Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas 2011

Dear friends:

As another year draws to a close, I'd like to take this time to reflect on everything that's happened to me. One thing I will say, my life has certainly been that of a roller coaster starting with my time in the hospital and ending with my upcoming move to an apartment in 2012. All in all, I wanted change anything because it showed God's faithfulness in the bleakest circumstances.

That being said, I can't quite explain the feelings I'm having this Christmas. My heart's not completely into it, I guess. Even still, I'm trying to the real "Reason For The Season" and stay focused. A song that has reminded me of this is Matthew West's recent hit "The Heart of Christmas" whose YouTube clip I have provided below:

Monday, November 21, 2011

In The Blind: Trusting In the Midst of Life's Biggest Obstacles

Welcome Back, Readers~

Okay, so it's clear I have hesitated writing on this blog for several weeks now. The question is why. Was I hoping for a positive result and a swift removal of all the barriers I've encountered up until this point, ending with a deeper understanding of God's will for my life? Or was I simply not willing to share my weakness with you for fear you'd view me differently?

Truth is, I can't give you a definitive answer. Perhaps it's a little bit of both. These last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me, beginning with the opening up of an apartment for me and my roommate, then the harsh reality that it wasn't the right time (meaning that everything wasn't prepared in terms of financial aspects, but more importantly personal care aspects). Then, there were other things to consider.

I'll admit I should be handling it better. This isn't the first time I've encountered adversity, after all; but that doesn't mean it gets any easier. Because let's face it, trials are not only inevitable but unpredictable as well. They come in a variety of types and sizes. No matter what the problem is, though.. One thing remains the same...

All trials have in a Christian's life have a purpose!

I was reminded of this theme as our church continues its sermon series called "Let's Build Something Together That Lasts Forever." As part of this series, our pastor spent an entire Sunday shedding new light on the popular passage in James in which the author urges the tribes to "consider it pure joy" when they encountered trials. Why? Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (verses 3-5, NIV)

Going even further with this point, my pastor compares this time of testing to training for a frisbee throwing competition. People can try to train for these things themselves, but they don't have the expertise of a trainer to guide them. But we do-Jesus! Even better than perseverance, these trials can produce endurance and it has the capability of producing the perfect results, if only we'd see our way through it, not try to escape life's circumstance.

This process not only takes endurance but a lot of faith as well-not just a belief that God will do according to His Will. If you don't, James warns your efforts will go unnoticed as it states in verse 6: " But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind"

Alas, because of that human condition, we are prone to doubt; that being the case God created a backup plan-that we should ask him for wisdom. He will give it to you freely, not asking anything of you; only that you trust him. On this Thanksgiving season, try to remember this as you encounter life's difficulties.

That's exactly what I'm trying to do!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring our Veterans as we hold fast to our freedoms freedoms American Humane Association Hero Dog Roselle

Happy Veteran's Day, everybody!

It's not very often that we have days set aside to remember what makes America so special. So I hope you are taking time out on this day to appreciate the freedoms we have in this country. Not only that, but that people that are giving of their precious time, commitment and even lives to secure those freedoms for generations to come...

I was reminded of that as I watched the American Humane Association Hero dog awards tonight. One of the dogs honored was a yellow Labrador named Roselle; her owner, Michael Hingson (who is blind) worked at the World Trade Center on September 11. Like any hero, she guided Michael out of the building and to safety. See the YouTube video below for more information on this story: or to see other inspirational stories, you can go to the following link:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Encouragement: Your Great Name Lyrics (Acoustic Version) By Natalie Grant

Hey Guys~

Okay, so I know it's been kind of quiet on here lately. Trouble is, I haven't had much time to sit down and think; let alone I wouldn't quite know what to say. I guess I've been experiencing what you would call a "silent time" in my relationship with God. In the midst of this time, I find hope in songs like the one below Your Great Name by Natalie Grant. The lyrics that really resonate with me are in verse one, which state as follows:

"Lost are saved; find their way; at the sound of Your great name All condemned; feel no shame, at the sound of Your great name Every fear; has no place; at the sound of Your great name The enemy; he has to leave; at the sound of Your great name"

I hope you find it as encouraging as I do during this very interesting time!

Monday, October 24, 2011

One Show, Two Unique Perspectives!

Welcome Back,

I know it's been a while since I posted anything, it's been a busy time for me when me splitting my time between conquering health issues and helping out with the church website. That being said, time at my computer is precious these days ..

Still, I watched an interesting episode of "Anderson" last week and thought I'd bring it to your attention. It featured the inspirational story of the Johnstons, a family who lovingly refers to themselves as the real-life "seven dwarfs". The family consists of all all dwarf children, two of which are biological and three that are internationally adopted. Although they have obvious physical limitations, they live in your average sized home. Their reasoning is a simple one-they want their children to grow up knowing how to adapt in the real world. For more information on this story, feel free to visit the following link:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Encouragement: Another Reason To Dream The "Impossible"

Hey Guys,

This article was featured as I was looking through my e-mail two days ago. It not only proves that dreams can come true, but parents should never underestimate their children's potential..

Please check it out, you won't regret it.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Courageous-Casting Crowns with lyrics

Welcome Back Everyone~

Okay, so I know it's been a while.. But my family and I finally took our long-awaited vacation of the summer; it was a great time to just sit back and reflect on the journey we've had over the over the past few months. Despite this new lease on life. I've been given, it still has its own troubles. Since my recovery, for example, I've had a great amount of difficulty finding someone to care for my needs; not only that, but I've developed reoccurring health issues that keep me out of my chair for several hours a day.

That being said, I'm amazed at how God has kept so many of my dreams alive. Barring any other economic difficulties, I will be moving out on my own soon. I just have to wait for a first level apartment to become available before a friend

and I can move in together. In the meantime, however, I am enjoying spending time with my family-knowing that this time is fleeting and soon our lives may have us going in different directions.

Anyway, that's why I love the movie Courageous. It teaches Christians that we have a unique opportunity to share God's love with those around us; but with that comes a harsh reality-in which one must choose to live out their faith and take responsibility for our actions. In that way, we are all doubly responsible when we each know what God expects of us as a person and as a human put on this earth.

I'm sorry, there's so much more I had planned to share with you in terms of the movie. But I waited too long to write it all down! Anyway, who knows? I may get the opportunity to see it again and some new thoughts will be spurred in my head.

In the meantime, I thought I would share the main theme of the movie with you about one guys: hopefully, you will be as inspired as I was...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Karen Kingsbury - Leaving

I've featured Karen Kingsbury books on my blog before, but this one holds a lot of significance for me. Not only because I'm reading it right now, but I'm struggling with the decisions Bailey is making in the book. As many of you may know from reading my blog or being my friend in real life, it's always been a dream of mine to get a place of my own- a separate life from my parents. After all, I accomplished my goal once before: why can't I do it again??

The answer is quite simple really.. I can, but it's all a matter of timing-God's Timing! In short, I can plan all I want; but if it isn't God's will, it won't work out. That being said, I have a lot of decisions ahead of me.. I just hope I make the right ones!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dolphin Tale - Official Trailer

Welcome Back Everyone~
I came across this trailer while looking for something encouraging for today's blog; that's right, I'm bringing back Encouragement Wednesdays. Dolphin Tail tells the inspirational story of a boy and a dolphin without a tail

Monday, September 5, 2011

A new revelation from a classic hymn..

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he'll take and shield thee;
thou wilt find a solace there.

(Lyrics taken from the website:http://www.hymnsite.com/lyrics/umh526.sht)

Such a powerful message from a hymn!

