Thursday, August 3, 2017

Generosity Through Abundance

Do you shop on Amazon? Then just click through the ad below before you shop and a percentage of your purchases could be making its way back to Generosity Through Abundance.

It really is that easy, you don't need to do anything else and it won't cost you a penny.

Click here to find out more about  Generosity Through Abundance.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America

I have been blessed by the wisdom of Brian Buffini for many years. I'm looking forward to reading this book and getting after the lessons in it.

This from Amazon:
Brian Buffini, an Irish immigrant who went from rags to riches, shares his strategies for anyone who wants to achieve the American dream.

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Brian Buffini immigrated to San Diego, California at the age of nineteen with only ninety-two dollars in his pocket. Since then, he has become a classic American rags-to-riches story. After discovering real estate, he quickly became one of the nation’s top real estate moguls and founder of the largest business training company, Buffini & Co., in North America.

But Brian isn’t alone in his success: immigrants compose thirteen percent of the American population and are responsible for a quarter of all new businesses. In fact, Forbes magazine boasts that immigrants dominate most of the Forbes 400 list.

So what are the secrets? In The Emigrant Edge, Brian shares seven characteristics that he and other successful immigrants have in common that can help anyone reach a higher level of achievement, no matter their vocation. He then challenges readers to leave the comfort of their current work conditions to apply these secrets and achieve the success of their dreams.

Get the book here:
The Emigrant Edge: How to Make It Big in America


Sunday, July 30, 2017

JLab Epic2 Bluetooth Wireless Sport Earbuds

JLab Epic2
I bought these Bluetooth earbuds a couple of weeks ago. I am more than thrilled. I had resisted going wireless for a long time. My main reason was battery life. I didn't want to get ready to head out and find out the battery is low or dead. These have a 12 hour battery life.

The second thing I wanted was to be able to hear ambient sound. I wanted to be able to hear what is going on around me as I am walking, running or biking. These work great for that. They come with a varied selection of tips for ear size.

They are waterproof so sweat or rain don't matter.

Another requirement was seamless integration with my phone. I wanted to be able to answer and initiate phone calls and access Siri. Some other brands and models don't do that at all or very easy.

I'm thinking of getting a second set to use at work. Not having a dangling cord would be great.

Sound and clarity are great as well. I am very happy.

Click for more informatio:
JLab Audio Epic2 Bluetooth Wireless Sport Earbuds

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reluctant Generosity

Click to enlarge
I am on my morning walk. I'm almost to a corner where I always make a turn. I see him ahead, past the turn. I feel contempt. He looks like a disheveled drunk. It's 7am.

I sense God telling me to go straight to where he is. Instead, I make the turn. The man calls out to me. Okay, now I know it's God for sure. I head his direction and say hi. He says he is in trouble. He says he is intoxicated. He is sad, upset with himself. He says he just got out yesterday and now here he is again, in trouble. He is disoriented.

I ask him if he wants me to call an ambulance. He says yes.

While we wait, he walks over to where his things are: a small backpack and a big black trash bag full of his stuff. He lies down. He says thanks to me and asks my name. His is Daniel.

On my Sunday morning walk, I listen to podcasts about generous giving and living. As I approached that corner, I was hearing a story about a woman helping someone desperately in need. Should I be surprised that my heart was revealed? Not generosity but contempt and avoidance. I almost missed a God opportunity.

But God is so good. He didn't let it pass

Interesting: some work I was doing just yesterday was about feeling contempt for other people. One of the lessons was to see the person through God's eyes. Could I see Daniel that way? Could I see God looking at him with compassion, not anger, disgust or rejection? How God must hurt to see one of his creatures trapped and being destroyed. How he must see the same thing with me sometimes.

So all that God was asking from me this morning was to express love to a hurting person by making a phone call and giving him ten minutes of my time. I almost missed it.

Philip


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Am Afraid

"I shouldn't be afraid." "You shouldn't be afraid. " "That's ridiculous, don't worry about it." "I feel ridiculous, I shouldn't worry about it." "I am afraid!"

The loud crash of thunder woke me up. It was around midnight and dark except for the flashes of lightning. Then the other sound began, the sound of hail. Then the thoughts began: car damage, roof damage, what if it breaks the window above me and water comes pouring in? I felt fearful and helpless.

I told God I was afraid and asked for his help. Would he prevent the actuality of these fears? Most of all I want my insides calmed. I want to trust in his care and goodness even if it doesn't stop, even if the hail gets bigger.

