Thursday, January 28, 2016

Writers Read

I committed to reading 26 books in 2015 as part of a year long reading challenge. The reading challenge challenges you to read a book a week in specific categories. I knew I wasn't going to finish reading one book a week for 52 weeks so I decided  I could handle 26 out of the 52. Your girl only made it through 11.5. I gave up  trying to finish the dense 1984 in time.  Pray for your favorite blogger... and me too.

I have set the same goal of reading 26 books in 2016 and compiled a list of 24 categories from several different reading challenges I found on the internet to make my own personalized list.

What are these categories, you ask? Wanna see 'em, here they go:

1. A biography 
2. A book that changed someone else's life
3. A book with an ugly cover
4. A commentary on a book in the Bible
5. A book by an author under 30 (when the book was written )
6. A funny book
7. A book about money and / or finance
8. A book by a Presbyterian  (random, I know)
9. A mystery / thriller 
10. A non-fiction book
11. A book written  by a LGBTQIA (first I need to figure out what the "I" and "A" stand for)
12. A fiction book set during The Reconstruction  (also random, I know )
13. A book on / about writing
14. A book with  antonyms in the title 
15. A scary book
16. A book with bad reviews 
17. A trilogy 
18. A book written by an atheist
19. A graphic novel
20. A play
21. A banned book
22. A photo essay book
23. A book made into a movie
24. A collection of short stories  (I've already finished this one!)

Who wants to join me in this change? 

Please share any book recommendations you may have. 

Reading makes an author a better writer and keeps their eyes on the competition! 

Writers, read!  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Who Needs Friends Like Olivia Pope?

Every time I watch Scandal, I am intrigued by how loyal her employees/friends are at Olivia Pope and Associates (OPA). (By the way, Scandal returns in just 3 weeks on February 11th!)
In life, if you have a tight knit group of 2-3 friends you are doing good. True friends; friends that will help you stay out of trouble are essential in navigating this mean, cold world. I am so grateful to God for my close friends Amber, Angela and Coretta.
A few months ago my father's cousin passed away suddenly. She was in her late fifties and hadn't kept in touch with any of her family members besides my father. But, she had this close knit group of friends and a devoted boyfriend. The responsibility of planning her funeral fell on my father's shoulders and he did a beautiful job. I was  impressed with how insistent her friends were for her to have a proper burial complete with a chapel service and repast instead of just a graveside service.
Olivia Pope is not that kind of friend. The people that work for her are supposed to be more like family than friends but from the beginning, she has been doing her buddy Huck wrong.
Olivia Pope & Huck - This is the wonderful man I named my dog after, he saved me!!!:
For the two people in the world who do not watch Scandal, Huck is a United States-trained assassin and torturer who LOVED his job but started having disagreements with his boss. Huck credits Olivia for saving him; delivering him from that horrid, inhumane life and is aiding him in his recovery. Yet, in Screwtape-like fashion,  she constantly asks Huck to use his prior job experience to help her do her job. She'll say, "Huck, can you handle this? Is this going to set you back? If it is, you don't have to do it."
Scandal - What do you need olivia ill get my drill? Love Huck!: Olivia Pope, Things Scandal, Scandal Tv, Guillermo Díaz, Guillermo Diaz Scandal 1 5, Funny Stuff, Scandalous Bitches
How do you ask an addict to do their preferred drug of choice and not be negatively affected by it? And of course Huck is not going to say no to the woman who saved him. Really, who needs friends like that?! That's a toxic situation. Olivia pretends like she is concerned about Huck's welfare but actually, she just wants to get the job done for the personal satisfaction of declaring, "It's handled."
And may I also add that she gave her friend and fellow gladiator, Harrison a graveside service.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Do You Really Believe?

The New Year is the ideal time to set goals and re-commit to those we set last year.  In 2016, we are going to finally lose weight, get out of debt, go back to school, etc.

Getting closer to God, going to church every Sunday, having a quiet time every day, writing every day and publishing a blog post once a week are always on my list but I fall short every time. I have yet to begin the Daniel Fast my church participates in every January (I’m going to the grocery store to buy the necessary food right after I publish this post, I promise).
Our spiritual leaders task us with witnessing, bringing others to Christ and inviting new people to our church but we don’t quite know how to go about it. We don’t want to offend anyone or come off as judgmental but we don’t want to water down the Gospel either or lie about our own situations to present ourselves as having it all together. 
Transparency is the best witnessing tool in my book. Having a relationship with God is not a list of do’s and don’ts or showering down fire and brimstone.  We end up putting too much pressure on ourselves and pushing people away from God. When trials come, we come up with a plan to get out of it and expect God to see it through whether it was His will or not. Then we panic when our plan doesn’t come out the way... well, we planned.
That is why it’s important to stop and ask: Do you believe God is who He says He is and do you believe He can do what He says He can do? Do you?
It’s not my responsibility or yours to:
-save anyone
 -get anyone to let go of sin
-change a anyone's thought process
-restore someone’s marriage
-or parent someone’s child
Especially if that person is diligently and sincerely seeking God for themselves. God can and will work out that situation in that person’s life. All we must do is follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and love on them. We can’t impose our will onto others especially when our will is not God’s will.
This year as you make your New Year’s resolutions, whether you are a Christian or not, remember the only person you can control is you. I have.