While most hymns tend to focus on God in terms of His Might and Power; this one takes on another approach, calling Jesus a friend. I don't know about you, but this concept makes Him seem more accessible to me and everyone. After all a friend is someone in whom we can depend on day or night with our problems. He, like our human counterparts, cares for us and wants us to succeed in all we do.. So much so, that he gave his life for us. What an amazing sacrifice

Too often, though, we slip back into our old ways of thinking we can handle things ourselves and don't think we need God's assistance. But that's simply not true, God wants to be involved in all parts of our life-from the life-changing decisions to the insignificant ones. They all matter!

On the same token, although God's acceptance and friendship is unconditional, he wants us to trust him fully. That's not always an easy thing to do. I should know: I have experienced this time and time again in my stunt in the hospital. I may not been able to see what was going on behind the scenes, but had to believe that he had my best interests at heart. And even now-knowing about the victories I've had, I must put aside my own feelings of insecurity and walk blindly forward.. Knowing that God goes before us and knows the road ahead of us

The song, 'Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus is yet another reminder of how difficult a task this is. Yes, we are to take God at his word. But Verse 3 goes even further saying, " Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease; just from Jesus simply taking life and rest, and joy and peace. Refrain: Jesus, Jesus, how I trust him! How I've proved him o'er and o'er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!"

I don't know about you, but resting is something I've never been good at. In this world, we're taught to multitask in order to get things done. But God calls us to rest, believing in his promises and trusting that he knows best.

Food for thought.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Grace Card: Study Scene

If you'll recall, not too long ago I mentioned The Grace Card in my blog; now that I've had a chance to watch it I would like to add my comments .. Although the storyline is racially driven to break down barriers in the inner-city, it also presents a powerful message of forgiveness and the power of God to use Christians no matter where they are-in the workplace, in the mission field. We are here to be a light in the darkness.

For that matter, the film also sheds light on the importance of fathers and the power they have to build up or breakdown their children. This and many more lessons were highlighted in the following blog entitled Ten leadership lessons from the grace card (http://briandoddonleadership.com/2011/02/26/10-leadership-lessons-from-the-grace-card/ ) I would encourage everyone to check it out as well as rent the movie and see it for themselves . You won't regret it; it might even change your life!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Encouragement Facing the Giants - Bloom Where You're Planted

One of my many favorite scenes from Facing the Giants. It really illustrates what God can do if you're ready and willing to let God move through your life. Never underestimate the power of God to do great things.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Open Dialogue

Welcome Back Readers~

As I'm sure you guys have noticed, I haven't been writing with the same zeal that I had after my surgery. The same feelings I had are beginning to make their way back in my life and I am beginning to wonder whether I was blaming the medication because it was easier to do that than to face the deeper issues. Anyway, I am still struggling to find the truth behind these questions. As a result, you can imagine how difficult praying has become for me lately. Don't get me wrong, I know God will listen to me, no matter what I say to him because God not only cares for me but He wants the best for me. A good friend once told me," just keep the dialogue open, He just wants to hear from you." That's such good advice, however. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to say to Him. That being said, I keep my eyes on them promise of Jeremiah 29:11, which says: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

This is a promise from the Lord himself to every Christian living in today's uncertain times: in light of Virginia's recent earthquake, it's a message. I will continue to cling to.. Because in the end, my friend, that's all we have!

I came across this blog while trying to figure out what to say about prayer because that was the topic on my heart today. Originally it was going to be verses on prayer but as you can see it turned out to be something completely different. Anyway, the blog belongs to the cast of Courageous, a movie that hopes to bring new honor when it comes to being a Christian father in today's society. In short, the website will be spending the next 30 days not only praying for movie, but asking others to join them in praying courageously for a change.. For more information on the movement, please go to the following URL: http://www.courageousthemovie.com/blog/2011/08/40-days-of-courageous-prayers/

Friday, August 19, 2011

Movies That Inspire..

As promised, here is my second installment of Movies that inspire continued... This one premieres on The Gospel Music Channel with three chances to watch this weekend.
This family friendly drama explores the power of hope to do the impossible

Movies That Inspire..

Dear Readers,
Sorry I haven't been as reliable as usual when it comes to writing this blog. I've experienced a lot of hills and valleys (trials and tribulations) when it came to returning to life as usual-starting with trying to train another personal assistant. To make a long story short, it didn't work out as we hoped and now we are looking for someone in the interim while my original personal assistant recoverers and eventually returns back to work for us. If there is one important lesson I've learned from all this is, "Be Grateful for What You Have or Someday It Might Be Gone."
That being said, I've also experienced a lull when it comes to my life in general. But I guess it's during these times that we are grateful for the road ahead of us. It's just hard. Coming off of such a great experience knowing that God supplied for your every need. It often makes you wonder, "Well, what's next for me, God?"

Anyway, that's where my head is at these days.. So I apologize if I'm not able to come up with anything life shatteringly "brilliant" or worth sharing with you. Lucky for me, I don't have to worry about that today because two movies are making their world premiere on DVD and across television screens. The first being, The Grace Card starring Louis Gossett, Jr., Michael Joiner and Michael Higgenbottom. This powerful drama explores what happens when life takes an unexpected turn and grace takes center stage.

In my next post, I will explore the simple message of hope in GMC's Trinity Goodheart..

Monday, August 15, 2011

Francesca Battistelli - This Is The Stuff
On Sunday morning, this song came to me as I was waking up to get ready for church. Many of my readers know me and can understand where I'm coming from when I say God uses the strangest circumstances to shift our focus... I will be the first to tell you the hospital is the last place I would have imagined getting closer to Him. But it did.

As rewarding as it is, I find myself more than ever susceptible to that of spiritual warfare: after all, anyone who is a Christian is a part of God's Army and a target of the Enemy. And although we're eternally protected, we're still vulnerable to schemes of this world. Below are just a few of the tactics highlighted in yesterday's sermon that proves my point:

  • Distractions-Distractions can be anything from our circumstances, our job, and our family that consume our focus away from God. But in the end, the things of this world really don't matter. It's only the things done for God/Jesus that will last in eternity!

  • Deception-Deception can be any lie/belief or anything else that is not supported by the Bible

  • Discord-by discord, I mean arguments with anyone in your church body. Anger and disagreements make it even easier for the deceiver because we focuses more on ourselves, then our impact on the world at large!

  • Disappointments-too often, we have high expectations for ourselves instead of focusing on what God intends for us. This can lead to jealousy if those around us receive things that we think we should have. Remember, God's timing is always best..
    And finally,

  • dissertion-My pastor put it best by describing a soldier lost from his unit at war. In short, he said a church was the same way and when you leave because of a disagreement.. You are putting yourself at risk because we all need the support of a group of believers

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vacation reflections

Welcome Back Everyone~

My apologies for not writing anything sooner, but my life has been consumed by follow-up appointments with doctors and such. So much so that it took my mother's birthday vacation to the beaches of Virginia to get my bearings. To make a long story short, my central line is out now and blood counts remain normal. Now we wait.

That being said, I'm grateful for every day God gives me and understand now that good comes out of any circumstance. Just as Bethany Hamilton does.. Many of you may remember me mentioning about this brave young woman who overcame such impossible circumstances (a shark attack and the loss of an arm) and still managed to find her way towards accomplishing her dream of becoming a professional surfer.. Not to mention the added bonus of using her "celebrity" status to share the love of Jesus Christ to all who will listen.

Just an amazing testimony to look up to these days. That's probably one reason why I can't get enough of her movie, Soul Surfer, which was released on August 2nd.

I'd like to end this post with a few of my favorite quotes I missed the first time around...

"Life is a lot like surfing because if you get caught in the impact zone you've got to get back up because you never know what may be over the next wave."

