Friday, November 28, 2008

How many zeros in a billion?

a friend asked me to pass this on:

This is too true to be funny.

The next time you hear a politician use
the
word 'billion' in a casual manner, think
about
whether you want the 'politicians'
spending
YOUR tax money.
A billion is a difficult number to
comprehend,
but one advertising agency did a good job
of
putting that figure into some perspective
in
one of it's releases.
A.
A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B.
A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C.
A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D.
A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E.
A billion dollars ago was only
8 hours and 20 minutes,
at the rate our government
is spending it.
While this thought is still fresh in our
brain...l
et's take a look at New Orleans ...
It's amazing what you can learn
with some simple division.
Louisiana Senator,
Mary Landrieu (D)
is presently asking Congress for
250 BILLION DOLLARS
to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting
number...
what does it mean?
A.
Well... if you are one of the 484,674
residents of New Orleans
(every man, woman, and child)
you each get $516,528.
B.
Or... if you have one of the 188,251
homes in
New Orleans , your home gets
$1,329,787.
C.
Or... if you are a family of four...
your family gets $2,066,012.
Washington, D. C
< HELLO! >
Are all your calculators broken??
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax I
nventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
LuxuryTax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security
Tax Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years
ago...
and our nation was the most prosperous in
the world.
We had absolutely no national debt...
We had the largest middle class in the
world...
and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What happened?
Can you spell 'politicians!'
And I still have to
press '1'
for English.
What happened?????

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A SPECIAL GROCERY LIST FOR THANKSGIVING

I don't know the person who wrote this, but I just had to share it with you.

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store.

She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries.

She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food.

John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store at once.

Visualizing the family needs, she said: 'Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.'

John told her he could not give her credit, since she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two.

The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, 'Do you have a grocery list?'

Louise replied, 'Yes sir.'

'O.K' he said, 'put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.'

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, 'I can't believe it.'

The customer smiled and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more.

The grocer stood there in utter disgust. Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement.

It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer, which said:'Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.'

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence.Louise thanked him and left the store.

The other customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said;'It was worth every penny of it. Only God Knows how much a prayer weighs.'

THE POWER OF PRAYER: When you read this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do. Just stop right now, and say a prayer of thanks for your own good fortune. I believe you will receive what you need God to do in your and your families' life .

So dear heart, tomorrow on Thanksgiving day, trust God to heal the sick, provide food for the hungry, clothes and shelter for those that don't have as we do. Because you Prayed. Amen & Amen

May you always walk with Angels God Bless!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Diamond Duo

by Marcia Gruver, Author of Factual Fiction


The Blurb: Love and faith are tested when murder comes to town.

What Other's Say:  A fascinating story which takes place throughout January of 1877 in Jefferson, Texas. Readers find out at the end of the book that the characters are based on real people. As a reader, we get a good look at life from that time. The physical labor, the class differences, neighborly help, significance of race, etc. I loved the dialogue, but could have done with a little less tears. 

Characters: The characters were each wonderfully different from the other. I think my favorite was Bertha's father. He was a strong, loving and supportive person, with the ability to confront his wife in a loving manner. He also showed wonderful support to his daughter, while coaching her through some difficult situations. 

Story-Line: I think the story-line(s) were very interesting, tying together nicely in the end. I was especially interested in the story once I learned that it was based on real people. 

Readability: This book provided a nice, enjoyable read. The different speech patterns among the characters made it that more interesting. 
Overall: A nice period book, written with a Christian influence. This was the first book of the series, and I look forward to watching for the upcoming sequel Chasing Charity (I sure hope we get to catch a glimpse of Bertha!) – by Wendy Barker

My Take: This novel was one I could not put down until the end. The message I received from this book: You can not judge a person by how they look. You can only judge them by what they do, and sometimes you don't always know the real story then.

The novel is compelling  and I highly recommend it.



Friday, November 21, 2008

The Seniors Breakfast Special


For awhile after my husband's last heart episode, he didn't eat eggs because of the cholesterol.

One day we went to breakfast at a restaurant where the "seniors' special" Was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $1.99.

