Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Save the Tatas!!

Today is the LAST day to help The Breast Cancer site reach its 10-million click goal for September. If they reach their goal, the premier sponsor, Bare Necessities, will fund 100 additional mammograms!

Click and spread the word: Save the tatas at
The Breast Cancer site!

For more information and
to help further, visit:



Susan G. Komen
for the Cure

A Forgotten Gospel by Mark McGrath


A Forgotten Gospel
ISBN 13: 978-0-9790362-0-0
ISBN 10: 0 9790362-0-8
Author: Mark McGrath with Pat Russo
Fields Pond Publishing
Retail Price: $12.95 / 80 pages
Available at: www.aforgottengospel.com

Keeping things in perspective in a world that is throwing out mixed signals all the time is difficult. Yet, as believers, our number one responsibility is to get the word out about Jesus Christ. I don't know about you, but many people struggle with the courage it takes to talk to friends and family about Christ, let alone complete strangers. Mark McGrath, in his latest book, A Forgotten Gospel, gives helpful insight into sharing the most important message with the world.

About the Book:
Just hearing the word “evangelism” conjures up images of Bible-toters going door-to-door spreading the Good News. Most non-believers avoid answering the door, or feel strong-armed if they do get caught in the net called “witnessing.” Even most Christians become nervous at the thought of evangelism. Why? Because they have been guilted into believing they are somehow “less than” if they do not follow a specific pattern of what some call soul-winning. The thing is, the Good News sounds an awful lot like bad news, starting with, “You must acknowledge you are a sinner.” This is off-putting for the one witnessing as well as the non-believer.

Today’s culture presents challenges to sharing the gospel that were not present 20 to 30 years ago. Why create an antagonistic atmosphere that can be perceived as judgmental? It only shuts the door to the opportunity for future conversations.

Isn’t there a better way? A Forgotten Gospel presents a pattern that ordinary Christians can use to share Christ without alienating friends, loved ones and co-workers. Author Mark McGrath studied every instance a Christ-follower shared the gospel to a non-believer in Acts, and found some common denominators. Interesting, these factors are not found in most patterns for evangelism. A Forgotten Gospel shows believers how to present the gospel using a relevant biblical pattern with a flexible, conversational approach. The old models don’t hold up in today’s fast-paced, post-modern society.


Author Mark McGrath

About the Author:
Building on 25 years of church-planting experience—with churches started in New York, New Jersey and Great Britain—Mark McGrath, President of McGrath Communications Group, brings a unique blend of professional communications skills training and passionate commitment to developing effective church leaders. Mark conducts evangelism training with several national Campus ministries at Rutgers University in New Jersey and has launched an updated version of both the weekend and small group evangelism seminars he developed. These seminars are available to churches across the U.S.

Mark's Practical Thoughts on Evangelism
Most of us are surrounded by people we care about, people we'd love to see respond to the gospel. We can readily picture the faces of immediate and extended family members, neighbors, friends and coworkers as we pray.

Sadly, studies show that a large percentage of us are not actively sharing their faith with these loved ones. We've become the silent victims of a widespread outbreak of Evangelism Avoidance.

Evangelism Avoidance can be traced to a number of causes:

  • We feel inadequate. While most of us know we have a responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission, the thought of sharing their faith makes most of us feel inadequate, unprepared and just plain nervous. And public speaking - even to an audience of two - just compounds the problem.

  • We don't want to mess things up. We know the stakes are high and that many of the people we care about have some pretty negative ideas about Christianity and some negative experiences with pushy bible-bashing Christians. We don't want add to the problem and we don't want to alienate our friends and family.

  • People don't understand what we are saying. Using words like "God," "sin" and "saved" in conversations produces quizzical looks or outright laughter. There might have been a shared understanding of these concepts twenty to thirty years ago, but they've been abandoned by today's diverse culture.

  • We don't know what to say. And although times have changed, the popular approaches to sharing the Gospel have not. We find ourselves still trying to convince listeners of their sinfulness, creating an antagonistic, counterproductive atmosphere that's perceived as judgmental and prevents on-going conversations.

But even a quick reading of the Book of Acts shows that New Testament believers didn't share this struggle. What was their secret? A Forgotten Gospel explores that secret.

