Posts Tagged ‘Kindle’


My Favorite Things:…


When I moved to “Small Town USA” in the early 1990s, the hubby and I pretty much dreaded the holiday season for one reason: it required us to get a sitter on the weekend (That can get pricey for 3 munchkins.) and travel an hour and 15 minutes (one way) to the northeast of us to embark on Christmas shopping at a Fort Worth suburban shopping mall. The first challenge upon arriving there, no matter the hour? Finding a vacant parking space.

Then, there was fighting huge crowds in every store we shopped. I vividly remember one foray into Bath and Body Works and waiting a full 45 minutes to buy stocking stuffers and candles. I’m still not sure that was worth the effort.

Part of the frustration was that our kids’ hand-scrawled Christmas wish lists were often misspelled or illegible. And they almost always wanted the one toy no one could ever get.


Fast 5: Oh, Bad Obadiah…


Confession Time: I often loathe reading my Bible. (I’ll wait for my Christian friends to gasp in horror from that little statement.) It’s not that I don’t want to hear what the good Lord wants to say to me through His word; it’s just that a good portion of the Old Testament is an odd collection of writings about times I have difficulty relating to modern life. In the words of Beth Moore, “It’s not always about you!” and I agree. Sometimes I just need to study those ancient writings and wait for the Lord to tell me its relevance.

If you also sometimes struggle to to read your Bible often or you have decided it’s a total waste of your time, may I suggest some of the following tips to help with that? Here they are:

1. Find a translation that works for you. I’m currently partial to the Message (or the Bible According to Eugene, as I like to call it–Eugene Peterson is the author of this paraphrase.) because it puts difficult passages into everyday English.


What My Cell Phone Says About Me…

Hand holding mobile smart phone

Warning: Get your favorite beverage first. 

I am a relatively recent convert to the whole smart phone concept. I really liked my razor phone. It was pretty and I never once butt-dialed with it. It fit very discreetly in my jeans pocket, so that I could tell when it was ringing, even if I was in the world’s most boring meeting. I was a fairly proficient T9 texter, too, thanks to 3 teenagers who rarely talk on their phones–only text.

But, it finally became a huge inconvenience not to have the ability to access email and the internet on my razor, so I finally gave it up and got an Android smart phone. If the thing could talk (and no, I prefer only to hear the voices in my head and not Siri’s), it might tell you this:

1. MaryAnn likes color-coordinated cell phone cases. Mine is red because I once had a red Explorer. I wanted the phone to match the car. Which brings me to # 2…

2. There are too many blah-colored phones in the world. In a mass of phones I can always find my red one in about 2.2 seconds.


Slow Reader Thursday: not a fan.


Miss Maizie is making it difficult to write today. (She doesn’t seem to understand blogging deadlines.) Why? Because it has been raining incessantly here in Texas for almost 3 days straight and Miss Maizie, like most ladies, really dislikes getting her “feet” wet. Being fond of the outdoors, Maizie gets her exercise and playfulness out of her system by literally barking orders at our yard’s unruly birds and squirrels and informing us loudly and energetically when joggers are going past the house. Thus, when she refuses to get her dainty paws damp, she gets the canine version of “cabin fever” and insists that we become her play toys. She will do just about anything to engage us in play. She will fetch, catch, sit, stay, jump to get kisses from the youngest DS, lay down, and bark all in the hopes of getting us to hang out with her for just a few seconds longer.

This incessant, persistent demand of my attention indicates one thing: Maizie loves her family a lot. Recent brain scans of dogs have shown that when a dog is petted  or sees their owner for the first time after an extended absence, their brain wave patterns are similar to those of a human being when seeing someone they love.

not a fan. by Kyle Idleman (And yes, the lack of capitalization and the period are deliberate. My spell-check is so confused.) asks us to consider whether we persist in spending time with God the way Maizie persists in spending time with me when it’s raining outside. In other words, when we say we’re Christians, are we fans (or admirers) of Jesus or are we followers? Fans know a lot about the object of their affection, but they don’t actually have a relationship with that person or thing. Followers actually know their favorite person and persist in being with that person. In fact they give up everything to be with that person. And they don’t really care what they lose in the process as long as they are with the person they love. How many of us would describe our relationship with Jesus in that way? Probably very few of us.

Jesus wasn’t really interested in having fans. He was interested in having followers. Thus, this is not a book for the fainthearted or the casual Christian.

But, it is a “game-changer” and well-written. It even made me laugh aloud several times. And yes, it’s changing my “game.”

At the end of this week I am off to my first writer’s conference. I expect it will be a “game-changer” for me as well. I think it’s safe to say that there will be changes coming to MIP very soon as a result of reading not a fan. and attending the conference.

