Monday, January 26, 2009

Parting Waters

Parting Waters is a true story about the courage and faith of a family. Their son, Jacob Damoff, was found under water after being missed for approximately 10 minutes. CPR was given and he was taken to a hospital where doctors gave the family the terrible news that their son was in a coma and would never be able to walk or talk again.

Facing such devastating news, the family placed Jacob in God’s hands. Each day was different with many challenges, choices, and tears. The Damoff family turned to each other, as well as to their friends and the community. I was so touched at how the community tied yellow ribbons around the town as a reminder to pray for Jacob.

This is a story that shows the strength one has when they turn to God for all answers. When bad diagnosis was given, the Damoff family prayed for direction. When finances were strained, people gave. When therapy equipment was needed, businesses responded. When help was required, friends stepped up to the plate and signed up to set by Jacob’s bed to give the family some much needed space.

As I started this book, I felt so sorry for Jeanne, the author, & her husband. What a burden to carry! But as I came toward the end, I knew that the strength they needed would come from God and their future was bright.

This is not just a story about their trials, blessings and miracles. It is a story about how us. It is a story that will encourage you and raise your faith level. It is a story that tells us no matter what we face, we can handle it.

As I think, how did Parting Waters change me? I learned that my wimpy complaints about my health are just that. Wimpy. This book also gave me the desire to volunteer at our local hospital. As Christians, we do not do enough for others. We say we don’t have enough time, but by giving a few hours a week…just think what a blessing it would be to another family in need.

Please take the time and read Parting Waters. It will change your life!

http://www.jeannedamoff.com

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You Can't Say That!


According to a career-building Web site, certain words should be avoided on the job. When someone in authority asks you to do a project, you shouldn't say, "Sure, no problem." If you don't mean it and aren't going to follow though. Otherwise, you'll become known as someone who doesn't keep his word. And don't say, "that's not my job," because you may need that person's help in the future.

And if your boss comes to you with a problem, careerbuilder.com suggests it's best not to blame someone else and say, "It's not my fault!"

That's the excuse Adam and Eve gave to God. they were told not to eat the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When they disobeyed and were confronted by God, Adam blamed God and Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. They basically said, "It's not my fauth!"

Perhaps there are things we should avoid saying to God about what He's told us to do or not to do. For example, He gives us specific instructions for Christlike behavior in I Corinthians 13, yet we may be tempted to say, "I just don't feel convicted about that," or "That's not really my gift."

What is the Lord asking of you today? How will you respond? How about, "Yes, Lord!"

"Lord, what do You want me to do?" Acts 9:6

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Grace for the Afflicted


Grace for the Afflicted is a much needed book in the Christian community. Having to deal with my mother going through extreme depression there was many times I did not know which way to turn. Christian friends tried to offer advice without any knowledge of what they are talking about. It’s difficult to know how to react until someone you love is diagnosed.

Matthew S Stanford, PhD explains all mental disorders such as: Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, Dissociative Disorders, Eating Disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders, Substance Use Disorders & Borderline Personality Disorders. Then he covers how we can help those who struggle with these mental problems. This is a great book that is Jesus-centered. I highly recommend this book if you are dealing with any mental disorder, or if you are taking care of or know someone who is. What a wonderful gift to give to someone who is facing these problems and do not know which way to turn.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Laughing Does The Heart Good


How is your laugh meter? Sometimes I laugh out loud just remembering someone else laughing out loud. Sometimes I laugh at our dog, Cody. He is a 8 lb dog wanting to be a golden retriever. It's so funny to see how brave he is until he comes face-to-face with a large dog.

I remember our grandson, Travis, not wanting to go out to eat with us one evening. As we approached the restaurant (he was 3 at this time), he stated "I don't like this place". He had never been here before but he had decided he did not want to eat or enter this establishmemt. We insisted that he get out of the car and as he walked into the restaurant he kept replying "I don't like this place". So whenever we pass this restaurant, 5 years later, we laugh and make the statement "I don't like this place".

Why does it feel so good to make someone laugh? I believe laughing is a selfish and generous action, both at the same time. When a child does something that makes us laugh, you can see how proud they are of themself. It lifts them up as well as ourself.

They say laughter also releases endorphins that ease heartache, sadness or even pain. What a gift! Going around all day with a frown on our face is not encouraging to you or your friends. Put a smile on!

Just think those wonderful crow's feet earned around our eyes are memories of laughter. So "Boycott Botox!" Try saying that three times really fast.

Did I make you laugh? I hope so.

The Red Siren

The Red Siren is a novel that takes you on a trip of faith, action, romance, and trust. As I started reading The Red Siren it started off a little slower than some of M.L. Tyndall’s other books. However, after pushing forward the book grabs your interest and it cannot be put down.

Faith Westcott has watched her sisters married off to womanizing men merely because of their titles. Being of a strong will, she is determined that this will not happen to her. So what does she do? She is a lady by day and a pirate by night. She sets out to obtain her own wealth so that her and her sisters do not have to depend on any man.

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!



You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



The Red Siren

Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Best-selling author of The Legacy of the King’s Pirates series, MaryLu Tyndall writes full time and makes her home with her husband, six children, and four cats on California’s coast. Her passion is to write page-turning, romantic adventures that not only entertain but expose Christians to their full potential in Christ.



For more information on MaryLu and her upcoming releases, please visit her website.

Product Details:

List Price: $10.97

Paperback: 318 pages

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc (January 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1602601569

ISBN-13: 978-1602601567

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:



But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.



Matthew 13: 20-21



Chapter 1

August 1713, English Channel off Portsmouth, England

This was Dajon Waite’s last chance. If he didn’t sail his father’s merchant ship and the cargo she held safely into harbor, his future would be tossed to the wind. With his head held high, he marched across the deck of the Lady Em and gazed over the choppy seas of the channel, expecting at any minute to see the lights of Portsmouth pierce the gray shroud of dusk. Another hour and his mission would be completed with success. It had taken two years before his father had trusted him to captain the most prized vessel in his merchant fleet, the Lady Em—named after Dajon’s mother, Emily—especially on a journey that had taken him past hostile France and Spain and then far into the pirate-infested waters off the African coast.



Fisting his hands on his hips, Dajon puffed out his chest and drew a deep breath of salty air and musky earth—the smell of home. Returning with a shipload of ivory, gold, and pepper from the Gold Coast, Dajon could almost see the beaming approval on his father’s sea-weathered face. Finally Dajon would prove himself an equal to his older brother, Theodore—obedient, perfect Theodore—who never let his father down. Dajon, however, had been labeled naught but capricious and unruly, the son who possessed neither the courage for command nor the brains for business.



Fog rolled in from the sea, obscuring the sunset into a dull blend of muted colors as it stole the remaining light of what had been a glorious day. Bowing his head, Dajon thanked God for His blessing and protection on the voyage.



“A sail, a sail!” a coarse voice blared from above.



Plucking the spyglass from his belt, Dajon held it to his eye. “Where away, Mules?”



“Directly off our lee, Captain.”



Dajon swerved the glass to the port and adjusted it as Cudney, his first mate, halted beside him.



“She seems to be foundering, Captain,” Mules shouted.



Through the glass, the dark outline of a ship came into focus, the whites of her sails stark against the encroaching night. Gray smoke spiraled up from her quarterdeck as sailors scrambled across her in a frenzy. The British flag flapped a harried plea from her mainmast.



“Hard to larboard,” he yelled aft, lowering the glass. “Head straight for her, Mr. Nelson.”



“Straight for her, sir.”



“Beggin’ your pardon, Captain.” Cudney gave him a sideways glance. “But didn’t your father give explicit orders never to approach an unknown vessel?”



