Please note that all posts are copyright. Do not reprint in whole or in part without permission of the author. You may refer to one of my posts in your own writing; simply include the link(s) so readers can be taken directly to my work. Thank you, and enjoy! ~Susan

Monday, 30 January 2017

Get In On the Action

I also recently read this related quote from Mark Batterson in his book, All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life:
Prayer is picking a fight with the Enemy. It's spiritual warfare. Intercession transports us from the sidelines to the front lines without going anywhere. And that is where the battle is won or lost. Prayer is the difference between us fighting for God and God fighting for us. But we can't just hit our knees. We also have to take a step, take a stand. And when we do, we never know what God will do next.
"Prayer is picking a fight with the Enemy." Oh yeah, baby. "Prayer is where the action is."

Prayer is also plugging into the Power Source. If you aren't praying, you're powerless. And that's right where the Enemy wants you: ineffective, weak, unable to resist his temptations or thwart his plans. 

James 4:7 tells us to submit to God and resist the devil. One way we submit to God is by going to Him in prayer. This connection with Him strengthens us and enables us to win spiritual battles. The famous "armor of God" passage shows the importance of prayer by concluding, "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions..." 

The prayer of the righteous person accomplishes much (James 5:16) and those who are "in Christ" are righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21). Prayer has the power to move the heart of God. Even one change effected by prayer can have significant results (read Andy Andrews' The Butterfly Effect). 

Prayer is a foundation of the Christian life. If you're not praying, it's no wonder your faith feels lifeless. I challenge you today to get in on the action. 

Prayer is where it's at. 

Friday, 27 January 2017

Flashback Friday: On Sharing Your Faith

I wrote this in March 2015 on my old blog, Notes from Innisfree:

Recently our pastor challenged us on the subject of evangelism. The command in Matthew 28:19 is not ambiguous; we are to go and make disciples. So why don't we?
One excuse our pastor referred to was fear. Later I was reading from Ralph Keyes' book, The Courage to Write, and came upon these lines:

When we think of 'risk takers,' we usually think of wire walkers, mountain climbers, and sky divers...But death-defying risks aren't necessarily the hardest ones to take. During many years of interest in this subject, it's become clear to me that the risk most universally feared is that of looking foolish.
Most of us would rather risk our neck than our face. One way I discovered this was by asking a number of people whether they'd leap off a high dive that scared them or climb back down past a long line of those waiting on the ladder. Most said they'd leap.
What we read and see in the media these days tells us that if we share our faith, we're going to look ridiculous. Nobody believes that stuff anymore, do they? In this scientific age? Look at how quickly Conservative politicians distanced themselves from their colleague Rick Nicholls when he dared to proclaim that he personally didn't believe in evolution. Honestly, it takes a lot more faith to believe in the latter, in my opinion. Just sayin'.

Then there is this passage from Scripture (1 Corinthians 3:18-20):
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
 He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.
 And again,
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; he knows they are worthless.
We really have to stop being fearful about how our story will be received. It is the Holy Spirit's work, not ours, to open the eyes of people. Our job is to be willing vessels to accomplish His work, to listen to His promptings and to understand that He will give us the right words at the right time (Luke 12:12, Luke 21:15, Colossians 4:5-6).

When we withhold our stories because of the fear of rejection, we forget that any rejection we suffer is Christ's. We must not be ashamed of the gospel (Mark 8:38), for it is good news to people (1 Corinthians 1:18).

And really, how much do we have to hate someone not to share the truth with them? 
You can sign up here to participate in the monthly Flashback Friday blog hop. The last Friday of each month you have the chance to showcase an "old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you're really proud of, or you think is still relevant etc." Most of us have at least one or two of those in the archives!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Right Now

Drinking: I've had my morning coffee (this time a half-caff French Vanilla blend) and will likely need another mid-day. In between times, I plan to work on my water intake, which has taken a nose-dive since last week.

Eating: Breakfast was 1 cup of Special K Oats and Honey with almond milk, yogurt with strawberries and granola. I'm thinking Tim Hortons or Subway for lunch. Baked salmon with McCain fries and broccoli for supper.

Reading: When Someone You Know Has Depression: Words to Say and Things to Do by Susan J. Noonan et. al, Your Own Jesus: a God Insistent on Making it Personal by Mark Hall, and Resorting to Murder: Holiday Mysteries, compiled by Martin Edwards

Watching: we watched Storks last night. What silliness, especially the wolves. I'd give it about 6.5 stars out of 10. My husband gives it 7.

