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My Joy Is Contagious Make Sure You Catch It!

I always tell people that any day above ground is a good day! I hope your day is wonderful and blessed! Feel free to share your thoughts!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saying No!

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Luke 5:16
By some of today's standards, Jesus did not have a very effective ministry. He started late in life and only preached for a couple of years. He left towns and crowds who begged him to stay. He kept a low profile, commanding people he healed to not tell what the Lord had done. He liked to be by himself and took breaks all the time. With that track record, we might think that our ministry models could teach Jesus a thing or two about outreach.

If you're active in church, you attend Sunday worship, Wednesday prayer meeting, lead a women’s Bible study, teach Sunday school, sing in the choir . . . the list could go on. And you never take a break, right? Of course not. Saying no to people in need is not something a Christian woman does, right? Taking time off makes us feel guilty.

That's why studying Jesus' ministry is so important for us overachievers. When we look at his life, we see a Savior who knew his limits. Jesus chose whom to help and whom to say no to. Even though his time on earth was short, he still spent long hours alone. If Jesus did not view these rests as selfish or wasteful, why do we? And he didn't hesitate to tell women to slow down, either--remember Mary and Martha?

Ladies, it's okay to say no. Go ahead--rest. Rejuvenate. Don't kid yourself into believing that you can't take a break. That kind of pride will only drive you to exhaustion. God the Creator rested on the seventh day. And Jesus constantly withdrew from the crowds to connect alone with the Father.

Whatever your calling, it could not be more pressing or vital than Jesus' ministry was when he was on earth. Jesus took time off. He said no to people in need because he truly understood a key ingredient of a powerful ministry--constant refueling by God's strength.

God commands you to rest. So just do it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Best Person for the Job May Not Be the One Who Can Do It Best

August 23, 2010 in Business,Church,Church Planting,Leadership,Team Leadership with 5 Comments
Here is a principle you must understand for organizational efficiency:
Sometimes the best person for the job may not be the person who (you think) can do the job best.
Let me explain…
High capacity leaders struggle to let go of something they think they can do better. Most have a higher than normal sense of confidence in their abilities (this ego can be used for good or bad), so they believe they can best implement their ideas. Their drive for progress makes them doers by nature, so they often resist the process of delegation, even if they know it is the healthy thing to do for the organization, because they fear it won’t be done right unless they do it.
One key to solving this issue is for the leader to change visions from the specific project or function the leader desires to see completed to attention to the vision and overall success of the organization. Instead of seeing a project for the potential of pass/fail depending on who does it, begin to see the results of the total organization as the appropriate pass/fail scenario. In this approach, delegation becomes a key to moving projects forward, getting the entire team involved, developing new leaders, and completing all the tasks needed to successfully attain the organization’s goals and objectives.
Leader, if you tend to be a control freak, perhaps you don’t need to change your personality, as much as you need to change your vision. Delegating frees the leader to do those things he or she is most passionate about, most gifted to do, or things he or she never completes because there is never enough time to do them. Begin to see that the best person for the job may not be the person (in your most humble opinion…) who can do the job best.
Plus, chances are very good you will soon realize others can do the job equal to or better than you can.by Ron Edmonson
Are you a control freak? How do you deal with this?

Monday, December 5, 2011

EARLY SIGNS A NEW RELATIONSHIP WON'T LAST



Choosing to invest in a new relationship directly affects your own level of personal happiness especially in the near-term … and so it is extremely important to keep your eyes and ears open, and be aware of any potential incompatibilities as early as possible. There is absolutely no shame nor harm in cutting one’s losses – because you are doing everyone a favor by
ending it early if you know in your heart that things will ultimately not work out.

So what types of incompatibilities or behaviors should you as a single person be on the lookout for? The answer will be different for everyone – as each person has different tolerances and preferences. One good golden rule-of-thumb is - anything you notice right away that bugs you a little right now is guaranteed to bug the daylights out of you in the future … so always keep that in the back of your head.
Here is a quick list of early relationship-stoppers that pop into my mind ...