"Sounds good," my husband said. "But I don't want the eggs."

"Then I'll have to charge you two dollars and forty-nine cents, because you're ordering a la carte," the waitress warned him.

"You mean I'd have to pay for not taking the eggs?" my husband asked incredulously.

"YES!!" stated the waitress.

"I'll take the special then." my husband said.

"How do you want your eggs?" the waitress asked.

"Raw and in the shell," my husband replied.

We took the two eggs home. My husband believes it pays to think outside the box!

DON'T MESS WITH SENIORS!!! We've been around the block more than once.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who You Are Does Make A Difference


































This Slide Show gave me chills.
Please pass on the gift of encouragement.



















Monday, November 17, 2008

It's NOT about ME

A Second Glances Novel
by Michelle Sutton.

Michelle and I work together on the volunteer side of our writing group ACFW.  She's the one who hosts the decadent Chocolate Party on Monday night of the conference. She happily signed the book for me at the September 2008 ACFW Conference book signing.


The blurb: Annie has it all. She's attractive, graduated with honors, was accepted at the college of her choice, has supportive parents, good friends, and a steady boyfriend who loves her. The focus of her life is to please everyone and not make any waves. Her reputation means everything to her.

But one night Annie's safe world is shattered. As she fights to put the pieces of her broken life back together, against her will she is caught in a war between two brothers, both of whom claim to have her best interests at heart.

Who will Annie choose? And will she finally come to know the One whose love will never fall, even in her darkest hour? Will she learn the truth about life– that it's not about "me"?

What others say: Finally! In an amoral society that pushes young people to the edge, we have an "edgy" novel that pushes right back! Kudos to Michelle Sutton for her debut novel, It's Not About Me, which confronts real problems encountered by real youth--sexual pressure, drinking, pornography--and counters them with a message of hope and faith that is so vital for today's young adults. 

This compelling story gives a rare and honest glimpse into the "perfect" life of Annie Meyers, a young woman on the threshold of college and marriage. When her fiancé Tony begins to pressure her sexually, Annie's faith and confidence begin to teeter, but when tragedy strikes, both crash headlong into a black hole of self-doubt and confusion. Unable to cope with Annie's disaster, Tony seeks comfort in alcohol, leaving his older brother Dan to provide Annie with the spiritual and emotional support she so desperately needs. Out of the ashes of Annie's misfortune, rises a love triangle that will have readers turning the pages long into the night. Michelle Sutton has crafted a story of passion, betrayal, hope and redemption that is right on target for the Young Adult market and beyond. Can't wait for the next one! ----- By Julie Lessman

Through the power of drama and likeable characters, Michelle Sutton zeroes in on the pain and realities of issues today's kids face. And she makes clear how one attains a personal relationship with God. 

The affection scenes are mild by today's general market standards, but "edgy" for the Christian market, and may make some readers uncomfortable out of concern for influencing the young reader. But the situations quickly show the consequences of bad choices. 

Annie soon discovers that what really matters is her relationship with God. And she recognizes that It's Not About Me. ----By Margo Carmichael

My take: My granddaughter is chomping at the bit to read it. "Not until I have the review wri
tten." I tell her.

I enjoyed reading the book. It has action, suspense and danger. I don't want to give away the ending but the relationship of these three young people surprised me, pleased me, and was realistic because of Michelle's superb writing.

A good read for both adults and young adults.














Friday, November 14, 2008

HELP WANTED

Anne's friend Forest was out of work. She told him this advertisement looked too good to be true. But would he listen?

Position: Surveyor.
 
Salary: $200 per hour (tax-free).
 
Qualification: Must be fast on your feet.
 

And now we understand the qualification . . .

So far so good . . .
Ewwe. He looks bigger from this angle.


Isn't it comforting to know that when you are about to become a bears breakfast your pal is standing there taking photos?   

 

                                                                  wun, fohwest, wun!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

36 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS ...

I really enjoyed this...probably because there's good advice I need to follow. Hope you get a blessing from it... Author unknown

An Angel says, "Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice."

1. Pray

2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.


5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.


9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.


13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.


16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.

