Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taking a Break

Earlier this week, I've saw a number of other bloggers mention that they are taking a break from posting for holy week and Easter. I didn't want to be seen as "joining the bandwagon" so I thought I would keep posting. But I've reconsidered and decided I want to take some time off. 

Posting consistently has been a struggle for me lately ... I need to look at how I'm spending my days to see why I don't have enough of time. Plus, I'm getting a new website/blog soon and I'm scared about what/how/when/why I will keep my blog alive and fresh. 

So I'm going to take some time off and think/process/pray about what's next. 

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday's Fave Five

On a regular basis I try to look back over my day/week/month/year and remember the good things in my world, so when I saw Friday Fave Five hosted by Living to Tell the Story - I decided to join the party. If interested, click on the link above to read other Fave Five posts. 

My favorite things this past week were ... 
1. Spending last Sunday at the beach (Ocean City, NJ) with my husband. The wind and temps made it sweatshirt weather, but the sun was beautiful. A two hour drive and we were there. First I took a short nap on the beach, followed by a 5-mile run on the packed sand at low tide (that's my favorite place to run!) Another hour or two of relaxing before driving halfway home and stopping for dinner.

2. The lovely/delicious/perfect-ending-to-the-day dinner 
on the deck at Manayunk Brewery overlooking the Schuylkill River.

3. The Vegetable Bruschetta I had for dinner - 
it tasted even better than it looked.

4. Enough about the perfect Sunday - Tuesday had a fave also. A phone call with Kate from Bittersweet Creative, who's designing a new website for me as part of the plan for my Dream Year.

5. And Thursday had a fave also - a visit with my doctor for results from a follow-up mammo I had last week after a brief scare last fall. Loved his words, "Everything looks great - all is well! No need to see me for at least a year." 

What was the favorite part of your week? 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Faithful - to What?

Confused by rules and religion, but sensing there's a creator of the world and of her - she makes a commitment to seek the ways of the creator, more than the ways of others. The place, time and desire of that commitment stays clear in her mind. 

Time moves on - big and little life events happen. She continues seeking. She revisits her commitment and the meaning of it. Some days there's clarity and peace - other times there's confusion. There's many late-night discussions. 

What was that commitment made to ... a creator, a way, a group, a place, a religion, a party, a lifestyle, a belief? 

Certain words and 'truths' about them are everywhere ... post/pre - allowed/caused - Bible/science - blue/red - control/free will - hate/love - answers/mysteries - men/women - equal/unequal.

Other words get slapped with a right or wrong way ... church, fast, pray, small group, worship, read your Bible in KJV or NIV ... or wait should it be the ASV or the HCSB? 

Her mind is cluttered with thoughts embraced, discarded and then some embraced again. At times, the more answers she seeks, the more confusing the creator seems. 

Time to breathe deep and revisit the commitment ... the commitment was to seek her creator - that hasn't changed. That is not clutter. That is inviting. She can be faithful to that commitment. 

If you've made a spiritual/religious commitment  - what did you commit to and why?

This post is part of a Blog Carnival hosted by One Word at A Time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Saying

Believing in our goals to the point of acting upon them as though they are real already is the ultimate test of our faith and faithfulness -- and the ultimate trigger for their realization when the time is right. -Dr. Richard Gaylord Brilley

Friday, March 19, 2010

Winning Wednesday Winner


Michele Cervone Scott
of Honey Brook, PA

You are the winner of "Born to Run" 

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Don't ask me why blogger put this big gap here, I can't get rid of it - grrr! Annoyed - will be happy to move to Wordpress ASAP - new site coming soon!

Years ago I was watching Oprah as my six-year old son played nearby. She had a few teens on her show and was asking them questions about beauty and brains. One question was which they would prefer - beauty or brains - if they could only have one of them.

I don't remember the outcome of her question, but I asked my son the question. (hey, six is close to being a teen) He promptly declared, "Brains!"

