Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Survivor: One World Week 2

Last week's episode was appropriately titled "Total Dysfunction." Salani is in trouble. The all-girls tribe is their own worst enemy. I would say the team was imploding except they were never together enough to actually implode. They haven't won a challenge yet and it doesn't seem like they can. There is no communication, no unity, and it seems no hope.

Thoughts on "Total Dysfunction":
  • I like the self run reward challenge it was a neat change
  • It was funny watching the older woman complain about the "airheads" while Kat was lounging in the ocean hoping "nobody notices we aren’t doing anything."
  • We haven't seen much of Manono (guy's tribe) so far I like Bill the most and think Colton is too sure of himself even with a hidden immunity idol.
  • During the immunity challenge Kat jumped of the platform (restarting the challenge) for no reason -TWICE! She should have gone home. Alliance loyalty in this case does not make sense to me.
  • All the girls I like seem to be on the outside of the inner circle but if things don't change none of the girls will make it to the merge.
Predictions for February 29:
Manono will win the immunity challenge again and probably the reward challenge. When the girls head to tribal council the "young" five girl alliance will hold strong and of the outsiders Christina has the greatest chance of going home.

February's Reading Challenge Review

February was an exciting reading month.

I completed 2 challenges. Yep, TWO! There was a small celebration including a happy dance then I did what any reading challenge addict would do two months into a new year, I increased the quota for those two challenges. Fun times.

I think my favourite read (while listen it was an audio book) was Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. I am really enjoying The Hunger Games and looking forward the the conclusion. Primal by Mark Batterson was also great. The tag line is "A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity." I liked his refreshing thoughts that allowed me to rediscover truth I know in a new light.

And now for the challenges update:

1. Name: 2012 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge
Hosted by: Reading with Teguila
Goal: Level I - 5 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 2/5

2. Name: Finishing the Series 2012
Hosted by: Finishing the Series Reading Challenge Blog
Goal: Level 3 - finish three series
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Series Read: 2/3

3. Name: Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2012
Hosted by: Book Chick City
Goal: Level 1 -read 12 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 2/12

4. Name: Mount TBR Reading Challenge
Hosted by: My Reader's Block
Goal: Pike's Peak -12 books from the TBR pile
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 4/12

5. Name: 2012 Audio Book Challenge
Hosted by: Teresa's Reading Corner
Goal: Going Steady -listen to 12 audio books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 4/12

6. Name: 2012 Dystopian Challenge
Hosted by: Book Journey
Goal: Intermediate Post World Trainee 4-6 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 3/4

7. Name: The Reading Challenge Addict Challenge
Hosted by: Reading Challenge Addict
Goal: Easy as Pie 1-5 Challenges completed
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Completed Challenges: 0/1

8. Name: Speculative Fiction Challenge
Hosted by: BaffledBooks 2.0
Goal: In Nirvana - 24 novels
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 12/24

9. Name: 1st in a Series Challenge
Hosted by: A Few More Challenges
Goal: Series Lover -6 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 3/6

10. Name: 2nds Challenge
Hosted by: A Few More Challenges
Goal: Just a spoonful -3
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 5/3 VICTORY and now 5/12

11. Name: New Authors Challenge 2012
Hosted by: Literary Escapism
Goal: 15 New Authors
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
New Authors Discovered: 7/15

12. Name: Read the Bible 2012
Hosted by: Alysha DeShae
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 0/66 -using One Year Bible so far no books finished but keeping up with the daily reading

13. Name: 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge
Hosted by: The Eclectic Bookshelf
Goal: The Mini YA Challenge -12 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 5/12

14. Name: What's In A Name 5
Hosted by: Beth Fish Reads
Goal: Read a title that fits all 6 categories
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 1/6

15. Name: All the Books of Pern Challenge 2012
Hosted by: West Virginia Red Reads
Goal: Blue - 6 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 4/6

16. Name: Game of Thrones Reading Challenge 2012
Hosted by: The Lit B
Goal: Read the series - 5 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 0/5

17. Name: 2012 Women's Murder Club Reading Challenge
Hosted by: Darlene's Book Nook
Goal: Level 1 - 2 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 2/2 VICTORY and now 2/5

18. Name: 2012 Chunkster Challenge
Hosted by: Chunkster Reading Challenge
Goal: The Chubby Chunkster - 4 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 2/4

19. Name: Tea & Books Reading Challenge
Hosted by: The Book Garden
Goal: Chamomile Lover - 2 books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 0/2

20. Name: Outdo Yourself 2012
Hosted by: The Book Vixen
Goal: Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
Time: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2012
Books Read: 0/11

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Survivor: One World

Does anyone else still enjoy Survivor?

