Preparing for Life’s Emergencies: 19 Ideas

emergencyOn Saturday, March 19, 2016 the women of CNC watched The 33. Did you watch The 33 with us? Or have you seen this movie recently?

Wasn’t it intense?

I was struck by many thoughts, but one of the most important ones is a question actually. “How prepared am I for the emergencies in my life?”

I have an earthquake kit with enough provisions for 72 hours. Although after sharing my kit with the ladies at our last movie event, it was pointed out that I didn’t have a Bible in there. That has now been rectified! So now I get a check-mark next to “physical emergency.”

But how prepared am I for the emotional and spiritual emergencies I will encounter in life? I WILL encounter such things.

Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12 (NLT), “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.”

Jesus says in John 16:33 (CEV), I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.

So when we come upon fiery trials and suffering, they don’t have to be emergencies. We know they are coming. We can prepare in advance for them.

  • Peter tells us to keep the long view in mind, “Wonderful joy is ahead of us.” Read the whole chapter (I Peter) to get a better idea of what I am talking about.
  • And Jesus also tells us to keep the truth in mind; He has already defeated the prince of this world and his hold on us. We can have peace because of who Jesus is and what He has done for us.

At our event we brainstormed some ways we can prepare for our fiery trials, sufferings, and emergencies.  What would you add to this list?

  1. Pray a lot and out loud
  2. Have a buddy
  3. Read the Word of God
  4. Be part of a local church
  5. Stay in touch with friends and family
  6. Memorize Scripture
  7. Read God’s Promises Book
  8. Keep a close relationship with God
  9. Know God is trustworthy
  10. Know God is enough
  11. Practice disciplines (some are) taught in “His Yoke is Easy” sermon series
  12. Read Job
  13. Remember the example of other God-fearing people like Corrie Ten Boom
  14. Keep a sense of humor
  15. Practice gratitude
  16. Realize that you can change the way you feel
  17. Be part of a small group
  18. Be real with God and others
  19.  Listen to God 

Your Turn . . . How do you prepare for those difficulties that Jesus and Peter say we will have?

Related Posts . . . 

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My 2016 BINGO Reading Challenge

My 2016 Reading BINGO List. The first of many for this year.

My 2016 Reading BINGO List.

Are you competitive?

I am. I am even competitive in my reading. Therefore reading challenges spur me on to read more consistently. Last year my goal was to read 57 books.

Did I make that goal? YES! And I did so with 30 books to spare!!!

This year, (starting in my birth month) I want to read 58 books. I will use various “techniques” to get there. One such technique is using BINGO.

In past years I have used other people’s BINGO lists. This year I came up with one of my own. I picked categories because I like to read a bunch of books from the same author, from a series, etc. In other words, I LIKE to batch read from categories.

Below are the 5 categories I finally settled on

  • 5 Books by the Author Charles Dickens
  • 5 Books I’ve Never Finished
  • 5 Books from the Gilmore Girls Books List
  • 5 Books from the The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
  • 5 Books That Have Been Recommended
  • . My list of books is at the very end of this post.

You can go here to fill out and then print your own BINGO Reading List card.

Each time I make a BINGO, I will allow myself a treat. As I am not so good in the reward department, I am not sure what that will be. I would like it to be book related.

  •  I don’t want to buy another book as there are TONS of choices on my Kindle and bookshelves and from the library.
  • Maybe read a book not ON THE LIST?
  • Give me some ideas, please!
  • And when I get a BLACKOUT, at that time I will BUY a book from my Amazon Wish List. I have hundreds to choose from. Seriously.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Are you competitive – even in reading?
  • Do you ever do BINGO Reading Challenges? Why? And how do you reward yourself for completing a BINGO? A blackout?
  • Have you ever made up your own BINGO list? If yes, how about linking it?
  • If you were to design one similar to mine, what categories would you include?
  • How many of the books on my list have you already read? The list is at the end of this post.
  • It would be so fun if you’d read along with me. Let me know if you decide to.

Related Posts . . . 

Below are the books in each category. Of course I reserve the right to make changes at any time!