I learn from odd moments and that was a turning point for me, I've tried to live more concerned about brains than beauty ever since. I don't remember if Oprah defined what she meant by brains, but in this scenario, I thought of brains as wisdom and I would rather seek soul-deep wisdom than skin-deep beauty.

But it isn't totally an 'either-or' thing. Wisdom tells us there are some things we are responsible for concerning our own beauty - or lack thereof.
Wisdom helps me see that what makes a person beautiful has more to do with attitude than looks. 

Having said that - wisdom also helps me know that I have choices about certain aspects of my looks ... 
      *what my hair looks like
      *how old a sweatshirt I wear
      *what my weight is
      *my facial expressions
I only responsible to do the best I can - the best I can, not what supermodels do and/or look like. (can you say airbrushing!) My best is what's best for me and my health - am I eating foods that nourish me or just give me empty calories? Am I moving enough - because what I don't use, I lose.  

By preferring wisdom over beauty, I've been able to avoid major struggles with the whole beauty thing and I thank God for that. Lord knows, I have enough other problems to deal with (another post, another day ;) 

So as for beauty - focus on wisdom more, but know that we are responsible for some aspects of our own beauty, but life's too short to allow things we can't control to ruin our days.

These are some of my thoughts on beauty - Sarah Markley has encouraged her readers to write posts about beauty, so click on the button below to read more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Winning Wednesday Winner - Born To Run

This week's Winning Wednesday book is ... Born to Run

by Christopher McDougall
 Here's why he wrote this book ...

I started running about 18 years ago while struggling with depression. It was my therapy in many ways. After receiving severe injuries in 2004, I didn't know if I would ever run again. But thank God! After dozens of surgeries and years of physical therapies, I began running again in 2008. 


All I can say is there is just something about running that works for me - body, mind and spirit.

Recently, I heard Christopher McDougall speak at a local college - he's a great speaker and writer. Born To Run is a great read - whether or not you're a runner. I also enjoyed the book for the look into the world of the Tarahumara Indians and their culture. McDougall has a interesting reason as to why we like to run.
All our bodies need exercise to stay healthy - if you don't use it, you lose it. So even if running doesn't appeal to you - this book will inspire you to do something for your health.  

What do you do to keep your body healthy? 

Leave your name (and a way for me to contact you) for a chance to win a copy! Closes Thursday at 9PM - Winner posted on Friday.

"Hind" you won last week's book, I have no way to contact you -email me!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sunday Saying

As you aim to stick to those New Year resolutions or the sacrifices you made for Lent, remember this thought from Lance Armstrong ...
Pain is temporary - Quitting lasts forever.
If you have stumbled with your goals, stand up straight and try again. And even if you've blown it, try again - as long as you are breathing, there's hope! 

Here's the same quote with more details ...

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

Hang in there ... step by step you can do it! 

Everyone struggles in different areas. What goals are hardest for you to reach? 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Relentless Rejection Had to Stop!

This post is my contribution to Faith Barista Bonnie Gray's invitation to write about rejection - go to her blog to read posts from her and others.

Rejection from anyone affects me. Thankfully not as much as it used to be, but I still try to avoid it. 

But there's one person whose rejection affected me drastically in my life. This person used to be relentless! It seemed she was determined to make me feel bad no matter what I did. I was dammed if I did and dammed if I didn't! 

She drove me nuts! Always making me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Always pointing to a place I hadn’t arrived at yet. 

Something had to change - I needed to avoid hearing her rejection or not believe it if I heard it. But, it was an odd paradox, because I couldn’t avoid her or stop her from talking to me, but yet I was the one giving her power.

You see, the problem was ... she was me.

‘She’ was that nagging voice in my head saying negative things to myself. And she could be so convincing that at times, I thought she was God’s voice telling me truth - ouch! But other times, I realized she was an unhealthy voice keeping me from living life to the fullest. 

To figure out who she is and who I am, I realized I needed a clearer picture of who my creator is. After all, he made me and knows me better than I know myself. So I spent time asking/seeking/knocking and I discovered ...
God, my creator is love 
and is all about love! 

