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My Weight Loss Journey 2013!

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52 in 52 Weeks 2013 Wrap Up Questions

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How many books did you read and did you meet or beat your own personal goal? I read 66 books. I beat my personal goal of 52.
2.What are your top 5 (or more) favorite stories?  Top 5 least favorites? 
TOP 12 (or 15 if you count the trilogy) 15. Of Virgins and Martyrs: Women and Sexuality in Global Conflict (ER) 19: Booked:Literature in the Soul of Me 26. Waiting for God (ITC) 38. Call the Midwife (all three in the trilogy) 40. The Reading Promise 54. This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral and Valet Parking 56. Heidi 58. Silence, Solitude, and Simplicity 60. Persuasion (second time but loved it all over again) 64. Divine Conspiracy (third time finally did it!) 65. Searching for God Knows What 66. Behind the Beautiful Forevers
BOTTOM 5 2. Dandelion Wine (SBC) 5. A Year of Biblical Womanhood (SBC) 16. Warrior: Fighting for Your Faith, Family, etc (ER) 28. The Twilight of the Idols (ITC) 33. A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (ITC)
3. One book you thought you would never read and was pleasantly surprised…

Merry Christmas Chai Recipe!

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66. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

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"One of the most powerful indictments of economic inequality I've ever read." Barbara Ehrenreich

This may seem like a very unusual book to be reading at Christmas Time, especially since I only read Christmas books last December (I had a backlog of free audiobooks, "gift" books, and an early review book that had been given to me - most of them pretty boring and some downright BAD!). But this book is a perfect for this time of year because it opens your eyes to what is happening to people in underdeveloped countries.  This won the 2012 National Book Award.

This is a profound read that reads more like a novel than non-fiction. I will let the video speak for itself. 




See her website for more informaation: http://www.behindthebeautifulforevers.com/

65. Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

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I am not sure how I missed this one. I think I like it better than his more famous, Blue Like Jazz! I read it after reading an article that he wrote in a magazine. I knew that this must have come from a book he was writing, and somehow I stumbled across this. Donald is intellectual but more accessible than Dallas Willard in that he does not make your head hurt. He makes a compelling case for the Gospel being more more about relationship than "systematic theology." 

“I think Jesus is saying, Look, you guys are running around like monkeys trying to get people to clap, but people are fallen, they are separated from God, so they have no idea what is good or bad, worthy to be judged or set free, beautiful or ugly to begin with. Why not get your glory from God? Why not accept your feelings of redemption because of His pleasure in you, not the fickle and empty favor of man? And only then will you know who you are, and only then will you have true, uninhibited relationships with othe…

64. Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard

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This is my third time reading this book. The first time made me head hurt, the second time I grasped a little more, the third time was when I realized that Willard was a genius. While I was blessed to be involved in intentional discipleship through the ministry of the Navigators, I know that most have not had this kind of blessing. That is why I think The Divine Conspiracy is an important read for believers today. 
This is a beautiful book about being intentional about becoming a follower of Jesus Christ, not just someone who has made a decision and never done anything since. The culmination of the book is the "Curriculum for Christlikeness."  We have led three groups through this book, and we have every write one and submit it to others for accountability.

 Here is mine:

Carol’s Curriculum for Christlikeness 2013-14
Life Mission To Abide in Christ so I can overflow as I encourage women toward abiding fruitfulness in Christ through relational evangelizing, establishing, and equip…

63. The Christ of the Indian Road

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This was a reread for our ministry. This time, our leader assigned certain chapters, but I think he left out the better ones! I was sorry that the people new to the book didn't get the whole thing!

I love this book. E. Stanley Jones was often called the "Billy Graham of India" and was ahead of his time when it came to having open inter-faith dialogue and understanding the cultural context in which to have that dialogue. He introduced "indigenization" in India. 

Jones was an American missionary to India from 1907-1973. He was a close confidant to FDR in the months leading up to December 7, 1941, trying to avert war with Japan. As a result, he was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.  His biography on Wikipedia is fascinating. You can read it HERE.  

Also, the book can be viewed in a PDF HERE.

Christmas Eve Freewrite

It has been so long since I have done a freewrite. I haven't been able to sit for as long as I usually do in the mornings, but my back is pretty much free of pain now. I have had repeated visits to Paul (3) and Dr. Myers (5), but the one that turned everything around was with Margaret Bartlett, a PT who does the same thing as OMT. She found something at the base of my skull on the right side that was the cause of much of the problem. She moved all the way down my sciatica to my toes, and I started to get feeling there too. She also gave me exercises to do for my head and for the sciatica down my leg. 

Now I am back to doing Pilates with no problem and have even lifted light weights once. YAY! I am trying not to sit as long, and it really helps for me to get out and walk and workout in the morning to limber up my entire body. It is a good plan and perfectly timed since I am only doing editing for Messiah right now. 

