Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 85,163 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Idaho Author Angela Strong
      Hi Angela! I'm excited to know if there is a story behind The Water Fight Professional? I wrote this years ago when my son was a preschooler. We were at a church picnic and he wanted to get involved in the water fight the older kids were having, but he didn’t know how. I gave him a cup of water and told him to dump it on someone. That person saw him com […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Susan Rush
      It's a pleasure to welcome Susan here today! Tell us, is there a story behind your book Just Over the Horizon? While working as a hospice social worker, I’ve had the rare honor of being with many people as their journey here on earth came to a close.  A wise patient once told me he wasn’t afraid to die because he was looking so forward to seeing what li […]
    • The Water Fight Professional by Angela Strong
      I, Joey Michaels, am the Water Fight Professional. Basically this means that customers pay me to soak other people. But my super-competitive best friend is sucking all the fun out of summer. All because I made a secret bet with him. Winning the bet wouldn't be so hard if I didn't have the following three problems: 1) My dramatic mother who feels th […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES
      It's a NEW CLASH!The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:Based on the […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • Winner of the May Release Clash
      And the winner is.....OF THE PERSECUTED by Angie BrashearCongratulations, Angie!This month's clash was a record-breaker from day one. As a hostess, one of the greatest things is seeing the voting numbers climb higher and higher. And I was thrilled to see so many turn out to vote during my clash. I love it! So thank you to everyone who voted and to our c […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey
      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
    • Book Review: As Is by Wendy Oleston
      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • BOOK REVIEW: SHOUT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY NICK ROSENER & ERIC LEHNEN
      A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandabl […]
    • Book Review—The Last to Know by Melissa Hill
      This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a success […]
    • Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta
      Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storytell […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Posts Tagged ‘Cats’

I’m Thankful For…

Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! I figured the best way to go about tonight’s blog would be to go generic. Why not descibe some things I’m thankful for, right?

First and foremost, I’m thankful for Jesus Christ. To me, He is many things; God, Savior, Friend, The Creator. I could fill this whole post with just His names, but I want to express my thanks for the things He has made and done for me. For one thing, I can’t thank Him enough for His forgiveness, and saving me (and the rest of the world, for that matter) from sin. I’m thankful for His endless love, His goodness, and the fullness my heart receives when I pursue Him.

I’m thankful for the family I was born into, and the family I continue to adopt in Christ. I’m thankful for my awesome parents and how they’ve provided for me all my life. I’m thankful for my two older sisters, whom, despite the regular distance between all of us, have always helped me grow as a person.

I’m thankful for friends. Best friends, semi-close friends, acquaintances, anyone I come into contact with who doesn’t immediately try to kill me. I’m always learning, and anyone who treats me with either respect or disrespect is going to teach me something. Those who show me love, whom I love, I am most thankful for. I can’t imagine a life without any friends. They help me stay who I am, and help me keep from being who I shouldn’t be.

I am thankful for music. My ability to hear it, my ability to make it. Metal music is my favorite, but I can enjoy anything with a pleasant tune and/or agreeable lyrics. God really knew what He was doing when He blessed mankind with the means and talents to create such wonderful sounds.

I’m also thankful for art in general, all sorts. Again, being able to make art is great. If I had no way to express some of the things on my mind, I feel like my head would probably explode. That goes for drawing, writing, anything one may call art. I hope my art and writing can inspire anyone else as much as the world’s has inspired me.

I’m thankful for my cat. Because… why shouldn’t I be thankful for my cat?

I’m thankful for the miracle of technology. For computers, cell phones, video games, internet, webcams, photography, television, refrigerators, toilets! I was lucky enough to live in a generation which got to see the arrival of a whole world of technology that people twenty years ago weren’t exposed to and people twenty years from now will think is prehistoric. Without Facebook –without internet!- I wouldn’t have gotten my first few stories published, nor would I have met a great community of writer-friends in the process of starting my career. I have access to so many people near and far with today’s technology, and for that, I am thankful.

