Thursday, November 11, 2010

For a Day, OMR Becomes Part of The Working Woman Blog Tour

Hey gang!

Today, we have Rosemary Flaaten, author of A Woman and Her Workplace joining us as a guest author. Enjoy the read!

My coworker loves to gossip about the rest of the staff behind their backs. How do I deal with it
when she wants to unload the dirt on me? What if I’m the subject of her chitchat?
Workplace Gossip
by Rosemary Flaaten
Gossip is a nemesis that runs rampant in workplaces. A tantalizing snippet of information or a morsel of
exaggerated juicy news goes a long way to spice up a humdrum work environment. But, left unchecked, it creates a
toxic environment that will suck the health out of workplace relationships.
The effects of gossip can only be felt when they are passed from one coworker to another. When your gossiping
coworker starts to share with you the latest bit of ofDice gossip, it is best to simply stop it. Interrupt her monologue
and say “I really don’t want to hear this about this person. I don’t want to get drawn into gossip”. You’re not
slamming her behavior; you are simply setting boundaries on your involvement. Chances are she will be surprised
and may even mutter something like “Well, you’re no fun.” or sarcastically exclaim, “Aren’t you all high and mighty.
We’ll give you the Miss Perfect award.”
Unfortunately, you may Dind that your unwillingness to participate in her gossip circle may make you the brunt of
her gossip. But, know that doing the right thing is always the best rule. Perhaps your courage to stand up and stop
being engaged in the gossip will make a positive impact on the workplace environment.
Jesus had a great deal to say about how to get along with the people in our lives who are our enemies – people who
gossip about us and even slander our character. Jesus evidenced for us the value of speaking the truth in love but
He went even further to give us relational pointers that will reverse the toxic nature of gossip. C.S. Lewis referred to
the topsy‐turvy nature of God’s kingdom and these four points from Luke 6:27‐28 are indeed counter‐cultural:
1. Love your enemies ‐ If loving your coworkers is too high of a hurdle to stride, use the work care instead. Caring
for this coworker means that you will not force your convictions on her; you will forgive her for the offensives she
has made against you and you will take pleasure in only the truth about her. If this seems impossible – you’re right,
it is, on our own. We must open our heart to God and allow His love to Dlow into us so that we can become the
conduit of Love to those people who desire evil against us.
2. Do good to those who hate you – Kindness disarms hostility. Find ways to show kindness to her, even while she
continues to gossip or slander you. Raise the bar. You have the opportunity to bring kindness and benevolence into
the workplace.
3. Bless those who curse you – blessings involves desiring good things to happen to and for others. Blessing is the
antithesis of retaliation. When given a chance to say something unkind about someone who has been spreading
gossip, choose to Dind something good to say about them. Follow the adage “If you can’t say something nice, don’t
say anything at all.”
4. Pray for those who mistreat you – As Christ hung on the cross, he prayed for those who had orchestrated his
cruciDixion. Praying allows God to transplant our bruised heart with a supple heart that turns our focus to God
rather than the mistreatment we have received by the words of others. True heart change will occur when we start
It is never our responsibility to try to change the gossiping habit of our coworkers. We are simply responsible for
our behavior. Deciding that we will not even be a receiver of gossip will break the cycle. Being on the receiving end
will necessitate a decision between retaliation and love. Treating our enemies the way we would want to be treated
is living out the Golden Rule.

Rosemary Flaaten’s successful book, A Woman and Her Relationships helps women process their outside-ofwork
relationships, so now she’s delving into these 9-5 relationships in A Woman and Her Workplace. Her
Relationships book won The Word Guild Award, which is Canada's top Christian literary honor. A dynamic
speaker—Rosemary challenges women of all professions to view their work as a calling and their workplaces as
opportunities to live out Christ’s love. Rosemary lives with her husband and three children in Calgary, Canada.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What In the World Is Going On, Dr. David Jeremiah review

Hey gang!

We keep asking the question, “How bad can it get?” Unemployment is still high, BP is still cleaning up the Gulf Coast, our dollars are going down the toilet, so what else can happen? In David Jeremiah’s book, What In the World Is Going On?, 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford to Miss, these questions get tackled.

Without giving up all the clues, I can tell you that this book is insightful into the current world. Here are just a few things I learned from the book. I didn’t know that the US is 13th in oil production in the world. Most of the top producers are in the Middle East, but I didn’t realize how far down we were and how much that affects power in the global scale.

That isn’t enough for you. Dr. Jeremiah explains how Israel was born and what conflict that it caused and continues to cause today. My favorite part of the book was the explanation that America might not be a big world player by the final days. He explains everything thoroughly with scripture and with what has already happened in world events.

This book is a must read for anyone trying to figure out “What in the World is Going On?”

I love you guys!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneakers At Work Day is September 17, Rosemary Flaaten Joins Us

Hey gang!

Learned about a day that I never knew about and wanted to share it with you. Friday is National Sneakers At Work Day. Well, I will let Rosemary Flaaten, author of A Woman and Her Workplace, talk a little about her obsession with sneakers. Enjoy a fun holiday with lighter shoes in the workplace.

Stilettos and Integrity? How about Sneakers?
By Rosemary Flaaten

By the fifth block I was done. Although my four-inch stilettos made my legs look long and lanky, they also made my previously innocuous little toe scream with pulsating pain. Walking to and from my business luncheon in fancy high heels had been my biggest mistake of the day. Where were my sneakers when I really needed them?

The craze started over 20 years ago when women, following the lead of the Silver Screen, started donning their sneakers in place of stilettos. The wise woman prized comfort over fashion, elevating her “right” to wear sneakers from her front door to her desk without anyone giving a second glance. It didn’t matter how matronly she looked or how disjointed her business appearance, functionality was given prominence.

So why have my sneakers been collecting dust in my front closet while my stilettos need new heels?

As I pondered this question, I realized that my choice between stilettos or sneakers is indicative of a greater question regarding my integrity at my workplace. Sneakers are stable, no nonsense, functional and take-me-as-I-am footwear. Stilettos are representative of my desire to fit the business mold and improve my appearance. In essence, I hope to portray a version of myself that looks better than reality. Likewise, how often are the choices I make around telling the truth or shading the truth based on my desire to fit in, to make myself look better or to prop up my lagging competency?

It has become socially acceptable to fudge the truth (even just ever so slightly) in order to increase our likeability. Robert Feldman, in his book The Liar in Your Life, quoted a study indicating that the average person lies three times every ten minutes in a conversation. The intention of these lies is not to manipulate. Rather, people lie so that they come across more interesting, likable and desirable. Sounds a little like stilettos.

Our propensity to shade or embellish the truth has strong ramifications in our workplace. When the boss calls to see if we’ve done the big project and we respond “Yep, just about” when we know that we’re only about 25% finished, we may find ourselves in a situation where we must continue to shade the truth in order to save our skin. One lie is seldom enough. When (not if) our untruthfulness is discovered, we will have a much more difficult task rebuilding the eroded trust.

If deception is telling and living a life of lies, then living honest is conveying truth no matter the consequences. Living honestly means we live authentically; but integrity takes this a step further. Unlike children who lie to get themselves out of sticky situations, integrity calls out greatness and gives evidence of maturity. In the workplace, we start with honesty, add authenticity, and then our character culminates with integrity.

In defense of all stiletto-loving working women, please don’t interpret my use of this metaphor to suggest that stilettos are wrong and sneakers are better. Rather, on this “sneakers at work" day, may it be a reminder that being a person of integrity will always be better than trying to make yourself look better. In the long run, sneakers will take you further than stilettos. Not just my feet will attest to that truth!

You can read more of Rosemary at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You Can't Take God Away

Hey gang!

Tonight, one of my close friends here in town came to me on the internet. He gave me the good news and the bad news. The good news was that he was asked to represent his Christian organization on his college campus at the college student government meetings. I thought, “Man, that is awesome! You can really reach people for Christ this way.”

Then he gave me the bad news, the student government wants to do a couple of events that don’t sit well with him and the organization. He wants to speak out and say why they don’t agree, but there is fear. The organization is already being harassed by the college gay and lesbian group with threats of trying to take them off campus.

I won’t talk about two of the three events. Let’s just say that they aren’t things that Christians will want to be a part of. My attack plan is simple. If you can’t beat them and they are going to have the event whether you say yes or no, give them an alternative. I don’t mean student government. I mean the people here. They can run their event and you can offer a post-party or a booth near the event to evangelize. You are not running against the events, you are offering people truth and a choice.

The third item I will mention. The gay and lesbian group suggested a day of silence. They are tired of being harassed while walking around and I do understand that. But I think their targets are wrong. I would care to bet it isn’t Christians harassing them. It is ignorant people that are harassing them. They are ignorant as to why gays and lesbians would even choose their lifestyle. Truthfully, ignorant people don’t want to know. They want you to know you are different. Ignorant people give the same language to Christians, too.

But the day of silence is a great idea. I wish every campus across the United States tried this out. Why? Glad you asked. Here’s the thing, in my silence YOU CAN’T TAKE GOD AWAY!

Sure, I can’t walk around and talk with you about Christ today. You don’t want to hear the Word of God for one reason. The Word of God NEVER returns void. He promises us that. If you hear the Word, you now walk under the conviction of the Word. It just might put groups out of people.