The last two weeks have been fairly intense, but it seems like fall …

Merry Christmas

Caffeine and Pain

I was having an OK pain day. My quadratus lumborum was feeling pretty good. I went to have a bit of milk chocolate, and I literally felt that muscle tighten in my back, and I was in pain.
Then I got to thinking. Many times I will get up in the morning, and I will feel fine, but as the morning moves on, my back feels worse, even though I have done nothing to irritate it.
All of a sudden, I thought, "Maybe it is caffeine that is causing me more pain."  I realized that if it did it for that little bit of chocolate, then my chai tea (I have four cups of chai in the morning but it has 2 tablespoons of orange pekoe black tea is a LOT of caffeine.), it was probably the source of my unexplained pain later in the morning.
BINGO. I skipped it for two mornings, and I had no pain.
Numerous Google searches turned this up. Why has no doctor told me this before? It makes sense that since caffeine is a stimulant that it would cause muscle contraction, and when you are trying to heal muscles (li…

Just in Time for the Holidays: Reconcilosec

62. The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick

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This is an Oregon Christian author. I read another book by her that was written in 2009 called A Land of Sheltered Promise. I enjoyed the historical subject matter about Oregon's history of the Rajneeshee, a cult that took over the little town of Antelope, Oregon back in the 1980's.  We prayed and prayed, and they left as quickly as they came. Now it is a Young Life Camp (Two of my friends were instrumental in acquiring the land, and they are mentioned in the story with pseudonyms.). It was fascinating history, but I did not care for the fictional story that surrounded the history. 

This story is different. Two more years of writing under this author's belt has produced an exceptional story. I had read the biography Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian Americafor my other book club. So, when my new book club decided to read this fictional account, I was not very excited, but this one is very well-written and goes into more detail about what happens…

Lightbulb Moment

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Some people think I am a "P" (like to constantly take in more information and not necessarily keen on always making a final decision and therefore more open, laid-back and flexible) personality type. They enjoy the PROCESS involved in making decisions.

I am decidedly (but not strongly) a "J" (like to take in only enough information necessary to make a decision).  We enjoy the CLOSURE involved in making a final decision. 

I had a lightbulb moment this morning. I think that people might think I am a "P" because my NUMBER ONE strength in the StrengthsFinder is LEARNER! I love to constantly learn new things.

I think it makes me balanced to have a "J" personality type and also a strength that likes to learn new things! I love learning more information, but I also love to have CLOSURE!



Dallas Willard on the Bible: AMEN!

On the Bible:

Its purpose is practical, not academic. An intelligent, careful, intensive but straightforward reading—that is, one not governed by obscure and faddish theories or by a mindless orthodoxy—is what it requires to direct us into life in God’s kingdom. Any other approach to the Bible, I believe, conflicts with the picture of the God that, all agree, emerges from Jesus and his tradition.

Willard, Dallas (2009-02-06). The Divine Conspiracy . Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

61. The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight

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I did not dislike this book, but it just seemed to drag on and on. He made his point and drew it out too long. I know many people like this book. So no offense. 

Here is his point:
The gospel is the declaration that Jesus is Messiah and Lord and that gospel declares that the Story of Jesus completes the Story of Israel in a way that saves. This gospel counters the shallow and superficial gospeling today that reduces the gospel to four simple points and eliminates the confession that Jesus is Messiah and Lord.
Here is the video that introduces the book:



He advocates that "Creation to Christ to End Time Consummation" is the whole gospel. He looks at what Jesus, Peter, and Paul meant when they said "gospel."

We have our groups go through the whole book of Acts and try to define what the gospel was that the apostles were preaching. His book does this for you, but I think it is better to look at the Scriptures directly for yourself! :)

Fifteen Minute Freewrite

I do not have tons of time this morning. I got out of bed at 3:30 am (that is what I get for falling asleep at 9:30 pm!), and it is a prayer and fast day for me from sunrise to sunset. So, I had a little of my tea and am enjoying time in the Word. 

I have loved changing our Kingdom Community readings from writing out gospel passages to going through the key passages in the Old Testament that point to Jesus. We will get to those gospel passages, but I love, love, love that we are meditating (they are supposed to be doing a "mini" inductive study of writing out the passage - then rewriting it in their own words after meditating or studying it by looking up key words) in these passages. We just finished Abraham by covering key passages in Genesis 12, 15,17, and 22. I was so tickled that they were reading the in-between passages for context (because we all know that "context is key!").  I am also seeing that they are following through on their "I WILL" stateme…

Fifteen Minute Freewrite

I am letting my fingers do the walking across the keyboard. I have not done a freewrite in ages and ages. It will be good for me. 

I have had this bag of halloween candy here since Sunday, and I have hardly eaten anything. Unlike other years where I bought the candy too soon and had to go back and get more! That is what losing 30 pounds will do to you! 

I have both my PowerPoints and all my handouts ready for Friday night and Saturday. Now, I just have to pray for God's will to be done in Newberg. I know that He will show up because learning about this is so important.

Today was an unexpected day. I had mercy on Paul having so many things due out at Albany in one day. So, I let him study here for forty five minutes extra and took him out to LBCC. Then I went back via Hwy 20 instead of 34 and stopped at the Albany Snap Fitness. They changed all their Fitness on Demand videos, and I cannot find the wonderful Pilates video I have been using since last December. BUMMER! It looks like the…

60. Persuasion by Jane Austen

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The Book Dames was tired of reading depressing books (Catcher in the Rye and The Great Gatsby were two of our more recent books). So, we wanted to read something happy and settled on a wonderful Austen! I had a major back blow-out and was confined to bed, but this book kept my spirits high though my body was brought low. I love Austen. I really, really do!