“My father is not the captain of this ship, and I’ll thank you to obey my orders without question.” Dajon stiffened his lips, tired of having his decisions challenged. True, he had failed on two of his father’s prior ventures—one to the West Indies where a hurricane sunk his ship, and the other where he ran aground on the shoals off Portugal. Neither had been his fault. But this time, things would be different. Perhaps his father would even promote Dajon to head overseer of his affairs.



With a nod, Cudney turned. “Mr. Blake, Mr. Gibes, prepare to luff, if you please.” His bellowing voice echoed over the decks, sending the men up the shrouds.



“Who is she?” Cudney held out his hand for the glass.



“A merchant ship, perhaps.” Dajon handed him the telescope then gripped the railing as the Lady Em veered to larboard, sending a spray of seawater over her decks. “But she’s British, and she’s in trouble.”



The ship lumbered over the agitated waves. Dajon watched Cudney as he steadied the glass on his eye and his boots on the sodden deck. He’d been a good first mate and a trusted friend. A low whistle spilled from his mouth as he twisted the glass for a better look.



“Pray tell, Mr. Cudney, what has caught your eye, one of those new ship’s wheels you’ve been coveting?”



“Nay, Captain. But something nearly as beautiful—a lady.”



Dajon snatched the glass back as the Lady Em climbed a rising swell and then tromped down the other side. Sails snapped in the rising wind above him. Bracing his boots on the deck, he focused the glass on the merchant ship. A woman clung to the foremast, terror distorting her lovely features. She raised a delicate hand to her forehead as if she were going to faint. Red curls fluttered in the wind behind her. Heat flooded Dajon despite the chill of the channel. Lowering the glass, he tapped it into the palm of his hand, loathing himself for his shameless reaction. Hadn’t his weakness for the female gender already caused enough pain?



Yet clearly the vessel was in trouble.



“We shall come along side her,” Dajon ordered.



Cudney glared at the ship. “Something is not right. I can feel it in my gut.”



“Nonsense. Where is your chivalry?” Dajon smiled grimly at his friend, ignoring the hair bristling on the back of his own neck.



Cudney’s dark eyes shot to Dajon. “But your father—”



“Enough!” Dajon snapped. “My father did not intend for me to allow a lady to drown. Besides, pirates would not dare sail so close to England—especially to Portsmouth, where so many of His Majesty’s warships are anchored.” Dajon glanced back at the foundering ship, now only half a knot off their bow. Smoke poured from her waist, curling like a snake into the dark sky. Left to burn, the fire would sink her within an hour. “Surely you do not suspect a woman of piracy?”



Cudney cocked one brow. “Begging your pardon, Captain, but I have seen stranger things on these seas.”



***



Faith Louise Westcott flung her red curls behind her and held a quivering hand to her breast, nausea rising in her throat at her idiotic display. How did women feign such weakness without losing the contents of their stomachs?



“They ’ave taken the bait, mistress.” A sinister chuckle filled the breeze.



“Oh, thank heavens.” Faith released the mast. Planting a hand on her hip, she gave Lucas a mischievous grin. “Well, what are you waiting for? Ready the men.”



“Aye, aye.” The bulky first mate winked, and then scuttled across the deck, his bald head gleaming in the light from the lantern hanging on the mainmast.



After checking the pistol stuffed in the sash of her gown and the one strapped to her calf, Faith sauntered to the railing to get a better look at her latest victim, a sleek, two-masted brigantine. The orange, white, and blue of the Dutch flag fluttered from her mizzen. A very nice prize indeed. One that would bring her even closer to winning the private war she waged—a war for the survival of her and her sisters.



The oncoming ship sat low in the water, its hold no doubt packed with valuable cargo. Faith grinned. With this ship and the one she had plundered earlier, loaded with precious spices and silks, she was well on her way to amassing the fortune that would provide for her independence and that of her sisters—at least the two of them that were left unfettered by matrimony.



She allowed her thoughts to drift for a moment to Charity, the oldest. Last year their father had forced her into a union with Lord Villement, a vile, perverse man who had oppressed and mistreated her beyond what a woman should endure. Faith feared for her sister’s safety and prayed for God to deliver Charity, but to no avail.



Then, of course, there was the incident with Hope, their younger sister.



That was when Faith had stopped praying.



She would rather die than see her two younger sisters fettered to abusive men, and the only way to avoid that fate was to shield them with their own fortune. Cringing, she stifled the fury bubbling in her stomach. She mustn’t think of it now. She had a ship to plunder, and this was as much for Charity as it was for any of them.



The bowsprit of the brigantine bowed in obedience to her as it plunged over the white-capped swells. Gazing into the hazy mist, Faith longed to get a peek at the ninnies who had been so easily duped by her ruse but dared not raise the spyglass to her eye. Women didn’t know how to use such contraptions, after all.



Putting on her most flirtatious smile, she waved at her prey, beckoning the fools onward, then she scanned the deck as her crew rushed to their stations. Aboard her ship, she was in control; she was master of her life, her future—here and nowhere else. And oh how she loved it!



Lucas’s large frame appeared beside her. “The rest of the men be waitin’ yer command below hatches, mistress.” He smacked his oversized lips together in a sound Faith had become accustomed to before a battle. Nodding, she scanned her ship. Wilson manned the helm, Grayson and Lambert hovered over the fire, pretending to put it out, and Kane and Mac clambered up the ratlines in a pretense of terror. She spotted Morgan pacing the special perch Faith had nailed into the mainmast just for him. She whistled and the red macaw halted, bobbed his head up and down, and squawked, “Man the guns, man the guns!”



Faith chuckled. She had purchased the bird from a trader off Morocco and named him after Captain Henry Morgan, the greatest pirate of all time. The feisty parrot had been a fine addition to her crew.



Bates, her master gunner, hobbled to her side, wringing his thick hands together in anticipation. “Can I just fire one shot at ’em, Cap’n? The guns grow cold from lack of use.” His expression twisted into a pout that reminded her of Hope, her younger sister. “I won’t hurt ’em none, ye have me word.”



“I cannot take that chance, Bates. You know the rules,” Faith said as the gunner’s soot-blackened face fell in disappointment. “No one gets hurt, or we abandon the prize. But I promise we shall test the guns soon enough.”



With a grunt, Bates wobbled away and disappeared below.



Returning her gaze to her unsuspecting prey, Faith inhaled a breath of the crisp air. Smoke bit her throat and nose, but she stifled a cough as the thrill of her impending victory charged through her, setting every nerve aflame. The merchant ship was nigh upon them. She could already make out the worried expressions upon the crew’s faces as they charged to her rescue.



This is for you, Charity, and for you, Mother.



Heavy fog blanketed the two ships in gray that darkened with each passing minute. Faith tugged her shawl tighter against her body, both to ward off the chill and to hide the pistol in her sash. A vision of her mother’s pale face formed in the fog before her, blood marring the sheets on the birthing bed where she lay.



Take care of your sisters, Faith.



A burst of wind chilled Faith’s moist cheeks. A tear splattered onto the deck by her shoes before she brushed the rest from her face. “I will, Mother. I promise.”



“Ahoy there!” A booming voice shattered her memories.



She raised her hand in greeting toward the brigantine as it heaved ten yards off their starboard beam. “Ahoy, kind sir. Thank God you have arrived in time,” she yelled back, sending the sailors scurrying across the deck. Soon, they lowered a cockboat, filled it with men, and shoved off.



A twinge of guilt poked at Faith’s resolve. These men had come to her aid with kind intentions. She swallowed hard, trying to drown her nagging conscience. They were naught but rich merchants, she told herself, and she, merely a Robin Hood of the seas, taking from the rich to feed the poor. She had exhausted all legal means of acquiring the money she needed, and present society offered her no other choice.



The boat thumped against her hull, and she nodded at Kane and Mac, who had jumped down from the shrouds and tossed the rope ladder over the side.