I feel wide awake now. Will I be able to get back to sleep?

I hear our dog Bandit in the other room. I know he is afraid and freaking out. The loud noises make him almost inconsolable. I feel sorry for him, a creature marred by the fall, yet "sinless." He too feels fear. I now wonder, does he have any communication with God? Does he ask for consolation? Or is it just up to us frail humans to offer help and an apology for our part in the fall of man that makes this kind of thing happen?

The hail slows down; the sound seems to be getting farther away. The thunder seems more distant. I fall back to sleep.

This morning I think about it and I want to write about it. I will tell everyone who cares to read about it of what I feel. God already knows but I want to break through the wall of admitting my emotions and fears to others. I risk some thinking or saying, "That's ridiculous." I don't care.

Philip


Monday, April 24, 2017

Train Your Brain for Success by Roger Seip

This book has been very influential in a lot of the growth that has happened in my life in the last year.

It's not a book that you can read, set aside, and then expect results. It requires a lot of work but the payoff is huge.

The most powerful thing I received from this book is a set of core values. These are the things I most want to happen in my life but will not come about on their own. As I review them daily, I am amazed how clear and concise they are. That is a result of the exercises in the book that helped me develop them. As I go through my day and life I question whether what I am doing lines up with these core values. The decision is then easy: I either choose growth or regression.

My Core Values - click to enlarge

Here are some of the other things this book covers: improving your memory, increasing reading speed and comprehension, how to set and accomplish goals, how to overcome the barriers to good changes in your life, myths of time management and how to accomplish what is really important, how to take some time each week to analyze the week ahead so that all of the good things get done, how to manage your energy.

As I said, to do these things will require a lot of hard work. The other option is to live a mediocre and wasted life.

Get after it!

Train Your Brain for Success at Amazon


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cooking Light Global Kitchen Cookbook

I received this cookbook for Father's Day in 2014. It has become one of my favorites. It has easy to prepare recipes from around the world that represent many different cuisines.

Here are a few of my favorites: Spring Rolls, Bibimbap, Korean Tacos, Korean Bbq, Korean Chicken with Spinach, Chicken Tikka Masala, Spicy Red Lentil Stew, and, Mexican Bread Pudding.

Another thing I really like about it is that it explains the various cuisines and ingredients.

If you like to cook and enjoy trying different foods then this would be a cookbook for you.

Click on the link below to look inside the cookbook and see some of the recipes.

Cooking Light Global Kitchen Cookbook

Friday, April 21, 2017

Here is what I'm currently reading

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Masterbuilt Smoker

I have had a Masterbuilt smoker for over five years. It makes smoking meat such an easy task. The digital controls keeps an even temperature and the wood chips are loaded through the side. Very simple to use. I also like that I can use it in the winter and it has no problem keeping the proper temperature. It has plenty of space with adjustable racks. All around it is an amazing creation.



Masterbuilt Electric Digital Smoker at Amazon


Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Here are a few quotes that show how great this book is. I love it because it makes prayer so simple, not complex like some books. I love to pray and this book has helped bring that about.

"When you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching. You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life. Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside God’s drama. As you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder. You are learning to trust again."

"Trying to dissect how prayer works is like using a magnifying glass to try to figure out why a woman is beautiful."

"If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money and talent are all you need in life."

A Praying Life by Paul Miller on Amazon


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fagor LUX Multi Cooker

Before I brought this home, I asked permission from my wife because it would go on the kitchen counter. I didn't want it if it had to be on a high shelf or down in the basement. She agreed even though, as part pressure cooker, it terrified her: "What if it blows up?" Hey, this is a modern invention; It has to be safe.

So the rice cooker and crock pot went downstairs and the multi cooker took their place. It does it all: Pressure Cook (High and Low), Slow Cook, (High and Low), Yogurt Maker, White Rice, Brown Rice, Risotto, Simmer, Steam, Saute, and Brown. Are you excited yet?

Risotto! Have you ever made it? Very time consuming and labor intensive but now it's so easy. One of my favorite things - so delicious! The white or brown rice cooks much faster as well.

I bought the 6 quart model which is just the right size for us. There is also 4 and 8 quart model.

I must admit though, my wife will still drag out the old rice cooker and crock pot sometimes. I have hope that over time and with more experience she will find true love. I know I have.

