Touching Jace… or not

Touching Jace (Devereaux Billionaires, #1; Billionaries in the City, #4)Touching Jace by Mallory Crowe
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sorry, but I didn’t particularly care for this book. The writer can write, but the story needs work. The characters beyond the main characters were so shallow as to be unbelievable and annoying. The driving mystery feel flat on its face without conclusion. The “hot” scenes were thankfully brief, but unnecessarily crude. The epilogue was a waste of paper. It didn’t even try to tie up loose ends. It simply felt like a deleted scene that should have remain deleted because it didn’t even fit the characters at all. It had potential, but it was a let down.

State of Fear

State of FearState of Fear by Michael Crichton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gripping!

Michael Crichton does not disappoint! This book was confusing at first, and then all the pieces fell together. I was pleased to successfully predict a few twists, and equally pleased to have missed a few others. I think some of the details were over explained, but I can see why they were. It was a lot of technical stuff! Crichton does his homework. I really enjoyed this book!

Funnies I’ve Collected on Pinterest

Here are 25 of the latest funnies I’ve found and saved. There are over 750 pins on this board. They are by-and-large clean funnies.

Homicide and the Infuriating Grace of God ~rjgrune.com~

I’ve heard and read the story of Cain and Abel several times, but I’ve never seen it explained so well! This is worth the read.

http://www.rjgrune.com/blog/homicide

Abel’s different not because of what he offered but because of what he didn’t offer. Abel doesn’t believe God owes him anything. Abel’s faith isn’t in what he brings to God, but in what God has given to him. Abel’s offering is a better offering, it’s simply an offering brought in faith (Hebrews 11:4).

The Martian

The Martian movieWe recently watched The Martian with the kids (10, 9, & 7), and it was great. T doesn’t typically sit through any movie without complaint, impatience, and/or full-on meltdowns. He not only sat through this one, but wanted to watch it again!

It does have some pretty strong language in parts, and it can be pretty intense. For our family, this led to some discussions. You’ll have to judge for yourself whether this is something you’d want your kids to watch. I found this review at Common Sense helpful.

It is exciting and adventuresome with survival, science, and some really great “never give up” & “just work the problem, one at time” kind of concepts. In a many ways, it reminds me of Apollo 13 (one of my all time favorite flicks).

Incidentally, the book is great! It’s also a quick read. I didn’t read it recently enough to be able to comment on language or kid appropriateness. I’ll need to read it again, because T has shown interest in reading the book. My sweet T who does not typically read voluntarily! Wow. We might be onto something here!

Mastering Work When Work Masters You ~rjgrune.com~

Your work doesn’t determine your worth, Jesus’ does. When you look at the work you do (whether that be the paid or the unpaid work), what’s it worth? Your work is important, but it’s not important because of the name it will give to you.

Keep the work you do in perspective!

You’re not CEO. You’re not mom. You’re not entrepreneur. You’re not pastor. Those might be important, yes, but that’s not who you are. You are a friend of God.

I just loved this article. It is always helpful, and centering, to remember what your true identity is.

Read all of RJ Grunewald’s article. You won’t regret it.

Carpal Tunnel

I suspect I might have carpal tunnel syndrome, but it’s odd because I have way more elbow pain than I do pain in my wrist or hand. I’ll probably be seeing an orthopedist soon.

I have found some stretches that work really well for carpal tunnel (and they are good stretches for anyone to do syndrome or not).

  1. Spider Push-ups
  2. The Shake
  3. The CTS stretch

This is a great article with animated images showing each stretch. I’ve also read about ulnar nerve entrapment. There’s some at-home ways to go about feeling better there too.

  1. Keep arm straight while sleeping (with towel or backwards elbow brace).
  2. Nerve gliding exercises.

Here’s to at-home physical therapy!

Gem Bag

My son purchased a gem excavation kit, which came with a small gem bag. He determined the bag was too small and asked for my assistance in making a new one. He picked colors and sewed up the sides, and I helped with the drawstring.🙂 I love the results and he does too!

Gem Bag

My First Christmas Ornament

I wanted to make something fun and meaningful for Christmas. I’m giddy at how well this turned out!

Christmas Ornament

I used scrapped t-shirts for filling, but I think I’ll use standard polyfill next time – it’s lighter. I also re-wrote the pattern some to make it less confusing. I had no less than 5 false starts! That got a little frustrating. Next improvements are to get a smaller hook and improve how I start the rounds (another pattern rewrite).

OwnIt365 Day 3 Notes

Gen 6-8

6:9 Noah walked faithfully with God. It was Noah’s faith that enabled him to be saved from the flood, enabled the reception of the Lord’s instructions, and enabled Noah’s obedience.

Job 5

Eliphaz claimed God spoke to him (how?) – that he should be light hearted and secure despite calamity because God’s power overcomes. (v.17-27)

Gen 6

Noah had 3 sons: Shem, Ham, and Jepheth. There were 8 people on the ark plus 2 of every kind of aminal with 7 pairs of each clean animal and 7 pairs of every kind of bird. There isn’t a single animal I wish he didn’t put in the ark. They each have a role to play even if I don’t understand it.

In Noah’s time, no one would have likely believed him, and I would not have been any different. In the movie, Evan Almighty, I would not have believed the world would flood because God promised to never flood the earth again and God is the promise keeper.

In the movie, Evan Almighty, I would not have believed the world would flood because God promised to never flood the earth again and God is the promise keeper.

I imagine God talked to Noah face-to-face. After all, the Lord closed the door (7:16).