“Permission to come aboard?” The man who appeared to be the captain shouted toward Lucas as he swung his legs over the bulwarks, but his eyes were upon Faith.



By all means. Faith shoved a floppy fisherman’s hat atop her head, obscuring her features from his view, and smiled sweetly.



***



“Aye, I beg ye, be quick about it afore our ship burns to a cinder,” the massive bald man beckoned to Dajon.



Dajon hesitated. He knew he should obey his father’s instructions, he knew he shouldn’t risk the hoard of goods in his hold, he knew he should pay heed to the foreboding of dread that now sank like a anchor in his stomach, but all he could see was the admiring smile of the red-haired beauty, and he led his men over the bulwarks.



After directing them to assist in putting out the fire, he marched toward the dark, bald man and bowed.



“Captain Dajon Waite at your service.”



When his gaze drifted to the lady, she slunk into the shadows by the foremast, her features lost beneath the cover of her hat. Odd. Somehow he had envisioned a much warmer reception. At the very least, some display of feminine appreciation.



“Give ’em no quarter! Give ’em no quarter!” a shrill voice shrieked, drawing Dajon’s attention behind him to a large red parrot perched on a peg jutting from the mainmast.



A pinprick of fear stabbed him.



“Captain,” one of his crew called from the quarterdeck. “The ship ain’t on fire. It’s just a barrel with flaming rubbish inside it!”



The anchor that had sunk in Dajon’s stomach dropped into his boots with an ominous clank.



He spun back around, hoping for an explanation, but all he received was a sinister grin on the bald man’s mouth.



Tentacles of alarm seized Dajon, sucking away his confidence, his reason, his pride. Surely he could not have been this daft. He glanced back at the Lady Em, bobbing in the sea beside them—the pride of his father’s fleet.



“To battle, men!” The woman roared in a voice belying her gender—a voice that pummeled Dajon’s heart to dust.



Dozens of armed pirates spat from the hatches onto the deck. Brandishing weapons, they hurtled toward his startled crew. One by one, his men dropped their buckets to the wooden planks with hollow thuds and slowly raised their hands. Their anxious gazes shot to Dajon, seeking his command. The pirates chortled. Dajon’s fear exploded into a searing rage. They were surrounded.



The woman drew a pistol from her sash. Dajon could barely make out the tilted lift of her lips. He wiped the sweat from his brow and prayed to God that he would wake up from this nightmare.



“I thank you, Captain, for your chivalrous rescue.” The woman pointed her pistol at him and cocked it with a snap. “But I believe I’ll be taking over your ship.”





Captain Dajon Waite is a responsible, handsome, brave and God-fearing man. The total opposite of Faith Westcott. When Captain Dajon Waite life is destroyed by the infamous pirate known as “The Red Siren”, he vows to bring her to justice. However, this may be very difficult if he falls in love with her.

The Red Siren is one of the wonderful books that will take you away to a far away time and place. You will not want to put it down and till the last page is read. I highly recommend The Red Siren.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Never Say Diet

When I first say the book, Never Say Diet, I thought to myself..”Another Diet Book.” But after reading the first chapter my opinion quickly changed. Author, Chantel Hobbs, explains that in order to lose weight you have to have a “brain change.” In this book, Never say Diet, there are five decisions you must make if you are serious about losing weight. They are: 1) Be Truthful, 2) Be Forgiving, 3) Be Committed, 4) Be Interested, and 5) Surrender.

The thing I liked about this book is that it did not just give you advice. Another Diet Book tells you what you’ll need to have to lose weight, what you’ll need to know to lose weight & what you’ll need to do to lose weight. Another Diet Book also has exercise pictured so there is no question on how to do them. And then the last chapter has answers to questions about weight loss that everyone wants to know but will never ask.

This book, another Diet Book, is a great tool for someone who is ready and committed to losing weight. I highly recommend purchasing this one. I’ve started my weight loss program and anxious to find the new me.


This book is the perfect fitness workbook/journal. It walks you through sixteen weeks and helps you establish new habits that will help you burn off excess weight, increase your strength, and lead you into a new, healthy way of living.
In the book, Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer, each weeks has a scripture, quote, encouragement, suggested exercises, food suggestions, and a place to journal everything you accomplished the week you are on.
This is a great book and should be purchased along with The Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs.
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!



You never know when I might play a wild card on you!





Today's Wild Card author is:





and the books:



Never Say Diet

WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (December 16, 2008)

and



The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer

WaterBrook Press (December 16, 2008)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Chantel Hobbs is a personal trainer, certified spinning instructor, and motivational speaker whose no-excuses approach to fitness has won her a grateful following across the country. The author of Never Say Diet, Chantel hosts a weekly fitness program on Reach FM radio and is a regular guest on Way FM. Her “Ditch the Diet, Do the Weekend” bootcamp takes place several times a year in a variety of locations. She has presented her unique approach to lasting fitness in People magazine and on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, The 700 Club, Living the Life, and Paula White Today. Chantel enjoys life with her husband and their four children in South Florida.



Visit the author's website.



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTERs:





Never Say Diet Product Details:



List Price: $13.99

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (December 16, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0307444937

ISBN-13: 978-0307444936



The Night That



Changed My Life



How to Choose



to Do the Best



Job of Living



It should have been a scene of American family bliss. A Sunday afternoon in our home on a beautiful fall day in South Florida. My husband, Keith, was watching the Dolphins game in the living room with some friends. He’d waited all week for this. Our girls, six-year-old Ashley and four-year-old Kayla, were helping me in the kitchen. Well, kind of. Our six month-old, Jake, was jumping and laughing in his Jolly Jumper. I was baking Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, our favorite, and everybody could smell the cinnamon and butter and couldn’t wait for the cookies to come out of the oven. Especially me. As I worked in the kitchen, I could hear the football game coming from the living room. The announcers were talking about a player who had arrived at training camp completely out of shape. He was six foot four and weighed 320 pounds. “That is a big boy,” they said. “Wow! He is huge.” “Would you look at that guy,” I heard my husband say with disgust. “I can’t believe he got so fat! What a lazy bum.” Those words cut me to the heart. I had created a happy home, with a



happy husband and happy kids. But at that moment I wanted to die, because I outweighed that player by at least 10 pounds. I was bigger than anyone playing for the Miami Dolphins. And I knew I was anything but lazy. I pulled the cookies out of the oven and felt nauseous. I was pathetic. I’d been overweight my entire adult life, but I was bigger than I had ever been. I was miserable but doing an excellent job of faking out everyone who knew me. I was five foot nine and weighed 330 pounds, maybe more. I didn’t know for sure because it had been months since I’d dared to step on a scale. Besides, the only one in the house was a conveniently inaccurate discount-store model with a wheel underneath that calibrated the scale. I had adjusted it to register the lowest weight possible. I was in denial, but I was also without hope. It was the autumn of 2000. I was twenty-eight years old and was starting to believe I would never live a long and fulfilled life. Not this way. If an angel had landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear that, in less than two years, Oprah Winfrey would have me on her show to tell a feel good weight-loss story, I’d have sent that angel packing and gone back to my cookies. I wasn’t Oprah material. And there was absolutely nothing feel-good about my life. Call me when you want a feel-bad story. That was me. If that angel had whispered that I would one day run a marathon, I’d have checked him in to an insane asylum. I couldn’t run around the block. Even in high school I hadn’t been able to run the required twenty-minute mile. My knees hurt all the time. I was morbidly obese—a term that I knew meant an early death. If one thing was clear about my life in the fall of 2000, it was that



I could never, ever run a marathon. But I did. I finished my first one in 2005 and after that ran four more— in less than a year. I went from weighing nearly 350 pounds to less than 150 pounds. And I have appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America and the cover of People magazine as one of America’s great weight-loss successes. Getting fit wasn’t easy—there was plenty of pain, deprivation, tears, and hungeralong the way. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I won’t try to sugarcoat any of that. But, honestly, I didn’t give myself a choice. Once I made the unconditional decision that I was going to lose weight and get healthy, nothing could stop me. And nothing will stop you if you make the Five Decisions to break the fat habit for good. That’s a guarantee. Here is the secret I learned—the same secret I want to share with you. I realized I had to change my mind before I could change my body, my health, and my life. I discovered the Five Decisions, which brought about an unconditional commitment to getting healthy and fit. Once I started, I treated it like a job so that no matter what else was going on in my life, I did what I had to do to achieve daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and eventually the target weight and fitness that I desired. After making the Five Decisions, getting fit was a matter of showing up for work each day. The process developed from the inside out, which was a new concept for me.





