Showing posts from January, 2014

Reading through Acts

I love that our Kingdom Community reads through Acts TWICE when it convenes every other year. I also read through it last year because of Bible Book Club. I think a yearly reading through Acts is a must. It puts it all in perspective for what believers are here for. :)

With that said, I am back to reading, hearing, and applying it to my life! :)  

5. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High

We are taking a group of 12 people through this book, and it is excellent. My husband and I are both trained mediators through Peacemaker Ministries, and this augments the peacemaking process so beautifully. It helps one learn to see when a conversation becomes crucial (opinions vary, stakes are high, and emotions run strong), creating an environment of safety so that those involved can contribute to the "Pool of Shared Meaning."  I am excited to apply its principles. I am committed to improving the way I communicate with people!

It is a lovely book, and I highly recommend it. 

Here are a few quotes:

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. —AMBROSE BIERCE (p.33)
The best at dialogue do something completely different. They aren’t held hostage by their emotions, nor do they try to hide or suppress them. Instead, they act on their emotions . That is, when they have strong feelings, they influence (and often change) their emotions by thinking…


You know that Core Value Prayer Study I mentioned in my last post? Well, the references are exactly the number of days between the Super Bowl and Easter this year. So, I am issuing a challenge for people to do that with me by applying the verses in this study on a daily basis. The passages are short every day and great for a devotional time in the morning. The applying and accountability will be the tough part. Find a group to journey with for accountability to apply God's Word for 76 days! 

Here is the handout I created with the calendar on the last page:


(It is authored by David Watson, and I have a message into him to ask him about the first reference. It does not seem to fit. So if you want to skip it go ahead, I think it is supposed to be 2 Corinthians and not 1 Corinthians and is already later on in the study.) 

DO NOT MISS THIS: "Seek God for the City 2014" app is a great way to apply all you are learning about prayer. (You can al…

Monday Freewrite

My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. I will write my praise to You. You have done great things, and I will give You all the glory for this month and the focus on prayer. I love it!!! You have answered the prayers of Your servant, Carol. I love that Steve's sermons have gone right along with what You have been teaching me. 

I love the balance I have between Your Word and prayer after so many years of learning so many amazing things from Your Word while writing for the Bible Book Club. It was so worth it, but I like a slowing down of the mechanics involved with that so that I have more time, especially in the morning, for more focused prayer time. 

Steve's sermons have gone right along with it, and yesterday he said that the average person spends 30 hours a week watching television, and I am not surprised. While I have not spent that kind of time, I realized that, while I had much time with You in the morning, my evenings were more spent in entertaining myself to unwind (not al…

Star Wars Character Quiz: YODA


4. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and The Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

I remember all my thinking friends discussing Gladwell's book, Blink, and thinking it probably would not be something I would be interested in reading. I never would have read him had my book club not picked to read Outliers: The Story of Success.  I started it reluctantly and quickly became a Gladwell fan. That book altered the way I looked at life. So, when this book came out and was recommended by my bookish sister, Adriana, I had to read it. Gladwell has done it again! I especially loved how he analyzed the long term success rate of going to an elite university if you are not at the top of your class versus going to an average school and being at the top of your class because the pool isn't as competitive. Fascinating! I highly recommend this book, and I loved listening to the author read his own book. I think I am convinced I need to go back and read Blink!

Also, here is an interview he did at Google explaining the book and his motive behind his provocative books. I loved …

Movies 1. Not Today

Saw this previewed yesterday. Powerful.

3. Power Through Prayer by E.M. Bounds

"Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still."

This is a classic, but I am not sure I had ever read through the whole book. WOW! 

He is specifically targeting preachers and how prayer needs to be a priority when preparing sermons, but it applies to all believers. I ate it up.  Perfect to go with my emphasis in prayer this year. :)

Favorite Quote: 
The true ministry is God-touched, God-enabled, and God-made. The Spirit of God is on the preacher in anointing power, the fruit of the Spirit is in his heart, the Spirit of God has vitalized the man and the word; his preaching gives life, gives life as the spring gives life; gives life as the resurrection gives life; gives ardent life as the summer gives ardent life; gives fruitful life as the autumn gives fruitful life. The life-giving preacher is a man of God, whose heart is ever athirst for God, whose soul is ever following hard after God, whose eye is single to God, and in whom by the power …

Trappist Retreat

My prayer time at the Trappist Retreat in Carlton, OR was lovely. 

I had just spent my annual New Year's Eve Day of Prayer at Teala's sorority (I think we have done it every year Teala has been a house mom other than when we were in Malaysia for two New Year's Eves - so that would 16 of the last 18 years!), but I was on my way to Phoenix for a business trip when Terri (my like-hearted prayer buddy) texted me and asked if I wanted to go here for a three day silent retreat.


I loved it. I had only been to Mount Angel Abbey Retreat Center and the Shalom Prayer Center among the Benedictine monks and sisters. So, I was up for a  Trappist adventure (since I love Thomas Merton and all). This is 1300 acres of beautiful forest to hike and pray. I hiked for three hours and 6.5 miles, and half of that was UP hill with a 700+ elevation gain.

Here are some pictures from the time:

A collage by Smilebox
God led me into much needed intercession for people and a "theme" for the ye…

2. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

I have read this multiple times, but this is the first time I have ever listened to it in audiobook form. Delightful!

Brother Lawrence "prayed to God among the pots and pans" as he worked in the kitchen of a Carmelite monastery in Paris (1611-1691). This is simple and profound. You will love it, and it goes along very nicely with "The Game with Minutes" that I just posted about. 