OwnIt365 Day 2 Notes

Gen 3 The Fall

First, there was something we couldn’t have, and then there was someone to entice us to have it anyway. Second, Satan cast doubt on God by his crafty questions. He also created a desire that wasn’t there before – the first example of marketing/advertising! Third, Adam and Eve lingered and considered. The more they looked, the more they wanted and the quieter the command of God to not to became. Finally, they ate. They disobeyed God.

Job 3-4

Job cursed the day of his birth after all the disasters struck his family, wealth, and person. He did not curse God.

Job 1:8 God was talking with his angels and Satan, and God brought up Job. It’s odd to consider God having conversations with Satan, much less to mention people. What if it was me?

“Have you considered my servant, Deb?”

Eek! Well… even so. It’d be all to God’s glory. I’d just read Job over and over again.

None of the trials Job experienced were a result of anything he did. God called out Job and allowed Satan limited ability to strike Job because… He wanted to? Had his reasons? To show his glory?

Do we need to know the specific “because”? God did so because he can. God is sovereign and I don’t have to understand his reasons to trust him.

Job lost his children, his property, and his health. However, Stan could not do what God did not allow. In everything, God is in control. That is very comforting.

Why God allows suffering…
Romans 5:3-5
We rejoice in our sufferings because they produce endurance -> character -> hope. And hope doesn’t shame or disappoint because of God’s love poured into us via the Holy Spirit.

My storms? Health, special needs children… yes, I have storms. Lord, help me to rely more fully on you!

Plank Challenge

I want to try this…

Day 1 – 20 seconds
Day 2 – 20 seconds
Day 3 – 30 seconds
Day 4 – 30 seconds
Day 5 – 40 seconds
Day 6 – Rest
Day 7 – 45 seconds
Day 8 – 45 seconds
Day 9 – 60 seconds
Day 10 – 60 seconds
Day 11 – 60 seconds
Day 12 – 90 seconds
Day 13 – Rest
Day 14 – 90 seconds
Day 15 – 90 seconds
Day 16 – 120 seconds
Day 17 – 120 seconds
Day 18 – 150 seconds
Day 19 – Rest
Day 20 – 150 seconds
Day 21 – 150 seconds
Day 22 – 180 seconds
Day 23 – 180 seconds
Day 24 – 210 seconds
Day 25 – Rest
Day 26 – 210 seconds
Day 27 – 240 seconds
Day 28 – Until failure

— from http://www.buzzhe.ro/en/try-the-28-day-planking-challenge/

OwnIt365 Day 1 Notes

I started the whole Bible plan from OwnIt365. I didn’t want to lose my notes. So, here they are:


God created everything from nothing but his will. God and Satan talk to each other. God is in charge and limits Satan’s actions.

Gen 1:1 “heavens” — plural? Maybe like we say peoples meaning “all kinds of people” … “all heaven” meaning nothing is outside God’s creation.

Gen 1:31a “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Why was it very good?

I’m reminded of Nancy’s fridge magnet: “God doesn’t make junk.” Maybe he said that to remind us that fundamentally, creation is good. The bad comes in with sin… everything would be good without sin breaking the good down. My imagination isn’t good enough to picture the world without sin – that’d be heaven.

My most favorite thing that God created is the stars in the sky – how ordered & beautiful. Least favorite is bugs that bite/sting people. The weirdest is probably man – humankind.

I cannot create something from nothing unless your talking abstract. God spoke STUFF into being and brought about life with his breath. I can only create moods with my words: tension, peace, laughter, etc.

Juggling the Kids’ STUFF

As I finalize plans for the coming school year, I’m often overwhelmed! There’s so much to do, so many different things to juggle, and so many ways to mess it all up. I can’t be the only feeling this way!

Lord, be with all of us parents as we plot out our plans and help us keep those plans in check with You. Grant my fellow parents and I peace and success – whatever that may look like. Bless our children with your love above all, and then a little bit of learning to help make life go well with them. Sprinkle in even more love and a lot of fun too. Thank you, Jesus, for delighting in each of us so we can delight in You as we go about life, not overwhelmed but free.

Leaders and Volunteers at Church

I got to join a gathering of folks who love Jesus and serve the community through their own awesome and unique ways at CrossPoint last night. So many people! It was a fun gathering, and I’m so very grateful for all the people that “bring it” to make church happen. We are the church. Thank you, Lord, for empowering us with your love!

Grace

“Grace is given to heal the spiritually sick, not to decorate spiritual heroes.” – Martin Luther

“Christianity isn’t for the Little Engine that can. It’s for the train wreck that can’t.” – Dan Emery Price

“We contribute as little to our spiritual birth as we do to our physical birth.” – Jacob Preus

“It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you.” – Tim Keller

From http://www.rjgrune.com/blog/25-quotes-on-grace

Pray Before You Speak

 

Jesus Calling Devo

This devo from Jesus Calling really struck me this morning. I’m typically quick with my words. It seems sometimes that I’ve been trained somehow to be quick witted, sarcastic, and funny. That is a hard thing to unlearn, but I really need to!

I’ve noticed that things go so much better when stop taking altogether when I’m in a bad mood or angry.

I love the simple prayer, “Help me Holy Spirit” but I think I’d rather just go with, “Help me Jesus.”

Lord, help me remember to pray this bullet prayer before a word leaves my lips… especially when I’m upset or grumpy!

Prayer for Emotional Roller Coaster

​Dear Lord, remind me to pause before I react. Sometimes the stresses of life pull at my emotions, which cause me to have reactions that tear at my relationships. Please forgive me for poor reactions in my past. Thank You for second chances. Thank You for the way You prepare my heart for everything that I’ll be facing today, tomorrow and in all my tomorrows to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

– Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries Facebook Post