" I don't know why terrible things happen to us sometimes, but I have to believe something good is going to come out of this."

In the future, you may notice a few new webpage additions to my inspirational section. If you look further into Bethany's life and journey, you will understand why!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Encouragement: New Lease On Life

Hey Guys~

It's Friday with record high temperatures of 112 degrees here in Virginia and I'll be honest, I'm glad to be inside. Although after over a month of doctor appointments and hospital stays, I'm having my ups and downs with "cabin fever": you probably would to if you had daily infusions of antibiotics and you had to be home for weekly blood draws as well.

All in all, I'm happy to be alive. There's something to be said for hindsight because if you would have told me I would have a new lease on life after being in the hospital for a total of about three weeks (both of my hospital stays are included here), I would have said you were crazy. But it's so true. Life without the baclofen pump is so much happier. Doctors disagreed with me for years when I told them the baclofen flowing straight to my brain through my spinal fluid was causing my mood swings or feelings of depression saying there was no "conclusive" evidence linking the two. Maybe they're right, but I have never laughed more since having the pump out and taking oral baclofen. (For those of you who are new readers, the baclofen pump had to be taken out because of a severe infection in my back). Not only that, I feel like I can think clearer than I have been in years. Now, I feel like I am not only interacting with the world around me but enjoying my life.

Taking all of this into account, I came across this song "What Life Would Be Like" and it accurately describes the new lease on life that I feel I have. I am alive for a reason-to interact with the world and make it better by giving people hope in the midst of dark times. Just like God gave me hope

Please take the time to really listen to this song and examine your heart. You might be surprised at what you find...


Monday, July 18, 2011

Does Working Really Matter?

It sounds like a funny question...

But is it really?

I mean, I can't tell how many times I find myself saying "I can't believe it's Monday already" after a great weekend.

Sad to say, but I too am only human-prone to the same thoughts and feelings as most people. That being said, I was enlightened by a recent sermon at my church entitled "Work Matters". In it, our pastor not only examines the monetary benefits of working, but the long-term benefits as it pertains to our Christian walk. Whether we know it or not, our work says a lot about who we are, what we believe and how we live.

In short, he told us that our work has the 3 W's.

  1. Worth-not only in a modern sense, but everything we do stores us treasures in heaven. Remember, even Jesus was a servant.. "... Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me"

  2. Our work is an act of worship. If you take a look at Ephesians 6:5-9, we should not only submit to our masters, but do so knowing that when we do, we are not only submitting to our earthly "Masters" (bosses) but to God as well.

  3. Witness-In every sense of the word, our work can be a witness as to our Christian walk. Are we obedient to our bosses? Do we have integrity in our work? (Colossians 3: 22; Titus 2:9 or Ephesians 6:6). Not only that, how we deal with conflict says a lot about us too. Take for example Titus 2:9

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yet Another Personal Update

Hey Guys~

Okay, lately I realize my blog reads more like a medical transcript more than anything else. To make a long story short, I am home again (hopefully for good this time). Last time I'd written, doctors had performed blood tests finding once again that inflammation remained in my system. In the end, they suggested I go back to the hospital for some more tests. The next week week brought much debate as to whether doctors should open me up again and drain the inflamed area in my back or do a needle aspiration.

Honestly, I didn't really care which the doctors chose as long as they found out what was going on with me. I was still having high fevers and headaches at that point: I just wanted things to return to normal. Finally, a decision was made-the needle aspiration would be done. We awaited anxiously for the results, but to no avail. The inflamed area turned out to have not in infection, but a blood clot.

As of today, my doctors are still perplexed because some of my numbers still remain quite high (indicating infection) but we don't know why..

Switched at Birth New Show on ABC Family Where the Deaf Take Center Stage


So the ABC Family show Switched At Birth isn't really that new, considering I've been gone a few weeks. But that's for another post.

Although the Switched At Birth storyline seems like one snatched from the headlines, it presents a interesting platform where the deaf community takes center stage. According to the ABC Family website, "Bay Kennish grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and a brother, while Daphne Vasquez, who lost her hearing at an early age due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a working-class neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls"

Most recently, the debate between cohlear implants and accepting one's disability became an issue.

For more information on the show, go to:http://abcfamily.go.com/shows/switched-at-birth

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Battle We All Face


So I'm a day late in creating this post.. But as I learned, a lot can happen in a day;said that being said, I will give you a little update on my progress. Things continue to go well, although we have been concerned by a slight increase in temperature as well as a continued redness that in my back. We went to my regular doctor today and did some tests-hoping my white cells are still down and there is nothing to be concerned about...

This leads me to the topic of today's post-Releasing God's Power In Your Life. Sounds easy, right? After all, we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the time of our confession of faith. But learning how to harness this power is a completely different story. First, it's important to note that you are powerless within your own will to change your current circumstances. Second, we must be willing to commit our lives to God. That is where faith comes into play, turning our thoughts to "I can do this on my own" to "I can't but God can"

I haven't mastered all the steps: in fact, I haven't begun to understand all of the things God hopes to teach me through this time of difficulty. But then again, isn't that the battle we all face in the end. All it takes is the faith of a mustard seed.

*The idea came from Stanley's Early Light devotional entitled "Releasing the Power of the Holy Spirit"

Friday, July 1, 2011

Expedition Impossible

Hey Guys~
Okay, so my apologies for not posting the regular encouragement on Wednesday: but I'm still getting my strength and energy back. It figures that I would get sick when so many opportunities popped up. In short, I'm helping out our church by updating their website bios as well as some of other things.
Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself. The real reason for this post is because I wanted to feature a new adventure/reality show on ABC. It's called Expedition Impossible: this one follows a number of teams as they make their way across America accomplishing different tasks. One of those teams, "No Limits" involves Eric, a blind man and his helper. This new show can be seen on ABC.com daily as well as on television every Thursday at 9 PM. I look forward to following Eric and his team as they continue their adventures..


Monday, June 27, 2011

Rascal Flatts '"I Won't Let You Go

To be perfectly honest, I heard a lot of music during my hospital stay that encouraged me: however, I'm sorry to say I don't remember many of them now that I'm home. That being said, I thought I would feature a song used on the season finale of Army Wives not too long ago. This song brought tears to my eyes not only because it reminded me of my unique yet long-distance friendship I have with my friends, but also relate to the lyrics


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quick update

Hey Guys~
For those of you that don't know, I've been in the hospital for the last two weeks fighting a infection. The infection started in my back and continued to infect my baclofen pump and some of the screws in my back: as a result, my pump had to be removed as well as some of my screws in the back. Now, I'm on oral baclofen three doses a day both morning and night. I'm also taking Iv medications as well as some other medications..

But really it's not as bad as it sounds... I'm glad to be home

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Candid Camera is back on television

Welcome back, everyone!

Happy late Memorial day to all my readers! Let me begin this post with a great debt of gratitude to all of you that have served or are serving in the military. It's because of you that we enjoy the freedom of America on a daily basis. May we never lose sight of that... God bless America!

The weekend was beautiful, yet hectic one for my family. For the last few weeks, I have been without my regular personal assistant because of a lapse in my waiver from Virginia: in that respect, I'm lucky I live at home so it hasn't been a big problem because someone is always around. Still, it worries me that this kind of thing can be allowed to lapse if you're not careful. The good news is, I'm approved and back on the waiver with another agency. Now, I'm just waiting for my personal assistant to start again on Monday: unexpected circumstances have kept her out of work until Monday.

