My Will or His?

I found this blog entry at C J Mahaney’s blog. It raises some good questions that my flesh doesn’t want to answer.

At the beach retreat my prayer request was to find balance and not feel like I have to do everything. The woman praying for me shared this advice – turn all your priorities over to God and He will let you know which ones are important. I didn’t reveal this to all the women sitting in that room, but the very first thought that crossed my mind was that He might not want the same things I want to do. Which of course is why I wrote that prayer request. My real prayer request is to want the same things He wants, but as Tozer says in The Pursuit of God – “Father, I want to know thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding…”

Today I was reading the articles in the January Table Talk. In an article by Burk Parsons on resolutions I was struck by his comment that “while every Christian would respond by saying, ‘Well, of course we must depend on God for all things,’ most Christians have been sold the world’s bill of goods. They think that once they become dependent on God, then they will have immediate strength.” I hate resembling “most Christians” when mentioned in an article like this.

I know I struggle with real discipline. It’s easier to pray about something and then jump right back into action. The problem with getting by on my own strength when things are good is that I am so easily thrown off balance the minute things look a little shaky.  

Back to that blog entry by C J Mahaney. I want to be diligent, faithful, and fruitful. Right now I’m much better at being busy. The thought of praying for a more fruitful life fills me with excitement and dread. The excitement because that’s what I was made for. The dread because my flesh struggles to believe God and to trust Him. What if it hurts? What if it’s hard? What if it changes the comfortable life I have right now? … What am I missing by settling for what I have right now?

A later blog entry by C J Mahaney gets right to the point, our sin. I repent of my pride, my fear of others, my laziness, my pleasure-seeking, and my escapism. I’ve seen all of those just today. I must restructure my desk and my day so that it is much harder to skip the time alone with God each morning. Just committing to do it won’t work, I’ve tried that many times before.

From another blog entry in this series:

Let our confidence be uniform. In all thy ways acknowledge him (Proverbs 3:6). Take one step at a time, every step under divine warrant and direction. Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel. 

He loves to be consulted. Therefore take all thy difficulties to be resolved by him. Be in the habit of going to him in the first place—before self-will, self-pleasing, self-wisdom, human friends, convenience, expediency. Before any of these have been consulted go to God at once. Consider no circumstances too clear to need his direction. 

In all thy ways, small as well as great; in all thy concerns, personal or relative, temporal or eternal, let him be supreme.
 
Charles Bridges (1794–1869), from A Commentary on Proverbs (Banner of Truth, 1846/1968) pp. 24–25.

C J Mahaney gives some steps in yet another blog entry (his are much shorter and more manageable than mine, obviously).

Define my God-given roles. I base this on where has God placed me and where am I positioned to serve others?

  1. Christian
  2. wife
  3. aunt, daughter, sister, friend
  4. employee

Then I should determine specific, theologically informed goals.

Then I can transfer these goals into my schedule. More likely, I can weed out the time-fillers and time-wasters that are keeping me away from my goals right now. Those are the toys that I am afraid will hurt to let go of.

 

All of the C J Mahaney articles in order:

Are You Busy?

Confessions of a Busy Procrastinator

The Procrastinator Within

Just Do It

In All Thy Ways

The Sluggard

Time Redeemed

Roles, Goals, Scheduling

Roles (Part 1)

Roles (Part 2)

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A Christmas Carol

You can read it online here.

You can find the starter questions at 5MinutesforBooks

The Link to other reviews can be found here:

 

It has been years since I’ve read this story. I havee seen a few versions of the movie since then. The description of the cold is so well done that I can see and feel it (the heat’s running here which is a blessing). I thought the nephew’s description of Christmas was worth noting.

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew.  “Christmas among the rest.  But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.  And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”

I have always loved the way Scrooge excused away the spector of Marley in spite of what he sees:

“Why do you doubt your senses?”

“Because,” said Scrooge, “a little thing affects them. A slight disorder of the stomach makes them cheats.  You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.  There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

Marley and the description of the spirits Scrooge sees as Marley is leaving do a great job of explaining our purpose and why anything less than that is a failure.

The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

The second section is so sad, to see how Scrooge was and how he changed and lost so much as he became the man he is now, seeking Gain at the expense of everything else.

