Archive for 2014


The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 6 & 5…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Sorry that this post is most decidedly late, but the hubby and I have been on a short vacay to an area with sketchy (at best) web signal and those around me needed the connection much more desperately than this ol’ blogger! Today we continue The 12 Days of MIP 2014 with the Number 6 and Number 5 of my favorite posts of the year:

Number 6 is all about living with my hubby and his unusual occupation. While he travels 15 states for his company on a regular basis, he spends most of his time discussing the south end of a northbound cow. Go here to understand what this meant for me.

Number 5 is also about things I’ve learned (or probably NOT learned) from a NEW endeavor in my life: Go here to find out just how rapidly my brain is deteriorating.

Friday’s Post: # 4 and # 3

You Might Also Like: The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 8 & 7; The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 10 & 9; and The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 12 & 11


Word of the Week: parvenu

Book Club: What does an 108 year old rabbi say about the Messiah? Go here to find out.

Compassion Counseling Center Update: We officially start on 1/15/2014! Thanks to a “tribute gift” of $ 1000, Compassion begins counseling in 16 days! A tribute gift is a donation made in honor of, or in memory of, someone special to the donor. Go here to see the beginning of the Tribute Gift Page and go here to honor or memorialize someone special to you! Since Compassion is a 501(c)(3) charity, all donations are tax-deductible.

Also, Compassion will have a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm at Oakdale United Methodist Church, 2675 Overhill Drive, Stephenville, TX 76401. YOU are invited! We will have refreshments and tours for all those attending. If you would like to attend, please go here to let me know. Yes, family and friends are welcome! I just need a “head count” for the sake of ensuring enough refreshments for everyone attending.


The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 8 & 7…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Hope all of you had a great Christmas and Christmas Eve! We will be celebrating our own Christmas tomorrow since weekends are a little easier for the offspring who live out of town. I’m almost ready, which is a major accomplishment since my to-do list has been overtaken, recently, by doing things for Compassion Counseling Center.

My 8th most favorite post of the year was one of the few “Lessons Learned” posts for 2014. Since the Lessons Learned posts were probably one of the biggest reasons I jumped “ship” at Facebook and started MIP, this seems ludicrous even to me, but MIP has taken some new twists and turns this year. This particular Lessons Learned is different from the others, but I think it’s different in a fun way. Go here to see what I mean.

My 7th most favorite post is pretty much the opposite of # 8 in that it was the first time I ever posted about some of the “essentials” of my life and what those items tell about my personality quirks. I hope that I will be able to do more of these in 2015 because most of you liked this debut. Go here to revisit What My Purse Says About Me.

Monday’s Post:  What is meed?

You Might Also Like: The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 10 & 9; The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 12 & 11; and The 12 Days of MIP: 12 & 11


The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 10 & 9…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas, MIP readers! Thank you for “tuning in” here to read my posts. I know you have plenty of to occupy your time during the holidays without reading blog posts!

My 10th most favorite blog post of the year is probably one of your favorites, too. At least I get the most unsolicited comments for this MIP feature: Word of the Week. As most of you know, I go to the Word of the Day list at Merriam-Webster Online and create a list of words I don’t know. Then, I write the Word of the Week post on Mondays and offer silly guesses about what the definition for that word might be. The WOW feature is often a good way for this writer to remain humble–most of you know these words and I quite obviously don’t! See what I mean here.

While the WOW feature has been a part of MIP since it began, this feature is new this year: My Favorite Things. I pick out the favorite products, sites, and services in my life and in my home and tell why I like them. Most of you agreed that one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century has to be the evolution of and particularly their wish list feature. Go here to see why my holiday shopping is so much easier with on the job.

Friday’s Post: #8 and # 7!

You Might Also Like: The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 12 & 11; The 12 Days of MIP: 12 & 11; The 12 Days of MIP: 10 & 9; and The 12 Days of MIP: 8 & 7


Word of the Week: meed

Book Club: Are you willing to take a walk on the wild side with me in January 2015? Yes? Terrific! Go here for all the details.

Compassion Counseling Center Update: We have an approved budget of $ 21,130 for 2015! That’s the good news. The bad news? There’s only $ 614 in our bank account right now. Care to forego a latte to help us get started in 23 days? Go to the ad to the right of this post to donate online!  Care to write a check instead of donating online? Send to: Compassion Counseling Center, 2675 Overhill Drive, Stephenville, TX 76401. We can post memorial/honorary gifts at the web site to remember/honor your loved one and we can list organizations as our partners for a donation of $ 500 or more. And please share our web site with family and friends: Thanks for thinking of us and please pray that we will have a “full docket” of clients on January 15th!

