This and that March 18, 2022

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

This is one of those days when I have nothing on my mind to say so I’ll just start talking and see what happens.

I know I mentioned this yesterday but I can’t get over how quickly the snow melts when the temperature rises to zero and the hot sun shines brightly. The sun really is hot here. It’s crazy. It can be freezing and short sleeves still work when you are standing in the sun.

With these bright days the furnace has hardly been on and at one point today the inside temp was 74 F. At the moment (9:45) it is still 71.

Another thing that is crazy? I measure inside temps and fever temps in Fahrenheit and outside temps in Celsius. I measure mileage in kilometers and fuel in litres, fabric and everything else in inches and yards, and food in pounds and ounces – sort of. It seems like I have an identity crisis. I probably do but I’m not planning on resolving it anytime soon. I’m happy just the way I am. Probably because I wasn’t thrilled with the whole change to metric in the first place. This mixed up system is my mini rebellion.

On to another favorite topic – books. I haven’t been doing well with my book a day goal. Two reasons, mainly. I’ve been busier at work as my workload has increased. I’ve very happy about this for multiple reasons. On top of that, I’ve once again been spending time watching live streams of the people’s convoy, this time in Maryland USA.

I’ve been following ZOT You Tube channel, Charlotte is the host and she does an amazing job. Everyone LOVES her. She loves people, and she is fearless. This causes a great deal of anxiety among her viewers, as well as the people she hangs out with on the ground. Everyone is looking out for her and they let her know. They pay attention to where she is, who she’s with, and what she does or doesn’t eat. This probably makes her even safer. Today she streamed for over twelve hours. From the time she left her hotel until she closed her car door to go back.

This beautiful girl is amazing and, she has publicly shared – she is nineteen.

I tune in, leave it on in the back ground all day, and stop by to watch when ever I have a few moments, or hours. They have been doing a peaceful protest for about three weeks. Everyday they drive what is called the beltway, around the capital. That’s it. Drive the route and then back to the speedway in Hagerstown MD. The authorities know the plan every day and they stick to it, no surprises. There are a few counter protesters who try to provoke a fight but it hasn’t worked. Today there were people in a field throwing large bricks of some sort on the road, One of the trucks was hit and suffered radiator damage. The big trucks with him all stopped for support. Live streamers caught it all on video and they were able to identify the perpetrators. These guys couldn’t have gone far (which doesn’t seem all that smart) because the police were able to arrest them easily. Charlotte was in one of the lead trucks so we got to see this happening.

It was a long day.

They arrived back to a noisy speedway. There were time trials going on for the big race coming up next weekend. The guys in her chat were urging her to go see the cars, her welfare in mind-caregivers were saying go eat first. She opted for food first but it was challenging because there are always people at every turn waiting to talk to her. It’s a bad thing and a good thing. She is very gracious to everyone.

Charlotte was a newbie at live streaming when she started taking daily shifts with the convoy in Ottawa Her progress has been amazing. She has a gift for relating to people and drawing out their stories. I can see a future for her in journalism if she ever decides to go that route.

The protests have been peaceful in both places and the amazing thing out of it is – love wins. A soft answer turns away wrath is really true. Hatred is confused by love. We watched this happen in both places and it was encouraging.

The other awesome thing coming out of this is the changing relationship between the US and Canada. On a grass roots level.

On a personal/individual level we’ve had good relationships across the border. As a body/country, in general, we were neighbors with a passing acquaintance. With all of the events over the last four months we are becoming neighbors with a strong friendship. It’s amazing to watch it unfold. To hear people expressing such love and appreciation is a very emotional experience. Watching ZOT for hours we get to see these expressions over and over.

How can you tell I am just a little bit wound up by all of this.

I watched the goings-on in Ottawa til the end (hoping there will be more) and I will watch Hagerstown to the end too. It gives me, and others, hope in this crazy time.

Well, it seems I could go on and on but…

I’ll save some for next time.

There are many live streamers out there, start with ZOT and you will see others pop up too. Check them all out.

Happy reading, and viewing.

This and that March 13, 2022

What a shock! Time change happened and I wasn’t paying attention. With so much snow in the yard it just seems wrong.

Maybe I am the only one out of sync with the season, my house plants are all starting to grow and bloom again.

I don’t think it’s me. -16C and two feet of snow?

I had things on my mind to chat about, honest, but all this talk about time and weather has derailed all rational thought.
I’ll go for coffee and a bite to eat, maybe that will help.

This is hours later and it didn’t really help. I wanted to have something upbeat and light to talk about but it’s not happening. For a number of reasons

I was reading and liking a book but it didn’t qualify as positive because of the ongoing distressing events facing the characters. It turned out well in the end but since I feel other’s emotions …

And then…

A You Tube podcast was impactful this week. But it too deals with a serious subject.