OK, I understand. So, yes, I love a day of silence. Here are the rules. I will shut up provided you let me be a Christian in every other way. I promise not to put up signs. I won’t need them. Are you worried about all the noise in the student union? There won’t be any. I can still pray. I can still read my Bible. Most importantly, I can still be a Christian by example of following your rule of keeping my mouth shut. You may not hear me. But God will. And so will others who are watching. Some of those other groups will look and go, “You know, those Christians respected our rights and we respected theirs. There may be a middle ground. There may also be evidence that things need to change.”

Above is a video of Audio Adrenaline’s You Can’t Take God Away. I hope that it inspires Christians that want to be the example rather than speak the example that they can still make a difference in silence. Here are the words to this powerful song.

Lyrics | Audio Adrenaline lyrics - Can't Take God Away lyrics

Just remember my friends, YOU CAN’T TAKE GOD FROM ME!

I love you guys!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Not Forget...But Neither Will They

Hey gang!

Today is September 11th and I don’t need to tell you what happened nine years ago. Every year I get asked where I was. I can tell you easily. I had just finished the night shift at SunTrust’s call center and drove home. My friend Alvin was visiting because Night of Joy was the previous weekend. He was still asleep when I got home and I told my grandmother that I was going to sleep for a few hours.

Before I fell asleep, I decided to watch some TV. The local area had a tire plant that had recently caught fire and when I saw the smoke, I thought it was just more pictures of the scene at the plant. I had no idea that the smoke they were showing was from the World Trade Center. I flipped off the TV and slept for about two hours.

Alvin woke me to tell me what had happened. For the next three hours, we were glued to the TV. I couldn’t watch any more. We knew that Disney and Sea World were closing or had already closed so we figured to drive around and see what we could do. We stopped at a mall out near Disney and they decided to close at 3pm. Not much time for shopping.

That night, I still had to go to work. We were surprised that work was still going on, but I think all of us needed it to know that the world was still going on. Most of the night, we were able to talk because other than people checking balances occasionally, it was pretty quiet.

I remember in the days after that we decided to visit the Holy Land Experience. While other theme parks were closed or having limited hours, the Holy Land was on schedule and it was busy. One of the positive things that came out of the experience was that some of the population had a hunger to understand God more than ever.

I also remember the number of flags and flag decals and all the pro-USA stuff that was on cars, houses and businesses. There was such a unity of pride for our country. It is the likes of which I have not seen before or since. One bumper sticker said it all, “Don’t Mess With the U.S.”

Before long, we saw Congress pass a bill to proclaim the day Patriot Day. America began to use the day to take pride in country and another time to honor the veterans that protect and serve to give us the freedom that we have.

As citizens here in the United States, the slogan of the day has become We Will Not Forget. I think that has positive and negative connotations though. The positive remembrances are easy. We remember the 3,000+ people that gave their lives that day. Almost everyone I know either lost a family member or a friend, or it seems that way. These people are remembered for the differences they made in the lives of those that were left behind. They are loved.

The negative connotations are also easy, even though most of us really don’t want to talk about them. First, the United States now understands that we are no longer secure in that terrorism won’t happen to us. It was a wake-up call. A bitter, nasty reminder that the world does not all love us.

September 11th also reminds us that whether we want to believe it or not, racism still exists. While we united as a country, every person that is Muslim in America or looks like one is looked at differently. There is that look of “Can I really trust them?” out the corner of peoples’ eyes. While it might be somewhat good to be skeptical, it isn’t good to go full tilt and say things like, “Can’t trust a Muslim, period.”

The one thing I’ll say here that has come out of the last few days with this pastor and his congregation wanting to burn Korans (or Qu’ Rans), is that every group of people has a few nut jobs that the rest of the group wish would just go away. As badly as I wish these people in Florida would go back under the rock they came from, many Muslims wish that the terrorist acts never happened. I think both sides of the equation realize that what this small number of overzealous crazies try to do make everyone look bad.

But this celebration of what is now Patriot Day and our slogan of We Will Not Forget leaves me with one question that should make us all uncomfortable. Before I ask it, let me say here first that I know that most Muslims do NOT think this way and I am speaking of these extremists that love the acts of terrorism that was done here and everywhere else in the world.

The question is this: Knowing that we commemorate today, do you think that there are some that treat today like a holiday in the other way? That the extremists treat today as some High Holy Day of victory over the evil USA and/or Christianity? Are there parties going on somewhere in Afghanistan, Iraq, or even right here in the U. S. of A. celebrating that America and/or Christianity had their hat handed to them today?

I know that’s a scary thought. We Will Not Forget, however, I don’t think they will either.

I love you guys!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Be Inspired To Make a Difference By Max Lucado's Outlive Your Life

Hey gang!

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Can God really use me?” The answer is yes, yes, all the more, YES! Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make a Difference is the latest book by world renowned author Max Lucado.

Throughout the book, he continues to demonstrate that God uses common people today just like he used common people in the day of the book of Acts. Every chapter begins with a story about someone from recent history or from his own life and connects that person to a story from the Bible. The illustrations are magnificent and the connections are seamless.

If you are looking for encouragement in seeking God’s vision for you, Outlive Your Life is definitely for you. One of the best illustrations that you’re never too young to pursue living for God is nine year-old Caleb. He is described as a boy that “plays basketball, avoids girls, and wants the kids of El Salvador to have clean drinking water.”

God can and will use you. Lucado shows you that a ragtag bunch of guys that Jesus handpicked were just like us. They ended up changing the world for Christ. After reading this book, you will feel energized to do the same.

I love you guys!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven review-Baseball Didn't Learn the First Time

Hey gang!

This is a book review weekend. Tonight, you’ll get to see what I thought of The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven and tomorrow, we’ll be talking about Max Lucado’s Outlive Your Life.

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven is not a Christian book per se, but I do think you’ll receive some good value. Baseball fans of the era I grew up in (the late 70’s-early 80’s) will find the book dynamic.

The book begins in my favorite year to be a Pittsburgh Pirate fan, 1979. The Pirates were “The Fam-A-Lee” and won the World Series overcoming an insurmountable 3-1 deficit to the Baltimore Orioles. The story begins talking about something new in the city of Pittsburgh that year, my all time favorite bird, The Pirate Parrot. Kevin Koch (pronounced Coke) was hired for the gig and lasted five seasons donning the outfit. The pronunciation gives you a clue as to where this story is heading.

The book delves into the lives of seven men including Koch that ended up arrested and imprisoned years later for turning several Pirates and many other baseball names on to cocaine. But the story is more than that. It also looks at the lives of several baseball players that took the drug and ended the story with immunity instead of going to jail.

We hear the story of Rod Scurry. A kid drafted to play in Pittsburgh that loved the game and left for summer ball two days after graduation. He signed and wanted to get started. We get to see how he made it to Pittsburgh, began cocaine use, how it affected him and in the end, his eventual death in 1992. It saddened me to see how much love he had for the game and with cocaine, that love didn’t matter anymore. The high mattered, the party mattered and his life fell apart.

That’s the sad part of this whole story is the promise of good to great players and how cocaine flushed those dreams and aspirations. Lonnie Smith, who goes down in history as the only player to ever play for three different World Series champions in the same decade, admitted in the Curtis Strong trial of 1985 that the game didn’t matter much at all. It was just something that had to be done until the next party.

The story also shared the lives of the men that had to put the puzzle together of the FBI and the US Attorney’s office. They share how they caught up to different players in this saga and how they got the players to turn over information on the seven men.

There is also the colorful Curtis Strong trial in September. This also introduced us to the lawyer that put baseball on trial during this time. The lawyer’s name was Adam Renfroe and as a teen by then, I remembered his flashy clothes as he stood on the city building’s steps and even remarked at the time that he looked like a pimp. However, this lawyer in pimp’s clothing broke down several players and showed that drug use in baseball was widespread in the 70’s and 80’s. Ironically, years later, he would be busted for doing cocaine and then admitted that he had been using for 16 years.

The toughest part of reading this book was seeing one of my boyhood idols be the centerpiece of this book, two time National League MVP Dave Parker. For years I could not remember the exact date, but it was July 20, 1980 that charted a course of history. It was Willie Stargell Day and I still have the coins from the game. During one of the doubleheader games, guys about 20 rows below me began throwing batteries at Parker. I remember being 11 years old at the time in total confusion as to why someone would do that. The reasoning behind the throwing was Parker’s million dollar a year salary. It also began the ball rolling on Parker heading toward the exit door.

However, throughout the book, author Aaron Skirboll doesn’t just show Parker as a user, but almost like a middleman to the team. He helped hook Pirates John Milner, Scurry, Dale Berra and guys on other teams like current Reds manager Dusty Baker. That disappointed me. What did make me feel better was that Parker got clean in 1983 around the time his daughter was born. He didn’t want her to see life like that.

I ran into Parker a few years back at Spring Training thanks to my friend Bill Morton. We talked briefly, but I didn’t get to share with him that I was there that day in 1980 and even though his career didn’t work out like he wanted it to, that I still admired him as a player and more as a man for having the guts to walk away from the drug.

