Saturday, December 29, 2012

This year: Dream bigger, Start Smaller by Steven Furtick

This Year: Dream Bigger, Start Smaller by Steven Furtick
I’ve met a lot of people who knew what it was to burn plows and set out to live for God but didn’t know what to do next. They prayed, they made a commitment—and they got stuck. As a pastor, I’ve seen it over and over again. As a man trying to live for God, I’ve experienced it over and over again.
I’m guessing you’ve made plenty of resolutions about stuff you needed to start doing or stop doing. Maybe you were going to start praying or reading your Bible more.
Or maybe you were going to stop smoking or boycott carbohydrates or stop looking at pornography or stop saying mean things about family members behind their backs. Maybe you decided to break away from a relationship you knew was unhealthy for you.
The way I see it, there are two major reasons why well-intentioned people like us get stuck after we burn our plows.
One, we don’t think big enough. Two, we don’t start small enough.
I’m not trying to talk like Yoda here. Thinking big enough and starting small enough are two sides of the same coin. So I not only want to motivate you to dream bigger dreams for your life. I also want to challenge you to take realistic steps of obedience that can actually make God’s vision come to pass.
After all, our God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). It is true that we often settle for dreams and visions that are far less than those God has for us. And He wants us to experience much more. If I didn’t believe that, the title of this book would beSamer.
So of course God wants you to believe big—it’s in His very nature. I’ve devoted my whole ministry to inspiring people with this truth. Preacher Dwight L. Moody made a statement that I love: “If God is your partner, make your plans big.” That way of thinking makes my heart race.
But we’re not going to see God’s bigger vision fulfilled in our lives just because we spend more time thinking transcendent thoughts. We don’t attain greater things simply by lying on the couch and concentrating on the possibilities of a better life. Alas, sitting for thousands of hours with my headphones on listening to Guns N’ Roses and imagining I was Axl Rose didn’t translate into my being the lead singer of the world’s most dangerous rock’n’roll band.
You do have to be willing to think big. But the active ingredient of God’s greater work through us is our willingness to start small.
I want to show you an incredible image in one of the first main-stage miracles Elisha performs after Elijah departs and leaves the ministry in his successor’s hands. It demonstrates the principle that small steps and hard work precipitate a move of God. That human action prepares the way for supernatural favor.
It comes from 2 Kings 3, and it goes like this:
King Joram is ruling over Israel during the years when the kingdom is divided. When the king of Moab rebels against him, the frightened king enlists King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the king of Edom to help him. Their combined military force should be fearsome against the Moabites—but they almost immediately run out of water for their armies and animals. Now they are preparing to face a terrifying foe while facing an even more terrifying fate: dying of thirst.
Par for the course in Israel’s history, the crisis drives King Joram to look for divine help. He isn’t desperate for God, but he is desperate for a solution. King Jehoshaphat asks if there is a prophet who could consult God for them. A servant reminds him of Elisha, the artist formerly known as Mr. Plow. So the three kings and their entourages go looking for Elisha.
Elisha confirms to the kings that water will flow from Edom by the time the sun comes up the next morning. Their armies and their animals will have plenty to drink. The drought is almost over. God is going to deliver Moab to His people just as they prayed for. Hallelujah, somebody?
But he tells the kings to take a small, ludicrous step first.
This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. (verse 16)
Why would anybody in their right mind dig ditches to hold rain that isn’t even in the forecast?
Because that’s the way faith works. When you know God has promised you greater things, you don’t wait for a sign to appear before you respond. The kings wanted a miracle. They would get their miracle. But first they got a work order: This is no time for the power of positive thinking. Tie a bandanna around your head and pick up a shovel.
It would have been great if all the army had to do was sit around thinking hydration-related thoughts or had a few guided exercises to help them visualize the water. But that’s not how God operates.
It’s as if God says, “If you really believe I’m going to do what I told you I would do, get busy. Show Me your faith, and then I’ll show you My faithfulness. Do your part. If you will do what I asked you to do, I will be faithful to My word.
“If you’ll dig the ditches, I’ll send the rain.”
The entire nation must have pitched in and dug all night, because they got it done. The next morning the water arrived. As promised. As always. The newly installed ditches were full of water, the armies and animals were refreshed, and the joint army easily overtook the Moabites.
I think Elisha used the process of ditch digging to teach Israel this important paradox of great faith:
Only God can send the rain. But He expects you to dig the ditches.
It really comes down to this: What small steps and practical preparations is God asking you to make for the greater life He wants you to live? What ditches is He asking you to dig?
You can’t expect God to entrust you with a big dream if He can’t trust you to make a small start.
You can’t have the apostle Paul’s walk with God overnight. Big dream.
But you can pray ten minutes a day beginning tomorrow. Small start.
You can’t entirely mend a broken relationship overnight. Big dream.
But you can have a conversation and open the door, write the letter, make the call, say, “I’m sorry.” Small start.
If your kid is far from God, you can’t bring him back overnight. Big dream.
But you could start praying for him every day. Small start.
Notice what Elisha doesn’t say; he doesn’t tell the kings to dig one ditch. No singular ditch digging on this prophet’s watch.
Instead, make this valley full of ditches. Plural.
Believe that God is going to send a lot of rain.
If we really believe God is an abundant God, ready and willing to bless our lives in greater ways than we could ever imagine, we ought to be digging all kinds of ditches. In our relationships. In our careers. In our ministries. In every area of our lives, there ought to be heavy-duty equipment on site. Moving dirt. Making preparation.
And we ought to dig ditches using every means available. We can dig ditches with our words. With our prayers. With our expectations. Even with our thoughts.
How many ditches are you willing to dig? How deep will you dig them? You’re not digging alone. And it’s not in vain. God has a downpour scheduled in your near future. The deeper you dig, the greater the rainfall has the potential to be.
Adapted from Greater by Steven Furtick with permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Resolve to Love

