Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Survivor: Winners at War: It's a Young Person's Game

Is it just me or are the people on Extinction way more interesting than the people left on any tribe?

Seriously, who remembers Sophie, Adam or Nick when they won their seasons? Do I just not pay attention anymore when I watch (a possibility while scrolling on my phone or something) or do I have some form of dementia and only remember 15 or more years ago?

We start at night 16 on Extinction where Parvati tells the crew how no one would work with her anymore. Then, Sandra shows up. (They were just both voted off on the same night.) This gives Parvati a small feeling of consolation.

When Sandra tells what happened, Rob asked why she ever gave that much power to Denise. Her answer was that she was human. She let feelings get to her and she felt a little something for Denise.

They talk a little bit about the food situation. Sandra knows this island is not for her. She's not going to be out there 23 days to do one challenge to try to get back in the game. She isn't good at challenges (and everyone knows that), so she's done. You have to be in a challenge, to be good at a challenge, but... She says she will always remain queen as she raises the flag, goes off in the boat.

I say she's the biggest quitter. C'mon! It's Winners at War and you just rang the bell. Loser.

Night 16 at Parvati's old camp. Yul goes to Wendell to talk about how tribal went down. Yul thinks the talk goes fine and respectful. The next morning, Michele goes to Wendell. He gets confrontational. Michele, like an idiot even gave him one of Parvati's fire tokens to make nice, and that didn't work. That was dumb on her part. She doesn't want to work with him anymore. 

Day 17: Back to Extinction. Ethan feels depressed and defeated. He needs to find some hope. Parvati asks if he is going to pull the flag. He refuses to give up, but he has a much different perspective than most.
Ethan later finds a box that must be opened together. Each gets a scroll. There are four hidden fire tokens at the end of trails. There's no limit how many one person can get. They all sprint off and leave the rice on the fire. Rob takes off. Tyson thinks that Rob is portly and he can catch up at some point.

Tyson goes up the first trail and finds one on the ground. They all gather again and everyone swears to not have anything and they start frisking one another. What no one knows is that Rob has already found all of the other three.


On Sandra's old tribe, they just think they are bored. There's four of them, and they aren't social distancing. Tony is running around and entertaining the tribe.

Tony thinks Denise is growing as a threat, but Jeremy thinks Tony is still the threat. Kim and Jeremy think they need a plan for the merge. She could be convinced to go with this group of four than going back to any of her previous tribe mates. Denise talks to Kim about the two of them with Jeremy being tight going forward.

On the other tribe, they are enjoying what's left of the peanut butter. Ben and Adam are asking each other about where the immunity idol might be. Little do they know Sophie is in possession. Adam thinks between Ben and Sarah, one of them has it.

The men go out looking. Adam finds Ben annoying though. Adam is convinced Sarah has it and lies to him. Sophie shares what Adam talks about with the others so they don't think she's in cahoots with him. Sarah and Ben offer to dump out their bags to prove they don't have it. Adam is annoying all of them.

Maybe there's something to be said about being home alone. Ten days and counting.

Day 18: Challenge time

The teams have to big "saucers" through an obstacle course to fill with water. They have to get enough water back to the well to fill up a well back at the other end. When the well is filled, the puzzle pieces will drop. The first two teams go faster than the third, meaning they have to go back again. Yara takes FOREVER while the other teams almost lap them. It pays off. Slow and steady strategy means they only have to make one run.

Dakal and Sele quickly catch up and get their puzzle pieces.

Ben and Sophie had the head start on the puzzle and pull off the first immunity spot. It's neck and neck. Jeremy and Denise get theirs before Wendell and Michele put their last piece in.

Nick did this challenge in his season and lost. He lost again. Yul, Michele, Wendell and Nick are going to tribal tonight. Yul thinks Wendell is a showboat and trying to get Jeff's attention instead of concentrating on the puzzle dug his grave.

Back at camp, Michele apologizes to the rest of the tribe. Nick blames Wendell for the same reasons as Yul. Yul and Nick agree on Wendell while Michele and Wendell wash their shoes at the beach.

Michele agrees to go with Wendell. He thinks Nick is going to be on his side too.

Yul talks to Michele and she agrees to vote with them and assures her there's nothing to worry about.