I am thankful for nourishment. Food, drinks, caffeine. I try not to overindulge myself, but I sure do like being able to eat what I want, when I want, how I want.

I’m thankful for sleep, and for dreams. Dreams make sleep fun, and sleep makes me… normal?

I’m thankful for pillows and blankets.

I’m thankful for clothes. I like being warm, and I like being stylish.

I’m thankful for my ability to grow a beard.

I’m thankful for Bruce Willis movies, ‘cause he’s awesome.

I’m thankful for Godzilla.

I’m thankful for hugs and kisses.

I’m thankful for new places to travel.

I’m thankful for mysteries and adventures.

I’m thankful for books, reading, information, words and eyeballs.

I’m thankful for glasses. Having to wear them is a drag, but they keep my world from looking like a messy, blurry blob.

I’m thankful for fingernails. You never notice how useful they are until you let them grow a little bit.

I’m thankful for trees. They help us breathe, they’re pretty, and climbing on them is fun.

I’m thankful for comfy chairs.

I’m thankful for animals. All of them. Well, maybe all of them except for mosquitoes.

I’m thankful for transportation. Cars, boats, planes, trains, all that good stuff. Feet are nice too, but they don’t cross oceans very easily.

I’m thankful for senses. How could we do anything without them, you know?

I’m thankful for time limits, and for eternity. Time limits give me a reason to work faster, or slower, to decide when to begin and when to end. And eternity? It gives me a reason to stick around.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Family, Friendship, Happiness, Inspiration, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Day in the Life Of…

Posted by Luther D. Powell on November 15, 2012

It occurred to me in the middle of work this morning that I had to write a blog for today! Whoops! Sometimes, my entire week slurs together and I forget that certain days happen when I have to do things and stuff, it’s confusing. In the midst of my morning confusion, I decided I would just write about my day. ‘Cause I figured… I can do that.

I woke up around 10:30, fell asleep, and woke up again, probably several times. If you added up the collection of moments this happens during my life now, there would be like three whole years or so composed entirely of me struggling to decide when to wake up. I was officially up by 11.

Would have had time for breakfast, but I spent a full five minutes staring blankly at my computer screen, fighting the desire to post an interesting Facebook status update. I’m ashamed to admit, this happens on a fairly regular basis, mostly because part of me feels obligated, if I’m on Facebook, to post about what’s REALLY on my mind, considering, that’s the question in the little box when you first log in. It’s my duty to let my friends know how I’m doing, right? HAHA!

So I sit for a while, pondering, “What IS on my mind?” before concluding that most of the things on my mind would probably erase my ‘friend list’ in a heartbeat. No, seriously. I’m a horror author. If I just went around telling everybody what was going on in my head, people probably wouldn’t like me very much. I eventually decided not to post anything, then realized I no longer had time to throw together a peanutbutter sandwich.

I tossed on my work uniform: black, dress pants –check. Orange polo, still kind of stiff from the sweat of last shift –check. Nametag –check. Hat –check. You’ll note that I didn’t shower today; you’d think that, working in food service, being clean –REALLY clean, is crucial. At my campus food court, that’s not quite the case. Really, wearing a hat for 4+ hours, to me, just means nobody can tell that I haven’t washed my hair in a while. And bathing everything else? Well, that’s a little pointless when you wash dishes for hours and get food waste plastered all over yourself.

Brushed my teeth after getting dressed. Gathered what I needed for my drawing class which follows work. That took longer than expected, and with eight minutes before the start of my shift, I booked it to work. On a normal morning, my walk to work takes a solid ten minutes. My apartment isn’t far from the campus food court, so that’s nice. However, when I have to half-walk half-sprint in bursts to make sure I keep my record of punctuality, that’s not so nice.

My record of not-being-late has not been broken yet.

At work, I shuffled into an apron, clocked in, looked over the beverage coolers. They were already full, so I headed to the dish machine and started washing. Luckily, today, two other workers were sent to dish because there was nothing else for them to do. We tackled a rather intimidating pile of dishes in about an hour. I had earned myself a well-deserved lunch break.