Resolve to Love 
By Kerry and Chris Shook

Right now, there are three relationships in your life that trouble you. Perhaps a good friend said something to you yesterday. It felt critical, but you’re not sure what she meant. The two of you used to be so close, but lately you’ve been drifting apart. Something’s not right. Oh, and your mother called. There’s that. You know you should return her call, but you haven’t. Why? You know there are things you should have said before, you avoided them, and now you feel it’s too late. It’s always so hard with her. Always messy. And then...your son has been missing. Not missing physically, but he’s been distant, quiet, silent. Missing emotionally. What’s that about? What’s going on in his life? You want to reach out, but he pushes you away. It worries you.

Maybe the relationships in your life aren’t exactly like these, but I’m guessing these remind you of someone close to you, a problem relationship in your life right now. Maybe it’s not your mother but your father, perhaps not your son but a daughter-in-law. It could be your best friend. Whoever it is, he or she is someone who matters to you—or else the relationship wouldn’t trouble you, gnaw at you on the inside, make you question and grumble, or even bring you to tears.

So take a moment and think, who are these three key people in your life? Which meaningful relationships are troubling you? Relationships you wish were closer. Relationships you’d like to be deeper and richer. Relationships that trouble you, bother you, even make you a little crazy right now.

Seriously, think about it. Who are they? And now take a moment to name these three key relationships out loud.

Trust me, this is important for you. In fact, this may be the most significant thing you do in your life right now. Why?

Because life is way too short. At the end of the day—at the end of The Day—in this all-too-short life we share, all that really matters is relationships. Our relationships with the God who created us and with the people we love. Compared to these relationships, the job or career goals we set now aren’t really so important, the ladders we try to climb don’t matter so much, and the objects we long to own and possess seem utterly trivial.
What really counts in the end is that special knowing look you share with your spouse, the arms of your child reaching up to you, or the quiet comfort of a friend who stands by your side in a difficult time.

The award-winning animated movie Up contains some profound truths about relationships. In a breathtaking sequence early in the film, we see the entire arc of the life of Carl, a balloon salesman, as he meets Ellie, falls in love, and gets married. They share a dream to travel to South America and save every penny for their big trip. But there’s something familiar about the way their savings are constantly being used for the urgencies and emergencies of daily life. Before Carl and Ellie know it, they’re in their seventies, and although they have a beautiful marriage, they never realized their dream adventure.
Ellie dies, and Carl is overwhelmed with regret about the trip they never took. In a desperate attempt to escape loneliness and recapture memories of Ellie, Carl attaches a bunch of balloons to his house and sets out for South America! You begin to realize as the movie progresses that this dream trip they were saving for, this object of their future plan together, wasn’t really that important after all. The real adventure was the life they shared along the way.

The same is true for us: the adventure of a lifetime is right in front of us. It’s just cleverly disguised as a familiar face.

Think about the possible loss of the relationship with one of those three people you named. You can’t do anything about death and the physical departure of one of them from this earth. That’s in God’s hands.

But you can do something about your relationship with them in life.
Much of what you’ve been told about relationships is upside down and wrong.
Researchers tell us that a baby sees everything upside down for the first few days of life until the brain can adjust the visual picture to right side up. Most relationships today are stuck in this same infant stage; we tend to see relationships upside down, and our culture only reinforces this view. The concept of love at first sight permeates our music, movies, television, and books. What we learn as children and continue to believe as adults is that a fairy-tale relationship somehow just happens. 

Now, I’m not bashing romance, but meaningful relationships depend on seeing other people as they are and looking at them right side up. Real love—whether romantic love, a close friendship, or a family relationship—happens long after first sight. It shows up as people get to know each other more deeply and often after they work through tough things together. Real love in relationships isn’t a magic act; it’s a journey. When people say, “It was love at first sight,” what they really mean is “I was attracted to that person the first time I saw them.” There is nothing wrong with being infatuated with someone at the start of a relationship. The real question, however, is, do you have a love that is growing stronger and deeper every day?

I don’t believe in love at first sight; I believe in love at last sight. Each of my relationships has the potential to be better the next time we’re together than it was the previous time so that the last time we see each other on this earth we’re closer than ever before.
I’d like you to join me in the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge. The book One Month to Love is the challenge, and you can do it on your own. Just read a chapter each day. There are thirty chapters, they’re short, and you can probably read one a day pretty easily. At the end of each chapter you’ll find the Lasting Love Relationship Challenge, which is designed to help you take the insights from that day and apply them to your key relationships. 

Also you can log on to 
 each day to access our personal coaching and get extra encouragement and advice or share your story. Our goal is to come alongside you to help you create the very best relationships possible. Let’s resolve to love this year!

