Sunday, November 21, 2021

Generosity Through Abundance

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Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We've Left Behind by Grace Olmstead

On Homesickness

"There are two different sorts of homesickness. The first is a gentle ache for material things, which I felt soon after I moved to Virginia for college. It's an ache for things that were pleasant and heartwarming as a child—like the smell of pine or the taste of Grandma's pie. These are the things we often associate with nostalgia: the small, material absences or presences that we form rituals around and enjoy, that remind us of the best parts of our childhood. I do not want to negate their importance or sweetness by calling them sentimental, but that is what they are. (And that is not necessarily a bad thing.)

But there's a second form of homesickness that can bubble up in your soul sometimes—often as a reaction to those material items, but going deeper and hurting more. It's an ache for presences past, for the souls that animated and embodied our most beloved memories of home. The ache is often filled with grief and gratitude because our entire idea of home is bound up in their presence, in the way they lived and loved so well. Rather than a gentle ache, it can feel like a raw, burning hurt. In those moments, we feel the absence of the presences that made us who we are, and we long to see them resurrected in our lives. This is why we walk in their footsteps, bake their bread, and tell their stories: to keep them alive, to feel their presences again, to conjure up the comfort they created—even if only for a moment.

"Nostalgia" is derived from the Greek word nostos, for "homecoming," and algos, for "pain, ache." I know I'm not alone in experiencing this ache. Many of my friends have also experienced this homesickness and wrestled with it. Perhaps readers of this book have wrestled with it as well. Many of us share those sense memories of our hometowns, of our grandparents, of the people and places who gave us life. Recalling a particular tree, an autumn scent, or the eccentric habit of a deceased loved one can result in a pang of longing.

We choose what to do with this ache. We can ignore it, dismiss it as sentimentality, and push forward with our lives. Or we can pause and consider. What is the pain telling us about what we're missing? What does it tell us about how we might form the future?"

From Uprooted: Recovering the Legacy of the Places We've Left Behind by Grace Olmstead

Click here for more about the book.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

You Can't Outrun Your Mouth

Book image

You Can't Outrun Your Mouth

If you are like most Americans, you are overweight.
If you are like most Americans, excess weight is affecting your health.
If you are like most Americans, you have succeeded in losing weight only to gain it back.

If you are like most Americans, the thought of that extra weight brings great discouragement.

There is a different way and there is hope.
Say no to fad diets and exercise.
Say yes to sensible and sustainable changes.
My story of losing 70 pounds in 9 months and keeping it off.

I will show you that there is a sensible way to lose weight and a sustainable way to eat and live so it doesn't return. There is no quick fix or miracle formula but a pathway that requires some work. As progress is made, the reward far exceeds the required changes. My story will help you to find your own way.

Get the book!

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Best Carpet Cleaning Machine Review

We used to get our carpet cleaned by a professional company once or twice a year. Last year my wife suggested we look into buying our own machine. I did some research and settled on this one. I figured cheaper machines probably would not do as good of a job. We used to pay the company a little over $200 so the machine was a little over that.

We are amazed how easy it is to operate and how clean the carpet is after. It also dried much quicker that when the professionals did it. That was one of the things we hated about getting out carpet cleaned. It would take over a day for it to completely dry and we had to wait before everything could be put back into its place.

Another thing we noticed is that it stayed cleaner longer. There were some traffic areas that looked dirty a couple of months after cleaning and that is not the case anymore. One other thing I like is that we can do different areas without having to have all the carpet done at once.

This machine is one of the best investments we have made.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

False Loves - Forty Weeks - Sacred Story Prayer


False loves may be a person or something else. The nature of a blind spot is that we are blind to it.

"But every heart is also divided and broken by the effects of its multiple spiritual and psychological wounds. Your heart can be easily fooled and tempted by false promises of love. All false loves are illicit, because they are lusts masquerading as love. False loves are like mirages for parched and anxious hearts hoping to quench their thirst and find comfort. Instead of providing lasting peace, these illicit loves—illusions really—merely intensify longings, self-deception, self-preoccupation, and narcissism, ultimately leading to spiritual and psychological death.

It is easy to observe the corrosive effects of sins and addictions in other individuals and other groups. But when you are in their grip, it is difficult to imagine these sins and addictions as anything other than a precious lifeline. God clearly sees the corrosive and poisonous effects of false loves on persons, families, societies, and nature. But those in their grip are seduced into believing in false love's comforts, because all false loves can appear as good, life-giving, and natural.

The varieties of deception and seduction are as numerous as the ways a heart can be broken. God will not sanction these lusts because they issue from a violated heart and lead to your heart's further violation. Once acted upon, you will most assuredly violate the hearts of others. God is Love: the origin, the end, and the defender of the human heart. While God is infinitely merciful with our struggles, God cannot sanction anything that breaks your heart, destroys your authentic human nature, or leads to your spiritual death.

You will not be convinced of these false loves' unholy origin until you are honest about them. Examine your false loves in the light of day, not by the cover of night. Here in the light of grace, they will be revealed as neither true servants of the heart nor pathways to the Divine. By exposing them, you will not lose love and life, as you fear. You will find, eventually, the path to Love itself: the Christ who is worthy of your total devotion and self-surrender."


Friday, January 1, 2021

The Serenity Prayer - Full Version


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.