Yul comes up with a plan to try to get Wendell's fire tokens. This strategy play scares Nick. Maybe he and Michele should go the other way.

So everyone talks and there's lots of back and forth. Yul, Wendell, Yul, Wendell.

It's tribal time. Jeff starts asking Wendell what's up, telling he's ready to say something. Wendell basically just says it's been a tough day. Jeff calls on Yul next, the last old school player left. Yul talks about how it's so much more complicated and he's had to lie a lot. He talks about trying to convince people with fire tokens.

Conversations move to pre-existing conversations. Michele and Wendell yammer on about ifs and buts.

Yul makes a final plea to work with them and not be blind-sided. They've been together this whole time, but now someone has to go.

Wendell votes Yul.

Yul votes Wendell.

We know that from watching. When the votes are read:

Yul
Wendell
Yul
Yul

He's the 9th person voted out. Where will his fire tokens go? He has two. One to Sophie and one to Sarah.

The tribes are starting to look an awful lot like the cast of The Bachelor or something. It's all the young people and I feel old again.

Next week: The merge!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

If Your Kids Have Questions, You Want Them to Come to You for Answers



If Your Kids Have Questions,
You Want Them to Come to You for Answers
Honest Answers equips parents to explore God questions with their tweens

Who would have thought two weeks ago that we would be facing so much fear and uncertainty? There are so many unknowns, so many questions, and if we have them, we know our kids have them too. And they are going to be asking a lot of them in the coming weeks, including questions about God’s goodness and if prayer works. Are we prepared to answer their questions concerning faith? Janelle Alberts and Ingrid Faro set out to help parents confidently have these hard conversations with their new release, Honest Answers: Exploring God Questions with Your Tween (Kregel Publications/March 24, 2020/ISBN: 9780825446443/$15.99).


Honest Answers is designed to help parents tackle the God questions that make them sweat. The authors know that when tweens start asking questions, they’re already old enough to understand the answers. Alberts and Faro are determined to equip parents with the language, theology, permission, and confidence to join in the discussion—and to learn how to offer deeply doctrinal answers in a way that connects with their children.

Honest Answers is divided into four parts, each with three chapters, addressing some of the biggest faith questions that come up:
  • The Bible: How it was put together, how history supports it, and the points of view of the writers.
  • Prayer:  How to pray, when we don’t get the answers we are wanting, and sticking with God regardless.
  • Faith and science: Why the two sides don’t always agree, and how to handle situations that come up in school when what kids learn there doesn’t line up with what they learn at church.
  • The church: How it is set up, why there are different denominations, and its past, present, and future.

Each chapter begins with a “parent’s primer” on a specific topic that tweens often ask questions about. The primer introduces the topic and provides further background information to share in later conversations with the kids. Next, an “honest answers Q&A” section is the part of the chapter to be read as a family. Each Q&A section begins with a brief introduction followed by six to eight multiple choice questions to explore together.

“Our kids want and deserve discussion about God and the Bible and don’t accept simply being told what to think or believe,” Faro shares. “We can enter conversations providing solid and substantive responses to tough questions without jargon, fluff, or pat answers and don’t need to be afraid of questions our kids may have.”

“As parents, we want to feel confident enough to say to our kids, ‘Let’s talk about that,’ right at their point of interest,” Alberts adds. “However, that is not an easy thing to do. These core tenets of our faith have been debated over centuries and have involved councils, creeds, Bible translations, extraordinary feats of faith, and also terrible behavior. But we’re the parents. These kids want to know what there is to know from us. If our kids see a pattern that when they come to us, they get honest, forthright discussion even if we do not know every answer, that will keep them coming to us as a resource as they mature in their faith.”

The tween years present an incredible opportunity to build trust with kids and to keep them coming back to their parents for answers rather than finding other sources. With the tools and conversational tips here, moms and dads can engage in a hopeful conversation and help their children build a Christian faith to hold them steady their whole lives.