Adapted from One Month to Love  by Kerry and Chris Shook with permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Egermeier's Bible Storybook for beginners

I read Egermeier's Bible Storybook for Beginners, in exchange for review from Netgalley. The book was written by Elsie Egermeier and published by Warner Press. I chose this book for the kids. I needed a simple bible--with easy-to read words and pictures--to grab the kids attention. As a Mama and  Christian, I do worry about the kids knowing God and obtaining salvation. I probably worry more than most since I have special needs kids. Both of them can not say God, but that does not mean they do not feel the presence of God. I read them the first story and Brad and Kalen paid attention. I highly recommend the book to parents (and anyone else, who wants to share the Love and goodness of God to children)
I finally sewn the seat back 2gether for Kalens bouncer. Put him in it. Left it near the bed. Kalen climbed out quick and got onto the bed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Special

Christmas Special: Buy Mind Funk Times 21 by Tai Davis or Emotional Enema by Brigette Hall below, get a discount for 50% off print editions of my books: Love. Lust. Life.; Chocolate Kisses; or Conversations through Createspace store. Provide proof you have bought either book and I will send a code, you can use on one of my books.

Tai is an excellent poet. I love her work. I known her for years. Her poetry is inspiring and uplifting.

Brigette is a PHOENIX and former classmate. I have reviewed part of this book. This is an excellent read from Brigette. I was crying, laughing, and relating. People need to read this book. You will feel a release and a healing.

Mind Funk Times

Book Description:Mind Funk Times 21 is designed to shine a spotlight on things that women experience throughout their lives. Of course, this is not the experience of all but still too many. For those who find this work familiar, this is for you. Some of these are things that remain unacknowledged for an entire lifetime but are a major influence in their lives nonetheless. Covering various subjects such as love, family and mental illness, this work will stir something for its reader and hopefully open a community wide dialogue. The poetry written here is raw, edgy and definitely not for the conservative. It's intended to be thought and emotion provoking. The book is 10.99

Emotional Enema

Book Description: An Emotional Enema... Let That Sh*t Go! is exactly that... A book about letting emotional waste go! Far too often we, or someone we know, hold on to past hurts much longer than we need. Far too often we, or someone we know, miss out on better things looking right at us because we are.... "emotionally constipated!" But where does it all begin? The author takes you on the journey of how she became emotionally constipated, found relief, and finally learned to "Let That Sh*t Go!". The book is 15.95


Conversations combines three short stories (Conversing with Salvation, Conversing with Normality, and Miscarried) into a single book. Salvation and Normality discusses conversations I had with myself and God about my oldest child, who is Autistic. Salvation is a conversation with God--How can my child be saved if he may not understand God's goodness and grace. Normality discusses a semi-real conversation I had with Brad on food. Miscarriage is based on me. I had two miscarriages (2005 and 2009). Experienced conflict in emotions. The book is 10 bucks for the print edition on Createspace

Love.Lust.Life is a book of my poetry, discussing three phases of my life. Love discusses crushes. Lust discusses sexuality. Life discusses well life. The print edition is $20 bucks on CreateSpace.

Chocolate Kisses

Chocolate Kisses is about a former addiction of mine. I wrote a few poems to him over the years (2006 to 2010ish) and decided to make the poetry into a book. I also learned to get over him, while writing this book. So, the book became healing for me. I was too addickted to his penis. The book is $20 on createspace.


Today is a windy, super cold day. Brad has went part of yesterday and part of today without his Rispercrap. The results were completely evident. Brad kept attacking his brother via pinching and biting. Brad also had more meltdowns, even with melatonin in his system. I even tried playing the infamous Autism CD by Dr. Bates. I can not stand the sound of rain, but I put up with for the sake of my mental stability. I don’t know what set Brad off but he was jumping on sofas, trying to lay on tables, pulling Kalen’s hair, and a slight bit zombie-ish last night. He was staring off into space (something typical of Kalen. Brad has not done this in a long time). Glad I called the doctor for the rest of his medication. The doctor gave me a two-month supply. I assumed the 4 bottles was a two-month supply. Didn’t realize Dr. D gave a refill, since he don’t normally do this. Dr. D called his morning, told me about the refill, and I quickly called CVS. I asked for the Rispercrap only. The Clonindine can wait (melatonin works better anyway). After a few hours of meltdowns, my mother braved the cold and wind to head to CVS to get Brad’s medication. CVS also refilled the Clonindine, because my mother asked them too. (I hate crushing pills).

Early Intervention went great. Ms. Lisa also came bearing gifts: a giant, 46 piece, floor puzzle, and a bubble gun. Brad was calm during the sessions. He played with Sariyah. Tried to block her from coming into the den, but Riah climbed over him and entered the den anyway. Kalen did some cruising, stacking, and shaking today.

I noticed a few minutes ago, Kalen displayed another sign of Autism--well if not just Brad only. He was banging his head against the wall. Brad was a head banger during the first few years after birth. Glad he grew out of it. Not sure if I am ready for another head banger. I know Kalen has characteristics of Autism, but I am more prepared now at 32 than I was at 21.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bah Humbug

I read Bah Humbug, in exchange for review from The book was written by Lorna Balian and Lecia Balian and published by Starbright books. The book is about Margie and her brother Arthur. Arthur believes Santa is a big, fat humbug and develops a plan to trap him. Margie goes along with the plan because Arthur threatened her (just like any big brother or sister). Arthur is very creative, kind of like Kevin in Home Alone. The graphics are colorful and the font is black, italic, kind of child-like. The book was a quick, easy read and the kids loved it. The book also has an interesting middle and end lol.