Christmas Present appears in section 3. Scrooge’s attitude has changed and he’s teachable now. He sees Bob Cratchit’s family and has a chance to see what they think of him. He sees people all over who celebrate Christmas, no matter how poor or how far from home. Then he goes to his nephew’s and gets caught up in the fun and laughter of the party. As the time ends he meets Want and Ignorance.

Section 4 is about the Ghost of Christas Yet To Come. I haven’t read the story in a long time and haven’t even seen a movie version in a number of years. But I remember Scrooge being more stubborn. I prefer this version, teachable and desiring to change.

“Ghost of the Future!” he exclaimed, “I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?

We see that Tiny Tim dies and Scrooge learns that when he dies no one mourns him and those whose debt he holds rejoice at his death.

In stave 5 he wakes up in his own bed. I have always loved this part and my best memories of the movie versions are how they portray this changed man with a second chance at life. 

Really, for a man who had been out of practice for so many years, it was a splendid laugh, a most illustrious laugh.  The father of a long, long line of brilliant laughs.

It took me two weeks to make it all the way through this short story, but I’m glad I read it again. It is a wonderful way to learn and encourage the Christmas spirit.

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Christmas Tour

 

 

We present…. Our Ladder Tree – no needles and room for all the presents!

Still looks like a tree from outside

 

 

The Mantle

 

 

Refreshments!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks margarine or butter (I use unsalted butter)
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 cup of pecans; chopped fine (by my handy-dandy Pampered Chef chopper)

 Directions:

  1. Cream margarine and sugar together
  2. Add other ingredients
  3. Mix well and form into balls
  4. Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes
  5. Let cool and then roll in powdered sugar
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What Happens When Women Say Yes to God (review)

 

I picked this up at a women’s conference of our denomination. The speaker was also from Proverbs 31 Ministries and she did such a great job I wanted to check out some of the books.

This one had an irrisistible title. I know I should and I want to and this sounds like great encouragement to increase that desire and fight the battle. 

The book starts out with a great story of a time when God asked her to do something that seemed really hard without any clear benefit. She said yes, of course, and great things happened. She addresses how to hear God’s voice to know what to say yes to. Her five questions are very good. I especially like number 3. I have had that happen so many times and it is great reassurance that He really is talking to me.

  1. Does what I’m hearing line up with Scripture?
  2. Is it consistent with God’s character
  3. Is it being confirmed through messges I’m hearing at church or studying in my quiet times.
  4. Is it beyond me?
  5. Would it please God?

Then she points out that we must pray to hear His voice. She mentions praying for desire, discipline, discernment, direction, and delight in her relationship with Him. “God wants us to live in expectation of hearing from Him.” (p 42)

Next she talks about how obedience will always result in good. We should be much more worried about what our disobedience will cause us to miss. The more we obey, the more we’ll see him and trust him and then obedience will be a delight, not just a discipline.

In one chapter she talks about how being obedient will cause us to be threatening to others, who will then try to tear us down. She quotes Rick Warren quoting John Bunyan “If my life is fruitless, it doesn’t matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me.”

She points out that condemnation leaves us feeling hopeless and worthless while conviction invites us to make positive changes in our lives. We must learn the difference and ignore/resist the one while responding to the other. She goes on to talk about the choice to worry or worship.

Each chapter has another truth that is worth meditating on for a week. In chapter six she discusses that God is our Provider. How can He be our ultimate provider if we are never weak or in need? Yet more reason to trust Him and rejoice in His work at all times.

Through each chapter she points back to Scripture and to examples from the Bible. The book meets her own test (see the 5 questions). 

Some points about our call to obedience:

  • our call to obedience may challenge our pride
  • God uses our experiences to equip us for our calling
  • our obedience may inspire others to respond

I have found a treasure in What Happens When Women Say Yes to God: Experiencing Life in Extraordinary Ways. This is a book that I will return to again and will meditate on much.

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Commencement is Just That

Final assignment in Leadership for the EMBA program asks us to be prepared with a 4 minute thoughtful summary of our answers to some questions.

First, the questions:

1. What did you intend to learn in the process of earning your MBA?

2. Did you learn it?

3. If so, how did you learn it (be specific)?

4. If not, why not? What might you have done differently?

5. What do you want or need to learn going forward? Why?

6. How do you intend to learn it?

7. What did you learn about leadership and how did you learn it?

8. What do you intend to learn about leadership after you earn your MBA?

 

My response:

When I enrolled and began class, what I was looking for was a different way of seeing things. I wanted an acquaintance with business and finance terms and how to use/apply some of those concepts. I wanted to view the world more critically with understanding.

