Band, Sunday Stuff

SOC: Jazz

I’m not a big fan of jazz.

But I’ve learned to be. Our youngest son plays jazz with his classmates at school.

Jazz “lives” for jazz. Hence the reason I call him “Jazz” on this blog.

He loves jazz band class. He has it every second semester and he says he will continue to take it “no matter what. It’s not negotiable, mom.”

Well, alrighty then.

Jazz sounds like a mess of different instruments doing their own thing to me. It sounds disjointed, messy, impromptu. I’ve never been crazy about it, but I can see why Jazz likes it now that I’ve been forced to sit through several of his concerts. There is something beautifully chaotic to jazz.

I’m starting to “get” it, I think.

Jazz played in a festival yesterday. I have a love/hate relationship with his music competitions. On the one hand, I’m extremely nervous for him. I want him, and his classmates, to perform well. I want them to WIN, but I’m not one of those crazy moms who do stupid and outlandish things to make sure that happens.

I just sit in the audience, wring my hands and nearly have a heart attack from the stress.

But on the other hand, I’m so PROUD of him. I’m proud of his musical abilities (he gets that from his dad), and I’m proud of him for having the courage to get up in front of an audience and first perform, and then be judged, first by the judges, then by the audience.

I try not to pay attention to the people around me as they watch my son perform. I can hear their remarks and though most of the comments are positive, there are a few that are not. I try not to get my hackles up when I hear someone give “constructive criticism”, but it’s hard not to morph into a mama bear and tear into the individual for “not understanding my son’s greatness!”

I try not to gush whenever it’s over and Jazz asks how he did. I try to be gentle in my own constructive criticism – it’s so hard to hear anything negative when you put yourself out there creatively. That I know because of the writing I post on this blog.

But I’ll be honest. The kids didn’t sound that great yesterday. They played three songs and two of them sounded decent, but one of them did not. Now granted, the kids haven’t had that much time to prepare – they were out a whole week due to the snow storm that came through, but I also sensed that the kids weren’t trying that hard, either. I don’t know if it was because they are getting burned out or if they’re feeling insecure because they didn’t feel like they were ready for this festival.

It always amazes me that the kids can even play at all – they really don’t have that much time to prepare before competition starts. So I’m keeping a stiff upper lip about this year’s jazz performances – the season is still very young.

*ding* Time’s up.


This was my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it?

Abundant Life

Teaching: Adopted by God

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:

FAQ:I know that as Christians we are “born again of incorruptible seed” (1 Pet. 1:23). Why then do several places in the Church Epistles speak of our being “adopted” by God?

The Greek word translated “adoption” is huiothesia, and it occurs only five times in the New Testament, all in the Church Epistles (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5). According to Vine’s Lexicon it means: “the place and condition of a son given to one to whom it does not naturally belong.” Louw and Nida’s Greek Lexicon says: “to formally and legally declare that someone who is not one’s own child is henceforth to be treated and cared for as one’s own child, including complete rights of inheritance.” Huiothesia literally means, “to place as a son.”

“Adoption” clearly indicates that a Christian is a member of God’s family. In the Roman culture, the adopted son or daughter had four major changes: a change of family, a change of name, a change of home, and a change of responsibilities. [1]

Most importantly, by using the word “adoption,” God emphasizes that salvation is permanent for the Christian, which is why it appears only in the Church Epistles. Some versions translate huiothesia as “sonship,” but we believe that is not as good as “adoption.” While it is true that someone adopted into the family attains sonship (the status of a son), “adoption” is more accurate to the Greek meaning of the word, and it correctly expresses the fact that the adopted child is permanently placed in the family.

