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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LIVING IN CARS

The number of people living in cars and tents have gone up, and it is not the sign of a healthy economy.  The true unemployment rate is nearly 23% (according to Shadowstats.com) if it was calculated the way Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported it in 1994 and earlier.  The homelessness phenomenon is making it’s way into the mainstream media because it is a national problem that is also reflected in the record numbers of people on food stamps.  The number is nearly 46 million and growing as the real economy sinks.  Please watch the story below from 60 Minutes that aired this past weekend.  It is a sad mile marker on the road to perdition here in the U.S.  Take note of the wisdom of the young girl at the end who talks about appreciating what we have.

Economy is So Good People are Living in Cars (Video)

Economy is So Good People are Living in Cars (Video)

ARE YOU A SUSPECT?

http://youtu.be/iD1T61oTrR8

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

LIFE SLAPPED AND SAID GROW UP

My daughter, whom I hope will learn from my mistakes


For all you aspiring writers out there, Ladies Home Journal is holding an essay contest that could make you $3,000 richer.  This is what I've been wracking my brain over for the past several months.  I have to write about my own personal growth, you know the things I've learned in the past 40 plus years. (Next year I won't be able to say that because I will be 50).

So I guess one thing I've learned is that age isn't so important.  Even though I live in a culture that worships youth, I can be honest about my age.  Even though my chin and neck are starting to do that middle age thing and I've started wearing glasses to cover saggy eyelids, I still have much to offer the world.  There's more to life than tight skin.

In fact, getting older almost comes as a relief.  In my younger days I put a lot of pressure on myself to look great all the time.  It's nice to let go of some of that.  I still want to look like I care, but skinny is no longer in my vocabulary, and I'm trying to let go of all that "every hair in place" obsession with perfection that can drive a girl crazy.

I really think we need to get over all this hoopla about our looks.  People are more than an outer shell.  But getting to know the inside takes time and effort.  Isn't it so much easier to glance at the shell and decide from there who's worthy.  Easier and much more shallow.  I've learned to look deeper than skin.  And I've learned not to spend time with people who can't do that.

Something else I've learned is how insane it is to always be wanting more stuff.  Americans are obsessed with stuff.  They trade their peace for everything they desire before they have the money to pay for it and then spend sleepless nights worrying about their ever increasing debt.  I've watched friends blow an entire paycheck just to have the latest ultra-cool handbag.  They'd spend two weeks pay on a designer bag that only serves to impress people they don't know or care about.  A month later that same handbag will be available at Goodwill for five bucks.  If I cared about impressing people I don't know or care about, I'd be tempted to buy it.

I thank God for all the things I've learned.  One of my hardest lessons was realizing that life is not all about me.  People weren't put on this earth to make me happy.  In fact I shouldn't expect anyone to make me happy.   It seems I spent much of my life being mad at people for letting me down.  I was always waiting for the next big disappointment so I could shoot my mouth off about how much that person hurt me.  Honestly, I don't know how some people could tolerate my company in my younger days.  I seemed to be in a perpetual state of anger, hurt, and disappointment.  I wish someone would have slapped me and told me to grow up.

But I guess life did slap me many times and that's what brought me to my senses.  I wouldn't trade any of those hurts because the pain is what made me grow up.  You can only whine for so long before realizing that the common denominator is you...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A note from Danelle

I'm taking a blogging break until after Thanksgiving.  Hope you have an enjoyable Holiday.  I can't believe this time of year has arrived once again.  The Christmas shows are running on Hallmark!  Why do they rush things?  It's like the year I put up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving.  Everyone had a comment for that. But I'm not rushing this year.  I don't have to do everything right now.  Some things can wait.  I'll do the important things.  And when I feel that God is getting shoved aside, I'll step away from the things I don't have to do.  Because nothing works without Him.  And I just don't feel right when I've set Him on a shelf. 
                                                                                                                              Danelle 
                                                                                                                  

Why Obama Is Not A Christian: Reason #1

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CRAZY IMPULSIVE DESIRES OF THE HEART

When I first heard this song on the radio, I loved, loved, loved it.  I bought the CD and wore it out.  So I bought another one.  Then late one night I decided to see where this group was performing.  On a whim I bought three tickets online to a concert in Philadelphia.  I had no idea who was going to go along or how I was going to get there because I hate driving in big cities, especially Philly.  What was I thinking? 