Old MacDonald had her farm

I read OldMacDonald had her farm, in exchange for review from The book was written by JonArno Lawson and published by Annick Press. The art was done by Tina Holdcroft. The book taught the kids the vowels ( A E I O U and Y). The graphics were colorful. The book was a quick and silly read. The farmer worked on a farm and when she saw one of the vowels, she would do interesting things. Each interesting thing used the highlighted vowel in each action performed. The book had rhythm.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Comediennes by Darryl and Tuezday Littleton

I read Comediennes: Laugh be a lady by Darryl and Tuezday Littleton, in exchange for review from The book was published by Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, in addition to Applause Books

Comediennes discusses female comediennes. From LaWanda Page to Lucille Ball to Josephine Baker to Fannie Brice to Ellen Degeneres, Whoppi Goldberg, and Mae West. The book starts out with a history of comedy. At first, comedy was delegated to the men. Men, dressed up like women on stage. Women were expected to stay at home, cook, clean, and produce babies, unless you was a lady of the night. A nun named Hvorithat helped start women in comedy. She wrote a few comedic, tragic plays. Nuns were allowed to do plays within the convents and before bishops and other officials. The early 16th century allowed non-nuns to perform on stage. Later female comedians popped up in England, France, and Italy. Finally America.

The book provides a history of female comedy. I loved this book. The book goes from the tragic comedies, to minstrel shows to slapstick comedy to burlesque. The book was enlightening. Highly recommend it.

Mac Cheese, Please

I read Mac Cheese, Please, in exchange for review from The book was wrote by Laura Werlin.

The book discusses Super cheesy recipes. First, the book has bright, colorful, pictures of food. Made me super hungry. Next, the book provided facts about Mac and Cheese. The book also discussed different types of cheeses, pastas, making bread crumbs, in addition to tips on how to perfect macaroni and cheese.

I loved all the recipes, especially the gluten-free mac because my nephew has a gluten allergy. I also loved the mac and cheese squares, in addition to the mac and cheese with grilled cheese. Some recipes also have add-ins to make the pasta more spectacular. This is a great book to read and (to try out the recipes. )

The Girl in the Glass

I read the, in exchange for review from The book was written by Susan Meissner and published by WaterBrook Press.

s. The book is about MEg, who wants to take a trip to Florence, based on a picture she seen at Grandma house. Her grandma dies and her father is left to take her instead, but he can not be found.

The book is a beautiful book. The imagery is amazing. Meg starts off reminiscing about her grandmother and her grandmother's home. " The red and cream hues, remembered from the paintings on my Italian grandmother's walls" (p. 1). From The Statue of David to the toast-colored stucco to zipping of vespas down the street (p. 1). The book takes place 18 years later after her Nonna dies.

I also love the letters, written in a fancy font, scattered throughout the book.

Monkey of the Month

I read Monkey of the Month, in exchange for review from The book was written by Adam Cramer. The book was also published by Schiffer Publishing LTD. The book is about a boy, who receives a different type of monkey each month, for a year. Each monkey has a different talent, such as cooking or cleaning. Towards the end, the mother gets tired of the monkeys. The book has a happy ending. The pictures are cute, colorful, and hilarious. Love this book and so did the kids.

I love my slow cooker

I read I love my slow cooker by Beverly LeBlanc, in exchange for review from The book was published by Watkins Publishing Unlimited and Duncan Baird Publishers.

I choose the book because I love to cook, but starting to use the crock pot more. Usually, I stick to soups or meat. Slow cooking saves time and money. I can put the food in the crock pot the night before (provided no one tries to turn off the pot or eat the food) and finish it the next morning. The kiddies could be eating by noon. Also, slow cooking is a great way to tenderize meat (go ribs. cooked some fall-off-the-bone ribs the other day). I did not really know you can cook dessert in the crock pot, until I saw a show on the food network this weekend. This book had great, colorful pictures and amazing recipes. From soups to meats to veggies to entrees to desserts. Definitely keeping the book until it is archived on netgalley.

The beginning of the book discusses crock pot basics. It discusses different types of crock pots. it also discusses which crock pot to buy for different types of foods. Other topics to consider are portability, cord size, types of lids, flavors, and when to add items like beans, rice, etc.

Some recipes I liked include:

Turkey, Wild Rice, and Tomato Soup
Apple Sauce
French Roast Lemon Thyme Chicken
Almond Creme Caramel
Lemon Pudding
Bread Pudding
Rice Pudding

Monday, December 17, 2012

Talking to kids about violence

elping Kids During Crisis
American School Counseling Association
Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.¿
Limit exposure to television and the news.¿
Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.¿
Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.¿ Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.¿
Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.¿
Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

Resources for Schools & Families

Attachment: Self Care For Educators
Resources for educators to focused on self-care and prevent Compassion Fatigue

Finding Community Resources
2-1-1 provides free and confidential information and referral. Call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more. Learn more about your local 2-1-1 by dialing 2-1-1 or by looking it up here. United Way program.

Web Sites
Talking to Children about Community Violence
From the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry - Talking With Kids About the NewsDevelop strategies for discussing today's headlines with children. Learn how to calm their fears and stimulate their minds.