Advance Praise

Young teens and their parents have honest questions that deserve thoughtful, gracious engagement. This book provides accessible background for parents, caregivers, and teachers to the kinds of faith questions maturing young people ask, and thought-provoking conversation starters to spur curiosity and instruct through discussion. Brimming with both instruction and invitation to know and to grow, Honest Answers is an excellent teaching tool for families and faith communities looking for fresh ways to talk about God with the next generation.”
~ Michelle Van Loon, author of Born to Wander

“Too many of the previous generation were taught to think the Bible is a magical, mysterious, absolutely different kind of book, only to experience a sudden dissolution of their faith when they realized God’s Word came into being in a real world with real authors speaking to real situations. What I like about Honest Answers is that it gives our children a Bible that is magical yet utterly trustworthy, while at the same time it is a collection of authors speaking God’s word to God’s people over time. God bless the moms and dads and teachers who make use of this fine book.”
~ Dr. Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary


About the Authors

Janelle Alberts spent her early career in PR departments for Microsoft and UPS, boiling down logical, clear corporate messaging. She now attempts the same for parents who love Scripture, often featuring bits we’ve never heard but wish we had.

Alberts wrote her first faith column for the Akron Beacon Journal in 2010 and has since been a regular contributor to various online sites including Christianity Today’s Gifted for Leadership, RELEVANT magazine, and others. Honest Answers is her first book.

Alberts and her family make their home in Ohio.

Visit her on Facebook (@AuthorJanelleAlberts).


Ingrid Faro is dean of academic affairs and associate professor of Old Testament at Northern Seminary. She is also associate professor of Old Testament at the Scandinavian School of Theology in Sweden. She has an MDiv and PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Faro is an international speaker at conferences and churches and writes on topics that include navigating evil and suffering, abuse and power dynamics, women in the Bible, forgiveness, the goodness of God, identity in Christ, discipleship, and leadership. Her motivation is to encourage people, help them navigate the pain and sufferings of this world, and grow in thriving relationship with God and others. She is the coauthor of Honest Answers.

Faro has two married children and three grandchildren. She lives in Illinois.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Creation Song

We try... and sometimes that's what counts, especially on Wednesday nights.


Creation Song

Day one, day one
God made light when there was none,
Day one, day one
God made light when there was none.

Day two, day two
God made clouds and skies of blue
Day two, day two
God made clouds and skies of blue

Day three, day three
God made grass and flowers and trees
Day three, day three
God made grass and flowers and trees

Day four, day four
God made sun, moon and stars galore
Day four, day four
God made sun, moon and stars galore

Day five, day five
God made birds and fish alive
Day five, day five
God made birds and fish alive

Sixth day, sixth day
God made animals and man that day,
Sixth day, sixth day
God made animals and man that day.

Day seven, day seven
God rested in His heaven
Day seven, day seven
God rested in His heaven



Friday, March 20, 2020

Calling all Comparison Girls!



New tour announcement!

Join the review team for Shannon Popkin's upcoming release Comparison Girl.

The dates will be May 19-June 2. I'll be sending out emails about who made the tour on April 3.

When I send out all the details ahead of the tour, I'll have a Q&A you can use, we'll be doing a book giveaway and will provide you with all the tour materials you will need. I'll also have a form for you to submit your tour links.
 

About the Book

From Measuring Up to Pouring Out

Shannon Popkin leads women away from a life
of comparison toward a mind-set of serving

I wish I were tall like her. If only my kids got along the way her kids do. Why does she always seem to have it all together? Women compare themselves constantly. On social media, in their neighborhood, at church, at work, even in the school drop-off lane, they glance sideways and ask, “How do I measure up?” Behind all this comparison is an enemy gaining tactical advantage.

In her new Bible study, Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World (Kregel Publications/May 19, 2020/ISBN: 9780825446214/ $16.99), author and speaker Shannon Popkin invites women to leave measure-up comparison behind and connect with those around them by choosing Jesus’s me-free way of living. It’s a real chance to break free from the shackles of comparison.

Popkin confesses her own struggle with comparison literally goes as far back as she can remember and suspects her readers can relate. Her earliest memory is of her four-year-old self holding her songbook upside down in church. When a woman from the pew behind reached forward to turn the book right side up, Popkin felt embarrassed and exposed—clearly the watching world now knew she could not read. It may seem silly in retrospect, but Popkin admits the same could be said of many of her current struggles. “Why do I worry about being exposed as a less-than-perfect mom? Or a middle-aged woman who struggles with her weight? Or a Christian who still sins? My heart, since childhood, has been bent on perfectionism, pride, and measuring up—which has not led to great freedom and joy. Instead, it’s led to a great fear of what people think and a great dread of being found lacking.”