I guess God decided to bless my slightly crazy, impulsive decision because I found a friend to go along with me and guess what?  She knew her way around Philadelphia because she had been driving her daughter there to pursue a modeling career.  I hoped that I could sell that third ticket when I got there.

We drove right to the concert site without a problem, parked the car and walked to the cutest little diner.  I found the restaurant online and knew it was within walking distance of the concert.  It was exciting to be in an unfamiliar place so full of activity.  We arrived early for the concert and only one person was standing in line.  "Do you have any tickets?"  he asked.  I shook my head in amazement.  Could this night be any more perfect?  I sold him that third ticket that I bought on a whim for the amount I paid for it.  Now all we had to do was wait.

My only regret for the evening was the place I chose to stand for the concert.  I insisted we go up on the balcony while my friend suggested we grab a spot in front of the stage.  We could have been in the front row with the best view in the house.  Instead we had a bird's eye view of the stage and watched the tops of their heads instead of their faces.  Oh well, I guess you can't have everything. 

What I learned from that adventure is that sometimes God blesses our crazy, impulsive whims...not always, but sometimes.  There's something to be said for planning and playing it safe, but taking a chance certainly has its charms. I bought three tickets to a concert in a city I dreaded driving to.  But God knew how much I loved that song.  When we delight ourselves in the Lord, he gives us the desires of our hearts.  He paves the way for our heart's desires.  Click on the link below to hear the song I'm talking about.



http://youtu.be/gaHwzkk6tOQ

BROTHER, MAY I ?

A couple summers ago I stopped at a child's lemonade stand and bought a drink.  I didn't know how the lemonade was made, I didn't know what they put in the lemonade, nor did I ask.  I just saw the sweet face of the kid behind the stand and assumed that the lemonade was not going to kill me. What a chance I took!.  I might have died.

Thank Goodness Big Brother has stepped in to save the day.  I will never again see a sweet- faced child sitting behind a lemonade stand and be able to bring a smile to that kid's face by buying a cup.  Don't you just love what this country is turning into?

http://www.infowars.com/is-there-anything-we-are-still-free-to-do-without-government-permission/

Friday, November 11, 2011

LET'S CHANGE THE WORLD

http://youtu.be/D9XmRNHZKjI

DON'T MISS THIS MOVIE: COURAGEOUS

 This past weekend I saw the movie Courageous.  Cried like a baby for two hours straight.  I mean the tears wouldn't stop.  Toward the end, I was going back to my already-used tissues looking for dry spots.  Next time I'll stuff a whole box in my handbag.  This movie is so incredibly moving, so well done, so meaningful for our time.  If you haven't seen it, you are missing something.  And if you're a father you have to see it.


The first link below is a wonderful blog I discovered today after deciding that I wanted to give Courageous a big thumbs up on my blog.  I didn't come across Bits and Pieces by accident.  I was led to share it with you because I pray for such things. I pray to be led to fabulous blogs and websites that I can share.  Check it out.  The second link is the official website for the movie Courageous. 

http://avoiceofpraise.blogspot.com/2011/10/we-were-made-to-be-courageous.html
http://www.courageousthemovie.com/

HAVING A BAD DAY?

 
We all have bad days.  Sometimes knowing we're not alone helps.  Click on the link below.
http://snatchedfromthewind.blogspot.com/2011/11/so-very-restless.html

Hallee on the Issues: Government Mandated Health Insurance

Hallee on the Issues: Government Mandated Health Insurance

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

THIS IS WHERE WE'RE HEADED

In
1952

President Truman
established one day a year as a

"
NationalDay of Prayer."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In
1988

President Reagan
designated the
First Thursday in May of each year as

the National
Dayof Prayer.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In June
2007

(then)
Presidential
Candidate Barack Obama

declared that the USA
"Was no longer a
Christian nation."