Listening: Sirius XM The Message

Creating: revisions to my novel are ongoing. I thought of something else for this category yesterday, but wouldn't you know? I can't think of it now.

Buying: groceries

Pondering: so many things. One of them is the truth that words are powerful. As it says in Proverbs 18:21 "The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences" (NLT). We need to think before we speak. Our words can heal or harm. What are we trying to accomplish? Do our words line up with that, or is it a case of 'open mouth, insert foot?' Are we so self-absorbed or emotion-driven that we can't speak straight? 

A friend posted this related thought on Facebook last week:

Feeling: fat. I know everything is relative and some would say I look fine and don't need to lose weight, but I can see the extra padding on my belly and feel the change in how my clothes fit. I have to do something. I just received word that our doctor has provided the blood requisition form we need for the lipid panel test. We can start the rescue diet on Feb 2nd as planned!

Anticipating: getting my hair cut later this morning. My hair is fine and straight and I haven't had it cut since September. It's at that stage where it looks limp and hanging. Can't wait to get to the hairdresser's and chop off 2-2.5 inches.

For those of you who may have been wondering - the curling last Saturday went very well. Though there was a somewhat competitive spirit, it was all in good fun. It's not a sport I plan to take up (the cold arena and I didn't get along and my feet were freezing at the end of two hours), but I did enjoy it and it was a good work-out. It did make me think about going bowling more often, LOL.

What's happening with you right now? 

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Bookworm Meet-up

Title: The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health
Author: Rip Esselstyn
Publisher: Grand Central Life & Style, 2016

First Lines: "Back in 2005 the Austin American-Statesman ran an article called 'Tofu Outmuscles Red Meat at Firehouse.' At the time I was helping my fellow firefighters at the Engine 2 firehouse become fire-breathing, dragon-slaying, plant-based demigods. That tofu comment made for a catchy headline, and the article made our firehouse famous, but it's more than catchy. It's true. Tofu does outmuscle red meat." (From Chapter 1).

My Review:

I had previously read Rip's two previous books, The Engine 2 Diet and My Beef With Meat (now called Plant-Strong) and found both to be informative and engaging. Rip is the son of Caldwell B. Esselstyn, a cardiac surgeon who, along with T. Colin Campbell, is well-known for his association with the Forks Over Knives documentary. You can watch the trailer for that here.  

If the research is true, there are good reasons to avoid animal protein. As I read, I was concerned that there were no footnotes to back up the research Rip was quoting. At the  conclusion of Part I, however, he directs readers to a weblink where all of the footnotes are listed so we can examine the science for ourselves.

The book is very easy to read. Rip has a conversational style that can border on cocky, but don't let that put you off. Our health is at stake and that is too important. According to the author, if you follow the seven-day plan, you can look forward to better triglyceride, LDL and HDL cholesterol numbers, lose weight and feel much better. 

Part I of the book explains why we
  • love plants
  • love whole foods
  • don't drink our food
  • care about calorie density
  • limit protein
  • limit salt, sugar, and fat
  • exercise
Part II describes the plan and provides recipes.

My husband and I used to follow a more vegan diet than we do now, and are planning to give this diet a try to recapture better eating habits. First, we have asked our doctor for a lipid panel test (blood-work), so we can see what affect the diet has on our cholesterol, etc. We are waiting for a call-back from our doctor's office to find out if she needs to see us in person or if we can just pick up a requisition. Hopefully we can start the plan on February 2.

We will use the seven-day menu provided by Esselstyn because it is easier than creating our own at this time. When we have concluded the seven days, we will have our blood retested and I will report back to you our results. 

Stay tuned.

My Rating:  4 stars (prior to implementation)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Words to Live By

Anyone who's lived a few years can look back on his/her life and wish s/he'd made different decisions or handled things better or been a little wiser. The truth is, most of us do the best we can at the time, with the knowledge, experiences and resources we have. Sure, we might have thought things through a little better, exercised greater self-control, etc., but in the end, it's what it is. It's what we said, what we did, how we thought, what we chose, and we can't rewrite the past no matter how much we might like to.

That being said, we can move forward from where we are now. We can look to the future and (hopefully) brighter days ahead. Knowing what we know now, we can approach life better armed, a little jaded perhaps, but more thoughtful, proactive, considered.

As long as there is breath, there is hope. We can improve, become more of the person we want to be, meet the potential that's within us. "Look ahead," says advice columnist Ann Landers, "that is where your future lies."