There was a section that talks about current Met announcer and 1979 National League Co-MVP Keith Hernandez. Hernandez had denied repeatedly that he did cocaine and then admitted it in court at the Strong trial. The story tells that Hernandez went back to New York and was given a hero’s welcome of standing ovations. The judge of the trial discussed how disappointed he was with fans that they would give a criminal such praise. However, I understand fans. If you remember during the Steroid scandal that San Francisco Giants fans continued to celebrate as Barry Bonds marched toward history. It is very much the same thing. One, Hernandez was never convicted of anything. Two, fans of baseball are much like owners of baseball. We don’t mind drug use, convictions or anything else bad happening to other teams’ guys, but we will stand behind our guys. I look at how heartbreaking the whole Mark McGwire thing became and even though I am not an A’s or Cardinals fan, I stood behind him because of what he did for the game of baseball. You will remember that the next year, not only was Hernandez ELECTED to the All Star Game, but he also helped the Mets bring home their first championship since 1969. Of course, Hernandez is a hero.

The best part of the book for me was the aftermath section. Skirboll gave us a where are they now placing of all the people involved. He also focused on Major League Baseball’s mistake not to press the drug issue in 1986. Even though he didn’t talk about the Steroid Era, he showed you why it happened. It happened because MLB and the Players’ Union could not get together. The biggest reason was greed. Twenty years later, that greed blew up in their faces.

I’ll close with a thought that many people will disagree with me on. A lot of critics say that the drug era of baseball will go down as Bud Selig’s problem. However, I strongly disagree with that. Seeing how hard it was for then Commissioner Peter Ueberroth to even try to turn the tide, Bud Selig should go down as the Commissioner that was able to change baseball and begin to straighten it up. Mr. Selig met the issue head on, yes in part thanks to Congress, but with that help was able to get the Players’ Union to begin working toward making this whole drug problem in baseball go right.

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven is a must read for any baseball fan that wants to examine how drugs affected this great game of ours. If you are a Pirate fan in the “Fam-A-Lee” generation, you definitely want to read this to see how it all came unraveled. I came out of the book a bigger fan of the game understanding its pitfalls. I also came out of this book a bigger fan of Lonnie Smith. Smith made a great comment that he knew he was never a Hall of Famer, but that he would have been so much better without the drugs. He also said that of most of the players, he was one of the few who tried to cooperate with baseball. He went to rehab, he spoke publicly about the time on drugs and yet baseball tried to not do him right. You’ll have to read the back of the book more to understand.

The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven gets five stars because I was in this book from page 1. I hated putting it down until I finished it. History repeated itself with drugs, thankfully the game is getting cleaner than the first time.

I love you guys!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

You Changed My Life: The Long Lasting After Effects

Hey gang!

Last night, after I finished my review of Max Lucado’s You Changed My Life, I began thinking. I know, you are thinking, “Frank, that’s dangerous! Stop yourself!” A changed life often has a ripple effect.
In the early 1990’s, DC Comics did a very poor comic book series across their entire universe called Armageddon. In the series, Matthew Ryder became Waverider, a man who had built a time machine in the future and returned to the past to try to stop his terrible present from being true. His present was that a super hero became a ruler named Monarch (inventive, right?) and he wiped out all the other heroes to rule as he pleased. He ended up ruling the Earth into the ground.

Waverider kept touching heroes and seeing if they could indeed become Monarch. It was a neat little ability he had to be able to read the person’s future by this manner. However, each time he did so, it changed the future. After a whole summer of crossovers and making me buy several comics that I would never normally purchase, the Monarch was revealed and beaten.

However, DC felt that they had not had enough fun with Waverider and continued to use him. Two years later, they ended up using him to help the heroes find who else was taking them to a time called Zero Hour. Overall, in this edition, another hero was playing God and wanted to make a planet that would be better. In the end, they tore up one of the greatest heroes in history in Hal Jordan, the greatest of the Green Lanterns. Yes, that includes Guy Gardner.

Again, as timelines were crossed the ripple effect took place and changed both present and future. Last time, I told you about Mrs. Booth, my senior English teacher and how her presence changed my life. With 23-24 years passed since that year under her care, I thought how different things could have been if she had not been my teacher.

We’ll begin with the obvious. There would have been no college for me. At least, not in the sense that I went to Fairmont State and became an elementary teaching graduate four and a half years later. I did have other aspirations and I occasionally wonder what would have happened if I had taken those turns.

I could have gone into radio. I long had a desire to announce sporting events and with my background in many of the sports statistically, I had the knowledge to go that direction. Those that know me also know that I have a clef pallet that I was born with. Fortunately, I did not have a hairlip to go with it. Unfortunately, the small hole in the roof of my mouth left me with a little vibration that sounds like a weird laugh if I don’t close my mouth quick enough after speaking. It’s really annoying when I am nervous. People throughout my life have made fun of it and it could have been a deterrent from radio stations giving me a chance.

The other thought that I almost pursued was signing up for Devry University and their computer tech program. I am average in brains (which may be a reach in some people’s minds) and it would have been very hard to learn, but it could have been a good career for me. I would’ve seen Chicago much more than I ever have living three hours from it now.

Without college, I never would have met Eddie Gennoy. Eddie and I became friends in English classes that I took at the college and he persuaded me to begin writing for The Columns, FSC’s newspaper. After a semester of writing fluff comedy and entertainment pieces, he helped hand me the Sports Editor position. I took off almost immediately and wrote plenty between 1992-94 because of that friendship.

With no Mrs. Booth, I also would never have bothered to find my father again. At 16, I was very angry at my dad for leaving my mom behind and leaving me to desperately seek male role models as I grew up. After meeting him in 1991 on my first trip to Alaska, he even told me that I probably was better off being raised by my mom. Without those meetings, however; I would never have understood medical histories that I have or spiritual tendencies that have miraculously passed through generations, including the good and the bad.

Without making that effort, dad wouldn’t have agreed to help pay my way through college. He realized that without him, it just wasn’t going to happen. While people have criticized my dad, including myself at times, this was the one great thing that I give him credit for. I have all the knowledge that I have because he helped mom make that opportunity possible. To me, that might be his greatest legacy.

I also would not have ever known if he received God or not. If you look back at my article on Father’s Day, I learned that news at his visitation and funeral. Because of that trip to Alaska to meet him, it intensified my wanting to know my siblings. I have two sisters and a brother today because seeing pictures of them gave me the hunger to know them.

Finally, without Mrs. Booth pressing me on toward college, she indirectly put me face to face with the man I give credit for helping walk the final years toward Christ, my friend Alvin Smith. Alvin and I knew each other in high school through other friends, but in college, our friendship cemented. We hung out and probably should own stock in the Hardee’s Corporation for as many sandwiches and fries that we ate there. It was that final year from 1993-94 that Alvin and I became like brothers. Two of the other partners of the rectangular table, Kevin and Chris, moved on to Pittsburgh. It was then that Alvin began using his faith to take me to concerts and eventually to making a decision for Christ in 1994. You can read about that on any December 27 posting. You’ll have to read the story to understand why. The funny part of the post story is that Alvin came to salvation after I did. I didn’t know that until years afterward.

So Frank, why did you use almost 1,100 words to talk about this? Here’s why. You never know who or when you will make the difference and change someone’s life. I am not a great author like Max Lucado, but I can tell you many stories of people who have changed me. I often thank God that I am not the same man as I was in 1986, 1994, or sometimes even yesterday afternoon at dinner time. God continues to grow me through the people he sends my way. He does it for you too.

If you’ve been lucky enough to have someone change your life for the good, thank Him. If you haven’t, pray for someone to pass your way that resembles the life Jesus Christ lived and shared with us through God’s Holy Word in the Bible. Don’t ask for someone to come by and give you the winning lottery numbers. Money doesn’t always bring happiness and also carries the temptation of putting a root inside of you to carry you to evil destruction. Ask for someone to reach into your heart and make you better, not bitter. Someone that will change you in a way that will make you smile and help that smile to last every time you think of them.

I love you guys,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lucado's You Changed My Life Review & A Story of 1 Who Changed Mine

Hey gang!

Kay Booth was my senior English teacher. As a beautiful, young woman in her early thirties at the time, I remember some of the guys in my senior class that were swearing that Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” was made for her.

There was a mind behind that beautiful exterior. As I finished my junior year barely passing English, eyes went up in the administration almost immediately wondering why I ever would consider taking college English. I wasn’t the only one. My best friend, Kevin, got an opportunity early in his senior year to explain why both of us were in her class: “You know, she just cares about me.”

It’s easy to say that she was a teacher who cared, but for me, it was so much more than that. After failing to survive the competition of teacher pets and attitude of Journalism I my sophomore year, I began to doubt that I could write at all, much less well. Being in her class brought back confidence in my writing ability. We began talking about going to college and I wasn’t sure if I’d have the money, even with financial aid. My mom was working a job as a laundry person for the hospital, a job she’d had for 17 years at that point.

Mrs. Booth met my mom at a teacher-parent meeting and asked mom where dad was. He’d been living in Alaska since 1972. When they divorced, the state wasn’t recognizing judge decrees from other states. However, that had changed by 1986 and Mrs. Booth encouraged my mom to go to the Department of Human Services, not only to find my dad, but to get him to help get me through college.