  • While preparing to teach his own church the basics of evangelism, church-planting pastor Mark McGrath noticed that the popular evangelism methods he'd learned were very different from those used in the Book of Acts.

  • Digging further, he saw that our modern gospel-presentation methods are largely based on explanations from the New Testament epistles, which are written to those who already believe.

  • Continuing his inventory of New Testament encounters revealed a pattern: Every gospel presentation delivered in the Book of Acts contained the same essential elements and emphasized one central theme.

  • Furthermore, he discovered that by following the example of the New Testament believers and sharing the Gospel with the same elements and the same theme, new doors were opened and people were much more willing to engage in honest conversations about their faith.

Over the years, Christians have done a lot of thinking and re-thinking about evangelism. We've moved away from the more confrontational approaches, moved away from the crusade type of evangelism and the "drive-by gospel shooting" approaches where we blitz an area with the 'gospel' and then go home. We've discovered we need to practice what we preach, care about people before preaching at them. We've learned to serve the world around us and be friends with them in the hope of having a chance to see them come to faith. But something is still missing!

"Faith comes by hearing..." No one can catch faith, like the flu. Someone has to share the Gospel with him or her. Hearing requires someone to do the speaking! And that is what makes us nervous all over again. No matter how much we care, how much we serve, what type of friend we've become, we will need to share the Gospel with our friends, and we are back at square one again. There is a better way.

Today, Mark McGrath is teaching this easily remembered, New Testament method of evangelism to students on university campuses, as well as to churches in the U.S. and England. In A Forgotten Gospel, he shows believers how to use this same flexible approach to effectively communicate the gospel to their friends.

No longer will caring believers wonder what to say or how to say it. By following the conversational approach explained in A Forgotten Gospel, they'll be cured of Evangelism Avoidance. And they'll be ready to clearly and confidently share the Gospel without alienating friends and loved ones.

What Others are Saying
In A Forgotten Gospel, Mark McGrath has taken the truth of the Gospel that "everything hinges on the resurrection of Jesus Christ" and made it simple for today's contemporary world. Many others died on a cross, but none of them are alive today! Jesus Christ is the king, and he wants our friends to know Him and let Him lead their lives. McGrath gives a new, fresh and yet scriptural approach to the Gospel that makes it easy to share our faith in Christ with our friends and family and then still have meaningful conversations afterwards. Presenting his material has started to encourage my students that they too can share Jesus with the people they live with while still calling them close friends.

Tony Yuhas
Campus Staff for
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
at Rutgers University

Over twenty years ago we embraced the radical change Mark describes here in A Forgotten Gospel and it has completely altered both the approach to and the effect of our outreach. Because this approach coaches people to know how to engage in meaningful conversations with unbelievers, and how to keep the door open for future dialogue, the number of meaningful conversations with non-believers has increased, the level of our relationships with them has deepened, and the church is extremely confident when interacting with those outside the family of God. On top of that, the people who are now beginning to follow Jesus are coming with a genuine faith and real commitment! Whether you have a heart for evangelism or a fear of evangelism, this book is a must read.

John Singleton
Director of LifeLine Network International

I like this! And I'll tell you why.

It's clear and simple. It's positive, like the gospel. It's full of hope. It's free of religious jargon.

McGrath's desire to make the resurrection of Jesus the central aspect of our communication of the gospel to those who need it is right on! Sounds a lot like the book of Acts.

I especially appreciate his emphasis on learning to listen to others and showing real concern for them and their thoughts. His insistence on being sensitive to the voice of God is extremely important. His whole approach is well-balanced and he writes from a broad experience. Very encouraging, indeed!

Orville Swindoll
Missionary in Argentina for 32 years.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Frugal Manic Monday

Ok, so it's not Friday and I actually did manage to post a Frugal Friday post at the last opportunity, but I have to make an exception. Kathy over at Teaching Good Things is turning 43 this week (happy birthday, Kathy!), and to celebrate, she's giving away a prize everyday! I mean, frugal is good, but prize? Great! Today's goody is a handmade autumn hanging dish towel. Just go leave your name and a way to contact you on each day's post to be entered in the drawing for that day. There are other goodies posted, but I'm not telling... you'll have to go see for yourself!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

As the Deer


"As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God."