Wise words indeed.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Weigh-In Saturday

Still not my feet!
So I still have about 8-10 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight. In spite of my friend's advice not to worry about 10 pounds as long as I'm healthy (the thought being there's an age at which we gain and an age at which we shed), I'm not going to give in to inertia. A 4 pound gain every year adds up and will be harder to lose when that great time of shedding arrives. Plus, if I think of my body as a temple, I want to make sure I'm filling it with good things, not junk. And I can't forget that the body, with all of its muscles, was made for motion.

I've done much better this past week. I've been more mindful about eating and drinking water, and by the time today is through I'll have exercised 6 out of 7 days - two long walks with the dog, three indoor walking sessions with Leslie Sansone, and curling with friends this afternoon. 

I also finished reading The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn (a former firefighter and son of  Caldwell B. Esselstyn of Forks Over Knives fame). I plan to implement the diet soon, but first I want a 'before' lipid panel test so I can know what effect the diet has on my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers. And I need to do some shopping; the rescue is entirely avoidant of animal proteins and the only sugars are those found in fruits and vegetables. 

Will let you know when I get started. In the meantime, I plan to continue my good efforts from the past week. 

If one of your goals for this year was to get healthy, more active and/or lose weight, how have you been making out? I'm happy to be your accountability partner!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

California Dreamin'

I've been wanting to write this post for quite a while, especially since the longer I leave it, the less likely I am to remember the details.

It seems appropriate to share our California trip (which took place in October) in the heart of winter, when those of us in the northern hemisphere often long for warmer climes.

In fact, it was the desire to go somewhere warmer that led us to CA in the first place. Yes, we considered other destinations - Florida, Bermuda, Aruba and Curacao, as well as a cruise - but the first two and the cruise were susceptible to hurricane weather conditions, and the last two were outside of our budget. We'd really hit it off with our online friends T and D when we met in-person in Vegas in 2015, and when we mentioned we were thinking of California and asked if they would like to reconnect, they got really excited: "you can stay with us!!"

I kept my eyes on flight prices and several weeks later ordered our plane tickets. Now we were committed! We looked forward to seeing T and D, enjoying the warmth, and dividing our time between sight-seeing and just hanging out.

Note: if you are visiting the desert areas of California, be aware that they're windy!! I had brought shorts, capris, t-shirts, and ended up wearing my one pair of jeans every day for the week! I wore my t-shirts, but often covered by my long-sleeve pullover and/or jacket. Temperatures were in the mid-high 70s (Fahrenheit) but felt about ten degrees cooler with the wind.

That being said, it never did rain in California, at least not until after we left. We were thankful for the dry sunny days and, of course, for the time we were able to spend with our friends, getting to know them better and discovering the sights within a reasonable driving distance of their area.

Our first excursion was to Joshua Tree National Park.

Joshua Tree National Park
It's a beautiful place and I highly recommend seeing it if you're out that way. Amazing rock formations like the one you see above; and yes, that's a Joshua tree on the right-hand side of the picture. There's actually a Joshua tree forest on the park grounds. You can drive through the park, making stops at viewpoints along the way, and/or go for hikes. At one look-out you can see the San Andreas fault lines, which is pretty dog-gone cool.

Early on D had mentioned the Calico Ghost Town in Yermo. An old west mining town established in the 1880s, there is still silver to be found in 'them thar hills.' Unfortunately, it would cost more to extract it than what it's worth! While I had thought that the ghost town would be a bit cheesey, it turned out to be surprisingly well-done and we really enjoyed our visit. We took the short train ride and walked through Maggie mine as well as most of the other buildings on the site. They were getting ready for Hallowe'en, so there were many old west skeletal figures on display, which contributed to the 'ghostly' atmosphere. 

Bird's eye view of Calico Ghost Town

We ate at the Calico House Restaurant, where peanuts in the shell on the table turn into peanut shells all over the floor. We'd never been to a place like it! Cold beverages are served in huge jars, and my husband and I very much enjoyed our veggie burgers.

Big Bear Lake is up in the San Bernardino Mountains. If you've visited a town like Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Jacob's, or any small touristy town for that matter, you already know the scene: quaint streets with lots of little shops that sell a variety of items. We did pop into several of them until I recalled that my friend D hates shopping!! We ate lunch at the Big Bear Lake Brewing Company where David and I enjoyed veggie burgers (again, but thankfully not immediately on the heels of our visit to Calico!) and T enjoyed a massive plate of fish 'n chips. D was less impressed with her tapas, having been spoiled by a better version elsewhere. You can't win 'em all.