Slowly I absorbed his love as I took time to learn about who he really is - not who religion/environment/culture has made him out to be. 

Absorbing takes time, but along the way I had a few lightbulb moments - once when rereading Jesus’ words ...
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I have to/can/should love me - wow! And love and rejection can’t co-habituate - so one of them had to go. God’s love slowly quieted ‘her’ and if she manages to raise her ugly head now, I call on his spirit for help to drown her out.

It’s okay to be me - fully me, at whatever stage of life I’m in. I soak up the joy of knowing ...
I’m created in the image 
of the creator of all 
and I am good!*

A story about the life of an apple hit home with me ... 
An apple blossom is gorgeous just as it is and it’s fully complete as a blossom. With time, the blossom becomes a bud - a beautiful bud, full of potential and fully complete as a bud. As the bud grows, an apple is formed. When the apple is ripe, it’s fully complete as an apple - ready to be enjoyed by one of us.

When I see a beautiful and delicious apple, I don’t fault it because it was once a blossom or bud. I realize it needed to be completely ‘there’ in order for it to ripen into an apple. So why do I fault myself instead of fully appreciating each stage of life I travel through? 

Now I aim to fully embrace where/who I am each day - with the understanding that I will probably move from this place to another one sometime. 

Fully embracing each day means ..
“I do what I can, with what 
I have, where I am” (Roosevelt) 
in every area of life - body, mind and spirit. 

*Yes, I know about the fall and sin entering the world, but I’m still created in the image of God and I don’t think his announcement of “It was very good” (Genesis 1:31) is erased. I live with an awareness that I can lean towards good or bad - it’s my choice.

Winning Wednesday Winner

The winner of 

My Story of Innocence, Music and the Holy Ghost

is #8 which is


If you didn't win, pick up a copy today 
or go here to try and win another one!

Hind - please email me your mailing address, JanetOberholtzer@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Winning Wednesday - Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

My Story of Innocence, Music and the Holy Ghost

As a kid, Turner loved music, so he headed to Nashville for college and for work. Hear No Evil is a memoir (college years and beyond) of moving from his strict religious home to a boarder world beyond, especially in music. His college class had a good laugh when he asked who Bob Dylan is and told them he never heard his music. Later, he worked in the Christian music world and provides some interesting inside glimpses.

Turner desires for life to be authentic and honest. He is bothered by added hype and pretense. This is true in his connection with people and with God. Along the way, his journey of trying to understand God/love/grace shows. The writing style is easy and not preachy - he's had too many rules in his childhood to do that to his readers, so parts of it can feel slightly incomplete. He is not an 'answer' person and this thought shows that ..
"I was learning that I don't know a lot of things. And I think a part of faith is learning how to be okay with that." 

Turner is funny and he can't help but poke fun at his past and things he encounters - depending on your journey in life, you will enjoy his humor ... or not. 

Matthew Paul Turner has a BBA degree in business music. He is the former editor of CCM magazine, and has written for other Christian publications. He lives with his wife and son in Nashville.

Visit his site at Matthew Paul Turner
and he is on twitter as @JesusNeedsNewPR 

Leave your name for a chance to win this book. Also what song always reminds you of certain events/people/places?

Enter before Thursday at 9PM
Winner will be posted on Friday morning.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


In The Message, Eugene Peterson gives us a fresh translation of what is often called the 'fruit of the spirit.' 

But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard - things like affection for others (love) exuberance about life (joy) serenity (peace). We develop a willingness to stick with things (patience) a sense of compassion in the heart (kindness) and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people (goodness) We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments (faith) not needing to force our way in life (gentleness) able to marshal and direct our energies wisely (self-control). Gal 5:22-23

The description for goodness surprised me. I thought it would focus on me being good (and Lord knows, what's good can be confusing because we all define good differently.) 

But it says goodness is a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people - hmm, interesting. Goodness isn't about me, its about how I view others - imagine that!