KidsHealth is the most-visited site on the Web for information about health, behavior, and development from before birth through the teen years. The site offers numerous quality articles for parents, children, and teens as well as providing resources for educators.
For Parents School Violence and the News As terrible and frightening as incidents of school violence are, they are rare. But it's natural for kids to worry. How can you help them deal with these fears?
For Teens Should You Worry About School Violence? Do you worry whether school is a safe place? Find out what you need to know about school violence in this article.

National PTAContains information about "Discussing Hate and Violence with Your Children."
School Violence Resource Center ¿The goal of the School Violence Resource Center is to help reduce violence and violence-related behavior in American schools. Resources available include a fact sheet on school violence and prevention issues, training for school resource officers and flip charts designed to serve as a quick reference for school administrators and teachers on how to react to school emergencies, including student violence, student injuries, child abduction, fire and natural disasters.¿ ¿

National Child Traumatic Stress Network-School Crisis Section
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network was established to improve access to care, treatment, and services for traumatized children and adolescents exposed to traumatic events.

Violence Prevention & Social Media - Veto Violence
Using Facebook, Twitter to raise awareness about violence prevention. VetoViolence is a project of the Center for Disease Control Violence Prevention CDC with the goal of stopping violence before it begins. The CDC provides a range of resources, tools, strategies, information, and technical assistance for combating youth violence. Join the conversation on Facebook.

Sample Documents and Publications

PFA (Psychological First Aid) School Crisis brochure (.pdf):
In collaboration with the UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters and the Los Angeles Unified School District, the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement has developed a guidance document, Psychological First Aid. This resource is part of the “Listen, Protect, and Connect” series devoted to psychological first aid for children, parents and caregivers after natural disasters for use in international sites, especially developing countries.

Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School StaffGuidelines from the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement designed to help school administrators, teachers and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss has affected the schoolenvironment.

Parent GuideThe National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement and the New York Life Foundation have partnered to develop a booklet providing practical advice on how parents and other adults can support grieving children.

Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and CommunitiesDeveloped by the U.S. Department of Education, this publication helps schools understand the components of crisis planning and the crisis preparedness process and provides examples of best practices.

By The Numbers ¿This article from the March/April 2007 issue of ASCA School Counselor magazine, breaks down crisis management in the schools into 10 important components, helping educators manage an otherwise overwhelming process. The author, Scott Poland, served on the national crisis teams following school shootings in Littleton, Colo.; Paducah, Ky.; and Red Lake, Minn.

Coping With the Sudden Death of a StudentA crisis handbook for schools and students dealing with death and grief. The development of this report comes from a belief that schools are a community of people who care for one another.

Culturally Competent Crisis Response: Information for Crisis TeamsThis document talks about the importance of delivering culturally competent crisis responses in our changing society. Although written for school psychologists, this document provides an excellent resource for school counselors in giving strategies and tips for effective crisis response planning and implementing.¿ ¿

Lessons Learned from the Shootings at Columbine High SchoolThis pamphlet talks about the immediate response and the long-term impact that took place in the wake of the Columbine shootings. It also discusses the human impact of both of these and how positive relationships can mediate the negative effects of this crisis.¿ ¿

Crisis & Mental Health
Please seek help as soon as possible by contacting a mental health professional or by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK if you or someone you know exhibits signs of suicidal ideation.

Risk Assessment
What To Do If You Think a Person Is Having Suicidal Thoughts A clear process for suicide risk assessment

Online Co-Pilot
The online Co-Pilot provides example questions for eliciting content related to each subcomponent in the suicide risk assessment standards. Many crisis centers have placed a link on the telephone workers desktop directly to the Co-Pilot so that they can access this resource as needed.

Youth Help Lines
1-877-YOUTHLINE 1-877-968-8454 website:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK 1-800-273-8255 website:

Taste of Home reviews

I reviewed Taste of Home: Cooking school Cookbook, in exchange for review from The book was written by Catherine Cassidy and the Taste of Home editors. The book was published by Readers digest. I enjoyed the tips provided in the book: the different types of knives; stocking a kitchen; basic cookware; basic bake ware. The book also provided pictures of the different types of kitchen hardware. The recipes were simple and easy as well. The book would be a a great help to anyone, who lacks kitchen experience or someone, who wants to improve on kitchen experience.

I also read Taste of Home: Best Loved recipes, in exchange for review from netgalley. The book also had simple, easy to read, colorful recipes. I loved the BLT tomatos, potato skins, party bread, and shrimp nachos. The Book provides great recipes for parties, celebrations, and family gatherings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

God's plans for the wealthy and powerful Part III

God's Plans for the wealthy and powerful Part III

Compulsory Plans for wealth and Power: Exodus 3:10;19-21, 5:2

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Exodus 3:19-21
New International Version (NIV)
19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed.


-God can use people, even if they oppose it
-The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof

Compulsory Frustration Plans

Exodus 3:20

Exodus 3:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

Ecc 2:26

26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

-God sent plagues to Pharaoh
-Some folks got stuff and frustrated. They are vain and their stuff flows through the wind. (no meaning and purpose to their lives).
-Some people think stuff will bring happiness
-Can not experience fullness of life if rebel agaisnt God
-People do not always focus on things money can not buy, like Love.
-You can experience Love in Singleness and enjoy it in Happiness
-Some women/men think that if they buy him or her stuff, him or her will love them (DELUSIONAL).
-If depending on things to do something, other than its intended purpose, you are DELUSIONAL. Houses are meant for living. Shoes and hair are to look good. A house can not repair a relationship, raise kids, or fellowship. TVs do not always bring togetherness.