On Saturday, my family and I had friends from church over for a barbecue. It was nice to see my parents connecting with people again: it's been a long time coming and I know they've missed it as much as I have. On Sunday, we went to church as usual and then had dinner with my brother and his family. On Monday, it was off to a cookout at my brother's. To top it off, we've had our roof repaired for the last few days. As you can imagine, we're all exhausted-especially my dad; to be honest, I don't know how he does it...

That being said, I thought this post was the perfect way to begin the week. I've heard it said that "Laughter is the best medicine": well, we're in luck.. Candid Camera is back on television.. The thirty minute program premiered on the Gospel Music Channel on Tuesday at its regular time (10 AM). Hosted by Peter Funt and Suzanne Somers, this program takes a quick look at the funniest candid moments of the early 90s.

So if you're ever in the mood for a laugh, you know where to find it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Encouragement: Honoring Mattie Stepanek

As many of you may know, Oprah's last show is this week. While I don't agree with many of her perspectives on faith etc., she has introduced the world to several inspiring people her time on the air. One of them being 13-year-old Mattie Stepanek. I featured him several years back because of his outspoken views on peace and living the best you can through whatever circumstances God gives you...

You see, Mattie was born with muscular dystrophy despite this devastating diagnosis, he used his time on this Earth wisely by spreading the message of hope to everyone he came in contact with. Despite his youth, he had wisdom beyond his years. He even went as far as publishing two books entitled Heart Songs and Journey through heart songs, which went on to be put to music with the help of country music star Billy Gilman.

You can find more about his books and CD on Amazon.com. One of his most famous sayings was:: "We are a mosaic of gifts and each of us has our own inner beauty no matter how we look,"

In the most recent interview with Mattie's, we find that his message lives on. In his final hours, he never gave up the positive attitude by "challenging his mom to inhale. Do not breathe to simply exist"

Monday, May 23, 2011

The "Uplift Someone" campaign on GMC TV

Happy Monday!

I am pleased to start this week on a good note, with the help of GMC TV's newest campaign. Ifyou are familiar with the ad, Nick Lachey shares the ability we all have to brighten someone's day by doing something unexpected and showing you care. It's a powerful message! To find out more about the initiative, you can click here: http://www.watchgmctv.com/news/press/gmc-launches-its-biggest-ever-pro-social-initiative-uplift-someone-advertising-agency-upf.

To take part in the project, consider doing something for someone or purchasing the "uplift" bracelet to remind yourself of the cause. They can be found here:


Friday, May 20, 2011

Lady Gaga Lyrics for Her Newest Single, "Born This Way"

Welcome Back, Everyone~

Okay, so I'm having a bit of a debate with myself while writing this post. First of all, I don't want my readers to think I am a fan of Lady Gaga or all of her music because I'm not. Second of all, I am conflicted with with a majority of the lyrics of her song. Still, I find the concept of her newest single "Born This Way" to have a ring of truth as it relates to the disabled community itself. Although some of the stances are clearly used to share a political opinion, the overall message remains the same.. "... I was born this way" and "God makes no mistakes"

The full lyrics can be found here (http://www.metrolyrics.com/born-this-way-lyrics-lady-gaga.html?flv=1. Along with that, here is a deaf person's take on the song-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8FzGJfsEZQ (presented in American sign language)

I apologize if this post offends anybody, but I thought the "concept" of the song was worth sharing.. I'm still not sure if I'm doing the right thing!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Encouragement: P & G Thank You Mom Advertisement


So I don't usually highlight advertisements on my blog. But I thought this one was pretty special. I think it came out around Mother's Day and P & G kept using it for the big response they've received. My apologies for not knowing what the initials stand for: anyway, the company does a great job at showing how the Special Olympics helps the disabled community.

Check it out here:


Monday, May 16, 2011

Dr. Phil Highlights Bullying of The Disabled and Other Groups Of People

Welcome Back~
For those of you that follow my blog daily, you may have noticed that today's post showed up a day late. Or maybe you didn't even notice... Either way, I am back from a short vacation in Annapolis, Maryland. My dad had business there and I decided to join him. My mom is off on a short vacation as well, visiting family.
It was a great time, just spending time with my father and being able to reflect on my life in new surroundings. Granted, I would have liked to have stayed a longer to see the sights of Annapolis: my dad told me the Naval Academy was down that way. Meetings kept my dad pretty busy though.. Still, I managed to make the best of my time there-tasting eggs Benedict for the very first time and making good use of the hotel's Internet connection.

Now that I'm back, though, it's time to let you in on the latest issues regarding the disabled community.. I'm talking about the constant tendency to "look down" on those with mental or physical impairments. This was the controversy discussed on Dr. Phil's "Bullies Beware" episode. In this episode, a 26-year-old woman says she is "proud" to be a bully. She even goes further by saying handicapped people make her feel uncomfortable.

As usual, Dr. Phil tries to put everything in perspective. He not only reasons that she might feel the need to bully because of her own insecurity and lack of knowledge about a disability. What irks me most was when a actor playing a disabled citizen talked to her, she wouldn't give him the time of day: but when he stood up (later on in the show) only than did she start talking!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Encouragement: And Your Name is Jonah...

Welcome back~

Okay, so I realize I haven't kept up with this blog lately. I really can't explain my reasoning behind my absence: it's just that there's not much out there regarding disabilities right now. There's also no denying I haven't been myself lately. But I'm doing my best trying to remember what's important-that God will never forget me just as he didn't forget his covenant with his people in Deuteronomy. Still, God tries to remind me in small ways that He's around.

Especially in the chaos that is my life these days.. But my college chaplain was sure right when he told us to Expect the Unexpected during one of his most memorable sermons.

Let's just say I learned that lesson again today..

Anyway, I came across a interesting movie while surfing my Netflix instant library library. It was entitled And Your Name is Jonah; filmed in the 1980s, it tells the heartbreaking story of a deaf young man Jonah Corelli who was misdiagnosed with mental retardation as a boy. Jonah (Jeffrey Bravin) and his mother (Sally Struthers) face many trials as they struggle to readjust to life in the outside world and as a reunited family. Faced with a decision, she searches high and long for a way to communicate with her son.

You can see parts of the film here:


Friday, May 6, 2011

Review of: After the Fall

Hey Guys ~

It's been a while since I last featured Hallmark 's original movie After the Fall on my blog. If you recall, I was unable to review it because the movie was to be play move will set ed on a channel I was previously unable to receive. As it turns out, Hallmark finally re-aired the program on the channel and as luck would have it, I receive the channel. To recap, the movie tells the harrowing story of a show jumper fighting to walk again after a devastating fall leaves her paralyzed.

The movie stars Andrea Bowen as Jenna Danville; Greg Evigan as Philip Danville; Gail O'Grady as Dr. Susan Miles and Rick Malambri as Will Dutton. Although it is a inspiration as a whole, the movie also sheds light on the impact that depression can have on the disabled community whether a recovery isn't possible. This is done exquisitely through the character of Anna whose last hope is this therapy trial. When it doesn't succeed for her, she is on the verge of giving up and takes matters into her own hands. I won't tell you what happens next but I will say that it changes both of their life forever.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie was this: "Thanks for being a constant reminder that it's not about the chair: it's about your spirit"

For more information about After the Fall, you can go to: http://www.hallmarkmoviechannel.com/afterthefall/home

Monday, May 2, 2011

Courageous: a Movie for All Fathers

So I realize Father's Day is a long way off-what is it like in June or something? But I've been thinking about the role of parents in our life. Fathers specifically (although the title is not limited to certain responsibilities) provide us with a pretty good example of the reality of who God is. In other words, they love and accept us for who we are: not only that, they only want the best for us.