So, check out this amazing appliance and you might find yourself on the Loveboat. I should also say that hipsters love these things so that makes me feel special.

For more info: Fagor LUX Multi Cooker at Amazon




Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Holy Hunger: A Journey from Food Addiction to Spiritual Fulfillment

What a deep story this book portrays. I have read it more than once and my copy has many highlights. It was from this wonderful book that I learned about Overeaters Anonymous.

Here is a section on abstinence that is enlightening:

"Just as my life had once revolved around food, so too did the early stages of recovery revolve around abstinence. Eating in moderation-­what OA calls abstinence-­had to become the central focus of each day, for it was the task that made any other task possible. Every morning I had to ask myself: What do I need to do today in order to maintain my abstinence? What must I do to keep food in its rightful place?

I remember being taken aback, in my early days in the program, by an insistent and solemn retrain that played through our meetings like a recurring motif: "Abstinence is the most important thing in my life without exception."

Jeepers," I sputtered to myself. "What about your spouse, your family, your friends? What about world peace? Or social justice? What about God?"

Only after some experience with the program did I come to see that for a compulsive overeater, maintaining abstinence is like focusing a camera: If the image in the center is clear, the whole picture comes into focus. Only if my food is clear am I free to love self, family, and friends. Only if I'm abstinent am I free to give myself to larger goals, or to God."
~From Holy Hunger by Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Read more about it on Amazon: Holy Hunger

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Best of The Happiness Project Blog

I love this quote from one of the blog posts: "One surprising thing about happiness is that it has such a bad reputation."

As I have said before I love all things Gretchen Rubin. I came across this book last week which is the best of her blog from the last ten years. I have had so much enjoyment in reading it. The sections are short and very thought provoking. I binge read it in two days because it is so good. I'm thinking that I will go go back and only allow myself to read one post each day and then spend some time seriously considering how I can add some new, good stuff to my life.

If you would like to improve the happiness in your life then join me.

The Kindle book is $1.99. Not sure how long that will last.

THE BEST OF THE HAPPINESS PROJECT BLOG: Ten Years of Happiness, Good Habits, and More 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Radha Aromatherapy Diffuser

I was given a set of 16 essential oils last Christmas. Coincidentally, I became aware of this device at the same time. It works sort of like a mini-humidifier. You add a few drops of the oil and fill with water. It then puts out an ultrasonic mist for around five hours. The room has a beautiful scent the whole time.

It also has different colored lights that give off a nice glow. It stands about 6" tall and shuts off automatically.

I love the way it makes our house smell.

BTW, The set of oils I received were by Radha and include lavender, tea tree, peppermint, lemongrass, orange, eucalyptus, rosemary, frankincense, lemon, bergamot, ylang ylang, patchouli, geranium, pink grapefruit, cinnamon, and clary sage.
Here is a link to them: 16 Essential Oils

 Radha Aromatherapy Diffuser

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Perfumes: The Guide

On a Sunday in December of 2008 I read a newspaper article that mentioned perfume and patchouli. It featured Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez,  authors of the book Perfumes: The Guide. Fascinated, I borrowed a copy of the book from the library and soon bought my own copy. This was buried treasure. I had always loved things that smelled good and the good old hippie scents of patchouli and musk. But here was a new world of complex fragrances that my nose and brain wanted to experience. Things like woods, spices, animals, Morocco, the orient, incense, amber, the list went on. The book covers over 1500 perfumes. I was in a new world. Over the years I have collected some of the most amazing fragrances. Every day I revel in their beauty. I spray, smell, and my mind gives praise to God for the wonders he has made and the gift of scent.

Scent gets locked in our brain. What memories does it bring back for you. I remember the hand lotion of my first girlfriend. I remember the perfume of another girl; it was her mother's, Estee Lauder 'something', an amazing scent that will forever have no name. I remember when I had a janitorial business and went to empty a trash can and smelled something beautiful. I soon found out it came from a perfume sample. It was Oscar by Oscar de la Renta. It seemed like a huge purchase but I bought it for my wife. She wasn't smitten but I was. Then there is the after shave that my dad wore, Mennen Skin Bracer. I still have some that was his and he has been gone for over 12 years. One sniff of that and a flood of memories return.

My perfume shelf - click to enlarge.
Perfume is a very personal choice. We all like different things. There is also a very big difference between a bottle that costs $10 and one that costs $300. I have favorites from both categories and many from in between. This I will say about the more expensive perfumes: there is a reason. Another thing, you will not understand a perfume by smelling the cap or spraying it on. A quality perfume will smell one way when sprayed, will smell different an hour or two later and still different six hours later. That's part of the amazing science.