Compulsory Reallocation Plans
-Exodus 3:21-22

Exodus 3:21-22
New International Version (NIV)
21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

-Job 27:16-17
Job 27:16-17
New International Version (NIV)
16 Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17 what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.

-God's plans to reallocate Egypt's wealth to Israel
-Slaves helped rebuild Egypt. Sweat and labor deserved compensation
-Some folks still waiting on their 40 acres and a mule, but did not work for it
-The bible supports reallocation in cases of injustice, but not cases of irresponsibility.

Proverbs 13:22 Proverbs 13:22
New International Version (NIV)
22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous

-The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous
-God is in the business of blessing people
-May not know how God works but he will get it done;
-Church called to make disciples from irresponsible and the reprehensible. Love them with Jesus and empower them with Godly wisdom.
-Don't squander position of wealth and power with irresponsibility. For example, the church (Fallbrook Church) will not pay cable and telephone. Some things benevolence should not pay for (luxury items).
-having wealth is not evil. The people, who use the wealth, can be evil. The love of money is evil. All wealth belongs to the Lord (Psalms 24:1)

Psalm 24

Of David. A psalm.

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

I received Oliver Twist, in exchange for review from Tyndale House. The book was published by Focus on the Family. I had previously read the book and seen the movie. So, when I saw the cd version, I had to request this classic. The book took me a minute to finish (need quiet time away from the kiddies, but I loved listening to the book). I requested the audio book to listen on the computer and the cd player. I loved the cds. The audio quality was amazing. The narrator's made me feel like I was back in Dicken's time. The visions in my head were simply amazing, especially the scene where Oliver asked for more grub. I love Charles Dickens, especially Twist and Great Expectations. I highly recommend the audio book, as well as getting the print edition.

Dreamchild: Adventures in Relaxation and sleep

I read Dreamchild: adventures in relaxation and sleep by Dr. Thomas Jackson, in exchange for review from The book was edited by Sage Kalmus and Illustrated by Max H. Herr

The book provided cases of sleep issues within children. It also discussed typical fears children have at various stages. Next, the book provided clinical interviews of patients at different ages, who had different sleep problems and complaints. For example, David, 7 years old, had a short attention span and was afraid of the dark. The book discusses sleep schedules and routines. The book also covers the pros and cons of sleep medication, in addition to setting up a bedroom before bed. Some tips include no television (not possible for me since the boys and I share the same room); no sugary drinks, video games, and rough and tumble play within 30 minutes before bed. Some tips to have a successful bedtime include taking a warm bath, listening to music, or reading a story.

Parents also need to consider the room environment (lighting, temperature, pillows, mattresses, and comfortable sleeping clothes.). Parents also have to be aware of other distractions like noise (television, for example. Maybe the neighbor dog is barking or other people in the house are woke). Children need the same conditions for sleep each night and any deviations can lead to sleep disorders or the child been woke all night long. Sometimes deviations can become expectations. For example, if you rock your child to sleep for a few minutes, the child may expect to be rocked to sleep the next night.

The book also discusses co-sleeping, breast feeding, how sex affects co-sleeping, transitioning a child from the family bed to their own bed,

I chose this book because if Brad does not use sleep medications, he will stay awake for 24 hours or more, keeping myself and his brother woke as well. Currently, Brad is on melatonin and clonindine for sleep. I also bought an Autism CD, earlier last year, which is supposed to calm children, but it annoys me to pieces. It worked for Brad, but for some reason, the soundtrack makes me want to pull my hair out.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Morgan's Wonderland

I took the kiddies to Morgan's Wonderland yesterday. Morgan's Wonderland is the world's first park for special needs kids. We got there via Megabus . I planned the trip for months, with some set backs. Anyway, I tried to move the trip but I waited too late to cancel the reservation (read the cancellation policy), but I could change the return trip. Had to borrow some money but I left and came back the same day. The trip took over 3 hours, in addition to an hour on public transportation (10 and 502). Once, we got to the park, it was amazing. People of all disabilitie and disorders in one place. From Autism to Aspergers to Dwarfism to deformed bodies to down syndrome. Every ride was equipped for wheelchairs, even the train around the park.


1. Megabus may have been high (as far as the baby paying full price) but the trip was a straight shot. No stops.
2. The lake around the park is beautiful
3. The food is cheap and good.
4. Sale on t-shirts. I need a few of them
5. Peace and quiet for the most part
6. Kids are free for life
7. GPS bands.
8. Wonderful Staff and volunteers
9. The playground. Lots of slides and swings and sway thingies.
10. Free hot chocolate and cookies.
11. Bus hardly had any passengers on the first level. kids slept most of the ride.
12. outlets on Megabus at every seat.
13. Met a man named Tim. Tim is schizo with other mental disorders. His wife had spina bifida (sp?). His daughter had spina bifida. His son was autistic, in addition to other mental disorders.

