Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review: Bold As Love

Bold As Love: What can happen when we see people the way God does by Bob Roberts, Jr.

About this book:

As Christians, we’re called to love our neighbors—all our neighbors. But is that even possible? And can we truly love them well?

People often think of their neighbors as those already belonging to their “tribe” or community. It’s safe, it’s easy, and it doesn’t often cause conflict—politically or religiously. But in today’s world, everyone and everything is interconnected globally in an ever-changing cultural landscape, while religious strife runs rampant. Is it feasible for Christians to live their faith boldly and lovingly while entering into a true relationship with “neighbors” of other faiths, both locally and globally?

In Bold as Love, Pastor Bob Roberts shows you what it looks like to live out your faith daily in the global public square among people of other faiths—Jews, Muslims, atheists, Hindus, Buddhists. While he admits that it can be challenging to engage people of other faiths whose beliefs are as strong as yours, he demonstrates how to enter into this critical dialogue in a radical yet loving way. “We have to learn to speak with one conversation and give the same message everywhere to everyone,” he says. “We are commanded to love God and love others. And sometimes that requires risky boldness.”

Roberts invites you to respond to this call to live a life of fearless and loving engagement with the world. So take the risk! Your faith wasn’t made to live in isolation. It’s something you do face-to-face, heart-to-heart, hand-to-hand. Whether you are in a suburb of Houston or a village in India, put away the fear and suspicion and, instead, answer the call to radically love others the way God loves. And get ready to see your life and the lives of those you touch—your family, your community, even your enemies—transformed!

This book really had me thinking about what it really means to love your neighbor.  Too often in our church tradition we hear people questioning who our neighbors really are.  Who are we supposed to love?  Are there people that God does not require us to love?  I have to agree with Bob Roberts when he says, "Loving others isn't something we do when we agree with them, or when they're like us, or even when we like them."  We are called to love all of our neighbors, maybe even especially those who don't believe the way we do.  Be developing relationships with them, we open up the dialog to share with them what we believe and why, while also understanding who they are and what they believe.  We come to love them as individual people, and not just a people - often a people we don't understand or that we fear.  Often loving others requires risky boldness and is something we can only accomplish by focusing on God first and following his commands to love others.

While reading the book, I found myself highlighting sentences and passages that really struck me.  There are some real gems in this book along with the far-reaching challenge for all of us to see people and love them the way God does.  Roberts shows what it looks like to boldly love your neighbor as God would want us to by sharing the experiences he's had in his home church in the Dallas area, and around the world, building relationships with people from all walks of life.  Imagine what the world would look like if we all stepped out and did that!

"When we love people and build relationships with them, all kinds of good things happen that were not previously possible."

Bold as Love: What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does is available at Amazon and other book retailers.  I encourage you to pick up your own copy.  Also, be sure to check out Bob Roberts' blog at

Note: I received a free copy of Bold as Love for review.  All opinions are 100% mine.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tile in the Bathroom

I forgot that the tubs in these apartments have Bathroom tiles on the walls until I started cleaning the tub today.  I hadn't even thought of it when I was showering.  Yes, I'm very observant - why do you ask?

I really do like tile in the bathroom, though not necessarily these or the gorgeous shade of green the tub and the toilet are.  I just remembered as I was cleaning that it's important to take proper care of the grout between the tiles.  It's not too bad here, so the last tenants must have cleaned well, or else the apartment complex has learned the secret of cleaning grout really well.  I remember one semester in college it was my job to clean the showers in one of the bathrooms.  The grout in there was pretty bad, and I had no idea how to get it clean, not to mention that it was already that way before it became my job to clean it.  But do you think my RA cared?  No, she expected me to get it clean.

None of the products we had for cleaning the dorm did a thing, so my friend Jen ended up buying some bleach, and that took care of it.  Not that I want to use bleach as a regular cleaner, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.  And the only reason I got to thinking about that was because I realized I hadn't given Jeffrey anything for cleaning the tile grout, because I hadn't even thought of it.  I'm making a list of things I need to send back with him while I'm here, so I ought to add something for that.

