Thursday, March 31, 2011

You Kids Have It So Easy! From Anyone Over 35!

If you are 35, or older, you might think this is hilarious!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were.. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of guilt like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in an Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

2) There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

3) Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our behinds! Nowhere was safe!

4) There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

5) Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

6) We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

7) There weren't any freakin' cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a damn call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

8) And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

9) We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

10) You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

11) There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little babies!

12) And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

13) And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

14) And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1975 or any time before!

The Over 35 Crowd

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Easter Giveaway DVD and more!

I am hosting a great Easter DVD giveaway on my blog, Reviews From The Heart that ends on April 2nd. It's called The Crossmaker!

This is a wonderful gift to receive just in time for Easter so if your interested, hop on over by clicking on my link here.

I also just finished the most amazing book on what happened that fateful day when Lucifer was removed from heaven. Written in a fiction story using scripture to move the story along, this is one you won't want to miss. To check it out and view the book trailer, click here. It's called The Heavenly Host, The Testings of Devotion.

For those of you that want to follow me along with my Facebook page, click here! Send me a request and let's be friends!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Living With Fear

I know that the main thing that most people are talking about lately is what's going on with Japan. Just watching the news this morning my heart was torn. I can't believe in spite of everything Japan is going through it's snowing today. Not mild flurries, but large, heavy flakes.

Meanwhile troops are still trying to get to remote locations to see if survivors remain, and people are still trying to get a handle on how to cool down the nuclear reactors. Rumors are circulating whether or not Japan is being truthful on just how dire the situation is and if there is a threat to a nuclear meltdown, not just in one reactor but 5.

Just today, the talk among my family and even the friends of my daughters in high school is just what should we be concerned about with the threat of a nuclear cloud that is suppose to hit Southern California tomorrow, Friday.

It's gotten so extreme that reports are that people are beginning to horde iodine pills in the event it's a greater risk than what people have been saying. Most reports are that it shouldn't pose anymore of a threat than a chest Xray.

My brothers girlfriend is panicked, ready to begin to leave town. She doesn't trust God to handle this situation. Worst yet, people wonder what will happen in the worst case scenario, if all 5 reactors blow? What then?

Should we begin heading west?

Should we leave now while we can?

Is this the end of the world as the Bible has predicted?

What should we do?

This is where trusting God to prevail comes in hand. I believe one should take some precautions but nothing outside what God, Himself, can handle? I'm not running to my local military supply company to find survival foods, and gas masks. I'm not stock piling my money in small amounts in the event there's a run on the banks. I'm not even stockpiling my food, just in case the stores should close.

So what should we do?

First of all, PRAY! Ask God to release your fears and anxieties on Him. Worry NOT! Do you really want to be a professional worrier? People say practice makes perfect or permanent in some circles, so I would refrain from being a professional worrier. I would strive to become a professional pray warrior instead. I would rather have a direct line to God and talk to Him about my concerns.

We must remember the verses of Matthew 6:25-34, which tell us NOT to WORRY about ANYTHING. How much more precious are we to God over the birds of the air or the lilies of the field. We are so important He has counted every single hair on our heads. God will take care of our daily needs if that is all we focus on. Not next week, the weekend or even the end of the month.

We aren't suppose to live our lives like that. No wonder it wrecks havoc on our bodies, our minds and our livelihood. It robs of us of God's provision and He can't work through us if we chose to bear our own loads.

Think of it this way, take every problem you have, and take a rock, large enough for you to lift and write your specific problem on it. Paint it, draw on it, carve it into the rock. The point is to label it. Then carry it all the time. You can't put it down. See how long you can go without it affecting you in some way. Every time you have a new problem, don't forget to pick up a new rock and continue to carry them both.

When you get so tired of trying to do it yourself, try handing it off to God. Remember everytime you think God isn't doing enough, you have to pick up those rocks and carry them again. I would challenge you that it would only take you a short while before you would willingly hand them over to God every single time. No amount of rocks are too great for God to bear.

SO why do we chose to handle things on our own instead of merely coming to God every single time, talk to Him through prayer and hand it over. It definitely makes the load easier to bear in the long run and keeps us physically stronger as well as spiritually stronger.

So which path will you take? Will you take on your own rocks on yourself, will you live a life of fear, or will you chose God?

For me, I chose God! I stand firm in my faith and am willing to take whatever comes my way. I remember that nothing comes as a surprise to God and no matter what, I will know where I will go when this life ends. This is not the life I was destined to live and look forward to seeing just how God intended it all to be when I get to heaven.

Yet let us also heed God's warning and be ready, now is not the time to hesitate on your decision. You may not have a tomorrow:

Matthew 24: 7-8 "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains."

