random stuff

What’s In a Name? Namely Mine

Wow, I’m impressed. This is absolutely, positively SPOT ON!


What Karen Means


You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life. You are also a keeper of knowledge – meaning you don’t spill secrets or spread gossip. People sometimes think you’re snobby or aloof, but you’re just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

You are usually the best at everything … you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive. You have the classic “Type A” personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You’re always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can’t handle you. You’re very intense. You definitely are a handful, and you’re likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone. You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together. At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people. You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts. You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Does God “Permit” Evil?

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

[This article was taken from the book Don’t Blame God! A Biblical Answer to the Problem of Evil, Sin, and Suffering.]

To some Christians (though not enough), it sounds too hideous to say something like “God killed your son,” when a child is run over by a bus. So they euphemistically say that God “allowed” the child to be run over by a bus. But can a logical mind make any distinction between the two? Ours do not, and we doubt if yours does either. If God could have stopped it, but instead allowed it, He necessarily shares the responsibility for the tragedy.

The Word of God also says that Satan is the one who now holds the power of death, that is, he is the ultimate cause of death. This is either directly, via evil spirit intervention, such as a spirit of murder causing one person to murder another, or indirectly, via one of the countless diseases he has introduced into the world.

Hebrews 2:14
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil.

Suppose you are sitting in a restaurant visiting with two friends, Bill and Joe. Bill sees a guy with a lead pipe in his hand sneaking up behind you. He turns to Joe and asks, “How’s your family?” When you wake up, don’t you think you will blame Bill almost as much as you blame the guy who hit you with the pipe? Who can truly love a God who causes suffering, or one who could stop it, but just decides to “allow” it to happen?

In the beginning, as we have stated, God decided to “allow” or “permit” the possibility of evil in order to make possible an unforced response of genuine goodness and love. If something contrary to His will happens, it is because God cannot at that moment stop it without going against His own nature. How could that be? We believe there are three very good reasons. First, because although He is the most powerful One in the war, His righteous nature requires Him to act justly toward His formidable foe, the Devil. Second, He cannot usurp anyone’s personal freedom of will. Third, His justice requires Him to allow people to experience the consequences of disobedience.

To say that God cannot always stop evil flies in the face of many Christian people’s fatalistic concept of “the sovereignty of God,” [1] a phrase, by the way, not found in Scripture. To most Christians, this means that God is ruling over everything that happens, and is thus responsible for it all. Most Christians have also been taught that God is “omnipotent,” which according to Webster’s actually means “all powerful.” [2] Obviously God does not have all power, because Satan also has plenty. We believe that most Christians use the term “omnipotent” to mean that God has the most power and therefore can do whatever He wants. Although we certainly believe that God is the most powerful, we do not believe He can always do whatever He wants. As we have previously stated, He has limited Himself in His Word as to what He will and will not do.

Despite how much we may love to sing the verses of “Joy To The World” at Christmas time, there are a number of Scripture verses that indicate that the world is not yet subject to the rule of the Lord. [3]

For example:

1 Corinthians 15:24-26
(24) Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
(25) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
(26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

It is obvious from the above verses that there is some “dominion,” some “authority” and some “power” that is not yet subject to the Lord. Furthermore, it is obvious that death is an enemy of God, not a tool He uses, and that it is not yet destroyed. Another pertinent verse is in Hebrews chapter 10.

Hebrews 10:12 and 13
(12) But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.
(13) Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

Since Christ is now waiting for his enemies to become his footstool, it is obvious that at this time they are not under his subjection. But God is the most powerful and most wise one in the fight, and that means that human history as a whole will be resolved according to His will. The “whole” will be made up of the parts of human history— individuals — who chose to believe God’s Word and do His will.

In regard to God’s eventual victory, consider the analogy of a chess match between a World Chess Champion and the president of a high school chess club. Although the latter might capture a few of his opponent’s pieces and perhaps, to an untrained eye, even appear to gain the upper hand at some point, the outcome is never in doubt. No matter what the lesser player may do by the freedom of his will, the master player always has a superior strategy that will result in ultimate victory. Likewise, God need not stoop to manipulating His opponent in order to achieve His goals.

Hearing this truth may at first cause some Christians great consternation, and even feelings of helplessness. Perhaps this is because they have actually trusted more in fatalistic pre-determinism than in the love, power, ability and willingness of God to keep His promises regarding the present and the future. But wait a minute— think about the only alternatives:

(a) There is no God, your great-grandfather was a lizard and life is a “crapshoot.” Good luck!
(b) You are God. Good luck!
(c) There is a God Who determines everything that happens. He is able and willing to both help you and hurt you, and there are no guarantees which He will do, or when He will do it. Good luck!
(d) There is a God who once made a Paradise for man and Who has guaranteed for those who believe His Word that it will one day again be so. In the meantime, He and His Son are far more powerful than their (and your) enemy and they are doing their absolute best for you each day. You have God’s Word on it. You don’t need “luck.”