My friend Peggy has a really amazing bathroom and shower that is all tile.  She's got really nice tiles like some of the ones you can find on Glass Tile Store website.  They have all kinds of really nice tiles, and also some good information in grout care and cleaning, which could come in handy.  I will have to ask Peggy what she uses and how she keeps her nicely tiled bathroom and shower clean.  Not that I expect to clean this tub and these tiles again, but you never know - and we might just end up with a nicely tiled bathroom of our own when we get a new house.

A Little Bit of Cleaning

While Jeffrey is at work and I'm home alone in the apartment, I've managed to stay occupied.  I brought a book along to read, because I thought I could take some time just to sit and read it - but so far I haven't read more than a few pages.  I should probably blame that on finding out I have internet access and spending too much time on facebook, but I've also spent some time cleaning the apartment for my sweet husband.

Yes, I know he's a big boy and he can take care of himself, but I'm used to taking care of him.  So I've washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, made sure we had something for dinner - fajitas in the crockpot right now - cleaned the tub and sink in the bathroom, and swept and vacuumed the floors.  Honestly, all that didn't really take up too much time.  It really doesn't take too long to clean a little 1-bedroom apartment, and it wasn't really all that messy.  Jeffrey has done a good job of taking care of himself - not that I really want to have him getting too used to doing that.

Mainly I wanted to vacuum the carpet because there were salt crystals all over the place, mainly by the entry door.  Now that it's winter, that's probably going to be a regular thing.  The frustrating thing is that the carpet is nice and thick and new, and right up to the door - meaning that there is no way to put any kind of rug in front of the door to wipe your feet on.  Whatever is on your shoes when you walk in the door, in this case the salt from the sidewalks, gets tracked in onto the carpet.  You definitely don't want to step in any mud!

You'd think they'd put some kind of vinyl or tile in front of the doors to avoid having everything tracked in, but Jeffrey says they just put new carpet in whenever they rent an apartment out to a new tenant.  I don't know if that's more cost effective than if they would just Click Here and get the carpets cleaned between tenants, but that's what they do.  Still, wouldn't it be nice for the current tenants if they were able to put a throw rug in front of the door and keep the carpet cleaner while they're living there?

Should we suggest some kind of hard surface just inside the entry doors of the apartments?  After all, they have changed the kitchen and bathroom floors.  They used to be carpeted when we lived here before.

Thank You, Unknown Neighbor

I haven't been online much because I've been interacting with people in person - outside of the internet and social networks.  Yes, I do that once in a while.

We attended the Winter Family Weekend hosted by the Church of God Cincinnati in Lexington, KY.  This was our 4th year attending.  It's a great event that includes plenty of fun, food, and fellowship with wonderful friends.  We eat, we drink, we talk, we laugh, we stay up way too late, we play sports we don't usually play and end up in pain, and we would really hate to miss it.  This year my parents even came for a couple days!  Usually we go visit them after the weekend is over, but this year we didn't have the time, so it was nice that we got to see them anyway.

This year we headed home afterwards so Jeffrey could go back to work on Wednesday.  I decided to stay with him for the rest of the week - just because.  For some reason I still like hanging out with him...

So I've got a few days here alone in the apartment.  I thought I'd have to survive without internet access - unless I wanted to go over to the laundry area where they offer free wifi, along with the noise of washers and dryers - but, when I booted my computer up yesterday afternoon, it found an unsecured wireless network and connected.  So, I just want to thank the unknown neighbor who is graciously allowing me to use his internet! 

There are 8 other wireless networks I can see, but all of them are secured.  This one will probably end up being secured eventually, but I'm only here for a few days...

Monday, December 17, 2012

It Looks Good Enough to Eat

I'm supposed to be helping a friend of mine update her website and organize it better.  So far I've taken pictures of some of her products, looked at a few templates we could possibly use, and done some research.

