Okay, this post filled up like a plate at a pot luck dinner. But there are some treats on it, so prop up your feet and take a little break. I have five short website recommendations, something for you to read and listen to, and something to giveaway. Be thinking about what you are hungry for!
1. Card-a-day series
Head over to Danette Martin’s blog here for daily inspiration. She posts a card each day with a verse, lyrics to a song, a prayer focus, old and new photos, and a mystery picture. I’m especially amazed at the power of reading the lyrics of inspirational songs. What a great idea! Would you believe it, in keeping with my food theme she has posted a food picture today which is something I really wish I could buy in my local area. I have had them and they are delightful!
2. Dewdrops of Joy
My cousin Sara has a blog called Dewdrops of Joy where she writes inspirational columns and talks about cool things like what she does with her children for such holidays as “National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day” or “National One Cent Day.” As you might expect, she also has some of the world’s most creative children, one of whom designed the trash can you saw Saturday night. But it’s this little robot below that makes me really glad to be in the same gene pool as her young son Tyler. I just think it’s adorably stiff and emotional all at once, like a good robot should be! Those eyes… To check out Sara’s site and her adorable children, head over here.
3. Mt. Olive Mennonite church sermons
I’m adding this one after blogger Gina Martin posted on her blog, Home Joys (here) yesterday. Besides sharing an inspirational hymn with deep personal meaning for her, she shared links to the sermons her church streams on Facebook. A lot of churches, including our own, are streaming services now, but I found it fascinating that they stream a Spanish sermon as well. I listened briefly to flex my Spanish muscle. These messages are available on Facebook here.
4. Online Classes at Elnora Bible Institue
Marnell’s brother Norrell serves year round at Elnora Bible Institute. Since shutting down their final term, Norrell has been working hard to arrange the capability to have online classes. Like Marnell, he’s gifted in all things audiovisual. Check out his handiwork here. I didn’t ask but I’m assuming students are welcome from all parts of the globe!
5. Pat & Me
We can all use a little laughter during this time. Trell Miller has started reading pieces by Pat McManus on his Facebook Group “Pat & Me.” If you’ve never heard Trell read a story, you’re missing out. He’s as good at this as his sister Kendra is at children’s stories and his humor is infectious. If you’ve never heard of Pat McManus, then you don’t know just how funny fishing, hunting, and adventuring can be. I remember my brother reading his articles back in the day, and Marnell apparently did too, because he is also a fan. Trell reads his stories on a Facebook Group; search for “Pat & Me.” Or, go directly here. If you have cabin fever, you might start out by listening to “Two Man Tent Fever.” Lol.
6. Voices of Survival Podcast
Okay, this is not comedy, and it isn’t out yet. Marnell and I are still working on it. I’m doing most of the interviewing, and he rescues my audio files and provides equipment and software. He also speaks on the audio file below.
In Voices of Survival, and in the sample below, you will hear interviews right here in the Brady Street neighborhood, in the voice of the storyteller. Some take place at our kitchen table, some in the homes of our friends. Voices of Survival isn’t going to be free, and if you listen to a few episodes, you will know why. Some stories may curdle your blood. Not only are the stories extremely personal, but some are not appropriate for children. There might be a few humorous and heartwarming episodes, such as when our neighbor Mary gets into high gear. But others will involve drug abuse, arrests, and bad language. Some of the people sharing will struggle with mental illness. I will interview people who have overcome their difficulties and some who have not.
Why Are we sharing such stories?
- Listening offers people dignity. Everyone’s story is important to them, and by listening we affirm that they are valuable in God’s eyes. You can be part of that ministry. Also, it is often hard to tell whether the storyteller or the listener is most blessed, because….
- Listening changes me. What do people -even Christians- do when they are manipulated by a beggar on the street corner, who pretends to have a limp, but then walks away with no trouble? There are two easy responses: anger and shallow indulgence. Anger feels offended and cynical. Indulgence gives him money again the next time just to get rid of him. Neither helps. Voices of Survival presents a third possibility: listen. Wonder why. Ask yourself questions.
- Why not free? For privacy reasons, we don’t want these stories available to anyone who doesn’t have a vested interest in them. I don’t want them available to children due to the content of some of the storytellers. The subscription protects the content and covers operating expenses. Also, you will have the option to choose a subscription that tangibly helps the people sharing their stories. We will share more on this later. We don’t think we’ll be able to launch the podcast until the first of June, so I plan to update again in May. I honestly think, although subscriptions are annoying, that you will love the options we plan to offer.
And now! Here’s a clip with snippets from six of the different interviews I’ve done so far, with commentary by Marnell and I.
Okay, time for something fun. I have been looking forward to this for some time. I have long had a special fund for random acts of kindness. Marnell told me he thinks I should keep it separate from our other finances, and give it away to whoever I want. This spring, I thought of a way to offer it to readers and encourage your local economy in a small way.
So, I’m buying you food from a restaurant local to you. It could be pizza, breakfast, tacos (are there pizza breakfast tacos?) or even fast food. Remember, even if dining is closed, most restaurants are doing carry-out or even delivery. For this giveaway, I will pick two names. Both people will receive $40 (gift card or cash) to a restaurant local to them.
Also, this is the first of a series. (I’m trying to streamline, and may cut some of my social media, so this doubles as a bit of a survey.) I am planning an almost identical giveaway for followers of my author Facebook page next Monday, April 13. The following Monday, April 20, will be a third similar giveaway on Instagram . I plan to follow this with a drawing for anyone who has bought or read Captain Garrison, and a drawing for anyone who has made a purchase March through May at my online shop. Just FYI!
To enter today’s contest:
- Must be subscribed to this blog through email or WordPress to win. Hit “Subscribe” on the top menu bar of the website if you are not.
- Leave a comment on this blog telling me about a great restaurant local to you, and what you might order from there. Pizza? Alice Springs Chicken? Fish tacos? Egg rolls and egg drop soup? Canadians are welcome; I think I can figure out the red tape. Canadians just have to promise not to order that suspicious gravy with french fries dish. (Just kidding!)
- Post your comment before Thursday, April 9 at 6 am. You get more time for this since I’m working all week! Hopefully I will be able to contact winners Thursday or Friday and announce the winners in next Saturday’s blog.
And now…. what are you hungry for? (Uh-oh. This might not be good for my diet!)