FIRST, YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND



People constantly ask me how I lost 200 pounds and started running marathons. When I explain that it took several years to achieve those goals, they wonder how I was able to stick to the plan when so many others can’t. I ask myself the same question. I had failed plenty of times before. I’d tried a few diets and failed, including a bit of foolishness called the chocolate-wafer diet, which I’ll tell you about later. I’d resolved so many times not to eat the entire package of Oreos, without success. So how did I lose all that weight and keep it off reclaiming my health and gaining a new life in the process? Here’s the simple answer: my brain changed. I decided to first become a different person in my mind and then learned patience as my body followed. My success wasn’t measured only by a declining number on a scale; it was much deeper. I had to change on the inside. I needed to change my mind before I could change my body. It will work the same way for you. First you must get to the right place in your head, and then you can create the lifestyle to go along with that. Your body reflects your daily choices, so stop confusing it by the way you think. The mistake so many people make is to focus on weight loss and how long it will take. In fact, the multibillion-dollar diet industry banks on people thinking this way. Don’t get stuck in the weight loss weight gain cycle. What you should focus on is the person you want to be. Set your sights very high, and keep your commitment level even higher. In this book I’ll explain how I did that. I went from being someone who weighed more than a Miami Dolphins lineman to someone who is strong and trim and can run twenty-six miles. I went from a state of hopelessness to a life of incredible confidence. And I want to help you achieve something great in your life. If you change your mind before attempting to change your body, you can do this.





HITTING ROCK BOTTOM



While I was learning how to lose weight and regain my health, I faced setback after setback. My husband lost his job, and my mother was diagnosed with cancer—and those were only two of the crises that came along. Changing your life will never be easy, and that’s why in order to succeed, you first need to be ready to succeed. It’s a choice you make. In the fall of 2000, when I was baking cookies and overhearing my husband’s criticism of an overweight NFL lineman, I fell into despair. I realized my life was out of control and I was headed for an early grave if I didn’t change. But even then, I wasn’t yet ready to make the commitment that was necessary to change my life. The truth is, on that dark day I still wasn’t miserable enough to change. I hit rock bottom about six months later. I was at my heaviest ever—349 pounds, I think. Though I was still mostly in denial, I was starting to see myself clearly, and I hated what I saw. I’d look in the mirror and say, “You are pitiful! How could you have let this happen?” My appearance started to affect my family life. We live in South Florida, where every weekend is a pool party. My daughters were young, but they were being invited to a few parties, and I was horribly uncomfortable in a bathing suit. I knew it wouldn’t be long before my girls would be embarrassed by their mother, and that made me want to cry. It did make me cry. But that was the least of it. I was more worried that their mom would die young. I’d seen fat people, and I’d seen old people, but rarely had I seen fat, old people. If I couldn’t change for myself, maybe I could do it for my kids. One night I was driving home alone from an event at church. I felt trapped in despair. At age twenty-nine, my body felt old. I had recently had an emergency gallbladder operation, and the doctor had told me he was afraid to cut through all my layers of fat because of the risk of infection. Imagine being worried about your diseased gallbladder and experiencing anxiety about surgery. And then you learn that your weight problem makes you more prone to infection. That night in the car I felt like the most pathetic person who had ever lived. I believed that God had made me and put me on earth for a purpose, and I was not living the life He intended for me. I knew I had to change. As I drove, drowning in self-pity, I began to envision what my life would be if I weren’t fat. I thought of all the things I could do—even simple things, such as walking down an airplane aisle without having to turn sideways. I’d be able to board a flight without getting fearful stares from people hoping I wouldn’t sit next to them. And there were deeper things, such as being able to go down a slide at a playground with my kids. And I wanted never again to feel as if I was embarrassing my husband when he introduced me to business associates. I was tired of feeling prejudged by every server in every restaurant for what I ordered. I wanted to be able to shop in the same clothing stores as all my friends. I wanted a normal life. As I drove home from church, I came to the realization that I absolutely could not go on with my life as it was. I pulled over, sobbing. In total despair I cried out to God. I remember every word. “This is it!” I said. “I can’t live like this anymore. I’m done. I give all this pain to You. I surrender this battle. I need You to take over and give me a plan. Otherwise, I don’t want to live anymore.” Almost immediately a sense of inner peace filled me, and I calmed down. I had gone to church all my life and had a relationship with God, but I had certainly never felt anything like that before. The peace was real, and in my mind I heard from God. I clearly heard these words: You are not being the best you can be. It wasn’t a booming voice like in a movie, but it also wasn’t a voice coming from me. The words were a jolt to my soul. And that moment would change my life forever. Again, with crystal clarity, I “heard” a whisper: You are not being the best you can be. And for the first time in my life, I understood that this was a choice. I could choose to be the best I could be or not. We all have the same choice. We can’t choose our natural talents or what opportunities life is going to throw our way, but we can choose to do this one thing: we can do the best job of living that we are capable of. After praying alone in my car, I knew I could do better.





THE CHOICE IS YOURS



No matter how overweight and out of shape we are, our bodies and minds are capable of much more than we think. No matter what battles we face in life, we can have victory. The amazing thing is that so many of us choose not to. I know this is true because I was as guilty as anyone. For years I’d made poor choices and come up with excuses for why I really didn’t have a choice at all. I was big boned. I let myself overeat because I was pregnant. I skipped exercise because I didn’t have the time. I was too far gone to ever recover. I told myself whatever it took to hide the truth that I was not doing the best job of living. I was also being scammed by the diet industry. We all have been taken in by the hype. “We’ll give you your eating points,” the industry tells us, “and let you spend them on any food you want. And we’ll love you when you get on that scale, whether you’ve lost weight or not. We’ll keep hugging you for the next twenty-three years if need be.” Counting my points was not going to save me. Choosing the right frozen entrĂ©e and having it delivered to my home for the next two years was not going to save me. I didn’t need the unconditional love of strangers; I needed unconditional commitment from myself. I was also scammed by the “fat gene” scientists who insisted that my weight problem was out of my hands. They were wrong; it was in my hands. Chantel, I told myself, this is not cancer. I knew, because my mother had leukemia, and I had spent more tearful nights than I could count praying for her recovery something I couldn’t do anything about. I prayed that chemotherapy would work and that God would heal her. But I realized that I’d been thinking of my obesity in the same way, as an illness. I’d even been told by experts that drastic surgery might be my only option. But that was another lie. The way I lived my life and how I contributed to my health were completely in my hands. Every one of us knows what we should do, but we don’t always do it. Instead, we pretend it’s out of our control. We take the easy way out and let ourselves down. Gaining weight doesn’t come about by accident, and it’s not forced on us. We gain weight through a series of poor choices made on a regular basis over a long period of time.





We gain weight



through a series of poor choices



made on a regular basis



over a long period of time.