Birth seems so much more desirable than adoption that it is fair to ask why God would even use “adoption.” The answer is that the Romans recognized that when a baby was born, “you got what you got,” whether you liked it or not. This would include the sex of the child, birthmarks, etc. Thus, according to Roman law, a naturally born baby could be disowned from the family. However, people adopting a child knew exactly what they were getting, and no one adopted a child unless that specific child was wanted as a family member, so according to law an adopted child could not be disowned. He or she was permanently added to the family. Many early believers were Roman citizens, and using the word “adoption” was one of God’s ways to let the Church know that He chose the children brought into His family, and they could not be taken from it. The Roman historian William M. Ramsay writes:

“The Roman-Syrian Law-Book…where a formerly prevalent Greek law had persisted under the Roman Empire—well illustrates this passage of the Epistle. It actually lays down the principle that a man can never put away an adopted son, and that he cannot put away a real son without good ground. It is remarkable that the adopted son should have a stronger position than the son by birth, yet it was so.” [2]

Roman customs and laws differed from those of the Jews, and it is by understanding Jewish laws and customs that we see why “birth” is used in Peter and James, and “adoption” is used in Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians:

“Among the Jews, adoption had no importance, and hardly any existence. The perpetuity of the family, when a man died childless, was secured in another way, viz., the levirate. Only sons by blood were esteemed in the Hebrew view.” [3]

The “levirate” that Ramsay refers to was the law stating that if a man died childless, his wife was to marry the man’s brother, and then her oldest son would be counted as the child of the dead man and carry his name (Deut. 25:5-10; Mark 12:18-27).

God made salvation permanent for Christians, which was radically different from before the Church started on the Day of Pentecost. He worked very hard to communicate that change to His Church, which is composed of both former Jews and former Gentiles (when a Jew or Gentile believes, he or she does not lose his nationality, but in God’s eyes is now a Christian, a new creation in Christ). Thus, in Scripture that has a distinctively Jewish flavor, such as Peter and James, God speaks of “birth” (anagennao, 1 Pet. 1:3, 23; apokueo, James 1:18), because birth and genealogy were very important to the Jews. They would immediately understand that a child “born” into God’s family was a permanent member of His family. God also uses a word for “birth” (paliggenesi) in Titus 3:5. It is noteworthy that all three of these Greek words for birth are unique to writings to the Christian Church, another indication of the permanence of Christian salvation.

However, in books such as Romans, Ephesians, and Galatians, which were addressed to people with a Gentile background, He also speaks of “adoption.” The same truth is communicated by both terms: the Christian becomes a permanent member of the family of God, because he is forever sealed in Christ (Eph. 1:13), and has a guaranteed hope (2 Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:14; NIV, ESV). While no verse in the Old Testament even hints that one day God would make salvation permanent, the permanence of salvation for Christians is the hallmark of the Sacred Secret.

This total change to permanent salvation is clearly taught in Galatians 4:1-5. The first three verses of the chapter show that before Jesus came, though the people of God were heirs, they were equal to slaves, being under guardians and enslaved to the basic principles of the world. God’s equating Old Testament believers to minor children equal to slaves is very important, because a slave is not guaranteed a place in the family. Galatians goes on to say that when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son (3:4) so that we might receive “adoption” into His family.

Galatians 4:5 then says: “[God sent His Son] in order that he might redeem those who were under the law in order that we might receive the adoption.” The two “in order that” clauses show that for people to be adopted into God’s family, Christ first had to redeem them, and before Christ redeemed them they were under the law. Without Jesus paying the redemption price, no adoption was possible. Thus no Old Testament believer was adopted into God’s family because adoption was not available yet. Adoption was available only after Christ died, and God started bring people into His family by “adopting” and “birth” on the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Christ died on the cross. Thus, permanent salvation was not available until Christ died, and was first made available when the Church started on the Day of Pentecost. For further study on the permanence of Christian salvation, see our book, The Gift of Holy Spirit: The Power to be Like Christ, Appendix A: “The Administration of the Sacred Secret.”

You can read the original article here.

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

Saturday Stuff

On Loan

The woman’s face on the card mocked her. She placed her thumb over the tiny photo and inserted it into the machine.

“Hurry up!” her boyfriend hissed while keeping an eye out for anyone approaching the tiny, glass room.

Melanie ignored him and entered in the four-digit security code. She finished punching in her demands and waited.

The machine whirred and clicked, but nothing came out.

