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Showing posts from 2012

Work In Progress

I have been asked to be a part of a blog chain called "The Next Big Thing." For this blog chain, we talk about our latest Works In Progress. Besides my blog, I am also working on a book. Here's some information about it and links to the person who invited me to this chain and also to five other people whom I'm inviting to be a part of the blog chain. Thanks for checking this out! Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing: What is your working title of your book? Behind the Stage

Where did the idea come from for the book? From some things my pastor said about life as a pastor

What genre does your book fall under? Christian contemporary fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Patrick Dempsey as the main character Josh Allen and Elizabeth Banks as his wife Leah.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Behind the Stage delves into the psyche of a popular minister as he combats attacks on his simple life of helping others…

Soul Searching

My mother in law made a comment a few weeks ago that struck me. She knows I volunteer for the American Cancer Society. Many times she has said she hears about so many more people who have cancer now than when she was growing up. She said that back then everyone talked about the March of Dimes.
Now I know the name the March of Dimes and I know it has to do with children. But what I didn’t know was that the March of Dimes has been around for 75 years, was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to fight polio and has had famous supporters like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.
Cancer may be the disease many people are concerned with today, but healthy babies are always a concern and that’s why the March of Dimes changed its focus to preventing birth defects and infant mortality after the polio vaccine was developed.
I have to be honest, the March of Dimes is not the best organization for keeping administrative and fundraising costs down. According to Charity Navigator (CN), a quarter …

What Does Giving Biblically Look Like?

Five more kids will have presents from their fathers in prison this year because of the Angel Tree program and the ladies of my bible study. I called some local churches and one of them said they’d look into doing Angel Tree next year, too.I know it’s not much but it’s something those five kids will not soon forget.

Today I’m going over to my local food bank to drop off food from my hurricane closet. Hurricane season ends when November does so I cleaned out my closet and had a bunch of canned soup, ravioli and veggies to donate. I put a note on my Facebook page so my friends can give me items to donate, too.
Last year we had a food drive at my birthday party in lieu of gifts so we were able to bring a nice box of items. When I called the food bank, they were eager to get the food with so many people stopping by right now needing it. We already sent a bag of Christmas food and money for a turkey through our church.
I can’t help it. I keep hearing on the radio about the one in four child…

Top 11 Last Minute Gifts

Top 11 Last Minute Charitable Christmas Gifts
Christmas is getting closer but it's not too late to do something to make a difference this holiday. The unique items below can be given with the best intentions—to help others. There’s still time to get a notification card sent to the recipient but even if you wait, you can send the notice of the present by email or in many cases, you can print out your own card to hand to your friend or family member. 
1.Alternative Gifts International- $11 pays for a share of a yak for orphaned and destitute children in the Tibetan regions of remote western China.
2.Spend $25 or more to free forced labor slaves withInternational Justice Mission.
3.A llama fromHeifer International - A share is $20 while a whole llama is $150. Heifer provides all kinds of animals from chicks to water buffalo to families that can use them to generate income and useful resources for the family.
4.A chicken fromMercy Corps International - for $35, it provides eggs and future…

Angels In Our Midst

Have you ever thought of yourself as an angel? Angels are messengers from God who sometimes intercede for Him.

One Christmas I was such a messenger. It began one night after work when we got a list of children. We drove to where each one lived and delivered something very special. You see it was Christmastime and these children were without their parents. Either one or more of their parents was in prison.

We had bought presents for one little girl ourselves and got to deliver them, too.We drove to a dilapidated, dirty, old apartment complex where our brightly wrapped presents seemed out of place. We knocked at the dark brown door and an older woman opened it. She asked us to come in and inside was a girl about six years old sitting on the floor in her pajamas. Her eyes lit up when she saw what we had for her. Her grandmother, for that was who answered the door, told us to come in. So, we chatted for a little bit about the weather and Christmas while the girl’s eyes were only on the pr…

The Walker

Who means the most to you in this world? If you're a parent, you probably would say your child. And to your child, you are probably the most influential person as well. So when your parent is not taking care of you any more, that's a major life change. How about when you need to start caring for your parent?
This month my mother got a walker. A couple of weeks ago, she called me out of breath and upset to tell me that she had fallen three times just that day. In the past few months, she has had more health problems than in her entire life. I won't go into all of them but the latest one has been problems with her feet which have caused her to be off balance and in pain.
The day after she called me, I talked to a friend and she mentioned a walker. That's how new I am to the idea that my mother needs help. She falls that many times and I don't even think "walker" until a friend mentions it. I just don’t think of her as being a woman behind a walker but now s…

Ten Gifts Under $50 That Give Three Ways

It’s Black Friday and shopping is on the mind of many today. So, as usual, I am releasing my Gifts That Give List just in time for the holidays and I’m keeping each item under $50. It’s a way to let you know how many retailers are making it easier to be charitable than ever before. You can give a gift that makes you, the receiver and a charity feel good.