Comparison follows women through every stage of life, leading either to a sense of superiority (pride, perfectionism, arrogance, or judgmental criticism) or inferiority (insecurity, shame, jealousy, and self-consciousness). Satan loves to perpetuate comparison-driven bondage and isolation, but Jesus wants to set women free.

Equating our lives to a measuring cup, Popkin invites readers to live by the spout, not by the lines. “Picture yourself holding a glass measuring cup with red lines on the side. Mingled in your cup are all the things which set you apart—your gifts, aptitudes, and talents. Your personality is mixed in, along with your family background. This cup holds your life’s potential, measured out by God. Satan wants you to focus on the lines—holding your cup next to this person’s and that one’s. He says that to make something of yourself, you have to measure up—then he shames you when you don’t,” she explains. “Jesus, however, turns your attention to your measuring cup’s spout, saying that you were designed, not to measure up, but to pour yourself out. And he shows you how it’s done. He lived by the spout, emptying himself of status and pouring his life out on the cross, giving his life as a ransom for many.”

Suited for both individual and group study, Comparison Girl is a six-week Bible study that guides readers to examine conversations Jesus had and parables he shared with disciples, tax collectors, and Pharisees, who also were comparing. Each chapter is divided into lessons, allowing women on a time budget to read a Bible passage, engage in a complete train of thought related to the topic, and then make the content personal—all in one sitting. Rather than feeling preached to, women will engage with Popkin’s informal teaching tone as if they’re meeting with a trusted friend.

Readers of Popkin’s best-selling release Control Girl may find themselves in Comparison Girl as well. “I wrestle daily with comparison, and I’ve noticed that my struggles with control and comparison are related. As I look to the side, measuring myself against others, I’m often laser-focused on things that are out of my control,” she admits. Yet, there is hope. “You are different from other people by God’s intentional design. Anything in your measuring cup is a gift from Him. As you tip your cup and pour into others, the measuring stops. The more you pour, the more God fills your cup with freedom, confidence, and joy.”


Advance Praise

“If you struggle with measuring up, if you’re worried about what people think, if you dread someone seeing you in a less-than-ideal situation, then you’re human. We all struggle with comparing ourselves to others in some way. That means we all need Shannon’s honest and wise words on the pages of this book. I know I did, and I’m betting you do too!”
~ Jill Savage, author of No More Perfect Moms, No More Perfect Kids, and No More Perfect Marriages

“Shannon Popkin has done it again! She has masterfully written another must-read to speak to the struggles of our soul. Like a dear friend she comes, sits with us, and soothes us with the truth of how purposefully we were created, how intentionally we have been gifted, and how infinitely we are loved. Inviting us to look up, listen to the tender truths of God, and learn to silence the lies of the enemy against us, Shannon shows us how to finally live freely in a culture of continual comparison. For every woman who has an area of her life where she wonders if she is truly enough—here is your answer.”
~ Erica Wiggenhorn, author of Unexplainable Jesus: Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew

About the Author

Shannon Popkin is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who loves pointing others to the truth of God’s Word. She combines her gifts for humor and storytelling with her passion for Jesus. She regularly speaks at Christian women’s events and retreats, encouraging women of all ages to put their hope in God.

Popkin is also a regular contributor for the Revive Our Hearts True Woman and Leader Connection blogs. Her articles have been published by Family Fun, Focus on the Family Magazine, MOMsense and others. She is the author of several books, including Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, Influence: Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me), and Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World.

Popkin and her husband, Ken, have been married for more than twenty years and live in West Michigan. They have three children—one in high school and two in college.

Connect with Shannon Popkin by visiting www.shannonpopkin.com, following her on Facebook (shanpopkin), Instagram (shannonpopkin), or Twitter (@ShannonPopkin).
 




Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Survivor: Winners at War: I missed the moment I've been waiting for all season

I had a frustrating day. I'll spare you the details, but COVID-19 needs to go away. I'm not sick, just sick of it. Can I get an amen?

So, I didn't sit down to start Survivor on time, but when I did sit down and turn on the TV, my satellite receiver couldn't connect to the network.

