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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Getting Back My Mojo

Mid-November.  My birthday.  One decision:  have a cupcake.

It seems things went downhill from there!

My resolve to eat no desserts and keep sugar out of my diet took a nosedive.  For almost 4 years I've done really well with my healthy eating efforts and have kept the weight off. 

But once I had that cupcake I was like a drug addict, wondering when I'd get another fix.  There was pie on Thanksgiving and a few treats here and there...until one night I thought I would absolutely DIE if I didn't have a pile of cookies!

All through the Christmas season and New Year celebrations it was so easy to indulge. So I figured I'd just wait till I got it all out of my system and get back on track.  It's hard to do but here I am.  Starting over with my clothes too tight and my confidence a bit rattled.  

Time to renew my efforts and remind myself that I don't have to remain derailed for the rest of my life.  Deuteronomy 30 talks about the choice we have for life or death.  I know when I'm eating right I feel better.  My life is better.  I want that ALL the time!  Verses 19-20 sum it up so well:
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Choosing to follow the Lord and take care of the body he's entrusted to me is once again renewed.  I hope you'll join me!  

Here's one of my favorite healthy meals.  Even Stacy says it makes ground turkey delicious and that's hard to do!

  • 1 package Plainville Farms Ground Turkey (from Publix-the best ground turkey available and usually the least expensive!)
  • 2-3 med to large yellow squash, sliced in small chunks
  • 1 onion, sliced in bite-size pieces
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms, sliced
  • garlic
  • handful of sliced bell peppers
  • adjust the ingredients to whatever veggies you like or have on hand. sometimes I throw in a couple handfuls of spinach or chopped kale.
Season turkey as desired.  Brown in skillet with a little olive oil and crushed garlic.   Throw in all the veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add some parsley flakes or any other seasoning.  If it's too dry for your taste, use a little more olive oil or chicken broth.  Serve as-is or over rice.  I like it with Trader Joe's Brown Rice Blend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Meeting a Hometown Hero

A few weeks ago, Flo Garris was at her normal post as School Crossing Guard at Silver Lake Drive and Husson Avenue in Palatka. The same place she's been for the past 23 years.

As a man on a bicycle with a 4-year old child on the handlebars entered the large intersection, they fell.  At the same instant, a car turning from the side road was headed directly for them.  Flo, seeing the driver was unaware of their presence, jumped into the road to get the driver's attention and stop traffic.  According to the Sheriff's office, "without the immediate and decisive action taken by Flo, a terrible tragedy could easily have unfolded that morning at her school crossing." 

Several things make this story even more precious.  First, Flo had just gotten out of the hospital the day before, having undergone a surgical procedure on her heart.  Secondly, this school crossing guard is 93 years old!

Most of us would never know of her bravery had it not been for someone else sharing the story.  I first read about the encounter because Cindy posted it on Facebook.  She had witnessed the event and shared it with her friends, but she also took the time to write a letter to the Sheriff commending Flo for her quick actions.  

Flo was recently awarded the life Saving Medal for her actions and I was thrilled to have her in the studio along with a friend and fellow crossing guard, Josie Ryals.  

If you missed the interview, please check it out here:

She's 93 and hopes to continue helping "her kids" across the street every day for a long time to come.  Be inspired!!  What can you do?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Blended Can Be Beautiful!

Families have struggles of all kinds.  But blended families, or stepfamilies, have their own unique challenges.  But blended can be beautiful!

Our friends at FamilyLife have seen the need to provide added resources for blended families, and they've partnered with marriage and family therapist, counselor, author and conference speaker Ron Deal to bring us a new one-minute radio feature with daily snippets of hope for those who may need more resources in their blender!  Plus, on their website and Facebook page there are tons of resources to choose from.

I've already heard from a mom who told me how excited she was to hear FamilyLife Blended on Hope FM because it speaks right into her family's situation.  And it helps those like me understand what life is like for blended families.

I had the chance to speak to Ron a little more about the program, here's the interview in case you missed it:

Meeting Ron at the Christian Music Broadcasters convention last month was a pleasure!  He's the real "deal" in person as well as on the radio.  :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reach Beyond!

For years, we've heard their stories on the radio.  People going beyond the call to share the gospel and meet the needs of others.  They've inspired us to go beyond the call as well! 

Recently, the ministry behind that radio feature asked for their station partners to get even more involved.  To reach beyond in their own communities.  And to help make it happen, they offered a grant to do it!