I like the show. I wouldn’t call myself an ultimate fan. I’ve only followed ten of the past 23 seasons and some times I miss the finale and sometimes that's all I caught. But still, I enjoy the show. I like the human interactions, predicting who will be voted off and why, and I like Jeff's comments.

My absolute favorite thing about Survivor has always been about the community "tv night" interaction. I love talking about the show before, during, and after with friends. For me Survivor is as much about the discussions as the show. When Wednesday's stopped working for group TV night I started blogging my thoughts. Only I didn't blog last two seasons. The redemption island twist made predictions difficult and took away my favourite part of writing reviews (also I just had other things going on that kept me busy). BUT, everything about this season makes it look like it is going to be crazy-fun to follow.
  • there is no redemption island
  • the teams are girls vs guys
  • AND they are all living in the same camp -Awesome!
So, I decided, Survivor blogging is back (a little late, the third episode airs tomorrow night, I started writing this after the premiere but life got busy, but it's back).

These are Once World Players:
Thoughts on the Premiere
  • The season is going to be wild. The fighting between tribes started with the stealing of an axe and didn't end.
  • Stealing is wrong but I think the girls reaction is over the top. If one of them had thought to take from the guys they would have been celebrating their cunning and the stupidity of boys
  • I don’t care for Matt
  • I think the guys were wise to withhold fire but the comments about pole dancing was disgusting. The girls did walk into the ridiculous negotiations trying to use their sexuality to earn fire.
  • If the girls actually pulled off stealing the fire would have been hilarious. I also think the attempt supports my first comment about stealing.
  • I was surprised the guys didn’t opt to finish the immunity challenge. I know that claiming the victory was wise and safe. At the same time, they probably would have won and it could have helped earn votes later. Also, if the girls lost the relay it could have shaken their confidence even more.
  • I don’t get the tribal council blow up over the fire deal. Why was working near the guys camp a horrible choice? The girls might have been able to learn useful information to use later. It seemed dumb but bickering made things interesting.
  • I was sad to see Courtney leave -by injury. I liked her; she would have been fun to watch:

Okay, that's all I've got. I've got to watch episode two some time tomorrow so I can make a prediction before episode three airs tomorrow night. Yay Survivor Blog being back.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Simple Woman Daybook 98

FOR TODAY: February 26, 2012
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...falling snow.

I am thinking...life is good.

I am thankful for...quiet nights.

I am wearing...black dress shoes, black dress pants with maroon blouse over a black tank top and a black scarf.

I am creating...a baby blanket only 24ish rows to go and the shawl (less than 20 rows to go) but it is on hold till the blanket is done.

I am going...spend my afternoon enjoying my home, reading, maybe writing, and some laundry.

I am reading...Seriously --I'm Kidding, Shiver (Audio book not sure I like it), Almost Christian, Game of Thrones, Sophie's World, Primeval, and Almost Green.

I am wondering...how God is going to answer a prayer.

I am hoping...for some inspiration.

I am looking forward to...writing group tomorrow night.

I am hearing...footsteps of early arrivals.

Around the house...this week I'm going to be focused on my kitchen, bedroom and catching up on laundry.

I am pondering...murder mysteries. I finished 8th Confession last night and it affected my dreams. They were strange a police officer tracking a serial killer. It was humorous and scary at the same time. I might need to reconsider what I read before bed.

One of my favorite things...sleeping in a bed with freshly washed sheets

A few plans for the rest of the week: writing group on Monday, youth group on Thursday, and hopefully a games night with friends.

A Picture to Share: More pictures from Christmas, Other Cousin and Me:

Friday, February 24, 2012

TWA Wrap Up: Trouble with Iron

Last Monday I shared another conversation I had with Favourite Atheist "What Can't God Do?" Today is the wrap of of the discussion. Thank you to everyone who left a comment.

Recap: The original conversation grew out of a conversation about God's power. FA asked if Judges 1:19 gave me any trouble.
The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots. ~Judges 1:19
The trouble FA sees is that, if God is all powerful and he was on the side of the men of Judah why were He/they stopped by iron chariots? Can iron stop God?