We were glad T was doing the driving as there are many hairpin curves on the drive up and down the mountain(s). I wish we had gotten better photos of the lake itself as this one does not show it in its full glory:

Big Bear Lake

You'll no doubt be surprised to know (wink, wink) that prior to the California trip, I had never shot a gun. Like many of our American neighbours, T and D support the constitutional guarantee that gives citizens the right to bear arms. We were fortunate to have them as our shooting instructors, and it turned out that yours truly is pretty good at hitting a target. I was described as "a natural." How do you like me now?

Yup, that's MY handiwork!

In the shot below (no pun intended, LOL), I'm getting some guidance on hitting a moving object (clay disks) with a shot-gun. 

Getting some tips from the pros

Those babies are heavy and hard on the shoulder. I was less successful with this activity and conceded defeat to my husband. But I still rocked a pistol! My favourite was the Ruger Mark 3, 22.

There's much more I could share; these are just a few of the highlights. It was great having this time with our friends and we anticipate the day we meet again - yup, next time they're heading north! There are some amazing people in their community and some beautiful sights in their part of the world. We look forward to showing them ours.

If you ever get the chance, go to sunny Cali-forn-I-A. And if you do, make sure you try some of Marie Callender's pie. You may or may not want to check out the nutritional information before making your selection!

Have you been to California? If so, what parts did you most enjoy? You never know, we might get back there ourselves someday, and it'd be nice to know what new terrain to explore!

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Right Now

Drinking: more water! It's always a struggle for me, but I know how important it is for good health, including brain health. Did you know your brain actually shrinks when it's dehydrated?!

Eating: more healthfully (I hope). Mind you, I did have a small bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with nutty pecan bunches this morning. However, after reading the nutrition label, this is the last time I'm going to buy HBO. Way too many ingredients on the list, many of them sugars...

Reading: Moneysense, the December 2016 issue. Apparently the January '17 issue is the last print copy as they are going completely digital. I'm hoping my library system offers it on Zinio as the only magazine I personally subscribe to is Allergic Living (for my daughter). For those who are interested, AL covers topics like allergies, asthma, gluten-free, etc.

Still reading All In by Mark Batterson and The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn.

Watching: Last Man Standing, Season Two - one disc left to go!

Listening: by choice, Chris Tomlin's new album, Never Lose Sight; under duress, Marilyn Manson (my son plays it when I drive him to work). Not linking.

Creating: continuing to work away on edits to my novel; submitted the Chicken Soup for the Soul piece earlier this week

Buying: margarine - I'm all out!

Pondering: the role models we choose, whom we seek to emulate; how we can figure out who we are when we're putting all our time and effort into following the examples of other flawed human beings. Our best role model is Christ and we should be getting to know him through Bible reading and teaching.

Anticipating: visiting my mom on the weekend and trying curling with friends. Hopefully they won't hate me afterward; I am not a sporty person!


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Bookworm Meet-up: Review

Title: Loved Back to Life: How I Found the Courage to Live Free
Author: Sheila Walsh
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, 2015
Genre: non-fiction, inspiration, mental health, Christian memoir

Goodreads Description:

Beautiful and talented, Sheila Walsh was at the pinnacle of her career, appearing daily on television as cohost of The 700 Club. One day she found herself walking away from it all and checking in to a psychiatric hospital, where she stayed for a month.

From the outside everything seemed fine, but on the inside Sheila was in trouble. In her journal she wrote, “Lord, please hold me. I’m falling into a dark well. I feel as if I am disappearing a little more every day. I am so angry inside that I am afraid of myself. I feel so alone.” How did this happen? What brought her to her knees?

Loved Back to Life takes readers on Sheila’s journey of the soul from hopelessness to joy as she finds that although the road was scary, at every turn God beckoned her to follow and trust Him. And He did not let her down.

My Review

This was an exceptionally well-written book by "celebrity" Christian author, Sheila Walsh. While I'm not familiar with her musical origins or her work on the 700 Club, I've certainly seen her name around with respect to her books. 

Walsh addresses a topic that is only beginning to make inroads in the church. In previous decades mental health issues have been swept under the carpet, and the people suffering from them spoken of only in whispers. "Lack of faith," "spiritual attacks" and "sin" have been identified as the culprits in the lives of these individuals. Sheila debunks these theories and offers her story as a case study, offering thousands of sufferers the compassion and understanding they deserve. 

