Friday’s Fave Five

This week has come to a close and so it is time to share five blessings. To read other lists or to link up your own list go to Friday’s Fave Five at Susanne’s Living to Tell the Story.

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This photo made the cutest stamp.

ONE. I sent out Valentine’s Day cards. And to make them extra special, I mailed them with stamps I ordered from Stamps.com. At this site you design stamps with a photo of your choice. I made stamps with my precious granddaughter’s photo.

This darling even made a card for me using a heart-shaped potato stamp and red paint.

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Kadie enjoys rugby, knitting, eating sushi, and making snapchat videos.

 

TWO. Valentine’s Day is always extra special because we also celebrate the birthday of one of my nieces, Kadie. She came home from college for the festive weekend. This sweetheart is caring, funny, talented, godly, and a joy to be around.

THREE. Besides having our traditional birthday breakfast of waffles and ice cream, we also had a birthday dinner. Family and friends gathered for good food, lots of visiting, and even some rowdy singing. We sang pop and Christian music with guitar and ukulele accompaniment.

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“Repent and be faithful to the Gospel.”

FOUR. Lent started this week. Even though I didn’t grow up in or currently attend a liturgical church, I enjoy observing Lent. I wrote this post of ideas to help me (us) observe Lent. On Wednesday night I attended a Lent service with some Catholic friends, Joe and Geri. It was a moving and meaningful service. Afterwards we ate fish tacos. Read about my 1st Ash Wednesday service here.

FIVE. Last night I gathered with the gals (Reggie and Bip) from the Women’s Ministry Team (from church). We assembled the magnets for our annual women’s missionary tea. I think this is our 10th  tea and every year we give out a magnet. This year’s magnets are soooooo cute. And to top it off, they only cost about $0.45 each. I will post a photo of them after our tea. Until then they design is top-secret!

Have a happy and warm week and be sure to look for items for your next Friday’s Fave Five.

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Lenten Ideas to Help Us Focus on and Become More Like Jesus

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan. And I wrote about the following: When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held.)

On Lent Eve (AKA Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras) I ate pancakes and decided my Lenten plan.  . . . .  And I wrote about the following: . . . . . When I wake up on Resurrection Sunday morning, how will I be different? What am I preparing for? (Question by Rachel Held Evans.)

I dabble in Lent. For the past 8 years I’ve done various things: given something up (social media, unnecessary spending), added something (usually a spiritual discipline), donated (money and items) to a good cause, and prayed more. I’m not of a liturgical bent, so I don’t really know what I am doing.

I never did well at fasting. I never spent extra time in confession. And come to think of it, many of my other attempts were also lame.

But I did these things to prepare myself for Easter. And while they were done imperfectly and probably incorrectly, I did achieve my goal. By the time Easter came around, I was a little more focused on the Redeemer of my soul, Jesus. My thoughts & actions were a little more like His.

Here is a cool video about Lent. It is only 1 minute 15 seconds. “Lent is not a list of Catholic Resolutions nor is it a Catholic Endurance Test. . . . It is a campaign for holiness. Instead of giving up chocolate, how about giving up sin.” OUCH!

This year I am keeping it simple. The idea generator in me wants to add a bunch of things to this list. But I typically over-estimate my available time, energy, and resources. So there are only 3 things on my list.

(1) I am giving up negativity in all forms: pessimism . . . uncalled for anger . . .  criticism . . . complaining . . . worry . . . gossip . . . impatience . . . swearing . . . mean talk . . . pride . . . discouragement . . . hyper independence . . .  and victim- and scarcity-thinking. . . . I want to be purposeful about my thoughts and about what comes out of my mouth.

I don’t normally have a problem with negativity, but I think these next 40 days will show how well I do or don’t do in this area.

(2) I am adding in Gratitude. I will write down one thing I am grateful for every day. And I want to be more purposeful abut looking for God’s presence in my life and in the world. I am sure this will give me many things to write on my gratitude list.

(3) I will read only about Jesus. I want my thoughts to be more focused on Him. Right now I have the following books in mind.

Here are some other Lent ideas. As I get the time and energy, I will pop into the following links and try one or two of their ideas.

40 Days of Prayer Doodling.  This is a visual, concrete,and different way to pray.

40 Days of Signs & Symbols.  Each day a different sign or symbol from Christian history or art and its meaning will be posted. Your challenge is to consider its meaning for you today OR post a picture of something you saw today with a similar meaning OR share a thought as you reflect on this symbol.

40 Ideas for Lent Rachel Held Evans has compiled a list of 40 ideas to help us in this season of reflection, penitence, and preparation. I especially like how she starts off the list with 5 questions. If nothing else, do the 5 questions.

A Lent Where #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Ideas for Black History Month and the White Church. Use the Lenten season to truly immerse yourself in Black history and the current reality of people of color… if a white congregation has truly observed Black History month, then it will have naturally found itself wading, likely deeper than ever before, into the themes of Lent, that season of self-examination and repentance.