And it says there's a holiness in people and things - too many times in the Christian world we hear how sinful/wicked everyone and everything is. Maybe we should we balance our viewpoint by looking at the other side.

We were created in the image of our creator and we were called good! And that description didn't come from any run-of-the-mill reviewer or pundit - it came from the best! Also, everything that was created was called good

So if I live God's way, he will give me this goodness - this conviction that will help me see holiness in things (whether nature, time or food) and people. I like that - my creator will help me see everyone (yes, even that person) as someone that has holiness in them and deserves to be treated with love.

How would my life look if I understood this? The author of Galatians gives me some more help ... 
Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better or another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original! Gal 5:25-26

Each of us in an original - what a sweet idea! So I don't have to compare or decide who's this and who's that, but instead I can look for holiness everywhere!

That is a goal that excites me ... what about you? 

To read more posts on Goodness - go to the party at the blog carnival at One Word at a Time.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sunday Saying

9 Interesting Things Humans Do

1. People who are willing to get up to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.

2. When people say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". That's right! What good is cake if you can't eat it?

3. People who point at their wrist asking for the time... I know where my watch is pal, where is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?

4. When people say "it's always the last place you look". Of course it is. Why would you keep looking after you've found it? Do people do this? Who and where are they?

5. When people say while watching a film, "did you see that?" No Loser, I paid $12 to come to the theater and stare at the floor!

6. People who ask "Can I ask you a question?"... Didn't give me a choice there, did you sunshine?

7. When something is 'new and improved'. Which is it? If it's new, then there has never been anything before it. If it's an improvement, then there must have been something before it, couldn't be new.

8. When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks "Has the bus come yet?" If the bus came, would I be standing here??? 

9. When people say "life is short". What??? Life is the longest thing anyone ever does!!! What can you do thats longer?

- Unknown

Friday, March 05, 2010

Winning Wednesday Winner

Karen Faust 
of New Holland, PA

is the winner of this week's

Winning Wednesday Book 

Crave: Wanting So Much More of God 

by Chris Tomlinson

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Winning Wednesday - Crave

Enter to win this book for -

Winning Wednesday

Crave: Wanting So Much More of God 

by Chris Tomlinson

Crave is a book about one young man's journey of developing a meaningful Christian life for himself. Tomlinson is real about the messy and bumpy road it can be at times. He writes about times when he didn't do something that he felt God was nudging him to do. Or times when he did good things and felt superior for doing them. 

He had some great practical examples of being a light in the world. He picked up trash around his home rather than ignore or complain about it. I like his idea of giving his first-class airline upgrade to someone else - he attempted to do this, but the airline won't allow seat transfers between passengers.

His writing style is easy to read and some of his analogies are refreshing. Each chapter is based on a different topic. The age and/or life experience of the author are visible in some of his thoughts and conclusions especially about subjects like - rules, suffering, needy children and joy. My thoughts/beliefs aren't the same as his on some of these.  

For more information about Chris Tomlinson and for a free download of the first three chapters of Crave, visit his website, Crave Something More

I was given two copies of Crave - one for me to review and one to give away. Leave your name in the comment section before 9PM on Thursday for a chance to win. Winner will be post Friday morning.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Mistakes and Clowns

Do you ever let a mistake weigh you down? Do you allow it to discourage you so much that you don't move forward?

Even if your mistake feels like its larger than life to you, it probably didn't take place in front of millions of people with no way to correct it at the moment.   
Look at the mistake - figure out what went wrong and why. Ask others for help, if needed.

Create a way to turn the mistake into a fun memory - maybe even find a clown to help you.
                           Photo from NBC.com

Congratulations Canada! 
Great job on the opening moments of the  
Olympic Closing Ceremony! 
There was a technical malfunction with one of the four legs of the torch during the opening ceremony 16 days ago - so they created a fun way to address it the closing ceremony. As the announcer poked fun at the issue, a clown came out, dramatically plugged the leg in and it rose perfectly. The crowd cheered, loving it.

What mistake can you overcome with a little creativity? Are you able to laugh at yourself and move on?