Which sounds best to you? When properly understood, this truth will for you result in greater love for God, greater hatred for the Devil and greater desire to obey God’s Word.

You can read the original article here.

I will not be silent anymore. It’s time we STOPPED blaming God when tragedy strikes.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen

Friday Fun

Friday Craft: Homemade Valentine Gifts

If there’s one thing I really miss from when my boys were in elementary school, it was the classroom Valentine parties. The kids had so much fun shopping for, and making out, the Valentine’s Day cards. And then, of course, making their Valentine’s Day boxes.

If you’re stumped for some ideas for your little one’s Valentine party this year, Family Fun has some neat projects.

Clap Happy

On February 14, your child can give his teacher a big round of applause and a little luxury: a tube of hand lotion.

Materials

* Card stock
* Marker
* Tube of lotion
* Double-sided tape

Instructions

1. Trace your child’s hand on card stock. Cut out the traced hand and use it as a template to make a second hand.

2. Write a message with marker. Affix the hands to a tube of lotion and add card stock hearts with double-sided tape.

Suggested Messages:
“You deserve a hand!”
“Hands down, you’re the best.”
“I’ve got to hand it to you!”


Clip Hearts

With these simple, message-bearing barrettes, Laura Stewart of El Mirage, Arizona, found an adorably useful way to tell the girls in her second-grade class, “We click!”

Materials

* Craft foam hearts (ours are 3/4 inch and 1 1/4 inches across)
* Hot glue
* Click-style barrettes (also known as contour clips)
* Scissors
* Colored card stock
* Marker

Instructions

1. Arrange two or three craft foam hearts as you like and hot-glue them together. (Draw and cut your own hearts, using our
templates, or check your craft store for precut foam hearts.)

2. Glue the hearts to the wide end of the hair clip and let the glue set.

3. Cut a heart from the card stock. Write your message on the heart, then clip the barrette to it.

Suggested messages:
Valentine, we click!
Our friendship is “hair” to stay
I (HEART SYMBOL) your friendship


Crayon Hearts

Wax romantic come Valentine’s Day. Gather crayon nubs and recycle them into swirly, useable valentines. We can’t think of a better way to say, “I melt for you.”

Materials

* Crayon pieces
* Heart-shaped metal cookie or muffin tin (our hearts are about 1 1/2 inches across)
* Scrap paper
* Double-sided foam mounting tape
* Scissors
* Colored card stock
* Marker

Instructions

1. Heat the oven to 250°

2. Crayon Hearts – Step 2 Fill each mold with crayon pieces and bake until the crayons melt, about 10 to 15 minutes. Tip: Place a sheet pan under the crayons to catch any drips.

3. Crayon Hearts – Step 3 Once they’re cool, remove the hearts from the molds and smooth any rough edges by rubbing them on a piece of scrap paper.

4. Use small pieces of foam tape to stick each heart to a 3-inch circle cut from card stock — or use our template, then add your message.

Suggested messages:
You color my world
Valentine, you make my heart melt
Have a happy Valentine’s Day, for “crayon” out loud!


Friendship Blossoms

Here, two classic Valentine’s Day gifts — flowers and candy — combine to make one sweet treat.

Materials

* Scrapbooking paper or card stock
* Scissors
* Lollipops
* Tape

Instructions

1. For each, cut three heart-shaped petals, two leaves, and two flower centers from scrapbooking paper or card stock.

2. Poke a small hole in each, crease the petals as shown, and slide the pieces onto a lollipop stem. Tape the bottom to secure.

More messages:
You’re a sweet heart
Our friendship is blooming
Be my bud-dy


Scratch and Win

Everyone can hit the jackpot with these lottery-inspired valentines featuring messages hidden beneath scratch-off hearts.

Materials

* Metallic acrylic paint
* Dishwashing liquid
* Disposable container
* Foam brush
* Clear contact paper
* Templates
* Card stock
* Markers
* Glue
* 3-D paint pens

Instructions

1. To make 36 hearts, combine 2 tablespoons of metallic acrylic paint and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid in a disposable container. With a foam brush, paint a thin coating of the mixture onto the nonadhesive side of a 13-inch square of clear contact paper. When the coating is dry, add two more coats, letting each dry thoroughly.

2. Next, download our templates. Print the Lucky Lotto page onto card stock and cut out the tickets. Using our heart template as a guide, cut hearts from the painted contact paper.

3. Write a message on the right-hand side of each ticket. Peel the backing from a painted heart and stick it in place over the note. If you like, glue each ticket to a 3- by 6-inch rectangle of card stock and decorate it with 3-D paint pens.