I did achieve this and in many ways. Class assignments, readings, and discussions were a main part, obviously. Study group interaction, whether discussing a leadership topic, solving a finance case, or constructing a method to solve a Decision Analysis problem, is where I learned a lot. And general discussion with my classmates has been a great source. My work life is completely virtual, working from my home with people all over the US and on other continents. I wanted the in-person interaction of being on campus every week and it has been a great benefit.

There are a few areas where I did not learn as much as I planned. I struggled in Finance as homework demanded that I apply specific and complex formulas while trying to still see the bigger picture, to be a manager, not just a clerk. I found the topics of Decision Analysis very fascinating and the systems were great to learn but the more abstract theories were harder to pull out of the lessons.

I am a constant learner, but I don’t have specific topics or areas planned, yet. I’ve learned that management and the current work I am doing at my job is much more about the specific systems at the company, not broad based leadership or strategy skills. However, there is always room to learn and apply more in negotiation, conflict management, and empowerment, as well as creative writing around performance review time.

In addition to classes through work and books, I will be working on and attending our own monthly meetings to discuss business, leadership, and social topics. I also will use my new connections from this program to get involved in the community.

I learned a lot about leadership and about myself. The coaching was of great value and I can now see where it would be of benefit to me long-term. The biggest thing I have gotten is the chance to redefine how I see conflict so that I can change how I handle it. That is a big work in progress that will continue beyond this program.

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End 08 Great – Frugal & Fabulous Christmas

This is Decembers End 08 Great challenge at Happty to be @ Home.

While I didn’t post about this earlier, I am doing a pretty good job at this one. I created a Christmas list and then pared it down quite well when Anthony lost his job a week ago.

I have some things that I’ve collected over the past year for gifts. We are also suggesting to some family that instead of gifts, we give money to a worthy cause (local or international) in someone’s honor. See my post on the Advent Conspiracy.

As for Fabulous – well, I finish school tomorrow so the season can’t help but be fabulous. We have singing, bells, parties, the Christmas Pageant last night – it’s a season set up to be wonderful.

I did go minimal on the decorations this year. We don’t have many people over here so we don’t have anything to show off. What goes up should be for us. I had Anthony pick up a creche scene for us since we apparently don’t have one. I think every year I tell myself we need to get one and then I convince myself we have one packed away in a box somewhere. The ladder tree went up and we’re gathering our presents on there. (I also gather empty boxes and bags where we open presents – keeps it looking full all season long.)

To see the ladder tree and our other decorations, check back here on December 15. We’ll be participating in the Christmas Tour of Homes for 2008.

This week we had a party on Monday for the deacons of our church and their families. We had good food and a lot of fun. Then while we deacons were meeting, a few friends cleaned up my kitchen and even put my trash out. It was awesome to come downstairs and see it all done! Thanks Krista, Kathy, and Amy.

Last night was the Christmas pageant at church. I had a major role this year for some reason. I was glad I could read from the script, but the kids did a great job with all their songs and their lines (with no scripts to cheat from!). Connor had a part and did it well. Anthony ran the sound board with the CD, 6 mics, and following along in the script. We agreed it would have been much easier with two people so we’ll plan better next year.

Sunday bell quartet plays. Monday I have lunch with my friend Audrey. Tuesday I spend the entire day with my friend Charlotte. Then next Sunday full handbell choir plays. Then trio (quartet minus 1) plays again on Christmas Eve, along with my solo of ‘O Holy Night’. Christmas Day we are doing rolls and Snowball cookies at my aunt’s house (my mom and two aunt’s are providing all the really good food). All fun stuff and nothing requiring that I get crazy about anything. Probably the craziest I have gotten was getting the house clean and food/plates purchased for the party on Monday and even that was mostly fun with Connor and Anthony around to help some.

All of that to say this Christmas (and the entire month) has been pretty frugal and is shaping up to be very Fabulous!

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Obedience

I teach Sunday School this month. We follow the Standard Lesson series. This quarter (which starts in December, go figure) is looking at 12 people who responded with faith and obedience to God’s call. The first lesson, today’s, was about Mary when the angel Gabriel tells her she will conceive a son by the Holy Spirit. 