---------------------------------------------------------------

This year
President Obama

canceled the
21st annual National Day
of Prayer ceremony

at the White
House under the ruse
Of "not wanting to offend anyone"


------------------------------------------------------------------------


BUT... on September 25, 2009

from 4 AM until 7 PM,

a National Day of Prayer
FOR THE MUSLIM RELIGION
was Held on Capitol Hill,
Beside the White House.

There were over 50,000 Muslims
in D.C. that day.


HE PRAYS WITH THE MUSLIMS!

I guess it Doesn't matter

if
"Christians"
Are offended by this event -
We obviously
Don't count as
"anyone" Anymore.

The direction this country is headed
should strike fear in the heart of every Christian,
especially knowing that the
Muslim religion believes that if Christians cannot be
converted, they should be annihilated.


This is not a Rumor -

Go to the website
To confirm this info:

http://www.islamoncapitolhill.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BIG BROTHER

The flood of new rules has been nonstop. Most amazing is how complacent the American people are about Big Brother's efforts to micromanage their lives... You can be imprisoned these days for some of the most minor offenses...All across the country, police and sheriff's departments have become more militarized. At one time, the equipment of an average law officer would include a vehicle, a radar gun, and a revolver. Today, the officer might have body armor, remote cameras, and weapons designed for crowd control...People who care about liberty need to be mindful of how easy it is for a nation to slip into tyranny...Christians need to be sensitive to the activity of a government that is out of control. -Todd Strandberg
http://www.raptureready.com/rap16.html 

CAREFUL WHERE YOU POINT YOUR CAMERA

http://www.infowars.com/cameraman-shot-for-filming-cops-in-oakland/

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS

My daughter's 13th Birthday Party taken by the lake at Camp Hebron
                                                                                       


A CIRCLE OF FRIENDS


 For 10 years it was on my mind.  A magazine article that was about me in so many ways.  I don't normally buy fitness magazines, but this issue of Shape had Oprah on the cover, looking lean in pink workout gear.  I wanted to know how she lost all that weight, so I bought the December '96 issue.

But the inspiring story inside wasn't about fitness, it was about friendship.  The article was titled, "A Circle of Friends."  It described the life of Linda Torres, a Chicago paralegal who admitted feeling lonely and different because everyone else seemed to have people close by on whom they could rely.  Her life felt empty because she didn't have family, friends, and neighbors who were an integral part of her life.


"Though she feels isolated, Linda ironically is hardly alone," the article stated.  "Right now there are hundreds of thousands of young women in America just like her, and with our continued gravitation toward solitary activities, there are likely to be many many more."


I read that article with enthusiasm, agreeing with the author and praising her insight.  We are spending record amounts of time pursuing privatized forms of leisure, such as watching TV, internet-surfing, and listening to music on headsets.  Americans have become a nation of loners and ten years ago, I was one of them.


Like Linda, I felt isolated and I had felt that way for years.  My neighbors were strangers and I lost touch with the few people I had considered friends.  When I read the local newspaper, I was reminded of all the community activities that went on without me.  I needed to make a change.  I needed a support system, a sense of community that would make me feel like a participant in life instead of someone sitting on the sidelines.


My lack of social contacts could be why I was feeling depressed.  According to the article in Shape, studies have shown depression to be less prevalent in women who maintain many close friendships.  "There's evidence that membership in a community increases life expectancy and that it increases healing," the author claimed.  My isolated life could be affecting both my mental and physical health.  After carrying that magazine article in my head for 10 years, it was time to take action.


So I made a list of women who I considered to be worthy friends.  They had to be kind, unselfish, and real.  Not like the false friends of my youth who only served as pals to hang out with.  They had to be caring and trustworthy because I knew we'd be sharing personal struggles.  I needed to find a group of women who would encourage me and have genuine concern for my well-being, "a support system of people who help take the damaging edge off the troubles and tensions of life," as the article suggested.