Psalm 42:1 KJV

Friday, September 26, 2008

13 Uses for Pillow Cases

This week's Frugal Friday post is courtesy of


Thanks, Kirstin and Fiona!

13 Uses for Pillow Cases

  1. As a pillow case.

  2. Make a fresh pillow by using the stuffing from an old pillow, freshly laundered. Sew it down smaller so that it will still fit into another pillow case for use.

  3. Add draw string and use as library bag.

  4. A ham bag.

  5. Shoe storage.

  6. Mohair or angora jumper storage - one in each case prevents rubbing and pilling.

  7. Add handles for use as a shopping bag.

  8. Fill with delicates, tie a knot in the top and use in the washing machine.

  9. When moving, use to wrap small picture frames - tuck inside and then wrap several times for perfect scratch-free transporting.

  10. Pajama storage bag - as with the library bag you could either use cases with pretty or 'cool' characters on them or let children loose with fabric colors to create their own masterpieces.

  11. Add a frozen bag of peas (or your equivalent) to interior for popping on bruises and bumps - fold over as many times as necessary to make the appropriate temperature.

  12. Wrapping. Why waste paper when you can pack presents in a useful wrapping?

  13. Santa sacks. An alternative to Christmas stockings.


Show me how to save money on:

Choose Selection
School Supplies
Bank Fees

Thursday, September 25, 2008

War and Beauty

A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide. It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men's lives should not stake their own.


Crime and bad lives are the measure of a State's failure, all crime in the end is the crime of the community.


Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.


Advertising is legalized lying.


Affliction comes to us, not to make us sad but sober; not to make us sorry but wise.


Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.


H. G. Wells
English writer

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Interview with Stuart Migdon

So are you already reading a copy of Jesus Take the Wheel, or are you waiting for it to come in the mail? Don't forget to leave a comment on any of the Stuart Migdon posts to be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of the book! Here's an interview to help tide you over until you get it.

According to your bio, you are a Messianic Jew. Tell us your conversion story.

I was raised in Reformed Judaism, made my Bar Mitzvah at age 13 and was even confirmed in my Reformed Temple, playing the role of God in the class play! When I was 18 my girlfriend Jeanne got pregnant and we got married and had our daughter Jennifer a short time later. Suddenly, in addition to going to college full time I was working 50-60 hours a week to support my family. Money was tight, we were very poor and life was a struggle. I had no time for religion in my life and only focused on finishing college in four years, becoming successful and making a lot of money so I would never have to be poor again. My life was consumed with striving for success and eventually I became physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. In my quest for success I decided to track down the leading salesman for an insurance company I worked with. I hounded Ron for months to meet with me and he finally agreed. During the meeting he told me many things he did for success but the last thing he told me is that he prayed before each sales appointment. I told him I thought that was strange and because of my answer he reached under his desk and handed me "the book" which he told me was the bible written in fourth grade language for anyone to understand, I took the bible and decided that I was going to read the Old Testament which I did just about every day for three years. I was searching for God and I didn't really even know it. Even though the bible Ron gave me had the New Testament in it I never considered opening it; I was Jewish and Jewish people did not read the New Testament. About three years later at the age of 33 I walked into a meeting with a prospect of mine, looking to sell him some disability insurance. As I walked into Sal's office I noticed a bible on his desk and asked him why it was there. He told me that he was going to be leaving his job as the controller of a very successful company to become a full time minister. I told him that I couldn't believe that he would leave such a good job to do this and I also told him that I had been reading the bible for the last three years. Sal asked me some questions and then he asked me if I could ever believe that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. That was 17 years ago but I can still remember my response word for word. I told Sal that it would be easier to believe that I was a female then to believe that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah! Sal was surprised by my answer and asked me if he could pray for me. I told him no but he insisted. After making him explain exactly what he was going to do and say, I agreed to let him pray for me. Before I left, Sal invited me to his ordination as a minister which was scheduled in a month and to my surprise I agreed to go. I somehow felt drawn to go and I was even looking forward to it. During the service for Sal's ordination, I heard the gospel message for the first time in my life and I felt an irresistible desire to repent of my sins and receive Jesus as my Lord. I left my house that evening to go to the ordination a Jew who knew nothing about Jesus and I came home a Jewish believer in Jesus!