For lunch, I ate a big ol’ stack of pierogies with an ice cold Coca-Cola (for those of you who don’t know, pierogies are Polish dumplings filled with  mashed potatoes and cheese. Basically Heaven in your mouth). I sat alone and  ate, watching customers pass me by, wondering what they would eat, smiling casually at those who looked over.

After break, I returned to the beverage coolers to find that a few slots had been emptied. That was my cue. I mounted my trusty steed –the stocking cart, and rolled into the stocking room, where all the bottled drinks are stored. With clipboard in hand, everything I needed written down, I started loading the cart full of drinks. I spent another forty minutes or so putting those drinks in the coolers.

The rest of work consisted of scraping old food gunk out of the inside of garbage cans. Not much to say about that.

Once work was over, I had a few minutes to browse Reddit.com, one of my favorite websites. It’s for posting pictures, funny stuff, news articles, basically anything. Scrolled through the ‘photography’ section, which just has a bunch of cool, inspiring pictures.

At 3:30, I headed to my drawing class. In which, I drew things. But not just any things. I drew my cat, because I did not feel like working on the project we were supposed to be working on. Call me a bad student, but I plan to do the next project in ink and water, and that’s not very easy to transport on foot. And, my instructor liked my cat drawing.

When I returned to my apartment after class, I entered a cloud of the sweetest-smelling aroma of grilled cheese and tomato soup. My roommate had a guest over and was cooking dinner with her, and offered to make me a sandwich. I took him up on that offer with glee. The sandwich –grilled cheese with chicken- was delicious.

By the time I had finished my sandwich, my roommate and his guest had already left to go do…stuff, I don’t know where they went. So, apartment’s empty. Know what that means?

DRUM MYSELF INTO A COMA TIME!!!

Which is exactly what I did. Drums. Then naptime. When I woke up, I typed this, and now I’m posting it. Later tonight, I’ll probably draw some more, catch up on my NaNo wordcount (I confess, I’m too embarrassed to post my wordcount here for all to see. It’s pathetic), and I might hang out with some friends if they show up like they normally do after the Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) meeting. I used to go to those, but choose not to now, for reasons I might explain another day. My friends who go usually come over to the apartment afterwards. If they don’t, more drawing, more writing. Maybe some reading in there, we’ll see. Bedtime anywhere from 3 am to 7 am. No, I’m not kidding. My brain works best during those hours.

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my day. If I had anything else interesting to talk about, I would have posted about that, and not my day. So yes, I legitimately hope you got anything out of this. Cheers and God bless!

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Friendship, Life Experiences, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

I Prefer Walking

Posted by Luther D. Powell on October 25, 2012

I once had a silly argument with an art professor of mine about my drawing method. He was trying to convince me that I worked too slowly, and put more time into my work than necessary by drawing everything freehand. He saw it more beneficial to use a projector to trace the outline of whatever reference photo I was using to draw from. At the time, I thought it was odd for an artist to do that, and it almost seemed like cheating to me. My professor used this analogy to better describe his argument: “You and I are heading in the same direction, only you’re walking and I’m driving.”

I understand what he meant, and it turns out using a projector is a common practice among realistic painters, at least around here. They make things easier on themselves by using a projector to trace their image onto the canvas or paper before trying to paint everything, just so it starts off proportioned right. However, I find it much more therapeutic to start simple, making basic shapes before drawing in layers and layers of detail. I learn much more that way, studying the human form or animals or trees or whatever it is I’m taking the time to draw.