Declutter 40 Bags. Focus on getting the unnecessary stuff out in one spot per day. Don’t go nuts and tackle five spots because you want to prove something. Don’t get all bummed out because you missed a day (or ten). Just focus on one. spot. per. day.

Do Lent Generously. 55,000+ people are doing 40 days of giving back, doing good and living generously.

An infographic list of 20 odd ideas for teens (or anyone really).

Lenten Wilderness Meditation Practice. Every day for 40 days, we invite you to spend 10-20 minutes OUTSIDE in prayer/meditation/just being (rain or shine)!

Photography. InstaLent Photo Challenge or this photo-a-day project.

Write 40 Encouraging Notes. 

Your Turn . . .

  • If you’re participating in Lent this year, what will it look like?
  • Have you tried any of the above ideas?
  • What would you add to the list?

Related Posts . . . Read about my 1st Ash Wednesday here.

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Benefits of Tea Drinking Seep Into Annual Missions Tea

I like cookies with tea. Both the cookies and the tea are Earl Grey based. I love the cookies layered with orange frosting. What is your favourite item to pair with tea?

I like cookies with tea. Both the cookies and the tea are Earl Grey based. I love the cookies layered with orange frosting. What is your favourite item to pair with tea?

There is no disputing that teas provide wonderful, even miraculous, health benefits. What are  some of the health benefits, you ask?

The white, green and herbal teas are said to help with the following . . .  Aging . . .  Nervous tension and stress . . .  Skin irritations like acne, eczema, and wrinkles, and . . .  Weight loss.

You certainly can drink tea all on your own and reap the above benefits. But, how much more fun to drink with a table full of friends (or soon to become friends).

On Saturday, March 14th, 11am-1pm, Cordova Neighborhood Church will have 12 tables full of ladies and tea for our annual missions tea. We will start with the worship portion of the tea. This includes music, prayer, and time with our speaker, Marcia Braum.

Then we will move into Rudat Hall and have tea and appetizers (provided by each guest for their own table).

At the end of our TEA we won’t be . . . 

  • looking younger
  • have nicer skin
  • skinnier

But I bet we can say we feel . . .

  • more connected to one another
  • excited about what God is doing in Missions
  • this was a satisfying and fun way to spend the afternoon

YOUR TURN . . . Sign up TODAY by leaving a comment below or call the church office: 635-5992. . . . Which one is your favourite health benefit?

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Friday’s Fave Five

HEART FFF graphicTime to share this week’s favourite blessings.

One. Celebrating new life. On Sunday we had 7 baptisms. Kids, tweens, teens, and adults took the plunge. The sermon (how to handle financial worry) and music rocked! I was grateful for the celebration and being able to be part of it.

Two. Take a meal, hold a baby. No, I don’t cook much anymore. When I cook it apparently means means someone died.

However I am good at getting food to go. Like this week I took 2 pizzas (one of them was heart-shaped and pepperoni) to a family with a new baby. I was BLESSED because I got to hold the precious little guy. Mama, baby and family are adjusting well.

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Most of the evening Fluffy sat on my lap enjoying the attention I gave her. And I was grateful for her attention to me.

Three. Cat love. Wednesday night I was at Marsha’s again for soup, salad, and a movie. One of Marsha’s cats has taken a shine to me. Where ever I was, that is where Fluffy was. And she didn’t even bite me this time.

Four. Motivational tool. Have you heard of Give it 100? Go to this website and sign up to work on a project for 100 (or more) days. Every day you post a 10 second video about your progress.

I am on Day 43 of blogging. My goal was to declutter or finish 40 of my draft posts. I started with 276 – I LOVE to start. I am down to 97. I have missed 2 days and still managed to BEAT my goal. I am thankful this tool is motivating me beyond my imagination.

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I can’t believe how BIG Lennon is getting. And I am grateful I get to be part of this family’s life.

Five. Home made meal and a movie. Nope, I didn’t cook, but my godson’s mom did and had me over.

Before dinner I helped Lennon with his Valentine’s Day cards. He wrote his name and I wrote “you.” Evidently the kiddos weren’t supposed to write each other’s names in the “To” field.

We had Crockpot Paleo Thai Stew with riced cauliflower. YUMMMMM. We all ate everything on our plates.

After dinner we watched my godson’s favourite movie, Mr. Peabody & Sherman. This is a movie I would watch again. I loved all the cultural references.

Your Turn . . . Now that you’ve read my fave five from this week, don’t you want to write and post your own list? If yes, go to Living to Tell the Story to link up.

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Reading to Know Classics Book Club 2015

bookclubThe 2nd book club I am taking part in is this Reading to Know Classics Book Club hosted by Carrie at Reading to Know. Information for the other book club is here.

I came across this list in February so I obviously missed reading the January selection. So I will start with February. Although I will probably come back to the January selection after I’ve read the other books.