When I heard about the grant I couldn't help but think we have a list of potential projects right here in our community that could qualify.  I submitted a grant proposal, telling Reach Beyond about South Putnam Church's medical mission.  

Pastor Brian Baker and his team have done a phenomenal job of meeting the needs of people in their community.  For over a year they've treated people who are uninsured, covering everything from hypertension and diabetes to the common cold.  But they could do so much more with more resources.  The potential to reach people with the gospel is limitless in our community.  They do that by providing medical care they cannot or would not receive anywhere else!

That's the same idea behind what Reach Beyond does all over the world.  I encourage you to read and sign their Manifesto, read the story of their ministry, and of course reach beyond in your own life!

Listen to the interview with Pastor Brian, medical director Danny Kreisman, and Jon Fugler of Reach Beyond, when we presented them with a check for $1,000 from this generous grant.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

On Words and Doggie Toys...

"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  One of those famous mom quotes, usually said after her kid has spoken some unkind thing.

Wouldn't it be nice if we replaced trying to hold our tongue when we want to speak unkindly, with making it a point to say something nice?  You never know how far your words will go to encourage someone.  

It's something I try to do on a regular basis and took it a little further this time, though unintentionally.

I discovered a brand of dog toys that are so exceptional I wanted to let the company know how much I like them.  So I sent an email to Jakks Pacific about their American Classic dog toys to tell them how impressed I was.  Believe me, Izzy and Belle have gone through lots of toys and they generally destroy them within 5 minutes.  Not these...but it doesn't stop there.  They cost less than many of the other so-called high-quality toys, and I bought them at my Publix.  No need to go to a fancy pet shop.  

Though I was happy just to have given my opinion, I received this response the following day from Maggie in their customer service department:
I am so happy to hear that your dogs have enjoyed our product.  It is always nice to hear positive feedback from a consumer.  If you provide your mailing address I would be happy to send out an extra toy.
And as soon as I responded with my address, she did just that.  Two days later I had a dog toy in my mailbox.  Happy customer, happy doggie!

I didn't make a comment expecting anything in return, except the hopes that they'd continue making great products, offering them at great prices.  Their excellent customer service won me over even more!

So, you may not get anything for free, but how can you speak life to someone today?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Legend or Legacy?

I must admit.  Her music has never really been my "cup of tea," but I did accept the offer to interview legendary Christian music artist Sandi Patty to help promote Jacksonville's Night of Inspiration.  By the time we hung up from that brief call I was a BIG Sandi fan.  

She's won more awards than anyone in any genre: five Grammy Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, and forty Dove Awards including being named Female Vocalist of the Year for an astounding eleven consecutive years.  So to be quite honest, I figured I'd be talking to a diva that some concert promoter forced to make a 5 minute phone call.  Boy, was I ever wrong. 

She was a joy to talk to.  A real person who shared about her real life.  What impacted me the most was asking her to lead us in the Lord's Prayer.  It's something we pray every day at noon on Hope FM.  Most people we ask to record this for us do a fine job of reciting the prayer.  Not Sandi.  Not unlike standing on the stage singing We Shall Behold Him, she ushered us into God's very presence, as she wholeheartedly led this prayer. I was both smiling ear-to-ear and choking back tears, hoping no one glanced in the studio at that moment!  

She's an absolute legend and has earned every honor.  But in talking to her I realized there's something much deeper and important to her than the endless accolades.  She's leaving a legacy around the world by being an exemplary Christ-follower: mentoring the next generations of artists, serving in her local church, and walking out the command Jesus gave to let other people know we're His by the love we have for each other.  Way to go, Sandi! 

We're all leaving a legacy.  Some will never be touted in the media or recorded in a studio, but we all have a responsibility and an opportunity.  What kind of a legacy are you leaving?

Here's the interview if you'd like to check it out:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Somebody's Gotta Win...May As Well Be Me!

That's my attitude anytime I enter a contest.  Though I may not have won first prize in this one, it sure was nice to come home to a letter with my 2nd place prize: a $25 Publix gift card!  

Maybe you'll win something, too!  My Kiwanis Club is selling tickets for a chance to win $1,000 cash!!  The tickets are only $10 each (or 3 for $20) and one winner will receive $1,000.  Somebody's gotta win....could be YOU!!  

Let me know how many tickets you'd like....the drawing is September 4th.  And you'll be helping us carry on the amazing work of helping children in our community.