You may like these changes or you may hate them. But that’s really none of my concern. My concern is to be one of Jesus’ followers. And in doing that, I may well lose everything I once hoped to achieve, including your respect and friendship. Will that make me sad? Yes, most definitely. I treasure each and every one of my readers. You all make me better, but in totally unique ways, because all of you are unique. Yes, I hope you will stick around, but I understand if you don’t. That is most certainly your choice to make.

I hope you’ll decide to read this book, too. I hope it is the “game-changer” it has been for me. I hope you are a follower and not a fan.

But, I have to go now. Maizie wants to play.

Tomorrow’s Post: I don’t think these cookies are Nestle Toll House…




Slow Reader Thursday: 20 Books…


Warning: Get your favorite beverage first. 

Since I’m such a slow reader, guess what?! I’m not done with a book about being inadequate. Yes, I’m serious. Well, sort of. So, today you’re getting an FB favorite while I spend some time with my visiting niece and the DD and DSL. Yes, it’s Spring Break at the MIP household. Perhaps next Thursday I will get my act together. Sort of.

Several years ago FB was “personal survey happy.” In other words “Answer these questions about yourself and then tag all of your friends and ask them to answer the same questions.” While many of these became quite irritating and nonsensical, there were some that actually did merit a response. One of these was, “Pick 15 books that have always and will always stay with you.” If I were to answer that prompt today, I would list the books below, in no particular order, but add five more! Please feel free to add in your 20 favorites, with or without explanation. This will allow others to add some books to their “reading to-do list.” And yes, I hope one of these “others” will be me.

1. The Bible…obviously. Right now, I’m rather partial to the version by Mr. Peterson (The Message)…it makes reading this for the 49th time much more enjoyable and “user-friendly”.

2. The Shack…My copy’s autographed…how about yours? And mine is dog-eared and underlined repeatedly! I hate crying and this book makes me cry for reasons I don’t fully comprehend.  That just doesn’t happen when I read.

3. The Purpose-Driven Life…I disagree with some of its premises, but overall…a good way to live.

4. Loving God…the best defense of why the Bible is true, written by a crook. 🙂 His boss wasn’t…at least according to his boss.

5. The Screwtape Letters…I always like when someone puts a twist on writing a book and this one is from a very different perspective. Written by someone who didn’t believe in the Bible at first.

6. Little Women…about a woman writer when it wasn’t cool to be a woman writer…’nuf said. Oh, and it’s free on Kindle. Yes, I said free.

7. This Present Darkness…and all the sequels…again…another take on things with a different twist.

8. The Mystery of the 99 Steps…my introduction to Nancy Drew…horrible writing, but fun when you’re 10 years old…I read all of them in 5th grade…I could read 4 of them a week and she never kissed Ned once. Then I read the entire collection of the Hardy Boys…then I read all the Bobbsey Twin books. Yeah…I was a nerd. And there wasn’t much else to do in Bridgeport, WV back then.

9. God is an Englishman…very obscure book with a very interesting title…for adult readers only…in other words…it wasn’t about what I thought it was about. (How many of you just looked for it online? Caught ya, didn’t I?)

10. Cheaper by the Dozen – pay special attention to the section on bathing. If Kyle takes another hot water heater draining shower, these methods will be employed at the Arnold house very soon.

11. Gone with the Wind – this is a primer on cheesy, ridiculous dialogue, but I love it.

12. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fishno surprise here, if you’ve been reading my recent posts! My very first book and my mom probably could recite it flawlessly without ever looking at a page…I requested it every night, along with Fox in Sox for 3 whole years. (My mother was a saint.)

13. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families – this ought to be required reading for anyone expecting a kid. Just tell the mom (when she’s 9 months along) she has to cross her legs until she has read it…it’ll get done…I guarantee it.

14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – see # 5…the man has an imagination and puts it on paper well.

15. Brave New World…it’ll make you think twice about the government requesting more and more invasion into our personal lives.

16. Heaven is for Real…when a book is written by an 11 year old boy and is his eyewitness account, I tend to listen…and read…word-for-word. So reassuring for us Christian types and yet so surprising.

17. QuitterI have read numerous books on writing and pursuing your ridiculous, impractical dreams, but none have affected me the way Jon Acuff’s book has.

18. God’s Little Miracle BookThis book just reminds me why it’s still important to pray.

19. Left Behind (and the rest of the series)…Of course, it’s just two people’s take on what could happen when Planet Earth comes to an end, but it sure is interesting to envision the modern world trying to cope with the book of Revelation.

20. Born Again, Texan…This is just too hilarious for words and too true and still rather informational.

Your turn.