18. Eat right.

19. Get organized so everything has its place.


20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.

21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.


25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good "Thank you Jesus."

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).


31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.

33 Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.

35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36 . Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.


"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
(Romans 8:31)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reflections of God's Holy Land

A Personal Journey Through Israel
Hardcover Book by Eva Marie Everson and Miriam Feinberg Camosh

I met Eva Marie at a writers conference in the Blue Ridge mountains in May, 2008. She critiqued a partial manuscript of mine. She is very kind and helpful. While at the conference she talked about writing this book about her journey to the holy land. Since I visited that area a few years ago I enjoyed her talk and waited excitedly for her book. 
 
Let me introduce the authors of Reflections of God’s Holly Land.
Eva Marie Everson grew up in a rural southern town in Georgia just outside of Savannah. She is married, has four children and five grandchildren, and lives in Central Florida. She taught Old Testament theology for six years at Life Training Center in Longwood, Florida and has written numerous articles for Crosswalk.com (including the acclaimed Falling Into The Bible series), and has had articles featured in numerous publications, including Christianity Today, Evangel, Christian Bride, Christian Retailing, The Godly Business Woman and Marriage Partnership magazines. Eva Marie has been interviewed by radio, television, newspaper, and Internet media outlets. In 2002 Eva Marie was one of six Christian journalists sent to Israel for a special ten-day press tour. She was forever changed.

Miriam Feinberg Vamosh is an author, lecturer, and tour educator specializing in Christian pilgrimages. The author of Women in the Time of the Bible, Food in the Bible, Daily Life at the Time of Jesus, Israel - Land of the Bible, and Pathways Through the Land of the Hart, Miriam is also a contributor to Fodor's Travel Guide to Israel and the author of three Israel site guides. Born in the United States, Miriam has lived in Israel since 1970.

Discover the origin of the Word of God, and the Land of His Heartbeat in Reflections of God's Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel.

This unique armchair tour of Israel includes four-color photographs, related scriptures, historical and archaeological information about each area, and a description of what it looks and feels like to be there today. Providing more than a coffee table book of slick photographs, authors Everson and Feinberg-Vamosh (one Christian, one Jewish) enlighten readers with a deeper understanding of the land of Israel-the land that holds not only God's story but the story of His people.

Features include:

Beautiful photographs with cross-referenced scriptures of 40 significant biblical locations
Historical and archaeological comment and present-day perspective

What others say:

 This book will touch your heart, August 19, 2008
 
Wonderfully done. Incredible images. Poetic prose. 

This is not a book that you will pick up once to look at just the pictures. Soak up Miriam's knowledge. Feel Eva Marie's joy, longing, and elation. No, this is a book that you will pick up over and over and over. 

And you will be changed each time. A yearning will begin to stir in you, a yearning to draw closer to God. 

Fall into this book and experience God's Holy Land like never before. 
By Larry Leech (Orlando, FL) 

 Unique and Beautiful, September 15, 2008

This afternoon I was thrilled to find in my mail from Amazon - REFLECTIONS OF GOD'S HOLY LAND. It is much more than a tour book of gorgeous photographs (which I will keep beside my own Israel photo album). Eva's thought-provoking observations transported me back to the sites. Her words were a springboard for my personal reflections on my three visits there. This beautiful book transported my spirit back to Israel where I love to go. 

Thank you, Eva Marie and Miriam. The book was well worth the wait! 
By Ginger Cox (SC) 

 A thing of beauty, August 25, 2008
   
I was amazed, opening and flipping through, at how beautiful this book is. The photos and layout are just gorgeous. Digging a little deeper, I was pleased that the book isn't just a history or a Scripture lesson. Finding the history of Israel, written scriptures, personal accounts of Eva Marie's time spent there, married with beautiful photography by Ms. Feinberg Vamosh - what a feast! 