Thanks to that encouragement, mom did go to the office of a case worker. She found my dad in North Pole, Alaska. The social worker didn’t just get the $100 per month that he owed until I was 18, which would have amounted to about six months. She got the courts to have dad pay back amounts. My dad did not argue about it. He paid until the day I graduated college. Without knowing him or the money, I would never have made it through school.

I will always remember my graduation day at Bridgeport High. After the ceremony, she came by and shared encouragement and gave me a good luck hug. Without her help, this nerdy kid would never be sitting here tonight writing about someone who changed his life to open my comments on Max Lucado’s book You Changed My Life.

As I kept reading through the book, Max’s stories of love, kindness, commitment, compassion, hope, courage, wisdom and friendship, I kept thinking of her and several others who were able to touch my life and change it so that I could be here today.

That’s what this gift book is for. This book shares these type stories for the person in your life who has helped change you. All of these stories are classics from other Lucado offerings and warm your heart. I laughed as I thought about four or five are stories that I have previously seen or heard in emails and pastors’ sermons.

My personal favorite from the book is a story that I shared with my daughter Megan tonight. She is five and in kindergarten. The story is called A Friend Indeed. It is the story of a kindergarten class and a little girl that had a spirit to hum. Even though it was sweet, she got in trouble and had her pin moved from one color to another. The little girl cried and cried until her friend hummed until his pin joined hers, showing us that friends stick with us, even in trouble, even at an early age.

If you are looking for a gift book for a special person in your life, this is an excellent source of stories and encouragement.

I love you guys!

Matt, That Bottled Stuff Is Good...Sure Wish Africa Could Taste It As Well

Hey gang!

Yeah, I am guilty of it too. I actually love stuff called Aquafina, Dasani,Nestle Pure Life, and when I lived in Florida, my personal favorite, ZephyrHills. It is bottled water and it tells us how crazy we are about how good our water tastes here in America.

That's right, America would rather buy bottled water even though most cities have decent enough water that we should be able to drink it from our own taps. Sounds crazy to us. Sounds even crazier to any country that doesn't have clean water to drink.

This month, my blogging friend Matt Appling over at The Church of No People ( and 29 other bloggers are raising donations for Africa to help build real wells with real, fresh water. Most of the details are at the link I put above or go on over to Matt's page today and he has some great details for you.

You can help. You can make a difference. But while I am here, let's talk about another type of water that I want you to have. Turn with me to the book of John chapter 4. Starting in verse 4, Jesus heads into Samaria and stops near a well owned by a man named Joseph. Jesus was tired and thirsty and asks a Samaritan woman to draw him a drink. The woman was surprised to find Jesus asking her for the drink since Jesus was a Jew and the two races did not associate.

She asks Jesus in verse 9, "How can you ask me for a drink?" Jesus doesn't get mad. He responds to her in verse 10. "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

She is confused, seeing that he has nothing to draw water in verse 11. Jesus explains in verse 13. "Everyone who drinks of this well (Joesph's)will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Now that is the kind of water she's interested in. Water that springs up in whoever drinks it? That means no more trips to this well. Those were some long walks. She asks Jesus to give it to her so that she didn't have to come back for more.

He responded for her to go get her husband. Wait a minute. She didn't have a husband. In fact, she was living with a man after five other husbands. How did Jesus know that? That's right, ma'am. Jesus knows.

After an explanation that this gift of water isn't just for Jews, but for the Samaritans as well (and everyone else, too), she left her water jar next to the well and ran back to town and told everyone to come see this man, the Jesus that gives us living water.

If you haven't received this living water, look over to the right of the page and there is a section that tells you how to become a believer right where you are. Whether it's in your home, your favorite Wi-Fi spot, or your favorite coffeehouse, you can accept this free gift of living water that gives life eternal.

If you've already taken care of that, please consider giving to the water for Africa. Go visit the websites listed above and I'll type out the link just in case the one above doesn't work.

Just think, giving up one bottle of water a day could change a nation of people and give them water that will fill them until Christ's return.

I love you guys!

PS: With today being September 1, remember that Proverbs For the Revival is beginning a new month of going through the book. Read Chapter 1 and the devotion for today at

Thanks for visiting there!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The New Look, September and Fall Events, Prayers & Love

Hey gang!

New stuff, new look, fun times being had by all as One Man Revival heads for its second anniversary in November. It should be a fun fall. Today, I just want to talk about all the fun stuff that I want to do this fall and some of the new things that are already here and coming.

First, I’d love to get your thoughts on the new design. I got bored of solid colors and wanted to add vibrancy to the page. I also did it for the cohesiveness for the new blogs, which I’ll talk about again in a few moments. I hope you like it and it gets you to think about how beautiful the sky and our future can be.

Those new blogs are up and going. We are nearing the end of the first month of Proverbs For the Revival, so that means with September 1st that we will be starting again with some insights. I wrote the first piece today (for 9/1) and it talks about having a fear of God. Psalms For the Revival has the rest of the year as far as the scripture goes, but today the 23rd Psalm was shared and I’ve gotten a couple emails on this one as far as people loving it.

With these new blogs, I again encourage you to comment on the page itself or on my or One Man Revival’s Facebook page. It gives me ideas to write about and maybe also gives you a chance to put your thoughts to paper, if you wish.

One new feature on the page that I do want to talk about today is Shelfari. If you are a reader, this is a good thing for you. First, my list might give you ideas for other books that you may have an interest in reading. Also, I have listed books that I have an interest in reading in the near future. Some of these are for personal, but some are for topics for the webpage.

The other thing I like about Shelfari is that it has its own little communities. You can join groups of other Christians or any other thing that you might like. I know there are several groups that love Steven King, James Bond and the list goes on and on. For those of you that like to show off what you read, you can list when you finish a book by date. My memory isn’t that good for the most part. I probably can’t even remember some of the books I’ve read in the way back machine.

Speaking of books, I do want to let you know that there are two Max Lucado books that I will be talking about in September. The first is called You Changed My Life, Stories of Real People With Remarkable Hearts and the second is a brand new book coming out on September 10th called Outlive Your Life, You Were Made To Make a Difference. I’ll be posting a review on the second book on the 10th and the first book as soon as I finish it. Those books are brought to you by the fine people at If you are a fellow blogger that likes to talk about books on your page, it’s a good place to get a free book to review. There are quite a few books I want to review from over there in the coming months, so that will be fun.

Two final thoughts I want to put out there today. The first is that I am looking for other books on the Proverbs, Psalms and the Revelation. There are several reasons for this. The first is that I need other sources to glean ideas from to continue great work with Proverbs and Psalms For the Revival in the coming months. The same thing holds true for information from The Revelation. I haven’t forgotten about the Heaven series. It has just been crazy here at my house.

Anyhow, for publishers, authors, etc., if you have a book or Bible study on any of the three books and you would like to give me a free copy (or a few, so I can do giveaways here on the site), what I will do is tell about your book every time that I use it as a reference and also would put the book information along the side of the site, so that others will be able to find the book. If you would be interested in doing that, then shoot off an email to or just send the book to Frank Jenkins, One Man Revival Ministries, 606 E Market Ave, Effingham, IL 62401.

Finally, I do appreciate the love and support of the people who read and comment or send me a note of encouragement to continue to do the work of this ministry. On the right side of the page, I have noted that it also takes money to keep a dad and writer of three kids going. So if you feel this ministry does make a difference, you can send a donation to the address above or head on over to Amazon and help out with a gift card or book purchases that can be sent to me. The wish list to look for is as well.

Hey, I know it’s a hard economy. If you can’t do anything to help financially, you can still pray for this ministry and my family. My wife is a very hard working radiation therapist to keep the bills paid. That’s a bigger deal than it sounds. You can pray for her for a sound mind to deliver the radiation to cancer patients on a daily basis. My oldest daughter, Megan, just entered kindergarten, so you can pray for her to have a great time, learn a lot and grow in the Lord as she goes to public school. My babies, 3 year-old, James, and 2 year-old, Maggie, are still home with daddy and keep him in line as the day goes. Pray that we have time to share as they grow out of diapers to big kid underwear and prepare for their taste of school in the coming years.

For me, pray that I’ll keep it all together. From taking care of the house to finding time for each and every one of those listed above and even a little time for myself to spend with the One that brought us all together. Lastly, just pray that God will continue to instill in me a drive to write and share His Word and thoughts with you. It is one of the great pleasures of life to sit down and share time with you. I love getting your notes on Facebook and in email form. I also love the occasional real mail and calls that you give me. You guys are great and don’t ever forget that when I say “I love you guys” to close out my writing, I really do. I wish I had time to sit and chat with each of you every day. That would be fun. So thanks to each and every one of you!

Till next time, I do love you guys!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Will Antoine Dodson Be Blessed Beyond His 15 Minutes of Fame?

Hey gang!

Life changes so quickly. Just three and a half weeks ago, Antoine Dodson was another guy going to school for his business degree while living in the projects with his family. Today, he is an internet sensation.

If you haven’t heard the story, Dodson and his family was at home a few weeks back trying to get in a good night’s sleep when a man decided to climb a garbage can up to a landing and then inside the family’s second story apartment window. He then tried to get into bed with Antoine’s sister and have sex with her. She protested and the argument that ensued trashed her room. Antoine and the rest of the family came to the rescue and the perpetrator ran away.

