On 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?
- Pray a lot and out loud
- Have a buddy
- Read the Word of God
- Be part of a local church
- Stay in touch with friends and family
- Memorize Scripture
- Read God’s Promises Book
- Keep a close relationship with God
- Know God is trustworthy
- Know God is enough
- Practice disciplines (some are) taught in “His Yoke is Easy” sermon series
- Read Job
- Remember the example of other God-fearing people like Corrie Ten Boom
- Keep a sense of humor
- Practice gratitude
- Realize that you can change the way you feel
- Be part of a small group
- Be real with God and others
- Listen to God
Your Turn . . . How do you prepare for those difficulties that Jesus and Peter say we will have?
Related Posts . . .
- 3 Ways to Encourage Others Year Round
- Top 8 Bible Reading Mistakes Beginners Make
- 8 Tips for Finding a Prayer Partner
- 35 Reasons It IS Beneficial To Attend a Group
- Five Steps to Building an Intimate Relationship with God
- Laughter Has My Gratitude
- Nothing Matches God’s Power, Love and Justice – Even If It Looks Contrary
- Personal Gratitude Prevents Burnout
- Seven Ways to Help Your Child Hear God’s VOICE
- Using Your Learning Style to Feel Close to God
- Finding Laughter – What I Learned From a Funny Friend
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 . . .
- Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015
- 10 Read Aloud Questions & Answers
- 13 Benefits of Reading
- Finding Laughter: What Does Norman Cousin’s Laughter (and book) Have to Do With Me?
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth
- I Read 87 Books in 2015
- Top Ten Books I Read in 2015
- Using an X-ACTO to Make a Kindle Cover from a Hardback Book
Below are the books in each category. Of course I reserve the right to make changes at any time!
5 Dickens Books
- Oliver Twist
- The Old Curiosity Shop
- Our Mutual Friend
- David Copperfield
- The Pickwick Papers
5 Unfinished Books
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Simply Christian by NT Wright
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
- Unmapped Darkness by Thomas Finch
5 Gilmore Girls Books
- An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
5 Mitford Books
These High, Green Hills Out to Canaan A New Song A Common Life: the Wedding Story
n This Mountain
5 Recommended Books
The Passage by Justin Cronin (Barb) Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Elizabeth) Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (book 3/4)
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 . . .
- . . . Austen in August Reading Challenge. I read all her majour works.
- . . . #write31days where Finding Laughter was my topic. I read a bunch of books on this topic.
- . . . Back to the Classics Challenge. I read books from 10/12 categories.
- . . . Reading to Know Classics Book Club. I only read 6/12 of their suggestions.
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.
- 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
- A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
- A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
- A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
- A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
- An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
- An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
- At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
- Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
- Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
- Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
- I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
- Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
- Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
- Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
- Last Light by Terri Blackstock
- Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
- Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
- Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
- MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
- Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- Night Light by Terri Blackstock
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
- One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
- Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
- Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
- Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
- The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
- The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by
- 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
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
- The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
- The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
- The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
- The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
- The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
- The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
- The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
- The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
- The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
- The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
- The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- Thrush Green by Miss Read
- Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
- Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
- True Light by Terri Blackstock
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
- We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
- What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
- Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
- Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
- Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko
Hello, 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
THREE. 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.
- 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.
- mental illness . . . spiritual discipline
- love and renewal
- an unexpected find
- 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.
SEVEN. Last Light, Night Light, True Light, & 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.
- 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.
- 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.
TEN. 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).
Related Posts . . .
- 6 Month Update: Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015
- 11 Grief Resources: Books & Websites
- 13 Resources for Chronic Pain: Books & Websites
- 21 Things I Learned by Reading Individual Bible Books in One Sitting
- A Grown Up Book Report on The 21 Balloons
- Books on my Laughter Bookshelf
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth
“Find the good and praise it,” (Alex Haley).
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
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!”
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?
These 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.
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.