“Are you freaking kidding me?” Dylan shouted.

“Shh!” Melanie stared at the machine. She jumped as it came to life and the ATM machine began dispensing twenties.

Dylan smiled.

She scooped up the cash but felt sad.

“I’m sorry, grandma.”





Write up to 100 words, fact or fiction….

This is a themed writing meme hosted by Jenny Matlock. The goal is to write something that does not exceed 100 words (not including said prompt). The prompt is in italics above.

Dear Diary

Dear Diary: Feeling Good

Dear Diary: I’m proud of myself.

I’ve been back on the workout wagon and I’m feeling REALLY good. Better than I’ve felt in YEARS.

As soon as my six weeks post-surgery restriction was up, I started working out again. I’ve been quite addicted to the Nintendo Wii’s EA Sports Active program. I’m currently doing the 30-day challenge and I’m having a blast. (I just finished number 15 last night). It is SO FUN to watch my (well-toned) avatar move along with me that I quite forget that my muscles are screaming and straining.

The workouts are only about 20 minutes long, but I’m quite winded after they’re over. The sessions typically end with a jog around the track and if there’s one thing I’ve never been very good at, it was running. But I’ve been sticking to it and I can tell it’s starting to pay off.

My clothes are fitting nicely again.

In fact, I’m wearing my skinny jeans again and though they still bite me around the waist line, they aren’t so uncomfortable that I can’t breathe. (Like they did when I first put them on).

I bought a pair of white jeans from Land’s End the other day (I KNOW! I’m almost embarrassed to admit that), and they fit perfectly. I can’t wait to wear them after Memorial Day.


It is so nice to be able to go to the bathroom normally again!!!!!!! I’m sorry for bringing this up, but it’s been such a huge problem in my life for so many years that now that it’s been resolved and I’m passing, er, stuff on a daily basis, I feel like a new woman. I thank God that I was able to finally get my intestinal issues resolved and I thank God for the wonderful doctor who fixed me.

Also? I got my hair cut off. I had about four inches whacked off and I love it. I can literally blow it dry, spray it with a bit of hairspray and call it a hairdo. It’s been so nice to have a “style” again and I will likely keep it this length forEVER.

Or until I can’t stand looking at it anymore – which ever comes first.

Life is good. I haven’t felt this great in years. The only thing I wish I could now somehow “fix” is my fatigue. It’s better now that I’m working out and I’ve been taking iron and calcium once again (I had to stop taking it for a while because it would only serve to clog things up in there and God knows I didn’t need things to move any more slowly), but I still have days, like today, where all I have the energy to do is just stare at the wall.

To say this annoys me would be putting it nicely. I’m just hoping that it will level off once my body finds a new normal from all of this exercising (that’s what happens with my appetite – I am RAVENOUS for a few days after starting an exercise program and then it levels off and my appetite goes back down to a manageable level).

But wow. The fatigue is mind numbing sometimes. And I mean that literally. I. Just. Can’t. Think.

I haven’t been sleeping that great. I’m a light sleeper, so everything wakes me up. Last night for example, I woke up because our neighbor’s stupid dog started barking at 3:00 a.m. Then I had to nudge Kevin because his sleep apnea mask had come off and he was snoring in my ear, then I woke up because I was hot (another by-product of my working out again. Which won’t level off, I’ll simply have to deal with. I’m one of those people who profusely sweat standing still), so I woke up this morning feeling really groggy and lethargic.

Anyway, if fatigue is the only physical ailment I have to contend with, I’ll take it. I know there are so many people out there that are forced to deal with so many serious physical problems that I feel rather stupid even bringing it up.

I work out every day, except Tuesdays and Fridays. There is really no reason why I picked those days as my days off, it just sort of worked out (get it?) that way. I do about twenty minutes of EA Sports Active and then right afterward, I get on the treadmill and speed walk for 40 minutes while watching an episode from a TV show. (I don’t watch TV – I rent the DVD’s from Netflix. Right now, I’m watching “Private Practice” and I will be starting the “Heros” series this weekend).