Some of that research involves looking at other similar sites to see how they're organized.  She sells uncured natural meats and Alaskan salmon, so I've been checking out this website where you can seafood order online, and I forgot about the organization and started looking at the pictures.  Do you see how good that smoked salmon looks in that picture?  I am going to have to figure out how to take better pictures of the products - pictures that people just can't resist.  The pictures on this site certainly have me wanting to add some of these things to my cart - the Smoked Salmon, Sockeye Salmon Maple BBQ Kebobs, and the Sockeye Salmon Burger with Ginger Dill to name just a few.

I'll have to keep looking at these pictures and hopefully find some online information about food design and photography.  Any suggestions for that?  I have a hard enough time getting decent pictures for my recipe blog.  Half the time my problem is that I don't think to take a picture until after we've eaten the food, so at least that problem is solved, since the whole point will be the pictures.  Maybe getting to eat the food afterwards would just be a bonus!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Lace Comfort Bra

I recently ordered some bras I saw advertised in the coupon section of my paper.  They were $6.99 each, and I got free shipping if I ordered 3 or more.  So I ordered 3 - a black one, a white one, and a nude one.

The bras promise to stretch to fit any cup size from a B to an E, to be very comfortable and supportive without underwire.  There were no reviews (or even a place for reviews) on the website, but I figured they were worth a try.

Do they follow through on all those promises?  Well, they do stretch, though the material is very thin by the time it stretches - and very see-through.  They are comfortable, even comfortable enough to sleep in, because there is nothing to pinch or poke.

As far as support goes - I think they'd be fine for someone with young, firm breasts or someone who's had breast augmentation montreal (or elsewhere) and has very firm breasts.  I think the biggest problem is that the shoulder straps are a bit longer than they need to be, and there's no way to adjust them.  If I could tighten them up a bit and get a little lift, I think these bras would be quite nice. 

As it is, they do work for what I actually bought them for - wearing under a t-shirt or pajamas on those weekends when we have company or when we're in somebody else's house.  When I just need something, and these are perfect for that.

I suppose I could sew the straps to make them a bit shorter.  I might eventually get around to trying that.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'm Addicted to Free Stuff

...whether I need it or not.

That's not really a bad thing, is it?  I mean, why pay for something if you can get it for free?  And why pass up something that's free, even if you don't need it right now?  You might some day!  That's my philosophy anyway.

I'm not nearly as bad as those 'extreme coupon' ladies you see on tv, but I do believe in stocking up on things like toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, free baby stuff, etc. - pretty much anything that I know we are going to use at some time.  If I can get it for free or practically free by combining a sale and a coupon, and sometimes a rebate, then I have a hard time passing it up.  I really hate the idea of running out of something and having to pay full price for it, and getting the stuff we need for free means that we have more money to spend on things we want.  Can't argue with that!

And if I can get something I may never need for free - I have a hard time passing that up too.  Except for now.  Now I'm trying to stop accumulating more stuff and just use the stuff we have, so we'll have less stuff to move when the time comes.  Of course trying is the operative word, because if they're going to give it to me...

I am continuing to collect free Kindle books and free Android Apps from Amazon - because those don't take up any space.  I probably won't ever read or play the majority of them, but they're free.  As for the rest, mostly I just stay away from the stores so I'm not tempted.

That Explains It

I heard this morning that today is the most fertile day of the year.  More people get pregnant on this day than on any other day.  How exactly do they know this?  Well, because more babies are born on September 16 than on any other day - 9 months from now!

So, if you don't want a baby in September, be extra careful tonight!

And now I know how we got Beth!  She wasn't born on September 16.  No, she waited until the 18th, because she's Beth, and she does what she wants, but I'm pretty sure her due date was the 16th.

Yeah, that most fertile day of the year got us - 23 years ago.  If only we'd known...  Maybe we would have been more careful, and we would have missed out on our precious daughter.  That wouldn't have been right.

So, be careful.  Or don't.  You may just be in for a delightful surprise.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, December 10, 2012

20 Things a Mother Should Tell Her Son

I saw this on Facebook and had to share.  I don't know who came up with this list, but I like it.

