Saturday, August 31, 2013

2 - Food and Fitness VLOG: Accurate Calorie BURN Recording with the BodyBugg

The BodyBugg is one of the most important tools I use in my arsenal for weight control! 

I do not get any compensation for this! Here is the link: 


Friday, August 30, 2013

54. The Town: Two Parties And A Funeral — Plus Plenty Of Valet Parking! — In America's Gilded Capital

This TownWhew! It was a race to get this thing finished before it was due today (because the worst thing in the world would be for me to have a library fine). I am the first person in the library to read it (I requested the library purchase it after hearing a review of it somewhere.)  I am a news junkie, and I knew most of the people that Leibovich talks about in the book. 

I am not sure if this would appeal to everyone, but it was fascinating to read how MONEY motivates everything in the US Capitol! 

Here is the blurb:
New York Times political feature correspondent examines the power wars and exploitative practices of the government in Washington, D.C., revealing how journalism careers are made and broken while news events and scandals are used as networking platforms.
The following excerpt really sums up Washington, D.C. The context is a group of Sarah Palin loyalists protesting at a party for Game Change, a movie which portrays Palin in an unfavorable light: 

They [the protesters] reiterated the former Alaska governor's oft-quoted charge that Game Change was based on "false narrative." Whether it was or not, much of Washington ceased being about true narratives long ago, anyway.  It is about virtual reality the video game is which we are all characters and try to be players It brought to mind a line that I had underlined years ago, in 1993, from the late great Michael Kelly, in a New York Times Magazine profile of David Gergen ("Master of the Game," it was titled). "What happens in the political world is divorced from the real world," he wrote, "It exists for only the fleeting historical moment, in a magical movie of sorts, a never-ending and infinitely revisable docudrama. Strangely, the faithful understand that the movie is not true -- yet also maintain that it is the only truth that really matters." (I didn't write down the page number before I returned the book! Sorry!)
This sums up much of what the book is about. The games that all the people in Washington play, and much of it comes down to greed (Washington, D.C. has a very low unemployment rate compared to the rest of the country because government is BIG BUSINESS!). 

This book made me want to walk the streets of D.C. and the halls of Congress and just pray. I even looked up how much it would cost for a plane ticket to go and do just that. I still might. I am troubled by what this book brings to light, but I sort of already knew how bad it was. I wish that could all change, but the power is not in the people. In fact, the book makes a point of saying that the Washington elite think we are too dumb to really know anything! So sad!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

1 - Food and Fitness VLOG: Walk Around the Block!

I am going to do a daily VLOG about things I am learning in my journey to WELLNESS of Body! No make up in this early morning walk!

Correction: After recording this, I used my BodyBugg to measure my calorie burn for the .9 walk around the block, and it is now a 75 calorie burn because I am 30 pounds lighter! I need to walk 1.2 miles to burn 100 calories now!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Freewrite Five

I have not written a freewrite in what seems like ages, but I have a heavy heart this morning. I went from the exhilaration of having Kathleen coming home from overseas (went for a wonderful walk and picked  blackberries and dreamed of the future for her) to a discouraging conversation where I felt misunderstood and reminded that this is how I sometimes feel after talking to this person. 

The summary of "How I Used to Be" versus "How I am Now" (and meant as a compliment) was so off from where my heart really was at that time, and it discouraged me so much. I do not like to be misunderstood. In her eyes, I used to be "discontent" because I was not overseas. I think a more accurate word would be "discouraged" by the status quo. I was in a ministry that was lovely, but it wasn't where God had me to be and all those little discouragements convinced me that I need to "give myself to the hungry" rather than people who were just there for a multitude of reasons. 