Most people would assume that when you began your relationship with the Messiah that Jesus was automatically in charge of your life. Did you find this to be true, or was it a struggle to keep Jesus in the driver's seat?

In the first few years as a Jewish believer I was fascinated by Messianic prophesy and I studied these prophesies regularly. I really enjoyed reading a prediction about the future coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament and then reading about the fulfillment of this prophesy in the life of Jesus. This study was strengthening my faith which was my daily prayer to God. However, in reading the bible every day I realized that God desired for me to live a certain life for Him and I wanted to learn more about what that life was. Before knowing Jesus I had read many self help books about how to live a successful life but none of the advice made sense to me anymore. Although I was changed by Jesus instantly, I was slowly learning what He required from me, how He wanted me to live for Him. I had lived such a "me" centered life before knowing Jesus, always thinking about how things would affect my life, that there was a lot of changing that needed to take place. I was a control person and so giving Jesus the wheel of my life was a difficult process. Fortunately the bible is filled with examples of how to let Jesus take control of your life and the joy that it brings when you do!

What have you found to be a Christian's biggest obstacle in allowing Jesus to take the wheel?

The biggest obstacle Christians have in letting Jesus take the wheel is pride. We say that we have no pride but our actions speak differently. We think that we can control our lives and when we need God we call out to Him for help. The world around us is so "me" centered that we can easily be indoctrinated into believing the lie that we are good enough and able to be in control. In order to begin to let Jesus take the wheel, we must understand what it means to live in our relationship with God with childlike humility, which is the opposite of pride. That's why the book, Jesus Take The Wheel begins with understanding childlike humility and why it's so important to God and how to live it every day in our relationship with Him.

Are there practical tips you can briefly share that help Christians keep Jesus at the wheel?

The most important thing to do in keeping Jesus at the wheel is to recognize whether He is truly there in the first place. We often think He is at the wheel of our lives but when probed, we find He is either in the back seat or in the trunk. One of the best indications of determining whether Jesus is at the wheel is to take a look at what you worry about. If you are worrying about your children, your job, your finances, your health, your spouse or anything else for that matter, chances are that Jesus is not fully at the wheel. Once you recognize that you need to move over and let Jesus drive, you are ready for the journey necessary to allow Him to remain at the wheel. This comes in changing life patterns and actions to no longer imitate anything of the world around us but instead to imitate Jesus. It's the journey to self denial that leads to total joy in Jesus.

Explain the benefits of trusting God completely.

When a Christian totally trusts the Lord there is a peace in their life that transcends all comprehension. Even through trials and difficulties, through tough times and sorrow there will be an inexplicable joy that only God provides. God never tells us that life will be easy when we truly deny our self, take up our cross daily and follow Him, He instead tells us that it's the best way to live. Why? Because trusting Him provides a childlike dependence on the Creator of the universe and all else seems secondary to a life dedicated to Him. When we live a life totally trusting God, scriptures come alive without doubting and our commitment to God is unwavering. That's why Jesus Take The Wheel focuses on the lives of biblical characters who have trusted God no matter what and what we can learn from them to do the same.

How do you hope to reach Jewish people with the message of this book?

I am a Jewish believer in Jesus. The book, Jesus Take The Wheel is written for the Christian audience who is looking for a closer relationship with God and all the joy that brings. Therefore the book is not specifically designed for Jewish people who do not know the Lord. However my life as a Jew before knowing Jesus is depicted in the book and my new life as a Jewish believer reveals a changed man, only changed by the sacrifice of the Messiah, Jesus Himself. Christians that read this book will be encouraged to tell their Jewish friends about the Jewish Messiah and be able to introduce them to a Jewish believer by recommending they read the book. What's also interesting is that one of the focal biblical characters written about in the book is Moses, the Most revered Jew of all time!

How destructive is pride in the life of a believer? What's the cure?

