Monday, March 31, 2008
Here are part two of my notes on Chapter 1. These notes focus on the challenges humans face in creating friendships
Challenges to building friendships
· life transitions, changes: on the one hand, this is the worst time to make friends. On the other hand, this is the time you need them the most. Find people in similar situations like yours. You may be able to learn from them and their experiences.
· Personality- the level at which someone connects with others. For some, this may come easier than most. Here are some hints towards overcoming this difficulty: attend groups that break down into smaller groups (this allows for a more personal interaction), be open, use your friends circle of friends as a starting point (this takes the stress of you to introduce yourself), ask questions to keep the conversation going.
· Sticking to our comfort zone- On page 18, the author analyzes the problem with having un-flexible comfort zones .She says, "The problem with our comfort zones here on earth is that they are narrow, limiting, and growth inhibiting. They prevent us from becoming more like Christ and discovering some of the gifts-such as unexpected friends-that He has for us when we risk being uncomfortable." Be open to new situations. You never know what blessings God might have in store for you
* the Different Seasons of Life*
A season of loneliness sometimes is meant to teach us things. For example, being lonely may teach a reliance on God instead of ourselves.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I came across this poem with the help of Google alerts. It helps to express the feelings of the disabled community on a daily basis. Written by a group of sisters, it really is meant to make you think and evaluate your actions towards others. After all, you have no idea how you can affect a person. Good or bad.
Think about it.
BEATITUDES TO FRIENDS OF THE PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY
Blessed are you who take time to listen to my difficult speech,
For you help me to know
if I persevere i can be understood,
Blessed are you who never bid me to hurry, or take my tasks for me,
For often I need time rather than help,
Blessed are you who stand beside me as i enter new untried ventures,
For my failures will be out weighed,
by the time I surprise my self to you,
Blessed are you who ask for my help,
For my greatest need is to be needed,
Blessed are you who understand that it is difficult
for me to put my thoughts into words,
Blessed are you, with smile,
Encourage me to try once more,
Blessed are you who never remind me,
That today I ask the same question twice,
Blessed are you who respect me and love me as I am,
Not as you wish I were.
(This poem can be originally located at:
Monday, March 24, 2008
As promised, here are some of my notes from Chapter 1 of the book. Keep in mind, these are brief and important points in my view. Different points mean different things to different people, so I would suggest buying the book if my observations at all interest you. It certainly has brought to light a lot of things in my friendships.
Anyway, here we go..
Important Notes On Grown-Up Girlfriend
We need friendships because..
- We are created for connectiona.
- Men's Versus Women's Role
- it is different
- Men take care of garden and animals; women are in charge of child rearing and being a companion (Genesis 2: 19- 23, 3: 16
- i. Women crave interactions
- i. The scientific need for friendships
- can lead to longer life
- better odds at surviving medical events
- less chance of developing respiratory problems or cancer
- less chance of developing depression
Friday, March 21, 2008
So I'm sure I have talked about this subject of service and faith to God before, but I think it's important to talk about again. The last few weeks have been difficult for me and my family, both on a personal and professional level.
Too often we get caught up in our lives and forget the impact our actions and words have on others.
I have to be honest that was me today. Especially considering my current circumstances and everything going on in my life, it would be so easy for me to say, "I'm not doing this today" or "I'm going back to bed until this day is over ". But I don't. Not only because I know my family and friends (both on earth and in heaven) expect better of me. Or as Judge Hatchett puts it, "I expect great things ."
Well, so does God. He expects and rightly so great things from us. We were created to do great things- not only in our lives or in those of others. In other words, to serve others and satisfy their needs instead of your own. This is not always easy; it requires a keen sense of observation and listening skills in relationships. Sometimes though just living the Christian life is enough, remembering we are supposed to be a positive example to others on a daily basis. This simple concept was brought to my attention through today's devotional.
