Monday, December 21, 2009

Reading Material fit for the Motherland






I really thought long and hard about what my reading material would be for "The Passage to India", since essentially, I'll be traveling for 20 hours on a plane(s)! (barf)

Instead of exerting too much mental strain, I decided to let inspiration just come to me, as I browsed a local bookstore.


And, there it was...


Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light.*



To be honest, I felt kinda cliché about getting the book: traveling to India, reading a book about Mother Teresa. C'mon Maureen, I thought to myself, that's even too corny for you.



But I remember reading excerpts from the book in TIME a few years back, being absolutely mesmerized by her words and her uncanny willingness to completely dedicate her life to God. I had made a mental note to get the book then, but for whatever reason, I didn't and completely forgot about it.


But as I stood in the bookstore that night holding the book in my hand, I knew that I was meant to read it...on my way to India.


This trip for me is (God willing) going to be an integral part in a rejuvenation process for me and I hope that by reading about this extraordinary woman's extraordinary relationship with her God, I will find some answers in figuring out the next level in my relationship with my God.


Happy...and insightful...reading...to me!




* Also right next to Mother Teresa's book, was C.S. Lewis' Great Divorce. I took it as a sign and got it as well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You've Been...Updated!



Just a quick update about what exactly has been going on in my world, mainly because 1. i
t's been a while since I've blogged, and 2. to quench the curiosity of the numerous people who have been contacting me about various "rumors" of what's been going on with me.

  • November 8, 2009, marked two months that I resigned from Purple Trout, LLC. All I'm going to say about the whole matter is that I am REALLY relieved and ecstatic to NOT be associated with that company anymore. God's will be done.
  • I am NOT employed currently nor am I looking for another job, at the present moment, partly because of 1. the last bulletin point listed here, and 2. because I'm using this time as a sabbatical of sorts praying and asking God for direction with my life. I am going to be (God willing) very careful and wise in choosing my next place of employment. I will not repeat the same mistake...TWICE. All I know is, that I want to work for a nonprofit...no more of this shenanigans working for people who's god is money...and greed. I want to work for those who put others...and God first. In the end, I want to be doing what God wants me to do...whatever the hell that means. God's will be done.
  • I met someone. He met me. I am dating. He's dating me. We are dating. It's all, very, very good. Basically, I'm the happiest I've been in a while and he has a large part in that. *sigh* *bliss* God's will be done.
  • It just doesn't feel like Christmas to me. Don't know why that is though. What's up with that? Is it just me? It can't be. I've heard other peeps expressing the same sentiment. Is it global warming's fault? (Nah couldn't be...insufficient data.) I haven't been in the mood to listen to any Christmas music, watch Christmas movies (other than "Dr. Suess' How The Grinch Stole Christmas"), send out Christmas cards (sorry folks) or do an iota of Christmas shopping. I literally have no desire, no urge. Hopefully, when all the family gets together (see bullet point below), I'll get into the spirit. God's will be done.
  • Next Wednesday (12/23), the sis and I will be leaving for PA to spend Christmas with family. The rents will be flying in from the islands and meeting us there. Then on 12/28, both families will be departing from Newark on what I affectionately like to refer to as, "The Passage to India." We will be gone until 1/19. We'll be back in the Cintucky 1/22. And while I'm excited to be with my family and return to the motherland after a 23 year absence, all I can think about is leaving my beloved Fiona and Kitty behind and how I am - and most importantly, how they are - going to live without seeing each other...every day. I would rather NOT go on this whole trip, so that I can be with my fur babies. Yes, I AM that far gone. #crazycatlady. Also, I haven't packed one iota for the trip. Did I mention that we'll be leaving a week from tomorrow?! Yeah, well we are. God's will be done.

So, that's it! You're basically all caught up!

*You may now return to your regularly-programmed life*

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You, (Yes You!) Are Awesome...and for that, I am Thankful



I've been fortunate in my life, to know a lot of people.

Certainly,
as with anything in life, there are obvious pros and cons that come with that.

I know many people that I share the same interests, beliefs, lifestyle, etc., with and then, there are many people who are the polar opposite from me.

