Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Men tend to suffer in silence, but they need to share their stories

Part 2 of an interview with Andrew J. Schmutzer
Co-Author of Naming Our Abuse:
God's Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors


Male sexual abuse is increasingly in the news, from scandals in the Catholic Church to exploitations at Penn State. Yet books and programs about healing are still overwhelmingly oriented toward the female survivor of abuse. As men who experienced childhood abuse, Andrew J. Schmutzer, Daniel A. Gorski and David Carlson, authors of Naming Our Abuse: God's Pathways to Healing for Male Sexual Abuse Survivors (Kregel Publications) are uniquely qualified to address the healing process of male survivors.

In the book, each author shares his story, modeling for men how telling — and writing — their stories can play a significant role in recovery. “Writing helps the brain process the significance of what happened, not just the fact that it happened,” Schmutzer explains. “Dignity is recaptured by remembering rightly, honestly and deeply. Writing honors pain by putting it in black and white.”

Q: Why did you choose the metaphor of a car accident for the book’s outline and format? What are the four stages you walk readers through?

It was our desire to help men to talk about and name their abuse. Male survivors do not tend to meet in carpeted rooms and sit semi-circle in a church basement. Such talking time can feel staged or fabricated for men who do not process in such overtly verbal ways. So it was my idea to focus on a metaphor men can relate to. Men can readily relate to a scenario of a car accident. So we wanted to build the book around this metaphor, thinking of men sitting in their “man cave” — such as a nice garage — comfortable enough to talk honestly, admitting and exploring their stories of abuse.

The four stages of the book are built on the accident metaphor: the Wreck, Accident Report, Rehabilitation and Driving Again. There is a logical progression, a layered story, to this metaphor. The four stages not only acknowledge healing is a process, but the various phases also function as prompts, giving men the permission to think of their abuse story. Regardless of what stage a reader may be in, the story is going somewhere. Every story has a beginning — a “wreck” that must be faced — but also the hope of driving again.

Q: How does a man recapture his dignity through telling his story of childhood sexual abuse?

Stories of abuse are always written in a “minor key.” They are hard to face, hard to write and almost as hard to hear. Telling one’s story translates the trauma by integrating separated parts of the survivor’s life. Stories enable connections to emerge that one didn’t fully see before. So dignity is recaptured by remembering rightly, honestly, communally and deeply. Telling stories helps men feel.

Dignity returns as one remembers the lost pieces and fits them back together again. For example, recounting one’s story helps connect the appropriate emotion with the corresponding event. This can be extremely painful, but what emerges is a process and event akin to military boot camp.

Q: You say writing down your stories “translated your trauma.” What did you mean by that? What are other benefits of writing therapy?

Simply sitting in a circle facing “anger” one week in a 12-step program may have its place, but it often feels too abstract. Using the tool of story naturally helps gather together the pieces of one’s abuse-wreck. John can turn to Mike and ask, “Why did you cut the arms off your army soldiers at age 11?” This, in turn, helps Mike realize why he used to self-harm by pulling his own hair out. The larger story delivers a message that simple sentences can’t. The broad sweep of a man’s story puts into perspective the dysfunctional home that is capable of abusing its own children — the story has translated lost pieces of a life.

Writing therapy helps one enter the moment and face what happened (his wreck). Writing helps the brain process the significance of what happened, not just the fact that it happened. Writing honors pain by inscribing it or putting it in black and white. As patterns emerge, it gives survivors words. This is vital, since traumatic experiences are often word-shattering. So writing about abuse is naming it. This is very therapeutic.

Q: How is Naming Our Abuse designed specifically to address the ways men recover from childhood sexual abuse?

There is a thesis we are operating with, one our own writing proved: We cannot heal from what we will not name. The book helps by giving men permission to be broken and even live in certain forms of pain for the rest of their lives. The idea of recovery is a bit romantic, though it markets well. As men see us name our pains through the various stories in the book, we model what they too can do. We end each of the four stages by giving readers the chance to put the pen to paper and start “scratching out” their stories. Before the reader enters the next stage of the book, we ask them to reflect seriously on key statements we’ve written and write responses to questions. Finally, each section concludes with some coping tips for survivors working through that particular phase of their healing. This is practical work and information men can use and relate to.