Comparing this to walking, actual-foot-walking, kind of describes that way I choose to go about life in general. I don’t have my own car yet, and a shuttle bus drives all over my school neighborhood, so I wouldn’t use a car here in Bowling Green much anyway. While at school, I learn to appreciate walking for many reasons. I feel like driving makes trips monotonous. In my hometown, there’s not much you can look at while driving fifty miles an hour everywhere, but if you walk, that’s a different story. You pick up on things while walking, little things that mean a lot if you take the time to analyze them. For example, out of the many concrete slabs which make up the sidewalk leading from my apartment to campus, there is a single block that seems to be frequently used to spit out chewing gum. Why? I don’t know, but there’s gum stuck all over this one slab of concrete, and it will probably stay that way. How many people have spat gum there? Maybe the same person? What flavors of gum are all over the concrete?

Yeah, that’s a weird example, but you see what I mean? I learn so much from walking, from taking things slow, stopping and smelling the flowers and finding out which ones have thorns, watching the birds fly overhead and figuring out which cats are strays and which ones are people-friendly.

With all that in mind, take a moment to ask yourself this question: in your walk with God, are you really walking, or are you driving? Do you and Jesus stop and examine the gum on the sidewalk, or are you always saying, “Not this time, Jesus, I’m in a rush”?

I’ll be honest in saying that lately, I’ve found myself driving through my spiritual life instead of walking, which is why Lisa filled in for me last Thursday (thanks bunches once again, Lisa!). I’ve been busy just being busy, and not being busy with God, and I needed some time to “smell the flowers” in my Bible. It’s tough recovering from a mess of work and coming out to let Christ fill my life all over again. It’s like, the minute you stop walking and start driving, you’ll see God through your windshield like any other building or landmark you’re used to passing every day on your way to work. It’s better if God’s in the car with you, probably better yet if He’s driving, but walking with Him is just as productive even if it takes longer.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Life Experiences, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

It’s Titleriffic!

Posted by Luther D. Powell on June 14, 2012

With another busy week ahead of me, I thought I’d post another story excerpt while I didn’t have much concentration to come up with an interesting bloppick. I’m actually writing this before Thursday, so I’m like…blogging into the future.

I can only say so much about this little snippet. In short, best friends Shane and Nikko are driving home from a party late at night and have just run over a deer. Weirdness ensues. One thing I can finally declare happily about this story is that I may have settled on a semi-official title. I’ve been fighting with myself on titles for the past few months, so I’m pretty excited. Without further ado, here is an excerpt from the horror story I’ve spent the past 7+ years on, currently entitled, Twelve Hour Wanderer. Any feedback would be appreciated!

With uncontrolled gusts of laughter, the two morbid friends carried the stag’s corpse over to the bench and hoisted it up onto the wooden planks of the seat.

“We should set him up like he’s just sitting here after a leisurely stroll on the sidewalk or something!” Shane guffawed.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing! Here, take a picture of me with it!” Nikko handed Shane his cell phone, then sat next to the deer and pushed it upward as though it were sitting on the bench like any other person. Shane stepped back with the phone flipped open, its camera lens focusing on Nikko as he struck a silly “thumbs-up” pose, and took a picture.

“Now do me!” Shane demanded, rushing to switch spots. Nikko got up as Shane handed his phone back and sat on the bench in his place. Nikko took a picture of his friend next to the deer, throwing up a pair of “devil horns” with his hands.

“This is going on MySpace!” Nikko stated with another thumb of approval in the air.

“Alright, let’s bolt before somebody else drives by!”

Wiping their hands on their jeans, they dashed to the Corvette cackling maniacally, hopped back in, then lost it completely. They were always easily amused at this time of night, and they were quite proud of the grisly display they made out of the dead stag.

“Who needs mounting on a wall when you can just leave road kill out on the sidewalk to greet the citizens of your hometown?”

“I know, right?” Nikko answered, dragging from his inhaler once again. “If we had some spray paint, I’d be half-tempted to spray an upside-down star on the bench just to freak people out!”

“That’d be so metal,” Shane grunted with a fist pump.

“Alright, uh, I need to call the car insurance people, but I don’t have the number listed in my contacts. You wanna help me find the papers in here?”

“Yeah, but um, will they be like…open? I mean, would the insurance company answer this late at night?”