Frankly, I love that I have a wide-ranging spectrum of friends and acquaintances because quite honestly, who wants to surround themselves with people just like themselves? What an incredibly (boring) sheltered bubble of a life that would be to live.

But it's those very differences that I want to take a moment to celebrate and cherish.

I strongly believe that when you meet someone - whether a coworker, a friend, a friend of a friend, a server at a restaurant, a salesperson, a social networking connection, etc.,
- God divinely intended for that meeting/introduction to happen.

For what reason? I may never know right this second how the people I meet are supposed to figure out in the equation of my life, but I know, without a shadow of a doubt, our "collision" in life was divinely ordained and serves a greater purpose other than just the superficialities of this world/life that we can see.

I know I must rub many of you I know the wrong way, whether it be through my strong personality/beliefs/opinions/etc and for that, I am truly sorry, but thanks for putting up with me. Please find it in your heart to forgive me. I know I have done the same for you.

As I look through my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I look at each and every one of you and think to myself, "Wow. These people are awesome." Why? Because God loves each and everyone of you and gave me the privilege of getting to know you all.

And with Thanksgiving just two days away, I reflect on all the things I am grateful for, and I am grateful that you are part of my life.

Whether through an @ reply on Twitter, a Facebook wall post/comment, a social opportunity to hang out together, a hug, an email, a phone call, a text, a blog comment...you all have meant the world to me, in some shape or form.

You, being in my life, has enriched me in so many ways that are far numerous to list at this moment. I learn something every day from you.

You are so special and awesome, that God made only one of you in all your beauty and glory. You are magnificent. You are wonderful.

I want to tell you that I care about and love each and every one of you.

Why?

Because you, you are awesome.

God certainly thinks so.

And for that, I'm eternally grateful.

With Love and Thanksgiving,
Maureen

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Reason for Everything


I strongly believe that God places us in certain positions, situations, circumstances, seasons in life...all for the sole purpose of meeting that certain someone.

I may not fully understand what exactly God is trying to tell me, but that's okay.

What's important is my willingness to listen...and my willingness to act accordingly to what He tells me.

Because in the end, I know God is in control of my life and I'd rather trust in Him, than in myself (or anyone else)...any ole day.


Your will be done Jesus.


Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street Turns 40: Reflections of a 30-year-old Woman



Today, Sesame Street turns 40.

Growing up as a little girl with an incredibly active imagination, it was SO much more than just a kid's educational, entertainment show for me.

Looking back, I realize that it was more of a religious experience for me and it was the type of show that - as a single child at the time (before the sis came into my life) - I absolutely thrived and flourished on, and that fed my creative, inquisitive soul...every. single. day.

I would excitedly come back home from school, hastily do my homework, take a warm shower, all in time for the first note of the show's opening theme song. I remember throwing tantrum fits, much to my parents' chagrin and frustration, if I realized that I was running "late" and could possibly miss the opening note.

I would put on my favorite PJs, grab my favorite blankie and my favorite cats (at the time) and settle in my "picnic/sleep fort" in front of the TV (till this day, I have no idea why our TV was on cinder blocks for a while!)

Gathering the troops

As I watched the show, my mom would either bring me my dinner, or if I wasn't terribly hungry that night, a warm bottle of Ovaltine milk (yes, I used to drink milk from a baby's bottle even though I was 5 years old...SO SUE ME!!)

The troops remain loyal even when abandoned for moving images on the TV screen

I had no idea - nor did I care - what the political climate of the time was, what the latest headlines were, or how the economy was doing, but the one thing I did know for sure - and truly cared about - was that when that opening song came on, my friends: Maria, Gordon, Big Bird, Snufalufagus, Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar, Count, Elmo, Kermit, Grover and company, were all going to make (my lil world) a much better place.

Looking back and reflecting on the last 40 years of The Street, floods me with a swell of emotions: happiness, nostalgia, fondness, longing and innocence.

Sometimes, as a 30-year-old woman trying to be an adult and find herself in this big, bad, ugly, cruel world, all I want to do is take a warm shower, grab my kitties around me, snuggle up on my couch "picnic/sleep fort" and wait for that opening note and the chance to belt my lil heart out...about a time where innocence - truly - once existed for me...