We are already seeing these signs based on things happening in Libya and the Middle East as well as earthquakes in New Zealand, Japan and even Chile this morning. The time is now to decide where will you spend your eternity and whom will you serve.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Figuring Your Life Out

Too many times we live our life on the edge. Waiting for the inevitable to happen which may or may not come true.

Sometimes we look at all that goes wrong in our lives and wonder just what that other path would have lead to now that we stand at the dead end.

Yet in the midst of each new day, each precious, golden hour, every beautiful minute or breath-taking second, we have the choice. The choice is ours alone to make.

We may be influenced, or swayed but ultimately each decision we make is ours alone. So many people are without hope, which is such a tragedy despite all the things that are falling down around us. The disasters in Japan, the conflicts in Libya, the economic recovery of our own country and our own struggle to make it, can often take our breath away. We can fall short of seeing the fleeting, beautiful signs all around us of how magical and wonderful this life of ours can truly be.

Our choice is where we will look?

Will we chose to look at all the things going wrong, dealing with frustrations, worries and anxiety and stress?

Or will we chose instead to search for the treasure of good that lies within it all and find something good today. I challenge you to share your search for goodness today and change your focus. I leave you with a short video that touches on this very thing and hope you will share your special gifts with me today by leaving a comment. What was your gift today?

Mine? Hubby is already flying back home! I can't wait to tell him when I see him!

(If this loads too slow, double click on it to view it directly from YouTube!)

By the way you can go directly to Ann's website by clicking here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lessons Learned From Traveling

Well as I said my final farewells to Steve this morning, it dawned on me just how much I have grown in the last three years.

It wasn't all that long ago that I would be crying the night before I knew he had to leave, almost to the point of grieving, not being able to sleep at night and once again the next morning, having it all start all over again.

Today was different.

Steve was driving himself to the airport so that he can leave as soon as his plane returns on either Wednesday evening or sometime on Thursday.

Yet no tears, no sadness, just a fond farewell and prayers for safe travels as he pulled out along side us as we took Caitlyn to school. We parted ways on the main road as he took the on ramp to get on the freeway and we continued east.

It's not that I don't miss him as much, I believe I trust God more. Whatever happens in this life, for good or bad, happens for a reason. Sometimes I may never know the why of it, but I know that God does and that's enough for me.

I am spending these days finding God a little bit more on an intimate level. While people are busying themselves trying to find MRE's or stock up on emergency supplies, rations and extra water, I am drawing near to my ultimate survival kit, God and His provisions in my life. There truly is no greater resource than that I need in my life.

In these trying times, we need to not panic and fear, but trust and obey and realize that NOTHING that happens doesn't go through God's Hands first. The devil ought to be worried each time God allows it to happen, it won't work out in the end for him but it will for God.

Please join me in praying for Steve safe travels today and in wishing him God speed along his journey.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seeing True Joy Yesterday!

Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Nuclear Meltdowns, anything else?

Doesn't it seem a bit surreal?

Can Japan face any more devastation right now, even despite the seemingly non stop aftershocks that would keep most of us rattled, sleepless, and thinking of relocating anywhere but there?

I keep finding myself wondering just what lies ahead. Is this a glass half full or a glass half empty situation? It's hard to keep a healthy perspective in things in light of everything facing us in recent days. Until you see the bigger picture and God gives you a peak.

Yesterday in fact I saw JOY! Unspeakable joy in the most unexpected of places and all without any planning except for the One who masterfully plans it all out that way.

My daughter, Caitlyn, had a friend over yesterday. She has a lot of friends and this is not an unusual circumstance in our home lately. His name was Ben. He's been such a huge blessing in Caitlyn's life since her boyfriend of the last year and a half broke up with her to see someone else.

Of course we didn't know it at the time, but he apparently wanted to date someone else and within days after their breakup had moved on. But Caitlyn hadn't, but was actively trying.

Then came along Ben.

He has been a friend of hers in the last few months, but made his way over here a few times, via the only transportation most boys without licenses have, skateboard. It's not too far of a ride for him, but for the simple fact he was willing to go out of his way to visit her was amazing.

Yet that is not where Joy was found yesterday.

Caitlyn asked me since it was getting late if I would mind driving Ben home since it was a 5 minute drive. So I said sure, grabbed my car keys and drove Ben home.

When we pulled up in front of his house, he announced, "Oh good, you'll get to meet my parents." I wasn't sure if he was speaking to me or to Caitlyn. Then they both got of the car and while hanging onto the door, Caitlyn peered in and asked me to come meet his mom.

She had just gotten off of work and Ben's dad was working on his truck in the driveway when I walked up.

Introductions were made and Ben's mom gave me a hug to say hello! I am OK with that since I, myself, am a hugger.