At one point in the video the conversation was centered around brokenness and a new idea (at least to me) was put forth. I don’t remember the conversation enough to quote it, and that can be a good thing. The question was: in regard to story, are we living and defining ourselves by our old story or by our present story? Most of us are living with our old story.

That’s true for me, when I stop to think about it. The abusive story of origin is the first place my thoughts go when asked about my life. In many ways the old story does define me because of the depth of emotional damage. Like a crippling spinal injury, in some areas it will color the way I do life for as long as I live. On the other hand though, my life as a whole took a 180 once we were removed from the situation. The idea put forth in the video was that we need to write and live by our new story. I can see the positive difference it would make to my view, and the world’s view, of me if I did this.

Replacing the old with the new will take some getting used to. It sounds easy but to do it successfully the insecure view of myself will have to change drastically. That will be the hard part. I think I like the idea enough to give it an honest try though.

Here is the video with the helpful conversation. The part referring to writing our new story happens in the last 10 minutes. Everything else is worth listening to as well. This is a leadership podcast but they cover so much more and it all applies to everyday people like you and me. Although who is to say we aren’t leaders? They say we should look behind us and if someone is following we are a leader, never mind that it isn’t a recognized leadership. The opposite is also sometimes true; there are a few in recognized leadership positions who, if they looked behind, would find no one following.

But leadership is not the focus here, the need for writing our new story is.

Ian Morgan Cron is talking about his latest book and in it he spends time on the idea of writing our new story, explaining why it is a worthwhile and life changing exercise.

The Story of You: An Enneagram Journey to Becoming Your True Self

Drawing on his training as a psychotherapist and his own personal experience, Ian Cron explains how you can:

  • rewrite the self-sabotaging stories you tell yourself about who you are,
  • free yourself from the tyranny of unconscious childhood messages, and
  • overcome the self-defeating patterns of behavior that prevent you from becoming your authentic self.

With this powerful tool, Cron shows us how each type can shed their broken stories and harness their unique power within to become who we are truly meant to be, shedding the unhappiness we accumulate by trying to live out of the wrong story. Filled with examples from people whose lives have been transformed for the better, Cron maps out a guide for using Enneagram wisdom to reauthor your life and experience deep inner transformation, healing, and happiness.

Rewrite the story of you and find the freedom in becoming your true self!

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His first book in this series is also helpful.

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery

Ignorance is bliss―except in self-awareness.
What you don’t know about yourself can hurt you and your relationships―and even keep you in the shallows with God. Do you want help figuring out who you are and why you’re stuck in the same ruts?
The Enneagram is an ancient personality typing system with an uncanny accuracy in describing how human beings are wired, both positively and negatively. In The Road Back to You Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God.

Witty and filled with stories, this book allows you to peek inside each of the nine Enneagram types, keeping you turning the pages long after you have read the chapter about your own number. Not only will you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s eyes, understanding how and why people think, feel, and act the way they do.
Beginning with changes you can start making today, the wisdom of the Enneagram can help take you further along into who you really are―leading you into places of spiritual discovery you would never have found on your own, and paving the way to the wiser, more compassionate person you want to become.

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There are varied opinions on the value of Enneagram. I’ve gone into it with an open but discerning mind and have found much that resonates and is helpful to me.

I have a tendency, like many others along with me, to beat myself up. Brutally sometimes. Learning more about who I am and how I tick has made a world of difference in the way I view myself. More tolerance, less critical, kindness.

I’m looking forward to growing with the latest book.

I hope you will find this as helpful in your journey as I do in mine.

Found it, February 15, 2022

One of the videos I wanted to share earlier but couldn’t find showed up on a popular followed site. Dr. Steve Turley is another well known American figure supporting the tyranny fight wherever it shows up in the world.

This video is this morning’s Trucker news conference with an update and encouragement for the troops. Reassuring and informative. The convoy is highly organized and committees have been appointed for every aspect of daily life. This group is one of them.

In an official two language country we hear everything in both English and French. Just sayin’.

I haven’t checked for new book suggestions yet today but I will. You will hear from me if anything interesting shows up.

I’m currently watching Ottawalks live stream. It’s a beautiful day.

No political commentary, he just walks and does an excellent job at filming.

Later guys.

One more thing Feb 11, 2022

Most of the world has heard about the Freedom Convoy of trucks here in Canada. Yesterday I discovered there is a team of You Tubers on site in Ottawa streaming what is happening on the ground. I watched a few hours of it last night and this morning another four hours has been posted by Zot.

The routine has them walking to cover most of the area just to see what is happening. They stop often to chat with people along the way.

I was watching live streaming yesterday with several different guys, this morning one of them has posted a four hour video from the middle of the night.

Check these guys out. We get to see for ourselves what is happening over there.

