Monday, December 28, 2009

Top 5 Books Read in 2009

Here are the top 5 books I read in 2009 that I would recommend, and the link to my review. (Note - these were read in 2009, but not necessarily published then).

Green by Ted Dekker

I loved the fantasy world created in this story.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Packed with emotion, this one was a true tearjerker.

Death by Dorlana Vann

Bonus book in that you get two enjoyable supernatural tales in one.

A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II by Colleen Sell

Warm tales of our four-legged friends, perfect for short reading intervals.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

The characters come to life.

Also, worth mentioning:
Groundswell - winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

What were some of the best books you read this year? What did you like most about them.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Few Favorite Blogs

In no particular order, following are my three favorite blogs to read (not including any in which I contribute):
  1. Supernatural Fairy Tales - fun to read short stories and articles inspired by fairy tales and with a supernatural twist. This blog is by my friend and fellow HFC member, Dorlana Vann. I never miss a post.
  2. Michael Hyatt Leading With Purpose - interesting posts on blogging/social media, leadership, writing and publishing from the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, a large Christian publishing company.
  3. copyblogger - all about copywriting, blogging, and writing compelling content.
There are so many good blogs, and I subscribe to quite a number. Blog posts are my primary source for new technology and gadgets, social media marketing, blogging tips, entertainment, and sometimes even inspiration. What are your primary reasons for subscribing to and reading a blog regularly? What good blogs would you recommend (here's your chance to plug your favorite blog, but keep it limited please. The system will identify comments with multiple links as spam.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wordless Posting - Pics of Live Nativity

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Live Nativity - A Holiday Stress Buster

Continuing with the theme of my last post, I offer this as a holiday stress buster. While true this is still something to do, it's meant to result in your taking the time to reflect on the true meaning of this season. And it's fun and free, and the weather looks to be perfect.

Woodforest Presbyterian Church hosts its annual live nativity, tonight, between 6-8pm. It's your chance to dress as a shepherd or angel and participate. The stage is set for the holiest of nights, complete with stable, live animals, Mary, Joseph and the babe. Refreshments are served.

Woodforest Presbyterian Church is located at 15330 Wallisville Road, at the corner of Black Rock and Wallisville in Houston, Texas.

Perhaps one of the best ways to bust the stress of the season is to be intentional. Read this "Holidays or Holy Days" post by our church pastor, and please share your stress busting thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Stress

So recently, I have felt like a rubber band pulled taut to the nearly breaking point. It's so chaotic and busy this time of year, it's hard to find peace and tranquility. While the music sings "silent night" and "all is calm," I'm frantically on my way somewhere to pick up or do something. And it's not just shopping. It's parties, and school events, and work, and cooking, and . . . . I keep telling myself that if I can just make it past this milestone, the course is sure to get easier. But it doesn't. Or at least, it hasn't. I still believe it will.

My blogging has fallen off a little with all the busyness of the season, and I plan to finish the year with a few "favorites" posts. Like favorite books read this year, favorite blogs to read, maybe even favorite holiday activities or traditions, so stay tuned.

Question for you...
How do you cope with the busyness of this season?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kids are a Lot Like Cats and Dogs or "But That's Not Fair"

There are cat people and dog people, then there are those that love both. I fall in the latter category, loving both cats and dogs (and birds, and hermit crabs, and fish, and . . . well, you get the picture. But that is another post). The funny thing is, you may love cats and dogs equally, but you care for them differently. And rightfully so, as they have very distinct needs.

Kids are a lot like cars and dogs. No, not just in the ruckus that often results when put together, particularly in close quarters. Rest assured, even though cats and dogs are supposedly mortal enemies, they can learn to live together in harmony, and so can your kids. But even with the same parents and consistent environmental influences, kids can be very dissimilar.

My own, for instance, are both girls with brown hair. That just about ends the similarity. One likes to dress up and make herself pretty, the other is more comfortable in a pair of torn jeans. One eats a well-balanced diet complete with vegetables of all colors and textures, while the other prefers a diet rich in carbohydrates and sugars. One prefers pushing herself for individual bests, while the other enjoys contributing to team efforts. Should I go on?

The point is, they are each individual and thus, I treat them differently. One child might need more reminders and dare I say "nagging" to get things done, while the other might be more of a self-starter. How many times have I heard, "but that's not fair" or "but you let my sister."

Truth told, if being fair means treating your kids the same, then I'll admit it, I'm not fair when it comes to my kids. I don't always treat them alike, and I do allow liberties at varying levels. But what is fair is how much I love both of them. That's what I want them to know more than anything. That even when things don't feel "fair" and they feel life (and their mom) is treating them unequally - the love I have for both of them is immense. I guess that's about the best we can do as parents.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Book Review - A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II by Colleen Sell

A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II by Colleen Sell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you adore dogs and enjoy a light easy read, then this book is for you. A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II is a collection of short stories and essays that celebrate man's best friend, the dog. From heroic acts to plain silliness, these stories reflect the devotion we have for our four-legged friends and their unwavering love for us.

This is a heartfelt collection of fifty stories, well written by various authors, and edited by Colleen Sell. Some of the stories are serious, even sentimental, and others humorous, but they all share the magical ingredient of a dog’s devotion. This is a truly enjoyable collection of short stories.

While all the stories were good, a special acknowledgment goes to Susan H. Miller for her story, The Dachshund That (Almost) Conquered the World. Susan is a friend and fellow member of the Humble Fiction Café writers group. Her writing style and stories are an inspiration and joy to read.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Service Project - Cookies and Goodnight

Like most everyone I know, I've donated items, helped with food drives, and contributed monetarily to worthwhile causes. I've very proudly espoused my daughters' service endeavors too, like Locks of Love ponytail donations and Lake Houston cleanup efforts. But this most recent event gave me a very meaningful one-on-one experience of handing the “gift” directly to the recipient.

