Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finding Forgiveness - Danny Wallace

Watch this video by Danny Wallace compliments of Glass Road Public Relations on the hope in finding freedom and forgiveness from your past. You can learn more about Danny Wallace through his personal ministry below.

Kat's Bookshelf Dec 1-7th

Well I have some giveaways that are ending this week while others are just beginning. So if you're looking for some great books to read, you might just want to see what I'm reading and reviewing this week. You can also see all my books of Shelfari! I am compiling my all time favorite books I've read this year and hope to have that posted by the end of the week along with links to the reviews.

An Object of Beauty By Steve Martin

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Wishin and Hopin - A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb

Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef

Praise for Power by Warren Wiersbe

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Looking for Giveaways?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spreading Christmas Love and Joy

WOW! Where has all the time gone?

It's almost the end of the year already and Christmas is just literally around the corner! I wanted to begin to share with you unique ways to celebrate this Christmas season through my blog post and gain your insight as well.

So many are hurting this year and find the task of providing a meal for their family much less gifts for their children overwhelming. They may in fact be your neighbor next door. This economy hasn't "changed" much for the better as we would have all liked to have seen it by this time. Some of us are still looking for jobs. Some of us are still trying to find a home to live in.

In light of these, charities are struggling because they depend on donations to keep afloat. Even those large corporate sponsors are cutting back and not making their standard donation.

I found a great way to make a one time donation if you are able. This is what we will be doing as our charitable act this year. You simply take all of the ages of those living in your home. For us it would be 46, 42, 17, and 11 and add them up. Ours totals: 116. Now write out a check as a one time donation in that amount and send it to your charity of your choice.

It can be a church, the Salvation Army, a homeless shelter, or any number of great charities out there. The point is to keep spreading the kindness. To share the love of Christ with so many that are hurting this year. Don't forget to check on your neighbor or even a family member you haven't spoken to in some time. Pride is the most difficult thing to get passed and be able to ask for help.

I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this, so please share in the comments below!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rad Mom - Check This Out!

Just when you thought video games were for kids, not anymore. Check this one out!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

I personally want to thank all of my faithful readers who stop by here everyday just to see what I have to say and leave the most wonderful and encouraging comments. I started my blog to encourage and motivate others in our dark and cold world at times and in return, I have found much love, friendship, warmth, hope, prayers of faith during turbulent times, and such joy that can not be contained but instead overflows to those we come into contact with everyday.

I, thank you, my wonderful blogging family and thank you so much for all your encouragement through this year. Who would have thought you could become so close with people all over the world that share the same values and faith as I do.

God truly does deserve our ultimate thanks for bringing us all together through this wonderful internet world, despite all the evil that can be found there as well.

May we not forgot those this year that are fighting wars to protect and provide peace in other countries while their families at home pray for their safe return; may we pray for the people that have lost everything this year and now find a warm meal at a shelter and try to remember still why they should offer up thanks despite where they find themselves currently; may we remember those that have lost a loved one this year, and find this holiday a difficult one to get through and still remember the love that they shared with them; may we remember those who remain in that dark and cold world, still not finding the true light and freedom that will release them to find eternal happiness and a home forever with Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all that you have brought me this Thanksgiving and for all the days in between where I feel your love and faith each day lifting me to new heights. May you all find love and happiness sharing laughter and memories with your family and friends today. Happy Blessed Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

History of Thanksgiving

In a 1789 proclamation, President George Washington called on the people of the United States to acknowledge God for affording them “an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness” by observing a day of thanksgiving. Devoting a day to “public thanksgiving and prayer,” as Washington called it, became a yearly tradition in many communities.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863. In that year, during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. He asked his fellow citizens to “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise . . .”

It was not until 1941 that Congress designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day, thus creating a federal holiday.

