Monday, May 14, 2018

May 12, 2010 - Links and Lifestyle Changes

I just realized something: May 12, 2010 is both the day I got a home computer AND the last day I smoked. In one way I exchanged one form of bondage for another. 😐 Perhaps my hands were too busy to hold a cigarette, but I also had insomnia for several months... which could have been partly due to my complete fascination with social media. I averaged 3 hours of sleep at night, with a 10-20 minute nap during the day. Cigarettes were gone, but the computer was my new obsession.

I had a Facebook page for over a year, but was limited to what I could see and do until I got my own computer and internet. It was actually a FB friend who wanted to quit smoking and asked several friends if they would join in so we could support one another. I had smoked off and on for 40 years, so I knew I could quit for a while. I always quit when pregnant, and sometimes went a couple of years without smoking. STRESS was always the deal breaker for me. I actually realized one day, following several months of deep, almost to the point of suicide, depression that following one more personally devastating occurrence, I did not automatically return to my usual habit of chain-smoking when very upset. I also withdrew from many Facebook friends I had established relationships with and concentrated on my new career in social media management. Superficial friendships can be hard to hang on to, but it's self-protection for me. Working also became a life-saver, though. Not only did I need to support myself financially, having something to occupy myself was (is) vital.

While it is essential for work, I am not as addicted to my computer as I was 8 years ago. I can turn it off without worrying over what I am missing. Admittedly, Facebook is not as much fun as it used to be. Sadly, the world has become an angrier, sadder, more bitter place...or appears to be if you only read only certain social media pages and posts. But, I do find a lot of beauty, joy, connections, and friends on those pages. And, I need to work harder at being a friend to those I care about rather than withdrawing more into myself. There was never anything good about smoking, but there is good in having my computer...if used moderately and to be a blessing...and a better friend. Trusting others and allowing them to know me is a much bigger battle than giving up cigarettes!

Chains can be a burden or a blessing, depending on how they are used. Sometimes one link needs to be broken and removed and replaced with one that strengthens you instead.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

You Better Get Ready...I'm Coming Home!

Repost from Aug 8, 2010 Cindy's World:

"You better get ready, I'm coming home!" Those were the words I heard on the phone a few minutes ago from Kote!!

Next was, "I got money for my birthday, so I'll be buying my own stuff now!! Wait!! I want to buy a phone, but YOU can keep buying the rest of my stuff!!" 😎

He is hilarious.

But it did trigger a few thoughts about my life. How often, when things are going good, do I want to tell God that I can handle it now? Just as quickly, I want to put those words right back in my mouth. I can have nothing nor do nothing without Him!! I learned that lesson the hard way...and, because I am mule-headed, more than once!

While only God knows when I will be heading toward Heaven, I think of loved ones already there: my son... parents ... grandparents... a miscarried grandchild. I wonder who else is waiting on me? Most important --- my Savior!! Without Him, there is no way I would get there on my own.

I may not know the day or the hour, but I want to look toward Heaven and joyfully shout.........................


Monday, April 30, 2018

Let Your Light Shine

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with lights.” - Ion Keith-Falconer, 1856–1887, Scottish missionary and Arabic scholar

I love this quote, but am also saddened as I reflect that America is growing increasingly dark. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I do want to reflect the Light of His love to all, yet I struggle in the midst of all of the anger, chaos, and violence we are facing. It can be difficult to love those who ridicule, or worse, get angered by anyone who does not agree 100% with their viewpoint. Yet, when I cannot love through my own strength, I must view people through His eyes and let His love come forth.

And, I do not mean through tolerance or acceptance of sinful behavior...or even ignoring it. Jesus demonstrated righteous anger, but did not sin. But I do have to let go of anger when it consumes my thoughts or bitterness with people who refuse to have a civil conversation that attempts to find resolution to problems. There are some people I will simply always disagree with...and I am okay with that. But, I have to also learn to be okay that there are those who will never be okay with me disagreeing. Matthew 10:22 says, "You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." So, the tricky part (for me) is making sure I am being hated for the correct reason---not because of myself!

"Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world." - 1 Peter 2:12

 Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:15-16, "Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Originally published July 20, 2016 on a blog I have discarded.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

When Faith Catches Fire

When Faith Catches Fire by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and Dr. Robert Crosby is the story of the passionate fires of worship flaring among Latino and Hispanic churches worldwide. Discover how you can experience a more dynamic walk with God! Sharing compelling insights and personal stories, Rodriguez and Crosby will help you become immersed in the Spirit; transform your friendships, family, and community; and embrace unity amidst diversity in the church.

My review: The book is well written and has some stories and statistics I fully agree with...especially the reminders that ALL Hispanics and Latinos do not think alike or vote alike. I have never understood why the myth of "Group Think" continues to be popular among journalists and analytical "experts." Much of the information, especially stories of Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr., was things I already knew, too. Although I was VERY struck by the statement that many of the White churches were more concerned with handing out hope and the Black churches cared more about help. I am not sure I entirely agree with the statement, but I do believe that we need a combination of both help and hope.

To be fair, I am not exposed much to the Hispanic community, so I am unaware of any bridge being built to inspire the Church by Hispanics and Latinos. According to the book:
 At the core of this dramatic shift is a call to embrace a more soulful, passionate faith. In this powerful book, Christians will gain valuable insights on how to:
  •  Fully experience the joy of God and the passion of His Spirit.
  • Develop a true sense of unity amidst diversity in the body of Christ.
  • Make an eternal impact on their families, communities, and the world.
I have heard Samuel Rodriguez preach 2 or 3 times and am always inspired and revitalized by what the Holy Spirit is doing through him and the message he has. However, I struggled to get through both this book, and another that I read. His fire and passion do not translate into the written word as well for me...but I still recommend him based on what I hear. It was another perspective to look at when trying to see what the Church needs to be doing today, but I did not entirely catch the least to the point of disregarding all other views.