After several hours of pondering, I came up with five names.  My circle of friends would be half a dozen, including me...that is, if they agreed to accept my invitation.  I felt nervous about sending those invites.  They laid on my kitchen counter for days.  The five cards read, "You are invited to a Circle of Friends dinner."  I worried that my guests would reject this odd offering.  Would they think I'm nuts?  


A week after sending the cards, I received my first acceptance, and then another.  I was feeling encouraged.  I had taken a leap of faith and within two weeks, all five of my friends had accepted my invitation.  But they didn't know I wanted our gathering to become a monthly habit.


When that November night finally arrived, it went better than expected.  I felt relaxed.  I was among a gracious group of women.  We ate homemade pizza and chatted about our jobs, our kids, and our plans for Christmas.  After dessert, when the conversation was winding down, I worked up the nerve to ask them.


First I shared the magazine article that inspired our meeting.  I told them that I had first read "A Circle of Friends" 10 years ago and couldn't forget it because I could so much relate to this lonely woman Linda Torres.  But I didn't want to be like her anymore.  So I laid my heart open and asked.  "I want you to be my circle of friends," I said.


They were touched by my request.  I could see it in their eyes.  Several women admitted to feeling isolated too.  One said that she spends most of her time at home and co-workers weren't a big part of her life.  I didn't have to persuade them to make our gatherings a regular event.  We planned our next meeting that night and agreed to take turns being the hostess.  One woman enthusiastically volunteered to have our December dinner at her house.


Then, before they left, I had one more thing to share.  One by one I told each friend why I had chosen her to be part of the group.  I said things like, "You're honest about your life and you don't pretend to be perfect; You admit when you feel like a mess; You have a great sense of humor and a strength I admire; You're dependable and you keep your word; and You have an endearing kindness about you."


It's been five years since that first Circle of Friends dinner I was so nervous about planning.   Next week we will celebrate exactly five years since that November night when we agreed to meet each month.  My friends are still thanking me for starting the group and inviting them to be part of it.  One of our most enjoyable nights was when we played Hi/Low.  Each of us shared the high and low moments of the past month.  We learned a lot about each other that night and we laughed like never before.  I was still laughing as I drove home.  


My circle of friends have become a comforting part of my life.  They are my soft place to fall once a month.  I have a group of friends who accept me unconditionally and that boosts my self-esteem.  I no longer feel disconnected from the world and that feeling has prompted me to get involved in other activities and meet more people.  My life finally feels rich and full.  


I guess the lesson in all of this is threefold:  When we take a leap of faith, surprising, wonderful things can happen; Women need friends because they encourage us; and When we read something that inspires us, we shouldn't wait ten years to take action.

Friday, November 4, 2011

HYPOCRISY IN AMERICA

"President Obama will have the world believe that America is less brutal to its own citizens than the rest of the world, but as hundreds of thousands of people in the Occupy Movement now get their first taste of civil disobedience, it is inevitable that some will be unlucky enough to get the hard end of the state’s velvet fist." - Patrick Henningsen
Watch this video and you will have a decent idea of what hypocrisy means today in the US.  The second link is the entire article by Patrick Henningsen.
http://youtu.be/S880UldxB1o 
http://21stcenturywire.com/2011/11/01/obama-to-the-world-%E2%80%98do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do%E2%80%99/ 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A MUST SEE VIDEO by November 5

http://youtu.be/aH7DdnXPm2U

Keep Your Eye On the Candy

If you're looking for a place to buy delicious dehydrated foods that will last for years, I recommend ordering from E Foods.  I tried many of their products and we seem to love them all.  The flavor is excellent.  And they're having a holiday sale right now.  You can get free shipping when you order two of their holiday specials.  If you compare what it would cost to feed your family with grocery store items for the same amount of time, you are actually saving money.  Check out the link below, which explains how the price of candy has been going up, which is a good indicator of the overall rise in food prices.

Keep Your Eye On the Candy