God is the same way. While it's true, humans will always have a propensity to sin and lose their way: Christians have the confidence in knowing God will always be with them. That isn't saying there won't be consequences for their mistakes. There almost always are. But God will welcome us back with open arms.

Lately, my dad has been a constant reminder of this godly example. I can't tell you exactly what's been going on with me lately, but most of it involves just feeling a insurmountable distance from God and not being able to climb it myself. But you know what they say... I think it's something like, "When You Feel Far Away from God, You Are The One That Moved"

It's so true!

On another note, I feel the need to feature a upcoming movie by Sherwood films. Many of you might remember me telling you about such movies as Fireproof and Facing the Giants. Well, they've done it again. This movie follows three firemen as they each struggle to learn what it means to be a father

Check their website out at:http://www.courageousthemovie.com/home

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Encouragement: Listen to Your Heart. Lifetime Movie Network premiere

Welcome back, everyone~
Gearing up for today's post, I came across an interesting movie featured on The Lifetime Movie Network. The movie, entitled Listen to Your Heart, features the compelling and yet complex love story of a deaf young woman and a musician. The situation gets hairy when her mother (Cybill Shepherd) sees the relationship getting more personal and does whatever she can to keep the two apart. It's a very relatable story and highlights the importance of being able to stand up for one's self.

To view the trailer, click here:


Monday, April 25, 2011

Encouragement: Soul Surfer Review


So it's been over three weeks since I have posted a blog on here ... With good reason, though-I celebrated my 31st birthday this month. I know I have a hard time believing it myself. But it's true. That being said, I have had a lot of visitors coming around to help me celebrate my special day. Some of them I've already discussed in previous posts.. You know who you are!

This past week was a college friend who traveled from Michigan to be with me. We had a great time, just hanging out and catching up. At times, we even went to the hair salon and took our own personal tour of Washington DC [from the car, mind you; because I have a wheelchair and my friend had a walker}

For my birthday, we ate at a Japanese restaurant and my parents surprised me with famous Georgetown cupcakes. All in all, it was in unforgettable birthday. Although it still amazes me how some friendships can last a lifetime while others change at the slightest glimpse of difficulty

Onto my real post topic, it's dawned on me that I promised you my readers a personal review of the movie Soul Surfer.For those of you who aren't familiar, the movie tells the harrowing story of professional surfer Bethany Hamilton. What's so special about Bethany? Well for starters, she survived a terrible shark attack: not only that, she lost an arm in the process and still surfs. Even more remarkable, she is a living testimony for the power of Jesus to work in every believer's life no matter what the circumstance.

The movie has an all-star cast with such big names as AnnaSophia Robb (Bethany), Helen Hunt (Mrs. Hamilton), Dennis Quaid (Mr. Hamilton), Lorraine Nicholson (Alana Blanchard, Bethany's childhood best friend), Carrie Underwood (Sarah Hill, Bethany's youth pastor and friend). The list goes on and on.

While it's true a majority of Soul Surfer focuses on Bethany's rise from the ashes, it also spends a great deal of time talking about perspective.One all my favorite scenes involves Carrie Underwood (Sarah Hill) talking about how Christians view the trials of life. To begin, she asked the youth group to identify some pictures. They were unable to because they had been magnified only to show part of the image . "Sometimes we are standing too close to it to see the entire picture," she says. The long-term ramifications being that God knows what's ahead and unfortunately we don't. She reminds them of the significance of Jeremiah 29:11

Another scene featuring Carrie Underwood can be viewed here. It takes place shortly after Bethany's return from the hospital. In this scene, a confused Bethany questions God's will for her life. http://www.soulsurferthemovie.com/page/the-cast.html and then click on Carrie Underwood

Like all of us when change arises, we have difficulty making adjustments. Bethany was no different. At one point, she was offered a prosthetic arm in exchange for a interview; but when she tried using it to support herself on her board, she found it virtually impossible. But still she persevered and shortly before Thanksgiving, Bethany found her way to the water again and also returned to competition: during which time, the judges offered her a 5 min. head start into the water-a advantage she refused

"I don't need easy, I just need possible," Bethany once told her dad while learning to surf with one arm.

After a disappointing finish, she almost gives surfing up. But then she decides to get away and attend her youth group's mission trip Thailand and help those impacted by the earthquake there. It is only then when she looks into the eyes of those whose lives are truly devastated, that she realizes how lucky she is and how giving back not only could impact her life, but the lives of those around her.

I could go on and on with the review. Instead, I will leave you with one final quote as it relates to her having only one arm...

"The list of things have to relearn is extensive, but the things you won't be able to do are so small"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Encouragement: To Institutionalize or To Include Those with Disabilities

That is the question posed on a recent episode of Dateline NBC. At the center of the issue lies the stories of those who are deemed "mentally incapable" or those who are "financially draining". That seemed to be the case for a Russian orphan diagnosed with cerebral palsy. His story was a hopeless one, until someone saw something that the others hadn't-he had potential. The remainder of his story is one filled with inspiration and drama. You can learn more about the story by buying his book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Boy-Baby-House-Nightmare-Orphanage/dp/0312656483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302744217&sr=8-1

Monday, April 11, 2011

Personal Update: Adventures in Baltimore

Welcome Back Readers~

My apologies at being away so long from the blog. Not only has life kept me busy, but I found myself at a crossroads once again. Many times I struggled with myself, wondering whether I should clue readers into my life or keep it separate. Honestly, I don't think I ever came up with an appropriate answer: but I figured I owed you a quick hello.

I have accomplished a lot this month with a new wheelchair evaluation and a visit to Baltimore in order to visit friends. I can hardly believe I've had my current wheelchair anywhere from 5 to 7 years. But this allows me to get a new one in the near future. This one will include some of my old features such as a molded seating system fitted for my growing body as well as the usual tilting system, but will allow me to have more freedom with an individual joystick easily within my range of motion.

Since my surgery, my range has increased little by little, but I have been unable to adapt my current setup to maximize my independence. That's why I'm so excited to see what the next couple of months bring. Things can only get better. Also, thanks to the expertise of the wheel chair seating staff, I was able to solve a current pain issue involving my hip and legs: to make a long story short, it has to do with me sitting for long periods of time and activating the nerve bundles along my thigh and hip area on my right leg. It is unclear whether the problem can be permanently fixed or whether the tilting mechanism will alleviate much of the problem. But I am headed to the doctor for more information tomorrow, but I'm happy to realize there's a name for my discomfort and I'm not imagining it! (My dad always jokes that I have an overactive/imaginative imagination)

On a more positive note, I was able to use this time to visit a child hood friend. It was nice to be able to catch up with Lauren as well as her family. In many ways, I look up to her in seeing how far she has come as an individual as well as a working person. She has never given up on herself and always stayed true to her goal.. Helping others overcome their physical limitations and reach the stars. I'm so proud of you, Lauren!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upcoming documentary "Certain proof" and Asserting One's Independence

"I don't want to live here forever "

"I want to be my own person ! Please help me,"

I was struck by these eye-opening words of Chris Burke as he played the role of Bob, a young person with down syndrome just struggling to become a part of his brother's family. In a way, that's the cry of the entire disabled community-to be seen as individuals capable of living a meaningful life with little assistance from others. The cry becomes even more alarming when society begins to question a person's worth when they are unable to walk, talk or even communicate.

In a new documentary entitled "Certain Proof", producers follow the lives of three distinct families each touched with cerebral palsy. Like most parents, they struggle in wanting to provide the best education they can for their children ; even if it meant fighting to prove their sons or daughters were learning when the schools disagreed.

If you are disabled or have disabled family member, you've heard all of the arguments.