Twelve Days of MIP continues this week. Go here to see the first post from last Wednesday!

Good morning, Word Lovers! Last week’s WOW was soigne and Merriam-Webster Online says that soigne is: well-groomed, sleek, elegantly maintained or designed. If that is the case, then I’m seldom soigne, even on a good day.

This week’s WOW is meed. Not mead, which I already know, but meed. I have a feeling about 10 of you are about to tell me how clueless I am on this one:

meed (ˈmēd) 1. The way 90% of Americans spell mead *le sigh* 2. my seed 3. when I feed me

What’s your definition guess for meed? Go here to educate me!

Wednesday’s Post: My 9th and 10th most favorite posts of 2014

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: soigne; Word of the Week: refulgence; and Word of the Week: malversation


Slow Reader Friday: Unstoppable


Go here for the January 2015 MIP Book Club Selection! This one is probably going to be a wild ride!

The Man upstairs has a real knack of directing me to books that address my personal situation before I even realize I have a situation. Unstoppable by Christine Caine is the latest book to spookily address my current situation. It was not what I anticipated–a Bible study in the inspiring style of Women of Faith speaker, Christine Caine, like her previous book, Undaunted.

Christine begins the book by telling how she is an enthusiastic fan of the Olympics and particularly, the U.S. Women’s relay track team. For several Olympics, crazy, unusual things happened to each relay team in “the exchange zone” that kept the odds-on favorite (aka the U.S. team) from even contending for a medal.

The exchange zone is where the present runner hands off the baton to the next runner. The next runner begins running so that no time is lost in handing off the baton. But, that requires the next runner to look forward and it requires the present runner to make sure the next runner firmly grasps the baton in her arm awkwardly outstretched arm behind her.

Once the U.S. team finally got their exchanges down to a “science,” they broke the World record. In fact they shattered it. And the U.S. team even admitted, in the press, that their exchanges were the key to the win.

Christine makes the point that we, as Christians, so often fail in the “exchange zone” of life. We fail to accept the batons God sends us; we don’t hand off the batons when our turn is done or we do that poorly; and sometimes we even fail to run the race at all. She makes a solid case for why this is dangerous–the next generation may know nothing about God if we fail to run the race God has uniquely called us to run. That race is known as telling the world about Jesus.

She delineates all the reasons why we might fail to even start running our own race: fear, anger, resentment, fatigue, ignorance–just to name a few. And reasons why we might fail to hand off the batons God has given us to others: control issues, fears of failure, change, etc. What was most helpful to me was her set of “indicators” of when it’s time to hand off the baton: when your to-do list explodes and other batons are being handed to you for new races!

She is quick to point out that since that baton belongs to God, the new baton “carrier” may take our race a new direction and it may not look the same, but that is as God wants it. I may need to write that sentence about 1000 times for that to sink into my dense head!

The biggest point? That running our race is NOT about doing something great for God or having a great accomplishment on our resume–it’s about God changing us to be more like Him. Often, we fail to run our races because we feel we are unqualified to do what God asks. (OH, BOY, can I relate to this one!) But, God enjoys calling the unqualified and equips them with the knowledge, wisdom and resources needed as we run the race and in that process, the unqualified become not only qualified, but more like Him.

In my work in helping to start Compassion Counseling Center, I have seen this play out time and time again. I had no earthly idea how to start a nonprofit counseling center, but God did. And as I ran with this CCC baton, God gave me boldness to ask for help from the people who already knew what I didn’t. I did research online when I was too embarrassed to ask questions and God directed me to great web sites full of good information.

The same has been true of Christine Caine. Christine was an unnamed baby when she was born. Even though she was born in a hospital, no one cared to claim her as their own. Eventually, she was adopted by great parents. Unfortunately, she was sexually abused by others during this time. Eventually, she found her way to Hillsong Church in Australia (where she was born). She fell in love with God’s word while there. While cleaning out a basement there as a volunteer, the head pastor told her to start a Youth Center and threw her his pager (He was leaving the country for 2 weeks!). As a “baby Christian,” she had no idea how to do that and no idea why she agreed to do it!

Gradually, she learned what she didn’t know through answered prayer. That youth center was so successful that she was asked to speak all over Australia. She wasn’t a speaker! She began speaking all over the world. As she was traveling to do that, she had to endure some huge airport delays in a foreign country. While there, she noticed a slew of “Missing Persons” handbills posted on the walls. Christine started praying silently for the people on the walls. It dawned on her that they were all women and children. That bugged her.