Our Brownie Girl Scout troop recently participated in a program called “Cookies and Goodnight” at the Star of Hope in Houston. The Star of Hope is a Christ-centered mission dedicated to the homeless. They offer a comprehensive approach to addressing both immediate (food/shelter) and long-term (education/employment) issues of the homeless. “Cookies and Goodnight” is a program whereby volunteers provide an evening snack for the residents living at their Transitional Living Center.

Because we volunteered and served on a Saturday, there were many residents absent on weekend passes. Others were attending classes, so we didn’t have the expected 250 or so residents show up for the evening snack. What we did have though was a tremendously grateful and appreciative group of mostly mothers and children.

The “thanks” we heard were sincere and plentiful. These people so appreciated our cookies and milk, some of them coming up and asking for a second serving. Something so simple meant so much to them, and it made me mindful of my own abundance and blessings.

As we gather together with family and friends across the country this Thursday to celebrate and give thanks, let us not forget those less fortunate. I’m glad to have participated in this program, particularly that my kids were able to share the experience, and I look forward to my next service opportunity. Happy Thanksgiving! What are some of your most meaningful volunteer experiences?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review - Green by Ted Dekker

IE: GREEN: Book Zero: The Beginning and the End GREEN: Book Zero: The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What originally appealed to me about Green by Ted Dekker was that this book could be read either first or last in its series. Called the Circle Series, Green is both the beginning and the end; it is Book Zero.

Green is a Christian fantasy story, set in both present day 21st century and 2000 years into the future, a time when good and evil manifests itself in the physical. Thomas Hunter is leader of The Circle, a peace loving people who worship Elyon and faithfully await his return. However, dissent and impatience stirs in The Circle, and there are those who wish to put peace aside, take up their swords, and defeat the evil Horde. Thomas’ own son, Samuel, leads these rebels into a worldwide calamity.

Ted Dekker paints a world where the imagery is vivid, both the beauty and color of good, and the dark, horrific detail of evil. Green is a fast-paced, exciting read, only it left me wanting more. I especially wanted to know more about the characters and their motivations, and as such, wonder if it isn’t best read as the final book in the series.

In any case, I highly recommend Green for those interested in suspense or fantasy, or who like me, are looking for entertaining and good christian fiction. Enjoy the book trailer too...

This was my first Ted Dekker book, but it won’t be my last. I look forward to reading the other books of this series. Let me know in the comments if you have read any Ted Dekker books and your thoughts on this series.

I am a Thomas Nelson book review blogger.

Friday, November 13, 2009

More on Social Networking and it's Effects on People and Kids

Recently I posted about the best age for kids to get involved with social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and myspace. I linked to some articles that cited concerns that internet usage at a young age could be damaging to kids' abilities to relate to others. However, I am pleased to read this article from Read Write Web about a survey that says quite the opposite.

Good Bloggers Make Good Neighbors, New Survey Shows

While the article isn't age specific, it is heartening to know we bloggers and social networking folks are good at heart and ready to lend a helping hand.

What do you think? Social networking - good for relating to others or bad?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Fun at the Texas Renaissance Festival

This past weekend my family and I attended the Texas Renaissance Festival in Plantersville, TX. According to their website, it is one of the nation's largest and most acclaimed renaissance theme parks. I believe it, although I can only compare it to King Richard's Faire in Carver, MA, as these are the only two renaissance theme parks I have visited. Both are a blast!

Expensive though, the price rivals a Disney park. However, when I asked the kids later which they enjoyed more, the renaissance festival or Disney World, the answer was a resounding, "I don't know."

So, there you have it. The Texas Renaissance Festival offers a fun-filled day of excitement and pretend, royalty and peasants, entertainment and shopping, and more. And it's a day that rivals Disney World in family fun (but not all attractions and shows are necessarily kid-friendly at the festival).

I sure hope we make the Texas Renaissance Festival an annual tradition!

BTW - The crowds were sparse this year compared to prior visits and I wonder if that was due to the weather or the economy?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Making the Most of Your Parent-Teacher Conference

Having just completed a parent-teacher conference, these tips are fresh in mind to help make the most of your conference time.
  • First off - go. I've heard some parents claim they do not need to have a parent-teacher conference because their child is doing so well in school. It may be true that you won't have a lot to talk about then, but not going at all sends the wrong message to the kids (and their teachers). Schooling your children is a joint effort between teacher and parents, so at the least, the parent needs to show up.
  • Talk to your kids first. Find out if they are experiencing any problems at school, whether it be in the classroom or outside, or if they have any questions or concerns.
  • Make a list. Write down questions you want to ask the teacher as you think of them and prior to the conference, then take the list with you. The teacher has set aside this time to talk to you specifically, so make sure you get all your questions answered.
  • Be on time. I can't tell you how many times I've had to wait for my conference because the teacher was behind schedule. This is usually due to someone being late for a conference earlier in the day, setting the whole schedule behind.
  • Make an action plan if necessary. Make sure you leave the conference with a clear understanding of any action you need to take at home to reinforce your child's learning at school.
Like most of us, teachers are busier than ever. Planning in advance will help maximize your time, as well as the teacher's, helping to ensure the best education for your child.

What are some of the things you do to prepare for a parent-teacher conference?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Review - Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

For those of you interested in a business book review and discussion on Social Media, please visit New Business Pipeline where I recently posted my review of Groundswell, winning in a world transformed by social technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. Here is the link.

Social Media Effects on Filling the Pipeline « New Business Pipeline

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Kids and Social Networking - What's the Right Age?

Although social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have reported flattened growth (perhaps due to more choices and users getting picky), there is no doubt that social networking is flourishing. Just like the telephone changed the world, followed by email, now we have numerous more ways to connect and communicate.