5 Dickens Books

  1. Oliver Twist
  2. The Old Curiosity Shop
  3. Our Mutual Friend
  4. David Copperfield
  5. The Pickwick Papers‎

5 Unfinished Books

  1. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
  3. Simply Christian by NT Wright
  4. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  5. Unmapped Darkness by Thomas Finch

5 Gilmore Girls Books

  1. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  2. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  3. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  4. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  5. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy

5 Mitford Books

  1. These High, Green Hills
  2. Out to Canaan
  3. A New Song
  4. A Common Life: the Wedding Story
  5. In This Mountain

5 Recommended Books

  1. The Passage by Justin Cronin (Barb)
  2. Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl
  3. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Elizabeth)
  4. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
  5. The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (book 3/4)

 

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I Read 87 Books in 2015

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

My goal is to read and reread all the books I own. Then I will purge the shelves.

One of my goals for my 57th year of life, was to read 57 books. To help me accomplish that goal I signed up for reading challenges. I am competitive and I even like to compete against myself!

I signed up for the following challenges . . .

The rest of the titles I read came from recommendations, gifts, and from my bookshelves.

I met my challenge of 57 books and raised it by 30!!!

Your Turn . . .

  • Did you make a reading goal for 2015? Did you meet it?
  • How do you motivate yourself to read?
  • What are some books you’d recommend that I read?
  • Have you read all 87 books on my list?

Below is the list of books I read in 2015.

  1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
  3. A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
  4. A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
  5. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
  6. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  7. A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
  8. An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
  9. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
  10. At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  12. Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
  13. Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
  14. Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
  15. Emma by Jane Austen
  16. Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
  17. Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
  18. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
  20. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  21. I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
  22. I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
  23. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
  24. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  25. Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
  26. Last Light by Terri Blackstock
  27. Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
  28. Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
  29. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
  30. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  31. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  32. Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
  33. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
  34. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  35. Night by Elie Wiesel
  36. Night Light by Terri Blackstock
  37. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  38. On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
  39. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
  40. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  41. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  42. Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
  43. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  44. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
  45. Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
  46. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  47. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
  48. Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
  49. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  50. Still Life by Louise Penny
  51. The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
  52. The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
  53. The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
  54. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson
  55. The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
  56. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  57. The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
  58. The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
  59. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
  60. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  61. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  62. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  63. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  64. The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
  65. The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
  66. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  67. The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
  68. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
  69. The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
  70. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
  71. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  72. The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
  73. The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
  74. The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
  75. The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
  76. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  77. Thrush Green by Miss Read
  78. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
  79. Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
  80. True Light by Terri Blackstock
  81. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  82. Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
  83. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
  84. What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
  85. Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
  86. Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
  87. Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko

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Friday’s Fave Five: 12-18-2015

Holiday FFFHello, Friday. It is time to share five blessings from my last week. To tell us your blessings, leave a comment or write a post and link up at Living to Tell the Story on the Friday’s Fave Five meme.

 

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Bip and I are showing off our garland and our smiles.

ONE. Craft Night. Even though December is a BUSY time Lina walked 8 adults and 2 children through the mechanics of folding a magazine into a Christmas tree. We even made origami garland and ornaments. We had some goodies and lots of laughter and chatting interspersed with our folding. I am grateful for friend breaks (especially during a busy time) and getting the chance to create,

TWO.  A BUSY SUNDAY. I coordinated two events for this day. The 1st one was the Kids program. This year the kids (from PreK – Senior adults) combined forces to help us celebrate last Sunday at church. Their influence and presence were seen in receiving the offering Advent reading, special music, and skit. Joan and Jeanne deserve special mention for their creativity and leadership in making this all happen. It was a memorable morning highlighting the Jesus we love and serve.

The 2nd event was the Senior Christmas Party. Whew! A lot of details were followed one after the other in order to make this event happen. And each detail was executed WELL! MANY thanks go to the PEP 55+ ministry team (Jeanette, Marsha, and Shirley), Trudy, Joan, and Gillian for the roles they filled. Our catered event was beautiful and tasty. The seniors were truly spoiled!

