Is Blogging Dead?

Well, it sure seems to be… I just went through my and the number of blogs that I had listed that are no longer posting content and haven’t for several years is amazing. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve not blogged since the beginning of the year. And I’ve not been been reading my feeds for months.

I ask myself why? I think it’s a simple answer, time and information overload. And so many people who started blogs quickly ran out of things to say. Myself included.

So I’m changing my focus and utilize my blog for me. If others find info they enjoy great if not oh well.

Yesterday, I went to a KelbyOne seminar, Lightroom and Photoshop For Photographers. Probably not my favorite seminar but I did learn some things that will be very helpful.

Instead of organizing the work flow around collections, Ben utilizes folders. He has the base folder that the finished pictures will be generated from then a sub-folder “In Progress” and “Outtakes” he also does a lot of textures so he has a folder for that.

All the pictures start in the “In Progress” photos that you won’t ever use go into “Outtakes” as you finish a picture you move it to the base folder. That way you instantly know where you are in working through your photos. Love that idea…

He is also big into keywords. For the athletics it would be great to keyword with their names.

There were some other stuff that I’ll hopefully document soon. For now… time to walk the dog…

How it All Began


May 25, 1988 I married the man of my dreams. I’ve often been asked how we met, considering I grew up in rural Oklahoma and he is a SoCal boy add to that the fact that I was a sophomore in high school when he graduated from college. So finally, I’m putting the story in writing.

Fall 1983 I started attending college at Bartlesville Wesleyan College just 45 minutes from my home. BWC was a relatively small college and it was easy to get to know just about everyone. One of my friends, was a SoCal gal named Becky. During our freshman year she would get letters from one of the guys from her home church, Ron. She would share these letters with me that were truly hysterical! After one particularly funny letter I told her, “Tell this guy I’m in love with him!” So Ron started writing me as well, truly hilarious letters.

Thanksgiving 1984 he decided to visit his former college as well as SoCal friends who either lived in Bartlesville or still attended college there. Somehow I ended up being the one to pick him up. Of course, being the directionally challenged person I am I forgot where I parked my car at the airport. And Ron being the sensitive individual he is poked fun at me, to which I responded with “Drop Dead!”  But alas, I digress…  before Ron left SoCal he and his best friend, Erwin, went to a local mall. As they walked into the mall they spotted the van belonging to a guy that neither of them were crazy about. On the van was a license plate frame that said, “Bug off Patty Loves Me.” Patty happened to be a girl that Ron kinda liked and in a moment of craziness Ron decides to “borrow” the license plate frame.

Now fast forward a few days, Ron is in Oklahoma when Richard realizes his license plate frame is missing and he knows Ron took it. So he calls Ron’s mom and told her if he didn’t get his license plate frame back by the end of the week he’s taking Ron to court. Ron’s mom, Darlene, panics, but doesn’t know how to get ahold of Ron in Oklahoma. She calls Ron’s best friend, Erwin to see if he can find Ron. Erwin had the number of the pay phone in my mod. (Living area of 12 or 13 girls. Shared with the mod next door where Becky lived). He asked for Becky but she was out with her boyfriend so he asked for me. I took the call he gave me the message for Ron to call him ASAP. That short message became an hour long conversation. I get back to my room and can’t go to sleep until I write him a letter. Two days letter I get a letter from him and two days after that I get another letter from him.

A couple of weeks later Erwin’s dad had a heart attack followed by quadruple by pass surgery. During this time we were talking on the phone 3 or 4 times a week. The letter writing from Erwin didn’t stay at the same pace but I did, but they did come.

The following May I took advantage of my dad working for American Airlines and flew to California to meet Erwin at Ontario Airport. I spent the week where we had a chance to get to know each other as well as check out the amusement parks.

Our relationship continued through 1985 until the point I moved from Oklahoma to SoCal December of 1985. We took our time and didn’t get married until May 28, 1988.

So there’s the reader digest version of how we got together….