Most social networking sites have minimum age requirements for setting up a profile. Facebook requires it's users to be 13 years old, and MySpace has similar requirements. But more and more users are ignoring those requirements and setting up profiles at younger ages.

So what's a parent to do? My own kids ask about opening an account. I tell them they need to wait until they meet the minimum age requirements, all the while their friends are socializing on these sites. I figure there must be reasoning behind the minimum age requirements, but is there? Is there some inherent risk to having a Facebook profile that is no longer prevalent when the child turns 13?

Here are some interesting articles on social media growth and statistics, and kids usage of these networking sites.

STATS: Facebook and Twitter’s Growth Flattens

Social Networking -

Social networks and kids: How young is too young? -

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ever Deserve the Bad Parent Award?

Parenting is hard work, and we all make mistakes. This week, I truly earned and I deserve the bad parent award. Let me tell you what happened.

It was late arrival day for middle school, but instead of sleeping in, my daughter had Girl Scouts. I dropped her off for her meeting, and then headed home. She left her backpack in the car so she would have it for school, and I left the garage door open when I got home since it was a quick turnaround. I only had about an hour before I needed to leave to pick up her cousin for school, and then back to the Girl Scout meeting to get my daughter.

Once home, I settled in for a chat with my mother-in-law, who is visiting from Boston. We made a fresh pot of coffee and enjoyed talking about various current events as reported on the morning news. Then I retreated to my office to begin my day, starting as I usually do by responding to email. Gradually I finished that up, and began making my new business calls.

I could hear my mother-in-law moving about and getting ready to take the dog on a walk. She got the leash out and the dog jumped around in excitement. The home phone rang a time or two, but as always, I let those calls go to machine since I was on my business line and on client time.

Later, I took a quick shower to get ready for a lunch out with my mother-in-law. It was in the shower that it dawned on me. I FORGOT THE KIDS! I jumped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me, and ran down the hall dripping wet. "I forgot the kids," I yelled repeatedly.

My mother-in-law must have thought I was a nut, standing there dripping with only a towel, but I had to find out right away if they made it to school. Fortunately, my sister had plumbing problems that morning, so she was home from work and took her son to school (sorry to say that was fortunate, Sis, but they say things happen for a reason). My own daughter was dropped off at school by the Girl Scout leader, who also kindly gave her paper, pen, and lunch money (remember, her backpack was in my car).

What a horrible mom to forget her kids. I felt awful, and still do. When I dropped the backpack at school, my daughter's first words were, "Where were you?" She was so upset. I apologized, but what could I say? It was stupidity and forgetfulness on my part. While she was clearly displeased, she did seem to forgive me somewhat when she heard that I had forgotten her cousin too. At least it wasn't just her I forgot!

I had worried everyone, and for this I am truly sorry. I have no excuse, although some say it is because I keep too busy a schedule.

I love my children so very much, and would never do anything to hurt them. So, how bad a mom am I? I honestly can't think of much worse than forgetting to pick up your kid. How long before I can reclaim good mom status? Has anything like this happened with you? Please share your stories in the comments.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Kids and Self-esteem

This video has been around for awhile, but I think it says a lot. It's amazing the powerful effect of marketing and advertising, especially on our kids. My gymnast daughter works out approximately 15 hours per week, and has worried that certain clothes make her look fat. Believe me, she doesn't have an ounce of fat on her!

We are surrounded by a world of flawless beauty - TV, billboards, magazines, the internet. How do you combat all these messages portraying "perfect" looks and help build self-esteem, particularly in our pre-teen and teen girls?

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Blog Re-Welcome Message

Welcome new readers and returning visitors!

If you are reading this post via email or a reader, I invite you to visit the actual blog site. You'll see it's changed. Many of you know that I've frequently struggled with exactly what WordProverb is about, and even posted on it here. Now I've made some major changes (both in format and focus).

WordProverb has a new face and a new emphasis - on family, raising kids, spirituality and quality of life. I hope you will engage with me in conversations about parenting, imparting values, spending time together, what works and what doesn't in building relationship, religion and more. Book reviews will also continue to be a part of this blog - after all, reading is setting a good example for our kids. I'm open to anything wholesome and good for building relationships and family.

What's in it for you? Hopefully entertainment, community, useful information, and a place to share ideas. I would add wisdom to the list, but alas, I'm no expert and am on the learn as you go plan. Which is all the more reason for you to add your voice. And I hope you do.

Again, welcome! Please let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halloween Fun for the Family - Make a JibJab eCard

Fun to make and hilarious for the family to watch. Here's the link to the JibJab website where you can make yours,

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs - A Good Family Flick?

Here is a review I recently read about the new animated movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I'm hearing a lot of good things about this movie, along with surprise by adults that it's enjoyable and very watchable.

Nothing cloudy about meatballs chance of success

Have you seen the movie, or do you plan to see it? What are your thoughts - is it a good family flick?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Book Review – Death by Dorlana Vann

Excellent – a very quick and enjoyable read. Death is really two books in one. First is Jaclyn's Ghost, which I had read pre-publication, loved, and blogged about it here. This is the story about fashion model Jaclyn Jade, who has to find the reason she doesn't make it into Heaven after her untimely and murderous death. She enlists the help of a psychic that can hear ghosts, as well as a mysterious and intriguing ghost named Logan. An exciting adventure ensues and one that is sure to captivate readers – it did me!

The second story is Passage to Mesentia. Here, Dorlana Vann surprises the reader with twists and turns that test Wade and Bella's relationship as they search for answers to the murder of Bella's archeological parents. A mysterious and surreal stranger named Ben solicits their help in finding an ancient Egyptian artifact believed to be the reason behind the murder, all the while pulling in Bella with his romantic and tragic past.