Q: What are some things you should NEVER say to a victim of CSA (childhood sexual abuse)?

The key is to listen to their stories, not necessarily offer answers, especially simplistic ones.
  • “Really, you seem OK.”
  • “You know, you have to forgive them.”
  • “Well, I know someone who was abused, and they don’t struggle with that.”
  • “How many times did it happen?”
  • “Why didn’t you say anything?”
  • “You’re going to be just fine.”
  • “Somehow God is going to use it.”
  • “Why did you let it happen?”
  • “Well don’t say anything, because you could really destroy that person.”


Q: How can childhood abuse affect a person’s ability as an adult to assess and process incoming messages and situations properly?

Abuse can seriously affect one’s ability to read social situations. Because survivors are often hypervigilant (“on duty”), they often overact to certain social situations or simply don’t know how to respond appropriately. They are often hypersensitive to comments and often have one or several addictions related to their abuse (from overeating to pornography).

Because the victim’s social/relational filter is broken, victims are known for pushing away the right people and letting in the wrong ones due to an inability to read people well. Their boundaries can be very skewed and in need of reshaping. Abuse victims struggle with many forms of PTSD, much like war veterans can.

Q: At the end of the book, you each wrote a letter to your younger self. What was the purpose behind that?

The letters to our “little boy” is practically a therapeutic technique all its own. The purpose is to reintegrate the abused child (factual memories) with the older man (present experience/self). It is a powerful act to write to that abused boy, because it honors the child’s trauma and reconnects it to the older man’s residual pain and suffering that has lived on through the years. He may have been unable to face that “little boy” due to anger and shame. So even talking about that abused boy humanizes the vulnerable child who men are often conflicted about because the child was sexually “mugged” and now the older man has to accept that terror, weakness and vulnerability. It also acknowledges that core pieces of that boy live on, and this complexity and even brokenness must be accepted, processed, repurposed, and embraced in the older man’s healing journey.

Learn more about Naming Our Abuse at www.kregel.com.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Sorry my #bachelorette post is delayed

I'm on a business trip (can't you tell), so not available to live Tweet and blog. My blog on The Bachelorette will be up soon.




Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hippopotamus


Hippopotamus Song

In the beginning, God made the sea
And the forest filled with trees
He made the mountains up so high
And on the top he placed the sky

God’s fingerprints are everywhere
Just to show how much He cares
But in between He had loads of fun
He made a hippo who weighs a ton.

Chorus
Hip-hip-hip-hippopotamus!
Hip-hip-hooray! God made all of us.
Hip-hip-hip-hippopotamus!
Hip-hip-hooray! God made all of us.

Creation sings of His praise,
The sparrow and the tiny babe.
We can sing and say, “well done.”
But some things He just made for fun!

Chorus

In the end He had lots of fun.
He made a kangaroo that jumps and runs.
Kanga-kanga-kangaroo.
Hip-hip-hurray God made me and you.
Kanga-kanga-kangaroo.
Hip-hip-hurray God made me and you.

In the end He had lots of fun.
He made a manatee just for fun.
Mana-mana-manatee.
Hip-hip-hurray God made you and me.
Mana-mana-manatee.

Hip-hip-hurray God made you and me.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Free Clubhouse Magazine Trial

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Try 3 issues of the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse® (ages 8-12) OR Clubhouse Jr.® (ages 3-7) magazine for free!

Created with kids in mind, Focus on the Family offers a world of fun and imagination through short stories, jokes, puzzles, and games as well as recipes and activities to do as a family. Plus, what child doesn’t like mail? Your child will enjoy getting this entertaining magazine each month in the mail.

Click here to sign up for the free Clubhouse® magazine trial.

Click here to sign up for the free Clubhouse Jr.® magazine trial.

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Grow Your Child's Faith This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at OACLUB.org.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Ringmaster's Wife by Kristy Cambron


Jump into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth in Kristy Cambron’s new book, The Ringmaster’s Wife. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling. When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.

{MORE ABOUT THE RINGMASTER’S WIFE}


(Thomas Nelson, June 2016)
An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.
In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.
A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.
A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!