I would put myself out there time and time again, and I could never get "in" and find like-hearted people among the group. I gave what I wrote to someone, and they gave it back with no feedback. I gave the Bible Book Club, and the only feedback I got was that the posts were "too long."  I gave listening prayer material, and I got no feedback, but now it is what everyone is doing, but no one wants to even inquire into what I am doing even though I have been doing it for eleven years. Now I find out that the prayer material I gave for viewing two years ago was, apparently, unacceptable to them, but no one gave me that feedback or opportunity to explain. I brought key leaders to what I thought was a dynamic seminar, and I heard months later that this too was not acceptable, but I never heard feedback, just criticism in the safety of a group months later. I led a class on discipleship only to have no one show up for the last class. The final nail on the head was when I substituted for a small group that I thought was really "right on" only to have a fundamental biblical mandate shot down as "not my thing." I had to leave for sanity. Maybe that is discontent. I wouldn't call it that. I was starved for like-hearted fellowship and discouraged. I LOVE the people though. Make no mistake, but I was not in a position to change anything, and there were others outside of that circle who were very hungry, and I needed to disengage so that I could go to them. 

I do not know if I would call that discontent but discouragement. I finally realized that that the discouragement was God nudging me to make a change, and it was a good distinction to make. 

I went into the meeting with a desire to just have fellowship, and I walked away so discouraged.


Monday, August 19, 2013

53. Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

My pastor preached on John 14-16 yesterday and mentioned this book as a possible follow up. We were going up to have a family reunion, and I knew I had a lot of time in the car. I downloaded this from the Kindle Lending Library and read up and back and finished it by the time we reached the turn off to our neighborhood. 

It was refreshing and simple. Most of us do neglect the Holy Spirit, and it was nice to have that reminder not to do so. This is very basic, but sometimes going back to the basics is really important, and Chan makes this easy to do. He uses lots of Scripture and makes it practical. 

I had mostly negative reviews from others for his more popular book, Crazy Love, so I was a bit hesitant to read this book and was refreshingly surprised at how much I liked it! I will have to ask those people whey they did not like the book, but it was at least four people who told me, but I think it might be because they thought it would be too basic for me. I really like the basics though. You can never get enough of them! So, maybe I will read that too. :) 

Friday, August 16, 2013

52. Be Myself by Warren Wiersbe

10505847I have had this sitting on my shelf for a couple of years. What pure blessing to finally read this autobiography of one of my favorite Bible commentators!  Warmed my heart. I want to meet this man in person.

I received The Bible Exposition Commentary: New Testament as part of a LOGOS Bible Software bundle long ago and fell in love with this man's down to earth, practical style of Bible exposition. Then I noticed that Kay Arthur from Precept Ministries often recommends his commentaries for her studies. About ten months into the Old Testament with the Bible Book Club, my husband bought me the entire LOGOS Old Testament "Be" Series for a gift, and I love them too. 

The fact that he grew up outside the Chicago area, is Swedish, and is the same age as my Chicago-born, Swedish mother made me even more excited to read his autobiography! I think I will recommend it to my pastor. What a life this man has lived!

We have much to learn from this saint. 

Favorite quote: 

"It's not the strong but the weak who draw back in fear and refuse to love people with whom they disagree." Warren Wiersbe

Thursday, August 15, 2013

51. That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis

YAY! I finished the Cosmic-Ransom-Space Trilogy. This one was different from the rest and had much to think deeply about. I do like the way it ended, and I wonder why my friend, Elizabeth, thinks that this last book ruined the Trilogy. I must investigate. There is much symbolism in these books. I loved them though, and I am not even a Sci-Fi fan!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Loving God With All My Soul

b. Experiences of Joy, Sorrow, and Love. Active decision is at issue when God’s psychḗ takes pleasure in his servant in Mt. 12:18. The psychḗ of Lk. 12:19 hopes to enjoy physical and psychological pleasures on the basis of a radical decision. In Lk. 1:46 the psychḗ is the subject of praise of God; the presence of pneúma shows that this is God’s gift and work. The psychḗ may also be the locus of sorrow, as in Mk. 14:34 (cf. Ps. 42:5). Mk. 12:30 demands love with all the psychḗ; the word is close to strength of will in this context (cf. Mt. 22:37). Yet its omission in Mk. 12:33 shows that it is not supremely important or distinctive (cf. Acts 4:32). The sword of sorrow pierces the psychḗ in Lk. 2:35. 

Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (1348). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.


1 You therefore, my daughter/son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful [wo]men who will be able to teach others also . . .

