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I’ve been working on drinking healthier beverages. As a lifelong southerner, I, of course, love sweet tea, and I’ve finally got to the point where I can drink it sans sugar. Yes, I know that’s blasphemy, but hey I’ll gladly relinquish my southern card for a few more decades of LIFE. Also, I bought these carafes at Target. They cost about $5 and I keep them on my dining room table filled with ice water. Every time I walk by it looks so refreshing and delicious I have to have a glass. Whit says the same thing, so we’re both drinking more water.
I also discovered the deliciousness that is Tazo Passion tea. It’s an herbal blend and so yummy. I make a concentrate of two quarts of water to about 4 tea bags, then I add that to my regular tea for a flavor boost. Or to my Lacroix water for the same. Sometimes I’ll mix it with a little lemonade for a special treat.
This is another awesome cover from the talented mouse of Whit Holcomb. The hero of this story is Egyptian-American and the heroine is from the mythical country of Laritrea. I took a few liberties with this cover. For one thing, the hero is wearing a keffiyeh. This is a throw-back to those old eighties “sheikh” romances. North African Arabs don’t typically wear this headdress, but I liked the look and the bit of nostalgia. The mosque in the background is actually in Algeria. As the country of Laritrea doesn’t exist, I don’t think using a photo from another country does any damage, as long as I acknowledge it.
Here’s the blurb:
Exiled from her homeland and fearing for her life, Astaria was forced into a marriage of convenience. Now the political situation in her country has worsened and she returns in an effort to save her family.Kaeden is a Marine who specializes in hostage extraction and now he faces his most difficult mission; rescuing his wife from certain death and even more dangerously, sharing his love for her. Together they face almost insurmountable odds for love and for life.
Remember I’ve having a special, early discounted sale for the members of our Facebook Group, Y’all Better Get You Some. For everyone else, it’ll be released in about a week. https://www.facebook.com/groups/390282744475965/
I’m putting this here because I can’t save it to my iPad and Kell asks for this song a thousand times a day. There’s a tenner for anyone who knows how to download it.
And I’m so proud of myself. I’ve got the type personality that when I start something I feel compelled to finish it, no matter what. So I thought I’d apply that personality quirk to fitness. And it worked. If you’d told me I could do 175 squats (WITH GOOD FORM) I would have laughed at you, but I did it. So now I”m taking on another challenge 10k steps (that’s five miles) plus squats and pushups. I haven’t done pushups since I hurt my shoulder years ago, so I’ll definitely be doing the modified version. But here we go. I’ll keep y’all posted.
Before I go to bed each night, I put a big bottle of water on my nightstand. I drink it during the night, and finish it off first thing in the morning so I get a good start on meeting my water goal for the day. (Full disclosure, that picture is NOT my nightstand, it’s Whit’s. His nightstand has four things on it, mine looks like a goat exploded). Anyway, I also like a cup of chamomile tea before bed. So I have a minimum of two beverages on a wooden nightstand. And yes, I’ve ruined many over the years. You see that lovely glass round under that glass?That’s a glass cutting board, repurposed as an extra-large coaster. Get this, I found them at the dollar store. They’re only about 8” across so they’re much too small for a cutting board, anyway, but they make an excellent coaster. Reasonably attractive and they have little rubber feet so if any water gets underneath it’ll dry without ruining your furniture. I bought like five of them, never know when they’ll come in handy. I’ll keep one under the carafe I keep on the dining room table and vases too so when I refill I don’t have to worry about water rings. Yay me!
I’ve often wondered why Octavia Butler’s Parable stories have never been optioned for a movie, or at least a series on one of the cable channels, but I just realized why that will probably never happen: It’s too real. Stories where the apocalypse is brought on by nuclear bombs and whatnot is one thing, but one where mankind is brought to its knees by greed and ignorance? Butler was a seer, these stories have such prescience that they should be in ever schools curriculum, which is the very reason they will not. Our society will not go out with a bang, but with a whimper.