Kristy Cambron

{MORE ABOUT KRISTY CAMBRON}


Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.
Cambron is an art/design manager at TheGROVEstory.com storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.
Find out more about Kristy at http://kristycambron.com.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Author shares essential steps to recovery

Part 2 of an interview with Crystal M. Sutherland,
Author of Journey to Heal


Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often feel like the walking wounded. They feel alone and afraid, unsure of where to start in their search for lasting healing. It becomes far too easy to believe lies that say they’re worthless and true recovery is impossible.

Crystal Sutherland—a survivor herself—knows that a simple formula for healing from such a painful past doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. For adult female survivors who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly, Journey to Heal (Kregel Publications) guides readers through essential steps to recovery found in Scripture. Though candid and open about her personal journey, Sutherland avoids triggering descriptions. Instead, she offers stories of hope form other survivors and practical wisdom to lead you down a new path toward discovering the life of wholeness God desires for you.


Q: How can Journey to Heal be a tool for those who want to find emotional and spiritual freedom?

Journey to Heal is a practical and comprehensive guidebook for survivors of sexual abuse.  It’s a road map to recovery — a travel guide for the journey, based on what God has shown me to be true in my own life. It takes readers through a series of essential steps of recovery, founded on Biblical truths and practical wisdom, providing a clear pathway to healing. Readers will be led to process their stories, reject shame and discover God’s love for them.

Q: How did you incorporate other survivors’ experiences into Journey to Heal?

The stories I share from other survivors are ones I came to know through mentoring several women through my Bible study for survivors. These stories are shared with their permission. I selected stories I felt would help my readers most and would illuminate certain concepts in the book.

Q: What role does faith play in recovery?

Sexual abuse leaves a soul wound that only God can heal. There are no quick fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions. Through my own experience I’ve discovered there are essential steps we can take and biblical truths we can apply to our lives to heal fully. Ultimately, I believe complete healing only happens when we place our hope in Christ.

Q: Why do you think it’s so critical to write down specifically what happened during the abuse?

I encourage readers to start a truth journal and to document their journey of recovery: not only their stories of abuse, but also the truths God reveals to their heart and the revelations they experience during our study together. Specifically, writing down their stories helps to capture all the facts and feelings involved with the abuse. It enables the reader to put all the pieces of their story together in a safe place where they can ultimately process and release the painful emotions involved. It is a very healthy way to acknowledge their story of abuse and prepare their hearts for the next steps in their journey to heal.

Q: A child is never responsible for being exploited, but why do survivors often feel so much shame and guilt? Do those feelings ever go away?

It’s complicated. There are layers upon layers of words spoken, lies believed and circumstances that can lead victims to believe they were at fault. Everyone is different too. I have mentored survivors who immediately accept they are not to blame for their abuse, but then there are those I’ve met who find it very difficult to overcome their deep feelings of shame. I think it often depends on the circumstances, the length of time throughout which the abuse took place and if there was justice or validation involved. I do believe, with God’s help and through actively processing their story, survivors can overcome feelings of shame and guilt.

Q: You write in Journey to Heal that you keep a photo of yourself on display that was taken shortly before the abuse began. Why do you do that, and why do you recommend other survivors do it as well?

I display the photo simply to remind myself I am not to blame for the abuse that took place in my life, no matter how I might feel in the moment. As odd as it sounds, adult survivors (myself included) often blame the child they were for not speaking up or taking control of the situation. Doing so leads to feelings of guilt and shame that are often fortified by the lies we believe and the things that have been said (or not said) by friends or family members. It’s important for survivors in recovery to see themselves as the children they were, and not as the adults they are today. It is from that perspective we better process our stories of abuse and reject feelings of guilt and shame. One of the best ways to remember who we were as children is through our childhood photos.

Q: What would you say to someone who is holding this secret right now, afraid to reach out for help?

I would tell them they are not alone, they are not to blame, and they are deeply loved. I would add there are well more than 42 million adult survivors of sexual abuse today, many of whom are on their own journey to heal. I would encourage them to read my book and seek out a Christian counselor or pastor whom they can share their story with and begin the healing process.

Learn more about Journey to Heal and Crystal M. Sutherland at www.crystalsutherland.org, Facebook (Crystal.Sutherland) or Twitter (@cryssutherland).