Sunny Day
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street

Come and play
Everything's A-OK
Friendly neighbors there
That's where we meet

Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street

It's a magic carpet ride
Every door will open wide
To Happy people like you--
Happy people like
What a beautiful

Sunny Day
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet

Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame street...
How to get to Sesame Street
How to get to...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Voice in the Dark


I am a woman who
...


...wants

...
craves
...
aches
...
yearns
...
desires
...
needs


And I'm a woman who realizes that being "good" [most of the time] can be very tiring and frustrating.

Jesus,
please help me.

Please.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Friday Night Just Out of this World



So tomorrow night, I have a hot date.

Technically, I will be an official escort for a hot date.

Make that a hot...blind...date.

That's right.

I'm going to be an escort for a hot date whom I have never met before.

Sounds like an exciting Friday night doesn't it?

I bet you're wishing that you could have in on some of the same sweet action...don'tcha?

Well, you can!

My church, Vineyard Community Church, will be hosting its 2nd Annual Prom.

But this isn't just some ordinary-run-of-the-mill-high-school-wanna-be prom.

The Vineyard's Prom is going to be out of this world!

Why?

Because Prom 2009 is all about our VIP Guests...all 1,000 of them.

1,000 individuals with special needs who have been overlooked by society. Who have never been invited or had the opportunity to attend a prom in their lifetime.

So on Friday, October 2, 2009, from 6-10pm, a magical evening of dancing, games, food and fun has been scheduled.

The theme will be "Out of this World" and for one night, Vineyard will be transformed into another galaxy in order to host hundreds of stars.

It's all about showing God's extravagant love in a fun and practical way by celebrating our friends with special needs.

Make that our 1,000 hot dates.

Help is still needed, so sign up here to see how you can get a piece of this sweet Friday night action!

And watch the video below (from Prom 2008: A Evening With the Stars) to see why Prom 2009 is just gonna be...out of this world...




Free Services for Non-Profits



The company I work for, Purple Trout, LLC, is offering FREE search engine optimization (SEO) and social media optimization (SMO) services for non-profit organizations in a unique, community contest.

Purple Trout will be donating SEO and SMO services to three (3) non-profit organizations for 6 months of professional service.

So if you're either a local, regional or national NPO, which may be in the need for such services, make sure you act quick!

Contest deadline is Oct. 31. Winners will be announced in early November.

Apply here.

Also, check out the podcast about the contest.

Oh, and while you're at it, might as well check out the blog.

Good luck and God bless...and may the best NPO win!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ammachy




Today is the nine year anniversary of my grandmother's - Sister Ammu George - passing.

I called her Ammachy.

She was my second mother.

The one who raised me to be the spiritual woman I am today.

Words can't express the bond/connection we shared.

There are just too many stories to tell.

Maybe one day, I'll write a book about what an incredible woman she was.

But for now, I just want to acknowledge her.

I miss her.

It's an ache that I never thought I'd feel for someone.

I found this birthday card that I had given her, just a few days ago while I was rummaging through some things.

It's dated 3-5-01.

Exactly one month before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

And exactly six months before she passed away.

I miss you Ammachy.

And love you more than ever.


Birthdays: Past & Present


The Past




The Present*



*[Amazingly delicious] vegan cherry cheesecake from The Loving Cafe


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thirty Years in the Making: A Birthday Reflection



Thirty years ago, today...I was born in silence.

Which is pretty ironic, because outside the room I was born in, it sounded like a freight train.

When I came into the world, I wasn't crying, I was barely breathing...nada, zip, zilch.

Everyone thought I was dead.

****

People are always asking me, "So where are you from?" And when I go into my lil schpeel of, "I-was-born-in-the-Caribbean-but-am-originally-of-Indian-decent," I always get the proverbial, "Come again?" or "Say whaaaa??!!"

So today, as I reflect on my thirty years of life here on this earth, I thought I'd share my beginning...

The year was 1979 and it was the 18th day of September. The location was St. John's, Antigua.


During this time, rearing it's ugly head and [literally] making waves in the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, was a behemoth of a hurricane...Hurricane David. (
This is probably why, "I love stormy weather the best and more than most," and probably why my Dad has called me, "His little hurricane.")