Wrap Up: I never thought this verse was saying iron stopped God. I interrupted the "loss" as the army not trusting God or God allowed them to lose. There isn't enough to say what the author was meaning. I don't think he was communicating that God was limited and the writers intent should be considered in the interpretation process.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday -Life Group Leaders

I am thankful for...
Mark and Colleen Gerrits

Mark and Colleen are the hosts of my life group (small group). Each week they open their home welcoming the group with tea and goodies. I love tea and chats but life group is more than that. It has become a wonderful community were we call ask questions, share life, and find support. I am thankful for the friends I've made through the group and that the Gerrits provide a place for us to gather.

Mark and Colleen are also just great people. Their family is great. They are honest, and kind, and ready to help. They are...like Jesus. They care about people. They use their talents and skills to help others. They are great listeners. And they are great parents passing the same values to their children. I love them!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Simple Woman Daybook 97

FOR TODAY: February 19, 2012
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...the darkness of night.

I am thinking...about the sermon I preached this morning. I think it was a God message but it scared me to share it. It was challenging to me and I hope it was the right balance of convicting and encouraging.

I am thankful for...encouraging words.

I am wearing...jeans and a comfy warm hoodie.

I am creating...a shawl -still only 20 rows to go.

I am going...to have a great week.

I am reading...Almost Christian, Game of Thrones, Sophie's World, Primeval, and DragonQuest.

I am wondering...what good thing God is going to do next.

I am hoping...deeper joy.

I am looking forward to...a good night's sleep.

I am hearing...one of my favorite Chimney Swifts originals.

Around the house...so very much. I'm going to start with laundry and cleaning out the fridge.

One of my favorite things...The Chimney Swifts:

A few plans for the rest of the week: sleep, take care of things around the house, life group, youth group, gems, and hopefully a games night with friends.

A Picture to Share: More pictures from Christmas, Cousin and Me:

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17's Friday 5

Today's Friday 5 questions are connected to the word "Green" which is awesome because it is my favourite colour!
  1. What’s your favorite green article of clothing?
    My thick green hoodie.
  2. What could you do with a little bit of extra spending green this weekend?
    If I had a bit extra I would be tempted to buy a new board game but would probably to it towards my mission trip this summer.
  3. In what way are you conservative of natural resources?
    Beyond my area's mandatory recycling and compost programs I've been working towards using natural/green cleaning supplies at home.
  4. When did you last shoot some pool?
    Last February with my sister and mum as we were enjoying a family vacation in Florida.
  5. Of whom are you envious lately?
    It was last week at ministerial, I was "envious" of AJ Thomas' ability to communicate clearly. It was really more me admiring his skills and the effort he has put into his messages.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thankful Thursday -Sharon

I am thankful for...
My Aunt - Sharon Stocking

Sharon has known me my whole life. She is my mom’s younger sister, a wife, a mother, and my friend. She is amazing! She is always on the go. There is always a great adventure to be had. The number of ideas, projects and priorities she can juggle is impressive. I envy her ability to stay organized (and keep up with two grown sons). Sharon is creative, dedicated, intelligent, and wise.

I love visiting her. Family gatherings are always filled with good chats, food and laughter. Living three provinces away makes those visits always long over due and too quick So when it has been too long between visits she'll call (problem is tracking me down is always a challenge). I cherish talking with Sharon. She gives good advice, appropriate kicks in the butt, and always an encouraging word. . Chatting with my aunt is wonderful. She has been one of my strongest supporters and cheerleaders. I love my Aunt Sharon, I hope she knows that, she is wonderful. I am blessed! Having Sharon as an aunt is great. Yay family!

An Aside:vI was someone's Thankful Thursday! After the "awww Re you're awesome!" I did a little happy dance. Her post made my day. Yay Re!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I first saw WIP Wednesday on Best Friend's blog. WIP is "Works in Progress." I like the meme but I hesitated adding it since don't knit as often or as quickly as she does. Then I thought, "mleh, it could fun and it doesn't have to be a weekly thing." It doesn't even have to become a regular thing. It can just be a thing I do every now and then on Wednesdays (cause I like the title). It doesn't have to just be about knitting. Those realizations were very freeing so I'm going to try it...on with the sharing:

On The Needles:

Oatmeal's Baby Blanket

I picked this back up end of May, there were only a few inches. I worked steadily on it till the end of October. I was one row way from casting off and I noticed a major mistake ten inches down. Discouraged I shelved it (the baby I had attended it for was born in December). Sunday night I took the above picture then ripped down to the mistake, which was painful. I've knit three rows since then. My goal is to be done before baby turns one.
Citron

I started this when Best Friend was in the area for a spinning retreat. I've finished the actual pattern but since it is lace weight on tiny needles it needs a few more sections. I like the project but I just want it to be down.