  1. Drama
    I’ve found that overly dramatic women are usually really good in bed – especially early in the relationship. Later on, however, you may find that your life has no peace – due to her drama. [Same applies to men, if you are a woman reading this.] Early signs of drama might include yelling, or other extreme behavior.
  2. Lack of consideration of others
    No matter how hot your date is – if he or she treats other people poorly, then it is only a matter of time before you can expect the same treatment.
  3. Destructive criticism
    Someone who always hands out criticism of others will eventually get on your nerves – especially when YOU eventually become the object of their criticism.
  4. Bad Hygiene
    People typically put their best efforts into their appearance when a relationship is new – so if you notice any evidence of poor hygiene early on, then it’s a safe bet that you haven’t seen anything yet.
  5. Appearance
    Just as with hygiene – whatever bugs you right away will increasingly haunt you later. Could be the way they dresses, their hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. Go with your gut feel on this kind of stuff.
  6. Jealousy
    A lot of people out in the world today are extremely jealous – and I personally find that quality terribly unattractive. If you notice any jealous behavior on your first date or two, then RUN (don’t walk) in the opposite direction.
  7. Obsessive Compulsive behavior
    Unless you also have the exact same OCD, then anyone with obsessive compulsive tendencies will probably drive you crazy in record time.
  8. Poor family interactions or relationships
    The way your date treats their other family members will show you how they treat the people who they are closest to. If you don’t meet the family right away, you can always ask about your date’s family – and pay close attention to the response!
  1. Bad table manners
    Maybe I’m obsessive compulsive about table manners – but someone who talks and eats, or chews with their mouth open, or has food on their face, or anything even remotely out of place just drives me nuts in a hurry. Makes me wonder if the person was raised by wolves or something.
  2. Lack of intelligence
    I should probably call this “intellectual incompatibility” but what I’m referring to is when you notice that your date just says dumb stuff. The flip side to this is – if you think your date uses words that are too big. ha ha If it bugs you now, then just wait!
  1. Drinks too heavily
    I’ve dated really just one woman who turned out to be a fairly consistent alcoholic – and although she was great in bed, her drinking got worse over time, and it eventually made her very unattractive to me. It also led to a lot of unnecessary drama. If you think they over-indulge early in the relationship, chances are good that you haven’t seen anything yet.
  2. Smoking
    No disrespect meant for the smokers out there, but I really cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke – there is nothing more unattractive.
  3. Major political or ideological differences
    They say you should avoid discussing religion and politics – but either of those can be a source of extreme incompatibility in a relationship. I usually like to ask questions to figure out where a person stands (not make bold statements). And if I hear an answer that sounds like we have major differences in our way of thinking – then that’s certainly a sign.
  4. Religion
    I’ve never had relationship problems based on religion – but I know of others who have … and it usually was the result of one party being so absorbed in their particular faith that it caused them to insist on certain things. I’m talking about telling someone they would have to convert to their faith to marry them, etc. Or telling them they have to go to church with them. You get the idea – if one party has to insist upon it, there is a problem.
You might find yourself able to successfully tolerate ONE of the above incompatibilities - but if you notice two or more, then you might just be delaying the inevitable by not ending the relationship. You can always be friends ;o) Or you can simply drink more, and see where that takes you. ha ha

What other early signs that a new relationship won’t last can you think of? Please put your thoughts in the ADD COMMENT section below. We also have a Midlife Forum here where we discuss this kind of stuff.
(Excerpted from the MidLifeBachelor .com

Comments on this Article?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Power of Partnership

Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
Philippians 1:4-5
Partnership is the ability to accomplish more together than apart. It recognizes that a team is stronger than a lone individual. A group committed to each other will help the struggling and the fallen.


Mother Teresa said, "You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together, we can do great things." An anonymous author wrote, "It is better to have one person working with you, than three working for you." Andrew Carnegie confessed, "I owe whatever success I have attained, by and large, to my ability to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am." John Wooden, perhaps the greatest basketball coach of all time, reminded his team, "The man who puts the ball through the hoop has ten hands."


Call it whatever you want--teamwork, association, synergy--partnership is the remarkable ability of two or more people working together to accomplish more than what each could do alone.


This truth is a fit reminder to God's people that when we are working together in harmony, the talents and gifts of the body minimize the weaknesses and shortcomings of the body, thereby making a stronger unit. Just as a baseball team needs nine players on the field or the game is forfeited, the local church needs everyone participating, or the strength of the body is weakened and the advancement of the gospel is threatened. If you took away one musician from an orchestra, the symphony would be incomplete. So, too, if one member of the family of God is missing, the church is incomplete.


We need each other. You need someone, and someone needs you.

Tyndale Pulisher's

Friday, November 18, 2011

Types of Men

TYPES OF MENMay 31, 2010

Just for the ladies - here is a good list of different TYPES OF MEN out there in the dating world.

Men can be more than one of these "types", and can exhibit these tendencies to varying degrees ...

Types of Men - Handy
He will paint your home, fix your appliances and / or your car, etc., and love doing it. Put this guy to work while you've got him.