Dorlana Vann is a newly published author, fellow member of the Humble Fiction Café writers group, and a friend. Read the book if you get a chance, and watch for more of her novels in the future.

Friday, September 18, 2009

HFC/Good Books in the Woods - Author Event

This is just a quick courtesy reminder about the exciting author event being held this Saturday at Good Books in the Woods. While I haven't yet been to Good Books in the Woods, it looks like an interesting and fun bookstore to visit and was featured in the Lifestyle section of the Houston Chronicle on Mar 24, 2009. I will be there along with several other members of my writers group, Humble Fiction Cafe, between 12-3:00 p.m. If you already have Split, bring it along to have it signed by some of the contributing authors, or you can purchase your copy there. We will also have contests to give away books, plus you can listen to poems and short stories being read by the authors.

Since this is my very first book signing ever, I'm really excited and am hoping for a great turnout. Please tell you friends in the Houston area to stop by!

For those who have attended (or hosted) book signing author events, tell me... what should I expect? Any tips/tricks or recommendations to help make it more successful?

Humble Fiction Cafe: An Author Event Not to be Missed!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book Review - My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jodi Picoult is an author that writes complex characters and isn’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects. She has an ability to get into the heads of her characters and make them come alive. And so it is also with My Sister’s Keeper.

My Sister’s Keeper is the story of a family in turmoil. From her birth on, Anna spends time in and out of hospitals as a donor for her sister Kate, who has leukemia. In fact, Anna’s whole existence resulted from preimplantation genetic diagnosis because her parents sought a donor match to treat Kate’s medical condition, and this role became Anna’s life within minutes of her birth.

The story starts when Anna is thirteen and seeks medical emancipation from her parents. In the process of discovering who she is and her role in life, Anna makes decisions that dramatically affect her family. My Sister’s Keeper explores family dynamics, motivations, emotions, and morality, and it does not disappoint.

I loved this book and was pulled in at it’s opening sentence,
“When I was little, the great mystery to me wasn’t how babies were made, but why.”
It is a novel that actually brought me to tears, so real the emotions.

Have you read My Sister's Keeper or other Jodi Picoult books? What did you like/dislike?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Do You Read Christian Fiction? Then I need your help. « from Hope and Faith

Do You Read Christian Fiction? Then I need your help. « post from Hope and Faith

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

An Author Event You Won't Want to Miss!

On Saturday, Sept 19, members of Humble Fiction Cafe will be at Good Books in the Woods. The event is from 12:00-3:00 p.m. and will feature author readings, book and e-book giveaways, and more.

Click here for more information.

Click here for a map.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Book Review - A Soldier's Promise by Cheryl Wyatt

A Soldier's Promise (Wings of Refuge, Book 1) A Soldier's Promise by Cheryl Wyatt

Warning – this review contains spoilers.

This is the story of a U.S. Air Force Pararescue Jumper, Joel Montgomery, coming to grips with his broken past and helping a sick child get his most desired wish – that of a family.

While this Christian fiction story is heartwarming, it is also predictable. Joel fulfills the wish of a child with cancer by parachuting into the kid’s schoolyard, and then proceeds to fall for his beautiful teacher, Amber Stanton, who is trying to adopt the sick child. Joel and Amber each must overcome issues from their past before they can truly move forward.

This debut novel was an easy read with a happily-ever-after ending, but I prefer more flaws that provide depth and dimension to characters. Certainly they were Christians, but Joel and Amber seemed too perfect to feel real. Everyone was nice, polite, prim and proper, and that part felt contrived.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Disney World Rocks Again!

No doubt about it, Disney World is a great family vacation spot! It rocks and few places compare! We had a great time, but I'm glad to be home because the parks are exhausting!

Every Disney trip has been different for me. As dinks (double-income-no-kids), my husband and I preferred Epcot. As a family with kids, I think we most enjoyed Magic Kingdom.

This trip we tried the optional dining plan for the first time. It's a challenge to eat all the food it includes and lots of fun trying! Don't do Disney without it. Plus it will save you a lot of money if you are eating in the parks.

It was also my first time to Animal Kingdom. My expectations were not high, I didn't expect much. Boy, was I surprised and pleased. My favorites at Animal Kingdom were the Safari, Mount Everest roller coaster, and the Yak and Yeti restaurant.

Highlights of the trip included getting autographs from many characters on the t-shirts my youngest daughter made for everyone. My oldest daughter decorated pouches we were able to use to keep our valuables so that we didn't have to carry pocketbooks.

The picture is of the family in front of a waterfall at Epcot.

Bye Mickey & Minnie, Goofy, and Pinocchio. Hope to see you again soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog Reader Feedback

While I am away on vacation, I thought it would be a great idea to invite a fellow writer/blogger to guest post on WordProverb. But then I started thinking, what do they write about? What exactly is WordProverb? What do you most like to read here?

I’ve troubled myself with this for some time. I’ve studied the analytics, but it’s confusing and discrepant between sources. For instance, if you go by Post Rank Publishers (which you can view on the right sidebar), my most popular posts have been:

Hooky Day – A Mother/Daughter Tradition (family/parenting)
Announcing a New Blog (announcing a new business blog)
Nine Reasons I Love to Work At Home (work/lifestyle)
Lest I Forget Friday (misc information incl local events & blog info)
A Week of Giving (family/parenting)
Have You Read it Yet? (book review related)

According to Feedburner, the most popular posts are:

Have You Read it Yet? (book review related)
Psalm 100 for a 100th Post (spiritual)
Book Review – Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer (book review)

And finally, Google Analytics has a complete different view, with these listed as the most popular posts:

Jesus Didn’t Tap – A Sermon Remembered (spiritual)
I’m an INFJ – What about you? (life/writing)
Upcoming Book Reviews & Contest! (book review related)

So what’s a blogger to think? I’ve decided the best thing to do is go directly to the source – you! You tell me, what is it that you most enjoy reading on this blog and what kind of posts would you like to see more of? Feel free to post anonymously if you would like, my hope is to get lots of good feedback that will help me to make this blog more enjoyable for you.