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For a variety of reasons I did not decorate this year for Christmas. So my daughter did a couple of things to “Christmasfy” my apartment.

THREE. Surprise visit. We had a death in the family and my daughter was able to come home for a few days thanks to her manager who re-arranged her schedule (even though it is a HECTIC time) and to a generous friend who lent Elizabeth her car.

The cell reception to Yosemite is not that great so we don’t get to chat much. Although we did while she was here! And she surprised me by making and hanging decorations from my ceiling and with a poinsettia plant. It sure looks festive in my room!!!

FOUR. Making meals. Several times a month my friend Marsha and I gather to eat soup and salad and watch a movie. Sometimes we bake/cook together. This past week we made a cheesy brown rice and chicken (with bacon) casserole. We gave these to two different families. I am grateful that I have a friend that does such things with me.

These 2 lovely ladies were waiting patient;y for the celebration to start.

patiently waiting for the celebration

FIVE. Wedding. I enjoyed attending this wedding. Weddings are always a great reminder of how to love well. The couple exemplify selfless love and I enjoyed hearing some of their recent history. God has a prominent place in that history.

I am grateful for their example and desire to live according to His will.

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Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

I have read 77 books so far in 2015 and there are still 2 weeks left. I read so many GREAT books. It really was hard to pick just 10 and the list keeps changing. But for today, here is my list.

life cchanging

ONE. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.  I am not a naturally clutter-free person; so this book offered some good, although different from the norm, advice for me.

  • My home is (or can be) a sacred space.Take care that it is a place of joy.
  • Focus on what to keep – things that bring joy. Feel positive about every item in my home. Don’t keep things that have unhappy feelings attached to them.

unbrokenTWO: Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. I also watched the movie and listened to an interview Louie Zamperini gave.

  • Louie Zamperini had disaster after disaster after disaster happen and yet he continued living.
  • His tenacity and inspiring outlook on life inspires me and makes me want to be more tenacious in the face of my own disasters.
  • Shows the power of God’s healing and redemption.

mwfTHREE. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche. This year i discovered some books where folks took on year-long projects and then wrote about them. That intrigues me as I see the power one project has for a year instead of trying to do many projects in a year. This is the first such book I read this year.

  • As someone who lets a busy life interfere with making and developing deep friendships, I liked this book’s focus.
  • I was informed and encouraged to do the same. Perhaps in 2016 I will make this my focus.

OprahFOUR. Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant. This is the 2nd year-long project book I read.

  • This was a novel twist on following self-help literature especially since sometimes the advice contradicta.
  • This book points out how contradictory media messages are targeted to women. We need to be aware and CHOOSE for OURselves what it the best way to live. Don’t be a sheep.

scentFIVE. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge. This is a new author to me.

  • mental illness . . . spiritual discipline
  • love and renewal
  • an unexpected find

 

tolstoySIX. Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch. This is my 3rd yearlong project book to read.

  • Reading a book a day is ambitious.
  • Words impact me – a LOT. So using reading as therapy makes sense to me.
  • I would have read all self-help books which might not have been as beneficial.

lightSEVEN. Last Light, Night Light, True Light, &amp; Dawn’s Light (a Restoration Novel Series) by Terri Blackstock. Yes, yes, yes, this is really a trilogy which I have classified as one book. And I did read them one after another for a week.

  • It is ONE story though about the world’s population living without electricity. Of course this impacts every area of life and the characters struggle with bare survival  – at first.
  • I liked the faith component and figuring out how to have a good life with a community surrounding you and without conveniences.

NickEIGHT. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. I’ve only read 3 other Dickens books and every time I read one, I love it.

  • Shoot me if you want, but I like and even need a HAPPY ending. This book delivers.
  • Although I wasn’t sure that was where the book would end.
  • I will read more Dickens in 2016.

 

HOPENINE. The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson. Hope is in short supply. But we are not left without resources.

  • Hope is an option.
  • Our foundation of hope is Christ.
  • There are things I can do to bring more hope into my life, my church and my workplace.
  • I would like to go through this book with a group of people.