Spent morning to night with Stacy (on her way to do leadership at Kona University of the Nations in September) and afternoon to night with Eunice (discipling high school girls and hopefully going to Kona in January). I am so proud of these two girls for making "next steps" and investing in others!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Sawtooth Backpacking Video Additions

Friday Free Fifteen - Post 1000!

Well-Adjusted Heart/Well-Watered Soul

It is well with my soul. I have been really peaceful lately. I had a little stress when Paul made us late getting out the door to our meeting last night only to discover that my gas tank was below 1/4 of a tank! Should I stop and be late to the meeting or should I not and risk running out of gas? I ended up not stopping, and we were early to the meeting and ended up paying more for the gas at Safeway instead of finding a Shell that would have given me a Fred Meyer discount, but I liked the peace of mind. All that to say is that stress has become somewhat foreign to me these days. It has been a low-stress summer, and I have liked that. I have gotten so much done but at a good pace. 

Since finishing my Messiah Meditations, I have mostly just prayed, and that has been nice. I went through Colossians with the BBC, and that was lovely. Now, I think I am ready to get back to my Bible Reading and still shocked at how nice and slow the pace is just reading along with the BBC rather than writing each post! It is doable for anyone, but I will go through this next cycle with everyone who joins up this coming year. 

Well-Educated Mind

I did not mean for it to happen, but I have gotten on a C.S. Lewis kick. I think this is my sixth one since I read "Weight of Glory" on one of my days of prayer (Or was that last year? I will have to check.). I am almost done with the Ransom-Space-Cosmic Trilogy. My head is still too small for C.S. Lewis, but I admire his writing so very much and will soldier on hoping it expands. That is what Well-Educated Mind reading is all about: expanding your horizons!

Reviewed a book for a friend, but I guess I wasn't supposed to and only the professionals are supposed to do early reviews. Still confused about why that was a "bad" thing to do. I have Early Reviewed 15 books since October, and most authors LOVE that I put in early reviews and ask me to put them on Amazon/GoodReads/Library Thing/this blog/Facebook, but she thinks that isn't "allowed" on those places, but I have never had a problem reviewing a book before it was published. It creates buzz. She didn't like the buzz I was creating and asked me to pull everything. I am still very confused by this, but I will just let it go. I was trying to help, and my review was 4 out of 5 stars (4 1/2 if I could give it one but sometimes sites only allow whole numbers). Maybe she wanted a 5, but I reserve 5 for the BEST of books like Les Miserables and Jane Eyre. So, I am still confused. Oh well.

Well-Tuned Body

I had water weight gain from my high altitude backpack and was concerned that I had overeaten, but all that weight has come off in less than a week, and I am down to the medium frame Devine Formula weight (100 lbs + [5 lb x every inch over 5 feet]). Again I would like to get down to below that for "wiggle room" on vacations and such. Plus my love handles disappear when I am five pounds below that number. So, I am going for 5-7 more pounds below what I am, but I am at my "ideal" and have maintained that with minor fluctuation since April 8!  Woohoo! Maintenance is my goal. 

My back did GREAT on the backpacking trip. It only got wonky when I came back home and sat more (backpacks make me stand up straight and put my shoulders back). Is there a device that makes you put your shoulders back as you type? I hate having to think about it! 

Anywho, I sat. Then I rode my bike to SNAP, walked in and lifted weights and did back exercises with oblique twists and TWEAKED my mid-back on the right side. Dr. Koen thinks I just didn't warm up enough. So, I am not doing those suckers without first doing my Pilates warm-up exercises. I can do the back exercises that Logan (PT) gave me but not the twists unless I am warmed up.

This set me back a couple of days in that I was quite uncomfortable until I could see Dr. Koen. I laugh that grueling and difficult backpacking did NOTHING to my BACK and silly obliques would do a number on it. Dr. Koen did say I need to realize that my workouts are harder than what I did backpacking. LOL! He is right!

I am back to normal again and have already done Pilates and weights for the week. I might do Pilates today. Thinking about a 3 1/2 day fast with a day of prayer in there somewhere. Just because I watched that British guy, Michael Mosely, who researched the medical benefits of fasting. I prefer to eat and lose weight. I would not do it for weight loss but for what it does to the GF1 (gives it a rest and lower the risk of cancer which is in my family). So, we will reevaluate.