I look forward to reading your responses when I am back from vacation!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Learning to Be Grateful

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe everyone has been charitable at some point or another. People give to those in need in huge numbers. Perhaps you donate to a favorite cause, or you've prepared a meal for someone who has experienced loss, or you adopt a family over the holidays and buy gifts they otherwise wouldn't have. Or maybe your giving is the gift of time as a volunteer, tithing to the church, preparing food at a soup kitchen, or simply comforting and talking to the lonely. We've all “been there, done that” - just some more than others. But what happens when you are the recipient of all that giving? Have you been?

Blessed with friends and family that are unbelievable at lending support and help, recently, I’ve been heavy on the receiving side. My friend had a household item repaired for me – something she knew wasn’t a priority in my current financial situation, but something she knew I would love to have fixed. The Chevy I am driving belongs to my parents – they loaned it on pretense and immediately began calling it mine. Even businesses I frequent have bartered. And there’s been more. It’s been an incredible journey throughout this period of under- and unemployment.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the barrage of emotion that would go along with these gifts and acts of kindness.

Most obvious, of course, is the direct joy and pleasure resulting from these expressions of love. To know that people care, and care so deeply, is undeniably mind-boggling. It is a true reflection of fellowship and community, and of complete selflessness and generosity.

But on the flip side, and where I’ve been surprised, are my conflicting sentiments. I feel beholden, that I need to repay these offerings, but how? What could I possibly do to repay all this bigheartedness? Am I a charity case, and when did that happen? Do I talk too much about my personal situation? Am I accountable for this assistance? And what about moving forward?

In a nutshell – I’m feeling guilt when I should be feeling gratitude. Which, by the way, makes me feel shame. However, I am truly thankful too. It’s confusing to say the least.

So what about you? Have you received something that has left you with conflicting emotions? How did you work it out?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More Good News from Humble Fiction Cafe

I just have to brag some more about the talented writers of Humble Fiction Cafe. You already know about the book success of Dorlana Vann and Susan H. Miller, and the acceptance of Kelli Meyer into the esteemed Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.

Now Chrissa Sandlin has a poem entitled The White Market in Sorcerous Signals ( Check it out!

It is wonderful to be able to share all this good news!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Novel Start to Hope and Faith

Check out the opening to my novel, Hope and Faith, and weigh in with your comments. I've posted the beginning to the novel on my Hope and Faith blog. Does it grab your interest? Do you care about the characters? Should it be a Prologue or a Chapter 1? Do you want to read more? Your comments are appreciated!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saving Money on Your Food Bill

Over the past few years, my husband and I have experienced both un- and under- employment situations. We've had to tighten the belt and curtail spending like so many Americans these days. We can do little about taxes. Saving on utilities is marginal, and only with some effort. So our focus now is on saving on our food bill. Groceries and dining out account for a fairly large proportion of our overall spending, so here are some of the things we are doing to save.

In no particular order – 10 easy and practical ways to save on your food bill each month.

  1. This one is a no-brainer. Eat before you shop. Hungry tummies prompt you to buy more.
  2. Plan your meals ahead of time, and buy just what you need. The easiest way to do this is to make a list and stick to it! Wait...I think this one is two ideas.
  3. Shop alone, or at the least, without kids. The more shoppers, the more eyes to land on tempting point-of-sale displays, which results in impromptu buys.
  4. Use coupons. While it may take a little more time, the money saved makes it worth it.
  5. Grow your own. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs are fun to grow and provide unmatched taste, along with cost-savings. Growing healthy foods might even entice kids (or adults) to try them.
  6. Match coupons to grocery store sales. Find the best deals and save the most money by using coupons for items already on sale. The Grocery Game is a subscription site that helps you do just that. For more information, visit If you decide to sign up, I'd appreciate if you entered me as the referring member. They give 12 free weeks for every three members referred. Use this email address: Sheryltut (at) Comcast (dot) net.
  7. Buy generic if you don't have coupons for a particular item. Often there is little difference between the name brand product and generic equivalent.
  8. Frequent shopping trips often result in more money spent. Even though you may only plan to pick up one or two items, it's too easy to add more. Try shopping just once weekly.
  9. Cut out the junk food. Highly processed foods typically cost more because they have to pay for all that...well, processing (duh). Cutting out junk food will not only save you money, but provide you with healthier eating choices too.
  10. Eat at home versus eating out. Keep it interesting by trying different menus. Have your ingredients for meals on hand (from the list you made in item 2), but have a few easy meals ready also for those evenings when cooking isn't an option.

What do you do to save money on your food bill?

Please share your tips and tricks in the comments. I'm looking forward to reading your ideas on saving money on the food budget!

Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Manage Multiple Social Networking and Communications Accounts

Social networking is all the rage, and if you're like me, you've jumped onto the social networking bandwagon and signed up for sites like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. You probably have at least one, if not more, IM accounts, and multiple email accounts too for personal use, work, or hobbies. It's fun to be connected and to so easily share information.

But there is a downside, a huge drawback, and that is how overwhelming it is to manage all the conversations. Whew! It's enough to make your head spin.

Well, I'm happy to share with you an excellent tool I found to help manage all the social sites (OK, it was my friend Victor who found the tool, a fellow writer and Producer/Director). The tool is called Digsby and it's great!