PTSD Conversation January 29, 2022

“Do you wanna be well, really wanna be well?” The Gaither Vocal Band has a song asking this question.

I’m just now realizing it’s a question I have to ask myself, again.

I’ve loved this song since it first came out and I honestly thought my answer to this question was a resounding YES!

I’m having to rethink this position, based on my actions, or rather, lack of them.

My conversation with the dermatologist on Tuesday is the catalyst.

His question “how long have you had this rash on your legs?” started this train of thought. Looking at my answer “12 years,” from his perspective was upsetting. Added to that, my comment regarding much scratching “pain is addictive,” tipped me over the edge. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

I’ve never sought help in regard to this current, and worst, version of the rash. Why is that?

I can get into the weeds pretty quickly if I follow this train of thought too intensely so I won’t go there.

It is true that for many years I have been working on healing from my childhood trauma and the damage it caused. Honestly though, it’s not as simple as I thought.

I think it’s more like a mirrored disco ball. There are many facets and I’ve been honest about some but not others. My behavior shows the truth. No doctor visits in a decade. Never (rarely) leaving my house. Avoiding any gatherings with certain types of people in attendance. (it’s probably more honest to say avoiding gatherings with people in attendance, never mind types.)

Where do I go from here?

I don’t know. For now I think my acknowledgement of the truth is enough. My behavior often changes when my perspective changes.

Baby steps.

The song is based on a bible story found in the New Testament, the book of John, chapter 5, verses 1 – 15

I do want to be well, I’m just not so sure about making changes in some areas.

I like interacting with people in this arena. Maybe, along with honesty, interaction here is all that’s needed. I could live with that.

Why do I like Carey Nieuwhof so much? Jan 22, 2022

If you haven’t explored any of his podcasts shared on this site, Carey Nieuwhof is a popular internationally known podcaster with millions of downloads. That isn’t why I like him but it helps.

He started out in radio as a teen, went on to become a lawyer, practiced law for a short time and decided he didn’t love it. Next he went to seminary, decided to try out pastoring, starting with a small congregation that over time became a very large one. After twenty-five years or so, developed a succession plan for the church to survive beyond his time there and gradually worked himself out of a job.

Retirement was unappealing. Looking around for a hobby or two he settled on blogging and then podcasting. He didn’t plan for it to go anywhere, one thing led to another, though, and it just did.

It was a lot of hard work but he had dreams and was brimming with good ideas. Mentoring his successor as pastor provided an added a dimension to his plan. Eventually he found himself mentoring leaders in the church world as well as in the corporate world.

Carey has a gift for asking the kind of questions that will turn interviews into something special. He can draw the best out of people and leave us feeling like the conversation only scratched the surface of what was still there to be discovered.

Here’s what I like best.

Every interview is like reading a book, only better. For one thing it is a multi-dimensional experience. Particularly if you watch the video version. Hearing the voice, watching the expressions, adds to impact and understanding.

The main attraction though is content. Every guest is there because of a gold mine to be explored.

Last but not least, I love these interviews because they get right down to the meat of the issue. It’s like reading Cliffs Notes, we get to skip the lengthy explanations.

And, if we want more we can order the books that were the impetus for the interview in the first place. Carey is good about populating the show notes with an abundance of useful information, most of our questions should be answered there.

So, now that I’ve shared a brief glimpse of why I have faithfully followed Carey Nieuwhof, I want to share a video that reads like a book. It’s one I can barely understand and it will be life changing in the world of internet.

It needs it’s own post, though, so that is what I am going to give it.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with a picture of Carey and one of his many books.

Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the Seven Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.

Something bigger is going on. January 15, 2022

My take-away from this new interview – in this present day with it’s upheaval and polarization the discussion here has a different perspective, we are missing the real point.

The title identifies today’s topic as Future Church Trends. This is true but it’s not the whole truth. These days we are in hot debate, coming close to blows over things like Covid, global warming, CRT, and so many more. The discussion here expands to embrace the global view, not just the church view, of our struggles and it encompasses all the areas of life we as a culture are fighting about.

Mark Sayers has taken a step back to look at the global in-fighting and has reached the conclusion, there is something bigger going on here.

His view on this speaks to me.

A number of weeks ago, as we watched the massive destruction of farmland and major highway systems in south western Canada, due to major flooding, a realization came over me. For years we have been engaged in the heated philosophical debate over climate change and how to combat it. We have totally ignored the practical aspects of infrastructure maintenance. If the level of energy given to the climate change debate had been applied to the consideration of practical areas, like fixing the reported weaknesses in the local dykes, the disaster could have been significantly reduced.

On a global level, are we so caught up in our emotional and opinionated disagreements that we are missing the reality of what is going on in our world?

Mark Sayers is not offering any thoughts on what is truly happening but I think he could be right, there is something.