Types of Men - Parasite
He needs you to pay for your dates with him, and he may be in a hurry to move in with you. He is most likely to be Handy (see above, Types of Men -
Handy) ... although not all Handy men are Parasites.
Types of Men - Sports Fanatic
He will always watch the game, no matter what. Don't mess with his TV, or with him when the game is on!
Types of Men - Cheap
He can make a penny scream for mercy. If the two of you are ever homeless, then he will be a real asset to have around.
Types of Men - Hedonist or Self-Gratifier
He is dedicated to all pleasures the world can offer him. He can be mild or extreme. A "mild" case might enjoy a good cigar, or maybe a $100 bottle of wine. A "severe" case might enjoy hookers and cocaine.
Types of Men - Big Fish
He runs a major business or corporation or similar, and has enormous financial resources at his disposal. Could have Hedonist tendencies.
Types of Men - Cheater
He will cheat on you, no matter what. May or may not be a Big Fish. Definitely a Hedonist. Try not to take his cheating personally ... he cheats on everyone. He lies to you all the time - whether you realize it, or not.
Types of Men - Dictator
He runs the show, period ... at work, at home, and in a relationship. It is "his way or the highway" all the time.
Types of Men - Bully
A "Bully" is a "Dictator" with a very bad temper. He will yell or threaten, and/or go into a fit of rage. He has a lot of testosterone, and likes to physically fight. This could be a male equivalent of our Types of Women - Psycho.
Types of Men - Mama's Boy
He will agree with everything you say, and do whatever you want at all times. He is a pleaser, and must always have a woman in his life. He may still live at home.
Types of Men - Sensitive
He wants to talk about his feelings and your feelings, too ... all the time. The rest of us men find this guy incredibly annoying - so don't bring him around us.
Types of Men - Emotionally Disconnected
He does not talk when he is upset, nor does he say "I love you" when he probably does. He keeps it all to himself. When he dumps you, you may never know why.
Types of Men - Slob
He allows everything (including his own body) to run down. He has no clue that his house smells funny, and the litter box needs to be emptied. You will find dirty dishes in his kitchen sink.
Types of Men - Underachiever
He has a college degree but works at a low-paying job. You will probably wind up having to support him financially at some point.
Types of Men - Overachiever
To him, it is all about getting everything he can. He is very work-focused, and has no time for anything else ... especially not for you.
Types of Men - Stalker
He is constantly concerned with where you are, what you are doing, who you are with, and what you are thinking. He will track you without your knowledge. If you find yourself dating a stalker, then you should end the relationship immediately, and possibly seek a restraining order. This is the male equivalent to our Types of Women - Stalker.
Types of Men - Negative
He believes that nothing or no one is any good. The world is against him (and you will be, too, at some point - or so he believes). Everything he loves goes away. Check his medicine cabinet.
Types of Men - Addict
He enjoys his poison ... whether it is alcohol, drugs, or whatever. It is all about the chemicals. If you want to keep him, then try not to interrupt his buzz.
Types of Men - Mentally Ill
Something is wrong with this guy, and you just are not sure what it is at first. He has biochemical problems in his brain, and is on disability or social security. Could also be an Addict. Best to stay away from this guy.
Types of Men - Arrogant
He is better than everyone, looks down upon the world, and looks down upon you ... for whatever reason. This is unlikely to change.
Types of Men - Perfect
He is well-balanced, emotionally- and financially-sound, respectful, and a family-oriented guy. Good luck finding one of these - he may not exist.
Types of Men - Jackpot
Whichever qualities are most important to you - he has them all, and more. He is probably rich, too. This is the male equivalent of our Types of Women - Jackpot.
(Taken from the MidlifeBachelor.com)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Get Some Rest Before You.......

Life can change in an instant sadly most of us aren’t prepared emotionally, physically, or spiritually to change with it.  Life gives us a few water breaks and then we have to get back to the living. What about you?  Have you stopped to get that much needed drink of water? You’re allowed to rest from time to time you know?  The holidays are right around the corner.  The next two weeks are perfect so

Get Some Rest Before You:

·        Turn your attitude on RUDE

·        Send that group Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year text/email

·        Put that hideous sweater with the reindeer in the Drycleaner’s

·        Sign up for the Gym Membership

·        Slam the door in the Christmas Carolers faces

·        Hide the credit card statement from last year

·        Regift

·        Chop the onions and celery

·        Spike the egg nog

·        Assign the Holiday clean up detail list

·        Take the Grandkids to see Santa

·        Roll your eyes at the Salvation Army workers

·        Meet Uncle Bob’s latest fling

·        Allow that one family member with the bad kids to run free in your house

·        Batter all that freaking French toast

·        Get sloshed at the office Holiday party

·        Mail that fruitcake

·        Peel all those sweet potatoes

·        Boil that macaroni

·        Grate mounds and mounds of cheese

·        Untangle miles of twinkle lights

·        Start a family tradition that won’t last

·        Lug the Christmas tree up from the basement

·        Defrost the turkey

·        Wake up before God on Black Friday to stand in line to get a pack of tube socks on sale at Wal-Mart

·        Run up a bunch of debt for people who will probably exchange your gift December 26th

·        Have to deal with the in-laws

·        Rent those extra folding chairs

·        Reserve that hotel room

·        Rent the Luxury SUV

·        Clean pounds and pounds of chitlin’s

·        Start stringing popcorn

·        Write down more New Year’s Resolutions you’re just going to renege on

·        Tell your kids who Santa Claus really is

·        Accept that marriage proposal

·        Show up at your spouse’s job wrapped in tinsel

·        Save the date for the Annual J.C. Penny White Sale

·        Put everybody out of your house





The list could go on and on and on…feel free to ADD what you like!