The Good News or the Bad News

This morning I had the privilege of teach our adult Bible Fellowship group or Life Group or if you’re “old school” Sunday School class. I gave them the option of hearing the bad news or the good news first. They chose the bad news first. A couple of reasons, one the idea of “let’s get the bad news over so we can get to the good news” and the other was they could see the bad news was shorter than the good news. So likewise you get the bad news first as well.

The Bad News:

We are looking at  what is referred to as Jesus Farewell Discourse (John 13:31 – 16:33).  This comes as part of Jesus final Passover celebration with his disciples. He begins the evening by removing his outer garments and washing the disciples feet. Causing shock and even arguments with His disciples. As part of Farewell Discourse He gives the disciples (and in reality us)  a strong warning in John 15:18-21

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

Jesus warns the disciples and in turn us that if we choose to follow Him and stand up for Godly principles then we will be hated by the world. We shouldn’t be surprised when we take a stand that goes against “popular” secular opinion we’ll be called intolerant and a plethora of other names that I won’t type here. But we have a hope and a promise. Regardless of the circumstances you can walk in God’s peace. If you don’t believe that’s possible or happening in our world today, I encourage you to check out The Voice of the Martyrs.  But don’t get too discouraged there is good news.

The Good News

The good news I’m talking about today can also be found as part of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse  Let’s look at John 14:25-27.

 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

I want to focus on verse 27 and the word peace.  What do you think of when you think of the word peace? The “Google” dictionary defines peace as freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. However, the expression peace  which comes from the Hebrew word Shalom had a much richer connotation than our English word describes. The word Shalom conveys not merely the absence of conflict and turmoil but also the notion of positive blessing. Especially in light of a right relationship with God

Some verses to reflect on:

Numbers 6:24-26;

Ps 29:11

Hag 2:9

Isaiah 26:3

Isaiah 32:17

Isaiah 54:10

Final Thoughts

I believe Jesus didn’t do anything by accident. From the beginning of this final Passover meal with His disciples when He stripes down and washes their feet to His High Priestly prayer in chapter 17. If you take time to read the entire section you will see Jesus washing their feet, followed by his proclamations that one would betray Him and His closest friend, Peter, would deny him. He then goes on to give them words of encouragement and promise, including the promise of peace.  If you count verses there are 49 verses of “positive” with 10 verses of “warning.” Maybe Jesus knew that his disciples need almost 5 times as much encouragement than warning. I know as I think about myself, that’s pretty much what I need.

Additional Verses on Peace:

Psalm 4:8 ESV

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

 Psalm 37:11 ESV

But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.

Psalm 85:10 ESV

Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Psalm 119:165 ESV

Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.

Psalm 122:7 ESV

Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”

Psalm 147:14 ESV

He makes peace in your borders; he fills you with the finest of the wheat.

John 16:33 ESV

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Romans 5:1 ESV

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:6 ESV

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 14:17 ESV

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 Philippians 4:7-9

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

 Colossians 3:15 ESV

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

See You Around

This past Sunday at about 1:30 am a dear friend went home to be with the Lord. It’s been a tough week dealing with this lost.  Today driving home I was listing to Petra when this song came on and reminded me of some of the foundational truths.  That we shall be together again where there will be no more fears and no more tears.
And for our Spanish  speaking friends….

Another Disney Memory

In honor of my friend, Todd’s birthday I wanted to tell a fun Disneyland story.

When Tim was finally old enough to ride Star Tours he was a little hesitate about riding it. So Todd begins telling Tim how it’s not a big deal, and he said, “Come on Tim, the ride doesn’t even move.” It took a while but we got him on there.  Of course, Tim’s eyes got as big a half dollars and he opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. It was QUITE entertaining!

A few weeks later we were at Disneyland again, this time Erwin was with us and we decided to eat at Big Thunder Ranch. Which back then you got a massive amount of food!  And Todd and Erwin pigged out! After we finished we asked Tim what he wanted to do, to which he responded,”Ride Star Tours!!”  Todd was like, “No Tim not tonight” To which without missing a beat Tim replies, “Come on Todd, It doesn’t even move!”