Here is a link to the Librivox recording and a zip file of the book. It only takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to listen to, and I listened to it on one of my long walks. Made my whole day a lot brighter!

(If the link does not work, cut and paste it in your browser.)

1. The Game with Minutes by Frank C. Laubach

This is really more a short essay, but it is profound and important. It is one of the best things I have ever read and applying it will change your life. 

This is a reread for me as I have paired it with my reading of Letters by a Modern Mysticby Laubach in the past, but it is good all on its own, and we have our Kingdom training groups read it every time we do this curriculum, and people usually really like it! We pair it with reading The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence which I have read on a regular basis over the last 35 years. Laubach was like a modern day Brother Lawrence, but practicing God's presence in the midst of real life rather than in a monastery. 

Here is a PDF download: "The Game with Minutes"
(the link I had before was not the whole thing)

Here is a PDF download of Letters by a Modern Mystic

Here is a helpful summary of it by Dallas Willard if you are not convinced of its importance:…

Trappist Time


Weight Maintenance

Here are my calorie goals. The consumed calories of 1455 average were only tracked through January 8th at which time I started traveling, and I have only been home 36 hours out of the last 7 days. 
I am just trying to hit my burn goal everyday, and I did not wear my BodyBugg for much of yesterday and a few other times when I was pretty active (one walk I forgot to wear it). So I think I did meet the goal. 

FACED Accountability

I wanted to go a bit deeper about what I do for accountability.  Many years ago, I started a group called FACEyourday. 

Here is the group description:

Get ready to FACE your day with accountability and support from friends!

FACED is an accountability group that focuses on balance in the following areas:

F: Food - What are your goals for eating right?
A: Academic or Attitude - What are you feeding your mind?
C: Communion - How are you communing with God and others?
E: Exercise - What are you doing to tune your temple?
D: Daily Care - What are your goals for taking care of your loved ones and yourself?

Here is an example of my FACED for yesterday that I just sent to my two accountability partners.

Jan 3 - 1156 Deficit.2 pounds away from chai tea! Thank you so much. Accountability works!!F: 1333 – Finally into a groove of recording again. 19Pro/52Cho/29Fat/11Sat. Calcium 1082 because less milk yesterday (1200 at 50+ years old) A: Glanced at Chronicles of Downton Abbey. Watched The Dark Knight with…

2013 Movies, Series, Documentaries

JANUARY 1. Gilmore Girls Season 3 2. Miracle on 34th Street (so sweet) 3. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 4. Gilmore Girls Season 4 5. Little Women 6. Doctor Who Series 1 7. Gilmore Girls Season 5 FEBRUARY 8. Gilmore Girls Season 6 9. Gilmore Girls Season 7 10. W (clearplayed) 11. The Conspirator 12. The Real Jane Austen 13. Doctor Who Series 2 14. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (warning: racy part and unexpected for an old movie!) 15. California Suite MARCH 16. The Hunger Games 17. Funny Face (S'Marvelous, S'Wonderful) 18. Atlas Shrugged (wow) 19. Doctor Who Series 3 20. Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged APRIL 21. Quartet 22. Doctor Who Series 4 23. The Other Doctor (Doctor Who Christmas) 24. The Duchess of Duke Street Series I 25. Hope Springs (NOT a comedy and pretty yucky) 26. Planet of the Dead (Doctor Who) 27. The Waters of Mars (Doctor Who) MAY 28. Evening (Clearplayed) 29. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (Clearplayed) 30. Evan Almighty (surprisingly funny and clean!) 31. The Duchess of D…

2013 Book List

JANUARY 1. Les Miserables - Radio Family Theatre (ER) 2. Dandelion Wine (SBC) 3. Pensees by Pascal (ITC) 4. Pocket Your Dollars (ER) 5. A Year of Biblical Womanhood (SBC) 6. The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico (ER) 7. Institutes of the Christian Religion: Book I (ITC) 8. Keeping Christ in Ministry (ER) 9. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail FEBRUARY 10. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey 11. The Catcher in the Rye (BD) 12. Institutes of the Christian Religion: Book II (ITC) 13. Practicing God's Presence 24/7 14. Getting Out of Bed in the Morning (ER) 15. Of Virgins and Martyrs: Women and Sexuality in Global Conflict (ER) 16. Warrior: Fighting for Your Faith, Family, etc (ER) MARCH 17. Institutes of the Christian Religion: Book III (ITC) 18. Institutes of the Christian Religion: Book IV (ITC) 19: Booked:Literature in the Soul of Me APRIL 20. Apologia Pro Vita Sua (ITC) 21. The Second Shepherds' Play (ITC) 22. The Federalist (ITC) 23. The Fast Diet 24. I am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced …

How I Lost the Weight

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I had someone ask me how I lost the weight, and I had written this email to a couple of friends a few months back. So I am going to just paste it here!

I lost it because weight loss was not my goal, maintenance was. Between December 20, 2012 and April 8, 2013, I lost until I was down to a medium frame weight for my height (I was usually within five pounds of the large frame weight, but I think that was too much all those years). I remembered my favorite weight, and that was when I was 19 and playing basketball. My love handles were totally gone then. So, I lost until the love handles went away, and that is the medium frame weight. I also had a rousing email exchange with a radiologist who said that all people’s bone mass are medium frame, and there is no such thing as a “large frame” weight. This is his website for recommendation for your ideal weight. Scroll down to the last box and do the ROBINSON FORMULA. That should be the ideal weig…