We shared some small talk about what they were doing just moments before we pulled up and the type of work she does, and then she shared with me her story of healing.

"It's been over a year and a half and it's finally time to let it go." she said to me.

I think my puzzled look must have been apparent and then she clarified the statement. Her son had tragically passed away, and she was just now finding ways to move on and let go of the sorrow.

I didn't know what to say, since if I lost a child I don't think the pain or sorrow would ever leave, and in fact I understood what she was saying in the process. The grief will still be there, you won't forget it, but you don't have to let it weigh you down any longer.

She went on to explain that she has been exhausted carrying it around for so long, waiting for God to take it from her, but she realized she hadn't quite given it all to Him to bear. She struggled to be happy when worshipping God and often times had to walk away because the tears were too strong for her.

I mentioned that we often have difficulty with that because the response we want from God is immediate relief and sometimes it takes time to see where the bigger picture is headed.

She smiled and shook her head. She said she did see the bigger picture now. She's been using that experience in her life to work with others, including her daughter in law, and showing her God's love and healing in all of this. She is seeing that even though something bad has happened, God will once more use it for His good.

He has been with this amazing and blessed family throughout every sleepless night, every tear-filled memory, and in the darkest and loneliness of places. He simply waited patiently until they were willing to finally give it to Him, in which He simply smiled and poured out His never-ending love on their souls and hearts.

She was smiling like an angel, while she shared how God has brought this full circle. Now she is able to finally move forward and they are looking at making their home, a House of Prayer to help others through these dark and difficult days ahead.

I felt blessed to be in the presence of this family yesterday and was honored by God to allow me to see His Amazing Grace displayed so beautifully. I got to see JOY and in the process I myself went home with a blessing and Joy in my heart, and a huge smile on my face. God gave me a peek.

Thank you God for allowing me to see the bigger picture played out in this way and to know once more that we should be still because YOU ARE GOD!

Sometimes we find ourselves like pieces of broken glass based on the circumstances in our lives that have cracked, chipped and broken us. We are sharp, and can inflict damage on those around us. But after awhile, we will find those edges will be worn down, the sharp edges will be buffed smooth, all thanks to the storms in our lives that will be used to make us better people and able to work for the goodness of God. He will use everything for His goodness.

Like the pieces of broken glass, we can still reflect the light of God to all who can see us.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hearts Turning Towards Home

My heart is grieving for the amount of life that has been lost today following one of the largest earthquakes/tsunami's in Japan's history. I have friends who are deeply affected by this tragedy and so my heart is with them as well as my prayers.

Yet this gives us time to reflect on what people will undoubtedly say. Why? Why did God allow this to happen? Why couldn't have God prevented this from happening? Where is God now?

The answers are all the same in every situation. God never leaves. God is crying out for all those lives and the families and friends left to deal with the aftermath. God is comforting those that are willing to look to Him for comfort, strength and peace during this time.

God is where He always is, on the throne and in control. The signs of these times have all been foretold in the Bible. There will be earthquakes both increasing in size and frequency as we near the end times. We are seeing that more so now than ever before along with the crisis still out-of-control in Libia and the Middle East.

The question I found myself wondering this morning is what good will come from all of this turmoil? The answer was perfectly clear, it will turn hearts towards home. People will turn to God, they will learn of His love and compassion in the midst of this disaster. They will feel God's love through the many hands of volunteers that are preparing to leave to help out. God is reaching out to these people and many will come to know God for the very first time.

God still remains in control, but since this world is filled with sin, nothing that happens is a surprise for God. He once again will turn something meant for evil into something wonderful, blessed and filled with hope, faith and even more love.

We may not be able to see it now, but the one thing any of us can do this morning is pray. Pray for hearts to turn to home, pray for hurting to be comforted, miracles to rise, and even more increase the size of God's family even more this day. Please pray for those in Japan and around the world that are affected today. God will prevail and His love will shine.

This is another reminder if you are sitting on the fence unsure of where your eternal destiny lies at the end of our earthly lives, remember that just yesterday these people were going about their day when without warning something happened in a twinkling of an eye. We don't have time to wait.

We don't have to time to consider things for one more day. In a second, your life may be changed. Do you know where you will spend an eternity?

Are you searching for something more today? God can take your heart and make it whole again. NOTHING in your life is too great or too bad to prevent God, our perfect Creator, from taking it and remolding it, into something new and ready to be filled with everlasting love and hope like never before.

He sent His only Son to die, the most horrible death imaginable simply for all the bad we have done collectively in this world and even yet to do. If you don't think God knows your pain, believe me, He does. He can offer you something no one else can. He can offer you a life everlasting. An eternal home. A place of perfect peace with no earthquakes, tsunamis or even death. No sadness and no more tears.