Early the next morning, WAFF TV in Huntsville, AL went to their apartment complex and interviewed the family. Antoine was angry and delivered a strong message to the attacker. The story is below.

Now, I realize that some people didn’t take the story as serious, even in Huntsville. People didn’t take his reaction as sincere. He told an interviewer on NPR radio that he was angry. He had something to say. The family had talked about the incident all night after the attacker left because they couldn’t sleep. I think that’s a reasonable reaction. So he was ready to talk. He said that he felt that he could strangle the camera even though it did nothing to him in the interview.

The story didn’t end there. As of today (August 18), the attacker has still not been caught. However, the video reached the attention of the Gregory Brothers. The group put the words into music and made a rapping remix of the interview. The result is below.

They also made two other versions of the song that you can check out on ITunes or Youtube. The song became an internet phenomenon. As of today, the original version has over ten million views on Youtube. That’s over 2.5 million views a week or 100,000+ views an hour.

Antoine became a hit and he even commented in his interview with NPR that people are now listening to him. He was used to having people step all over him, but now he had the attention of the world, much less the Lincoln Park section of Huntsville.

Even with the deterrent of some people making fun or not respecting the interview, Antoine has done a good thing here. That should be recognized. In the interview, he mentioned that crimes in the projects, like the attempted rape of his sister, went unnoticed and ignored by the police. With his interview on WAFF, Huntsville’s police force can no longer seemingly turn their back. Neither can a lot of other cities in America.

Antoine asked a great question in the interview that the NPR host totally ignored. “How do we come together as a people to change it (meaning the situation of the crime)?” He partly answered the question on his own by stating that we need to come together. The police can protect us somewhat. It’s their motto: To protect and to serve. But they can’t be everywhere. We as our communities and neighborhoods need to come together and work with each other. We need to watch out for each other.

Chapter 2 of the book of Acts shows a community coming together. They ate food, sold everything they had and shared together. What the verses don’t say specifically is they watched each other’s backs. You know they did. If they were willing to share everything and ate together continuously, you know they watched out for each other. If anyone from the outside (or even the inside) threatened them, they were immediately stopped.

Does it mean there will be no crime? No. That’s foolish. The Bible tells us that there will always be poor among us, in physical and mental means. But it starts with us. Antoine Dodson got the ball rolling in Huntsville and hopefully, that attitude of care and watching will continue.

I’ve listened to several of his interviews and he seems like a mannered man outside of the original interview. He’s soft-spoken and well-spoken. In all of the listening, I never picked up whether or not he is a Christian. I did pick up in one of his question and answer sessions with his Facebook fan club that he is gay.

Does that fact change my opinion of him? No. Antoine Dodson has done a good thing by raising awareness that change needs to be made. Thanks to the proceeds of this new found success, he is moving his family out of the projects into better living conditions. He is being a responsible man and making a better life for his mama, his sister and the rest of his family. He is affecting the next generation of his family. Maybe they will see the difference of coming out of the projects to a different life. It’s the kind of change that will impact the children for their entire lifetime.

Antoine Dodson is heading in the right direction. My encouragement for readers of this blog and anyone else who knows Antoine and his family is to continue to pray for their well-being. Continue to pray that they come out of this situation stronger and begin to ask the question as to why God spared them tragedy. Because He did spare them. Twice!

The first time was by not letting anything other than things be roughed up. Things are replaceable. His sister and her child in the room are not. The second time is by this new opportunity of life and hope thanks to the odd chance that people decided to make a rap video and give Antoine and his family a new beginning.

Finally, I pray that whoever in Antoine’s family doesn’t know Jesus get a chance to know Him. It’s the greatest second chance on life they’ll ever receive.

I love you guys!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Does cutting a word cut its power?

It was August 6, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. The bomb was nicknamed “Little Boy” and should have given a clue that something bigger and uglier was coming. Three days later, “The Fat Man” (minus Jake, of course) was dropped on Nagasaki. They go down as the only two nuclear weapons attacks in active war to the present date.

Many of my older readers will remember the late 70’s and early 80’s as America and the Russians had a standoff as they were the only world powers at the time with the weapons. The Cold War was highlighted by Reagan’s speech of tearing down the Berlin Wall and protesters on both sides begging “No More Nukes.”

So with the shortening of nuclear weapons to nuke, the word also took on some other meanings. The most dangerous we may know of nowadays is “nuking” in the microwave. All those lovely beams are warming our food and drinks. I learned a new meaning of nuke. It has something to do with messed up software, at least as far as I can understand. If someone cares to explain that further, have at it. Software explanations are like me trying to read the Bible in Hebrew. I don’t understand it.

The reason I bring up this shortening of names and now abbreviations is that we take so many words for granted. I remember a day at school in the 80’s and someone said the phrase, “Oh my God.” You would have thought the person had been cursing a blue streak of a profanity laced tirade. However, it was the reaction to the 1985 Challenger disaster as we saw it on television.

This week, I’ve been doing a lot of reading to give me encouragement and ideas for the upcoming months and I kept hearing on TV and seeing on a lot of posting about the lettering “OMG”. Let me start by saying that I’m not slapping people around for the use, but I am asking a question. That question is this: Are using abbreviations and shortening the terms making things less harmful?

I understand the comparison in your minds might be slightly ridiculous. Of course, shortening the term nuclear weapons to nuke or nukes makes no difference. I think they hurt about the same. We know this because if a nuke dropped on any city in the world, it would be a part of the nightly news for quite a while.

However, OMG is being used everywhere. From Facebook to the famous or infamous “OMG Kitty”, the term is all over the internet. People talk about it in television because characters are always texting each other in the shows. Even the words “Oh my God” are used regularly now and seldom, if ever, are even looked at as anything above normal conversation.

But there is a difference here. I know some of you military minds might disagree with me, but God is holy and nukes are not. My biggest problem today is that we toss language around like it doesn’t mean anything. It’s OK to yell a profanity, especially when abbreviated, such as “You MFer’s,” “SOB”, and the list could go on and on. We as a culture act as if we’re tossing pennies, when in fact, we may be changing lives and attitudes.

If we are believers, we must change the idea that it is fine to demean God’s holy name, in any way. God says this in Leviticus 22:32, “Do not profane my holy name, I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites, I am the Lord who makes you holy.” Our relationship with him is the one who makes us holy. If you want to debate that this is an Old Testament thought, replace the term “Israelites” with “my people.” He wants us to know that we are His and that our conversation must show it.

Romans 12:1 tells us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy. To offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.” We are worshiping, or not, with the words we use. Think highly of the one who made you and saved you. God’s first name is not “Oh My!”

I love you guys!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Author Kristine McGuire Joins Us to Discuss Escaping the Cauldron

Hey gang!

I don't normally make errors (LOL), but this morning I realized that I made a big one. I was supposed to have this interview up a couple days ago and on my calendar, I had it listed for August 12th, or at least I thought that. It's for another interview, I just can't read. I write real purty but can't read my own riting.

So today, I introduce you to Kristine McGuire. She is the author of a great book called Escaping the Cauldron. I'll let her give you the details in a moment in the interview.

Remember to give Proverbs and Psalms For the Revival a look see this week and comment your thoughts. They are new projects to help you spend time in God's Holy Word and strengthen you on your walk with Christ.

Now on to Kristine. Thanks for joining us!

What is the book about?

The book is part testimony of how I went from committed, albeit legalistic, Christian for twenty-nine years to witch, medium, and ghost hunter for eight years before God restored my faith and life. It details my personal struggle with trying to be "the perfect Christian" while being drawn to the Occult from childhood. The book is also a Biblical study that examines the current pop-cultural interest in the occult (in particular ghosts, hauntings, and mediums) and how this interest is affecting Christians as well as their beliefs about the supernatural.

Why call it Escaping the Cauldron?

This is actually the first book in a series, What Christians Need to Know about the Occult. It is a series of collections written from my former experiences as a witch, medium, and ghost hunter. This book is primarily about ghost hunting, mediumship, and the paranormal but I chose "Escaping the Cauldron" as the main title because witchcraft was truly my entry into the arena of occult interest and exploration including such things as divination, psychic ability, spirit guides, mediumship, ghost hunting, etc.

What do you think is the most important chapter of the book?

I think there are many important chapters but "Spiritual Warfare" and "How Should Christians Respond?"are the two which take everything discussed in the previous chapters bringing it all together, helping the reader understand their authority in Jesus Christ and leading the way to a ready defense for any kind of paranormal or supernatural event they may experience in their life as a Christian.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hope to inform and equip Christians with information about the occult. Additionally I pray the church will begin to acknowledge the presence of the spiritual world around us and listen to people who come forward with stories or claims of paranormal experiences without dismissing them immediately. When the church refuses to listen or offer any Biblical assistance, many people are forced to seek help elsewhere. This generally means seeking out ghost hunters, mediums, and psychics. I also hope to encourage Christians who may be questioning their faith to seek a deeper relationship with God, especially if they are stuck in a form of legalism. Our answers truly can be found in Jesus Christ.

Where is the book currently available to purchase?

The book is available in paperback and Kindle editions at Amazon. The book is also available in paperback and e-book editions at my blog site: Kristine ReMixed at and Lulu Publishing.

How are you available to the Christian community?