My favorite perfume maker is Andy Tauer who lives in Switzerland. I have fourteen of his perfumes. L'Air du Desert Marocain was the first perfume I ever bought and remains one of my favorites. Look him up and you will see a glimpse of the other world I speak of. Here is his site: Tauer Perfumes

If you would like to learn more about perfume, this book is a great place to start.
Perfumes: The Guide

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

ingenuiTEA


The ingenuiTEA is an amazing device for making tea. It has a fine mesh filter on the bottom so no leaves get through. When done steeping you set it on the cup and it drains. Easy cleanup after that.
I even open up tea bags and steep them that way. I think it lets the water get better contact with the tea.

Click here for more info:  ingenuiTEA Bottom-Dispensing Teapot

Not interested in this item? Do you shop on Amazon? Then just click through the ad below before you shop and a percentage of your purchases could be making its way back to Generosity Through Abundance.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Breast Reduction

Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. Proverbs 5:19

As far as I can tell, a woman's breasts serve two purposes. One is to nurse and satisfy her baby and the other is to satisfy and delight her husband.

Anymore, it seems I can hardly go anywhere without seeing women's breasts on display. It's not because they are nursing children and many more men are getting an eyeful than her husband, if she has one. Hey, it's happening in our churches too.

I'm calling for a breast reduction. I would like to see fewer breast available for public viewing.

I'd like the same in our churches. Hey sister, could you cover up your private parts? Save them for their intended purpose. There are many guys who may end up stumbling because of your display. It sure doesn't help when we are trying to focus on God.

I remember some years ago when my wife and I were together in a Sunday school class. The woman right in front of us, with a too short shirt, had her thong underwear on display. Sad to say, that's not the only time I have seen underwear on display in church. I thought underwear should be under. Which brings up this young guy thing of pants hanging down so the underwear are on display. Why can't we keep underwear under and unmentionables unmentioned?

I don't expect the world to listen but I hope that my sisters in Christ would understand that modern fashion has led to immodest dress. Ponder these words: Also, women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense. 1Timothy 2:9

"There will always be temptations to sin," Jesus said one day to his disciples, "but woe to the one who does the tempting. Luke 17:1

Philip

Withings Pulse - Fitness Tracker

I have used a Withings Pulse for almost 3 years. It is a great fitness tracker that you can wear on your wrist, clip on or carry in a pocket. There is clear evidence for the health benefits

Increasing your activity throughout the day is huge. Studies have shown that some of the benefits of  walking more include improved cardiovascular health, personal growth, and many other variables that contribute towards healthy living. I want that.

 It is rare that I don't reach my goal of 10,000 steps a day and most weeks I reach a second goal of 100,000 steps. I push myself because even though I know that there are many health things that I can't control, this is something I can do and should do.

The Pulse doesn't just track steps. It shows distance walked, elevation climbed and calories burned. You can also use it to measure heart rate and oxygen level. At night it will monitor your sleep, showing sleep cycles and sleep quality. Good sleep is also very important to good health.

The companion app for iOS and Android turns raw numbers into easy-to-read graphs, helping to show how daily habits impact health.

Here is a video showing it in action:


Click here is more information on Amazon

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tile Tracker - Find Anything

Do you lose things?

This cool device helped Matt find his wallet this morning. Buried under a stack of books, the sound from the Tile device revealed where it was.

It's not the first time we have been through this. My solution was to get him the tracker. Put it in your wallet, get one for your keys, etc. You can also use the Tile device to find your phone - something we have done many times.



Click below to get it on Amazon and help support Generosity Through Abundance.


Friday, March 24, 2017

The Velveteen Rabbit - What is Real?

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"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

From The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Get the book here.

Here are some products I created that express "What is Real". Your purchase helps support Generosity Through Abundance.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Authenticity

From The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.

Choosing authenticity means
•cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable;

•exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and

•nurturing the connection and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough.