A Category 5 hurricane, David left its mark on history as being among the deadliest hurricanes in the latter half of the 20th century, killing 2,068 people in its path. (Learn more about David here.)


While David howled and growled outside (and the torrential rains fell and the skies darkened and the winds howled), in the only hospital on the island - Holberton Hospital, a 27 year-old woman who had been struggling for hours in labor, finally gave up her efforts in pushing her child out, while her husband did everything in his medical power to make sure his wife's delivery and the birth of his first born was a safe and healthy one, and all the while, in the background, a mother-in-law frantically paced the delivery room, praying.

The chief OBGYN, Dr. Ghosh, turned to my father and said, "Hold on the C-section...let's try the forceps."

A few minutes later...I entered the world, as Mridula Mareen Chandy Jacob. (As a show of gratitude for Dr. Ghosh's help in the delivery, they decided to name me after his wife, Mridula.)

I was born not technically dead...but I wasn't technically fully alive.

And as the delivery room erupted into further chaos as staff tended to me and my father and Dr. Ghosh tended to my mother, and my grandmother circled in panic, Hurricane David reminded everyone that he was the real star of the day...as the lights dimmed and the roof started to curl up and expose David's deafening screech and wetness outside.

With my mother's condition stabilized and my breathing somewhat stabilized, the decision was made to move me to a more secure part of the hospital and to an incubator, which hopefully would bring my vitals back to normal. While my father
stayed back with my mom, my grandma ran after the nurse who was carrying me.

According to my grandmother, the nurse hastily put me in the incubator and then ran back to the delivery room to check on my mom. My grandmother said that as she leaned over to look at me in the incubator, she noticed that something was still wrong. I still didn't seem right. My breathing wasn't getting better, in fact, it looked like I was destabilizing again.

As she tried tried to find anyone to give me some medical attention - everyone seemed to have vanished because of
David's imminent threat - she noticed something...the incubator was not plugged into the outlet.

If my grandmother hadn't ran after that nurse, I may or may have not been here today, writing this post 30 years later.


From that day on, I've always had a special bond/connection with my grandmother (which I will talk about in more detail in a future post.)

I gotta admit, I'm going through a wave of emotions today: nostalgia, happiness, numbness, disbelief, gratitude, etc., all leaving me very unsure of how I feel about leaving my twenties behind and entering this new era of my life.

One thing I know for sure though is this...

That my getting here was rife with obstacles but despite it all, I am here. And I strongly believe for a particular...divine...purpose.

What that particular purpose is, I am still trying to figure out thirty years later.

But that's okay.

Because I know that God is in control of my life.

And my promise to myself...and God...is to continue what I've been doing for the past 30 years...and the agenda for the 30 ahead...figuring out that particular, divine purpose...and fulfilling it.

This
verse came to me this birthday morning:


"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah 1:5 (New International Version)


And even though I some[often]times feel like my thirty years don't really have that much to show for, I know that's okay.

Because like Brandon Heath sings, God isn't finished with me...yet.

And I'm okay with that too.

He's up to something...

I just have to wait and see.



Happy Anniversary




Thirty one years ago, today, Chandy (Shashi) Jacob (of the Anglican faith) and Elizabeth (Thangam) George (of the Pentecostal faith) stood before each other and dedicated their lives to each other...and God (in an Anglican church) at 11 a.m., in Kerala, India.


It goes without saying, that these past 31 years of marriage have been a miracle divinely predestined and blessed by God.

Happy 31 Dad and Mom.

Here's to 31 more...

God willing.




18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found.

21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh.

22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones 
and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman, ' for she was taken out of man."

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.


Genesis 2:18-24 (New International Version)



9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls 
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (New International Version)



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Simple Prayer




Dear Jesus,

I have one simple prayer.

Please help me...

Please help me to NOT be ...