As I said earlier, pride is the biggest obstacle in letting Jesus take the wheel. Pride is why the Devil rebelled against God and why we do as well. Pride causes us to sin against a holy God. The only cure for pride as a Christian is to live a life of self denial. That's why the book, Jesus Take The Wheel is focused on doing just that. It's easier said than done and Christians need an action plan of how to live their life with no focus on self. It must be a daily plan that uses the scriptures to reveal the ugliness of pride and the beauty of a forgiving God.

How has your experience as a church leader helped to develop the methods used in the book?

As a church leader, I have had many opportunities to listen to the various struggles Christians have in their lives and how they attempt to deal with these struggles. With the responsibility to counsel other Christians comes the obligation to provide the best biblical counseling possible. That comes only as we dig deep into God's Word for the answers of how to live for Him today. I discovered that the only answer of how to do this to learn how to let Jesus take the wheel.

You're a Christian businessman. How do you think other businessmen could benefit from the principles of your book?

I have been a businessman since graduating college. I first started my career as a Certified Public Accountant and then went into the financial planning field, ultimately settling in as an insurance broker. When I first began my career in business I was struggling financially and raising a family. As I faced the many trials and circumstances that businessmen encounter, I started to spiral into striving for success and all that I believed it would bring. The striving ultimately led to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual exhaustion. Many businessmen face the same struggles and will relate to my experiences. After coming to know Jesus, I continued in business but with a different perspective. The more I let Jesus take the wheel the less striving became a part of my life. The book is written from a businessman's perspective and reveals how, as a Christian I deal with the many obstacles that are part of the business world.

So many of us are "control freaks." Does this mean we aren't letting Jesus take charge of our lives?

The short answer is yes. The bible tells us that we must decrease and that Jesus must increase. Jesus must be Lord of our lives and in total control in order for us to truly live as His disciple. Jesus Take The Wheel was written by someone who struggles with wanting to take control of his life but realizes that Jesus must be in full control. So even so called "control freaks" can live a life letting Jesus take the wheel. It takes a commitment to run the race for God but it is well worth it!!!

Can't wait for the drawing? Get your copy at www.LetJesusTakeTheWheel.com.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Into Reading 2008

In case you didn't know, I love to read. I love books. I surround myself with them. They are on my desk, in my nightstand, in my car, on shelves, on my sewing table, on the file cabinet... you get the idea. My dream house is a converted library.

So imagine my delight when I discover Fall Into Reading 2008 from Callapidder Days. Simply list the books you hope to read over the fall (September 22nd through December 20th). Sounds like a great idea to me. I have so many of them around me, I have trouble deciding what to read. And having just finished my current book, it came at a perfect time.

On a quest I went. It's a bit of a girly list, I admit. The fantastic thing is that I can change my list whenever I want, so there. :P Here is my list so far:


Seeing Through the Lies

Making It Real

A Woman's Walk With God

Longing for Love

Spirited Women

Free to Be Me

Keeping His Pants On...Until He Gets Home

Achievement IQ: Find Purpose In Your LIFE & Achieve Massive Success

Will I get to all of them? Probably not. Will I have a blast trying?


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Be Sure Your Sin Will Find You Out

Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may; but, in the end, truth will out.

Launcelot Gobbo
The Merchant of Venice
Act II, scene ii


Update on Sarah

Sarah seems to be doing a little better today. Her fever has not been as high and she has been her bouncy, talkative little self. She is currently at Grandma's house, preparing for a sleepover with just her and Grandma. Needless to say, she is excited.

I thank you all for your continued prayers for her, and the rest of the family. It seems we spend all winter being sick. I am praying that this year, we will be well. I am giving the older two Airborne power pixies each morning before school, and Bethany and Sarah (I may well add Brandon, too) just started taking a multi-vitamin each day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Prayer Request

Please pray for 5-year-old Sarah. She has an ear infection in the right ear, the left is "clogged," according to the FNP, and a sore throat. She woke up tonight with a fever of 102.6. Please pray for relief for her and sleep for all of us.

Thanks - I will post an update tomorrow night or Sunday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Pursuit of Happiness

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.