In that devotional, she tells the story of a day, pretty much like my own, where she struggled to find meaning beyond the confines of her disability.it took the small note of a 11 year old girl to remind her of God's purpose for her life. To serve.
The Bible verse that supports this point of view is: "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" --2 Corinthians 9:12-15 from the Message
In closing, Joni always leaves her readers with a short little prayer to God that focuses on today's lesson.
I will leave you with today's prayer:
"Lord, help me to go out today and spend my life for You. Enable me to undertake some special task for You, for this refreshes and enlivens my soul. Help me to exult in distresses of every kind if they but promote service to You and to others."
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I have recently begun reading a book called Grown-up girlfriends by Carrie and Erin. I find the book so intriguing that I have decided to make a series out of it. I wish I could say I would have a scheduled reading and reflection posts. Since I have a busy life, this may be more difficult than I imagine. But I am willing to give it a try.
The first installment is today's post. As a introduction to the series, I will give you a little background on the book and its purpose. The book is written by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver- too real grown-up girlfriends. According to Amazon.com, it says: "Even when life is hectic and harried, every woman has a God-given longing for relationship, and her female friends play an important role in filling that. Oliver and Smalley help women distinguish between self-centered, insecure, childish relationships and other-centered, healthy, "grown-up" relationships. Using personal anecdotes and scriptural principles, they explain ten characteristics of a grown-up friend and offer ideas on how readers can develop these attributes in themselves. Finally, they tackle the tough issues of friendships, such as how to support a friend in crisis, how to work toward forgiveness when a friend has injured you, and how to determine when it is best to let a friendship go."
But from what I can tell, the book is this and so much more. These are just some of the topics covered in this book:
1.identify potential soul-mate friends
2. mentor others
3. set healthy boundaries
4.resolve conflicts constructively
5. support a friend in crisis
6. practice healthy forgiveness and reconciliation
7. let go of destructive friendships . . . or avoid them altogether
See you next time when I cover "defining grown-up girlfriends and their purpose".
From now on, any post entitled grown-up girlfriends is part of the series. Feel free to follow along. Who knows if I get enough of a response, I might start a discussion group.
Monday, March 17, 2008
It's been a difficult week, full of personal struggles and family difficulties. But I couldn't let that keep me from posting. Personally, I don't know what to say after everything I have been through, so I am going straight to my post topic.
Growing up, a lot of people don't know how to deal with people with disabilities . They don't know what to do or how it act around the disabled community. I think a lot of this comes from the way that people have grown up and the way they have been taught .
I came across this blog which highlights a book for young children talking about being paralyzed. This story deals head on with the stereotypes they may have. Some of these include thinking that we are helpless and can't do anything by ourselves.
Check it out
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I was looking through my e-mails and thanks to my Google alerts came across these positive images of disability. The ads are part of a campaign to sell cars, although some people may see this as a marketing strategy and may be offended, I don't. I see this as a way of breaking down stereotypes that people may have about the disabled community.
Now, I can understand how some people can be offended relating our ability to persevere to that of a car. But it all depends on how you see the picture.
How do you see this campaign? Check out another person's viewpoint at:http://similinton.com/blog/?p=109
Monday, March 10, 2008
What constitutes being normal in American society?
Although the disabled community is blessed with a number of opportunities, it wasn't always like this. I was reminded of that simple fact during the lifetime premiere drama/documentary called Profoundly Normal. Starring Kirstie Alley, this movie tells the story of Donna and Ricardo,a developmentally delayed couple who met during their stay in a institution. Their love defies all odds; and even though the institution is forced to close, (causing them to separate either going to group homes or separate apartments. Since Ricardo and Donna were basically considered" higher functioning" than the others, they were able to live independently and eventually found a way back to one another. They fell in love and got married, despite the opposition of others around them.
Eventually, they even had a child.