...rageful
...angry
...quick-tempered
...hateful
...misleading
...lustful
...perverse
...conditional
...evil
...judgmental
...critical
....emotional
...paranoid
...ungrateful
...jealous
...envious
...covetous
...gluttonous
...slothful
...lazy
...insecure
...shallow
...unclean
...pessimistic
...apathetic
...unmotivated
...listless
...numb
...distracted
...revengeful
...forgetful
...foolish
...hasty
...harsh
...mean spirited
...hopeless
...lost
...confused
...longing
...unforgiving
...depressing
...bitter
...unfriendly
...sensitive
...careless
...wasteful
...unsatisfied
...anxious
...worried
...stressed
...fatigued
...unlikable
...confrontational
...despised
...prideful
...easily affected
...impatient
...unstable
...disrespectful
...stubborn
...combative
...narcissistic
...immature



...and most of all, please help me to NOT be a disappointment to you.

All this I ask in your name,

Amen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Excellence


Today will mark one month since I've been working at Purple Trout.

It's really hard to believe, since it only felt like yesterday, that I was still at home, job hunting from my couch.

Guess time flies when you're having fun.

Every day I'm grateful to God for His blessings and the opportunities He's placed before me, but in typical human fashion - and mainly because of the insecurities instilled in me after being let go from my job back in January - I find myself constantly doubting my abilities and the security of my position. I always feel like things are a little too good to be true and that with a *SNAP* everything will disappear.

But no matter what happens...or doesn't happen...I realize that I don't have any control over my job situation, or my life for that matter.

All I can do is trust in God.

And do my part.

Because that's how it works: you do your part and God will do His.

We are expected to do our duty, whether that means being the best employee, employer, teacher, student, parent, sibling, friend, etc., or whatever your current role in life may be...you have to strive to be the best.

That is our duty as Christians: utilizing the gifts, talents, skills and abilities that God has placed in each of us, to the best of our abilities.

Once we do that, God will do His duty: honoring and rewarding our diligence.

Here are a couple of things I've learned from my previous...and present...employment experiences:


  1. Remember that your boss is God. By honoring your human boss, you honor God, but God is the One who you're working for.
  2. Everything you do should bring God glory...not your ego, your boss or your company.
  3. Never put your faith/trust in man: man (including your own self) will ALWAYS fail you; God NEVER fails you.
  4. Never let money be a priority. Once you let money become important to you, it ruins you...and those around you.
  5. Remember that none of it: the job, the career, the title, the money, your abilities, etc...NONE of it belongs to you. God has GIVEN you everything. What He gives, He can take away. Jut keep that in mind, when you are reluctant to pay your tithes and hold on to your paycheck.
  6. Be grateful...for everything: the good, bad and the ugly. God has put you in your current job/career for a reason...understanding and recognizing that will change your attitude.

Below is a devotional that, ironically, I just read yesterday.

Rick Warren outlines five characteristics that all successful - Christian - people should exhibit/strive for.

It's the "work module" that I currently apply, and hope to perfect, in my "strategy" for excelling at my career...and everything else in my life for that matter.




Excelling at What You Do

By Rick Warren | Wednesday, August 5, 2009 | 4:22 PM EDT

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV).

During the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps gave us an extraordinary display of the pursuit of excellence. But the truth is every athlete in the Olympics pursues excellence as peak performers in their categories of competition.

The Bible identifies five characteristics of people who excel at what they do.

1. People who excel work with enthusiasm.
Regardless of whether the job is big or small, give it your best. Great performers give their best effort, no matter the size of the audience: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV).

2. People who excel sharpen their skills.
They never stop developing, growing, learning, and improving: “If your ax is dull and you don’t sharpen it, you have to work harder to use it. It is smarter to plan ahead” (Ecclesiastes 10:10 TEV). It takes more than desire to excel, it takes skill! Remember, you’re never wasting time when you’re sharpening your “ax.”

3. People who excel keep their word.
They are reliable. They can be counted on to do what they say they’ll do. So they excel because people of integrity are rare in our society: “Everyone talks about how loyal and faithful he is, but just try to find someone who really is!” (Proverbs 20:6 TEV).

4. People who excel maintain a positive attitude.
Even under pressure, or change, or unrealistic demands, they don’t allow themselves to become negative: “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life . . .” (Philippians 2:14–16 NIV). And remember: “If your boss is angry at you, don’t quit! A quiet spirit can overcome even great mistakes” (Ecclesiastes 10:4 NLT).

5. People who excel do more than is expected.
This is a secret that every successful person has discovered. You’ll never excel by only doing what is required. Jesus said, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously” (Matthew 5:40–42 MSG).