Though I try and watch what I eat, I’m not going overboard. I still have a daily sweet of some sort (or not – the point is, I can’t deprive myself or I go crazy and obsess about it) and try and balance my calorie intake (and all that really means is – I had a donut today which means I can’t have any candy or any other junk food for the day) and that’s it. That’s all I do. I keep busy so I don’t think about stuffing my face.

Then I see results. My clothes start fitting better. My poochy belly shrinks and that motivates me to continue.

And did I mention I’m feeling pretty good? 🙂

I have no idea how long this exercise spurt will last – sometimes it lasts for months, sometimes only weeks, but I feel good now and I’m going to hang on to that feeling for as long as I possibly can.

Friday Fun

Aloha Friday: Which is Harder?

Aloha! Kailani is the brain-child behind this fun Friday meme. If you feel inclined to answer my question, please post your answer in the comment section. Sound fun? Of course it does! Want to answer more questions? Hop over to An Island Life and play along!

(Please feel free to answer the question below, even if you’re not playing Aloha Friday!)

My question:

Which is harder: Wife or Mother? Why?.

I plan on blogging about this subject this next week. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

And if you’d rather not comment, but would like to voice your opinion, please participate in the poll below:

(Sorry RSS readers – I accidentally hit publish before I was ready to. So if this appears twice in your reader – my apologizes!)

Can We Talk?, Food, Parenting

Child Obesity Linked to Working Moms and Corporations

Wow. I can’t believe the mom-o-sphere hasn’t been up in arms about this latest “study.”

And before we go any further, just to set the record straight – I’m a mother. I’m a blogger. But I don’t consider myself a mommy blogger. No disrespect to any mommy bloggers out there, I just don’t put myself into that category. So when I say “mommy bloggers,” I’m not talking about myself, per se. I prefer to observe a group, as opposed to being part of a group, then I can be more objective (and vocal) in my opinions without being boiled alive.

If that makes any sense.

Anyway, here’s a snippet of the article:

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The more mothers work during their children’s lifetimes, the more likely their kids are to be overweight or obese, according to a US study published on Friday.

Researchers from American University in Washington, Cornell University in New York state and the University of Chicago studied data on more than 900 elementary- and middle-school-aged children in 10 US cities.

They found that the total number of years the children’s mothers worked had a cumulative influence on their children’s body mass index (BMI) — the weight to height ratio used to measure if a person is overweight or obese.

The researchers were unable to clearly explain the findings but theorized that because working mothers have little time to shop for healthy food and prepare meals, they and their children eat more fast- and packaged foods, which tend to be high in fat and calories.

I wish the article had linked to the study, I would like to see the data on this “conclusion.”

Though I can sort of buy it. I mean, working parents are pressed for time. And fast food is fast and convenient. And when you have a 1001 things to do when you get home at night, cooking is low priority. And the kids are hungry. And probably whining … and offering healthy choices is a lot of extra work AND expensive.

I’m guilty of doing this from time-to-time. Kevin and I will get home and THE LAST thing we feel like doing is cooking dinner and then cleaning up afterward. So, we’ll go out and grab some Wendy’s (or some other fast food) just so we’ll have more time to relax and do the things we need to do.

We’ll all crunched for time, we all cut corners whenever we can. There’s nothing wrong with that. I guess the problem starts when that’s ALL we do – when we consistently go for the unhealthy shortcuts and skip the healthier options. Eating healthy is not really that hard – if we make a conscious effort to do so and plan ahead.

Dr. Laura’s blog is what first drew my attention to this. Here is what she had to say on the matter:

The most important part of this study is the part that gets people mad. Well, it gets moms mad. Children’s chances of becoming fat rises the longer mothers work outside the home. Weight problems among children have soared in the past 3 decades as more women have joined the workforce.

But the main problem children have is the inattention of their mothers, because their mothers are burning the candle from one end to the other and all along the middle. Because women have been bullied by the feminist mentality, they no longer believe being a mother and a wife and a homemaker is an adequate thing for anybody to do.