I write a daily blog, Kristine ReMixed at, on a variety of topics including faith, marriage, prayer, spiritual gifts, and the occult. I also work with my husband through Big Fish Ministries at, ministering through speaking with him at church and para-church events about marriage, facilitating seven day or special event prayer rooms, helping the homeless, etc. I am also available to speak at any youth, women's, or church events on a variety of Christian topics.

Find Kristine McGuire on Social Media Sites:

Follow on Facebook at:

Follow on Twitter at:

Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.

A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by the author in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Karen Pride Joins Us to Discuss What the Bible Is All About For Moms

Hey gang!

Today, we are joined by author Karen Pride to discuss her new book What the Bible Is All About For Moms. The interview below is some of her thoughts on the work. Enjoy and have a great Tuesday!

First, a little bit about me and how this book came to be…

So, let’s chat. I love chatting! And meeting new people, especially moms.
I am a mom, I have a mom, and I have worked with moms for years as a childbirth educator. And my writing style is much like my teaching style, telling things like they are with truth, humor and transparency.

I hated it when the instructor told me in Lamaze class that the contractions wouldn’t hurt. That was simply not true. And I vowed then and there that everything I did in life had to be truthful, but that sometimes the truth hurts so humor tempers lots.

Anyway, I have four kids, two adult sons, 28 and 25 and two younger daughters, eleven and thirteen, and for those who wonder about the gap, our third child was actually the only one truly, truly planned for the time she arrived, as she was adopted and brought home from Vietnam at five months of age.

My husband and I have been married for almost thirty years and met in college and have hung in and on ever since. We live in a small town in Central PA where he is a physician and I spend most of my time after three pm in the car.

The opportunity to write this book came to be as a result of a totally divine happenstance conversation I had with editor extraordinaire and grace dispenser Kim Bangs who invited me to submit a concept sheet and then proposal for this book.

Well, what about that soft spot for moms?

Moms have a tough job, don’t you think?

We do have the Bible, and not to minimize that as an instruction manual in right living by any stretch of the imagination, but it tends to come in after friends and family and all their free advice, that can be pretty costly…

So the question arose, how can we take Biblical wisdom and stories, role models and examples, and weave them into relevant (and funny) stories to encourage moms? I know I need encouragement! Everyone else’s kids may be perfect, but mine are NOT. And, shocker, neither am I. But guess what? Neither were many of the moms, ok, all of the moms in the Bible. Remember, Jesus has the corner on the market in the perfection department, so God has provided lots of examples of moms and how they dealt with different situations, similar to what current day moms deal with. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. But, the story of the Bible is one of redemption, and moms need to remember that.

So, the opening story for Genesis, is titled, “E is for Eve and Epidurals.”

So, tell us a little bit about how the book is laid out, and who is Henrietta Mears?

The book is inspired by the writing of Henrietta Mears, renowned Bible Teacher from Hollywood Presbyterian Church in the 1940’s and on. She believed in making the Bible accessible to everyone, and wrote her hallmark publication, What the Bible is All About, and was the founder of Gospel Light Publishing, Regal’s (the publisher of this book) parent company. So Regal has now published two devotionals inspired by her writing.

The book is comprised of 66 chapters, one for each book of the Bible, each one bit sized for busy moms.

Each chapter starts off with a brief section entitled “Snapshot from Henrietta” which serves as a basic overview for that particular book of the Bible. It is then followed by selected Scriptures, also inspired by the writing of Miss Mears, with one specific Scripture from among her selections highlighted. This Scripture is one that has particular relevance to moms.

A short one sentence synopsis precedes each story under the heading, “Momento” and then is followed by the story under the heading, “Mama Mia” which focuses on a mom or mom theme.
Each story is followed by an encouragement, “Lightening the Mother Load” and then closes with questions for reflection under “Musings for Moms.”

Tell us a little about the stories; some of these titles make me laugh.

I am so glad they make you laugh. Every mom who has gone through labor can relate to labor pain. Well, it says there right in the Bible, women will experience pain in childbirth, so E is for Eve (the grande dame mama) and epidurals…

Then there are others, like, “Bath”-Is That for Bathing or Bathsheba? (Being noticed and admired…); “White Teeth and Plastic Surgery” (paying attention to appearances); “Mean Girls 101” (raising great daughters); and “Too Much Idling Will Ruin Your Engine” (Gossiping).

But the stories are relevant, honest, and will result in many nods of recognition. I am simply the scribe (oh, and experiencer of most of the stories, which are all true, although some names have been changed….)

But aren’t Moms too busy to read?

I will be the first mom to admit that we are busy…and I often fall asleep at night, sometimes drooling, while trying to read. But these chapters are bite sized, uplifting and include lots of Scripture, and can be read on the go. They are great for the car or purse. Plus, with the Bible overview, if you have friends who don’t think the Bible is particularly relevant, or not for them, this is perfect to introduce them to the Bible as the real deal!
Is this for all moms, or just young moms?

The challenges that moms face are really universal throughout their lifetime. It may be a different story, but ultimately it is the same script. It may be sleepless nights with a colicky baby, but problems and not understanding what is wrong continues with your kids through a lifetime (sorry, if you have young kids you probably didn’t just want to read this…)
It includes single moms, young moms, older moms, and moms who aren’t yet moms. There are struggles in yearning to be a mom and God’s answers and timing that are also written about with bittersweet honesty.

Have you had experience with tough times in parenting?

Absolutely. But because God is in the grand business of redemption, while it doesn’t condone wrongs, He will use mistakes to help us reach out to others. I have experienced crisis pregnancy, pregnancy loss, infertility, adoption and motherhood as a young fool, and older fogie…remember, we have seventeen years between number one and four. Our adult sons have had struggles (one son’s struggle with substance abuse is what paved the way to my relationship with Christ) and just real life issues, which would make it into my annual Christmas letter, and is why I no longer write one (no, I write a book instead…)

How has this book been redemptive to you?

That’s a great question, because the first draft of this manuscript was, well, a little let’s just say, sharp (ok, downright caustic in some places) and that showed me, through the eyes of another, that I still had significant healing to go through in my relationship with my own mother. And it is amazing how God has accomplished that, through allowing me to write, re write and then learn from Him through the writing of this book.

What kind of feedback have you had so far?

You know, it’s been really encouraging. Moms are relieved that they are not alone, that there is someone else who will acknowledge that they don’t have it all together (and don’t drive a clean car, either…) I have had so many women remark that they felt like I was just chatting with them over coffee, that the stories are so real to life. And that’s what we need isn’t it? Encouragement from others that we journey through life together, God loves us, will redeem our mistakes, and then enable us to share with the next sojourner on the journey of life.

What else would you like to share?

I would love for people to join the conversation, come stop by for a visit at my web site:, also known as The Mennonite Diva. Friend me on Facebook, although there I listed my “full” name for some unknown reason, Katherine Pride (so formal) follow my blog on the home page of my website, and just hang out.

Wait just one minute…did you say Mennonite Diva? Tell me about that.

Sure. First of all, my message of encouragement to women is that they all need to release their Inner Diva’s. They are Divinely Chosen, Inspiring, Valued and Amazing. I worship at a Mennonite Church where I also serve as the Outreach and Missions Director, and I love pink and having fun. So please drop by!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Debbie Taylor Williams Joins Us To Talk About The Plan A Woman In a Plan B World

Hey gang!

Today, we have author Debbie Taylor Williams joining us to discuss her book The Plan A Woman In a Plan B World: What To Do When Life Doesn't Go According To Plan. First, we have some interview questions and then a few thoughts from Debbie. Enjoy the read and have a great Tuesday!

1. Your book focuses on living the Plan A life God designed specifically for you. What encouragement can you give for the woman who feels she's lived far too long on Plan B? Is there hope?

With God nothing is impossible! The Spirit who moved over the surface of the deep and created light and life is the same Spirit who abides in every believer. We can live the Plan A life God has for us because Christ lives in us and He is our hope of glory. Col 1:2

2. In your book you talk about hazardous landmines. What are a few common landmines women fall into?

Bitterness, discouragement, being fixated on the past, fear, feeling shaken by our circumstances, having expectations of how others should act are but a few of the land mines we can experience in a Plan B world. Left unattended, these land mines can cause devastating harm to us and others. God's Plan A is not for us to ignore these land mines, nor is it His plan for us to tip toe around them. Rather, He directs us to address and de-mine them. When we do, we can walk in bold assurance, confident of the ground upon which we walk. We're able to carry out the good works and plans God has for us; those that bring purpose and joy.