However official, the idea of a special day for giving thanks was not born of presidential proclamations. Native American harvest festivals had been celebrated for centuries, and colonial services dated back to the late 16th century. Thanksgiving Day, as we know it today, began in the early 1600s when settlers in both Massachusetts and Virginia came together to give thanks for their survival, for the fertility of their fields, and for their faith. The most widely known early Thanksgiving is that of the Pilgrims in Plimoth, Massachusetts, who feasted for 3 days with the Wampanoag people in 1621.

Turkey has become the traditional Thanksgiving fare because at one time it was a rare treat. During the 1830s, an eight- to ten-pound bird cost a day’s wages. Even though turkeys are affordable today, they still remain a celebratory symbol of bounty. In fact, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin ate roast turkey in foil packets for their first meal on the Moon.

Here is hoping that all of you have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Facebook Help

After denying all requests to join Facebook, I finally relented to help my youngest daughter out on one of her games. Now I am trying to find a way to post my facebook friends on my blog. Anyone know how to do this??

I would appreciate all your help since I would love to add some of you to my Facebook friends who are also part of my blogging family.

Please leave me a comment or email me directly at Stevenkat27 (at) gmail (dot)com, which is also my email for Facebook if you want to send me a friend request.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude - Tim Knofler

I've been reading an incredible book lately that really has changed my perspective of the people who have impacted my life and made an incredible difference in my life. I'll call them "life changers." The name of this book is This Is The Moment by Walter Green and you can read the review and enter the giveaway here.

They are the people throughout your entire life that have impacted you so profoundly that if you were to give a eulogy at that persons life, these are the words you would say. Yet why are we waiting to tell these people what they meant to you at the time that they changed your life? How much more would it change your life and theirs if you meet with them personally or even sent along a letter detailing your thoughts while they are still alive?

How would you feel if you received such a letter from someone you have met in your life time?

How would that change your life?

How would these new attitude affect the very people you meet everyday?

Instead of participating in "Thankful Thursday's" I am going to dedicate my Thursday posting to sharing those thoughts live on my personal blog to those individuals, and I hope that you in turn would do the same. It's so much better to share those with them while they are still with us, so that they know how thankful we truly are. Otherwise it's simply a one side phone conversation where they have hung up, and there is nothing on the other end.

Here is my first recipient in my victory lap!!

I first met a man name Tim Knofler, (pronounced K-nof-ler) when I was a corporate trainer for a large communications corporation. He had been at the company quite few years before I had hired on and had been using his verbal skills to help customer service representatives learn how to effectively communicate more efficiently with their customers to produce a positive relationship with them.

I sat in one of his training classes called "Soft Skills." It has forever changed my ability to effectively communicate in any situation I have to handle. He taught us that each of us has a "hot" button that we have to learn to define for ourselves what causes us to "go off," lose control and let anger rule us. Once we learn what that is, we simply come up with a plan of what we will do when that button is pushed. We learn what we will say ahead of time so that when we are in the heat of that moment, we can win instead of being defeated.

I learn that you can't negotiate with an unreasonable person. I learned that you need to be taking notes when people are talking to you, especially if they are angry, so not only are you hearing it, your paying attention. The last thing that person wants to do it repeat themselves to you. Not only that it shows them that you are listening.

Tim is one of the biggest mentors in my personal life as well. We both are currently not with that company any longer, but those days of working hand in hand with him in training were some of the most amazing and fun days at work. Watching people come back to you with how effective this training was not only in their work life, but in dealing with people in their personal lives was beyond rewarding.

Tim, you have made me a more effective and efficient communicator and listener. You were competent, loyal, hardworking and committed. I cherish that you always brought your heart and great people skills to every situation we had to deal with. To this day, I am still remembering your profound words. Simply said, you contributed in a profound way to the effectiveness and gratification of both my profession and personal life. I'll be forever grateful to you. Thank you for being a part of my life that has forever changed my life. I will always remember how to "hit the dog!"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Games of Life

In our short time we exist from birth to death, we all have a series of crossroads and detours, choices and consequences that each of us must face. We are all like players in a variety of games as we move through our lives.