1) We're not equipped to handle such a disability.
     While that may be true, there is funding in every school for children with disabilities. Check out the ADA and be aware of what your rights are. In many cases, this is where having an Individualized Education Plan comes into play

2) We're afraid of the influence the disabled child may have on the other students.
     Again, a plausible concern.. While the children may be afraid at first,
socialization is the key to bridging the gap of understanding. Starting early allows the children more of a chance to connect with each other, seeing past the disability and accepting them.

Bottom line: what right do we have to judge the people that God created? None. Each one of us has a special purpose in this world and who are we to limit ourselves?

For more information on the documentary, go to the following link:


Monday, March 21, 2011

Wheelchair changes and personal reflections

Welcome Back, Folks..

It's clear I haven't been focusing on updating this blog lately. I'm sorry, I've just had lots on my mind lately. For starters, I don't want this blog to be bogged down by negativity and that's all I can seem to focus on right now. I don't know when exactly it started or how long I've been this way. But I find myself changing into someone I don't know.I'm doing my best to hang on to my faith until the storm passes, but I feel as if I'm failing miserably. But those are just my feelings, not reality.

Now for my daily readers, you may realize a very special day is around the corner. That's right: April 21, I'm going to be turning 31. It seems like not too long ago I just turned 30. But in all reality, I have been through a lot this year with my arm surgery and such. I accomplished several goals this year, including being able to drive my wheelchair and getting assessed for another one. Since this wheelchair is over at least five years and I no longer have the need for head controls (although sometimes I found them reliable when my nerves got the best of me) we figured it was time for a change.

Anyway, I'm anxious to see is the progress continues whether the high hopes I had for my new wheelchair are attainable. For one, a new joystick that is within my reach and power buttons accessible by my elbows that are reliable. The ones I have now work intermittently and my friends link you. Joan 9ability to drive is dependent specifically on how I'm placed in the wheelchair.

Now, if any PTs are out there you're probably asking yourself, "Have you continued therapy?" After the surgery, yes, I did. That's when I made great strides in my driving ability. But after a family emergency, the therapist needed to cancel our appointment. Months went by and we never rescheduled.. Looking back, I wonder if that was a mistake.. Not only because I stopped . seeing improvement in driving but because I felt the weekly outings were helping in other ways as well.

Truth be told, there probably are at least one to two more surgeries in my future. Trouble is, which ones are most important. That is, important enough to keep me at home while I'm recovering and putting on hold my dreams to live independently in an apartment someday. Soon, very soon I hope. All questions that need to be answered at some point.

Anyway, my next few posts should be quite interesting ones... The first will tackle a very important question. How do we determine one's worth if they are part of the disabled community unable to talk or have their opinions heard?

Stay tuned.. I hope to have my opinion on that tomorrow

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Encouragement: Soul Surfer

Welcome back~

I know it's been a couple of weeks since my last post. I just haven't heard anything disability newsworthy as of late. That is, until a few days ago.. But first, I would like to extend my sympathies to those impacted by the tragedies in Japan. The country has sure been through a lot these days with the earthquake and the tsunami. Now they are being threatened by a possible nuclear plant explosion.

Times like these really make it clear how connected we truly are: not only as a society, but as a world as well. During these tough times, people are able to look beyond themselves and see the needs of others. They realize what's really important-faith and family and doing whatever they can to help.

On to the disability related part of this post, an upcoming movie features the inspirational story of surfer Bethany Hamilton. What's so special about Bethany, you may ask? For starters, the young girl survived an unthinkable shark attack and lived to talk about it. Not only that, she overcame great odds in order to surf again. You see, she sustained numerous injuries as a result-including but not limited to the loss of her arm.

The movie opens April 8th and I for one can't wait to see it


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Encouragement: Living For Today

Hey Guys~

Today I was reminded of the importance of breathing. No, I'm not just talking about the process of inhaling and exhaling; but actually living every moment with the purpose. Sounds simple, right? I will be the first one to tell you it's not because there are more things in this world do distract you then to help you on your journey. Take for example the application of Facebook. Many people use it as a avenue for contacting friends, displaying photos of recent events, etc. But in actuality, the platform has taken on a mind of its own, featuring mindless and sometimes addictive games.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing because sometimes we need a break or to talk to friends who are miles away. Just try and think about what you are doing.. Is this really necessary or is this just a distraction to keep me from focusing on the real issues in my life.

That's a question that came up as I was playing "baking life" after reading a devotional from Joni Eareckson Tada. The theme: "Who Are You Living for?" As Christians, the answer should be a simple one-God. But sometimes we take God and his grace for granted and EXPECT him to save us when we make a mistake. He does, but that doesn't give us free reign when it comes to sinning.

Read Romans Six and it elaborate this point..

Writing this post, I thought I would make more sense and it turned out completely different than I expected. I'm sorry if I am not clear in my writings and they may turn out to be more ramblings than anything else.

On a personal note, lately I find myself slipping into some of the anxiety-ridden tendencies that I had back in college. I'm guessing it stems from my internal struggle for independence. I know I have limitations that keep me dependent on people. Let's face it. It's always going be that way, but that doesn't mean I don't deserve the opportunity to be on my own in an apartment. After all, I've done it before and survived successfully in Michigan. But when people I work with don't understand that and think I would be better off living at home. I can't handle people like that.. I know there are entitled to their own opinion, but that negativity frustrates me to the point I almost felt sick.

Health issues or not, I'm glad I got that off my chest!

I'm sorry if I don't write tomorrow, I will do my best to remember.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Your Own Show: Series Finale


So things didn't work out exactly like I expected. Going into the last few weeks, I had every intention of updating readers on my life and current disability shows like Your Own show. But I have felt a little distracted and spacey lately. I don't know exactly why, I've just had trouble giving a voice to my thoughts going on inside my head. I seem to have lost focus in what's important.

Anyway, enough about me and onto the real reason for this post. I am thrilled to announce that Kristina and Zach got their own show as a result of being winners for Oprah 's Your Own Show. The decision was an easy one, since both contestants brought their A Game despite being nervous and overcoming sickness while producing their pilot.

The pilot was a three minute snapshot of what each contestant felt their show would be like. For Zach, he entitled his pilot "Rollin Around The World with Zach Anner" and took viewers around some of the highlights of Hollywood, including Hollywood Boulevard and the Kodak Theater as well as many others. In his usual comedic style, he pointed out that not all weather is going to be good for sightseeing, pointing out the smog that sometimes exists in the city. By the end of of shooting, it was clear that Zach was exhausted and some of the teammates that rejoined in order for Zach and Kristina to complete the task didn't think he would be able to do this on a consistent basis.

On the other hand, Kristina had a cooking show in her sights after completing this process. Her goal: getting people out of restaurants and back into the kitchen. With a little help from a friend, Daniel, she was able to overcome her nerves and make the kitchen easily accessible to her viewers

Both Zach and Kristina's shows will be produced by award-winner Mark Burnett. He has produced such reality shows as Survivor etc.


Even though I don't get the network, I am kind of looking forward to seeing whether they post recent episodes of the shows online for each of the contestants or whether you have to get the network to receive the show..

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Your OWN Show: Week 7


Only three contestants are left on Oprah's Your Own Show-Terrey, Zach and Kristina. Unlike most weeks, the contestants were asked to work as individuals in a press junket. The goal was not only to give them a chance to hone their idea for their very own show, but to see how they dealt with the pressure of being in the spotlight.Who was this week's guest host.. None other than Oprah Winfrey's best friend and fellow radio show host Gail King. She offere them some well thought out advice when dealing the press including to be open but know where their boundaries were in things they did not want to discuss. In a surprise twist, Oprah turned out for a few questions..Zach made the best out of the situation by turning the tables and asking Oprah some questions. As always, his humor put her at ease immediately and he was able to really learn from her experience being a veteran host for her show. Although Kristina stumbled, she was able to get back up when Oprah asked her how a cooking show impacted her life.