3. Talk about your P.R.A.Y. conferences and how women can learn more about your prayer ministry.

April 2, 2008 God woke me up at 4 a.m. and told me that I wasn't doing all that He wanted me to do. He then directed me to one of His Plans for my life: to take the principles from my book, Pray with Purpose — Live with Passion, to a church in every state in the United States. He told me to waive my speaking fee and travel expenses; that He had freely given me the keys to prayer that can change women's lives; and that I was to freely take them to my sisters. P.R.A.Y. with Passion Conference was birthed as a ministry of my non-profit ministry. It has been a joy to see God powerfully open doors through women who hear about the conference and pass the word to their women's ministry leader or event planner. Women are coming to salvation. Spiritual breakthroughs and repentance is taking place among believers. A "pink hearts" club is spreading across America, one composed of women and men who come forward and receive a heart on which they write how God has spoken to their hearts. And God is speaking. If I haven't been to your church/state, contact ministries, call toll free 888.815.9412, or visit my web site for more information

4. In your spare time, what do you enjoy doing?

I love being with my husband. Whether we go for a walk, watch the sunset, take a hike in the country, travel, play golf (sort of...I'm a beginner :), or go for a drive and breakfast on Saturday mornings, he's my honi and love of 35 years. Our two adult children and their spouses are so much fun to be with; as is our 17 month old grandson. Family, friends, sharing the Lord - for what more could we ask?
Something Extra:

The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World, by Debbie Taylor Williams
“You’re Not the Only One Who Missed Plan A” Chapter 1 excerpt, pages 23-27.

God Has an A+ Plan for Your Life

“I know the plans that I have you for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”Jeremiah 29:11

If ever a convention were held for women who feel they’ve missed Plan A, the room
would be filled. You’d undoubtedly hear comments like these:

“My husband left me when our children were three and five,” one woman might say.

“I’ve always dreamed of being married and having children. But I’m single with no hope of marriage.”

“My Prince Charming turned into an abuser.”

“I was fired from the company I built from the ground up.”

“My child died of leukemia.”

Biblical Plan A Women in a Plan B World

Not only do we hear the voices of friends today, but we also can imagine the voices of those whose lives are recorded in the Bible. Perhaps if we caught each one at the moment she was hit with her Plan B, we might have heard something like the following:

“Adam and I were supposed to live happily ever after in Eden. My oldest son was not supposed to kill his brother.”—Eve

“I thought Abraham and I would have children when we were young.”—Sarah

“I thought I’d live a quiet life. I never dreamed I’d become a queen—or that the lives of so many people would depend on me risking mine.”—Esther

“My plan was to marry Joseph, then have children. Never did I imagine that I’d conceive a child by the Holy Spirit while a virgin. ”—Mary

As you can see, a long list of women in the Bible lived something other than what they must have considered their Plan A lives. No doubt, they appeared to be everyday women living ordinary lives: preparing meals; washing dishes and clothes; competing with other women; and experiencing problems with in-laws, children, infertility, sibling rivalry, and so on.

What they probably couldn’t see at the time, but what we have the opportunity to see now, is how God used them. Their lives counted for him and for eternity. Though at times some may have felt like appendages to their husbands and their husbands’ calling, while some may have felt lonely and isolated, God used each woman. Their names are recorded for eternity. God listened to these women’s prayers, intervened on their behalf, and met them where they were—in the desert, by a river, in a field, inside their homes. He met them in the midst of their daily responsibilities—drawing water, gleaning wheat, searching for infertility cures.

Did they know they weren’t rocking mere infants but future kings? Did they realize they weren’t just dressing babies but grooming leaders? Not simply singing psalms to toddlers but planting scriptures in the minds of prophets?

God had an A+ plan for these women even though they didn’t know it at the time. God has an A+ plan for your life too.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day and Why It'll Never Be the Same (Remembering Dad)

Today is Father’s Day across America and it is certainly a special, albeit different day for me in 2010. It has not been a banner year at the Cheateau de Jenkins and that struggle had a new sadness on May 28th. At a little after two in the afternoon, I got a call from my dad’s phone. I thought dad was harassing me for not calling him for his 61st birthday, but the call was my step mom telling me that he was gone. He had been at work, started feeling chest pains and then within a couple hours, dad got an invitation to hang out with God. It was a great gift for dad, but it pretty much sucked for the rest of us.

By the end of the night, I realized that long awaited trip to New Jersey got moved up. My mother-in-law took care of me and the rest of the family by supplying us the funds necessary for the trip. The last time I had a visit with dad was in 2002 as he came to Georgia over Christmas holiday, just a little under two months after I married my wife, Mindy.

Early the next morning on Saturday, I decided that I would make an attempt at locating at least one of my sisters to allow them to know about dad’s passing. Dad had given me no information on my sisters other than names and states that they might still be in. Within about five minutes of research, I had found an interesting stat. In the state of Oregon, there are only 47 people with the name Ember and even luckier for me, only one with the last name of Jenkins. After looking at the normal place of the White Pages, I drew a dead end. Three phone numbers that did not work.

Then I had a thought. Let’s try Google and see what I come up with. One Ember Jenkins on all of Facebook. Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed, send a note and a friend request. Within an hour, she had called. The conversation started strange, but it made me laugh. Ember says to me, “I have to ask a favor, that you never give this number to dad.” I chuckled, “ I don’t think he could use it if he wanted to.”

I was embarrassed. That line was not how I wanted to share the passing of my dad with my sister. Let’s just say it was quite fitting the longer we talked. Without a long story, I will just say that, for the most part, there wasn’t much good to say from my siblings about my dad. I later talked to my sister Christy and she shared one great story I couldn’t pass up because it speaks volumes about the perception of my dad.

In the late 80’s, my dad met a Russian man who jokingly told him that he was in the mafia. My dad replied, “Amazing, I’m in the middle of Alaska and I meet the only member of the Russian mob.” He became good friends with that man. You would know the man as a guy who thought America was great. He often said, “What a country!” Yes, that man was comedian Yakov Smirnoff. I have to admit I am jealous of my siblings, because I would love to have met him. She went on to tell me that he would come over after a night out with dad and share the funny exploits of their evening. Those were probably the stories in which jokes were made of.

I met my dad in 1991, a few months after the girls moved out and back to Oregon. For the better part of two decades, I’ve always wondered what having family beyond mom and dad would be like. By day’s end, I realized that I had two sisters and a brother that I had never met and all wanted in my life now that dad was gone.

The trip to New Jersey, I thought, could be no stranger than the last 48 hours had been. What I got in the Garden State was totally unexpected and all of something that I could breathe easy about. While my dad may not have been perfect in his early years, he finally figured out some great things in the later years of his life.

In 2002, my father gave up the bottle. After many years of battling alcoholism, he beat the bottle for the last time. It changed him. He made a commitment to God. He joined the Catholic church. From what the priest there told me, he was a faithful member until his death. He also met his soul mate, his wife Geri.

Both had failed marriages, but took one final chance on each other. In 2005, they wed. He was a good dad to her two sons, Tommy and David. He found Geri’s entire extended family took him in naturally. They and pretty much everyone else in New Jersey loved the man. His last job, as the head maintenance boss at a local nursing facility, was natural for him as he became their Mr. Fix It and blessed them for the last five years of his life. For him, life finally came altogether.

In our conversations, we never had theological discussions, but I could tell that dad had truly found his happiness. I learned he had not lost his social grace when he left Alaska and was still quite the flirt. I found it quite funny that when Geri and I went to lunch on Tuesday that a man flirted with her and gave her a piece of gum. This man had to be in his late seventies or better, but I could see my dad being like that if he lived that long. He always knew how to win the ladies’ hearts.

That extended family of Geri’s was great to me. They took me in like I had lived there for my entire life. I shared with several of them that this is the family I wish I could’ve had all these years. They were always coming together and being a part of each other’s lives. They truly loved my dad.

While I didn’t get to see it, I was glad that he had a great run at the end. A friend of mine encouraged me with these words, “Frank, it’s good to see a man finish strong. He was in the Lord in the end and it was evidenced by the people and works around him. He had everything that you would want your life to end with; a woman that loves you, family that looks out for you, a job where you are giving your best and a church life that says he wanted more of God.”

I worried about that last part until Wednesday night of the visitation. A member of dad’s church came up to me as I was sitting and asked if I was his son. I acknowledged him and he told me that he wanted me to know something. He said, “I am a member of the men’s group your dad was a part of on Monday nights the last year or so of his life. When he started coming to the group, I asked him why he came. He told me that his son was a Christian and he felt like he needed to know more about why he was such a believer. I don’t know how much the two of you shared about your father’s beliefs, but he died as a man wanting to know more. He wanted to get closer to Him because he felt that you displayed something that was different.” To say I was stunned is more than you know.

I said earlier that dad and I did not have theological discussions when he called. We truly didn’t. I didn’t talk greatly about my faith with him. But I always wondered where he stood exactly. My guesstimate is that it was close enough to God to want more, which is where I always want to be. I don’t know what he and God talked about, but I do know that he was much closer in the end than anywhere I previously thought. That’s a good thing.

I came home from that trip and admittedly, I’ve been a little down since then. Part of it is because I wish it had been better between the two of us. All children wish this with their parents if they had a somewhat good relationship in life. I would like to have known more about his walk and to discuss the life with the siblings before he passed so I didn’t have so many questions that cannot be answered until heaven.

The other part is witnessing the love the people in New Jersey had for this man that I called my dad and they lovingly called Mr. Ed. I can only begin to describe the number of people that showed up telling me what a fine man, co-worker, congregant and relative that dad was. I found myself thinking a lot about how many people loved my dad, then I looked at my own life. I look at myself as a good person that tries to live a Christian life and show the love that Christ wants us to share. But here in Effingham, I haven’t made a lot of friends. I have tons of acquaintances, but few, if any, close friends.