This is my new coffee table book, to be picked up and read a bit at a time, when I need a cold, refreshing drink for my soul.
By Felicia Christenson  (Tulsa, OK) 

 A warm and intimate visit to Israel, September 4, 2008

I LOVE this book! Having traveled with Eva and Miriam and our happy band of six, all of these memories came flooding back. I'm giving it to family and friends for Christmas. If you know someone who also loves Israel, and may not easily travel there, this is a true gift. Fabulous! 
By Virelle Kidder, author and conference speaker

My Take: 

When the package arrived I  took out this beautiful book. I held it reverently in my hands knowing what it represented. I sat down to read and was filled with awe at Eva Marie's insight as she visited the ruins and imagined the people who walked there long ago. It not only brought back memories of my own trip it set up longings to go back. This book has a permanent spot along with my favorite devotionals. And I didn't even know I would consider it a devotional when I bought it.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Every Secret Thing

by Ann Tatlock

I first met Ann Tatlock at the Ridgecrest writers conference in the spring of 2008. She was one of the instructors. I met her again when I went back for the Novel Writers Retreat. I'd heard she was a literary writer and had not planned to buy her book. But when I saw it in the bookstore the cover intrigued me and I bought.

The Blurb: When Elizabeth Gunnar accepts a teaching position at the preparatory school she attended as a girl, she is returning to more than a place--to memories, mysteries, and an old love. Once there she meets unexpected challenges--and challenging new people. She revisits ghosts of the past and old self-doubts. And she is reminde
d of the faith that first captured her there in what she called her “moments of being.” Every Secret Thing is a rich, complex weave of character, mystery and divine epiphanies.

What others say: After moving around Elizabeth Gunnar - Beth comes home to teach English at Seaton Preparatory School in Hockessin, Delaware her old school where she graduated in 1977. Her parents have long retired to Asheville, North Carolina but actually Beth feels she's come home. Of course it brings back the old memories of times spent with her group the Barbarians and her favorite teacher, Mr. Dutton who taught
 English. But it brings up bad memories too such as just why did Mr. Dutton commit suicide in her senior year? 

She reconnects with her best friend Natalie who she's only stayed in touch with via email all these years. At Homecoming she reconnects with Ken and Ray the other two members of the Barbarians. She begins to date Ray again, her steady boyfriend in high school who is divorced with three kids. She takes one of her students Satchel Queen, a lover of books and loner like herself under her wing and helps her to blossom especially in writing just like Mr. Dutton did with her. 

Beth has Ray tell her again the story of what he and Ken saw that April 1st night in 1977 when he and Ken found Mr. Dutton in his cabin after cutting his wrist. They knew he was dead but why had the school staged such a cover up as they told the students that Mr. Dutton had a heart attack and was still alive. Natalie accuses Beth of being obsessed and needs to let his death go and forget about it as the other three have done. But Beth can't let it go. 

In this awesome tale writer Ann Tatlock captures your heart and even your mind from the very first page. An unmistakable page turner you'll wonder why too just why did Mr. Dutton commit suicide and why is Satchel so unhappy? You'll find yourself drawn into and relating to Beth especially if you feel invisible, a loner just as she does. See how God brings closure, happiness, and forgiveness in this timeless mystery suspense love story. Also included are reader discussions questions, which helps make this book perfect for book groups. A perfect read for teens and adults alike. Ann Tatlock is a remarkable writer! Don't just take this reviewer's word on it even "Publisher's Weekly ", named her as "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths". So if you want to curl up with a good book I highly recommend "Every Secret Thing". – by Cheryl A. Clay

My Take: From the very first page and the character's description of Delaware (The state where she lived.) I knew I wanted to know more about her.  

Excerpt: When I was a child, a Bible passage I heard in Sunday school always made me think of Delaware. It was the story in the Gospel of John where Phillip goes and finds Nathaniel to tell him they've found the Messiah, the one Moses and the prophets wrote about. This should be good news for a couple of Jewish fellows, right? But oddly enough, the man is Jesus of Nazareth, that haven for the Roman army, persecutors of the Jews. And so Nathaniel cries out, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"

Those words stuck with me until my impish mind tweaked the question, turning it around to become, Can anything at all come out of Delaware?"

With those words the author had me hooked and I could not put the book down. I'll gladly read another novel by Ann Tatlock. I recommend this book for your reading pleasure.