Low lights:

1. 2 busses to and from the park (other than megabus). No issue with the busses, just dealing with Brad on the bus.
2. Meltdown on the Wonderland Express. We walked to the WE. Brad got on the train. Conductor said ALL AbOARD. Brad jumped off train, grabbed stroller out of holding, pushed stroller into train. laid on the ground.
3. On the way back, Brad said he stunk. No bathrooms on the VIA. Hour bus ride to catch both busses back to the mega bus. Brad stood up and pulled down his pants on the bus, multiple times.
4. Met an elderly atheist on the VIA on the way back to megabus. Also part conspiracy theorist. He explained why he dont sing Christmas songs. Yeah, apparently the Roman empire was behind the creation of the diapered baby, aka the son. Mary is God and The roman emperor was "the father". To get through the son, you have to go through Mary. Easter has nothing to do with the resurrection, but the sale of eggs and some pagan holiday called ea star or esther or something. and we are bowing down to devils. He also explained his version of the JFK assassination. Some people was actually listening to him passionately, while I was hoping he will get off before I would.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A biblical history of Israel

I read a biblical history of Israel, in exchange for review from Edelweiss. The book was written by Iain Provan, V. Phillips Long, and Tremper Longman III. The book was published by Westminster John Knox Press.

I chose this book because I read Israel at War for review and was confused. A lot of the information mentioned was new to me. I chose this book because it discusses the history of Israel versus the wars between Israel and other Arabian countries. The book is written from an academic, research perspective. You really have to read it carefully to understand the book--otherwise, you will miss something. This is not a quick, easy read. This book is meant to be studied.

Exploring Christian Ethics

I read Exploring Christian Ethics, in exchange for review from Edelweiss.

The book was wrote by Kyle D. Fedler and published by Westminster John Knox Press. The Author has taught Christian ethics before. I chose this book because I have taken ethics courses before and wanted to know how ethics differed using a Christian perspective. The book discussed the grammar of ethics (right vs. wrong; good vs. bad; duty, obligation, jealously, and compassion, for example). The book also discussed types of ethics (descriptive, prescriptive, metaethical). I enjoyed reading that section because I am a psychology major. I highly recommend this book. I loved reading it and will continue to read it.

Dr. Seuss: the cat behind the hat. The art of Dr. Seuss

I read Dr. Seuss: the cat behind the hat, in exchange for review from

The book was wrote by Caroline M. Smith and published by Chase Art Companies, LLC. The book discussed the paintings of Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. The artwork was beautiful, abstract, colorful, vibrant, whimsical, detailed, animated, etc. The artwork reminded me of Picasso and M.C. Escher (sp?). Smith also provided history of each painting, in addition to excerpts from Seuss's books to accompany paintings.

I came from the water by Vanita Oelschlager and Mike Blanc

I read I came from the water by Vanita Oelschlager and illustrated by Mike Blanc. The book told of Moses, a young Haitian boy. He survived a hurricane because his relatives placed him in a basket and sent him down the river (Similar to Moses in the bible). He was rescued by Nuns in an orphanage. Moses does not let his setbacks stop him. He wants to help. I highly recommend reading this book. The book was a quick read on Reader for PC. The graphics were amazing, as normal. This book was based on a real-life story. Vanita has an interview with Moses at the end of the book. She also placed pictures of the church, orphanage, and hospitals. Finally, she provides a brief history of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finish Commitments by Michael Pender

These are my notes from the meeting in church on Sunday. But I need to post how I arrived in this meeting first:

went to sunday school on sunday. got to the classroom. it was locked. one of the workers said go back to the sanctuary, the pastor is going to give the SS lesson. went back to the sanctuary (where I just left) to attend the class. turns out it was not SS but a staff meeting (ushers, deacons, teachers, nursery workers, etc). was going to leave but Pastor Mike said the meeting applied to everyone, whether you attend sunday school or a parent or a youth, wanting to be a leader. so, Stacie learned about commitment and how you supposed to keep your commitments, no matter what, even during a storm. I am unmotivated to complete the masters project because i don't see the money to head to Phoenix. but I need to complete it because I made a commitment to myself (and the school). and the interesting part was, normally, i sit with Kalen in nursery during SS because he cries a lot (separation anxiety) BUT this Sunday, he was playing in the cribs and was acting good for a change. If Boy 2 was crying, I would have missed this message.


Finishing Commitments Acts 20:17-24

17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. 18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. 19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. 21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. 23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

1. God does not force people to do ministry. We volunteer to work for God.
2. Faith helps us finish commitments.
3. We may not know all troubles, which will occur, but we still need to finish.
4. Pristine conditions are not prerequisites to finish commitments
5. Adverse situations should never hinder us from following commitments.
6. We need to honor commitments involving money and finances.

Overcoming fear: Acts 20: 22-23

1. Fear is an enemy of finishing
2. If live in fear, can not grow (the church and the individual)
3. Fear reminds us of things we miss. For example, you miss sex, but you not supposed to have premarital sex anyway. :-)

Duty to finish commitments Acts: 20: 22
1. Paul traveled to Jerusalem, even during threats, to complete assignments. He was compelled to finish his God-assigned tasks.
2. Start honoring commitments at home, if you want to grow in church. Can hurt your ministry.

Stewardship Acts 20:24

1. Stewardship requires faithfulness
2. Can't grow by doing the same things.

God's plans for the wealthy and powerful II

God's Plans for the Wealthy and Powerful Part II by Michael Pender

First Timothy 6: 17-19

1 Timothy 6:17-19
New International Version (NIV)
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Enjoyment plans:
1. It is normal to want to enjoy God's blessings
2. you are not supposed to give all your stuff to the Lord
3. You are working against spiritually if you don't enjoy your blessings.
4. You should not feel guilt if God blesses you more than others. Don't question it. Give God the praise.