At the point Todd had to give and ride Star Tours and thankfully every one kept their dinner down.

Happy Birthday Todd!  I hope it was a good one!

Goodbye Disneyland

May 1989 for our first wedding anniversary we got our first Disneyland pass. Yesterday I spent my last day at Disneyland for the foreseeable future. After almost 23 years I’ve decided not to renew my pass next week when expires. It’s a little sad, but I just can’t see spending the money on it.

So when I heard it was suppose to rain yesterday I was bummed. But I decided it was the only opportunity so I took it!
The morning was beautiful the sun was shining and when it did start raining around 1:30 or so it was very hard and I had my King’s jacket with me so it kept me dry.

I was able to ride all my favorite rides with the expectation of the Matterhorn which was closed for refurb. I had a late lunch at the Blue Bayou which was really good but DANG it’s gotten expensive. But the Cajun Salmon stuff with Goat Cheese and something else was so good! It was worth all the pain that came later.

After lunch I went to California Adventure and did my 3 favorite rides there, Soaring Over California (twice actually) Tower of Terror, and California Screaming. Of course, I learned something very interesting while riding California Screaming.  Even a light rain stinks like crazy at 35 miles an hour! Can you say OUCH!

After that I went back to Disneyland and for the second time yesterday rode Space Mountain for the last time. It was fun because the first time I rode I was in the very front and the last time I was in the very back.  So sweet!

There have been so many good memories from the past 23 years at Disneyland. Riding Space Mountain 6 times in an hour and half. Tim as a 4 month old baby getting his pictures with something like 15 characters, even better the first time he saw the Beast.  He was very happy.  The many hours just hanging out with friends there. A couple of years ago I was there with a group from work and I was sitting in the back on Splash Mountain when there was a LOT of weight in the car.  I’ve never seen a wall of water so high and of course it landed down my back.

I think I’ll reminisce about the different fun times from the Happiest Place on Earth.   Maybe dig up some old pictures….

So much and so little

January is almost over and as I think about my goals for the month I’ve done fair.  I’ve completed reading 10 books for a total of 2,965 pages.  Read two books from a new author that I really enjoyed, Debbie Viguié. Very clever plot with the main characters, one who is a church secretary at a Presbyterian church and the other a Rabbi from the Synagogue next door. It’s called the Psalm 23 Mysteries. They’re cute and clever and quick reads. I’m thinking I need to buy book 3 in the series since book 4 comes out next month.  So the goal of reading at least 4 books, CHECK!

I’ve also had good success with the site.  I’ve had 3 or 4 faithful people to comment almost every day. I’m only about 3 days ahead myself so I need to get caught up there.

I’ve been doing much better with the soda and not drinking as much.  I still love the taste.  My guilty pleasure.

The budget and keeping the balanced checkbook are still the weird ones in my life. I managed to NOT overdraft either account so that’s good.

Things are good, busy but good. My greatest battle right now is getting Mark to do his homework and live up to even half his potential.  It’s maddening to say the least.  So, for your listening pleasure and mine… a mindless tribute that ask the question, “Why is the Rum Gone?”

Back to Blogger

A year and a half ago, I moved my blog to WordPress. In many ways I really like WordPress.  Other ways, not so much.  So because I’m geeky, I’m moving back to Blogger. I’ve been using Blogger for My Bible 360 Project and I like the changes. Of course, figuring out how to get the domain to point to the right spot is the question!  And I’m not sure it’s set up right yet. The blogger instructions aren’t working the way it’s documented. So we’ll see. It’s already been over 2 hours but of course they have the cushion of up to 48 hours for the change to take affect.

I just got back from Vegas Friday afternoon and I’m happy to be home and thinking I’m not going back EVER AGAIN!  I HATE cigarette smoke and cigar smoke is even worse!  Next year the conference is in San Jose again, which is much nicer on my lungs.   