The Broadway lyricist Oscar Hammerstein once told the story of seeing the top of the Statue of Liberty from a helicopter. He was impressed because of the incredible detail the artist had sculpted on an area that no one was expected to see. In fact, the Statue of Liberty was completed with no idea that man would someday be able to fly over the statue!

When you’re tempted to cut corners, thinking, “No one will ever know,” remember God is looking down and sees everything you do. Give him your best this week!

(Devotional taken directly from: http://www.purposedriven.com)


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Heart of Mouth




When given the opportunity, who did you choose to honor and promote...God...or yourself?

When you were given your soapbox, your talents, your skills, your moment in time...who did you choose to talk about/dwell on/direct people's attention to?

When given a forum to reach hundreds, and even, thousands of people, who did you choose to give praise to?

When the marquee was up, whose name was in bold, flashing, bright letters?

Have you assumed the lead role/star of the production position...or do people know that God is the director and leading role?

If it's all about you, then it is never about God.

Your ego CAN NOT compete with God's.

Who is at the bottom of you heart?

You?

Or God?


Two Kinds of People


"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
"


Luke 6:45 (New King James Version)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hung



This *man was born to be nekked...

...and a Happiness Consultant.




Sunday nights never (ever!) looked so good.

Patricia Arquette is one lucky biatch. I mean, real lucky.






*Jesus, please forgive me....for I have sinned.


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Next Chapter: Part 2


My, "The Next Chapter", post made local news yesterday.

It originally aired in the 6p.m. Sunday broadcast, then again at 11p.m., and then made the Top 5 stories during Monday's News 5 Today broadcast.

Special thanks to Michael Altman, Andrew Setters and Dan Roark at WLWT. And even more special thanks to Altman who wanted to take the faith angle with the story and insisting the interview be done in the parking lot of Vineyard Community Church...just before I attended my regular service on Sunday. I wouldn't have done the interview, if I couldn't talk about my faith. Altman and Setters, thank you both for making sure that angle remained in the package.

The moral of this story kids?

Give God...and social media...at least...one chance.



"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

1 Corinthians 10:31 (New International Version)


"...'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."

Zechariah 4:6 (New International Version)



*UPDATE*

  • The story was picked up by MSNBC.
  • The sis has been my biggest cheerleader and unofficial paparazzi on "set." See pics here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Can't You See?





You Belong With Me
Taylor Swift

You're on the phone with your girlfriend, She's upset
She's going off about something that you said
She doesn't get your humor like I do

I'm in the room, its a typical Tuesday night
I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like
And she'll never know your story like I do

But she wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming bout the day when you'll wake up and find
That what you're lookin for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me
You belong with me

Walkin the streets with you in your worn out jeans
I cant help thinking this is how it ought to be
Laughing on the park bench thinkin to myself
Hey isn't this easy?

And you've got a smile that could light up this whole town
I haven't seen it in awhile, since she brought you down
You say you find I know you better than that
Hey, Whatcha doing with a girl like that?

She wears high heels, I wear sneakers
She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
Dreaming bout the day when you'll wake up and find
That what you're looking for has been here the whole time

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Standin by, waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know that?
You belong with me
You belong with me

Oh I remember you driving to my house in the middle of the night
I'm the one who makes you laugh when you know you're about to cry
I know your favorite songs and you tell me about your dreams
I think I know where you belong. I think I know it's with me.

Can't you see that I'm the one who understand you?
Been here all along so why can't you see?
You belong with me

Standing by or waiting at your back door
All this time how could you not know that
You belong with me
You belong with me

Have you ever thought just maybe
You belong with me
You belong with me

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Being A Christian Means Setting Your Standards Low...Very Low



In my post on July 6th, I talked about living with frequent mistreatment and figuring out ways to sincerely love people who don't deserve to be loved...just as Jesus would.

I've learned that, for me at least, the best way to cope and handle all the negative "stuff" that comes my way...is not necessarily with a positive, sunshiny approach, but rather, in a more negative approach...

...by setting my expectations and standards low...very low.

"Huh?!" You may ask...scratching your head. "That doesn't make any sense! I thought Christians were all about sunshiny positiveness?"