Compliance plans
1. God has no issues with you having a position of power or authority, as long as you comply with his word.
2. We need to be humble with our stuff. We should not be conceited or selfish.
3. We need to examine how we act with stuff.
4. There is a difference between enjoying stuff and flaunting stuff.
5. Some people like to tell others about everything they got. You can get robbed.

Be hopeful in God and not your stuff

1. Some people will trust in wealth and power, instead of God.
2. Some people will trust their stuff more than the God, who gave them the stuff.
3. Lean on god to bring you happiness and joy.

Be a conduit with your stuff
1. Share your stuff. Be a blessing to others.
2. God blesses you for being obedient. For example, if God tells you to help the homeless. If you don't want to give money, keep a soda or non-perishables in your car.
3. If church is a conduit, the mindset changes to one of sharing and giving.

The Missing Alphabet

I read the Missing Alphabet, in exchange for review from The book was written by Susan Marcus, Cynthia Herbert, and Susie Monday. The book was published by Greenleaf Book Club Press.

I chose this book because I enjoyed critical thinking in college. The topic interested me. The book discussed how children will be affected in the future. How will children respond to their culture and environment. Parents need to educate kids on creativity, innovation, problem solving, and curiosity. Reading, writing, and math are not the basics anymore. Kids are sensory creatures-they like sounds, images, technology, and look for an immediate response and/or feedback.

Parents also need to teach kids observation and how making mistakes are ok. Kids also need to learn patterns, computer skills, nonverbal skills, conceptual skills, and individuality.

next, the book discussed the sensory vocabulary: line, shape, color, texture, space, sound, light, movement, and rhythm. I loved the book and I highly recommend it.

Make a Splash by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Phillippe Cousteau

I read Make a Splash, in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.Com.

The book was wrote by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Phillippe Cousteau. The book was published by Free Spirit Publishing. The book discussed the importance of water conservation, water usage, and water protection. The book also provided water facts and terms. The book was easy to read. The book also discussed how water affects the body and the planet. Finally, the book discussed the water cycle and the drinking water cycle.

Life is a bowl of cherries and two other reviews by Vanita Oelschlager

First, I read Life is a bowl of Cherries, in exchange for review by Vanita Oelschlager and Illustrated by Robin Hagan.

The cover of the book grabbed me at first. The book discusses silly food idioms, such as "flat as a pancake" or "the big cheese". The illustrations by Robin Hagan was amazing. I loved them. THe illustrations were colorful, graphic, funny, and comical. The book also discusses what idioms are.

Next, I read Ivan's great fall, in exchange for review from

The book was presented in poetry, rhyming format. The book was illustrated by Kristin Blackwood. I loved the graphics, once again. The book showed Ivan moving from playing in the summer to heading to school in the fall. The book also provided classic poems at the end of the book, such as Casey at the Bat.

Finally, I read Ivy in bloom, in exchange for honest review from

I read Ivy in Bloom, in exchange for review from The book was based on a little girl named Ivy Van Allsberg. The graphics were excellent and colorful. The winter had dreary colors, while spring had brighter colors. The book also had poetry at the end from classic poets. I loved this book. The book also showed activities such as sledding, playing in snow, and Ivy laying in flower fields.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

One Big Thing

I review for BookSneeze®

I read One Big Thing, in exchange for review from The book was written by Phil Cooke. The book was published by Thomas Nelson. The book discusses finding your purpose in life. The book was also written from a Christian perspective.

One thing, which stood out was this passage:

"How about you? Do you know yourself and your purpose well enough to be ready when your moment of destiny arrives".... "When a great challenge arrives, that’s no time to figure out your strengths, weaknesses, and purpose. By then it’s too late to find out what you’re made of. That’s why discovering your One Big Thing right now is the key to preparing you for whatever awaits in your future"

I struggle with knowing what my purpose is. I do not know what my purpose is for the kingdom, which is one of the reasons I chose this book. I love to write. I love to listen to people. I love to find free things online, especially Special Needs resources. But is this what God wants me to do? I am also in graduate school for psychology, but is that my purpose. Is that why I am so unmotivated right now? I have questions, but only God has the answers. The book discussed how plenty of people graduate from college, yet they are still unfulfilled in life. People still struggle for their purpose, while taking on degrees and jobs to pay bills and to live life. All this does is lead to frustration.

The book also gave tips on living a fulfilled life. Some tips included how finding fulfillment will not be easy. Next, we need to be open and honest with ourselves. We also need to dedicate time and commitment to our purpose. Commitment: my church discussed commitment on Sunday. Joel Osteen and Steve Harvey discussed commitment last nite on TBN. We also need focus and passion to fulfill our purpose. Following arbitrary passions only leads to more frustration. For example, I can't sing. I love music though. But loving music is not going to make me sing any better. Giving up writing (which I am good at) for singing is following a dumb, random passion.

I definitely recommend this book. I planned on reading 20 pages the first day, I got this book, but ended up reading more.

Last passage: Plenty of people want to change the world, but not enough want to change themselves
The Book is available on Thomas Nelson and Amazon

No Safe Harbor

I read No safe harbor, in exchange for review from Bethany House. The book was wrote by Elizabeth Ludwig and published by Baker Publishing.The book discussed Cara, a woman on the search for her brother. Cara traveled across the water to America to search for her twin brother. I enjoyed reading the book. I enjoyed the imagery and Cara's determination. I also enjoyed Rourke's scenes (read more about him in the book).

Kindle Edition