Not Quite Done:

Once the knitting is done there are always finishing touches to take care of like blocking, sewing up loose strands, or adding buttons. I'm not good with the finishing details. I have a whole basket of owl mug cosies that need button eyes, plush toys that need to be stuffed and sewn together, and a sock money that needs a face. It is a sad time for the not quite done projects cause they just don't feel like a priority at the moment.

Writing Projects:
I started a small one page flash fiction to share at the next writing group and I started a short story that I hope to submit for the Best Word anthology.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Talking with an Atheist: What Can't God Do?


"...with God all things are possible.”
-Jesus Matthew 19:26
Is there anything God can't do?

I once heard a sermon titled "Things God Can't Do." God can't go against his nature so he can't lie, or hate, or be unjust. In the past, theologians have debated if God could create a rock he can't lift. The bible tells us that all things are possible with God, so the answer would be there is nothing God can't do. The question was the center of a recent discussion I had with my Favourite Atheist (FA) that looked at the subject in a different light.

We were discussion the nature of God and what FA calls the "four omnis -omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscience, and omnibenevolent." In the middle of our chat he asked me what my thoughts were on Judges 1:19:
The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.
The questions:
From this verse FA had a few questions:
  1. Is God one of the fairy-folk? If you miss his joke, the Fae can't touch iron it weakens and the chariots were made of iron.
  2. If God is all powerful and he was on the side of the men of Judah why were He/they stopped by iron chariots?
  3. If iron chariots can stop God, can we trust any Scripture, since this event contradicts other verses that say God is all-powerful?
My Reactions:
  1. No, God is not one of the Fae. I might have thrown a pillow at my friend at that moment. Additional thoughts: God is not on of the Fae, especially not a leprechaun so please don't make a connection to Noah, the rainbow promise, and pots of gold. :p
  2. I have no idea why the people of the plains were not defeated but I do not believe that it means God has not power.
  3. Again I don't know, but I don't think this verse is a contradiction. I don't think the "because" means we should worry about iron chariots. 40 years earlier God defeats a whole army of chariots in the Red Sea. My thought was we need to look at the Hebrew (which I haven't done yet).
Possible Conclusions:
That was the end of the discussion, but I'm still mauling over the verse in my head. My answers that day were true, I don't know what to do with this verse or how to answer my friend. These are the possible solutions:
  1. FA is right, my whole Christian faith is based on man made lies and this is one of the flaws/proofs of the that. This is not my conclusion but I at least have to state that it is an option.
  2. God is all powerful. He can defeat iron chariots and the verses have been mistranslated or misunderstood. With scholarly research we will be able to correct the apparent contradiction.
  3. God is all powerful. God can defeat iron chariots and chose not to in this situation and the reason is not disclosed to us.
Your Turn:
  • How would you respond to this verse and FAs questions?
  • Do you agree or disagree?
  • How do you support your view?
  • Do you have any insight to add?
  • Am I missing a possible conclusion?
  • This is an interesting verse that does raise valid questions. If all Scripture is God-breathed we can't ignore this verse so what do we do with it?
Please leave your comments below. My one request, which ever side of the debate you are on, please play nice with the other children in the sand box. No throwing toy trucks, dirt, or names at each other -thank you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Best Laid Plans of Mice and Writers

It is a writing group night and I am so excited! Writing group nights are always fun but a few weeks back Justine and I planned out ideas for the year and worked out the details for an up coming group project. Tonight we'll be sharing the ideas with the group. Again, I am so excited! These are the plans:

2012: The Year Ahead
We have a different theme every month. Our first meeting is an informational/workshop night and the second meeting we share what we've created.
January: New stars and/or Revision
February: Description
March: "Oceans and Orchards" Challenge ht
April: Poetry. Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?
May: Revision & Editing
June: New Audience. The idea is for each person to try a different audience so a children's book, or YA, or if the writer normally does YA they will try adult fiction. Should be interesting.
July & August: Grab Bag challenges
September: Action scenes
* October: TBA Justine will be organizing October's month.
November: NaNoWriMo
December: The TGIO party and The Golden Apple

The BIG project this year is the first ever Bestword Anthology. Yep over the next few months we're going to compile our best poems, flash fiction, and short stories. The theme is our local area "oceans and orchards". I am so excited for this.

I love my writing group!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Simple Woman Daybook 96

FOR TODAY: February 12, 2012
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...snow and ice.