The timer went off long ago. So, I will say adieu without proofreading for you!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

50. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End

This is the last book in this wonderful series. I wept as I read the final pages, not wanting Jennifer to leave the East End. I have fallen in love with all the colorful characters in Worth's memoir. I highly recommend these books!

There are a few differences between the stories and the television series; but they are close enough for me. I cannot wait for Season 3! There are many more stories to tell based on Worth's books.

Here are my reviews for the first two books:

Volume 1: A Memoir of Birth Joy and Hard Times

Volume 2: Shadows of the Workhouse 

49. The Fifth Season: A Daughter-in-Law's Memoir of Caregiving by Lisa Ohlen Harris

This is a lovely memoir of a daughter-in-law who lived with and cared for her mother-in-law in the final seven years of her life. 

I fell in love with Lisa's writing style when I read Through the Veil a few years ago and was pleased to see she had written another book!

Lisa is brutally honest about her feelings, and I find that very refreshing. Life was not easy for her during those years. Her self-sacrifice is admirable considering she was the daughter-in-law and had four young daughters at the time! It is such a beautiful thing that a daughter-in-law, who lacks that heart tie of "blood" relation, would take on such a challenge.

I find the book a sad indictment on the medical people who surrounded her and did not encourage her to seek out Hospice care much earlier! Thank the Lord that when my mother had heart disease, we had a doctor that said it was crazy to take our mother into the emergency room every time she had an incident when Hospice could come to her and give her the medication she needed. I think that Hospice rules seem to be different for each state. The rules for when to call in care have also changed, as we did not call in Hospice until the last few days of my father's 4 1/2 month battle with pancreatic cancer in 1985. 

I believe my mother had Hospice care for over 9 months, but we were told we could call for it 1 1/2 years before death.  My mother received regular visits from nurses, clergy, and even a podiatrist who came to her place and lovingly cared for her ailing toes. 

The only person I never saw was the doctor, and I was there day and night for the last month of my mother's life. But the nurses came regularly and were a great support! They became great friends as the month progressed. 

My mother was ready to die long before we even called in Hospice, but this was not the case with Lisa's mother-in-law, and that broke my heart. 

This book is a "must-read" for anyone who will be involved in end-of-life care.

Mom and Me - November 2007

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Thorn in the Flesh

I am not sure what I did, but my goal of cleaning out drawers in the bathroom has come to a screeching halt with the advent of a mysterious pain in my right back at the waist. You press on those muscles, and they are tight and sore. George would probably be able to release it, but he is up in Hillsboro. So, in 24 hours, I have an appointment with Dr. Koen. In the meantime, I will give myself anti-inflammatories, relax, have the kids set up the massage table, apply heat and cold, and read my books. 

So funny that I can go through two days of travel, and three days of backpacking and sleeping on the ground and have NO problems with my back, and I do something obscure on Saturday/Sunday (not sure when) that has left me incapacitated. 

God has such a sense of humor.  

Good News:

1) My house is clean (other than those drawers and closets I wanted to finish this summer).

2) I had made no appointments because I thought I would be in Hillsboro this week.

3) I already had decided to do leftovers tonight, and there are snacks galore for the kids to consumed. So no standing and cooking.

4) Shopping is all done from Sunday. No need to go to the store other than the milk which Michael can do.

5) I have a back log of books due at the library tomorrow, and reading is about all I probably can do at this point.

6) It is too hot to exercise outside today (I did take a morning walk to loosen myself up - not sure if it helped or hurt), and the air-conditioning is not working at SNAP fitness anyway.

7) I need to have some extended prayer.

So, I think God is telling me to rest. So, I will not resist. 

Monday, August 05, 2013

48. Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

This is the second in the Space/Ransom Trilogy. It is the Garden of Eden revisited. The theological allegory is deep. Sometimes I feel my head is too small for C.S. Lewis, but he stretches my head in a very good way! 

I am so glad to know I am not crazy. I kept thinking this narrator sounded exactly like the narrator of Watership Down but that was Ralph Cosham. Well, Geoffrey Howard and Ralph Cosham are the same person. Whew.  