“Don’t know why they wouldn’t, but I’ve never done this before. If we can’t get through to them, I guess I’ll call tomorrow, but I need the number. Open up the glove compartment and dig out whatever’s in there.”

Shane did as Nikko requested and pulled out a stack of aged documents. “We should each look over a half of these, where did all this come from?” He handed Nikko the top half of the stack, easily more than twenty papers.

“I dunno, man, I’ve had the car all summer. Been collecting maps and printing directions for stuff, it all ends up in there.”

“This is a menu for the Hong Kong Buffet, dude.”

“I don’t know how that got there.”

“Gosh, you’re so fat!” Shane laughed, shuffling the menu under the rest of the dog-eared papers in his lap. Shane always called Nikko fat, fatty, fat-boy, et cetera, as an obviously-ironic joke.

“Directions to malls in Columbus, Delaware, Chillicothe, Grandma’s house—”

“What, ‘over the river and through the woods’ not enough detail for you?”

“I guess not. My parents give me more directions than I ask for, usually.”

“Menu from El Campasino’s, since when did you even like Mexican food?”

“Not everybody has as weak a stomach as yours.”

“I’ll give you a weak stomach.”

“Your mom has a weak stomach.”

“Dude, I’m not finding anything that even looks insurance-related. Any luck?”

“Uh…phone book. I mean, that’s kinda helpful…”

Shane ran his fingers through his hair. “I’m exhausted, man, do you really want to look for your car insurance company in a phone book right now?”

Nikko ignored the question and flipped through some yellow pages. “I don’t…think…this is going to work.” Just then, the napkin on his cheek finally peeled away and dropped onto the open phonebook. “Haha! I forgot that was still on my face,” he said, before erupting into a chorus of sneezes.

“Bless-you!”

“Thanks,” Nikko sniffled, wiping his nose on the bloody napkin. He wadded it up and tossed it in the back seat.

“Ew, dude, I could’ve given you another one!”

“It’s my own blood, no problem.” He sneezed again, then coughed. “I think my allergies are spazzing out.”

“Was it Allen’s dog again, you think? I didn’t see it at the party.”

“I didn’t either, but sometimes dander alone is enough to mess me up. Let’s just head—” another sneeze, “—gah, home. I’ll call insurance tomorrow.”

After stuffing the maps and menus back into his glove compartment, Nikko restarted the vehicle, pulled the car into a straight line in the right lane and gradually built speed. “She lives! That’s good news.”

Passing another few buildings and approaching some train tracks, Shane glanced at the rearview-mirror and announced a barrage of expletives.

“Whoa-whoa, what is it?”

“Stop the car!” Shane commanded. “The deer’s gone!”

Cliffhanger, oogly-boogly-woogly! I hope that held your attention well, and just in case didn’t, here’s another picture of my cat. She does not want me to go on vacation.

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Ten Unexpected Realities of Adulthood

Posted by Luther D. Powell on April 4, 2012

Ten Unexpected Realities of Adulthood:

1. If you don’t clean it, it won’t get clean.

Living in an apartment with four guys my age has made this reality… hideously clear. One of my roommates is a ‘germaphobe,’ so occasionally, he feels the need to tidy everything up himself. Other than those moments, me and the guys get fairly passive when it comes to making sure stuff is spotless. After a while it hits each of us pretty hard: nobody wants to clean, so if you don’t clean up after yourself, your garbage and grime ain’t goin’ anywhere.

2. If you don’t need it, you probably shouldn’t buy it.

When I was younger, it made sense to me that if one has a lot of money, one can and should buy a lot of stuff. My adolescent logic: money = getting what you want. Nowadays, I would rather have less cash in my pocket than in my savings account just so I’d know I couldn’t squander it on simple pleasures like new clothes, entertainment, and ice cream. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. If you can afford it, you still probably shouldn’t buy it.

3. Telling friends about new story ideas won’t get the story written.

I do more talking about my stories than actually writing them. There was a time when talking about new ideas was nearly motivational enough on its own to get me in the mood to type up whole novels, but that was before I… wrote… good. What helps me get stories written now? Writing them. Not talking about them.