She did some investigating and learned that the missing people were most likely victims of human trafficking. When she learned that this was a worldwide problem (including the U.S. and Australia) and that no traffickers are ever prosecuted and that women and children often die as a result, she decided God was handing her a baton. But, she had no idea how to help.

Little by little she and her husband started the A21 Campaign worldwide to prosecute traffickers, rescue the victims and to help them recover from the many “scars” wrought by this crime. Even with their valiant efforts, only 1% of victims are ever rescued. They are getting more and more trafficker convictions, but it’s still a tiny percentage for this huge problem.

But those rescued and helped have eventually gone on to proclaim Jesus as their fearless leader and they are doing other great things for God’s kingdom here on Earth. And it all started because of an unwanted baby in Australia.

What race is God calling you to run? Feel unqualified to run it? Welcome to the Club! Just start running and it will come to you, trust me. Time to hand off a baton to another? That’s a scary feeling? Welcome to my world. Let’s be scared together. 🙂

But if God can use an unnamed baby, a 4-time heart attack survivor, a stutterer (Moses), a doubter (Thomas), a complete screw-up (Peter), and a baby born in a horse barn, He can use you to do unbelievable things.

It’s time to lace up your Nikes, friend. 🙂

Monday’s Post: Did you know the definition for the WOW?

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: Twirl; Slow Reader Friday: Beating Goliath; and Slow Reader Friday: The Way Home


The 12 Days of MIP 2014: 12 & 11

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

For those who are relatively new to MIP, the “12 Days” series is my list of my favorite posts for the current year that would not be in the Most Popular Posts for the same time period. They are still the next most popular posts of the year with only one exception and I think you’ll enjoy this walk down Memory Lane as much as I do. Some are often seeing these posts for the first time because they missed the initial posting. By all means, if you are in the latter group, I would love to hear from you about your impressions of these. Leave a comment telling me the good, bad and indifferent of what lies ahead over the next few posts:

Number 12 on this list is due to a tradition that the “in-law family” has every few years. This enormous clan of 34 likes to take vacations together every few years and we like seeing new places.


Word of the Week: soigne

Book Club: This Friday’s post will be the Slow Reader Friday discussion of Christine Caine’s UnstoppableThis book is quickly becoming one of my favorites!

Compassion Counseling Center: We have $ 760 to raise by 1/15/15. If you would like to help people in our area get much-needed counseling, please go to the link to the right and donate. Memorial/Tribute gifts can be given in honor of a special person in your life and organizations can become a Compassion partner for a contribution of at least $ 500. Our partners and our Tribute honorees will be published on our web site. Compassion is now a 501(c)(3) public charity and U.S. donations to Compassion are tax deductible.

The 12 Days of MIP:  Beginning this Wednesday I will start revealing my favorite blog posts for this year. Do you have favorites? Go here and tell me about why you liked a particular post!


My Favorite Things: Samsung Anything…

When I decided to write the My Favorite Things feature on MIP, I wrote down a list of things, sites and organizations that definitely fit “the bill” for My Favorite Things. As I was perusing it today, I realized that the word “Samsung” is sprinkled throughout that list.

First, the hubby, son and I are all addicted to our Samsung Galaxy phones. The phones features are simple to use, making what was really complicated on my old cell phone a breeze. They seem to get excellent reception unless you’re in Bonga-Bongaland and even I, who was the last of the Razor flip-phones users can figure out how to easily do what I most need when I’m “on the run.” I do confess that I’ve never had an iPhone and if I did have one, I might wind up being addicted to that more than my Samsung. But, I don’t have to wait in lines to get the latest phone; I don’t have to take Xanax when the phone is updating its software and operating system, and in case you hadn’t noticed, even iPhone is making bigger, thinner phones to compete with ol’ Samsung.


Fast Five: Hey, Jude…



Do you ever read a book of the Bible and think, “What acid were they on when they wrote this?” That was my first thought when reading the book of Jude.

First, it doesn’t seem to really belong in the New Testament. It’s full of harsh language more typical of the Old Testament in a good portion of it. And it took me aback for a moment by saying that Jesus killed the faithless Israelites that were sinning all over the desert for 40 years. I had to remind myself that Jesus is God, too.

There are references to Michael fighting with the Devil and fallen angels in chains in the darkness and Sodom and Gomorrah eternally in fire. Yowza. Where is the love, Jude? Where is the forgiveness? Where’s the grace? Exactly what am I supposed to learn here?

Thankfully, Jude does get around to telling us what we should still remember: that if you don’t live as Jesus did, that if you, as a self-professed Christian, flaunt with God’s rules time after time, there are eternal consequences. Why?