I recorded 51 minutes of Survivor, went black for a period of time and got a recording of two more minutes. You know that's just commercials and a peek at next week.

What that means is that I'll have to try to get it online before I can finish this post. Because, you know, nothing is going to go smooth today.

We didn't see how the Extinction Island people were doing last week, but I'm sure we'll get a glimpse at the Rob and Amber reunion this week.

It's day 15 on the Yara beach... 

This tribe thinks they are evidently free to do what they want now that Rob is gone. They can talk to each other now. Ben said it was a lack of respect for other players that sent Rob packing. He thinks he can team up with Sophie and Sarah now.

Adam is nervous now. He realizes he is low man on the totem pole, and Ben isn't talking to him anymore.

On Edge of Extinction...

Tyson finds a log with a clue. The four that had to haul all the logs down the mountain just hope they don't have to take their piles back up. Tyson reads the clue that basically says they can win another fire token, but they have to turn over every stone. Sometimes, you're just at the right place at the right time. Tyson doesn't have a token, but four people do. He doesn't want Rob to find it. Rob thinks it's on a cliff because edge has a double meaning in the clue. Rob says he turns over about 8 million rocks.

Tyson picks up on the right place at the right time which is a tide reference. Tyson finds it and is almost caught by Rob.

They take a break to eat rice. When everyone goes back out to look, Tyson reads the clue. It's a idol nullifier (evidently not a real word according to spell check) that has to be to be sold to someone still in the game. He sends it to Parvati.

Instead of saving up tokens to buy an idol, he buys a giant jar of peanut butter. He's going to build up his energy to get back in the game.
On Day 16 when the tribes gather for the next immunity challenge, some are quite surprised it was Rob that was voted off.

Parvati and Michelle do not look happy.

The teams will run out to a boat holding three bags of rice. They have to bring them back through obstacles to stab the bags until they find a ball in each. The balls then go through a puzzle maze.

The first team, and only the first team wins immunity and peanut butter and jelly.
When they call for who is going to sit out, it's no surprise that Sandra sits her butt on the bench. When the teams aren't even, she ain't playin'. I don't know why her new tribe isn't arguing a big. Michele has to sit out for her tribe, they talk about it first.

Sele gets to opening their bags first. Yara comes up second. Sele is last at getting their bags ready to stab.

Sele gets the third ball right before Yara. They start their mazes first. Sele gets a ball first. Yara gets one, then two. Sele gets their second.

Sophie gets the third in for Yara just in the nick of time. Adam is oh so very thankful.

As the tribes head back to their camps, it's time for Dakal and Sele to decide who is going home. 

Parvati doesn't feel good about this. Wendell and Yul are ready to vote her out. Nick is disappointed with that because he wanted to play with his Survivor crush. Michele isn't sure anything they can do will save Parv. Michele runs the idea by Wendell for her to vote for him in hopes of some fire tokens. Michele and Wendell dated, and he won't trust her.

Wendell and Parvati talk. They know they are after each other. They throw out the idea of Nick or Yul. Wendell says he'll vote for whoever she says for two fire tokens -- before, not after it happens. Parv takes this info to Nick to try to get him to turn. Michele goes to Nick to get him to turn on Wendell.

Over to Dakal... Tony doesn't know what's going on, so he's talking too much again in camera interviews. He hides in a bush to be able to listen to everyone and find out plans. When Sandra, Denise and Kim start talking, Sandra's radar goes up, and she moves them to talk somewhere else.

Denise says Sandra thinks she is in charge of the game. Denise tries to take the humble (in her words) approach to play. Sandra warns them to watch out from Tony who has been missing for a while. Sandra figures out he's in a spy shack and warns people not to talk around the well. Jeremy wonders why he is doing this since he isn't on the chopping block.

When he comes out, Kim gets after him for freaking out. Everyone except Denise get together to talk.

Sandra tries to get Denise to hand her two fire tokens for an idol. Sandra says Denise can pick the man to vote out. Denise deals with Sandra, saying she will take one token now, and the other later when she gets confirmation that the idol is real.

As Sele gathers at tribal, Jeff asks if anyone is seeing a theme for the season. Wendell calls it the season of pre-existing connections.