Jesus Christ came to save us from this place and from the heartache and pain it offers. Will you accept His offer today? It's about a relationship, not a religion. Just between you and Him. Talk to Him.

There are no fancy words to say, just talk to God from your heart. Tell Him you want to change your life. Tell Him you want Him to come into your life and change you, to offer you hope and peace that you will never completely understand.

Tell Him you want to live a life for Him and that you believe He can and died for you. That He rose again and that death doesn't have any victory over Him. He is the One and Only way to Heaven. NO OTHER Way but HIS way will get you there.

Want a challenge, try the Bible for 30 days and ask God to reveal Himself to you. Trust me, once you start, you won't be the same again. I pray for all those reading this message to be encouraged, be filled with hope and a joy everlasting. We have a God who never fails, never leaves us and always takes care of us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hearts Aglow

Deborah Vandermark has always dreamed of becoming a doctor in Texas, yet amid the constant stares and whispers around her, it seems as though the town isn't quite ready for a woman doctor. Christopher Clayton is the only doctor in these parts that is able to treat the people of Perkinsville. He sees hope in Deborah's eyes and such a passion and desire to care for the people of this town. So whenever possible he passes along his medical journals and magazines for Deborah to read as well as help out in his office whenever possible. He sees more in Deborah than just an interest in becoming a doctor. He just can't forget about his own past to move forward and court Deborah properly.

In the town of Perkinsville that isn't the only thing stirring in the night, as Sissy's husband and son are hanged in the middle of the night strictly due to the color of their skin. Sissy only survived because she managed to walk into town and fall into the hands of Deborah's mother and her brother G.W. With her having a degree of medical training, Deborah is the only hope Sissy has until they can locate Dr. Clayton.

Now it seems like Deborah isn't the only one to question why God allows such things to happen. Seems like a whole lot of people in town are going to start to wonder the very same thing.

In the sequel to Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson, we are once more reunited with Deborah Vandermark and her mentor/doctor Christopher Clayton. Set in the late 1800's in a town called Perkinsville, Texas, the town is about to come full circle when the past that Deborah and Clayton thought were behind them suddenly throws both into the faith of God. I couldn't wait to read this one as the love between Clayton and Deborah captivated me in the first novel as well as the strong character and ambition that Deborah displays in rising above the stereotypes of the town amid gossips and rumors of her personal character to become a woman most men would be willing to die for.

I received this book compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review and fell in love once more. Not only with the characters of Deborah and Clayton, but even the courage of Sissy to deal with the loss of her husband and son and once more find love and hope in holding onto to God. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars! I can't wait with fingers crossed that once more Tracie will continue this story into a third book.

Here's even more great information about the book, the author and a first chapter glimpse that is guaranteed to have you wanting to read this amazing story.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Hearts Aglow
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
Tracie Peterson


Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 85 novels.

She received her first book contract in November, 1992 and saw A Place To Belong published in February 1993 with Barbour Publishings' Heartsong Presents. She wrote exclusively with Heartsong for the next two years, receiving their readership's vote for Favorite Author of the Year for three years in a row.

In December, 1995 she signed a contract with Bethany House Publishers to co-write a series with author Judith Pella. Tracie now writes exclusively for Bethany House Publishers.

She teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research.

Tracie was awarded the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for 2007 Inspirational Fiction and her books have won numerous awards for favorite books in a variety of contests.

Making her home in Montana, this Kansas native enjoys spending time with family--especially her three grandchildren--Rainy, Fox and Max. She's active in her church as the Director of Women's Ministries, coordinates a yearly writer's retreat for published authors, and travels, as time permits, to research her books


The future should be bright for Deborah Vandermark, who is now pursuing her interest in medicine alongside Dr. Christopher Clayton, who is courting her. But the lumber town is resistant to the idea of a woman physician, and she feels thwarted at every turn.

A more devastating blow occurs, however, when Christopher breaks off their relationship to return home to his troubled family. Despite her own love life going awry, Deborah is still intent to be a matchmaker for both her widowed mother and her brother, who has caught the eye of the spit-fire daughter of the local pastor.

But what will Deborah do when faced with the truth about Christopher's family? Is there hope for the two of them...or will Jake Wyeth's attentions finally catch Deborah's eye instead?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Hearts Aglow, go HERE.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Funnies - Shampoo Warning

I had to pass this along and finally figured out the reason for so much unwanted weight I've been gaining. Check this out:

SHAMPOO WARNING: I've figured out why I've gained weight. The shampoo I use in the shower that runs down my body says, "for extra volume and body." Going to start using Dawn dish washing soap. It says, "dissolves fat that is otherwise difficult to remove."

Hope you all have an awesome Friday and making plans for an incredible weekend!