 





Keep Your Eyes On The Goal

"Appointments Most of us have a pretty full plate, and that Palm Pilot or Day-Timer can fill up quickly. How do you keep your priorities in place? Let me suggest three appointments you don't want to miss:
A regular daily appointment with God. Pick a time of the day to meet with God to communicate with Him through prayer and Bible study. When it comes to appointments, this one is the most important.


A weekly appointment in church. This is key if you claim to be a Christian, or have an openness to investigate Christianity. Remember, being in a church doesn't make you a Christian any more than being in a garage makes you a car, but it does help you stay close to God and get right with your fellow man.

A weekly date with your spouse, if you're married. You don't have to be a Christian to do this. The weekly date helps you stay close with your spouse all week long, and it can rekindle those romantic fires. These are three of life's most important appointments to keep on your calendar. Give 'em a try."- Bryan Wright

Monday, October 10, 2011

Journal Entry 10 October 2011

Lord after last week, I think you must think me incredibly strong! In many respects I know that I am, for there have been far too many occasions when I’ve had no choice but to be. In the span of about a year, I have lost four people intimately acquainted with me. I know death is a normal part of life, but even when it comes, I don’t think we are ever truly ready for it. From the moment I learned of her death, I resolved within myself to put on a fresh coat of strength. I could not cry, I would not cry, that is, until I walked inside the church, and then, well everything just seemed so final. Though I am emotionally spent, all is well today. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read my Great Grandmother Grace’s obituary since Friday. 108 years! Lord, I can’t even begin to wrap my eyes around what she was privy to see. She lived through two World Wars, Slavery, Polio, The Great Depression, Prohibition, Disco, the Internet, and an African-American elected to the highest office in the land, and even surviving the deaths of all but one child. I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for my Great Grandmother Grace, 108 years and a wonderful legacy to be passed on to future generations. I sat in that church Friday and listened intently as “Grandma Grace” was eulogized and I thought about my own legacy. What will be said of my life when it comes to an end one day? It is an honor indeed to live a long life, to live in such a manner that one is celebrated not really mourned at the end.


I’m not sure who I was trying to be strong for, by not opening the floodgates sooner. I guess it’s because there are not many people I’m inclined to share my burdens with for fear that they might not be able to help me carry them. Lord, I just wanted to thank you for allowing me to lean on the shoulders of my family, friends, and even strangers at various times throughout my life. I wanted to thank you for those who keep my name before you in fervent and effectual prayer. I believe it was Peter Drucker who once said that the most effective way to manage change is to create it. Lord, I need to make some changes in my life. There are still hurts and unforgiveness I must work through, bonds I need to break, nooses I must loose, and fears I must drown. There are quite a few areas I would certainly appreciate your help in if I am to leave a legacy worthy of leaving. I hope that by the time my life is over, that I will have done something that reminds those I leave behind of how wonderful every single day is. How many times have I failed in the course of my life only to have you to remind me that failure is not final? How many times have I had my heart broken only to see you mend it? How many times have I found myself face down in a pool of tears only to have you wipe them? How many times have I coasted into a miracle on faith that looked more like fumes and watched you work it out for me? How many times have I buried a loved one only to realize, life never stopped, not even for the funeral?
I come from very good stock! There are Doctors, Lawyers, Musicians, Inventors, Authors, and everything in between throughout my lineage. I can easily see why I was a "nerd" in school, why I write songs, why I love the library. Somehow I think they, those who have gone before me, have all left an indelible mark on my life. I must now invariably start with the woman in the mirror, all 5 feet 4 inches of her! Help me make that change!
Amazed by Your Grace!


In Loving Memory
Grace Ethel Waller-Hunter
October 8, 1902 - September 30, 2011
(We laid Grandma Grace to rest the day before her 109th Birthday, and it dawned on me she got to celebrate it with Jesus Christ in heaven!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Whales VS. Mermaids

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and b...eautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.
They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.
They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?
They would have no sex life and could not bear children.
Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.
And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.
We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.
Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! "

(The girl on the picture is French model Tara Lynn) Feel free to tag yourselves :)
Last comment: I'm not putting down thin people, being a thin woman myself (BMI of 22 maybe?) just saying that being large doesn't equate to being unattractive.

Marriage Maintenance

Marriage Maintenance

Posted: October 3, 2011 by TWH_PhD in Life, Love, Marriage, Relationships
Tags: , , , , , , ,


A major problem in many marriages is that most people pay more attention to their cars than they do their marriage. This is not much of a surprise since it is easier to get a marriage license than it is a drivers’ license. To get a drivers’ license, most people have to take classes, study, and pass a test. Yet, for a marriage license, all you have to do is go downtown, pay a few bucks, and you’re ready to go. No wonder we see so many marriages turn into major wrecks.
I do believe, however, that there is some symmetry between maintaining a car and maintaining a marriage. Both an automobile and a marriage require routine maintenance in order to function properly. My wife and I are celebrating our eighth wedding anniversary. In honor of our eight years together, I’d like to offer eight marriage maintenance tips. Perform these eight tips regularly, and you will avoid having to do any major repairs on your marriage.