Originally posted on Afrofuturism @ UCLA:
After reading “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler I was really struck by the similarities between the world Butler described in her novel and the world as we know it today. It was almost as if I was reading a newspaper describing the day’s events. Walled in neighborhoods, drug addicts, corrupt policemen/women, inefficient government, the repealing of laws that were created to help us progress, no jobs for people, little education, ethnic groups only sticking with their own, skyrocketing prices and so many more examples written by the author felt all too familiar. Was Butler clairvoyant or were these the same events that have happened time and time again? “Parable of the Sower” definitely paints a grim picture about humanity, but was there a hidden message in the novel?
One constant theme in the book that was emphasized was education. Knowledge, education, and knowledge of our history were stressed…
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Creflo Dollar wants a new airplane. I must say, I don’t blame him. I blame his congregation. I got into a huge argument with an (ex) friend who attended his church. He went on and on about how no one would follow a pastor who wasn’t prosperous himself. Hmmm, I dunno, but it seems to me that the founder of Christianity was an unemployed carpenter, who as far as we know owned nothing. It’s not the man, it’s the Word, and if the Word isn’t strong enough that’s on you. I also know that the one act of violence that man is recorded having committed involved kicking moneychangers out of the Temple. I don’t know about you, but the notion of putting the words prosperity and Gospel together sounds blasphemous as all get out to me. I went to a church with a friend when I first moved to Atlanta and they had ATMs in the lobby. I was like, “Oh heck no. I’m not going in there.” It makes me wonder if any of these people have even heard of the Gospels, let alone read them.
I don’t ever want to attend a church that has 20k members. That tells me straight up that the pastor isn’t challenging the congregation. At its core Christianity is a resistance movement. 20k people aren’t going to join a resistance movement it’s too much work. A church with 20k members isn’t a church, it’s a social club. If a pastor is truly preaching the Gospel half his congregation is going to be mad at him on a regular basis. Not following his every word like lemmings off a cliff. Being a Christian should be hard, it shouldn’t be a a part of a socially accepted norm. It should push you outside the boundaries. It should push you to think. To question. Churches that do that don’t have 20k members.
Because Christianity is a resistance movement, it runs counter to human nature. Think about it for a moment, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Note, no exceptions are given for race, creed, color or running the leaf blower at 7:00 a.m. You have to love him. That means if your neighbor is hungry you must feed him. If he’s sick you must nurse him. Again, no exceptions for whether your neighbor is an addict, or irresponsible or smells bad. That’s pretty radical and if this were truly a Christian nation there would be no hungry, or homeless people. If we did what Jesus actually said it would hurt like hell, which is why we don’t do it. And because Christianity is a resistance movement the notion of a “Christian nation” should be an anathema. Resistance movements by their very nature don’t build nations. Christians should be marginalized. Shunned. Because what Christians believe and practice should be so radical it scares the living hell out of people. And that is the point.
One of the most amazing services I ever attended was at the Episcopal church. It was an Easter service and yes it had all the pretty rituals with the censer and all. But at the end the priest bellowed, “Jesus said, ‘Tend my sheep.’ You’re Christians now go out there and act like it!” Then he doused us in holy water and sent us out to do our job.
See, it’s easy for people to come out against gay marriage and abortion and all these so-called “social issues.” That appeals to our baser nature, our need to look down on someone, to be better than others. “you’re going to hell,” we say with a wag of our finger. “I’m saved,” we taunt with the same smugness of an eight year old who snagged the last popsicle. There’s a song with a chorus that says, “You will know we are Christians by our love.” That’s what Christianity is all about, love. And not this soft, soap operary emotion we trot out for the commercial holidays. Love is powerful. Love is strong. Radical love that can move the world. We are known by who we love, not who we shun.
Being a Christian means going outside societal norms and embracing that which is shunned. Advocating for the poor and downtrodden, eschewing material wealth and goods. Being a Christian doesn’t mean being mindless and unquestioning. We must question eveything, but most of all, we must question ourselves. Because the greatest struggle a Christian faces is within himself. And that battle is continuous and ongoing. That is why being a Christian is hard.
“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”
― Stephen Colbert
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