One Week Down ALREADY!?!?

This week has been pretty uneventful. I went back to work on Tuesday which was nice though I really didn’t have a lot of motivation to work.  But I did get some things accomplished  had I nice time at the Spiritual Emphasis Day at APU.

My goals for January are pretty simple.

  1. Stick with the Bible 360 website.  It’s been fun I’ve had 3 or 4 people who have been activity commenting and it’s getting several hits. I’ve got post through the 14th ready to go.
  2. Read at least 4 books – I’ve already read 2 this weeks.
  3. Get my budget established – I’ve been working on this but trying to remember all the stupid stuff I spend money.
  4. Get my checkbook updated on my phone so I can track my finances.  
  5. Reduce the amount of soda I drink.

I only made it to the gym 3 times this week.  But tomorrow is the start of a new week and another chance to get it right.

No great Mark stories this week. The only story is the stunt he pulled on Friday. I asked on Thursday night if his homework was done, to which he responds “yes.” Friday morning at 7:32, we try to leave at 7:30 but I digress… at 7:32 he comes to me and says “Can you type something for me since you type faster?” It was a page and half document for history that was due on that day!  I could have killed him! But since it affected 2 others I typed it. UGH

I did do something fun Tuesday, I went to the APU Women’s Basketball game and took pictures. I had a blast and we won! Here’s one of my favorite from the night. 


To see the other pictures that were posted on the APU Web site click here

2011–A look Back 2012–A Look Forward

Here I am in Carlsbad, though this year we are staying in the EconoLodge instead of the Rodeway Inn. The EconoLodge had only a slightly higher rate with a full breakfast. The really interesting part is the boys and I stayed at this facility a few years ago, before it was owned by the Choice hotels, it was called the Travel Lodge and to say it was a skanky pit would be polite. I was curious and hoped I wasn’t making a mistake. Oh my, I did NOT make a mistake! Choice has done an amazing job fixing this place up. The room is beautiful! One of the larger rooms we’ve had in a motel, flat screen TV. It’s just an incredible transformation from the skanky, no a/c hole that I could only spend a few hours in (we actually left in the middle of the night because it was too hot to sleep)  Here’s the picture I took with my phone.


Anyway, as I look at my goals that I wrote this time last year, I did fairly well.

Goal 1 – Read the Old Test chronologically. Check! It was great to read the OT that way. It helped me understand the interplay between the history books and the prophets. The Thomas Nelson Chronological Study Bible was a great tool. They told a lot of the history as well.

Goal 2 – An average of 4 work outs a week. I did fairly well with this, but did have lapses. Part of it was due to the tendonitis in my foot other times it was my depression and not caring about life.

Goal 3 – Read 50 books. CHECK! Finished #50 this afternoon. Read a lot of good books.

Goal 4 – Blogging… didn’t do as well at that as I should.  No real excuse… just didn’t get it done.

Other accomplishments this year:

  • I finished my Master’s Degree!!!!
  • Mark and I took an amazing road trip vacation to northern California and back.
  • I started shooting Women’s Soccer, Women’s Volleyball as well as football.

There might be more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

  As I look forward to 2012 I’m not sure what major things I want to accomplish. But here are some things that I know I want to do:

  1. See Bible 360 to completion, check it out at:
  2. Read 50 books
  3. Create a budget (novel I know)
  4. Manage my checkbook (yes, I know NOVEL)
  5. Exercise an average of 4 times a week.
  6. Build the followers of Favorite Christian Books website.
  7. Be off blood pressure medicine by next New Year’s Eve!!! Which means a lot of work, but hopefully I’ll be up for the challenge.

Tomorrow I’ll post my goals for January. I like the idea of monthly goals that hopefully feed into the goals for the year.

There are changes happening this year. A little scary but I have to trust that all will work out for the best.

Happy New Year!