1. Oil change
In your car, the engine oil is responsible for lubricating the moving parts of the engine to reduce friction. If you notice an increase in friction in your marriage, perhaps it’s time for an oil change. Oil represents joy. When there is no joy in a marriage, you are bound to experience increased friction. Friction can cause major damage. That’s one of the reasons automakers encourage you to change the oil in your car every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Change the oil before the friction causes any major damage. One way to perform an oil change in your marriage is to do something fun, different, and spontaneous with your spouse – like when you were dating. Take him or her to a favorite restaurant or the place where you had your first date. The key word is FUN – no friction allowed!
2. Recharge your battery
Your car can’t start with a dead battery – neither can your marriage. Take time to relax with your spouse and recharge the battery in your marriage. Oftentimes, couples can become so busy with life, careers, kids, etc. that they don’t take time to spend with each other and simply allow their battery to recharge. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to recharge your battery. You don’t even have to go far. In fact, you don’t have to leave your house. Both you and your spouse can take a day off and spend the day at home in your pajamas – or not :-) .
3. Check your tires
Tires are important for movement. The problem is that the tires in many marriages have gone flat! Don’t get stuck in a flat marriage. Check the air pressure in your tires regularly to make sure they aren’t underinflated. When tires are underinflated they rob your car of gas mileage. Similarly, your marriage can’t go very far if you don’t have enough air. Every marriage needs a breath of fresh air every now and then. Don’t let your marriage go flat. Also, be sure to rotate your tires regularly. Tire rotation reduces the wear on individual tires. Be sure to rotate responsibilities in your home and marriage so that one spouse doesn’t get completely worn out.
4. Wheel alignment
Much like checking your tires, a wheel alignment, affects the movement of the car. Wheel alignments ensure that the vehicle travels straight and does not pull to the side. Every now and then couples must check the alignment in their marriage to make sure their goals and lives are aligned. Too often, couples end up “pulling” apart because they were not properly aligned. Proper alignment also ensures that one or both spouses are not “pulled” toward someone other than their spouse. Regular communication with your spouse is one way to make sure that your marriage stays properly aligned. Talk about your dreams, goals, and aspirations. Take one night a week as your “alignment” night to make sure that you are both still traveling on the same straight path.
5. Check your brakes
Your brakes are the mechanism that helps your car to stop. It is important to have a stopping mechanism in your marriage. Often, there are obstacles on the highway of life intended to cause your marriage to have a wreck. You need to make sure that your brakes are working properly in case you ever have to stop short. The key with brakes is that they will often tell you that they need to be replaced before they need to be replaced. If you notice any squeaking on the brakes in your marriage, it’s time to go in and have your brakes checked. Don’t let your marriage spiral out of control. Stop, go to counseling, do whatever it takes to avoid the wreck. Check your BRAKES before your marriage BREAKS!
6. Change your coolant
The coolant is the liquid designed to keep your engine from overheating. Make sure that you keep enough coolant in your marriage so that things don’t get too heated. Arguments are a part of every marriage, but you and your spouse must learn how to fight fair. Develop safe words or phrases that you both agree on that will put a pause on any argument. Use that as your coolant to communicate to your spouse that perhaps now is not the best time, and you’d prefer to table the conversation before things become overheated. Do this BEFORE your next argument so you already have the coolant in hand before the argument becomes too heated. Remember, an overheated engine can lead to engine failure, and many marriages have failed because one or both spouses were unable to keep their cool.
7. Change your windshield wipers
The windshield wipers help to remove water and debris from the windshield to increase visibility. One thing is certain on the road and in life, the rain will fall. When rain falls on the road, the windshield wiper is needed so that the driver can navigate his or her way through the rain. However, if the wipers are old, the driver’s view is blocked, and he or she is likely to have a wreck. When the rain falls in your marriage, you need to have fully functional windshield wipers to ensure that you can see where you’re going. Many marriages end up in wrecks because the couple has no vision. Change the wipers on your marriage so you and your spouse can develop a shared vision for your life – one that no rain or storm can stop you from achieving. There are normally two wipers on the front windshield of your car because both driver and passenger need to be able to see the same thing. Make sure you and your spouse are seeing the same thing.
8. Change the spark plugs
Every marriage needs that extra spark every now and then. Don’t let the spark go out in your marriage! Keep it hot and sexy! If you’ve found that you’ve lost the spark, then it’s time to change your spark plugs. Wives, that may mean you need to change your wardrobe. Stop going to bed in a headscarf and housecoat…put your FREAKUM dress on!!! Husbands, you may need to change your conversation. Make love to her mind in the morning, and you won’t have to worry about what will happen at night! Get out of your routine. Change things up. Put the spark back into your marriage!
I can almost guarantee that if you perform these eight marriage maintenance tips, your marriage will run better, the ride will be smoother, and it will cost you less in the long haul. After all, it’s better to take good care of the car you have now than to go out and buy a new model! Keep the gas tank full – keep filling your spouse’s love tank. Make sure that neither of you ever go empty, and you will have a full and happy marriage!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Righteous Indignation or Holy Hypocrisy?: Troy Davis and the Death Penalty