More messages:
You’re priceless
You’re a winner
Our friendship is worth a million bucks


Treat Transmitters

Personal robots may do our bidding in the future. But these adorable little inventions are already on the job, programmed to transmit Valentine’s Day messages.

Materials

* Template
* Card stock
* Double-sided tape
* Aluminum foil
* Candy

Instructions

1. To make one, download our template. Trace and cut the robot body from a piece of card stock, fold as shown, and secure it with double-sided tape.

2. Use more tape to add aluminum foil arms, candy eyes and feet, and other details, such as bar codes, if you like.

More messages:
U R GR8
B mine
I ♥ u


Captive Heart

Show Grandma you care with this keepsake. The red wire is very flexible, so she can extract the note and treat while keeping the ornament to remind her of her sweetheart.

Materials

* 16-inch length of 20-gauge silver craft wire
* Heart-shaped cookie cutter
* Wire cutters or nail clippers
* Red craft wire (24 gauge or higher)
* Heart-shaped note and treat
* Ribbon

Instructions (click for pictures)

1. To make the heart, bend the craft wire around a pencil to form a loop 4 inches from one end.

2. Center the loop atop a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter, and wrap the wire around the heart, pressing to shape it.

3. After you’ve made 2 loops, twist the ends together and trim the excess with wire cutters or nail clippers.

4. Remove the cookie cutter, then secure one end of a 3-foot length of red craft wire (24 gauge or higher) to the heart.

5. Run the red wire across the heart’s front and back, wrapping it around the silver wire at each pass. Enclose a heart-shaped note and treatas you go.

6. Tuck in the end of the red wire and tie a ribbon through the loop for hanging.


You’ll find many more ideas here. Have fun!

More from Write From Karen

Photo Story Friday

Photo Story Friday: Family Shot 1997

photo-flashback

I ran across this family picture (taken back in 1997) when I was going through my books to sell in my Amazon book store.

Jazz (the little blond-haired boy) is holding a train in each hand. I remember he would NOT put those trains down so we shrugged it off and took the pictures anyway.

And I can’t believe how chunky Jazz looks in this picture. I think that’s probably the “biggest” he’s ever been in his life. He’s so skinny.

In fact, both boys are so skinny.

And what a heart throb Dude looks in his tie. He’s a heart breaker, that one.

I apologize for the quality. This is actually the proof that Sears printed out for us so it’s not the sharpest picture, but still, it brings back memories. 🙂

random stuff

Woman: Defined

I saw this video essay about womanhood produced, in part, by Mom 2.0 by Katherine Center entitled “Defining a Movement” on Twitter today and just had to share it’s warm, yummy goodness with you.

Doesn’t that just inspire you? Doesn’t that make you feel strong and beautiful? Doesn’t that make you so thankful that you’re a woman? Doesn’t that make you want to hug your children just a little tighter today?

Don’t waste a moment because these moments? Are fleeting and short.

Love,

Mom to two teenagers.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction: Surprise, Teacher!

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Fiction under 250 words.

_________________________________

“Here you go, teacher. Happy Valentine’s Day.”

Carla smiled at the little girl and accepted the bouquet.

“Oooh, these smell so nice! Thank you, Suzy.”

The little girl clapped a hand over her mouth and giggled. “My mommy works at a flower shop,” she mumbled between pudgy fingers.

“Teacher, teacher! Here’s my gift!” another little girl said while handing over a box of chocolates. “My grandma works at a chocolate store. She makes the bestest chocolate ever!”

Carla turned her bright smile to the other girl and took the box. “I can’t wait to eat them,” she said and lightly patted the girl on the head.

“Here’s MY gift,” a little boy said, his voice ringing with bravado as he struggled to place the box on her desk.

Carla’s eyes widened in surprise. “Oh my,” she said softly. “I wonder what it could be.” She noticed a stream of liquid leaking from the bottom of the box and slowly creeping across the top of her desk. Knowing that Mason’s father worked at a liquor store she dipped a finger into the liquid to take a taste.

“Hhmm,” she paused. “Is it champagne?”

The boy shook his head and grinned.

She dipped her finger again for another taste.

“Wine?”

Mason laughed out loud before bursting with pride.

“It’s a puppy!!”

Carla gagged on the ball of bile in the back of her throat. She promptly got up and raced to the sink.

“Surprise?” Mason said with a tilt of his head.

random stuff

Handbook for Life

I saw this on my mom’s blog and thought I would share it with you all here.

How many of these things do you do – or rather, how many do you NOT do?

HANDBOOK FOR 2010 for LIFE

Health:

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. (Love this one)
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality:

11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12 Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away
like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Society:

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your inner most is always happy. So, be happy.