The same process holds true for achieving a goal related to your health and fitness. Whether it’s weight loss, athletic accomplishment, or any other personal or business goal, you achieve what you seek by learning to make the right choices and not being scared of self-sacrifice. I began wondering what my life would be like and what I would be capable of if I simply started being the best me I could. It was time to find out. After hearing God tell me, You are not being the best you can be, I made my decision, and I said it out loud: “I can do this. I will do this.” I repeated it, and I meant it. At that moment by the side of Cypress Creek Road, my life turned around.





DO IT, THEN TALK



Having made the commitment, I knew I was going to change my life, but I didn’t have a specific plan. I knew I’d have to start exercising, no matter how much I dreaded it. I knew I would have to change the way I ate, and I would need to learn more about nutrition. And to become a different person, I knew I would have to start thinking like the person I wanted to be and not the person I had allowed myself to become. I didn’t know how I was going to do all this, but I knew I would have God by my side. He might not make it easy, but He’d give me the strength to do everything that was needed. When I got home that night, Keith was already in bed. He had never criticized my weight, for which I was incredibly grateful, but I knew how he must have felt. I looked into my husband’s eyes, told him that God had spoken to me in the car, and announced that the next morning I would begin losing weight and getting healthy. (I even mentioned that one day I would write a book to reach others in my situation.) I made it clear that I was totally committed to being the best I could be. Keith smiled at me and quoted one of his favorite sources of inspiration, the self-made billionaire Art Williams: “Do it, then talk.” He was right. I shut up. Keith fell asleep, but I had a burning passion that kept me awake that night and has kept me up many nights since. Making the unconditional decision to change—the complete commitment with no turning back—had to be followed by action. First you change your mind. But to change your body and your life, you have to get moving. You have to do things and do them differently from the past. Do it. How incredibly simple—yet how long it had taken me to get to a place where I could see that clearly. Getting fit and accomplishing my dreams was simply a matter of choosing to do it, following through every single day, and understanding that failure was not an option. I could do it. I would do it. And I did.





w



Keep reading, and you’ll find out how to change your life through five crucial decisions. The Five Decisions change your brain, giving you a new way of thinking about yourself, your life, your health, and your future. As long as you keep thinking the same way you always have, you will keep doing the things you have always done—including the unhealthy habits you have developed. Join me in the next chapter as we explore the past—including all the influences that worked together to bring us to where we are today. Understanding the messages that influence our self-perception and the way we respond to obstacles enables us to make the new decisions that are necessary for permanent change.







What Do You Want to Change, and Why?



As you prepare to make the mental changes that will lead to permanent life change, think through the reasons you want to change. What is motivating your desire to lose weight and reclaim your health? Use the questions that follow to think in detail about your life, your goals for the future, and what you’re willing to do to make this happen finally and forever.





1. Beyond losing weight, what do you most want to change about your life?





2. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to see certain areas of your life undergo radical change? If you’re not yet willing, what is holding you back?





3. When in your life have you felt the most hopeless? Are you now ready to move past those scars and never look back?





4. When you gained weight in the past, what factors caused you to lose your focus on health?





5. Identify three reasons or influences from the past that convinced you that you couldn’t achieve permanent life change. After considering these reasons, can you now admit they were merely excuses?





6. Think about the necessity of changing your mind before you attempt to change your body. Do you agree that lasting change begins on the inside? As you consider being the best you can be, are you ready to work from the inside out?





7. A total life change involves your mind, body, and spirit. Think about the spiritual aspect for a moment. Do you accept the role that faith plays in the process of changing your life for good?





8. When have you been held back by a fear of failure? Write down your biggest fears in this regard. As you face your fears, can you decide to let them go and give your all to permanent life change?





Never Say Diet Personal Trainer Product Details:



List Price: $10.99

Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: WaterBrook Press (December 16, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0307446425

ISBN-13: 978-0307446428



Week 1 Training Plan



The Perfect Body Type: Yours!



You Are Lovely Today





Scripture for the week: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.… When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”



—PSALM 139:14–16





Quote for the week: “Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.”



—A. W. TOZER





As you begin the journey to never say diet, remember that your value is based on who you are in Christ, not what the number on the scale says. God created everything about you, and He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows which foods are your weaknesses, and He is there whenever the temptation to overeat or consume unhealthy food seems overwhelming. The Lord knows the tears you have shed out of desperation. He was there to comfort you when it seemed like no one understood your pain. Trust me, on days when I feel the most flawed, I need the verses from Psalm 139 to remind me of what is true. The living God formed every part of my body, even the parts I would like to change. Although I used to struggle and fail in caring for my body, God always knew it best. When I finally cried out to my Creator and invited Him to help with the repair, I knew I could succeed. He wants you to succeed too. Start this week by thanking the Lord for the gifts of your life and your body. By focusing on making some improvements, you will ultimately be honoring Him more and more each day. Find a recent photo of yourself, or take one, and tape it in the space that follows. This picture will be a powerful reference for you in the coming weeks as you begin your transformation.





THE MIND FACTOR: CHANGE YOUR BRAIN



In Never Say Diet, I make a big deal about the Five Decisions—and for good reason. You will fail in this new attempt to change your life unless you first change your brain. To succeed, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes—unconditionally. I want to be your cheerleader and your friend. And for us to get going, you need to commit to the five Brain Change decisions found on pages 76–82 of Never Say Diet. Think about how each of the Five Decisions applies to your life. Also, try to memorize them. They will form the backbone you need to stand up to and overcome every area of weakness in your life. Create your personal surrender statement.





THE EXERCISE EQUATION: ARE YOU WILLING?



This week your first assignment is to start building a foundation of discipline. You will be successful over the next month if you show up for exercise thirty minutes a day, five days in a row, every week—no matter what. There are many choices for your cardiovascular exercise. Below is a list of suggestions. Even if your week gets hectic, finding the time to make this happen is imperative.





Cardio Exercise Suggestions



Basketball



Bike riding



Cross-country skiing machine



Dancing



Elliptical machine



Jogging/running



Kick boxing



Racquetball



Spinning class



Stair climber



Stair stepper



Stationary bike/recumbent bike



Step aerobics



Swimming



Tennis



Walking





How to Take Your Measurements



Taking your measurements at the beginning of each month is an important part of the process of losing weight. You will begin to see precisely where you are losing fat. As you start building more muscle, there will be months where your progress is more evident in your measurements than on the scale, because muscle is denser than fat. You will begin by taking six measurements. You should be able to do them by yourself, with the exception of your upper arm. (Ask a friend or your spouse to help you.) For instructions on taking accurate measurements, see pages 97–98 of Never Say Diet. Record your measurements below.





Bust: ______________



Chest: ______________



Waist: ______________



Hips: ______________



Thighs: ______________



Arms: ______________





Be sure that you consistently measure in the same spots each month. I also recommend taking your measurements before your workouts.





Weigh Yourself



Weigh yourself, and record your weight at the beginning of each week.



Week 1 starting weight: ________





WEEK 1 CARDIO TRAINING



Complete your cardio exercise five days in a row, for at least thirty minutes per day. In the space provided, write down the day, the date, the exercise you completed, and the duration of each exercise period. This serves as a reminder that you always found a way to get the exercise done, whether you felt like it or not.





Day 1 date/exercise/duration:



________________________________________________





How did it go?



________________________________________________







Day 2 date/exercise/duration:



________________________________________________





How did it go?



________________________________________________







Day 3 date/exercise/duration:



________________________________________________





How did it go?



________________________________________________







Day 4 date/exercise/duration:



________________________________________________





How did it go?



________________________________________________







Day 5 date/exercise/duration:



________________________________________________





How did it go?



________________________________________________





THE FOOD FACTOR: BREAKFAST IS



WHERE IT’S AT



This week you must place your nutritional focus on the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Plan to eat every day within two hours of waking up. Listed below are some fresh food ideas. Each one is about three hundred calories, which is perfect!





• Quaker Weight Control oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of raisins, cinnamon to taste, 2 slices of turkey bacon.