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lucinda Secrest McDowell’s ‘Dwelling Places’ Blog Tour and Giveaway

Drown out the busyness and noise of everyday life and find a deeper faith with something as simple as a single word in Lucinda Secrest McDowell's new book, Dwelling Places. Through short and inspiring readings, McDowell unpacks a single word—such as mercy, beauty, gratitude, or grace—to reveal a biblical blessing or challenge relevant to where you are. Full of stories and illustrations to empower you to live the word you have just read, each devotional ends with a benediction, written as if God were speaking directly to you.

Join Lucinda in celebrating the release of Dwelling Places by entering to win her Season of Refreshment giveaway.

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of Dwelling Places
  • Dwelling Places necklace handmade by Lucinda
  • A kit full of goodies you'll need to make refreshing lemonade this summer
One second place winner will receive:
  • A copy of Dwelling Places
  • Dwelling Places necklace handmade by Lucinda
dwelling places - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 5th. The winner will be announced July 6th on Lucinda's blog.

dwelling places - enter banner

{MORE ABOUT DWELLING PLACES}


(Abingdon, June 2016)
Do you long for serenity and refuge, peace and hope? Are you seeking a deeper spiritual life through a closer relationship with God?
If you’re tired of dwelling in busyness and noise, then perhaps one word a day can change your life. Award-winning author Lucinda Secrest McDowell knows that if you spend time each day turning to God’s Word for wisdom and guidance, your faith can flourish and grow.
Through short and inspiring readings, McDowell unpacks a single word—such as mercy, beauty, gratitude, or grace—to reveal a biblical blessing or challenge relevant to where you are. Full of stories and illustrations to empower you to live the word you have just read, each devotional ends with a benediction, written as if God were speaking directly to you.
These “dwelling places” that offer the joy of God’s promise and presence cover four seasons: fall, Advent, Lent, and summer. Whether in the midst of busy holiday schedules, holy days, ordinary moments, or changing seasons, a deeper faith can be as simple as a single word.

{MORE ABOUT LUCINDA SECREST MCDOWELL}


Lucinda Secrest McDowell is the author of 11 books, including “Live These Words,” “Amazed by Grace,” and “Quilts from Heaven.” She has contributed to an additional 25 books and has been published in more than 50 magazines. A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, she speaks internationally through her ministry “Encouraging Words.” An award-winning writer who has earned accolades from prominent writers’ conferences and retreats, McDowell has also worked in radio broadcasting, in retreat planning, and on church pastoral staffs. She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in Connecticut.
Find out more about Lucinda Secrest at https://lucindamcdowell.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Make your conflict count



New book helps couples deal with
conflict to create healthy marriages

It’s a familiar scenario: He doesn’t understand what she’s really upset about, and she has trouble getting him to see her point of view. In every marriage, there is conflict. In their new book, Don’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight (Abingdon Press, June 21, 2016/ ISBN 978-1426790935/$14.99), Deb and Ron DeArmond give couples tools to fight fair when conflicts arise.

“Conflict is not the real problem,” note the authors. “It’s how we deal with the conflict that determines where it takes us. Conflict can lead to discovery — greater insight and understanding of our partner’s thoughts, feelings and perspective — or destruction of the relationship. It’s up to us to choose which direction we will go: discovery or destruction.”

Deb DeArmond has more than 30 years of experience teaching adults about communication and conflict resolution, whereas Ron has as many years of Christian counseling, instruction and leadership development, primarily in ministry to men. The book is born out of their combined backgrounds.

Don’t Go to Bed Angry helps couples fight fair, which can lead to discovery and ultimately to stronger marriages. Communication through healthy conflict can produce greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings and perspectives that can safeguard relationships.

The authors’ goal for this book is to equip couples with the tools to nurture their relationships to go the distance. “We believe you can build the required skill and knowledge to resolve life’s conflicts in a manner that honors the covenant of your marriage and deepens the relationship — not only between the two of you, but with God as well,” the DeArmonds said.

Don’t Go to Bed Angry includes insights from couples that the authors surveyed and interviewed about their experiences with conflict and its effect on their marriages. As the DeArmonds examined those responses, a pattern emerged. They noted that conflict in marriage tends to fall into six categories, which they organized the book around: burdens, baggage, bridges, barriers, boundaries and blessings. Each one reveals a facet of conflict that brings couples closer to solutions.