Righteous Indignation or Holy Hypocrisy?: Troy Davis and the Death Penalty

Posted: September 22, 2011 by TWH_PhD in Life
Tags: , , , , , ,

Last night the world watched as Troy Davis, a man convicted of killing a police officer, was executed by the state of Georgia. Enough has been said and written about the facts (or lack thereof) in his case. I won’t make a feeble attempt to rehash them in this space. I do, however, wish to address the overwhelming support for the now deceased Mr. Davis. People from all around the world – from the Pope to the street-level pusher – voiced their opinions, and we witnessed an unprecedented display of support in an effort to save Troy Davis’ life.
These efforts reawakened the spirit of social justice and highlighted the overwhelming need to address the inequities that exist within the American “justice” system. However, while we race (pun intended) to address the inequities in our SYSTEM, we must also address the inconsistencies within ourSELVES.
Many in the media and on social networks used the Troy Davis travesty as a referendum against the death penalty. This was especially true in the African-American community. This is certainly understandable because blacks are those most disproportionately affected by the abuses in the system.
However, while I witnessed many African-American leaders, in their support of Troy Davis, speak out against the death penalty itself, I did not hear such clarion calls for clemency for Lawrence Russell Brewer – the self-proclaimed white supremacist convicted of the hate killing of James Byrd, Jr. in Texas. Mr. Brewer was executed by the state of Texas on the same day that Mr. Davis was executed in Georgia.
If we are truly against the death penalty, shouldn’t there have been an outcry to spare Mr. Brewer’s life as well? Or is it that we are only against the death penalty when it’s “one of us” on death row? Whatever your personal position about the death penalty, it is important that we show consistency in our convictions….Otherwise, our cries for justice will ring hollow

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Journal Entry 11 September 2011

Most people can remember where they were that fateful day 10 years ago.  I myself had recently returned from vacationing in New York before tragedy turned this country upside down.   I remember staring up at the Towers in awe because I thought they reminded me of two gigantic steel lighthouses showing restless New Yorkers how to get back home.   I believe POP QUIZZES are given for no other reason than to determine what the students know or the lack thereof.  America is constantly being tested, but have we learned anything?  Apparently not, for when I read the newspaper,   hatred, war, crime, and poverty do not seem on the decline.  Lord if by chance someone were holding auditions for a “Couch Potato”, I honestly believe I would have been cast for the role today.  It was so weird too because it was such a beautiful day.  Rarely if ever, do I need any motivation beyond a blue sky and the sun shining on my face as an excuse to don a pair of flip flops and waste a tank of gas.  Today however, was a different kind of day for many reasons, and I guess I just needed to rest, reflect and possibly be refreshed through other means.  So don’t laugh when I tell you that I was able to find solace in the company of a romance novel.  I haven’t read a romance novel in years, but for a few brief hours I was able to live vicariously through the characters in the story.  Much to my chagrin, I remembered how much I liked them when I was younger even though the plots still seem a bit contrived and quite frankly, leave a lot to be desired.  What I’m trying to say Lord is the book kept me busy.  Maybe it’s selfish but I wasn’t interested in seeing a play by play of what happens when religious extremists go too far.  I know what this day means for so many of us and as I type this blog, unshed tears trickle down my cheek in remembrance of so many lives lost.  I want to REMEMBER and I want to FORGET! 

This has been an emotional week for me period, but every year on September 11th I strategize about how I can best remember my Father and “Flip” and not forget the other people who never made it home that day.  While most of the country still grieves as a Nation over the horrific events of that day, I remember my brother, my only brother, who for reasons still not known to me took his life.  As a Sister, I sometimes wrestle with guilt because I always wonder could the outcome been different?  I’m well past the initial anger, then inexplicable anger at you that I don’t have my father or my brother here and the real reasons behind their deaths.   I believe in your Sovereignty Lord, even if I don’t always understand how good can come from bad.  Lord, as I think about my Father and “Flip” today, I have to truly come to terms with the fact that you knew.  You knew from the moment they were formed that their time with me would be short.  The two men a woman needs most in her life: a father and a brother.  I guess I will always miss them most on this day, because every year the scab is peeled off my heart.   I only have to look at my twin nieces to remember life is going on.  I only have to exhale my own breath and know life is going on.  Healing is ongoing, even if we don't always stop to feel the hurt.  On a National level I will always know what this day signifies.   I am still shocked and amazed at how cruel WE ALL can be to one another.  How easy it is for hatred to RULE and MEASURE out the EXACT punishment on whomever it chooses.  All these years later the words needed to express the right sentiments of that day still do not come easily.  There simply are no words! The Twin Towers are gone, my Father is gone, my brother is gone, Lord, please be my lighthouse so I can always find my way home.