• One slice of whole-wheat toast, light spread of peanut butter (natural is best), and ½ grapefruit.





• Chocolate strawberry shake. Blend the following: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 10 small frozen strawberries, 1 packet sugar substitute, ½ cup low-fat milk, a few ice cubes.





• Egg white omelet. In a skillet with nonstick spray, cook veggies you like, 3 lightly beaten egg whites, and 1 tablespoon fat-free cheese. Accompany with half an English muffin with a dab of peanut butter.





Each of these breakfast meals provides a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat. This ensures your day gets off to a good start; it is igniting your source of energy. Find a few meals that you enjoy, and keep repeating them. This way you won’t stress out over deciding what to have.



Week 1 Breakfast Log



Using the space provided, record each day’s breakfast menu and the portions.



Day 1 date/time: ___________________________________ ________________________________________________



Day 2 date/time: ___________________________________

________________________________________________



Day 3 date/time: ___________________________________



________________________________________________



Day 4 date/time: ___________________________________

________________________________________________



Day 5 date/time: ___________________________________

________________________________________________



Day 6 date/time: ___________________________________



________________________________________________



Day 7 date/time: ___________________________________

________________________________________________

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Bishop's Daughter




The novel, The Bishop’s Daughter, is about a young ladies man named Darrin Bainbridge. Trying to jumpstart his writing career, Darrin relocates to Georgia. He attends a twenty-thousand megachurch and tries to find a church scandal. Darrin’s target is Bishop Kumal Prentiss, who Darrin suspects of financial misconduct.

The turn in the story is that Darrin never expected to fall for the Bishop’s daughter, Emoni. When Darrin finally does stumble upon the story of a lifetime, he’s torn between lauching his career and protecting the woman he’s come to care about.

This is a terrific novel that makes you feel you are standing in the middle of the action. Great read! Perfect gift!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Results of The Husband Project


The Results of The Husband Project

Many thanks to you and Kathi for your generosity. This challenge became a reminder that uplifting and encouraging my husband did the exact same thing for me. I loved the plotting and planning, the reminiscing, and seeing the joy and excitement in his eyes at the unexpected. The blessing from this contest has been to me. Thank you. Love, Susan

Thank you so very much for the Husband Project!!! I'm loved it and hubby and I had so much fun. This has really been a blessing and inspiring too. Many blessings to you and your husband. Love, Karen

This has been really great! You really made us think. Thanks! Love, Judy

Thank you so much. And be on the look out I just may use your experience to make my marriage better. Love, Heather C.

This was a wonderful project and has helped me tremedously this week. Love, Kimberly


May God bless your heart. Big hugs Love, Tammy




What a kind gesture for you to do this challenge....you didn't have to do this but I really did appreciate it. I am more than certain that because of your wonderful spirit and the work you do for the kingdom, God has a special blessing to bestow upon you and your husband. I will make it a point to start keeping track of your blogs as you asked and I will sow into Larry's ministry by purchasing his book(s) as soon as I am financially able to do so. Love, Diane

This was so fun to do. I think it helped me to look at Danny in a different way. Was this in relation to the movie “Fireproof”? I was telling a friend of mine about it and she said it sounded like that. Anyway, I really enjoyed it! Thanks! Love, Tearsa

This Husband Project has been on my mind for days now… even since I bowed out to take care of my poor sick hubby. I am STILL working on Day 4’s project, and I’ll definitely let you know when it’s finished & he’s seen it. I”ll have to get over to your blog to continue the other challenges as well anyway. Thanks for your prayers for Jason as well… he seems to be doing better today! Love, Heather M.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Husband Project, Day Five

Discussion Question:
There is a saying that goes..."Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. What your character; it becomes your destiny."

What is it about "you" that needs to be changed to make your marriage better? Be honest!

Project:
If you could make a sign that represented your hubby...what would it be? It can be a one, two or three word statement. E-mail me a picture of your hubby, along with the words for your sign. They will be posted for the group to see. Have fun with this one!












RED HOT





















Oh-la-la
















Hunka Burnin Love







See My Jeans?
(As if anyone would be looking at the jeans)


Apogee (which means “the tops or the best”)

IM SOOOO PROUD OF YOU!


THE LOVE DOCTOR

Who is that Grinning Preacher?

WHAT A MAN!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Husband Project, Day Four

Discussion Question:
If your husband had one hour of uninterrupted time with you, what would he want to do?

Project:
Do A Drive-By--Leave a note under their windshield wiper with a bit of encouragement or compliment. Bonus--how happy will they be when they realize it is not a parking ticket?!? (If you cannot drive by their job, or hubby works at home, put the note on their bathroom mirror, computer, etc.) E-mail me at ginger_tate0706@yahoo.com with the following: What you did and what the note said. You can be creative and make a cute card. If you do, e-mail that to me as well. Have fun!

Day Four has posted early to give you time to work on the project for the next day.

Susan wrote "Yesterday, a dear CMA member went home to be with Jesus after a courageous battle against cancer. In light of this, I chose to write my dear hubby a poem (tho I'm not a poet). It will be difficult to surprise him with it because it's his day off and I'm already at work. So here's Plan A: If yesterday's treat is still in the freezer when I get home (yes, he likes it frozen!), I'm going to place the note under the candy bar. If that option is not available, I'm going to Plan B (which will be a spur of the moment thing). Here's the poem:

If we Only Have Today

If we only have today, oh the endless things we could do.
There are so many options; it would be difficult to choose.

We could visit an exotic beach to feel the sand between our toes.
And watch the water's waves as they splash against the shore.

Perhaps we'd sail the ocean just to catch the wind.
And feel the water spray on our faces as we skim across its surface.

We could find a quiet place to sit just to watch the sun go down.
Or climb atop a mountain peak to watch an eagle soar.

It really doesn't matter what we choose to do.
As long as we're together; as long as it's with you.

I love you.
Blessings, Susan

Tearsa wrote "I had fun making this little note/card for my hubby. I was sitting right next to him, (he was on his laptop) when I made it. Since he works at a Federal Prison, a drive-by would be frowned upon. So, I quietly slipped it into his lunch bag this morning. When I got home, he said I found a note in my lunch bag this morning. He was pleasantly surprised! (Especially since I will be out of town for the next couple of days)".

The Card read:
People love Chocolate
Bears love Honey
More than people love Chocolate
More than Bears love Honey
I love you!
You are my best friend, my soul mate!
Yours forever!

Diane wrote "This project is so much fun. This one actually may turn out to be an easy one for me but we’ll see. My husband is gigging at a very popular jazz club here in Houston tonight so he typically parks in the same spot. A friend and I decided to go up there after work so I’ll sneak and put it on the windshield of his car or maybe the inside because I don’t want anyone to take it…in an obvious spot where he’ll see it….plus, I signed the envelope with my lipstick (that was a little messy & smeared but the thought is what counts) and kissed the back side of it.

On the inside, I printed out a picture we took on my birthday while we were on our cruise and glued it to the front of a card. Then on the inside, I glued a little graphic I got off the internet that said ‘Married and still in love’. I finally wrote a note in the card which said:

Babe, this is just a little note to show you how much I love you and to remind you that each day with you creates a new memory that I will cherish like the picture on the front of this note’!

Love you! You’re my ‘Teddy Bear’

Heather M wrote "Ginger, So sad & sorry to say that I have to pull out of this "Husband Project" ... in order to participate in the REAL husband project - taking care of my sick hubby!! :( He's been really sick these past few days, so I just jumped on the computer for literally 5 minutes just to let you know I won't be able to complete my projects on time.... I'm in the midst of day 4's project anyway, but... it won't be done (or seen by him) on time. Off to take care of Mr. Sicky! God bless!"