I began to ask the question that all of us seem to ask before we die, “How many people would show up at my funeral and would they have nice things to say about me? Would anyone show? Would anyone care?” I know that sounds slightly vane of me, but I’m real with you here on OMR. It’s not like I want Charles Stanley to come and eulogize me with Chris Tomlin singing the worship, but I guess I want to feel like I left a good impression on the world and that people found what I did important. I told you it was vane, but at least you know I’m honest.

Anyhow, what can I take from my dad’s life on this Father’s Day that can truly impact the lives around me? First, I think that I always want to have an honesty with my kids. I want them to know where I stand as a Christian. I know that how I act and what I say will end up in the hands, if not the mouths, of my children. I want them to know that Christ is with them no matter how good, bad or indifferent they think I am. That’s what really matters. I hope to take them to adulthood and then, gently let them fly and be the people they are meant to be.

Next, if I make mistakes(OK, those of you that know me know that it’s not a question of if, it’s when), that I need to be man enough to admit them and ask my kids for forgiveness. I said something to Christy that has rang true. I was the one my dad found easiest to talk to. In comparing the hurts of the four of us, getting my forgiveness was probably the easiest. He just missed out on the formative years. I was grateful to have him as I could.

I also never want my kids to think I favor one over the others. My sisters shared with me the wondrous belief of how great my dad made me out to be, because I was the boy. I want all of my kids to know they are specially made to be the best person they can be because of God. I just get the honor of raising them and training them in the way they should go.

Finally, I don’t want them to have wonder about family. With Ember and Kyle in Oregon and Christy in Alaska, along with their families, I now have between them seven nieces and nephews. I want my kids to know them and the five cousins on Mindy’s side, along with her sisters. I also want them to get to know dad’s wife Geri and her family group. It’s been said that once we get to heaven, that we’ll all be one happy family, but it’s here on Earth that we get to practice.

So while Father’s Day 2010 is a day that I find a touch of sadness, I find so much more happiness with the extended family that I now have. So celebrate the patriarchs of the family and enjoy this beautiful holiday 2010 style.

I love you guys!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 2-Agapefest 2010- A Beautiful Afternoon and Skillet, Awesome As Always

Hey gang!

Alright, I hope you guys had time to read the Friday night festivities before you read this one, but if not, it’s super-OK! This article will talk about Saturday at Agapefest for me. I didn’t make it in until about 1:00pm, so all the stuff before then isn’t included.

By the time I arrived the sun was coming out and it was going to be a beautiful afternoon. I got great parking on the street and did not end up in the field mud pit. It was bad in spots, but it wasn’t anywhere near last year’s event. Once you stepped into the concert field area, it didn’t look bad at all. There were a couple water puddles, but most people were intelligent enough to miss them.

As I walked into the concert area, I heard a man preaching and I thought that maybe they moved the speaker from the night before. But no, this was Thi’Sl. The Christian rap artist from the STL rocked the house with his words and his music. The crowd and I were really into him. I went and grabbed his CD and then went to meet him before one of the main reasons I came on Saturday, I AM TERRIFIED.

I AM TERRIFIED are these hard rockers that bring it all to the table when they perform. They got the crowd involved with jumping and arm waving at the same level of Thi’Sl. You see two artists and you knew this crowd was ready to rock. I would put them in the class of Christian Motorhead. Paddy just brings the voice, and Brandon, Matt, Logan and Joel just jam out. They were the first band of the event that I heard people begging for one more song. As a big fan, I tell you this. I want you to go buy their CD just for one song. You will love the rest of it too, but you will never hear I’ll Fly Away rocked out like this ever again. These guys are awesome!

During Philmont, I got a pic with I AM TERRIFIED, got some lunch and used the rest room because I knew I wouldn’t be back there for a while. What I heard of Philmont, I liked. I learned that their debut CD is called Attention and I think you really should give it a listen.

Next up was the artist that my good buddy Alvin Smith told me that I had to see, Stephanie Smith (no relation). He had seen her several times and told me that I’d love her music. He was so right. Stephanie and I have two other things in common as well. The first is that both of us are former Greenville students. The second thing is even more interesting. One of my favorite people in the universe, Toby Mac, discovered her. He helped make her a star and he was a nice part of helping me toward the cross back in 1994. If you want more on that story, go read any year on December 27 from my archives and you’ll get the whole story of Toby, Mike and Kevin’s involvement when they were a little band called DC Talk.

Anyhow, after hearing a few songs, I kept thinking blonde Pat Benatar. For those of you unfamiliar with 80’s music, Benatar was the premier rocker of the ladies of the eighties. Stephanie began singing songs off her new EP and they are all great. Go buy the CD. You will not regret it if you are a rocker! Toward the middle of the set, she did versions of Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock n’ Roll. She would have fit in nicely with them back then. They would love her.

After she performed, she had the longest line for autographs that I had seen at that point, but I did want to get the other Smiths’ CD autographed. She was very cool with the crowd and it didn’t take long as she was great with everyone. I know artists are supposed to be that way, but she might be one of the most genuine people I’ve met in Christian music. She is a fun, spunky rocker. She was making goofy faces with fans for pictures. It was a blast watching her interact with her fanbase. Even later in the evening, when she was practically mugged by a group of teens, she was fun and loving with the group as she was watching the show. That’s above and beyond and it gives me oodles of respect for her.

Well, after getting a picture and the autograph with Stephanie, I went back to the concert area and realized that I was getting nowhere near the stage for any more pictures. I will apologize now for not getting any shots of Remedy Drive and forward to Skillet for you.

Remedy Drive put a lot of energy into their show. The lead singer did tricks like being in a chair on his head playing his piano. These guys poured their hearts into the act and it seemed that only when they told people what to do that they did anything. They definitely get my award for most unappreciated band of the weekend, but they did a great show.

I had never seen Run Kid Run or Family Force 5 and had never heard of Paper Route. Run Kid Run did a decent show. A lot of people were talking to me during their performance, but I think they did well for not knowing any of their music and they were great about talking about Christ about midway through.

Paper Route came out and I found myself thinking of The Police in the Synchronicity Era. They did a good job and I think I’ll have to go listen to some of their stuff on their website to their newest CD, Absence. Someone told me that most of the group are Greenville grads.

This next part is going to get me a lot of heat and I’ll kindly remind you now that this column is my opinion and that’s what you’re getting. I will talk about this more intense in a blog later this week because Family Force 5 absolutely made me livid.

Before they started, I heard all the teens going how great these guys are. I’d even heard that before I got there from some of our teens at my local church. So I will say this here, if you want a Christian group that shows you nothing of the Christian view in their show, but their dance moves and outfits will make your teens lose their minds, this is the show for you. And no, “Hey there, wait a minute, put a little love in it,” does not qualify in my view as a Christian song.

By the time their set was finished (over 40 minutes), I can’t clearly say I heard any reference to Christ, God or The Message. I heard a whole lot of dance music that was well done, insulting and putting people down and absolutely showed no respect for the Gospel. Saints, if you’re out there, help me understand where Family Force 5 is a Christian band. Not just for my sake, but the idea that there is already talk of having this group back at Agapefest for the 35th edition makes my skin crawl at the moment. Again, I am presently researching information for an article on Family Force 5 to help me give you a better look later this week.

The scarier part is how their exit was handled. After seeing last year’s show, Agapefest officials did a better job a year ago of segue waying from Hawk Nelson to speaker Bob Lenz. This year’s transition was horrible, at best. By the time speaker Ben Woods got to the stage, almost 10 minutes later, most of the FF5 fans had already left the concert area and were hanging on the every word of the autograph tent where Family Force 5 would be, after the speaker. That part was handled right. However, no one told Ben to move closer to the edge of the stage where he could not only be heard better, but also seen better to display the emotion of the Gospel message he was giving.

Those other factors plus the idea that someone was allowed to play music over in the concession area as loud as possible drowned out Woods to most people outside of the inner circle of listeners. Look, Agapefest lost their speaker on Friday night because of the storm. This was the only, only, ONLY chance that they were getting to give the crowd an opportunity to receive Christ, receive prayer for situations in life, et cetera. If more than ten people moved before Skillet began to go to the prayer tent, I will personally be amazed and pleased to hear it.

Also, I am throwing my hat into the ring right now to say that I want to speak at Agape 35. I want an opportunity to share with people the Gospel and impact lives at a festival I love. For the exposure and opportunity, I would do it for FREE! That’s right Agapefest. One Man Revival Ministries has just offered you a free speaker. As a former Greenville student of your LAMP program and a lover of teaching the Gospel of Christ, I would be ecstatic to come and offer my services. Yes, I will mark the last weekend of April-first weekend of May on my calendar in 2011 for you, RIGHT NOW!

OK, let me get of my soapbox, because Skillet came out and rocked the house to close the show. They did a lot of material from Comatose and Awake and was stellar in performance. I do wish the smoke machines would not have blown back so much. They were fantastic as always. Skillet is one of those groups that young bands should model themselves after, maybe not completely in music, but at least in class, character and showmanship. It was a shame the rain started coming down at the end of their show. However, it was a fantastic closer for a great Agapefest 2010.

Next year, as I’ve said a few times, is the 35th anniversary of Agapefest. This should be a great festival again. Being one of the early festivals of the year and a great bargain for concert goers, you should not miss Agapefest 2011.

I love you guys!