Guillaume Apollinaire
French writer

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jesus Take the Wheel, by Stuart Migdon


Jesus Take the Wheel
Hardcover: 288 pages
WinePress Publishing Group
(July 1, 2008)
Retail: $24.99
ISBN-10: 1579219322
ISBN-13: 978-1579219321

Leave a comment on any of the Stuart Migdon posts to be entered in a drawing for a free copy of Jesus Take the Wheel!
The practical biblical instruction found in Stuart Migdon's book, Jesus Take the Wheel takes readers on a two-month journey that will literally transform the way they live their lives. Rich insights from the author's own life mixed with wisdom gleaned from the pages of Scripture combines to make reading this book an adventure that will be looked forward to each day. In the face of life's many uncertainties and struggles, the message of real hope that Jesus Take the Wheel brings, is one that will benefit everyone.

Jesus Take the Wheel is a valuable resource for spiritual growth and discipleship. Through applying the biblical principles and truths contained throughout its pages, readers will begin to discover that what has been impossible alone, is very possible with God at the wheel of their lives. Each day's reading is followed by an application aimed at applying the day's biblical truths and principles to the real circumstances of life.

While many in our world today know that they need and want change, they often fail to allow Jesus to have His rightful place in their lives simply because they don't know where to start. In Jesus Take the Wheel, readers are given an easy and practical plan to follow each day that will teach them what they need to do in order to begin letting Jesus be the One in the driver's seat.

What People Are Saying

Too many people say they have a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ, yet a little probing finds that He is either in the passenger seat, in the back seat, or even in the trunk. Stuart Migdon expounds powerful biblical principles that show that there is only one place for Him to be-at at wheel.

Ray Comfort - Co-Host of The Way Of The Master TV Show & Author of more than 60 Christian Books

Just like a fast-paced game, our lives are full of events that can quickly steer us off track. Jesus Take the Wheel is the game plan all of us need to get us on the right track with God and keep us there.

Byron Scott - NBA Head Coach - New Orleans Hornets

About the Author: Stuart Migdon


Stuart Migdon was raised in Reformed Judaism. He married and became a father at the age of 18. With no money and no one to help, he quickly determined he had to take control of his own life. He developed a "don't quit" attitude and set out to beat the odds that were already stacking up against him. While working a full time job to support his family, he also managed to graduate college in four years, and to do it with high honors. That same stubborn persistence propelled him to become a CPA and later a successful insurance agent. With a commitment to hard work and excellence, Stuart continued to achieve every goal that he set for his life. However, all the success in the world could not fill the emptiness that was growing within him.

In 1991, things began to change. He came to know Jesus as His Messiah and felt a strong desire to live a life that would really be pleasing to God. A life that he somehow knew was radically different than the one he had been living. With every ounce of his being, he was now determined to live that life.

Since then, Stuart has become an avid student of the Bible. Over the last five years, his thirst for more has led him into a detailed study of God's Word, and specifically the lives of the Bible's two central figures, Jesus and Moses. During this time he also began to realize that what had been driving him in his own study was more than just a personal quest for knowledge, it was actually a calling from the Lord. As a result, he began a new adventure as an author, and in 2008 published his first book, Jesus Take the Wheel: 7 Keys to a Transformed Life with God.

Today, Stuart is a successful Christian businessman and serves as an elder and biblical counselor at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge in New Jersey. Stuart's growing understanding of his own need to let Jesus take the wheel of his life, has equipped him for the many situations he faces in ministry today. In every area, he challenges those he encounters to begin living a transformed life by letting Jesus have His rightful place behind the wheel of their lives.

Stuart and his wife Jeanne have two adult children, Jennifer and Jason, and one grandson.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Profile Portrait Pitfalls

So my profile picture is almost as old as my elder daughter (she being 6 in a week and a half). I keep thinking I need to update it, but there have been several hindering factors preventing that, namely my abhorrence of pictures that include me. Michael walked into the living room tonight while I was working and noted my sexiness - I look like a librarian...or Sarah Palin, depending on your political with-it-ness.

Here I am in all my Palinesque glory (albeit sans make-up, clean hair, and taken at 3am)...


Thing is, I've been doing my hair like this for years, and I've had these reading glasses longer than I've had my son (who's 8 )...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Presidential Wisdom (A Day Late)

I left the last post up for a while to allow for lots of clicks...and because I forgot to post this week's Thus Saith Thursday yesterday...well, here it is a day late (but not a dollar short):

Last week's quotes were so astute, many of us would do well to take heed to what was said. Did you realize that Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901), 23rd US President said them?