No, I'm not being reimbursed or compensated in any way for mentioning Digsby. It just helps me out so much that I have to share it with my readers. (I previously posted on handling twitter tweets, Handling all those Twitter Tweets – TweetDeck versus Seesmic and will try to share more helpful/handy tools as they are discovered).

Digsby very nicely ties everything together for you so that you don't have to spend all your time logging in and out of accounts and checking for updates yourself. It merges various IM accounts into one manager, alerts you of new events in your social networking sites, and manages multiple email accounts as well. And it's free!

With some very handy icons on my bottom right toolbar, I can glance down at any time and see if new mail has arrived or if there are message alerts on my social sites. With a click, I can open an email or delete one, set my facebook status, IM my buddy, and more. You can visit the site and download Digsby here.

Digsby is a great tool that I highly recommend. What are some of the tools you use for handling all your social sites and communications?

Friday, July 17, 2009

And the Winners of the Book Giveaway Are...

Congratulations to the book giveaway winners!

I'm not sure why more people didn't enter the contest for the book giveaway, but it sure made the odds better for those that did!

The custom random number generator pulled:

#1 lreaves
#2 DG

Lreaves, please let me know which book is your preference. DG, I will send you the remaining book. Both books will be autographed (Death by the author, Dorlana Vann, and A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II by one of the contributing authors, Susan H. Miller). Dorlana and Susan are members of Humble Fiction Cafe' writers group.

Winners, please contact me by email before 10pm Central Time on July 27, 2009 with your address so that I can get the books sent out. You can click on the email icon in the left sidebar. If you have any problems, let me know in the comments to this post.

Again, congratulations to the winners. I would love to hear how you liked the book when you are finished!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Final Day to Enter and Win a Free Book!

Today is the final day to enter to win one of two free books, Death by Dorlana Vann, or A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II. Details posted here (previous post):

Upcoming Book Reviews and Contest!

Great reading by two of my writer friends!

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, July 10, 2009

Upcoming Book Reviews and Contest!

Great news! I've received my copy of Death by Dorlana Vann (containing Jaclyn's Ghost and Passage to Mesentia) and A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II with a story by Susan H. Miller. I first mentioned these books in my post, WordProverb: Writers Group News and Success!

I'll be posting full reviews in the future!

In the meantime, I am pleased to announce my first ever giveaway/contest on this blog!

Da-ta-ta-da!! What will you win? ...drum roll, please

There will actually be two lucky winners. 1st place winner receives their choice; Death by Dorlana Vann or A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II. Second place winner will receive the remaining book. I'm working on getting the books autographed too, but can't promise that yet!

I'm so excited and I hope you will be too, because it is so easy to win. To enter, just leave a comment (yes, that easy). Here are the rules:

  • Comments are eligible for the contest until midnight, July 16, 2009 Central Time zone.
  • I will use the Custom Random Number Generator to pick 1st and 2nd place, and announce the winners on this blog on July 17.
  • The winners will need to contact me by email before 10pm Central Time on July 27, 2009 or another winner will be selected.
  • Sorry, only residents of the continental U.S. and APO/FPO and Canadian addresses are eligible.
Please note - to be eligible, your comment must appear on this post on the WordProverb blog. If you are reading this on Facebook or elsewhere, please visit the actual blog post to add your comment.

Thank you and good luck!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Sense of Accomplishment - One Task at a Time

My mother always told me to make sure I accomplished one thing a day, whatever the task, but usually always something house related. I used to follow her advice. But in recent years, it seems I had forgotten that piece of wisdom.

Recently though, something caused me to conjure back that memory, and I've put it back into practice. It works. I truly do feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in getting just one thing completed each day. I’m not a week into this yet, but so far I've:
  • Scoured the bathrooms, including washing the baseboards and woodwork
  • Cleaned the stovetop
  • Washed the baseboard in the foyer and living room
  • Dusted and polished the old piano
  • Rotated the mattress on the bed
Back in our DINK days (Double Income No Kids), my husband and I hired a housekeeper to clean our home every two weeks. We got that “whole house clean at one time feeling” and it was great. But with kids, work, and obligations of life, I’ll settle for the one thing a day routine. It works pretty well. Thanks Mom!

What are your tricks and tips on getting things done? What gives you a sense of accomplishment?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review - I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse by Michael Franzese

I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse: Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss I'll Make You an Offer You Can't Refuse: Insider Business Tips from a Former Mob Boss by Michael Franzese

rating: 2 of 5 stars

In I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse, Michael Franzese, former capo in the Colombo crime family, shares his insight and wisdom in running and making the most of your business. From the basics, like creating a written business plan, to keeping it legal, Michael offers antidotes and stories that describe how he reached success while a high ranking member of the mob.

But therein lies the problem. There were double standards throughout the book. For example, Michael Franzese tells us to put together a clear, focused, and written business plan. However, not if you are a mobster. A mobster’s objective is always to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible, and they prefer not to have paper trails as these can be incriminating. So if Michael Franzese did it the mobster way, without a written plan, why is he telling his readers to do it another way?

The business information contained in the book wasn’t particularly unique or fresh. Play it straight, learn to listen, put a lid on greed, don’t gamble, and operate with integrity are just some of the significant messages explored in the book, but a lot of the information felt like common sense. Certainly good lessons with moral appeal, but not new, insightful, eye-opening information for most people (perhaps I think too highly of the integrity of the human race?).

One of the best aspects of I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse is its strong message of motivation and encouragement. Michael Franzese devotes an entire chapter to failures. He explains that failure is normal, and that some failure in life is to be expected. But value comes from using the failure as a tool for learning and improving, and the best way to handle failure is to pick yourself up and dust yourself off.