“We’ve been married for many years,” the authors said. “Much of what we learned took us longer than we wish it had. We don’t have all the answers or a perfect record in using what we know. What we have acquired through our life experience and through God’s Word is the understanding that marriage is worth fighting for, and you don’t have to be born knowing how to do it.”

Designed to create and support healthy dialogue between husband and wife, Don’t Go to Bed Angry is a tool to help couples fight for their marriages. It offers readers real-life examples, personal testimonies and biblical wisdom. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions, related Scripture passages, journaling prompts and a prayer. Resources include a quick reference list for managing conflict and guidelines for creating vision, values and mission statements.

Don’t Go to Bed Angry is not a book of shoulds; it’s filled with practical ideas, conversation starters and opportunities for self-discovery in every chapter. This gives couples a path, a plan and the promise of God’s word to achieve the marriage they long for: one aligned with God’s word that honors him and produces life in their union.


About the Authors

Deb DeArmond is a highly-experienced and sought-after executive coach, trainer and facilitator, having worked in marketplace ministry with audiences at all levels across a broad spectrum of industries and organizations. She is an expert in the fields of leadership, communication, and relationship and conflict resolution. Deborah owns DeArmond and Associates, dedicated to helping others build successful solutions to the challenges they are facing. Deb is the co-founder of MyPurposeNow.org, a website for Christian women 50+. She is a staff writer for the online magazine Destiny in Bloom, and her writing is regularly featured at Living Better at 50+, also an online magazine. She has been published in WHOA Magazine and Dallas Family Magazine.

Ron DeArmond has followed Christ since the age of 12 and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. He has previously served in ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network and Faithful Men Ministry and has ministered internationally, teaching men’s curriculum. Ron is currently the director of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/DFW. Ron and Deb have been together for more than 40 years and live in Euless, Texas.


For more information, visit www.debdearmond.com or follow Deb on Facebook (AuthorDebDeArmond) or Twitter (@DebDeArmond).

Monday, June 20, 2016

So very glad 5 went home on #thebachelorette tonight


It's been two weeks since we've see The Bachelorette, but we pick right back up with all of the men are celebrating the fact that Chad's bags have been taken away. There's even a song written by James Taylor over the event. They even spread his protein powder that he left behind as if they are ashes.

What they don't know is that Chad had to find his own way out of the woods and in figuring out how to get back to wherever it is he's going, ends up back at the men's house. He knocks on the front door, and Daniel answers while eating his bowl of cereal. 

The guys are trying to figure out what he's doing back. The guys asked what happened that day. He accuses Alex of talking smack about him the whole time. He plays the role of the victim. Chad tells all the rest of the men that he was backed in the corner and had to threaten him. Jordan tries to apologize for the earlier blow up.

Weasely Evan asks for $20 for his torn shirt again. He doesn't get it before Chad finally decides to leave.

Meanwhile, Alex and JoJo are still on their date. We see a kiss before he heads home.

When Alex arrives, they pick him up and carry him on their shoulders through the house. They present him with sparklers and a big cake. Seriously. He's their hero.

Since the last episode started with a rose ceremony, we have one early tonight. JoJo shows up to the cocktail party, and tells all the guys that Chad wasn't who she thought she was. Other than that, she had an incredible week.

Chase gets some time with JoJo, and they play around with the inflatable balls from one of the dates. I'm sure they almost suffocated while both stuck in one kissing.

Robby thinks his relationship is miles ahead of the other guys. They go make a wish at the wishing well. Another face suck. The guys turn green as they watch. Jealous or sick or both.

So, random under the radar guy, I mean James F., reads a poem to her. I really did have to wait for his name to show up. He doesn't finish his conversation, but in comes Alex and his rose to interrupt. The guys don't take that well. 

Daniel was trying to have his time when Luke tries to interrupt. He asks for a little more time since Luke already has his rose. Luke is kind of intense. He also single-handedly responsible for the whole in the ozone with the height of his hair. 

While the other guys are standing around, Evan, Wells and Derek (I seriously) had trouble remember the other two names... long two weeks or they just aren't memorable) decide that the fact that Chad was there meant their was a common enemy. Now they decide they need to create another enemy. As they talk, Luke tells Evan that if he doesn't go get his time in, he's going to go for seconds. Evan looks at him weird...