Wendell gets mad when people start insinuating something about him. After some talk, Parv asks Wendell if the token deal still stands. After some alluding, an agreement doesn't come out of the talk.

Votes:

Parvati
Wendell
Wendell
Parvati
Parvati

Jeff sends them on their way, and Parvati drops her tokens in Michele's box.

Dakal arrives. Jeff asks Kim about the theme of game play. She says threats vs. non-threats. Jeff asks with 20 winners how there can be threats and non-threats. Sandra's answer is a list of who she sees as threats vs. non-threats. She sure thinks she's special.

They talk about formal tribal lines. They talk about how it seems to be Denise this vote.

And there my 51 minutes ends. With those last two minutes of commercials and a preview, I know who was sent packing, hallelujah, and who she gives the tokens to (Yul).

Now, let me go see if I can pull up CBS.com to see how it went down.

Not going to be able to watch it tonight, but the tribe finally got smart and sent Sandra home. Now she and Rob can eat each other alive on Extinction.

Thursday morning update:

I just pulled up the episode. Alright, the conversation continues on having the numbers, and Sandra says you have to exploit numbers because it's them or you.

Sandra votes Denise "for show" because she doesn't think it's Denise going home tonight.

Jeff does his call for hidden immunity idols. Denise asks for a minute. She brings up an idol she says she happened upon today. It is real. She sits down. She asks for another minute. She pulls out another idol that she wants to play for Jeremy. She sits down. It's also real. 

The votes are read:

Denise
Denise
Denise
Denise
Sandra

Sandra was looking all entertained by this until her name is read. Tony doesn't know how this is possible. Jeremy just shakes his head. 

Sandra's response is. "Day 16 got me again."

Denise says she is ready to throw up.

Kim's response is that she is impressed. 


Monday, March 16, 2020

Audra's guide to working from home

I don't quite know what to do with myself tonight. The Bachelor season is over, and it feels weird not having something to do tonight. On Tuesdays and Fridays for the past few months I've gone to basketball or softball games, and I don't know when or if I'll get to do that any time soon. So, maybe, I'll get caught up on a little blogging.

So, all this time at home. I'm not really a stranger to it. You all might be. Social distancing may have you wigged out. I, on the other hand, sometimes realize when I go to get in my car on Wednesday evenings that I haven't been in my car since I got home from church on Sunday night.

You will survive.

Yes, there are times I absolutely have to get out of the house, but you adjust. Trust me. I've been doing it for eight years now.

If you are adapting to working from home for the (hopefully) short term, let me give you some advice. 


For the love of all things, get dressed! 

One of my life's mottos is, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Yes, you can work in your pajamas, but don't. You don't have to dress up. You don't even have to be much more decent than your PJs, but get dressed. This gets you into a routine and more into a mindset to work and get on with your day.

Have a dedicated space to work.  

You may not be able to dedicate an entire room to an office, but set aside a corner of a room. Even just a desk or table where all you do at/in that space is work. I don't go to coffee shops to work. I've tried the library. I just can't get settle and focused because it's not my routine place to sit down and work.

If you go to a designated space to work, you'll think about getting to work. In my office, I only do work and stuff like bills or maybe printing out something I need for some other purpose. When I leave that room/space, I can leave work behind.

Someone I work with was working from home today. She asked how I managed not taking a nap every day. The answer to that is not working from the couch.

(More pictures of my space are at the bottom of the post.)

If you are distracted by something you need to do, stop your work, do what you need to do, and get back to it.

Last week, I was pre-occupied with needing to get all my tax stuff together. I was hung up on finishing off sorting my crafty business receipts by expense category and needing to get some other bills into a chart before taking my taxes to my CPA. I was doing it at night and putting it off on the weekends.

I had a boatload of work that needed to be done, but I sat down for three hours and finished getting my taxes together. That was a business-related item too. Instead of letting it suck up brain energy, I got it done and off my list.

It's no big deal being in a different location than all your other co-workers. You can function as a team.

I started working from home because when I changed jobs, it was a remote working gig. My boss lived in Seattle. At one point, during the six years I worked for that company, we were all spread out. Texas, Washington, Florida (where my assistant lived), Nebraska and Arkansas. Much communication about work was conducted via our group chat on Facebook Messenger.