The world could be falling apart all around us and the way we are fighting, we wouldn’t even notice. Until it was too late.

Personally, I’m taking a few steps back to think about what we could be missing here. What is truly going on in our world? I don’t think there are any easy answers. If we are vigilant maybe we will see the truth exposed in time to do something about it.

So, who is it? Happy to see us consumed in heated arguments while they steal the rug out from under us?

I think generations coming up behind us need us to lay aside our feuds and pay attention to reality.

Enjoy.

A Podcast and a book January 12, 2022

Twice, back to back. I couldn’t help but watch it again. Donald Miller has an awesome way of expressing himself. It makes you want to hear more. That’s why I went for the second listen. After that it was time to check out his many popular books.

Books were discussed in the podcast but the overriding theme (I felt) was his current business. He coaches entrepreneurs needing help to improve and grow their business. In the course of the conversation he handed out great tips. It was worth listening just for that.

His latest book is Business Made Simple. His second last book is Hero on a Mission: a Path to a Meaningful Life. They both looked interesting but the book conversation that intrigued me most was a book called Blue Like Jazz. That’s the one I ended up with and I’m excited to read it.

Here are the three books

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This is tonight’s podcast. Donald Miller is a fascinating and relatable man. He is down-to-earth, real, with a gift for clear communication.

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I had to share. I hope you find this as fascinating as I did.

Mark, Buddy, and the Book of Common Prayer January 10, 2022

Two of my favorite singers are having a deep conversation about today`s scripture reading in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. At least it starts out that way and then it evolves into so much more.

While I was listening to them live I added a couple of videos here to introduce you to Buddy and his amazing talent. Who knew he would sing the same song live. Now you get to see him perform in two different settings.

Introduction to Buddy

One of his songs

I love today`s podcast, I hope it blesses you as much as it does me.

They will be doing this again and I plan to share them all.

Current read and two new interesting books January 09, 2022

Last week I mentioned a book written by a psychotherapist interviewed on a podcast I came across. I think I shared it here, I need to check that out to be sure. Anyway, I’m reading her book and it is like taking medicine mixed with delicious honey. The authors aim was to provide help to those of us who might not be inclined (for whatever reason) to visit a therapist but dish it up as a story to make sure we would read it. I have to say she is doing a masterful job. I’m almost finished the first third of the book and it is not easy to put down.

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC!

“Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing.”—Katie Couric

“This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book.”—Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post and Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

“Wise, warm, smart, and funny. You must read this book.”—Susan Cain, New York Times best-selling author of Quiet

From a New York Times best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world—where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).

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Last week I shared a new book written by a member of our monthly writer’s group. I’m going to share it again along with the new book of a second member of our group. I do own both books and haven’t gotten to them yet but I’m excited about the prospect. We have been exposed regularly to the excellent writings of these gentlemen and they are well worth reading.

They have different styles, unique imaginations and they leave us wanting more.

Fire and Iron: Stories of Fidelity, Infidelity and Daring Commitment

Broken promises, ulterior motives, revenge and deceit; Ten stories detailing relationships some broken, and some redemptive, all recognizing human frailty.

Short stories for adults with stories for men, women, and youth including short love stories that make you cry.

Each story is followed by book club discussion questions to prompt reflection of the story and personal experiences. This short story collection is both suitable for the Christian book club and general adult book clubs.

Inspirational short stories of relationships.
Excerpts from the stories:
She attempted to grasp his hand, their fingers touched, but then his hand was gone. (Fire and Iron)

Emma reached out to collect her books. She hesitated when she saw Keara crouching in front as if to help. To her dismay, Keara only whispered, “You know you’re not my friend anymore.” (The River)

Rand Gavell’s moral fiber is put to the test. His injured wife lies comatose in a care home while an attractive, single real-estate agent suggests an alternative lifestyle. (A Touch of Salt)

The title, Fire and Iron, suggests the stories are of individuals tempered by the fires of hurt, strengthened by the pain and helped by the kindness of another.

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Stealth by Robert Stermscheg

1944. American bomber pilot, Jack Swaggart, has led his squadron countless times into hostile German territory, hit the assigned target, and returned to base none the worse for wear.

Eventually, Jack’s luck runs out. With his B-26 Marauder heavily damaged by flak, Jack is forced to ditch his crippled airplane in the German countryside.

Separated from his crew, Jack trusts an unlikely ally, Hilde Augsburg, a plucky young woman, a decision with icy catapults them into an adventure neither could have envisioned. Coincidentally, they spot a new type of German warplane in flight–a design unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

In that moment, Jack realizes that the Nazis have developed a formidable new bomber, one that could dramatically alter the course of the war. In the blink of an eye, Jack’s mission shifts from survival to thwarting the Germans, just when the Allies are on the verge of triumph.

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All three of these authors are well worth the read. I think you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Happy Reading!