On the other hand, Terrey was unable to clearly describe her vision for her own show and was eliminated.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Your Own Show: Week Six Recap

Welcome Back~
I hope everybody enjoyed their weekend. For my regular followers, I know I haven't been writing much lately. I'm sorry. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's just that I don't know how to say it or whether I should say it at all. Being a blogger, you're always reminded, "Be careful what you write because once it's out there and published, you can't take it back" or "Don't get to personal" . For me, it's more personal than that though. I want to be authentic with you-a no holds bar type of reader/writer relationship where I can be completely honest in regard to the struggles I encounter on a daily basis in the areas of my faith, disability or independence.

Long story short, I don't want to be fake and want to a positive twist on the information on my blog. But it's not always easy be to do that, so sometimes it's easier to keep to myself and reflect. Anyway, that's what I've been doing lately to try and get myself out of this "disconnected" slump. I spent a number of my days reading Karen Kingsbury's last book of the Above the Line Series, Take Four. Most days, I was able to either find myself in the words of a character or a simple reminder of God and His Existence.

I'm still struggling in certain areas of my life, but that doesn't mean I should stop writing. After all, I'm way behind on certain subjects such as Zach on Your Own Show etc.

That being said, drumroll please..

When we last left our teams, Elizabeth was sent home as a result of not being able to bring it. That left Team VISION to fend for themselves with only two contestants Kristina and Terey while Team FOCUS had three remaining contestants including Zach, Alicia and Ryan. At first glance, it seems like an easy week is ahead when the group realizes that that guest star is none other than financial analyst, Suzie Orman. Not so. As the two teams struggle to find the balance between financial advice and inspirational segment, they are caught in a crossroads. How did they make their dreams of their special guests in this segment, come true without sacrificing the reality of financial constraint among one's means?

In the end, both teams do great in fulfilling the dreams of their guests-thanks to a little help from Oprah. But both Alicia and Ryan are eliminated due to their lack of commitment to the story and time management.

That leaves Zach, Kristina, and Terey still in the running for their own show. In the next post, which I will probably write tomorrow, the three attend a press junket. Now, I know you find out the winner if you really want to, but please stick with me. I will be back. You can see the full episode here: http://www.oprah.com/own-your-own-show/your-own-show.html

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Encouragement: What Would You Do-Wheelchair Discrimination

So this week What Would You Do producers switched things up a little by allowing viewers take the wheel and submitting their own scenarios based on personal experiences. The end result was a jampacked episode fall of issues I'd never thought of, including being discriminated against because of your hair color. One segment tugged at my heart, though. It highlights the ongoing struggle of the disabled community to be looked at as independent people just trying to live as productive citizens in today's society. The idea was submitted by Christina who was born with with spina bifida; her winning entry consisted of a wheelchair-bound person and a overly protective fellow customer.

The goal: to not only shed light on the sometimes condescending treatment (yet well-meaning) of the disabled.. It also struggles to answer the age-old question: To Help or Not to Help?


Monday, February 21, 2011

My Reflections: Disconnected

Hello everyone~

Let me begin this post by being completely honest. I haven't been around updating my blog on purpose. It's hard enough putting into words what's been going on in my life lately and to put it on paper it's even harder. I'm just feeling really disconnected in every aspect of my life right now. That's why my post have been somewhat factual and lacking its usual passion. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I'm still around. I'm praying that I will be "real" and in touch with myself again soon, so I don't feel like this forever.
For now, I believe this song accurately portrays what I'm going through.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Your Own Show Episode 5 Recap


As previously reported, Elizabeth was eliminated on episode five of Your Own Show-not without some drama though. In last week's episode, guest star Daisy Fuentes helped the teams create a commercial for Kohl's as well as featuring her clothing line . Fresh off of Tony's exit, team Focus struggled to find their groove. Ryan not only lacked his usual comedic confidence and ease. That became even more apparent when he resisted being Executive Producer of the commercial. Of course, no one could blame him; it is after all a woman's clothing line they were selling. Even still, they pulled it together thanks to a very insightful on air interview with Zach helping them to win the challenge.

On the other hand, things got even more difficult for team Vision. After an ongoing disagreement about not standing up for herself on the last show, Terey had enough. She insisted on being the on-air talent for the commercial portion while Kristina ended up with the role of Executive Producer. That left Elizabeth to do the reporting. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. In my opinion, Elizabeth wasn't prepared and left Kristina with the difficult task of trying to pick up the slack.

You can view the episode online here:


Next Week, financial guru Suzy Orman puts the groups through their paces!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kyle West story

Hey Guys,

I came across this webpage thanks to my father. It features the inspiring story of young Kyle West (well not so young anymore). He not only lives with CP, but dared to voice the question on his heart: "What would God do with a boy with cerebral palsy? There are billions of other kids out there, why would he want to use me?" Now in college, West recognized how God used that conversation with Dobson to change not only his life but audiences around the world.
Please take a look:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Karen Kingsbury's "like Dandelion Dust" Movie Review

Hey Guys~

So as many of you know, I am a huge Karen Kingsbury fan!! Not only because of her ability to write Christian novels with such ease, but because she lives out her faith .. In the public eye and out. As I have stated in previous posts, she has the uncanny ability to write the reality of daily life with unabashed honesty;The kind that grips readers and pulls them into the story, allowing them to take center stage. Her novels are real and relatable, touching readers where it counts the most-their hearts! Through her words, the love of the Lord has been shared changing lives.

In fact, a recent motion picture was based one of Karen Kingsbury's books.The novel, which is entitled "Like Dandelion Dust"chronicles the lives of two families-the Porter's and the Campbell's. The Porter's who are riddled with regret over past mistakes seek to redeem themselves, when they decide to get their son back.(While the storyline details are important, I have decided to keep it short because they are kind of complex. Basically, the child was adopted because the mother was unable to care for their child and the father was in jail.
In a twisted turn of events, the child was adopted illegally since the father's signature turns out to be forged. As a result, Joey is caught in the crossfire. In the end, the decision is made to return the boy with a transition of three visits. The Campbell's are devastated, seeking every opportunity to keep the boy).

The movie was gripping, by all accounts. But I can't help but think that Karen Kingsbury's magic got lost. I haven't read the book, mind you. But it just missed that spark true of all of her novels.

Just my opinion.

Rent the movie for yourself and tell me what you think..


Monday, February 7, 2011

Your OWN Show: Week Five-"Doin' it with Style"

-Welcome Back Everyone~

As previously stated, this post will be a sneak peak of Your OWN Show because of inability to receive the program on my cable lineup. By the end of the week, I should have a more in-depth review episode. But for now, here is what I was able to surmise. First of, guest star
Daisy Fendiaz (sp?) joins gang to teach them the ins and outs of creating and editing a commercial. The focus: fashion.

For Team Vision's commercial, comedian and contested Terrey pretends to have a fashion emergency; on the other hand, Team Focus's commercial features a woman looking through a magazine and daydreaming about the fashion show she could have with the clothes.

Stay tuned for more later on in the week..