Since I taught on Mary last December as well, I just spent part of the class reading the scripture from Luke 1:26-38, 46-55. I talked about Mary’s remarkable response and her submission to God. At the time of her response to Gabriel, I’m not sure she really thought through the implications. She just had a spirit ready to say yes in the face of an incredible situation. When she goes to see Elizabeth I think she had time on the road to start thinking about some of the less than positive things that could come out of this. The ridicule, how it would affect her parents and Joseph, and what it might mean for her life.

Then Elizabeth responds in just the right way, calling Mary blessed. Mary’s song at that point is truly wonderful as she rejoices in the special grace and mercy that God has shown her and His faithfulness through the generations.

Since the focus for the quarter is on obedience and being ready to respond to God’s call, I then read a blog entry from Zach Nielsen about an adoption his family was entering. I am going to include it here, but his blog is worth watching.

What are we doing?!?

Ever said this to yourself?

With all this adoption stuff flying around our house since last Sunday night, we have been finding ourselves asking this question quite a bit lately. Two examples:

Early Tuesday morning after we got the news that this baby could be ours if we could just round up the money in about 24 hours, my wife rolled over in bed at 4am and said, “Are you awake?” Of course I was. Sleep has been a bit tough to come by with the sudden realization that we could have a fourth child very soon. Are we really going to do this? What are we doing?

Tuesday afternoon after the adoption was verbally official with the people in Alabama, we were off the phone for about 2 seconds before it seemed that our three kids all decided to simultaneously lose their minds. Can we really deal with four kids under the age of 6? What are we doing?

This is not second guessing our adoption in the least, but rather just feeling the weight of the enormity of what God has called us to. Temporal emotions are sometimes nearer to the surface than our deeply rooted sense of calling. It’s not a question of doubt but rather one of an assured sobering weightiness.

I’m sure Abraham felt this way ask he marched up the hill to sacrifice his covenant child.

I’m sure Moses felt this way being a guy who couldn’t talk well and yet was called to command the most powerful man in the world to get a new plan for slavery in his kingdom.

I’m sure Paul probably asked himself this question numerous times as he was shipwrecked at sea. 

The Biblical examples go on and on.

Lately it has occurred to me that we should probably be asking ourselves this question a bit MORE if we are actually laying our lives down for the Gospel. The Bible says that the disciples immediately dropped everything and followed Jesus. Sounds pretty radical to me in light of what they were leaving behind. Sadly, in my comfortable, control driven life, I don’t ask myself the question of “What am I doing?” nearly enough.

Certainly if you are habitually asking yourself this question it could just be an indication that you are painfully unwise, but compared with the hyper-control I have over my life these days I think I am pretty far removed from this danger.

I pray for the faith to live like this more. I also pray our churches would be full of people who are living lives that are so on the edge that times of uneasiness are the norm. May this drive us to our knees in dependence and forward with great faith for the cause of love.

 

I love this and have thought the same thing myself. I may feel overwhelmed by my own “stuff” sometimes, but I am not in the center of His will and traveling along often enough. 

Then I talked about Samson because of a column I found on World Magazine’s online community, written by one of my favorite columnists, Andree Seu. I’m including some of that here as well.

But a recent Sunday’s sermon mentioned the incident in which Samson ripped the gate posts of Gaza out of the ground and carried them off on his back, which the preacher took to be a flamboyant visual aid communicating that God had given the Philistines over to Israel—if they only had the faith to see it, and act on it!

Instead, the attitude of the Israelites throughout their occupation by Philistia was abject defeatism, timidity, fear, and a resignation to powerlessness. They scolded Samson: “Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? What is this you have done to us?” (Judges 15:11)

I was stunned. Paradigms shifted. Suddenly I saw that the contrast between Samson (a man of faith, for all his philandering) and the Israelites with their low-temperature faith was a contrast between great expectations of God and low expectations of God. Bawdy, bodacious, bad boy Samson was intimate with God, always asking for favor, always expecting it, always receiving it.

What is normal Christianity? Whom do I want as role models? Those sensible Christians who scold that we can’t do this or we can’t do that because don’t-you-know-that-the-Philistines-rule-over-us? Or those who see that God still offers us new conquests—if only we have the faith to see it, and act on it?