We all have a beginning, the moment when we inhaled our first, sweet fragrance of our birth, life began for us. Second by second, minute by minute, day after day and finally year upon year, we take a series of steps. Some bold, others more cautious. We seem to have an inherent reason to move forward, to not linger too long in any one place, and even a few times take a fall backwards.

Much like the board games we've all played, our lives parallel those in so many ways, perhaps none more so than the Game of Life. We are the pink or blue peg in the colored vehicle of our choice. We can choose what clothes we wear, how much to share with others through our words and our meetings, even where we work, go to school, or wear our hair. Our car is our outward body people see when they encounter us.

We all come to the proverbial forks in the road at different times requiring a choice to be made. When we decide our route, sometimes the choice isn't the right one or even one we had hoped for. We face life's challenges, a loss of a job, divorce, substance or physical abuse, and even ultimately in some extreme cases when to end our own game. Sometimes we are rewarded as well.

God becomes our spinner - counting off our steps 1- 10. He provides the direction, but the choice to stay in the game and move, or simply quit is up to us. Not all games have a winner in life, ours is but to journey on and finish. Not just to become a pink peg in a blue car and wonder, is that all there is, in our final moments. We are always hoping our paths will be carefree, fun, and worry-free. If every game became that easy to finish, why would you even want to play it?

Aren't these games suppose to strengthen us, make us better people, more filled with knowledge and wisdom that only staying in the game creates?

Life sometimes for some involves a Monopoly. Their main goal is to start off strong, learn ways to succeed along the way, stay ahead of the pack and ultimately win it all. Yet if you look at the bigger picture, the winner is only happy one. All the others are resentful at what his actions have cost them. Some are jealous it wasn't them. Some wonder why they bothered to play. Sacrifices are made during the game, by the winner, just to stay in it. The happiness for the winner is only temporary however, the people he had to walk over to get where he is, no longer want to be around him. He has nothing to offer anyone except, money or the stuff money can buy. This is where he feels he has to buy his way out or for someone to notice him.

Chances in life happen randomly along the way - some good, some bad; but when you land on the space you have to take the card and deal with the outcome. You don't get to opt out.

Life doesn't offer the opportunity to try it again if it doesn't come out like you want. Sure, you can get another job, move to another house, get married to someone else, but the playing piece remains the same. Once you start your game - there is no starting over at the beginning. What your life is at that point, is the experience you've gained along the way. How you apply it to your life is entirely up to you. Good or bad, we're all playing.

Some play fair, others prefer to cheat, yet ultimately how you finish will determine the type of character you have, what you value in it all, and who you've impacted along the way.

There are NO real cheat codes to help you avoid the pitfalls and failures that WILL come, but taking time to weigh out our decisions carefully before acting on them, may make the road a little less difficult to climb. Sometimes I just don't think that most of us get it, until the end draws closer. We look back with regrets on the opportunities we let slip away. Whether out of fear, indecision or perhaps even someone else telling us to go a different way - what lies ahead at the end and some of the journey along the way remains to be seen and is our walk of faith.

Without faith, we will remain stuck on the same space, losing turn after tun, while everyone else passes us by. Yet we will complain that it's always someone else's fault.

Our game of life is ours, and solely ours to play. How will you choose to see yours finish? With a life filled with regrets, should haves, and what ifs? Or will yours be filled with faith filled adventures everyday, and that you are happy with what you have achieved and the lives of the people you have met along the way?

Remember in the end, all the pieces go back in the box.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Preparations for Thanksgiving

Knowing that Thanksgiving is just literally around the corner, I am interested to know just what plans everyone has.

Do you stay home or travel to grandmothers house, over the river and through the woods?

Do you invite family and friends or just keep it close and personal?

Do you volunteer at local food kitchens or perhaps have to work?

Do you have any traditions that you keep every year or have new ones you're going to incorporate?

What do you usually serve?

For us, since family is pretty spread out, we just have our immediate family meaning Steve, and I along with our kids. Sometimes we even include friends of the kids or ours that don't have anywhere to go, that makes it extra special.