Dear Lord,
You know Jason so much better than I do. You know his sickness and the burden he carries. You also know his heart. Lord, I ask you to be with Jason now, working in his life. Let your will be done in his life. Lord, I pray for Jason because your Word says I should pray for his healing. I believe you hear this earnest prayer from my heart and that it is powerful because of your promise. I have faith in you to heal Jason, but I also trust in the plan you have for his life. I ask that you look with mercy and grace toward Jason. Nourish his spirit and soul in this time of suffering and comfort him with your presence. Lord, Let Jason know you are there with him. We thank you Lord for what you are doing right now...Amen!

Judy wrote "I left a note on top of his coffee mug on the counter so that, when he got up this morning and came into the kitchen, it was the first thing he saw (even before his coffee).
The note said
I love you for who you were,
I love you for who you are,
I love you for who you'll always be,
and that is God's gift from Heaven to me."
I LOVE YOU!

Of course, he grabbed me and kissed me after reading it."


Tammy wrote "Sorry this is late ,
I was sick yesterday and the kids were home because of the weather so it was crazy here.... anyways I did the project this morning...hope thats ok!

I packed his lunch and I put him a note in it. He'll have a good day after lunch anyway.I hope lol. Heres what the note said.....

Honey, You are my man, The one who stands, Tall in a crowd to me. Forever I'll love you. YOU SEE? love, me



Shelley wrote "I left Dominic a note telling him how much I appreciate how hard he works. Many times he says he does not feel appreciated for working hard and long hours. His job is very labor intensive. I made sure I let him know that all he does to provide for our family does not go unnoticed".

Kimberly made a card that said "Congratulations Michael...You are my hero! You have one hour of uninterrupted to spend with your wife tonight. What do you want to do? P.S. Please respond in writing"



Karen made a card that said "Loving you is easy. Being loved by you is humbling because you love me flaws and all". Karen also wrote "I sent the picture of the motorcycle because he loves me so much that he was willing to give up this bike to take care of a financial matter that had nothing to do with him, but everything to do with my own financial irresponsibility. Thank God he didn't have to give up the bike and things are so much better financially, as I totally trust him to manage our finances".

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Husband Project, Day Three

Discussion Question:
Describe your favorite date with your husband before you got married. Enter this answer in the comment section of this blog.

Project:
How creative can you be for five bucks? It's time to find out bcause that is all you have to bless your hubby with today. Maybe it is buying ingredients to make his favorite brownies. Could it be buying candles to set on the table tonight? Your choice. You have $5.00 only! So..here we go. Be sure and e-mail me at ginger_tate0706@yahoo.com when your project is completed. If you have a digital camera, send me a picture. This can be fun!


Judy sent the picture and the following comment: My $5 was used to make him happy and put a smile on his face.
The attached picture is of two things that represent my husband, Rick.
Pooh Bear is the nickname I gave him several years ago and he absolutely LOVES Starbucks.
He was very pleasantly surprised with my gifts.





Shelley wrote "For day three, I could not spend $5. but I thought about something I could give him that would be meaningful. A few years ago we bought these expensive backpacks together that were on clearance. They were exactly what we both wanted. Over the course of time, my husbands has gotten torn up because he uses his more than I use mine. I have about 2-3 different bags I use for school because once one starts to bother my back I switch back and forth. Needless to say, he has been bothering me about letting him have my favorite backpack for a few months now. It was kind of aggravating because I always thought to myself "he knows I switch back and forth because they all eventually start to bother my back, why would he want to take it"? Anyways, I took the backpack today and left it on his side of the bed with a note. It said "Dominic, I love you more than this backpack". When he got home from work he hugged me and said "I love you, but you can keep your backpack because I don't want your back to hurt". So now, I don't know WHO will keep the backpack, and it doesn't even matter because we both got what we wanted in the end".

Heather M wrote "Today’s project was going to be a little hard for me, considering the fact that I just sat down at the computer at almost 9 p.m. to start this! But then I realized… I spent $5 to bless my hubby today ANYWAY!! After work today, I went grocery shopping while Jason was at wrestling practice. I got home a few minutes before him, planning to do the piles of dishes in the sink, many loads of laundry, & make a nice dinner for my husband – all before his meeting at church at 7 p.m. I was going to be SUPER-WIFE! Well, he came in the door & wasn’t looking to good…. He hadn’t been feeling well for about 2 weeks now, and decided today that he’d had enough. He hinted about going to Urgent Care… but I made the final decision for him. I knew that this was what he really needed. I stopped doing the dishes, dried off my hands, & said, “We’re going.” I drove him there, waited for him to finish, then went and filled his prescription for him. The cost? $4.56!! The benefit? My honey can start to feel better…. & I’ll be taking care of him in the meantime, with some good TLC!"


Susan wrote "My husband works 2nds (3-11). Our brief encounter today was kissing him goodbye as he slept and I left for work this morning. He won't be home until after midnight when I'm already asleep. I purchased a Hallmark card and his favorite candy bar, a Hershey's with almonds, to surprise him when he gets home. We've been on the South Beach Diet since mid-November so this will be extra special for him. This choice treat set me back $2.78".



Tearsa wrote "Wow! When I realized today’s project, I was knee-deep in report cards that have to be out this week. But then after re-thinking about whether or not I must go out, in the cold, I realized I had already blessed him today. I fudged just a tiny bit…the price had gone up! I bought him his favorite drink to take to work: Lipton diet green tea".

Diane wrote "Since I am just getting to 'Day Three' project, I didn't have time to get anything for the $5 so I had to do some creative thinking real fast because I only have 8-minutes according to my clock to get this completed. So, my husband was sitting next to me working on some music and I decided to give him 5-big kisses/hugs. For each one, I told him why he was so special to me...here's what I said in a snapshot.
xoxo1 - God made you just for me.
xoxo2 - You make me laugh even when I try to be mad at you.
xoxo3 - You are such a loving and caring husband to me always.
xoxo4 - You believe in me and encourage me to be/do my best.
xoxo5 - I love you more each day and I always think I can't love you anymore than I do but it keeps increasing.

Unfortunately, since we are both dressed for bed, he was not having any pictures taken of him tonight....but trust me, he had a BIG SMILE on his face when this project ended for the night! I think he's going to be looking forward to each day as much as me now! :-)"




Kimberly wrote "Creativity with $5.00 bucks was candilght via McDonald's his favorite place. LOL"




Heather C said "Hubby worked so late that yes the kids were in bed. But he brought home some supper for us I had the family room coffee table cleaned off with a nice towel as a cloth, a candle burning and wine glasses and the recording of NCIS that he wanted to watch, then we cuddled on the couch watching another show. But we were both so tired we cuddled in bed and went to sleep".


Karen wrote "I am not sure that I am on track. I am trying to keep up but I'm getting confused about the days and the project, but I'll hang in there. I've attached the picture of my $5.00 gift. As I mentioned, Ron's favorite place to eat is Chipotle's. Well, I've attached a picture of him that I took last night holding a $5.00 giftcard from Chipotle's".


Tammy wrote "First off I went to a local dollar tree and bought blank cd and some brownies...I cleaned up and sent the kids to the neighbors for a hour or so and when hubby came home I put the cd on...It was some fav songs from when we had first got married..Had the candle lit..praised God for all we have....Then we ate dinner pork chops ,scalloped potaoes and green beans...Then I gave him a message with some oil I got at the dollar store.....He loved it.I loved it......Just spending time together remembering ..thanks. again...sorry I couldn't get my cam working ughhhhhhhhhhhhhh".

Fireflies In December


Fireflies in December is an exceptional read! The author, Jennifer Erin Valent, writes with a southern literature accent that takes you to the center of what is being said in the novel.