I am thinking...rolling down Mount Everest.

I am thankful for...Mollie being home.

I am wearing...a pilot's flight suit (Thanks Jenn!).

I am creating...a shawl -still only 20 rows to go.

I am going...nap this afternoon.

I am reading...Catching Fire, 7th Heaven, The Gift, Game of Thrones, Sophie's World, Primeval, and The White Dragon.

I am wondering...what I am going to preach on next Sunday.

I am hoping...for motivation.

I am looking forward to...a nap.

I am hearing...people leaving.

Around the house...-everything!

One of my favorite things...hugs

A few plans for the rest of the week: Inn From the Cold, writing group, maybe movies,, youth group, and sermon prep.

A Picture to Share: I finally uploaded my pictures from Christmas, Mum and Me:

Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Simple Woman Daybook 95

FOR TODAY: February 5, 2012
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Daybook.

Outside my window...snow.

I am thinking...about local food and restaurants.

I am thankful for...live local music.

I am wearing...an awesome maroon sari.

I am creating...a shawl, I thought it was done and realized it wasn't long enough.

I am going...to have a very full week.

I am reading...7th Heaven, The Gift, Game of Thrones, Sophie's World, Primeval, and The White Dragon.

I am wondering...I had a but of great thoughts when I first go up. Sadly my only curiosity at the moment is how soon can I nap.

I am hoping...for a prayer to be answered.

I am looking forward to...a nap.

I am hearing...silence.

Around the house...ugh -everything!

One of my favorite things...Doctor Who and plans to watch Doctor Who with friends TONIGHT -SQUEEE!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Inn From the Cold, away for district ministerial, youth group, GEMS, and a youth lock-in.

A Picture to Share: I finally uploaded my pictures from Christmas, Dad and Me:

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Thankful Thursday -New Hope

I am thankful for...
My Church Family

Sunday was full. It was a good but very full. There were so many little things that had to happen. I could have easily become overwhelmed with the details (I have with putting other events together.) The Well Done party was different, when I started worrying about how _____ would get down someone would ask "Liz, how can I help you?" A family picked up the pizzas, another picked up the DQ cakes, someone made craft samples. It was awesome.

There was about an hour and half from the end of the second service till the start of the Well Done party. There was enough time to get everything set up but I would be running around like a chicken with my head chopped off the whole time. A family decided to stay and help set up. The was no "headless chicken Liz." We were ready a half hour before the first guest arrive.

During the event there were a few times I went to take care of a detail and found that it was already being taken care of. And after everything was over everyone pitched in to help with the clean up. It was all done before 4:30pm (we were done eating about 4). It was awesome. I am thankful for the families that attend my church. It was community. I am so blessed. I love my church.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Well Done!

Sunday was a day to celebrate.

For the past fifteen months the Kidsworld children have been giving their offering to build a clean water well in India. We collect an offering each week and everything the children give goes to the mission project. This well is our biggest project yet, but I felt it was important. It costs for a well is $2000 through the Dalit Freedom Network. When we started the giving towards the well I promised the children we would have a party when we reached half way ($1000) and another when we reached the goal ($2000).

This past November the children reached the half way goal! They had given $1000! (In total they have given 1314.34 towards the well). Because of how busy December is with Christmas the celebration was planned for January.
So this past Sunday we celebrated.

We made tiger masks and paper dolls in Indian saris. Tried a new version of tag that some website said was from India, it might not be but the game was hilarious. It’s called “Billy goat.” You mark off the space the game will happen in. The “Billy goats” hands are tied behind their back and they can only tag with their head. We watched a video about what the Dalit Freedom Network is doing in villages. Then the kid’s favourite part pizza and ice cream cake.

The best part was the surprise announcement I got to make just before the pizza. About a month ago one of the father’s and his business partner approached me and asked if they could give the remaining sum needed to complete the well. YES! So, we didn’t have a Half-Way to Well Party. We had a Well Done! We Did It party.
After I made the surprise announcement one of the girls yelled out, “But Pastor Liz, now we don’t get two parties.” After I finished laughing I reassured her that I am sure we could find a new reason to celebrate.

Other Quotes from the Day:

I told the group I had a big surprise for the group and asked if anyone could guess what it was. One guys hand shot straight up, “I know, there is going to be a bouncing castle!” That was not the surprise.

I overheard a mother ask her very distressed son what was wrong, his said, “Those boys don’t like Italian pizza, they just want pizza.”