So they have full-time jobs, kids and a husband. They can’t adequately take care of their kids to make sure they exercise and eat right. …

What studies like this show is how important you are to the well-being and health of your children

As usual, Dr. Laura doesn’t mince words. I’m sure that working mothers out there aren’t purposefully feeding their children fatty foods out of neglect, but convenience and cost are definitely factors. I can totally understand WHY working moms resort to these types of food, but I wonder if they’re really thinking about the long-term repercussions of doing so.

(And just for the record, and just to keep things fair and balanced – I’m sure there are a lot of working moms that break their backs to make sure their kids are eating right and getting enough exercise. I’m also sure there are some stay-at-home moms that feed their kids a lot of crap, too. Everyone has their reasons, everyone has to do the best they can do. My point is to try and raise awareness about making healthier choices for our childrens’ sakes, if for no other reason).

One of the reasons I think this article hits a nerve for a lot of people is that once again, parents feel like their parenting skills are being questioned. It’s like watching a caged animal being backed into a corner – they get vicious and defensive. And once again, some people will do, or say anything, to get out of being held accountable.

Which sort of leads me to the other thing I wanted to talk about…

How some people think it’s the big-bad corporations’ fault that people, in general, are obese because of the food they sell.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

(RSS readers – another video that won’t show up in your readers. My apologizes. Click over to watch it).

Where to start….

Yes. Some companies offer fatty foods. They do so because they want to make a profit. It’s the reason companies exist. They do not exist to better mankind, they exist to make a buck. And when they’re successful at making that buck, they expand and employ people.

Jobs make an economy strong.

Should they offer these types of fatty foods? Well why not? People buy them. If people stopped buying them, they would stop making them because they would be losing money. Again with the profit margin thing.

Personally, I think it’s sort of sick that they sell these heart attacks waiting to happen food types and it makes me uncomfortable when I see obese people inhaling these fatty foods. But guys, no one is forcing them to eat that stuff.

No one is twisting people’s arms to buy these fatty foods. No one is holding a gun to people’s heads to consume these fatty foods. Is it sad that they make unwise choices? Absolutely. But it’s their choice. They have the freedom to make that choice and they will have to deal with the consequences of making that bad choice.

(Pst – moderation is KEY).

I’m not sure how it’s the corporations’ fault that people make bad choices.

Once again, blaming corporations is much easier than owning up to our own weakness. Pointing fingers is a heck of a lot easier than exercising will power and simply refusing to eat the junk that’s offered.

But again, let’s be fair. It’s also equally sad that healthy food is not more affordable.

Do I wish the food industry wasn’t so off balanced (and dare I say, corrupt?). Yes. Do I wish people would start demanding that healthy food be made more affordable and available? Yes. And I think we’re starting to make strides in that direction. But do I think we should blame and/or punish big industries for people making bad choices? No. Just don’t buy their products. Get them where it hurts, in their profit margin. They will soon get the hint.

Once again, it’s about taking responsibility for our choices. Once again, society is scrambling to blame someone else.

I’d be discouraged by all of the finger pointing, but I honestly think people are starting to wake up to these tactics.


Plinky Prompts

If I Were President …

Finish this sentence: If I were president…

Oh come on. You HAD to see this prompt coming, right??

I follow politics, for those that don’t know (or are in denial. ha!)

But I’ll spare you specific rants and just go for the jugular, er, generic tasks, goals, beliefs, whatever you want to call them.

If I were president … wow. How do I even answer this.

Let’s start with … I’d do everything exactly opposite of what our president is doing now.

Are you still reading?

First of all, I’d LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE. What do the majority want? Not just one party, but the majority of ALL people.

Everything would be transparent. And everything WOULD be transparent. No saying it will be and then making sure bills were passed behind closed doors and without the opposing party present. What’s the big secret? If you’re not ashamed of your decision, then put it out there.

I would never apologize for our country. America is awesome. America is (or was) strong. America is generous. America is home.