The story starts in the summer of 1932 when she, Jessilyn Lassiter, thought she had killed a man. Then her best friend loses her parents in a tragic fire. Since the friend had no parents, Jessilyn’s father vowed to raise Gemma as if she was his own. The only problem was one child was white and the other black.

Fireflies in December covers injustice, riots, peaceful friendships, tragedy, sense of community and memories of an era that has long past. This is a book that I feel all teenagers should read. They would never look at prejudice the same again.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Husband Project, Day Two

Discussion Question:
Describe your husband's perfect meal--where, when and what is served. Is it in a restaurant, or is it one of you cooking?


Project:
Make a list of 10 reasons you love your husband. E-mail me this list so I can post it. Once again, my e-mail address is www.ginger_tate0706@yahoo.com.

PS: You might want to leave the list laying around so he can find it....

Here are my ten reasons:
1) He is the same everyday. 2) I love the smile on his face when he knows he's been caught. 3) He loves God, church, and his family. 5) He always thinks of me first. 6) He loves traveling. 7) He cried when we lost our dog. 8) He loves being with our friends. 9) He runs our household on a budget and I always know that we are taken care of. 10) I know he will never leave me. (Ginger)


Here are Diane's 10 Reasons:
1) He loves God and knows the priority to place things..God, Me, Family, Work/Music, etc. 2) He has the best sense of humor! You can't be mad at him because he will say or do something that will just make you burst our laughing. Plus everyone loves him because he is SO-O-O-O-O-O FUNNY! 3) He loves our children, granddaughter (who lovingly calls him Poppy) with a love that is so real and beautiful...anyone that knows him, knows he is a 'loving & caring father/grandfather' in every sense. 4) He isn't afraid to show his softer side...i know the cliche says men shouldn't cry. But, my husband doesn't have a problme being real. 5) He surprises me in so many ways just to show me that he loves me and more importantly that he is IN LOVE with me. 6) He is not afraid to admit when he's wrong and hates to do/say anything that hurts me. I think it hurts him worst when he knows I am hurt and he goes out of his way to make it up to me. 7) He's my 'Teddy Bear'! I want him to be healthy because I want him here with me. 8)There is nothing like cuddling up under him and having him hold me. I feel so safe and secure. 9) He is so talented...I love to hear him sing - wow, what a voice (he can make you melt). When he sings at church, he is so anointed and you can just feel his love for God. He is an awesome musician, songwriter, and producer that has great things ahead of him. 10) The #1 reason - He's MY HUSBAND! He chose ME!









Here are Tammy's 10 Reasons:

1) He is my best friend. 2) He's still a little frisky...lol 3) He's a great father.
4) Good bread winner. 5) Hard worker.
6) Puts his family first. 7) He cried at our daughter's wedding. 8) Trusts me to take care of the bills. 9) Lets me have time with friends. 10) He's my better half.



Here are Judy's 10 Reasons:

1) He loves God and our church. 2) He always gives me positive reinforcement. 3) He tells me he loves me several times a day. 4) He is totally understanding towards women (especially me) and their issues. 5) He is a sensitice man (not afraid to cry). 6) He has a great sense of humor. 7) He loves to do the cooking. 8) He is faithful and true to me. 9) He trusts me to make good judgments and stands behind my decisions. 10) He rarely gets angry with me.


Here are Peg's 10 Reasons:
1) After a misunderstanding,he hugs me and says "everything is going to be ok." 2) Children and grandchildren are first in both of our lives. 3) He has built a great portfolio for our future (stock market hurry and come back). 4) He likes to travel as I do. 5) He loves to shop for me and has me dressed as a Queen. 6) He willingly goes to the grocery store to supply the kitchen. 7) He sometimes exercies with me, could be a great daily date. It's a new year with high hopes. 8) He gives me the freedom I need for my work as I do him. BOTH of us working from the home. 9) He's direct, not easily persuaded, fair but wants to know the facts with no sugar coating. This has made me grow as I am somewhat the opposite with the goal of keeping peace as long as it doesn't cross my standards. 10) He's put up with me for 39 years this summer. He has a forgiving heart and starts over fresh each new day.

Here are Susan's Ten Reasons:
1) His love for God and his family 2) His warped sense of humor. 3) His compassion for others. 4) He's the best dad and poppy ever. 5)He a clean/neat freak so HE does housework (and his own ironing). 6)He looks forward to our vacations. 7) He makes plans to spend time together. 8)No matter how big the bump in the road, I know he will always be by my side. 9)He understands that we each need time with our friends. 10) I feel safe and loved.

Here are Heather C's Ten Reasons:
1) He loves me for me. 2) He spoils me. 3) He wants to work on making God #1 for him and our family. 4) He works hard so that I can stay at home with the kids.
5) He "wants" me no matter what size I am. 6) He will protect our family no matter what. 7) He can cry in front of me. 8) He has a cute butt (lol). 9) He is very hard on the kids regarding school and the importance of it. 10) He loves animals.


Here are Shelley's Ten Reasons:
1) He is a hard and dependable worker. 2) He sacrifices his wants for his childrens. 3) He is playful and fun (to the point of annoying sometimes). 4) If the kids are still hungry after a meal he will not eat until they are full. 5) He will not spend ANY money until he knows we have it. 6) He is very funny. 7) He takes care of his body. 8)He is easy going. 9) He does not expect dinner, laundry, cleanliness but is happy to have it. 10) He encourages my dreams (college) and helps me achieve them by helping with kids, home, etc.

Here are Heather M's 10 Reasons:
1) He has a passion for Jesus Christ, which is SO attractive in a man! 2) He loves me for who I AM, not for who I’m trying (or wanting) to be. 3) He loves to play me in games we’re BOTH good at, like Rummikub & Wii (& is not a sore loser!) 4) He is supportive of anything I want to do – blog, job, ministry, etc. 5) He makes me laugh… a LOT. 6) He’s a great fashion consultant/shopping buddy. 7) He makes a great pot of coffee… which we both like to drink just for the creamers we put in! 8) He loves ANYTHING I cook, just about. 9) He strives to be a better husband to me, day in & day out. 10) He encourages me in my endeavors to be a better wife without being critical or bossy!

Here are Tearsa's Ten Reasons:
1) He’s my best friend. 2) His love for God and country. 3) He’s one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever known. 4) He’s a little ornery. 5) He’s encouraging to me in all I do and who I am. 6) He has his priorities correct: God, me, family.
7) He’s always there to hold me when I cry or laugh with me when I’m happy.
8) He is my “soul mate.” 9) He brings out the best in me. 10) He’s just so adorable.

Here are Kimberly's Ten Reasons:
1) He loves the Lord first and foremost. 2) He loves me. 3) He loves his children. 4) He loves being a couch potatoe. He works from home. 5) He is a simple man. 6) He encourages all of my endeavors.
7) He allows me to run the hosehold financially. Yepeh! 8) He is the head of our family. 9) He has a big heart. A true giver 10) He has big dreams.

Here are Karen's Ten Resons:
1) I love him because he loves the Lord and he's not afraid to say it or show it.
2) He loves me with every fiber of his being and he shows it everyday. 3) He loves our daughters....such a wonderful father. 4) He is committed to our family and willing to do whatever it takes to protect us and make sure we are okay. 5) He is so funny. My daughters and I get a little bored when he's not around. He is so fun to be around. 6) Whenever I'm not feeling well he takes such good care of me. 7) He brings me tea everynight, except when he's at work. Sometimes I get him to wake me up when he gets home because it just doesn't taste right unless he prepares it. 8) When I'm not feeling "it" he doesn't mind, which makes me end up feeling "it" anyway. LOL!!!! 9) He tells me "No". If he didn't, we probably wouldn't have a dime. 10) He takes care of his mom. But what's really special, is that he takes care of my mom too. I thank God for that because I'm an only child. He loves my mother and he just "cheeses" when she calls him "my son".