In Loving Memory,

Alan C. Welch Sr. (My Father)

Alan C. Welch Jr. (My Brother)

Love, Your Daughter and Sister, April

Amazed By Your Grace

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't Look Back Too Long!


It couldn’t have happened to a nicer girl.  After this harrowing experience I will never take my rearview mirror or God’s grace and mercy for granted.  God carefully explained to me in the span of a few moments how His grace and mercy covers me from every side.  Rearview mirrors are only so BIG so we don’t look BACK too long.  God wants all of us to put our minds in DRIVE and go forward!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To The Top,,, I Think?


On any given day you’re likely to find me either in the Public Library, a Starbucks or Barnes & Noble. It is in these places that I’m able to glean what I will from the myriad of conversations taking place all around me. Well at least on the surface anyway it would appear that nearly everybody on the planet is trying to get somewhere and they are willing to do just about anything to get there. I believe destiny paves the roads we are to take in life and delays occasionally put those routes in proper perspective. I overheard a conversation where a man with more ambition than the law probably allows telling another man how to cut corners to increase his profit share in what I can only assume was a shady business venture they were partnering in. In all honesty I get that we are all trying to navigate unchartered waters in this fledgling economy, and that hopelessness is starting to grate on all of our nerves, but cutthroat business practices however profitable are never warranted. What is it about being the BEST that brings out the absolute WORST in people? The lust for power makes for a very formidable opponent when one only wants to make it to the top and at any cost.

I would even venture to say that most people haven’t even thought about what happens after arriving at the top. What about you? Are you headed there, you know, to the top? Have you made any plans once you get there? Is the top it for you or are you planning to go someplace else? What about the path you’re on, are you sure it’s a reliable means of getting you there? What about the people behind you, are you even humble enough to move over, so they can get to the top too? How many people are you willing to step on, step over or stab in the back just to get to the top? The question certainly deserves an answer. Call me na├»ve, but I think people who are only concerned with making it to the top are limiting themselves. Having such a linear, such a logical view reminds me of an office building with no elevators, no corridors just seemingly endless flights of stairs. I don’t know about you, but climbing stairs gets redundant awfully fast. Life was never meant to be that boorish where one is only supposed to look up. What about life going on all around the people on their way to the top? I believe God expects us to live richer and fuller lives. We can’t because we have a singular perspective and we can only see positions, promotions, and parking spaces. We don’t see God’s promises because we generally don’t like how they’re packaged. I guess I will get there I guess, you know, to the top in God’s timing eventually. I can’t say that I like the thought of going alone though, so if you have a mind to step on me, step over me or stab me in the back, I will gladly move aside so you can pass.


“If we continue to live in a world where anything goes to get to the top, one day we’re all going to wake up and wonder perhaps as to why everything went.” – April Lashon

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Journal Entry 01 September 2011


Lord you are so awesome in the way that you lavish love on me.  Now that I am playing a more active role in my church, it is rare that I get to sit.  I don’t mind at all thanks to the invention of the podcast.  I am thoroughly enjoying being an Usher.  It’s not a glamorous position and I highly doubt many people would covet it, but I love it. I really love it.  It’s a perfect place for people like me who prefer the nuances of the background and not the spotlight.  I think I’ve been in Mary and Martha (huge emphasis on Martha) mode for the past several weeks. Whether it’s my two wonderful kids, the church, reading, journaling, crocheting or the numerous other things I do, there are those days I think I am not able to get anything done because I am trying to stay busy. Martha was way too busy wasn’t she? Too busy trying to an impression on you when she should’ve allowed you to make an impression on her.  We get like that don’t we?  We lose ourselves in being busy.  I know it all too well. Every day I usually try to get up and get out of the house, staying gone as long as I can just so I can feel like I’ve done something with the time you’ve given me.  Last night I was allowed to exhale.  

Last night I could not wait to get to church, and it wasn’t until the Benediction that I truly understood why.  I needed to make my way to the altar.  There were so many things I needed to unload on you Lord, and well today, today my shoulders feel especially light.  I pride myself on knowing a lot of words, but last night, I couldn’t find a single one to express what I wanted to say to you. I’m just so thankful that I was able to mumble a few words to one of our awesome Pastors and he was able to make sense of it.  Lord this man started praying for me and somehow he was able to say to you what I couldn’t say to him.  What I took from the experience is that I just needed a few minutes to let you refresh me.  It was such a wonderful moment to be attended to by your awesome presence.  I don’t get why I couldn’t find the words because I am pretty darn good at expressing myself.  Just a few moments in your presence at the altar with other Believer’s and I felt like today I got a new start.  Does that make any sense to you Father? I could truly sense the presence of angels lifting spiritual baggage from my arms.  I don’t have to tell you what I’ve been carrying, even more than that, I’m glad I no longer have to. 