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Sawtooth Mountain Wilderness Backpacking

Haven't written anything since my big Idaho Adventure. We backpacked about 20 miles and went up about 3000 feet. That was hard since I am used to being at sea level and we went up to 9,500 while my backpacking buddies are acclimated at 2,700 feet. I think I did amazingly well for that. They are both pretty driven athletes, and I think I could keep up with them (although I am pretty cautious when I am on rocks because I am prone to falling - the bigger they are, the harder they fall), but I do like to stop and take photos and enjoy the beauty around me. It made me miss George because he is all about that; and even thought I have never backpacked with Elizabeth, I know that she would have been all about stopping and smelling the flowers along the way (because they are both ENFP's). 

Overall, it was quite fulfilling to make it with no injury to my back. Just a strange knee thing that bothered me after our climb up to the campsite. I was turning it in on the rocks, and the back tendon got strained. I just needed to be careful not to turn it in again. 

The hiking poles were my best friends, and I will never back pack without them again. They really help stabilize me on rocks and such. So, YAY for deciding to bring them after all. 

Here are some random pictures: 

Shuttle to Trailhead
Hike Up to Temple Divide

First and Last Idaho Spud Candy Bar

At the Top of the Temple Divide

Middle Cramer Lake with Waterfall
Can you tell which shoes are mine?

After Photo with Best Friend Trekking Poles!

Friday, August 02, 2013

47. Till We All Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

Of all the books C.S. Lewis wrote, this was his favorite and he called it his best-written book. 

am still pondering its meaning for me. It is allegorical and the "retold" myth of Cupid and Psyche. I was told by my best friends' husband that I had picked one of his more difficult books to read. I love his writing though. I believe he really was one of the most brilliant writers of his time; so lyrical!

Favorite quote: 

 I now know , Lord, why you utter no answer. 
You are yourself the answer.

This harkens back to what I always say, "God is God, and we are not!" 

On the title for the book:
Orual says, "How can [the gods] meet us face to face till we have faces?"[5]He defended his choice in a letter to his long-time correspondent, Dorothea Conybeare, explaining the idea that a human "must be speaking with its own voice (not one of its borrowed voices), expressing its actual desires (not what it imagines that it desires), being for good or ill itself, not any mask."[6
Hearing this line as I returned from a day filled with transparent talk with Elizabeth from 6 - 11 am and  hiking at the beach with Elizabeth and Steph after that made me realize how important transparency is before God and trusted brothers and sisters in Christ. We must learn not to wear a mask, no matter how ugly we are underneath it. But sometimes that means people freaking out when they see that ugliness as was the case in a situation that Elizabeth and I talked about that morning. 

As I already mentioned, I am still "plumbing the depths" of the meaning behind this book and do not confess to having grasped it totally. 

Here is a thoughtful review by another person:
Till We Have Faces explores love and its subtle counterfeits and presents the tension between mystery and reason in conceptions of God. Lewis engages these themes directly in essays and longer theological writings, and he explores them in the garb of overtly Christian fiction in works like The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters. His penetrating insight and powerful style are a joy to read in both sorts of writing. Till We Have Faces is equally good, but it represents, more than any of Lewis's other works, a third sort of approach.

Lewis’s approach here calls to mind his statement that while he was still an atheist, Christianity wafted about him again and again in his reading, permeating his English studies and breathing from the most unexpected pages like an “all too familiar smell.” It is this familiar smell of Christianity with which Lewis scents the pages of Till We Have Faces. It is more subtle than in many of Lewis’s works, but the smell is there.

Till We Have Faces leads me to consider the complex motives that underlie my actions — even the ones that seem most altruistic; it raises the possibility that there are precious few who yet have faces. I ask myself whether my holy places are dark like Orual’s or whether I am quick, like The Fox, to explain with glib reason just what the “divine nature” is or is not like.

Till We Have Faces is a thought-provoking book that is read too little. C. S. Lewis and I recommend it.

Caleb Rasmussen is a graduate student at Pacific Union College who plans to teach high school English. He lives in Angwin with his wife, Launa, and enjoys juggling and photography.

Tuesday Ten Minute Freewrite

I am going to go great guns for 10 minutes on this freewrite. I am meeting with a person (not sure if she wants direction - she just wanted ...