Friday, February 4, 2011

Your OWN show: recap

So as predicted, Zach survived week 4 on your OWN show. But that wasn't the most surprising turn of events-Dr. Roach actually left the program after a disagreement with another contestant. Why? Because he was upset about being called out for his uncomfortable demeanor on the camera. When the other contestant apologizes in a private letter, Dr. Roach insists that it be read aloud. To view the episode, follow the following link:

Monday, January 31, 2011

My Reflections: How Much Faith Is Enough

Hey Guys~

Watching the movie Joshua always the same affect on me; thrilling me and making me cry at the same time. Why? Because I believe one day my Lord will come again and take me home to be with Him. Not only that but I will be no longer limited by my disability. As entertainment worthy as the movie is, it always leaves me wondering.. How much faith is enough?

Don't get me wrong, struggling is a part of life; it builds character and a deeper sense of what's really important in life. But it also has the ability to make you question who you are and what you believe. That's always the case when I view the scene of the woman at the revival.

Basically in the tent sits two women along with a crowd of witnesses. The so-called faith healer says: "Who wants to be healed today?" The woman in the front row answers saying "I do"; unbeknownst to the audience she is not really unable to walk but instead is working with him to get money. On the sidelines, a blind woman just sits back and "watches" the situation unfold until Joshua walks in.

He sees the injustice being done and desires to set things right in God's name. Not only so that the healer would recognize his wrongdoing and come to Him instead, but also so the young blind woman with the "true faith" would be rewarded.

"I know what's in your heart," Joshua says and with that she is healed. (I have included the YouTube clip here because it is a very powerful scene in itself and I don't think I did it justice. I was unable to embed it because it was not allowed by the user of the clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNWrvG3GMEw&feature=related )

Now, I'm not perfect; in fact I feel far from the lately. In fact, I let the littlest things frustrate me and it usually results in a lot of negative thoughts and I end up blaming myself for and afterwards. I'm a sinner and I always will be, but somehow watching this movie makes me feel closer to him. It's hard to believe but God does in fact know our hearts during our bad days and good days. He loves us no matter what always, but we have a choice to do our best and to love him back.

I just wish I could feel God like this every day.

Until next time,

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your OWN show: Week Four

Welcome back~

Since my parents changed their cable lineup, I have been unable to watch Zach on Your Own Show. That being said, it's going to take me a little longer to update you on the contestants left on the show. The Oprah Winfrey network website does provide the full episode online; but it seems a week after it airs. From what I gather, week four features guest cooking star Chris Stone helping team FOCUS and VISION in producing a cooking segment. This segment seems to feature Zach as executive producer and Tony as the on camera talent. I'm sorry but that all of the information I could gather from the small web episode provided. Hopefully, the full episode is posted soon so I can give you a more detailed synopsis.

On the bright side, I think Zach is still in the running for his own show. Keep representing, Zach. I am rooting for you! Thanks for showing what people with disabilities can do despite the obstacles they face on a daily basis.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Encouragement: American Idol Contestant Shows True Commitment and Loyalty


So I don't usually use this blog for entertainment purposes, but I thought these contestants deserved special mention. American Idol is certainly going to me different without Paula and Simon but they haven't stopped serving up very inspirational stories. Especially that of the contestant Chris Medina, the committed fiancé even after the unthinkable strikes. You can read more about their stories here:


Monday, January 24, 2011

Your OWN Show: Week Three


So this week teams FOCUS and VISION tickle our funny bone with the help of guest star Arsenio Hall. For the first part of the assignment, teams were asked to assign the role of Executive Producer to a member. In a stunning twist, team VISION decided to have comedian Terey behind the camera instead of on stage. In the same way, team FOCUS also took a risk by letting Dr. Roach be Executive Producer.

Each segment consisted of two essentials found in the typical late-night talk show-the monologue and a one-on-one interview. First up, team FOCUS begins their show with a hilarious monologue by Zach. The contestant comes on stage with the desk attached to his wheel chair. At which point, he goes into this long dialogue comparing himself to Lady Gaga. "Your move," he says, smiling. Alicia continues the segment with a in-depth interview with Arsenio Hall. Some of her questions included ones like "What's next?" and "How does growing up in the church influence your comedy today?"

Team VISION wasn't so lucky. Although Kristina gave a funny monologue about being new to America, Aunt Flora's interview fell flat in my eyes. In the end, team FOCUS won the challenge, leaving Terrey and Aunt Flora fighting for their life. They gave Terrey another chance.

Friday, January 21, 2011

My reflections: Twice a week is better than nothing, I guess

Dear Friends and Family;
As I begin this post, I can't help but have mixed feelings with how the last few weeks have progressed. I'm sure you've read about my health difficulties that keep me from writing my usual three times a week. I'm recovering slowly, only to have days where my "condition" seems to rear its ugly head as if to say, "You are not through with me yet!" And so the process begins again. But still, we persevere.
I say we because my family seems to be encountering a rough patch as well. After helping my brother and sister in law move into a new house, the chaos has still continued with my mom trying to help out by painting their old place and getting it ready for the new renters. Yet again, we were hit by another obstacle; my mom got sick. This just reminds me of something a college pastor once told us in a sermon, "Expect the Unexpected" he said. Because truthfully life never turns out like we planned; as much as we like our lists, priorities and sticky notes, they don't work at all.

Trust me, I should know.

Anyway, I have learned through the Bible study with my Skype friends that the only way life can really have an impact is if you let the Holy Spirit work through you on a daily basis. It's one of the hardest lessons to learn, but one of the best.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Your OWN show: Zach survives again!

Welcome back-
This last week, teams DRIVEN and FOCUS had their fashion sense tested. The mentor and expert witness for the segment was fashion designer Vera Wang. Although I didn't watch the show in its entirety, the two groups were supposed to find someone deserving of a makeover and use their segment to tell a story. (Before I go on, I apologize if I have the teams confused).Team Focus was inspired by the touching story of a how a mother daughter bond helps a breast cancer survive treatment: while Team Driven focused more on the transformation itself . That left the executive producer of Driven and another contestant fighting for a second chance. Long story, Zach made it through another round. I do find it quite puzzling however that Zach is often hard to make out in the commercial for the show.

Friday, January 14, 2011

John Dye of TBAA died of heart failure on Monday

Welcome back~

Today, I am saddened to report one of my favorite cast members on Touched By An Angel has died. The Mississippi born star with a disarming smile played the Angel of death suffered heart failure on Monday. Other popular roles included guest starring on "Promised Land" and "Murder, She Wrote"


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Important Update

Okay Guys~

In answer to your question, yes, I am still here and I have every intention of writing on this blog in the new year. I just encountering some personal (disability-related) problems that cause me to be away from the computer much of the time. I will spare you the details, as I'm sure many of you can guess the problems I have encountered. Time away from my computer has made me realize how much I rely on technology and will never take it for granted again. However, it has also made me aware that I may be on to many social networks for one person.

Food for thought.

Anyway, I hope to be back to my normal routine with a week or so. Getting a new wheelchair seating arrangement might help my issues as well

Friday, January 7, 2011

Your OWN Show: Zach made it!

Hello everyone;
Last year, I introduced you to a young man named Zach who had cerebral palsy. Known for his witty YouTube clips, he has a unique ability to disarm contestants and shed light on current issues and opinions. He's taken his talent to new heights as a contestant on your OWN show. Zach is just one of nine contestants from a wide range of backgrounds and all walks of life
New Episodes air every Friday it nine o'clock.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Disabled boy looks beyond his own needs, into the needs of others!

Hey Guys,

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition started the new year out with a bang by featuring the story of Garrett Grommesh and his family. Garrett is confined to a wheelchair and found itt difficult to maneuver through his own home. So the crew took to the task of building them a carrier free household, but instead of tearing down the old house and starting fresh. Garrett decided he wanted to pay it forward by having his own home relocated and giving it to a close friend and her family-another family in need.

The rest of the story is also inspiring..

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