We usually watch the Thanksgiving day parade while making preparations early that morning getting the turkey in the oven, which Steve does because it comes out flawless and so juicy. Then we make appetizers to munch on throughout the day like bruschetta and bread along with some olive tapinade, shrimp cocktail and even chips and salsa before the big dinner later on.

We will watch Miracle on 34th Street the color and new version because it's such a classic and it too takes place on Thanksgiving into the Christmas season and gets us in the mood. We don't begin decorating our house until the next day. We are not Black Friday shoppers because Steve and I don't care for crowds and getting up early.

Our menu consists of turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, homemade biscuits, spicy green beans with onions and bacon, stuffing, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs and of course, pumpkin and apple pie for desert. We serve Martinelli's sparkling apple cider in champagne glasses and of course decorate our table so it looks inviting and festive.

We are hoping for cooler temps to make it feel like fall after these last few days of near 80's. Praying for rainy weather and perhaps snow????

Looking forward to hearing all your wonderful details!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day Tribute

In honor not only today of all the men and women everywhere that have sacrificed their lives for the greater good of this amazing country! God stated that there is no greater love than those who would lay down their lives for another. That pretty much says it all. Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life in A Bubble

Transition is the key word as of lately. Seems like everything and everyone is transitioning through this change of season or in their own personal lives. Here are a few I have noticed lately:

My Red Maple is filled with beautiful leaves in shades of vibrant reds waiting for the next windy day to take those leaves on their final journey back into the circle of life. I smile everyday I walk outside because it's so brilliant it stands out!

The roses and flowers are dropping their final buds and soon I will be taking mulch and covering them up for their long winters nap, saying a prayer for abundant blooms next spring and to enjoy this season of sleep.

My apple tree is losing it's leaves as well, preparing to prune it back and watch as it remains a silent sentinel in my backyard watching over the garden paradise until the fuzzy buds once more return promising goodness to come in the spring.

My kids are making their preparations for the long Thanksgiving week in which there is no school so they are trying to work ahead in hopes of adding a few extra days in to make this a beautiful week of blessings and gratitude.

Hubby is waiting on the final OK for the remainder of his contracts to come through so he can end his year on a high note and with a breath of "I did it!" so he can rest easy through next month.

Remembering that with our oldest, she is making her final preparations this year to emerge as an adult with her life ahead of her.

Loving that today is another beautiful monthly anniversary for hubby and I! We are celebrating 12 years, 9 months as of today! Happy Anniversary Steve, got you again!

Praying for so many great things for all of you as you make plans to finish out your year, but keep in mind those that may be struggling this year, this being a year more challenging and difficult than any they have seen. Let the hands and feet of Jesus be seen through the final days of this year and let us all show others just what being a true Christian is really all about!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Praise Report

Sorry I have been MIA for so long. Steve's been traveling so between school and being mom and dad, I am putting priorities over my daily blogging. Yet I have super great news to share with all of you. Here goes:

1. Ken is out of the hospital and recovering at home. What we didn't realize until after he was discharged is that the doctors had told the family there was a very slim chance he would pull through at all and survive. Yet we believe in a God who loves to push those odds and grant us a true miracle.

2. Steve's dad, Bill, went through his heart surgery this morning to remove the build up on his stints. The great news is that he is recovering nicely and within a month, he can have his hip replacement surgery. So this is another great praise report. We were praying for this to happen and God blessed this prayer.

We are still waiting on word from my nephew's MRI and hoping and believing that God will find another way besides surgery for his scoliosis treatment being so young. We are praying for divine guidance and wisdom for God to lead the way.

We just finished up with another week of 90 degree temps and they call this "fall?" and hoping for cooler weather soon and no more allergy meds for me.

I am finally over the worst part of my root canal and finally able to return to eating normal foods for me. Things are going well and we have to praise God for His provisions and blessings this week. Thank you to everyone who passed along these prayer requests and I hope to have a great end to this year.