Meanwhile Jordan and his rose go out to find JoJo. They are on the other side of the wall being really grabby.

Evan still hasn't gotten his time. JoJo goes to sit in the group, but just as she does, Chris Harrison comes to ring his glass and take her away.

Time for the rose ceremony. As reminder, Jordan, Luke and Alex already have their roses.

Thirteen men left. Three already have them. Wells thinks he's down and out.
  1. Derek
  2. Robby
  3. Chase
  4. Wells (guess he wasn't as bad off as he thought)
  5. Grant (I had a feeling he was gone)
  6. Vinny (not sure why he's still here)
  7. James Taylor
  8. Evan (I was ready for him and his bad hair to go)
That leaves James F. and Daniel the Canadian are going home. Daniel decides that she's going for personality instead of looks or he would still be around. She didn't take his body into account. 

JoJo ends the evening by announcing they are headed to Uruguay. James Taylor knows where that is. His momma was a geography teacher. 

In Uruguay, JoJo hopes to figure out if the men are all there for her. I'm guessing it's either that or their 15 minutes of fame.

At the Grand Hotel which is described as grand, they get the first date card.

"Jordan - Let's seal the date."

The reaction is deafening. The men are upset. Wells is really ticked and think Jordan is playing a game. The guys think something is up since two football dates revolved around Jordan. 

The date takes place on a yacht. I know. Shocking. They see the seals out in the water and Jordan barks at them. Thankfully they put on clothes in the form of wet suits and swim with the seals.

Now, granted, I don't need to see the gory details of rounding the bases on the yacht, but has anyone else noticed that we're seeing a whole lot more of the guys whining about each other than actual date interaction this season? 

While the guys are sitting around reading gossip magazines, Vinny the barber is cutting Alex's hair. Evidently the magazines were from Vinny's barber shop? An article about JoJo and her ex bring about a buzz kill. Her ex is also a Chad and he slammed her.

To hopefully broaden the hopes of those sulking over rumors from In Touch, another date card arrives. 

Luke reads, "Luke, Derek, Chase, Evan, James, Vinny, Grant, Wells, Alex - I can't stand to be away from you."

JoJo is trying to get to know Jordan. Her doubt is that she knows someone who dated Jordan and heard some not so great things about him. Over "dinner" she tells him that her biggest worry is getting her heart broken. She talks about her ex and how there were so many highs and lows. JoJo tells him that his ex talked about how on and off again they were. He gives the reason why is the fact that he was focused more on his career than his relationship. There was no cheating even though he may have talked to girls when he shouldn't have. JoJo doesn't want to find herself in the same situation. He said his pastor growing up always said, "don't say 'I love you' unless you plan to put a ring on it." This ex JoJo knows is the only girl he ever said, "I love you" to. 

He gets the rose because his answer was satisfactory and the fact her heart skipped a beat when Jordan said that she was falling in love with her earlier in the day. 

They go out into the public square and dance to a mariachi type band. 

Later that night in their on camera interview with JoJo, the producers show JoJo the article the men had seen. She asks why they are showing her. They explain that the guys had seen it, and she gets extremely upset. She says the ex just can't let anyone be happy. 

JoJo tearfully explains to all the men that the article is a load of lies and she is there for love. A love fest follows. Then, she cries more to the cameras. 

The next day, the guys not on the group date (Jordan and Robby), are having a spa date. Pedicures and facials. Jordan nibbles on the cucumbers from his eyes.

Now, onto the group date. They run up a dune and try to figure out how to sand surf. James Taylor is about as klutzy as me (I won't tell you about all of my bruises). I don't see anyone nail it though.

Derek jealously eyes a hug with Luke.

The next date card arrives... "Robby - Love is within our reach." Robby states tomorrow will be awesome and America will see who is in love with JoJo. 

Date again... JoJo tells all the men that night that she hopes they realize her intentions are pure.

Luke takes her off first. He says an ex is of no worry to him. He's really intense and he really creeps me out.

James Taylor doesn't believe anything in the article.

Wells toasts to the future, not the past. No more talk of Chads!