For more information, you can always go to:
Simply research "Profoundly Normal" on your search engine
Friday, March 7, 2008
So I am a little distracted today. My family and I are going to a difficult time, I don't want to go into details. But it just reminds me that every day on this earth is a gift and we should cherish it.
To go along with this idea, a devotional fits pretty well. So I am going to post it here. I hope the author doesn't mind:
by Nancy Evenden
Today, we all woke up breathing, meaning that we are alive.
In the beginning "God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being."
God is the source of life.
He is the only one who can give life.
Therefore, life is a gift.
God not only gives us physical life, but also Spiritual life.
He has promised us the GIFT of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
This means we can now be free from our sins and able to have an
eternal relationship with our God.
This gift of eternal life is NOT based on who we are or what we have done.
It is purely a gift, just like the gift of physical life. (We didn't
do anything to be physically brought to life.)
Therefore, each DAY is a gift from God.
So if "This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be
glad in it."(Psalm 118:24), then how should we live this day?
Should we be totally wrapped up in ourselves or should we walk in a
manner pleasing to God, bearing fruit in every good work and
increasing in the knowledge of God? (Colossians. 1:10)
This week may we daily have a thankful heart towards God for the gift
of LIFE, both physical and Spiritual.
Love, Nancy Nancy@Evenden.org
Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living
Deuteronomy 32:39 'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god
besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and
it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.
Nehemiah 9:6 "You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, The
heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on
it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And
the heavenly host bows down before You.
Psalms 36:9 For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.
Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of
the wicked will be shortened.
Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he
who is wise wins souls.
Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one
may avoid the snares of death.
Ezekiel 37:14 "I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to
life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that
I, the LORD, have spoken and done it," declares the LORD.' "
Malachi 2:5 "My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I
gave them to him as an object of reverence; so he revered Me and stood
in awe of My name.
Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to
serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
John 3:15-16 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who
does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides
John 5:21"For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,
even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.
John 5:24-26 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and
believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into
judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say
to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the
voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the
Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have
life in Himself;"
John 6:27 "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food
which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you,
for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."
John 6:33-35"For the bread of God is that which comes down out of
heaven, and gives life to the world."
Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread." Jesus said
to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger,
and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
John 6:51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if
anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also
which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh."
John 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing;
the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of
the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will
have the Light of life."
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he
who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
John 14:6 Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the
life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set
you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on
the Spirit is life and peace,
Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead
dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give
life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Colossians 3:3-4 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ
in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will
be revealed with Him in glory.
2 Peter 1:2-3 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of
God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to
us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true
knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
1 John 1:1-2 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we
have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our
hands, concerning the Word of Life--and the life was manifested, and
we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which
was with the Father and was manifested to us--
1 John 5:11-13 And the testimony is this, that God has given us
eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the
life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son
of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us
understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him
who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Before I reveal how the topic of happiness relates to life, I would like to congratulate to new couples and that have decided to declare their love and get married. Congratulations. You know who you are. I was ecstatic when I got the announcements in the mail. Thanks for thinking of me in that way. You are both wonderful friends.
Back to business, when I say happiness what does it make you think of? A job? A relationship? Monetary wealth? To different people, happiness can mean two different things. I was struck with this idea while reading another person's blog. In many ways, I was shocked by her views of happiness because they were so similar to mine. It reminds me that I am not alone in my struggles. Eventually, she learned like I did that the silence, although annoying sometimes, can bring a time of reflection
I thought you might find interesting also.
Here it is:
Monday, March 3, 2008
So I'm running a little behind again. I guess it's going to be a while to get back into a routine with my computer and losing everything.
Anyway, yesterday was the third or fourth season premiere of Little People, Big World. After all, Matt got arrested and is allegedly accused of driving under the influence. I believe he wasn't driving drunk, he was just having trouble adjusting to his wife's car and the adaptions made to it. I am looking forward to next week;Matt's testimony continues. It should be interesting.
For more information about the show, you can visit TLC.com
The new episodes air on Mondays at eight and 830