Samson made a lot of poor choices, but he certainly lived on the edge and there is something to his asking, expecting, and then receiving. Good food for thought.

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Battling Unbelief review

 

 

I chose Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin with Superior Pleasure by John Piper to be the devotion book that we reviewed at our annual women’s beach retreat in November. It is the eight application chapters out of a longer work called Future Grace. The concept is that we live by faith in Christ and our trust in what God promises to do for us in the future, the belief in future grace, is what empowers radical obedience to Jesus. “On the other side of the coin, the aim of this book is to emancipate human hearts from servitude to the fleeting pleasures of sin.”  Arguing from the perspective that we sin because it promises happiness, he believes that only believing that God is to be desired more than life itself will break the hold that sin has on us. He then outlines eight sins and why we should fight them with belief in future grace.

The first chapter is on Anxiety. This is the sermon I heard on the internet that struck me and led me to choose this book for our beach trip. Before he even begins to describe why Anxiety is a sin and how to battle it, he points out how it is related to and the root of so many other sins. Examples are coveting, greed, hoarding, and stealing due to anxiety about finances. Or being irritable, abrupt, surly, withdrawn, indifferent, or even lying because we are anxious about something.

John Piper then points to Matthew 6:30 to demonstrate that the root of anxiety is lack of faith in our Father’s future grace. He continues to use Matthew 6:25-34 to show promises that we can meditate on and use to answer back when anxiety threatens us.

He goes on to discuss Pride (including Self-Pity), Misplaced Shame, Impatience, Covetousness, Bitterness, Despondency, and Lust. I want to review a point from the chapter on Misplaced Shame. John Piper points out that well-placed shame is what we should feel when we have done something that was dishonoring to God. Misplaced shame is when (1) what we have done is not dishonoring to God, or (2) we were not involved in the action that was dishonoring to God.

Often our shame is misplaced because it is really self-centered instead of of God-centered. We feel shame because we didn’t present an appearance hat other people admire. Examples given to battle misplaced shame include belief in God’s promise of forgiveness for sins, belief that God’s glory is paramount and embarassment in the world’s eyes is not to give us shame, and finally refusing to bear shame that is not ours because we did not take part in anything that dishonored God. This last kind of shame was an interesting concept.

John Piper points out how many times Jesus was “shamed” by others, he was called a glutton and a drunkard. The goal was to load Jesus with shame that was not his to bear, hoping it would discourage him and paralyze him. Paul had a similar experience. They refused to take on this shame and we should do the same.

The point he keeps driving home is that we must know the promises of God, medidate on them, remind ourselves of them, and pray to the Holy Spirit for strength and faith to believe them. 

One of my favorite prayers that I turn to again and again is from Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief”. Belief is something we have to keep working on and the best way to work on it is to realize our inability to do it for ourself and to lean on God’s strength and pray for Him to work in us.

I recommend either book, there is plenty to learn in the smaller book if that is less intimidating. John Piper says he was inspired to write Future Grace with 31 chapters after reading Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray. One recommended way to use Murray’s book is a devotion where you read a chapter a day.  I would argue that the difference is that Murray’s book is only 204 pages, while Future Grace is 399 pages long. It takes some devotion to get through a chapter of Future Grace every day.

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Saturday Humor

I got this from 5 Minutes for Moms, it is great!

I figured that it was the time of year that we all needed to brush up on our Christmas Newsletter writing skills (or at least those of us who write them.  Oops.), so I wanted to feature another post by Jessica Riley that would help us with those skills.  She is a writer and an at-home mother to two children – one with autism, one with attitude. Ergo, her life is never in want of adventures on the home front. She says that “my greatest regret in life is that I never became a ninja. I could’ve been good. Chuck Norris style good.”  She has blogged at All Rileyed Up since 2006.

How to Write a Christmas Newsletter

Most people think of the holiday newsletter as an excuse to brag. Except mine of course. So, I’m going to impart to all of you newsletter writers some sage advice on not being the Odious Newsletter Braggart

About the Children

You write: Janet is in her first year at Yale where she is acing all her pre-med classes, Laine was named the Junior Prom Queen this year, Michael won the 8th Grade Talent Show, and Hubert earned First Prize at the Regional Science Fair for his project on evolutionary biology. As a result, he has been invited to spend the summer working on the Chimpanzee Genome Project. Can you believe he’s only in fifth grade?