I couldn't put this down and highly recommend it to anyone who has a mood disorder, or who loves someone experiencing depression, anxiety or bipolar. There are real solutions to these conditions and no one needs to suffer alone or in silence. No one needs to die. 

Reading this makes me want to read more of Sheila's books.

My Rating: 5 stars. Why not?

Monday, 16 January 2017

Keeping It Real

These strike me as good words to remember as we head into a new week. We can sometimes be overwhelmed by our schedules or the struggles in our lives, but each thing is just one thing, and we can bite that much off, one nibble at a time. Especially if we have Christ!

Have a blessed week as you remember this truth.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Weigh-in Saturday

As of today I still have 8-10 pounds to lose in order to get back to the weight at which I feel best. I started reading The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn, but haven't gotten too far into it with two other books already on the go. Hopefully I can get it read by the time it has to go back to the library, as I'd like to try it to kick-start this weight-loss year.

In the meantime, I did buy stretchy bands and a resistance band with handles in hopes of recommencing an exercise program as well as my physiotherapy exercises which have gone by the wayside. When it's clement enough to walk the dog, I will do that, but Leslie Sansone's indoor walking program offers a good workout when you can't get outside. 

I'm still in touch with my weight-loss partner, Cher, who is also struggling. She prepares meals for a family of five, all with different needs (one diabetic, one vegetarian, one dairy allergy), plus she's under a lot of stress and understandably gives in to emotional eating. Advance meal-planning doesn't work for her, but I'm going to try doing it again. I'm not into counting calories or food journaling, though I've done both before. I just don't have the time. So I will just have to make sure I'm making the healthiest food choices I can - more unprocessed foods like vegetables and fruit, less processed foods that are full of sugar, fat and salt, foods that are higher in fibre. And drink more water, which is always a downfall for me.

Most people say "ready, set, go," but today I say, "go, set, ready," because the important thing is to act, ready or not.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Service with a Smile

There she was, looking disgruntled as usual. For the moment it seemed like she was just browsing the CD collection, but I imagined it wouldn't be long before she'd be at the information desk looking for help.

Sure enough, as I emerged from the book stacks a few minutes later, I saw her standing at the desk. I signaled 'one moment,' quickly deposited the pile of books I'd been pulling, and hastened to meet her. As I approached, she said (under her breath, but certainly intended for me to hear), "It's about time."

"So that's how it's going to be," I thought, determining not to let her ruffle my feathers. I put on my nicest smile, sat upright, and offered my assistance.

It didn't matter; everything was an affront. - There was only one season on shelf of the series in which she was interested. Heavy sigh. Eye roll. - We could place holds on the others. Huff. - Did she want all of the seasons between one and eight, or which ones? No reply. - No problem, we'll request all of them. Throw library card in direction of librarian.

At this point I know some of my co-workers would have politely but firmly told the customer that there was no need to be rude. I suspected, however, there would be no benefit in saying so to this lady. I picked up the card, placed the holds, and helped her find the available DVD. 

Before she left, she asked if we would call her when the reserved items arrived and verified that we had the correct phone number. She never cracked a smile, never showed any gratitude. That was her problem, not mine.

Someone so miserable every time I see her must be a terribly unhappy person. I wonder what happened in her life to make her this way. Was she abused and/or unloved as a child? Was she bullied in school? Has she suffered unbelievable hardship? I imagine so. This doesn't excuse her, but it can explain her. And it seems that she must go through her days expecting nothing good and blaming other people or circumstances for her problems.

Expecting the worst often invites it. Or at least, looking for the worst exposes it. When we look at the world through a certain lens, what we seek is frequently what we see. I don't know about you, but I would rather picture the glass as refillable than either half full or half empty.

Pointing fingers doesn't benefit anyone. It doesn't change one's attitude for the better. It doesn't change the situation. A novel idea is to self-examine: do I play any role in how others are treating me? What is my responsibility in this? (For the record, I'm not the one pointing fingers here).

Unfortunately, I don't have a platform to speak into this woman's life in any meaningful way. I'll likely be uninvolved in any personal change she may eventually make. She sure needs help.

In the meantime, that's the best I can do: offer service with a smile.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Right Now

What I'm doing right now:

Drinking: just finished a cup of Red Rose tea. Only in Canada, eh?'