AustenTEN. Any book by Jane Austen. I read all her novels (for adults) this year for the Austen in August Reading Challenge. I recommend them ALL. Yes, here I am cheating because these are 6 different books with 6 different story lines.

  • I enjoyed reading each book for a different reason.
  • If I had to pick a fave it would be Emma. Going from haughty to humble is something I can relate to and hope where I end up in life (humble).

TTTYour Turn . . . I wrote this post for Top Ten Tuesday. . . . Write your own list and link up at Top Ten Tuesday. . . . or share what books made your Top Ten list in the comments.

 

Related Posts . . .

 

 

 

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Friday’s Fave Fave – 12/11/15

“Find the good and praise it,” (Alex Haley).

Getting together with these folks was surely part of the good of my week.

Getting together with these folks was surely part of the good of my week.

A look back at my past week reveals things that are good and a cause for gratitude. In this post I share five such things.

ONE. Family Traditions. On Sunday I had the privilege of being part of my grand daughter’s first Christmas cookie-making time.

  • I forgot to bring a few things so we walked to a near by outside mall to a kitchen store. The walk, the lights on the street, and being with one another added so much to the day.
  • You know how kiddos (especially ones of the toddler variety) LOVE to
    Daddy taught Sofia the proper way to 'clean" frosting off the beater.

    Daddy taught Sofia the proper way to ‘clean” frosting off the beater.

    dump sprinkles onto their cookie creations? Well, not my Sofia. She very delicately gave two tiny shakes of the jar onto the chosen cookies. Although she was quite generous when using the frosting tubes.

  • But like every other kiddo, she’d lick the knife and eat a cookie when the adults weren’t looking.
  • Truth be told, I ate a few cookies that way, too.

TWO. Praying Friends. I believe in the power and “help” of prayer. I am so blessed to have a circle of folks who pray for me regularly. And blessed to have folks I can call or text to say, “please pray!”

Sofia and I also made our 2nd annual Christmas ornament. Last year it was a glittered hand-print (her's of course). This year it was a glittered Sofia The First ornament.

Sofia and I also made our 2nd annual Christmas ornament. Last year it was a glittered hand-print (her’s of course). This year it was a glittered Sofia The First Princess ornament.

THREE. Celebration of Life. I went to a memorial service for a friend’s father this week. It was such an inspiring service. I hope my life reveals such inspiration at my life’s end. I am grateful for Jim’s legacy and example. Both make me want to be a better woman.

FOUR. Music. This week music has cheered and inspired me . I have also used it as an aid to study and for sounder sleep.

FIVE. Small Group. On Mondays I facilitate two small groups. We are going through Face-to-Face with Naomi and Ruth: Together for the Journey by Janet Thompson.

  • I love hearing the answers and questions they have from the book, the Bible, and each other.
  • I love seeing their insights and growth. I love seeing the affection they have for each other.
  • We had an especially thought-provoking time last Monday. Two of my fave questions were as follows. (1) How teachable are you?  (2) What kind of person brings out a teachable spirit in you?

Holiday FFFThese are five of my blessings from last week. Share in the comments or link up at Living to Tell the Story to share your own post of five blessings.

 

 

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Meaningful Seconds

time surrounded by flowerstiny seeds of time …

they are not neutral, we must …

plant our world in good.

Your Turn . . . The “seconds of our lives are so important. If we squander our seconds, we squander our life and potentially harm those around us. How good are you at using your seconds well?

Here are two quotes I especially like.

  • “Yesterday was the last day on the calendar of the past. Tomorrow will be the first day on the calendar of the future. Today is both the first and the last day of the present. Use it well.”  ~ Israelmore Ayivor
  • “Life hits you hard. But it takes you three seconds to decide if you are a superhero or not. I am.” ~ Hrithik Roshan

Related Posts . . . 

NOTE: This post is for the WordPress writing 101 two-week poetry prompts. Here is another haiku.

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58 Books to Read During my 58th year

The Big DayMarch 12th, 2017
8 months to go.

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