Here's another great presidential quote:

Did you ever think that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else.


Lyndon Baines Johnson
US President (36)
Vice President (37)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Click for the Women You Love!


I click everyday for my great-grandmother who died from breast cancer. Who do you click for? Let me know in the comments.

Guest Blog: Do You Desire to Be King of the Hill?

Next week's Blog Tour Tuesday will bring you a preview of the Stuart Migdon's Jesus Take the Wheel. This week, I'm sharing an article that Stuart wrote to help us all take a long, hard look at ourselves to determine our real motives in life. Enjoy!


Do You Desire to Be King of the Hill?

by Stuart Migdon

The key to being used by God for His glory is that we give over control and realize all glory and honor goes to God alone. True Humility. The great love of God allows us to see the changes that need to be made in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Even the greatest can be humbled.

It's never too late to change as long as He is the one changing us. Most people won't admit that being important matters to them. But if we seek recognition in one way or another, we have revealed through our actions that we desire to be self-important. Here's a five-point test to see just how significant self-importance is to you.

Five Evidences of Desiring Self-Importance

Whenever you do something with the goal of recognition, it's really about your own importance. Let's say you help someone out, and you're looking for acknowledgment of what you've done. Maybe you helped them with general advice, helped them get a job, watched their children, lent them money, bought them a gift, or did some other favor for them. You could even be doing what God instructs all of us to do, comforting the sick, visiting the prisoner, feeding and clothing the poor, or being there for the needy. If you're doing it with the desire to be noticed, even if that's just part of your reason, then you have too much focus on your own importance.

How many times have we heard people talk about a time when they did something for someone else, and the person they did it for wasn't appreciative, didn't say thank you enough, or in some other way didn't show enough gratitude? Doesn't that show that they were doing it for the recognition and not to help someone else? It's hard not to want recognition--we feel like we deserve it. That's the sin nature with which we constantly struggle.

The fight is only won with God at the wheel. In order to do so, you need to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and relinquish control of your life to Him. When you give to others without looking to feed your own ego but only to see good being done for someone else, your reward is from God, and it far surpasses any reward of recognition you can get from man. Keep in mind that recognition can be good if it comes naturally, but if you do things with the intention or motive of being recognized, you're making yourself too important!

Whenever a good deed is not done because it brings no attention to you, then it is really about your own importance. How about when you assess a certain situation and you decide not to help if you don't get recognition. Perhaps you decide not to give to a good cause because your gift would be anonymous. Or you decide not to help someone unless there are enough people around to see--an audience, so to speak. Some people are notorious for showing up to help at a charitable event only for the recognition, the photo op so to speak. Once the cameras are packed away, they leave. We do the same thing when we choose not to do good deeds when there is no acknowledgement in doing so. If that's your thinking process, it is obvious that recognition is your motivation, and you've put too much significance on your own importance. The recognition may come, but it is your only reward. God will have no part in it.

When you are looking for opportunities to tell people about your accomplishments, it's really all about your own importance. Have you ever been in a situation where you've heard someone telling others about their own accomplishments, their job titles, degrees, money, house, or material possessions, when there's really no need for others to know? Or maybe you've been around someone looking for opportunities to fit these kinds of things into the conversation? It's out of context, and it's a clear sign that they're doing it for recognition, putting too much significance on their own importance.

When you worry about what others think of you, you are too focused on your own importance. If you are constantly worried about what other people think of you and you make decisions based on this concern, you are placing too much significance on your own importance. It could be deciding to go someplace or to be with some people because you think others will look more favorably on you. Or perhaps you stay away from someplace or some people because others would think less of you if you didn't. Self-importance matters to you if you are concerned about the actions you take or the things you say based on what other people might think.

When you admire others based on their possessions or status, then your focus is on your own importance. If it's all about their power or prestige, then you're impressed by the wrong elements--these things do not make a person truly important. If you are impacted by the importance of others, then importance matters way too much to you.