Alongside my freelance PR work, I am on staff at New Growth Press which is based in North Carolina. I'm the only person in the central time zone, but several members of the team work outside of the main office. For the past couple of months, the four members of our marketing team were all in different locations. Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ireland. Only one was in THE office. The rest were in OUR offices.

Don't do other things during the day other than work. 

The pile of clothes sitting between the washing machine and kitchen table are proof I don't deal with chores during the day. That's for after work. And sometimes it still doesn't get done.

In my last house, my office was upstairs and I had a mini fridge up there so that I didn't wander up and downstairs to the kitchen for something to drink and waste time. I'm right across the hall from the kitchen now, and that has problems all its own.

If you can't handle the silence, that's when you turn on Spotify or Netflix.

I can't do silence. I'm more distracted by the silence than the noise. My mind wanders more in silence. I have the TV on now, and can't tell you all the details of All Rise. I sleep with the TV on. If I wake up and the TV is off and I can't get back to sleep, I turn the TV on. (I don't care what the sleep studies say, it's how I function.)

If you need noise, turn on Spotify on your computer. Turn on Netflix. However, I don't recommend watching something you've never watched before or trying to catch up on the latest episode of whatever your favorite show is. Turn on something you've watched a million times before.

You have no idea how many times I have played Gilmore GirlsWest Wing, and Grey's Anatomy while in my office. I play the same things over and over again. It's noise. I can quote along with the episodes without a thought. It's noise. It's usually playing on one computer while I have my back to it and work off of another.

Yes, it is an adjustment, but you can do this!




Sunday, March 15, 2020

We Will Glorify

I think we were saved by the bell on this one! 😏


We Will Glorify

By Twila Paris
Used by permission. CCLI # 1132191

We will glorify the King of kings,
We will glorify the Lamb;
We will glorify the Lord of lords,
Who is the great I Am.

Lord Jehovah reigns in majesty,
We will bow before His throne;
We will worship Him in righteousness,
We will worship Him alone.

He is Lord of Heaven, Lord of earth,
He is Lord of all who live;
He is Lord of all the universe,
All praise to Him we give.

Hallelujah to the King of kings,
Hallelujah to the Lamb;
Hallelujah to the Lord of lords,
Who is the great I Am.



Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Survivor: Winners at War: I called the shuffle last week

I'm a day late on my post. I was originally planning on watching Wednesday night after I got home from church, but I ended up going to the grocery store because I needed food and with the fears of COVID-19 growing worse through the day, I decided I needed to go while I could and also get my claim on toilet paper. While I did buy extra, I'm more concerned with everyone buying it up than anything. There have been times in the course of normal, everyday life where I have had to go to the store just to get toilet paper. I'm not going to be caught in a situation where I need it and don't have it.

I feel like this had a direct correlation to Survivor. I couldn't do the show for numerous reasons, athletic ability included, but I don't camp. The first day I was covered entirely with mosquito bites (which I no doubt would be), I'd be crying for home. I like my bed and my weighted blanket too much. And, I don't function well without actual bathrooms and running water to wash my hands. I strongly despise Porta Potties. I want a clean, functional bathroom with toilet paper.

Everyone would outlast me on that part.

Now, onto our show...

It's Day 12 on Dakal (Sandra's camp). Nick thinks all is well in the world with Tyson gone. He does appreciate Tyson giving him his fire token though. Maybe under other circumstances they could have worked together.

Yul is talking about not keeping in contact with any of his fellow castaways from his season other than Jonathan Penner. Yul, Wendell and Sarah talk about how his wife is battling ALS. He's hoping that maybe in winning they can help the Penner family out and bring awareness. Good job, Yul!

As the teams gather on the beach, it's time for a tribe mix-up. If I didn't say it in my post last week, I said it to someone on Facebook. After that last vote, I knew it was time for a tribe switch.

Rob doesn't much like this. He was in control of the game in Marquesas, his first season when a tribe switch happened that messed up his game.

They are going from two tribes to three tribes.

BLUE: The new Sele with 2 former Sele (women)  and 3 former Dakal (men).

Parvati
Nick
Wendell
Michelle
Yul

RED: The new Dakal with 3 former Dakal and 2 former Sele.