Michael Franzese writes with a strong, wise-guy voice that is easy to read and entertaining, but may not be the business book readers think. He writes, “Life is all about the ingredients.” Put in good ingredients and you’ll get a good product. I’ll Make You an Offer You Can’t Refuse is less a lesson in running a business, and more instruction in living a good moral life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Telecommuting Benefits

Do you dread yet another morning sitting in the stalled commuter traffic on Interstate Highway (IH)10? Or is US-59 or US-290 where your stoppage occurs? Whatever your commuter nightmare, perhaps telecommuting is the answer.

Today more and more companies are offering telecommuting options to their employees, and for several good reasons. Telecommuting can be good for the employee, but equally beneficial to the employer. Previously I posted Nine Reasons I Love to Work From Home. Here are a few company benefits to telecommuting.

Most employees like the option to work from home. If even just one day a week, most workers enjoy the break from commuter traffic and the autonomy of working from home. They appreciate the cost savings in gas, wear and tear on their vehicle, and a day in which they don’t have to wear their “work” attire, saving on associated wardrobe costs. This makes for happier and more satisfied employees.

Offering work at home options also enables companies to boast “green.” By reducing the number of staff commuting into the office on a daily basis, the company is helping the environment by reducing auto emissions. Since auto emissions are a major contributor to ground level ozone, this also helps reduce the likelihood of high ozone days, which is a danger to people with asthma or compromised lung functionality.

While not all jobs can be performed on a telecommuting basis, many can, and it’s worth your while to approach your employer about working from home. Do your homework first, and be able to provide your boss with all the benefits to the arrangement. You never know, perhaps the next major bottleneck on IH-10 will be one vehicle less – yours!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New TV Series review, Make It or Break It

Make It or Break It, a new TV show featuring the drama surrounding national champion gymnast hopefuls, premiered last night on ABC Family. Of course, having a gymnast in the family, we couldn't wait to see this new show.

Like watching the Olympics, I enjoyed seeing the spectacular feats performed on the beam, bars, floor, and vault. Since I did not see a whole routine executed start to finish without a lot of flashes to the feet, I am curious who performs the routines for the filming. It requires great physical strength, balance, and poise to be a gymnast, and the exercises performed appeared advanced to me. I would love to know who the actual gymnasts are!

Although I missed the beginning and didn't see the complete episode, part of what I saw was a lot of cutthroat between the team members. The show appeared to be as much drama as gymnastics, and heavily geared to the teen viewer. My daughter said she really liked the show, and I am reserving my opinion until after I've seen a full, future episode.

My hope is that the show will continue to feature amazing feats that will lure more spectators and participants into the sport of gymnastics. Even for kids not competing at a national level (lets face it, most of them aren't), the physical benefits of gymnastics are easily evident. My daughter is in excellent shape as a result of the sport.

Did you see Make It or Break It? What did you think?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Keeping Cool When the Temperature Soars

What do you do when average daily temperatures are in the upper 90's, high humidity makes those temperatures feel even higher, and your central air conditioner breaks? I recently experienced just that, and here's what I learned are the best ways to stay cool when the A/C is broke and the temperature's sizzling.
  • Under no circumstances should you use the oven
  • Close the blinds to reflect the sun away
  • Open all your windows
  • Use your ceiling fans and get the air moving
  • Keep oscillating fans on you in the room you are in
  • Dress skimpily
  • Take cool showers
  • Rinse the dishes in cool water
  • Take the kids to the swimming pool (this one gives you great brownie points with the kids)
  • Go shopping - your A/C may be broke but it isn't broke at the mall
  • Run errands - any excuse to get into the air conditioned car
  • Keep the lights turned off as much as possible
  • Hair up or in a ponytail
  • Light, cool meals are best - simple sandwiches, fresh fruit, cucumbers in olive oil & vinegar
  • Better yet - eat out!
Any other ideas or suggestions? These helped for me, but I'm sure there are more great ideas out there.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Writers Group News and Success!

I’m pleased as punch to share some great news from my writers group, Humble Fiction Café.

Publishing Success!

Death by Dorlana Vann
Representing the death card in Tease Publication’s Dark Tarot Series, this is a two-in-one novel containing Jaclyn’s Ghost and Passage to Mesentia. Two great paranormal novels in one book, click here for details and brief descriptions of both stories. Available now at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

A Cup of Comfort for Dog Lovers II by Colleen Sell
This is a collection of fifty great dog stories. Susan H. Miller contributed The Dachshund That (Almost) Conquered the World, a most enjoyable story for dog lovers everywhere. Available now at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

I encourage you to purchase these books and enjoy the talent of both Dorlana and Sue!

Other Success!

Kelli Meyer was accepted into the esteemed Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop. They only accept 16 students each year, so it’s quite an accomplishment to be accepted into this six-week writing program.

Way to go Dorlana, Sue and Kelli!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Handling all those Twitter Tweets – TweetDeck versus Seesmic

Hello. I'm Sheryltut, and I'm a Twitter user. Hi Sheryl.

If you are like me and have been listening to various sources extol the value of social networking, then it's likely you've also jumped on board some of those sites, including Twitter. At first I wondered, what's the point? Who really cares what I did this morning or what I'm doing now in 140 characters or less, but then I learned it's much more than that. Twitter provides an easy way to stay connected with people and to learn about topics of interest. It's a tool to listen to what is being said.

I signed up July 2008, but didn't really start using Twitter until 2009. What I quickly learned is that it's impossible to read all the tweets posted by the people you follow. Yet I knew that if Twitter was this great tool for listening and communicating like everybody says, then there had to be a way to capture and manage those tweets you wanted to read.

And there is, although I'm still learning these tools.

Following are the pros and cons of two tools I've tested for organizing and managing tweets. I've had more time with TweetDeck since I discovered it first, and I'm still on the fence as to which one to use going forward. I would appreciate any and all additional feedback in the comments.

TweetDeck - Click here for more information or to download TweetDeck.