In summary, whenever you attempt to accomplish something with a reason other than for the love of God and the love of others, it is done to demonstrate your own importance, and it gets in the way of God's love. Rather than desiring to be "king of the hill," yield to the King of the Hill. He was victorious over death on a cross on the hill of Mt. Calvary; He will be victorious in transforming our lives as well.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Woman Scolding

Despite the positively Biblical sexism in last week's quote, it was said by none other than Katharina in Act V, scene ii of The Taming of the Shrew.

How 'bout this one?

How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity?
and the scorners delight in their scorning,
and fools hate knowledge?

Turn you at my reproof:
behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you,
I will make known my words unto you.

Because I have called, and ye refused;
I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

But ye have set at naught all my counsel,
and would none of my reproof:

I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your fear cometh;

When your fear cometh as desolation,
and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind;
when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I Can Haz Monee?

How's this for Frugal Friday? I'm registered with 12Seconds, but I don't have a webcam to actually use 12Seconds. I thought I could use my digital camera that takes video for it.


I need a webcam and a digital camera that will actually take a photo indoors. So I'm running an experiment: will the Internet community donate money to help me buy a webcam and a digital camera? I let you know how it goes...

In the meantime, wanna donate to the Get Crystal a Webcam and Digital Camera Fund*?

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Yes, I am actually (very thankfully!) accepting donations. No, this is not a tax-deductible donation. kthxbye =D

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Books and Wisdom

Did you guess that last week's quote was said by some contemporary? Some lonely inner-city child? An Iranian to a US soldier? Nope. It was Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 (1953). Isn't it amazing how something written 55 years ago can still ring so true today based on who might have said it?

For this week, I found so many fantastic statements from this astute person, that I couldn't decide on just one to post for you.

On the quality of clothing:
I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.

On foreign affairs:
We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.

More on foreign affairs:
Will it not be wise to allow the friendship between nations to rest upon deep and permanent things? Irritations of the cuticle must not be confounded with heart failure.

On the prejudices of the classes against each other:
The indiscriminate denunciation of the rich is mischievous.... No poor man was ever made richer or happier by it. It is quite as illogical to despise a man because he is rich as because he is poor. Not what a man has, but what he is, settles his class. We can not right matters by taking from one what he has honestly acquired to bestow upon another what he has not earned.

Who is this wise person??

Wonky, Wet Wednesday

Every time it rains, the phone goes all static-y. The line goes through some tree branches down the street and has been "rubbed raw." Oh joy of my soul. I really need to call the phone company to come fix the line, but I can't stand to be on the phone. How do you handle that?

Internet to the rescue! Now let's just hope there's a "report a problem" place online for them. Wish me luck...

I was able to report the problem online and it tells me service will be restored by 8pm on Saturday. I should certainly hope so!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book Review: Achievement IQ Moments, by Stan Bronstein

I recently finished Achievement IQ Moments® by "Mr. Achievement" Stan Bronstein - for the first time. I will be reading it again...and again...and again. Described as
"50 extraordinary stories about people who transformed vision, attraction, readiness and action into massive success,"
Moments offers (you guessed it) 50 chapters of fast-reading inspiration with results that will last a lifetime.


When I first received the review copy (thanks, Stan!), I thought I knew who the majority of the stories would be about. I was wrong. I don't know that I had heard of any of the people the Bronstein interviewed. These are not the Famous Dead Guys. These are not the Famous Living Guys. These are real men and women, living real lives, making real differences in Real Life. These are also not overnight success stories. Some of them were 20 years in the making. From the artist that paints with her nose (!) to the man responsible for saving the guavas in Hawaii, there's someone in the book for everyone.

The book is called Moments for a reason. The title itself reveals a success secret hidden right under our noses, but so often missed: success most often comes in a moment - not the glaring, won-the-lottery kind of moment, but an epiphanic moment, when something clicks, and everything begins to line up. See, success is a beginning, not an end - we succeed when we begin, not when we end. If we continue to count success only after the completion of a project, we will never succeed. We must see success in the discovery of what needs to be done and then the process of getting it done. Stan Bronstein knows this - that's why he succeeded in writing a great book that should be required reading for every person that wants more from life than waking up, surviving the day, and going to bed. It's required reading for you.
The Achievement IQ Moments® release is scheduled for 1 October 2008. Watch Stan Bronstein's blog for updates and breaking news about the release.

Manic Labor Day

No-school days

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