They read: My kids are smarter than your kids. And more attractive. And more talented. In your face!

Better approach: Janet is at Yale because she didn’t get into Harvard. Laine was named Junior Prom Queen after the original choice was knocked unconscious when she was mysteriously hit over the head with a Regional Science Fair trophy. Michael won the talent show by playing “Rawhide” with his armpit. Hubert’s intelligence scares all of us, and we live in fear of him, like that old Twilight Zone episode.

About Yourself and Spouse

You write: I finished my year as PTA president and our numbers showed we raised more money than any previous year. Sweetheart just got promoted and doubled his pay. I was finally able to trade in that old 2004 beater of a Ferrari for something really hot. We’re going on our second honeymoon this January, a trip to Australia. Scuba diving, sunbathing, five star hotels, all the works. Can’t wait!

They read: I’m rich! In your face!

Better approach: I finished my year as the PTA president and now none of the teachers like me. I can’t remember my husband’s name anymore, and I’m hoping to figure it out before I tag along with him on the company trip to Australia. Oh, and I got rid of the Ferrari because Laine and her boyfriend kept sneaking off with it. I now drive a station wagon. I daresay they won’t want to be seen in that.

About Your Home

You write: We just finished our huge remodeling project. Those zeroes really do add up, don’t they? But on the bright side, our kitchen is gorgeous, the Florida room is spectacular, and the tumbled marble floor really gives the place a classy touch.

They read: I’m living large. In your face!

Better Approach: We finally got the house cleaned after Laine and her boyfriend threw that huge party while we were out of town, the one that can now be seen on that new TV series, Home Parties Gone Bad. The kitchen no longer smells and in place of a torn out wall, we now have a French doors leading to a new Florida room. We put that room when it became clear the grass in the yard would not be growing back.

Closing Lines

You Write: We hope to see you among our dearest 300 friends at our annual holiday party at the Ritz. If you can’t make it, we’ll be sending out pictures of what you missed. What a glorious year it’s been for us. Hope yours has been equally bountiful.

They read: One last time-in your face!

Better Approach: We are doing the usual party this year. I think my husband might be at it. I hope to see him. Does anyone know if he still has hair or if it finally fell out? If you don’t come to the party, you can check out the YouTube video that will undoubtedly get posted after I berate my husband in front of everyone. Is your life like mine? For your sake, I sure hope not.

I hope this clarifies everything for you. Now go write. And have a happy holiday.

 

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Little Britches and The Place to Be (reviews)

 

I had time over Thanksgiving weekend to read Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers and I loved it! It is the simple story of a boy when his family of seven moves from New England to Colorado for the father’s health. We see what he learns about life, what his father is able to teach him, and how his mistakes and successes build him. Sitting here today, I am floored by the freedom and responsibility that a child under 11 had at that time and in that place. I am very impressed by his parents at their perseverance and wisdom and faith. i want my nephew to read it. Even though the boy is younger than Connor, I think it would interest him. However, the way it ends hits a little too close to home right now so I may wait a few months before I bring it back out for Connor to read. It is the first in a series so I will be ready more by Ralph Moody.

 

 

I finally finished The Place to Be: Washington, CBS, and the Glory Days of Television News and I enjoyed it. I had to break it up with other things so it took me a few weeks to finish. Roger Mudd covers so much about a very busy and interesting time in our nation’s history. His tone is just right. He doesn’t dish dirt or set out to hurt people, but you don’t walk away with the mistaken belief that he and Dan Rather were best buddies either. My biggest complaint would be that he didn’t go into enough detail about some things, he covers so many people and events. But it is really a very small complaint because if I really think about it I can’t think of too many of the people or events I would want him to spend much more time on.

I learned a lot about broadcast news (especially pre-video and pre-cell phone) as well as how the Washington bureau saw itself in relation to the New York headquarters of CBS. I enjoyed the chapter about presidents and correspondents wearing makeup for tv.  Here is one quote from a cameraman.

“Hell, you don’t know what guts [are] until you have to stand in front of a screaming race mob and put on your pancake makeup.”

I picked the book up at the library because I thought it would be interesting to learn about the industry and about the time period. That is exactly what it has given me.

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