TweetDeck Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Simultaneously tweet and update Facebook, or select which application to update
  • Allows for grouping
  • Search keywords (search becomes a group)
  • Free
  • Auto shorten tweets (helps to fit within 140 character limit)
  • Shorten url links using one of several built-in choices
  • Drop-down box for recent hashtags
  • Integrates with Facebook

TweetDeck Cons

  • Only allows for 10 columns
  • No way to move pop-up notifications and for me they pop-up in an inconvenient location
  • No help feature (or at least not easily evident)
  • Frequently run out of Twitter API

Seesmic - Click here for more information or to download Seesmic Desktop.

Seesmic Desktop Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Tweet or update Facebook
  • Allows for grouping
  • Search keywords (search becomes a group)
  • Free
  • Auto shorten tweets (helps to fit within 140 character limit)
  • Shorten url links using one of several built-in choices
  • Integrates with Facebook
  • Allows for many columns (not sure if there is a limit?)
  • Columns can be static/detached or viewed with a click

Seesmic Desktop Cons

  • Allows Tweet or Facebook update, but not both simultaneously
  • No help feature (or at least not easily evident)

Pretty evenly matched in the pros and cons. And as I mentioned, I'm still on the fence and not sure which application to use.

The big thing I like about TweetDeck is the ability to simultaneously update Twitter and Facebook. The drawback is the 10 column limit.

What I like most about Seesmic is the unlimited columns and easy viewability. What I don't like is that you can't update Twitter and Facebook together.

So what I like about one is what I dislike about the other, and vice-versa. So, which is the best tool?

-------> June 25 UPDATE - Seesmic has added functionality that enables users to post simultaneously to facebook and twitter. A big plus!

-------> July UPDATE - Tweetdeck has removed their 10 column limit!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Time Management Tools Needed

Help, please!

Lately, I've been pulled in multiple directions. Between the kids, part-time job, contract work, blog creation and writing assignments, work on my novel, my husband's cleaning business, girl scout leader responsibilities, and editing the church newsletter, I barely have time for housework, reading, or _______ (fill in the blank - just about anything else fits here). I look back and wonder, how did I used to handle a full load? And I ponder, how do others do it?

I remember when I worked for AT&T Microelectronics years ago, I utilized a Day-Runner calendar and time management system. It was a paper system, but it worked, only now I would prefer something electronic. My Palm Zire 31 (older model without telephone) is great for contact and calendaring functions, but I haven't utilized the tasks portion of the device. I'm going to give it a try.

What's out there for time management solutions, and what works well? Your ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

* Photo courtesy of

I read the blog Rants & Ramblings by Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent. She posted a great article on time management. Her article is not about the tools to use for time management, but rather the importance of continually prioritizing. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Snap Shots from

I recently installed a tool on this site called Snap Shots. It enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, and more. Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Please let me know if this is an enhancement to the site, or if the screen shots get in your way. You can also opt-out by clicking the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot.

Thanks for your feedback!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Post on Endings

Please visit my novel blog, Hope and Faith, where I've posted Six Common Types Endings, the information gleaned from an endings class given by Linda Lindsey of HFC. It was an outstanding class full of valuable insight, too good not to share!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Five Things I Hope to Accomplish This Summer

Fun related:

  • A Trip to Disney World – This is something I've talked about summer after summer. Our last visit was just after 9/11, the park was empty – no lines, no wait. But the kids were too young to remember. It's way past time for another Disney vacation.

Writing related:

  • Work on my Novel – Get at least half-way through the rewrite of my novel, Hope and Faith. The Humble Fiction Café writers' group classes for our Six Month Novel Project (6MoNo) will be completed. No more excuses!

House related:

  • Wash the windows on the front and sides of the house. I recently did the back windows and they look so much better!

  • Organize and clean out my office. Perhaps a better name for my office would be multi-purpose room, as it serves as my day job office, writing space, and sewing area (lol – as though I sew). It also contains the household record-keeping area, bill-paying site, reference books, and the piano. It has a tendency to collect material, and needs a thorough organization/cleaning.

What's on your agenda for the summer?

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Short Story Posted - The Middle Child

I invite you to read and comment on my newest short story, The Middle Child. I've received several comments from people that they know someone like my character Heather in the story.

What about you? Do you know someone like Heather? What other feedback would you offer?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jesus Didn't Tap - A Sermon Remembered

During Lent, the pastor at my church (Woodforest Presbyterian Church) delivered a couple of outstanding sermons. I wanted to immediately write about them to share with you, but my busy schedule made that impossible. As it turns out, I have only been able to find the bulletin to one of those sermons, and I don’t remember the bible readings for the other.

My memory is hazy on the actual sermon, so this is a brief recap of what it said to me. And while I don’t know what my preacher called the sermon, I’m calling this...

Jesus Didn’t Tap

The bible readings:

Jeremiah 31:31-34:

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

John 12: 20-33 (Sermon text)

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show by what death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?”

My youngest daughter takes martial arts lessons, and a popular clothing amongst these enthusiasts contains the phrase “Jesus Didn’t Tap.” Here’s the link to the clothing line. For the longest time, I watched each new design proudly worn. And I wondered, what did it mean?

Through a Google search and conversation with other parents, I learned that in martial arts, a participant will “tap” when they give up. They tap the floor, indicating an end to the match, a concession, a surrender. They tap to avoid further injury.

Jesus didn’t tap though, despite the fact that he knew what was ahead of him. When the Greeks came to see Jesus just days before his crucifixion, he knew then what was coming. He would be persecuted. He would suffer. Jesus could have said, “Father, save me from this hour,” but he didn’t. He knew his purpose and he stayed true.

Thanks be to God - Jesus didn’t tap and our iniquities are forgiven.

Have you heard a particularly good sermon that has spoken to you?