Sandra
Tony
Kim
Jeremy
Denise

GREEN: Which is 3 former Sele members (men) and 2 former Dakal (women).

Rob
Ben
Adam
Sarah
Sophie

Adam is sweating his situation because he burned some bridges with his tribe. For Rob's sake, they better stay original tribe loyal.

The new members of Dakal are impressed with camp and all that Wendell did. Jeremy, being on the short end of the numbers is trying to seek out which member of Dakal might be on the outs and flip. Will Kim be it? Kim and Denise seem to have a bonding moment. Will Kim pull Denise in or Kim go with Denise and Jeremy?

Sandra and Tony talk about lions and hyenas, or more specifically Tony is making this analogy and rambling on nonsense. He knows Kim may go to the other side.

They do eat well on a big eel.

But enough of Dakal, what's up with Sele? Nick is happy to be back with his allies. The women are going to have to win a man over. 

Parvati tries to bond with Yul whose wife is a fan of hers. (They played together before, but were never on the same team.) Nick admits he had a crush on Parv when he was in high school. Parv laughs at the awkwardness of the fact Michele and Wendell used to date and it ended badly. Now they are on a very small tribe together. Will it be a problem?

Then, the new tribe...

Ben is concerned about the Rob and Adam past.

Rob gets the scoop from the women about what went down with the Amber and Tyson votes. Those were unanimous votes. Conversation goes to the Ethan vote. The women can feel the tension with the men. Everyone has conversations with everyone else one-on-one about possible alliances and dishing dirt. Sophie thinks there are so many cracks, the men might decide they are still better off sticking together. They know there has to be an idol somewhere. They all seek out to look. The last time Rob found an idol on one of his later seasons, he found the idol with four clues.

Sophie finds it. She has to give half of the idol to someone else by sundown. She gave Kim the other half of her (Kim's) idol back before the swap, so she understands the struggle of what to do with it. She ends up teaming with Sarah.

Now, it's time for the immunity challenge.

After running through an obstacle course, they use sandbags to knock blocks off a pedestal. Then, the four big blocks have to be stacked where there is one of each of four colors on each side of a stack.

Yara gets through the obstacles first. Then, Sele. Dakal is last.

Ben and Rob get their blocks down first. It's up to Adam and Sophie to get the blocks.

Sele gets their blocks next. Dakal may never make it.

Parvati and Wendell start on their blocks.

Jeremy and Sandra seem to make up some time, at least momentarily.

Sele gets theirs first.

Yara has to start over.

Dakal comes from way behind to be Yara who had a major lead. Rob's team can never do the puzzles.

I seem to be team underdog. Rob hates to lose, but still thinks they have disposable members.

It's scramble time for Yara.

Sophie knows as a puzzle person today, she's vulnerable. The men all take off. Sophie and Sarah think they may have Ben on their side.

The men all agree not to write each other's name down. Rob asks Adam who he wants to get rid of. Adam thinks Sophie is more valuable in challenges. Rob says they have choices, but recommends all three men go back to camp as a united unit and none of them goes off to talk with one of the women. It's Rob's version of the buddy system. The key being not giving the women a chance to talk to one of the men.

Adam just finds this to be boring, and it gives no one to play and maneuver. Ben sees this as the Rob power play. Ben sees his choices as going with "The Godfather" or go with the women.

Sarah sees Rob's play as negative. She's hoping they send Rob home. She has a steal a vote and could get rid of him now, but knows it will get messier. Sarah gets Sophie to give her the other half of the idol back so she can pull out an idol if she starts to feel uneasy.

I guess we aren't going to find out how Tyson bonded with fire token thirsty Natalie because we've reached time for tribal.

Jeff asks Sophie how the game is different this time. She says the relationships and different combinations of voting. Ben talks about someone turning into a dictator, but everyone knows not to poke the bear.

The women talk about how little conversation there was after the men came back into camp. The women say they are open to working with any of the men if they want to talk. The men talk about the numbers game.

It's time to vote.

Rob votes for Sarah. That is shown before Jeff tallies.

Does anyone have an idol they want to play? The women don't pull it out.

Sarah
Rob
Rob
Rob

That's enough... a vote remains unread.

Yeah, I saw that one coming too. Rob leaves his fire token to Parvati.