I read Persuasion back in 1999 when I read all the Austen books upon my return from two years overseas. This was the only one I had not re-read, and I do believe that it has increased on the list of favorite Austen books! 

This was also my first time listening to it as an audiobook and Nadia May has done it again! She is a fantastic narrator.

59. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

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From Library2Go Website:- If you've never read anything by Jerome K. Jerome, you'd be well advised to heed this warning by theGlasgow Herald: "It would be dangerous to [listen to] this book in any place––say a full railway compartment––where the reader was not at perfect liberty to laugh as loudly and as long as he chose." And the passage of time has not altered that verdict. Here is a perfect picture of those lazy summer days "messing about in boats." After his final trip up the river Thames with his three companions––Harris, George, and Montmorency the dog––Jerome K. Jerome sat down to write his proposed book, The Story of the Thames. But before he could tackle the work in the serious manner intended, his humor took over and gave birth to a masterpiece of unquenchable comedy. This is a classic of English humor, justifiably loved around the world. About the Author-Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927), English humorist, novelist, and playwright, was born in Staffo…

Tea and Book

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Please Watch This to the End!

I do not condone his anger, but the content is awesome. Please watch this to the end!

Ginny is Gone

She passed away peacefully at noon today.

Here is a blog post I wrote about her and Lorraine:

http://carol365.blogspot.com/2007/03/64-virtue-of-chastity.html

Sliding

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I think I am sliding into sickness. And Ginny is sliding toward heaven. I hope she makes it to Friday when I am going to go and see her. Lorraine doesn't know if she will make it, but i really want to go and say good-bye to my long-time mentor and friend. She was 90 years old in August (I couldn't do anything about that as my back was terrible that whole week).  I wish I could have talked to her one last time, but she is not talking much now nor eating.

Life well lived. She is my hero. 

Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) Reading Guide

Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald): Our Reading Guide for The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald includes a Book Club Discussion Guide, Book Review, Plot Summary-Synopsis and Author Bio.


58. Silence, Solitude, Simplicity: A Hermit's Love Affair with a Noisy, Crowded, and Complicated World

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This book was absolutely precious to me. To hear from an octogenarian nun who had lived this kind of life was very powerful. Her wisdom is unparalleled compared to some of the "wisdom" bestowed in some of the popular Christian books today by people who just want to write books and speak out of ignorance and immaturity. She walks her talk. She has lived the life of pressing in closer to our God! 

I had borrowed it from my retreat center library; but when my hand got tired of writing down gem quote after gem quote, I ran down to the retreat bookstore and bought it. (I only BUY books when absolutely necessary and usually just borrow them.)  It is all marked up now.

It is about monasticism, but it is about going to the desert in order to emerge with God's love and compassion for others. 

In quoting Gregory of Nyssa, she writes:
Speaking of Moses' desire to see God, Gregory writes: "And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire asks this: to enjoy the beauty…

SCC Reading Group 2013-2014

OCT: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
NOV: A Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick
DEC: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning JAN: The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers FEB: Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley MAR: The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn APR: Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Prior MAY: Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay JUN: God and Stephen Hawking by John Lennox SUM: Where River Turns to Sky by Gregg Kleiner

57. Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilgunas

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From page 73-74:I was bearing witness to an ancient ritual that I felt I'd seen in a previous lifetime. I was being reacquainted with the images processed by a million eyes before me, reveling in the privileges of the great human experience. Money, prestige, possessions, a home with two and a half bathrooms -- these aren't the guiding lights of the universe that show us our path. How can we dedicate our lives to such things when we can see the impermanence of everything above and below us, in the flicker of a dying star or the decay of a rotting log? The statues, the paintings, the epic poems, the things we buy, the homes we strive to attain, the great cities and timeless monuments. In time, they'll all be gone. And the names of the great kings and queens who shook the world will be forgotten, carried away like crumpled leaves for autumn limbs. Stare -- really stare -- into the womb of creation, and it will be impossible to dedicate your life to mindless accumulation. When…

State of My Life Address

Heart/Soul

I had some up and down dips in September that were well-documented here, but thanks to others who pray and listen, I am great. I think that "greatness" was cemented with my Mt. Angel 48 Hours of solitude, silence, and supplication. I love it up there. I need to do overnighters twice a year. I just did a day up there in March, and it was great but curtailed because I was with someone else. That is good because I was exposing them to the wonders of SSS, but I need my solitude. I am at heart an introvert, but I need to feed that beyond just being at home. 

I read this new book: Silence, Solitude, and Simplicity that I will be reviewing here shortly. So yummy. Just one quote to wet your appetite:
It is so easy to have desire eroded, to be diverted or enticed away from that central hunger of our being. We have to keep it alive.
These days of retreat help me keep it alive, keeping the main thing, the main thing. God has given all of us "central hunger" for Him, bu…