I have already read 6 of these books, but it will be fun to reread them because after all they are classics. And because I have read them before, I will hopefully have more to contribute to the discussion.

January – Any Lucy Maud Montgomery title of your choosing, held in conjunction with the Lucy Maud Montgomery Reading Challenge (discussion hosted by Carrie)

February – Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (Discussion hosted by Heather from Don’t Let This Universe Forget You). FINISHED THIS BY FEBRUARY 16, 2015.

March – The Pursuit of God, by A. W. Tozer (Discussion hosted by Shonya from Learning How Much I Don’t Know)

April – 1984, by George Orwell (Discussion hosted by Annette from This Simple Home)

May – Christy, by Catherine Marshall (Discussion hosted by Stephanie from Simple Things)

June – The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Discussion hosted by Amy from Hope is the Word)

July – Any Narnia book (or book about Narnia or C.S. Lewis) of your choosing. Hosted in conjunction with the Chronicles of Narnia Reading Challenge (Hosted by Carrie at Reading to Know)

August – Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter (Discussion hosted by Heather from Lines from the Page)

September – The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis (Discussion hosted by Barbara from Stray Thoughts)

OctoberThe Hound of the Baskervilles (Discussion hosted by Sky from Circus Caravan of My Thoughts on Things)

November – Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales. Feel free to read one or all, as you please. (Discussion hosted by Rebekah from Bekahcubed)

DecemberThe Sherwood Ring, by Elizabeth Marie Pope (Discussion hosted by Tammy from Bluerose’s Heart)

Your Turn . . .

  • Have you read all the above classics?
  • Is there one you are really wanting to read?
  • Now that you have all the information, why don’t you join us?

Related Post . . . Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015

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Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015

backtotheclassics2015BUTTONI am joining others in an online book reading club. In fact I am joining 2! This first one is a Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen’s Books and Chocolate.

I haven’t read many classics in my life, so I am excited about changing that deficit. Below are the categories and what books I think I will read.

  1. A 19th Century Classic– Any book published between 1800 and 1899. Moby Dick (1851) by Herman Melville. I am currently reading this on my Kindle.
  2. A 20th Century Classic– Any book published between 1900 and 1965. A Princess of Mars (1917) by  Edgar Rice Burroughs (Kindle). Here is Part 1 audio-book.
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author The Secret Adversary (1822) By Agatha Christie or An Old-Fashioned Girl (1869) By Louisa May Alcott. Both are on my Kindle. I READ THE SECRET ADVERSARY IN FEBRUARY 2015.
  4. A Classic in Translation– As in last year’s category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.
  5. A Very Long Classic Novel– A single work of 500 pages or longer, regular-sized print. War and Peace (1869) by Leo Tolstoy (Kindle)
  6. A Classic Novella– Any work shorter than 250 pages. Heart of Darkness (1960) by Joseph Conrad. I READ THIS IN FEBRUARY 2015.
  7. A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title– First name, last name, or both, it doesn’t matter, but it must have the name of a character. Nicholas  Nickleby (1838) by Charles Dickens (Kindle)
  8. A Humorous or Satirical Classic–  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.
  9. A Forgotten Classic–  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.
  10. A Nonfiction Classic– A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that’s considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.
  11. A Classic Children’s Book–  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children’s classic that you never got around to reading. Pollyanna (1913) by Eleanor H. Porter (Kindle)
  12. A Classic Play–  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.

I haven’t come up ideas for 5 of categories. But I will think more about that once I’ve finished reading War and Peace. ;)

NOTE: All of the above books except for Heart of Darkness are available for free for e-readers.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you read many classics? Tell us your favourite book.
  • Do you have a suggestion for one of my empty spots?
  • To join us in the classic reading adventure, go here for more information.

Related Post . . . Reading to Know Classics Book Club 2015

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Small Group Table of Contents

The folks in our small group are willing to have  fun while we undertake the serious business of becoming more like Jesus. (I am the one in the white mask.

The folks in our small group are willing to have fun while we undertake the serious business of becoming more like Jesus. Come join us. (I am the one in the white mask.)

Tips for Better Small Groups

Why Join a Small Group 

Your Turn . . . Do you belong to a small group? If not, then join or start one today! You won’t regret the investment of your time and energy.

Related Post . . . 12 Ways to Develop Community at CNC This Winter

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57 Thing To Do During my 57th Year

The Big DayMarch 12th, 2016
12 months to go.

57 Things I’ve Done by March 2016

1. Bought Personalized 2015 Photo Calendar
2. Bought Personalized Stamps
3. Wrote 2 Blackout Poems
4. Movie Marathon: The Good Witch Films (7 of them)
5. Family Special Time (Lennon, Kadie)

57 Books I’ve Read by March 2016

1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
2. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
3. Inspiration Sandwich by SARK.
4. A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
5. Prayer: Life's Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
6. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
7. The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Stuff I’ve Written and When

Book of Braille Sculptures

By Elizabeth Symington

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