4. Women.

I mean…

Like…

I’m trying to…?

But…

I just…

Women.

5. Spiritual conversations aren’t difficult; Religious conversations are difficult.

It used to be awkward for me to talk to people about Jesus, mostly because I couldn’t grasp the difference between spiritual and religious conversations. Asking people what religion they follow and why can be tricky. Asking what people believe and having a calm discussion about it is easier, for me at least. Religion is an interesting topic, but what matters most is how others view life and understanding that in contrast with your own faith to spread God’s message more thoroughly. Talking about the differences between Protestantism, Atheism, Buddhism, and all the other –isms out there can lead to arguments about who’s got the better idea and harsh generalizations. I feel that it’s both simpler and deeper to flat-out ask a person, “What do you really believe?” and not, “In what religion do you categorize yourself?”

6. Jobs don’t have to stink.

Getting a job used to sound scary, boring and overall painful to me. I’ll admit, working at a factory a few summers back was indeed scary, boring and painful, but I had good days and bad. After working somewhere long enough and learning the ropes, interacting with employees and singing while you mop the floor isn’t so bad.

7. Demon Hunter’s new album is gonna be awesome!!!

Wait… this doesn’t go here. :ehem: Sorry.

7.5. Pets make better company than most people.

When I’m home in Marion, my cat can drive me bonkers sometimes. When at school, I miss her SO much! Seriously, you can tell your pets everything, you can hug and squeeze them whenever you need a snuggle buddy, pets are there for you no matter what, because they belong to you! Sure, conversations with Eunice are generally one-sided, but she’ll be my friend when nobody else will. I don’t know why she likes the sink so much, though…

8. Going out of your way to compliment a stranger brightens your day.

As long as said stranger takes it well. When I take the time to openly appreciate something about someone, it just makes the world look better, you know?

9. A weak stomach will only get weaker with age.

Yep.

10. Hugs secretly mean a lot to everybody.

Giving out hugs when I was little wasn’t really my thing. Family members, that was normal. Everyone else, too mushy-gushy. Now, depending on how touchy a person is, I really enjoy hugs from friends, and I’ve realized how meaningful a hug can be to somebody else my age who is going through hardships. If somebody looks like he or she needs a hug, you hug the daylights out of him/her, because it will probably make the person feel special.

Thanks for reading, cheers and God bless!

 

In Christ,

Luther D. Powell

Posted in Encouragment, Friendship, Life Experiences, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Colonial Cats and Mice

Posted by elainemcooper on January 13, 2012

Posted by Elaine Marie Cooper

There is a Colonial American proverb: “You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.”

Wall Candle Box

Perhaps it was a popular saying because that friendship could help quell the numerous mice the colonists were forced to contend with. Not only did these rodents threaten the colonials’ meager supply of food, these scavengers even ate the supply of candles. The tallow (animal fat) that was used to make this precious commodity was apparently appreciated by the little creatures—much to the house owners’ consternation. To shield the candles from destruction, the colonists built special wooden boxes and set them on the wall to keep their source of light safe from the hungry creatures.

But the early American household also kept that ultimate mice killer—a cat.

Until I visited Storrowton Village Museum in West Springfield, Massachusetts last fall, I was unaware that some colonial homes had openings to the outdoors for their cats to come in and out. I actually thought that cat doors were a 20th century invention. What was I thinking? It made more sense in the 18th century since they likely did not tolerate cat boxes in the house. No clumpy clay in the colonies. ;-)

If you look closely at this 18th century home that is situated at the Museum in West Springfield, you will see the cat door in the lower right near the door. A close up will reveal it even more clearly.

Colonial Cat Door

Ah, the life of a happy colonial cat.

My cat has no such luxury. His outdoor ventures to my front porch are closely monitored by humans. He is an indoor, city cat—but a great mouser indoors. :-)

Killer Kitty-Kitty

It looks like he’s been eating a LOT of mice…

Mice were not indigenous to America. They were stowaways on board ships from Europe. As uninvited guests, they quickly made their home quite comfortably in the New World. Along with these little varmints on the boats were other pests: gray rats, black flies and (gulp) cockroaches.