1.Made With Love: The Meals on Wheels Family Cookbook for $29.95. With recipes from Paula Deen, Barbara Bush and Martha Stewart, you will truly enjoy this cookbook while helping Meals on Wheels. Just out in October, you can find it at many book retailers such as Amazon, IndieBoundand more.
2.Forever Frogs Lunchbagfor $35.00 embroidered. Custom design your own lunch bag by picking the cloth, handle, and even the zipper color and then adding your embroidered initials. Started in the name of a girl who had childhood cancer and loved frogs, all Forever Frogs products have a frog on them and give to the Payton Wright Foundation fighting pedi…

Lurking in the Shadows

This month people around the nation are walking to support those with diabetes for American Diabetes Month. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States—8.3 percent of population—have diabetes. That’s 18.8 million people who are diagnosed and another 7 million who are not. Worldwide, as many as 371 million people live with diabetes and more than half of them are unaware that they have diabetes according to the International Diabetes Federation. It's a disease that lurks in the shadows, affecting many before they even know of its existence.
So I decided this week to have someone who has lots of experience with diabetes share her story and information about symptoms and how to help those with diabetes. Her name is Carolyn Dailey.
1.How long have you had diabetes?

I have had it for 37 years.  In September of 1975, I recognized the symptoms and checked my urine sugar with my Dad's “test kit.”   When the result was bright oran…

Defrauding America's Veterans

Veteran’s Day is this weekend and you might be wondering what veterans want for Christmas this year. Hundreds of veteran’s charities will tell you, but the claims of fraud and fundraising overspending against some military charities has risen in the last few years. Before you donate to any, read this blog.

You can and should check out charities that ask for your money. Charity Navigator and Charity Watch are watchdog organizations that rate charities on their transparency and spending habits.Charity Navigator is free while Charity Watch gives access to all its files for a yearly fee. Currently, Charity Navigator (CN) has a donor advisory on the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF). According to CN, “On May 23, 2012, CNN reported that Senator Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Richard Burr, the senior Republican on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee are investigating charges that the Disabled Veterans National Foundation has spent little of the tens …

My Angels

What were you doing two Saturdays ago? If you’re like me, life is so busy that you can hardly remember what you did yesterday, never mind two weekends ago. But I had been building up to Saturday, October 20th for a long time because I’m the captain of an American Cancer Society Relay for Life 2013 team. We had our first fundraiser the 20th. It was a great big yard sale in the parking lot of our church. My team is called Angels for a Cure because we operate out of our church, the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church. I’ve been going there since January of 2004 and we became members in 2005 (I think, once again the mind reels at all to think back that far.) It wasn’t until 2010 that I found out we had a Relay team. We’d gone to other Relays, supported my husband’s work team, my sister’s team and so on. Have you ever been to an event? There’s a Relay for every 60,300 Americans and there were 5,146 Relays in 2010. There were Relays that year in 18 countries outside the U.S. and even a virt…

One in Four

How does it start? Anger, lack of control and lashing out at someone else. One in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime according to the Centers for Disease Control. Five million children are impacted by domestic violence each year and two hundred seventy five million people are impacted worldwide from domestic violence according to Childhood Domestic Violence Association.
Can you imagine what it’s like to live in constant fear of violence? Or maybe you know what it’s like from personal experience. It’s not pretty. Long-term effects of domestic violence on women who have been abused may include anxiety, depression, death, health problems, malnutrition, panic attacks, suicide attempts and an inability to adequately respond to the needs of their children according to findcounseling.com.
Those children suffer, too. They suffer shame, guilt and self blame, fear of abandonment or expressing emotions, anger and depression. Children of domestic vio…

Last Friday and the Rest of Her Life

Last Friday was World Arthritis Day and honestly, I wasn’t sure what to say about it. Arthritis is a condition that affects more than 46 million U.S. adults—a number that's expected to increase to 67 million adults by the year 2030. But I’ve not had a personal experience with it until I became friends with a lady at my church who has arthritis. She asked people to wear blue on World Arthritis Day and then I asked her if she'd like to be interviewed!

There are more than 100 types of arthritis but rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. More than 1.3 million Americans are affected by RA. According to the American College of Rheumatology, about 75 percent of those affected are women. In fact, between one and three percent of women are likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis in their lifetime. So, it’s appropriate that my friend is a woman. Her name is Melissa Maxey and here is her story.
1.How long have you had arthritis?

I was diagnosed at age …