Showing posts from November, 2018

Trip of a Lifetime? Indeed

Dawn on the Mediterranean Sea—even in November was warm.  King Herod built a palace along its shores—complete with a hippodrome for his entertainment. Chariot races were popular and spectators perched on the rock benches. Onlookers also relished the gruesome man versus beast contests.

                         Mediterranean  Sea                             Hippodrome Steps                         Overlooking Nazareth
The old stones left me imagining what must have been, but things came into focus at Caesarea Philippi. I peered into a deep cavern along the stone cliffside, where hot fires once burned deep below. Children were tossed into the flames to appease the gods. It was here that Jesus brought his disciples and asked, “Who do people say that I am?”  In a pagan culture that misunderstood God, it was THE question to ask. It’s still asked today.      
Caesarea Philippi is close enough to Lebanon that the road getting there features miles of high barbed wire fences and frequent warnings …

Clara's #GivingTuesday

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes #GivingTuesday. It’s day that shines a light on our community’s non-profits and the amazing work they do for pennies on the dollar. 
The #GivingTuesday campaign seeks donations at the beginning of the holiday gift-buying season. The colder months bring greater needs for food, clothing, and shelter for those in desperate need. 
But it’s not just about giving money.
Clara sat behind the old wooden desk in the women’s shelter. She’d taken the bus and walked five blocks to do her six hour volunteer shift. 

At 71, she had time, but not extra money to offer a cause that is close to her heart. Long ago she’d  been like the women who occupied the cots in the adjacent room. Without money and hope, she’d done almost anything to pull herself out of poverty for her kid’s sake. 
Knowing those desperate feelings, Clara was able to look into the eyes of these women and offer true support. There was no place she’d rather offer her help—because it came from a place…

Beta Mode and 10,000 Hours

Be an Alpha, the counselor advised the young students—go out and conquer all you see. But it was the Betas that actually made the most progress over time.
Michael Hyatt knows all about success—now he spends his time showing business leaders the secrets. 
It begins in Beta Mode—you keep going even if the results aren’t perfect. Success comes from a process of continually improving. 
We see it in athletes as they work to get better. Beta Mode keeps us in a place where we see room for improvement and then work at it.

Time matters too. Malcolm Gladwell says in his book, Outliers, that what sets us on the road to success is the 10,000-Hour Rule. 
Gladwell’s argument is that besides having an aptitude for your endeavor, the biggest factor in success is the amount of time invested. It will take at least 10,000 hours. 
That equates to nearly five years of full-time work. 

In our world of instant access, it’s easy to think our success will come just as quickly. Not so. There’s a reason college degree…

The Hospitality Gene

I’m the worst hostess. I kid you not, one time I invited a couple of friends over for an evening “meal” and I served popcorn. 
My mom loved to entertain. She’d plan elaborate meals, invite friends over, and the laughter would flow. Clearly, I didn’t inherit her hospitality gene. It skipped a generation. 
My daughter routinely invites friends over for things like Taco Tuesdays and Waffle Wednesdays. My son has proven to be way more capable in the kitchen and a delightful host. 
I’m undone. I just freeze up when it comes to hospitality. Oh sure, I can host holiday meals—but that’s family. Totally different.

My husband is doubly blessed. He inherited the Southern Charm gene—which in combination with the Hospitality gene has an infectious allure. 

One time, while I was traveling, he invited our son’s friend and his dad over for a meal. He made spaghetti. 

From what I learned later, the spaghetti was a congealed glob of pasta, but once topped with a jar of spaghetti sauce, no one seemed to care.…

Follow the Money

In our polarized, turbulent culture we’re advised to “Follow the Money” to see where protest groups get their cash. 
Someone is behind their efforts to purchase slick sloganized signs, banners, and provide protestors with transportation and lodging. 
Recently, a self-proclaimed left-leaning Wall Street Journal writer, Asra Nomani, decided to do just that. 
Nomani followed the money during the Kavanaugh protests and noted the fine print on the bottom of the professionally printed protest signs—names of the sponsors, such as Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Center for Popular Democracy, and George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, provides millions of dollars in grants to these organizations and others. 
Rethink Media, another Soros grantee, was at the center of many of the unlawful disruptions during the Kavanaugh hearings. 

To be fair, the Republicans have their own groups and the Koch brothers are some key funders.
Ms. Nomani “sympathizes with the liberal causes …