Though I wouldn’t want to jump to everyone’s defense (shouldn’t some of these countries fight it out amongst themselves? Why does America have to be on the Global police force?), I would definitely make sure Americans were protected from the people who want us dead.

Yes ya’ll. They exist. They aren’t going anywhere – ever. It’s called evil and it not only exists, it exists in our very own backyard. We don’t have to obsess about it, but we definitely can’t afford to let our defenses down, either.

And the biggie? Balance the budget. Cut out wasteful spending. Get rid of earmarks. Nothing goes into the bill that doesn’t directly affect the conditions of the bill. No sneaking stuff in while no one is paying attention. And when I say cut, I mean CUT. If it’s not absolutely necessary to the running of this country, then get rid of it. Until we get this deficit under control, then no frills, no extras. When we have it under control, then we’ll look at adding some of the programs back.

That’s what normal Joes and Janes do when times get tough – I don’t understand why the government can’t do the same. It would take some guts. And there would be a lot of angry people, but the president needs to dish out some tough love if he/she is serious about getting things done.

It’s called governing. It’s not a popularity contest.

I’m not afraid of being the bad guy – I’m a parent. I’m used to being hated on a daily basis. Too many politicians get into office with one thing on their minds, staying in office. It’s a game of survival. Who can wiggle their way out of as many decisions and conflicts as possible.

I really think it’s going to take someone with a lot of courage and little political aspirations to actually get anything done. Definitely not a career politician.

Until that person comes along? It’s politics as usual, I’m afraid.

Powered by Plinky

This post was in answer to a Plinky prompt.

Prompt Fiction

3WW: Define Creative Nonfiction


Me again. If you haven’t noticed, I’m on a mission to write more fiction. I’m hoping the more I write, the easier it will get and someday, SOMEDAY, I’ll actually get that book written.

I used to participate in Three-Word Wednesday many moons ago. Here I am, participating again.

The three words to use in a story this week are:

  • Figure
  • Juicy
  • Stress

Thanks for reading.


“Well that figures. Censorship is alive and well in America.” Sam nearly spat out his disgust.

Dale rubbed his eyes. He could feel another migraine tickling the back of his eyelids. He needed to get rid of this kid and close himself off for five minutes. “I can’t print this and you know it. Where are your facts? This is pure fluff.” He opened his eyes and looked at the newly-graduated student in front of him. “Your opinion is not news, Sam.”

Sam snatched up his report and audibly growled at his boss. “You need to run this piece, Dale. It’s juicy. It will fire people up.”

“You haven’t listed one source. You haven’t given me one concrete fact. Everything you wrote is hearsay. We’re supposed to be journalists, Sam. Journalists are supposed to remain impartial. They’re supposed to report what happened, not what we want to happen, not what other people perceived as happened, but what actually happened.”

“So I’m not supposed to have an opinion? I’m human. I’m going to naturally be biased when it comes to issues I care deeply about.”

“Did you not learn anything in Journalism school?” Dale asked. “Your job is to report the story. Sure. Use a little creative nonfiction to keep people interested, but stick to what happened. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s unethical.”

“My teacher said journalists make stuff up all the time.”

Dale blinked in surprise. He could feel his blood pressure rising. This was exactly why journalists were getting such a bad rap nowadays – because the people teaching the next generation didn’t possess a moral bone in their bodies.

“I’m going to assume that that is taken out of context,” he said slowly. “Also? This is not going to work out. I need real reporters out there covering stories, not activists using my paper as their personal podium. Get out.” He could feel his stress level rising to the critical stage. He was getting too old for this crap.

“You can’t get rid of me. My uncle owns this paper,” Sam said with a smirk.

Dale slowly opened his eyes and glared at the boy. “Your uncle also thinks you’re a pompous ass.”

He watched the boy’s shocked expression with satisfaction. He probably shouldn’t have said that, but seeing the boy’s open-mouthed trout-like face was worth the price of unemployment.

The kid stormed out of his office and slammed the door behind him. The glass wobbled with reaction.

Dale glanced at the clock – it was only 9:00 in the morning. It was going to be a long day.