  1. You will set the tone for the sexual relationship, so don't take something away from her that you can't give back.
  2. Play a sport. It will teach you how to win honorably, lose gracefully, respect authority, work with others, manage your time and stay out of trouble. And maybe even throw or catch.
  3. Use careful aim when you pee. Somebody's got to clean that up, you know.
  4. Save money when you're young because you're going to need it some day.
  5. Allow me to introduce you to the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. Now please go use them.
  6. Pray and be a spiritual leader.
  7. Don't ever be a bully and don't ever start a fight, but if some idiot clocks you, please defend yourself.
  8. Your knowledge and education is something that nobody can take away from you.
  9. Treat women kindly. Forever is a long time to live alone and it's even longer to live with somebody who hates your guts.
  10. Take pride in your appearance.
  11. Be strong and tender at the same time.
  12. A woman can do everything that you can do. This includes her having a successful career and you changing diapers at 3am.  Mutual respect is the key to a good relationship.
  13. "Yes ma'am" and "yes sir" still go a long way.
  14. The reason that they're called "private parts" is because they're "private".  Please do not scratch them in public.
  15. Peer pressure is a scary thing. Be a good leader and others will follow.
  16. Bringing her flowers for no reason is always a good idea.
  17. Be patriotic.
  18. Potty humor isn't the only thing that's humorous.
  19. Please choose your spouse wisely. My daughter-in-law will be the gatekeeper for me spending time with you and my grandchildren.
  20. Remember to call your mother because I might be missing you.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Baby Gifts for the Sports Fan

I've noticed that people like to dress their kids and babies up in cute little outfits that support their favorite sports teams.  The babies have no choice - they're born fans!  In our family that always meant University of Illinois Fighting Illini clothes.  (Basketball; not football)  You should see how many Illini outfits Jason has!

Here in Wisconsin, most babies wear Green Bay Packers outfits, and in Texas I bet they all wear Dallas Cowboys Baby Clothes. You have to admit, they're really cute.  Onesies, sleepers, sweatsuits, all kinds of adorable fan clothes are available as well as things like hats, bottles, bibs, and even a storage unit for baby's room.  And, of course, those cheerleader sets for little girls.  Nothing is cuter than that!  Nothing.  I don't care what team it is.

They'd make great gifts for all the sports fans in your life and their new little fans.  According to this site, baby fans - "Once a fan, always a fan." - so you know they want to get them started off right!  The site has baby and toddler clothing for the littlest fans of not only professional football, baseball and basketball teams, but college teams, too.  They'll even wrap your gift in team-colored tissue!

If you're shopping for the holidays, be sure to order by December 18th for guaranteed delivery.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

These Games Can Be Addicting

Words With Friends
Words With Friends (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
How many online games do you play?  I've pretty much avoided all of them - except for the word games Lexulous, Scrabble, and Words with Friends.

I keep getting notifications from friends on facebook about all kinds of other games, so I know there are plenty of games to choose from and plenty of people playing.  I just try to turn off all those notifications as they come in, because I just don't have time for any more games.  I have a hard enough time keeping up with the word games I am playing sometimes!  I have at least one friend on facebook who never seems to post anything personal, but she's always sending me game requests.  As soon as I turn off the requests from one game (or 3 or 4 games), she's sending me requests from something else.  How many games are there anyway?  And does she ever do anything else?

Image representing FarmVille as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase
I do feel kind of lost when I'm all caught up on my games and waiting on everybody else to play their turns so I can play again - so I understand a bit about how addictive these games can be.  Thankfully I haven't been completely sucked in, not like the lady on the news tonight, or maybe even my friend.  This lady on the news plays Farmville up to 8 hours every day, and spends up to $200 per month on it.  So, pretty much, she does nothing but sit on her computer and play games all day - and she's spending real money on it. 

According to the news story about why we get hooked on online games, it isn't necessarily the players' fault they spend so much time playing.  The gaming industry is hiring psychologists as consultants - to make their games more enticing and more addictive.  They employ the same strategies as Las Vegas - flash and intermittent rewards, all designed to hook you within 20 minutes and keep you playing.

If that's not a good reason to continue turning off all those notifications, I don't know what is! 
Enhanced by Zemanta