The seasons have already begun to change, and with the change of seasons comes an uncomfortable determination to stay where I am.  One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since turning 40 is that in order for me to grow constantly, I must continually die to self.  What a poignant statement that is.  Doubt is so subtle in how it starts as a gentle whisper and somehow learns how to use its voice against your hopes, your dreams and your plans for our lives.  I’ve overcome many doubts over the past several years.  Doubts about whom I am, where I’m going, and the mode of transportation you’ve chosen to get me there.  I don’t always see doubt as a bad thing, namely because doubt allows me to depend on you more.  Doubt has an uncanny ability to direct me right to you, even if my thoughts delay me for a while.  I can always come to you even when I doubt, so how could there be shame in that?  You are my Heavenly Father and laying it all at the altar should be a regular occurrence in my life.  Last night I needed to cry.  Last night I needed to pray in the Spirit.  Last night I needed to have someone pray for me.  Last night I needed to be in the company of other Believer’s.  Last night I needed to be refreshed because I am entering a new season.

 Amazed by Your Grace




An Aha Moment!


Oprah There's a good possibility that the most influential spiritual leader in America today is Oprah Winfrey. Her spirituality is an eclectic smorgasbord of religious and spiritual ideas. She's overwhelmingly for universalism. Universalism believes that everyone gets to God their own way--no one religion has exclusive rights on Heaven. It's the dominant theological idea inside and outside the American church. And Oprah is its most winsome, popular proponent. It makes me wonder how she would react if Jesus Christ was her featured guest. How would she respond to His outrageous claim, "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"? Would she say, "Jesus, there are lots of ways to Heaven." Or would she say, "Oh, my goodness, forgive me. I've been leading millions down the wrong path." It would be an interesting interview--for Jesus' way to Heaven and Oprah's way are exact opposites. Who do you think is right? I'll go with Jesus. 
Excerpted from YouVersion Bible Reading Application

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mental Barriers to God's Voice: Part I

Mental Barriers to God's Voice, Part 1
by Charles R. Swindoll
2Corinthians 10:1--7


When the worldtries to squeeze us into its mold, God's message gets muffled. Our minds pickup on the strong secular signals so easily that we subconsciously tune Him out.It comes naturally.
In ancient days, acity, in order to prosper, needed a security system to protect it from enemyattack. Of primary importance was a wall which restrained enemy troops frominvading and which also served as a major means of defense in battle. Guardsneeded to be on constant watch from their sentinel posts on the wall. Thereneeded to be towers within the city high enough for those inside to see overthe wall. And finally, at the time of attack, men of military savvy and battleknowledge were needed to give orders and to direct the troops in the heat of combatfrom within the protection of those towers.
Paul drew a seriesof analogies from that familiar scene of his day . . . but remember, he's notdealing with a city but rather with our minds. The passage in 2 Corinthians 10:1--7 sets forth avivid description of the mental barriers that block out God's directives andHis counsel. Look closely. Paul uses four terms that we need to understand. Ifyou have a pencil handy, circle each in your Bible: fortresses . . .speculations . . . lofty thing . . . thought.
As the Spirit ofGod attempts to communicate His truth to us (biblical information onservanthood, for example), He runs up against our "wall," our overall mentalattitude, our natural mind-set. For some, it's prejudice. With others, it'slimited thinking or a negative mentality. Whatever it is, it's a huge mentalbarrier that resists divine input just as firmly as a massive stone wall onceresisted invading troops.
We all have our fortresses. And occasionally we get downrightobnoxious as we operate under the control of our "walled fortress." Need a goodexample?
A vagrant waslooking for a handout in a picturesque old English village. Hungry almost tothe point of fainting, he stopped by a pub bearing the classic name, Inn ofSt. George and the Dragon.
"Please, ma'am,could you spare me a bite to eat?" he asked the lady who answered his knock atthe kitchen door.
"A bite to eat?"she growled. "For a sorry, no-good bum---a foul-smelling beggar? No!" she snappedas she almost slammed the door on his hand.
Halfway down thelane the tramp stopped, turned around, and eyed the words, St. George andthe Dragon. He went back and knocked again on the kitchen door.
"Now what do youwant?" the woman gruffed.
"Well, ma'am, ifSt. George is in, may I speak with him this time?"
Ouch.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Needs & Wants

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God uses the most amazing ways to speak to us. If we're listening we can be certain, that we will always hear Him. I often get my needs and wants confused. Sometimes I even forget that ALL my needs have already been provided. God spoke to me by using a paper bag to illustrate that if He gave me everything I ever wanted all at once, I wouldn't be able to handle it! God gives me things over time,... because He alone, knows what I can truly handle!

I am constantly learning that I can do without EVERYTHING, I WANT, I can't live without the ONLY THING I NEED .... God!

The song playing in the background is Deneice Williams  "My Melody"