Luke talks with the other guys about how awkward the group dates are and how they become more and more so. Derek is getting uber jealous. He had the first one on one, but he wants to make sure there's still a future. He breaks up the conversation she's having with Evan. Derek says last week was hard for him and was definitely jealous. She does't want them to fall behind.

Alex is getting antsy. He says everyone thinks Derek is a nice guy, but he doesn't like him. Alex thinks he's too jealous and insecure, unlike himself. Alex talks to JoJo about how real their reality TV relationship is. 

When it comes time to hand out the date rose, Derek gets it. Alex thought that JoJo told him she would get it. I didn't hear that, but Alex doesn't need a pity rose. 

So, Robby. JoJo compares their relationship to the puppy love that can grow into something more. They're going to see what South America is all about. (Like all of North America is about the same thing.) I guess it's the cultural tourist traps she refers to. 

Jordan is trying to figure out the math for this week. I wish Vinnie had given James T a better haircut. 

After wandering around, they go out to the beach and decide to jump off of a cliff. She feels safe since he was a competitive swimmer. What good does that do if you bust your head on a rock?

Chase wants to know what Derek said to JoJo to get the rose. Alex jumps in talking about JoJo's wording about reassurance. Alex is starting to turn villain. Maybe it's his Napoleon complex.

So there's some salad on the plate as Robby and JoJo have their date wine. JoJo thinks Robby has emotional intelligence. Her words, not mine. He wants to tell her that he's falling in love. 

His sob story to get the date rose is about a friend dying while driving off a bridge while texting his girlfriend. Since the guy had already asked his girlfriend's parents for her hand in marriage, this taught him to quit his job and go after what he wants. To hide something is to lie to her, so gravity and love are going to take you where you are going to go, so tells her that he has fallen in love with her. JoJo doesn't have to tell him that she loves him back. He gets the rose, and that's all he needs.

It feels so good to JoJo to be loved. She could see herself falling in love with him after tonight. Under the fireworks on the beach. 

Onto another cocktail party! Evan knows he needs to have his time. 

Before JoJo arrives, Derek pulls off Jordan, Robby, Chase and Alex. Derek tells the guys it's been like a high school clique and he doesn't want to be bullied. Alex calls Derek sensitive. *GASP* Chase says he and Alex don't have roses, so have better things to do tonight.

Luke is like, anyone want to tell the rest of us what is going on? Jordan's like, "anyone else feel left out of the group?" Grant thinks all this is HS drama too. 

I'm wondering if there's a snowball's chance of us getting in another rose ceremony in the next 12 minutes. Chris Harrison arrives to tell the guys that after talking to JoJo, there will be no cocktail party because JoJo knows what she is going to do. Three men will be going home tonight. YES!

Right now, I hope it's Evan, Alex and I don't even care who else going home. I liked Alex alright until tonight. Wells. Let's send Wells home. I have a feeling though, we're going to get a cliff hanger. Oh, or creepy, intense Luke.

Now, we go from 11 to 8. Jordan, Derek and Robby are safe. That's most of the big hair. 

So the whiney voice over of the ceremony is Evan and his lack of time. Fight for it! 

Ok, so here we go...
  1. Luke (the other big hair)
  2. Chase (his hair is getting bigger up front too)
  3. Alex (pooh)
  4. James (his Lyle Lovett hair needs to go)
  5. Wells (eh)
That means Grant, Evan (bad hair) and Vinny (the barber) go home. Whoever will fix their hair the rest of the season?

Evan felt he should have taken better advantage of his time.

Grant is hurt and confused.

JoJo and Vinny mumble to each other as he leaves. I don't know what they said. He is in tears as he leaves though. He's hurt. 

Next week, the overly obsessed men's club. Jordan becomes a target. There's a rose JoJo doesn't want to give out. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hosanna



Hosannna
by Carl Tuttle

Hosanna, Hosanna,
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna, Hosanna,
Hosanna in the highest

Lord we lift up Your Name,
With hearts full of praise,
Be exalted Oh Lord my God,
Hosanna in the highest.

Glory, Glory,
Glory to the King of Kings
Glory, Glory,
Glory to the King of Kings

Lord we lift up Your Name,
With hearts full of praise,
Be exalted Oh Lord my God,
Hosanna in the highest.