 Eating: just finished breakfast of homemade brown bread toasted and "Honey Bunches of Oats"

Reading: see yesterday's post

Watching: too busy to watch anything this week, but we watched Once Upon a Time in the West over the weekend. Excellent classic western if you enjoy the genre.

Listening: to the clock tick in the background

Creating: revising a personal experience piece I plan to submit to Chicken Soup for the Soul

Buying: no plans to buy anything today unless it's a cup of coffee!

Pondering: why it is that our governments don't do something to better help and provide for our vets when they suffer from PTSD because of the work they've done to serve. Do our governments truly not care?

Anticipating: the return to weekly life group meetings. I've missed my peeps!!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Bookworm Meet-up

Last week I posted the titles I plan to read for this year's Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. I've started All In by Mark Batterson, and it's excellent! I've finished Xingu by Edith Wharton, which was an enjoyable short story (about 64 pages). That one I listened to on audiobook. Missed a few words here and there, but got the gist of it. Pretty humorous.

I also read Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul by Aubrey Sampson because I know people who suffer from anxiety and depression and want to learn more about it so I can be of better help. Depression is linked to feelings of guilt and shame and I thought this book did a good job of helping people work through those feelings from a spiritual basis.

In addition to the Batterson book, I'm currently reading Sheila Walsh's Loved Back to Life: How I found the courage to live free, a 'celebrity' memoir which focuses on this same subject (depression).  Sheila validates depression as a mental illness which can require pharmaceutical treatment. So often people in the church try to ascribe depression to a spiritual attack or lack of faith, delegitimatizing the very real medical aspect. This silences those who need help and to be heard. Can we please stop?

What are you reading right now? Anyone doing any kind of reading challenge?  

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Right Now

The Right Now posts were such a hit last year that I've decided Wednesdays are 'Right Now Wednesdays' from here on in. Yay, right?

Without further ado, here's what's happening 'right now.'

Drinking: I don't feel like coffee when I have a cold, so today I've been drinking tea, hot lemon and honey, water, and cranberry juice.

Reading: Overcomer by Aubrey Sampson.

Watching: episodes of Last Man Standing, Season 3. This is one funny show!

Listening: nothing in particular

Creating: plans for the future, mwah-ha-ha (rubs hands gleefully)

Planting: nothing right now Buying: nothing special, the usual groceries

Hankering for the 'good old days'

Dropping: everything. When you feel sick, you don't want to do anything.

Wrapping: I don't know; now that Christmas is over, maybe I should change this to another topic...

Anticipating: a better year in 2017, but everyone will have to do his/her part!

Baking: Nothing; we're still eating stuff we made or received over the holidays (chocolate almond bark, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered almonds, date squares, chocolate cake)

I’d love to hear what’s going on in your part of the world right now. Do tell!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge 2017

Once again I'm participating in the Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge. Please follow the link if you'd like to join us in reading through the alphabet. Below are the titles I plan to read this year in order to meet the goal:

All In: You are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life
Mark Batterson
The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It
Peter Enns
Cold-case Christianity: a Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels
Wallace J. Warner
Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life
Louis Zamperini
Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey  from North Korea to Freedom in the West
Blaine Harden
Fields of Grace: Faith, Friendship and the Day I Nearly Lost Everything
Hannah Luce
Girl Meets God
Lauren F. Winner
How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor
James K.A. Smith
If I Had Lunch with C.S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C.S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life
Alister McGrath
Joni & Ken: an Untold Love Story
Ken Tada
Kisses from Katie: a Story of Relentless Love and Redemption
Katie J. Davis
The Lord is My Shepherd
Debbie Viguie
Miracles from Heaven: a Little Girl, Her Journey to Heaven, and Her Amazing Story of Healing
Christy Beam
Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence
Jonathan Sacks
One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity
Debbie Macomber
Put on the Armour of Light
Catherine MacDonald
Quiet Strength: the Principles, Practices and Priorities of a Winning Life
Tony Dungy
Reverend Mother’s Daughter: a Real Life Story
Mary Haskett
Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit
Jim Cymbala
Too Busy Not to Pray: Slowing Down to Be with God
Bill Hybels
Unstoppable: the Incredible Power of Faith in Action
Nic Vujicic
Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Personal Vision
Andy Stanley
Why We’re Not Emergent
Kevin DeYoung
Edith Wharton
Your Own Jesus: a God Insistent on Making it Personal
Mark Hall
Zacchaeus: When God Stopped By
Patty Froese

You may just notice an overall theme (wink, wink).

Let me know if you plan to participate. Happy reading!