The only reference to mice being in any way useful was in a volume called Taxation in Colonial America by Alvin Robushka: “Specific export duties were imposed on skins of beaver, raccoon, mink, otter, bear, wolf, muskrat, mice, and deer…”

Wait a minute— “mice” skins? They actually skinned them and used them for something? I don’t even want to think about it. But there must have been a lot of mice…

Throughout history mice have been a form of pestilence. And they still are. But there are other kinds of pestilence in our lives that are not just annoying, they can be downright destructive and harmful to our souls. One dictionary defines “pestilence” as an evil influence or idea. And sometimes—as with mice—they are very quiet and it’s difficult to discern their presence.

Spiritually speaking, sin is our pestilence. And the ideas it inspires can be subtle. And if we are not careful, it can infest our lives, causing destruction to our homes and our source of spiritual growth.

Ever watch a cat stalk a mouse? The feline is hyper-vigilant, ready, and quick to attack when the critter is spotted. Death soon follows.

May we be as alert in discerning areas of temptation that can open the door to infestations of sin. May the Lord guide us to be swift in eliminating them.

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 (NIV)

“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:11-14 (NIV)

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

Posted in History - American Revolution, Living Our Faith Out Loud | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Losing a Pet

Posted by Ben Erlichman on July 28, 2011

This was a sad week in the Erlichman household: our dog, Ricky, went to meet his Maker by way of euthanasia at our local veterinarian’s office.

It’s never easy to lose a pet. They’re little furry (or feathery, or scaly) members of the family. They’re there at every meal. They’re there for our triumphs and our failures, our moments of joy and our moments of sadness. They’re our fun, often cuddly friends, and sometimes regarded as our surrogate or adopted brothers and sisters. And sometimes, they’re our friend when no one else will be, as God’s little emissaries of hope and comfort to us in dark times.

So when a pet dies, it’s a serious blow to the owner, to the family. It hurts almost as bad as (or perhaps just as bad or even worse than) the death of human family members or friends.

The relationship between man and animal hearkens back to the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible. In Genesis 1:28– “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'”

That’s awesome. Read that again, folks. We have authority over animals. Pretty cool huh? That means that if a gigantic hungry shark is swimming at you in the ocean, you can just turn to him and remind him God gave you authority over him, and he’ll just go away.

At least that’s what I’m hoping if I ever encounter said shark. Better yet, maybe I can get him to give me a ride back to shore. Now that’d be a heck of a photo op, huh?

Anyway, our “authority” over the animals extends beyond the scenario I’ve just described. After the Biblical flood, God informs Noah that the animals will now have the fear of man in them. Ever see a deer while you’re driving? Ever seen a deer in the middle of the road while you’re driving? Was it at night? I bet the thing froze in its tracks, didn’t it?

Hopefully you didn’t hit the thing. If you did, I hope you got some venison and maybe a nice 10-pointer on your wall from it. And if that’s the case, I hope you’ll share the venison with me. ;)

The fear in animals created a distinction between wild animals and domesticated animals. Ever since then we’ve had to tame animals to get them to hang out with us, but when we’ve been successful, we’ve made some incredible along the way.

That’s why it can hurt so much when a pet dies. Ricky, at the end of his life, was blind, mostly deaf, and diabetic. In his prime, he could literally run through our yard, leap several feet off the ground and catch live birds in his mouth, or even baby rabbits in the back yard of our old house, something that surprised our family since he’s a bichon frisee, a dog not exactly known for their hunting skills. Just google them and you’ll see what I mean.

So how do you cope when a pet dies? There’s no easy way to handle it, but I would like to hear your thoughts.

-Ben

Posted in Encouragment, Happiness, Heart and Home, Life Experiences, Living Our Faith Out Loud, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,249 other followers