldn't have stopped the Sandy Hook shooting or any other shooting, but armed guards might have.  More gun-control is not the answer.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kisses from Katie!


Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption is the true story of a 19 year old woman who left her comfortable life in America to care for God's children in Uganda.  Hugh Hewitt says it well: 
At the age of nineteen, Katie Davis left the upper-middle-class life to move to Uganda, start a nonprofit organization, and begin the adoption process for thirteen daughters who needed a mother. She is an inspiration and a testament to what God will do when one is willing to be used.


In the past couple of years God has given me a passion for Africa and its orphans.  So, when I came across Katie's book, I was so inspired.  Her blog is always a source of encouragement.

Take the time to read her book and support Amazima Ministries, it will not only make a difference in your life, but in the lives of others.


Links:
Katie's Blog
Amazima Ministries
Buy Katie's Book


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The New Chairman of the Missouri GOP--Ed Martin!



I was very excited to learn last night that Ed Martin is now the new chairman of the Missouri GOP.  I met Ed Martin last year and was so impressed with him on multiple levels.  He is also the Chairman of the American Renewal Project.  I attended one of their events last year here in Kansas City and it was wonderful.

Here is an excerpt of what Martin had to say about becoming the new chairman:

Saturday, I was honored to be elected to be Chairman of Missouri’s Republican Party. This has less to do with my own merit and more to the fact that the grassroots are charting a course to reignite the beacon of hope and liberty that America is. I cannot tell you how encouraged I am by the direction in which our friends and colleagues are steering our state party. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to be part of that effort.

I want all of you to be encouraged too. Most of you know me, you know what I am all about. I mean to do all in my power to be a zealous advocate for freedom as the Chairman of the Missouri GOP.
We have a lifetime of work ahead of us, and only a few years in which to succeed. The need is urgent, our opponents hold all the high ground in politics, culture, the academy and the media. Our only ally is that history and the Almighty acknowledge and bless those who love freedom and work to secure it for their fellow man.
I am looking forward to the future of the Missouri GOP with Ed Martin at the helm.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

My Top 6 TV Shows!


1) Justified--My favorite show right now. The fourth season starts this week.  Timothy Olyphant does an incredible job as Marshal Raylan Givens.

2) The Middle--This is a show that the kids and I watch together.  It is hilarious.  In my opinion, it is the funniest family comedy show, maybe ever.  Brick is my favorite, although I love everyone else too.

3) The Good Wife--Julianna Margulies does a wonderful job and the whole show is great.

4) Grey's Anatomy--This has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  This is the last season and every year I describe it as "free therapy".

5) Southland--This is a great cop show.

6) The Office--One of the best comedies ever.  I have re-watched old episodes many times.


Monday, January 07, 2013

2012 Book List!


Since I'd like to start blogging again, I thought I'd start off with my 2012 list.  I re-read quite a few books from my favorite Stephanie Plum series, but overall, still read quite a few books this past year.

2012 Book List!
1) Heart Cries (Prayers of Biblical Women)--Marylou Carney
2) Words Kids Need to Hear--David Staal
3) The Devil Came on Horseback (Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur)--Brian Steidle
4) One for the Money--Janet Evanovich
5) Kisses from Katie--Katie Davis
6) Respectful Kids--Dr. Todd Cartmell
7) Reagan in His Own Voice--Skinner & Anderson
8) Between 2 Worlds: My Life & Captivity in Iran--Roxana Saberi
9) Power, Money & Sex (How success almost ruined my life)--Deion Sanders
10) No Place Safe--Kim Reid
11) Not Lost Forever--Carmina Salcido & Jackson
12) James--Beth Moore
13) Woman, Thou Art Loosed--T.D. Jakes
14) Encourage Me--Charles Swindoll
15) Decision Points--President George W. Bush
16) Calm My Anxious Heart--Linda Dillow
17) Still Growing--Kirk Cameron
18) Mother Theresa--Sam Wellman
19) Bitter Harvest--Ann Rule
20) Two for the Dough--Janet Evanovich
21) Three to get Deadly--Janet Evanovich
22) Four to Score--Janet Evanovich
23) Running for my Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games--Lopez Lomong
24) Jane Austen's Little Advice Book--Michon & Norris
25) A Different Kind of Christmas--Alex Haley
26) Liberty & Tyranny--Mark Levin
27) Terror by Night--Terry Caffey
28) High Five--Janet Evanovich
29) Hot Six--Janet Evanovich
30) Seven Up--Janet Evanovich
31) Hard Eight--Janet Evanovich
32) The Attributes of God--A.W. Tozer
33) The Help--Kathryn Stockett
34) To The Nines--Janet Evanovich
35) Ten Big Ones--Janet Evanovich

If I had to pick a favorite from the year, I would say it would be Kisses from Katie.  She is a young, amazing woman of God who is making a huge difference in Uganda.  I will probably do a post on her, her book, her blog and her ministry.

My other favorites were The Devil Came on Horseback, Between 2 Worlds, Running for My Life and The Help.  I am definitely going to do a post on the book and the movie, The Help.

I am looking forward to reading in 2013.

Previously:
2011 Book List
2010 Book List
2008 Book List

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Need You Now!



by Plumb

Well, everybody's got a story to tell
And everybody's got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there's beauty here
So, I guess you're tired of holding on
I can't let go, I can't move on
I want to believe there's meaning here

For the rest of the lyrics, go here!

This song has been very meaningful at this time in my life.  Since, finding it I have become a big fan of Plumb.