I received a copy of the book at no cost to myself from Blogging For Books.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Can Only Imagine

The story behind the song that went beyond the Christian music charts into the mainstream and brought the group, MercyMe, into prominence in Christian music. The movie is based on the life of musician Bart Millard and the experiences that lead to the writing of the song. Obviously, the film can only touch on a few highlights of his life and career, and J Michael Finley strikes the right note, not only with his amazing musical gift but as an actor portraying Bart Millard. The stand-out for me was Dennis Quaid. I have always been a fan and his performance as an abusive father was outstanding. "I Can Only Imagine" is a film that shows that forgiveness and redemption are always possible and the movie and song tell of the hope many believe in today. There were both tears and laughter from the audience of the sold-out screening I attended and I heard many positive comments. The Erwin Brothers step up their game with each film they make. Congratulations to cast and crew for a job well done.

Faithful Workouts with Michelle Spadafora

Faithful Workouts was started in 2009 when Michelle Spadafora felt God calling her to bring God into all aspects of her life. The goal was to invite others to a place where they could get healthier physically, spiritually, and emotionally in a caring environment with others on the same journey to encourage one another. 

The major difference betweem Faithful Workouts and other fitness plans is that God is the center of all. Keeping it simple is also stressed. There are simple menus and recipes available, and the workouts can all be done in the privacy and comfort of your own home. The purpose is for good health. 

The benefits of signing up to join Faithful Workouts is access to ✓ 200 Online Workouts for every fitness level
✓ Menu plans, grocery lists, cookbook and videos  (gluten free , dairy free, vegetarian options!)
✓ Faith & Fitness Calendar to make getting healthy simple!
✓ A forum to keep you inspired, connected & accountable
✓ Podcasts so you can take us with you on your walk, bike, or run

Faithful Workout website

Faithful Workouts - Facebook 
Faithful Workouts - Instagram 
Faithful Workouts - Twitter 
Faithful Workouts - YouTube 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

My Daddy Is In Heaven

My Daddy is in Heaven 
is the story of Becca (Jenn Gotzon Chandler), Adam (Lane Garrison) and their 5-year-old daughter Acie (Riley St John). They lived a life full of joy as they worked together on their farm, but their perfect family is torn apart when Adam is tragically killed in an ATV accident on the night of their annual Inependence Day celebration. Adam's death caused Becca's worl to spin out of control as she struggled to make sense of WHY her husband died.

Unable to cope with life without Adam, Becca leaves Acie with her grandfather Rick (Corbin Bernsen), and goes for an extended visit with her former classmate, June (Jill Morrison). Due to her shattered faith, Becca's anger with God soon has her rebellioslyslipping into the "Party Girl" lifestyle that June leads. All comes to a climax when Becca is arrested for Public Intoxication and Disorderly Conduct, causing her to realize that she needed to return to her child and her father. Deciding to accompany her friend, June and Becca board a bus only to encounter an unexpected event that has a profound impact on the lives of both women as they journey home.

My Daddy's in Heaven is directed by Waymon Boone and written by Boone, Joseph Nasser, and Noelle Nelson. Other actors in the film include Lorenzo Lamas, TC Stallings, Lee Benton, AJ Knight and Jim E Chandler. The movie will be available on DVD and Digital March 13th at Walmart, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, VUDU and On-Demand via local cable providers.

REVIEW: To clear possible confusion, I want to say that this film is very loosely based on the book, My Daddy Is In Heaven With Jesus by Rebecca Crownover. The book was an explanation to her very young daughter trying to help her understand her father's death. The first names and death are the same, but the movie is a story of a young woman coming to grips with the death of her husband and feeling abandoned by God.

The downsides were some of the storylines were a bit hurried although that could have been with editing rather than writing. I also would have liked to have had a few more minutes to get to know Adam and a bit of backstory. I wasn't crazy about all of the characters, but each was in the story for a reason.

Beyond the nitpicking above, I loved the movie. I have been in a similar situation as many of the roles played and the actors breathed life into characters I could identify with as part of my life. My story is not identical to Becca's, but I have been a young mother who felt abandoned by God and went through a period of anger, bitterness, and rebellion. Jenn Gotzon was brilliant as Becca! She made me laugh, she made me cry, and she skillfully portrayed a woman whose world had been overturned to a point she was spinning out of control. I could feel the many emotions as Becca struggled to hide the pain and look for a new normal while both running from and grasping the past.

The chemistry between Jenn Gotzon Chandler and Jill Morrison (June) was tangible and seemed as natural as breathing. June was one of my favorite characters and Jill played the role with a charm and passion that was irresistible. Of course, Corbin Bernson and Lorenzo Lamas gave amazing performances. Rick (Corbin) had a rock solid dependability that masked his inner fears and vulnerability. TC Stallings had a small but pivotal role that touched me as deeply as it did the movie characters. And, Jim Chandler (Jenn Gotzon's husband) was low-key but very charming as Nick; it was a delight to see Jim and Jenn together.

Despite a few discrepancies here and there, I have to give Daddy Is In Heaven 5 stars. The casting of the major roles (and some minor) was excellent and the story of hope and healing after a terrible loss is sure to transform lives. Broken lives and shattered dreams may cause us to stumble for a while but God is always standing by to welcome us back home.


DISCLAIMER: The film publicist, Lovell-Fairchild, provided me with a screener for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own