Visit my store on Zazzle for unique gift ideas.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Last Addiction

From The Last Addiction by Sharon A. Hersh

Humility frees us from embarrassment about ourselves or our loved ones and keeps us open to the healing path, in whatever form it might take. I learned my own need for humility in my failures in recovery. I hid my relapse from others for the reason often quoted in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings: "You don't want to relapse, because then you have to go to the back of the line." Right, I didn't want to go to the back of the line, and I certainly didn't want anyone to tell me that I had to go there. I had stepped off the path, not because of my relapse, but because of my pride. I was unwilling to believe that my relapse needed to happen because I still had a lot to learn. Humility allows us to hear that every relapse or struggle is an opportunity to learn something, and then humility leads us to what we need to learn, even from the back of the line.

Humility is a deep knowing in my soul that I can't do it. It is the final answer to the last addiction.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Integrity Breach

I thought this was fascinating. Mistakes are tolerated and expected but lying about them is fatal. There are so many ways we can apply this to our lives. Admit mistakes and don't make it hard for others to admit theirs.

From The Leader's Code by Donovan Campbell

"In Officer Candidate School and then again in the Marines' basic officer course, it was made very clear to us that the greatest sin that could be committed was an "integrity breach." Most commonly, an "integrity breach" took the form of a lie, but at its heart it was anything that drove a wedge between our professed beliefs—honor, courage, commitment—and our daily actions. Most often, we failed by lying, usually to cover up mistakes or gaps in knowledge. When, for example, a screaming gunnery sergeant is two inches from your face, demanding to know why you failed to carry out a specified order, particularly one from a peer, it is very easy to say you never received such an order, or that you did not understand. Shifting blame to someone else often seems the best option for getting yourself off the hook.

However, as I soon came to find out, sacrificing integrity is almost always a significant long-term loss. Candidates who were determined to have outright lied were almost always jerked out of training, hauled in front of an officer board, and harshly cross-examined to determine whether they could remain in the training. Usually, the board summarily kicked them out. Executional mistakes, on the other hand, were well tolerated, expected, even. People could fail woefully at basic skills, including marksmanship, and still be allowed repeated chances to improve, try again, and continue the training. It usually took only one integrity breach, though, to end a prospective Marine officer's career."

Find more about The Leader's Code by clicking here.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

The One Year Book of Hope


Because I choose to believe God's Word and because I have experienced it in my own life, I thoroughly believe that the grace God provides is all you need—it is enough—for whatever you face. It will be delivered to you in the form and quantity and timing your circumstances require. It is enough to enable you to endure rejection and betrayal without becoming bitter. It is enough to generate joy in the midst of great sorrow. It is enough to help you endure the loneliness of your bed and the reminders of loss everywhere you turn. It is enough to enable you to continue believing that God is good and he loves you.

The grace God provides to you is enough for whatever suffering he allows into your life, not just enough to survive but enough to equip you to emerge from your suffering with faith intact and hope for the future. What God said to Paul he also says to you: "My gracious favor is all you need" today and for everything you will face in the days to come (2 Corinthians 12:9).

From The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie

Here is a link if you are interested in the book:
The One Year Book of Hope

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Five Tips For Daily Happiness

Five Tips For Daily Happiness

1) Start the day with 20 minutes of silence, Scripture and prayer.

2) Exercise for 20 minutes a day.

3) Write down three things you are grateful for.

4) Send a note, email or text encouraging one person. A single sentence is fine.

5) Describe in writing one new positive experience you have had over the past 24 hours.

Summarized by Brian Buffini, tweaked by me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why Won't You Apologize?

It’s in our most enduring and significant relationships that people become too mad to apologize. One or both parties may be convinced that the relationship can’t move forward if the other doesn’t consider his or her behavior and apologize for it. Yet there may be little agreement on who started it, what the offense is, what’s required to mend it, and who needs to apologize first. 

We automatically look for the one to blame, the person who “started it,” but relationships don’t work that way. Relationships operate in a circular, not linear, fashion, the behavior of each person provoking and reinforcing the behavior of the other. The real question is not who started it, or who is to blame, but rather what each  person can do to change his or her steps in the dance. 

~From Why Won't You Apologize by Harriet Lerner

I can't give them all here but read the book for some achievable solutions to common problems.

Get it here:
Why Won't You Apologize by Harriet Lerner

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Alison's Choice

Alison's Choice is one of the best prolife films I have ever seen. It is both profound and funny even though those two can be hard to combine.

It shows the emotions of someone moving toward abortion, the back and forth arguments in her head and shows how Jesus is there the whole time trying to save her and her child.

Here is the trailer: Alison's Choice

Here is where you can get a copy:
Alison's Choice

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