Well, instead of me rambling on...I'll let Jesus' own words do the talking...


The World Hates the Disciples

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.

23He who hates me hates my Father as well.

24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.

25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'"

John 15:18-25 (New International Version)


So in those moments, when I want to react in anger and retaliation to those who are rude or mistreating me...I just say to myself, "Who do you think you are Maureen? Do you think you should receive special treatment? If they treated Jesus badly, do you think they'll treat YOU any better?"

This is what I've been saying to myself for a while now.

Is it a defense mechanism on my part?

Absolutely.

But a defense mechanism that Jesus approved of, judging from the verses above.

In fact, I've definitely noticed that as my faith and love for God grows deeper and deeper on a daily basis and I mature more in my spirituality, the "worldly" reactions I get are more and more hateful and malicious...and more frequent.

It's gotten so bad, that now I've been able to look past people's actions and recognize them for what they really are: spiritual attacks.

Christians have self-centered expectations that they deserve the best of the best and should be treated like royalty. Those promises that God made for His children do exist...but they've been taken out of context. Those promises are to be fulfilled in heaven. While here on earth, this life we live is not to mirror that of royalty...but should mirror Christ's.

Jesus lived a working class life here on earth and He died like a lowly criminal. He was never treated as the true king He was. Why is it then that we Christians believe that we should be?

When Christians remove their high expectations of being treated like princes and princesses while here on earth, when reality hits them, they won't be so disappointed and quick to leave the faith.

Loving and living for God means dying to one's self...and one's ego: you are nobody. Jesus is everything.

Gotta admit, when someone wrongs me, it's an instantaneous good-mood crusher and I feel awful, but in a weird way I find myself smiling to myself. Because I know that this incident just means that I must be doing something right...so right that the devil can't stand it and is wriggling in hate and frustration. He'll do anything to get me down.

Well guess what buddy? I'm onto you...and your lil game...and guess what?! Your antics really just amuse me...nothing less, nothing more.

Because the more the world hates me, the more my love for God is
validated.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Next Chapter


It all started with one. single. status update. (click image for larger resolution):




That single status update has led to the next chapter in my life.

Steve Phillips not only responded to the update thread, but privately messaged me wanting to learn more about how my job search was going.

After numerous
back-and-forth messages and emails, a phone interview and two in-house interviews with Steve...I am now employed because of that one. single. status update.


Tomorrow, Monday, July 13, I will start working for Steve and Purple Trout, as the new Director of Business Development.

Admittedly, if you had asked me at the beginning of the year, if I'd be working for an Internet search engine optimization company, I would've said, "Come again?!"

But that's the story of my life.

Just when I think I finally have wrapped my brain around in trying to figure my life out...God goes and turns it...COMPLETELY...upside down.

Does this mean that I'm no longer a journalist/media professional?

Quite the contrary.

Ironically, it was my extensive media background that made me an ideal candidate for the position...according to Steve.

And I'll be utilizing t
hose very skills in securing new clients for and promoting the PT brand. (Note: So if your company needs help with search engine marketing services...call me! I can hook you up!)

Since I was laid off, back in January, it has been a long seven months of trying to secure some form of full-time work.

Along the way, there have been countless people that have supported me.

Whether it was a phone call, a prayer, a kind word, a card, a note, an email, a text, a joke, an anecdote, a drink, a dinner, a coffee, a night out on the town, advice, a shoulder to lean/cry on, financial assistance, short-term freelance projects, an offer to pass my resume along, a heads up on a job opening at their company, a heads up on a job opening at another company, a Facebook message, a Tweet, a DM, a hug, a professional reference, a professional recommendation, a word-of-mouth referral, a link to job listings, possible new start-up business ventures, care, concern, faith or confidence in me, emotional support, etc., - WHATEVER form it was - I just wanted to say...


Thank you.


Thank you for being there for me.

You may or may not remember how your
kindness and thoughtfulness moved me...but I will NEVER forget.

I hope that I, in some humble way, can repay each and every one of you for your generosity.

And...without further adieu...and in no particular order (well, except for the first four listed)...I want to thank each. and. every. one. of. you. (And if I have forgotten anyone, please don't take it personal...my brain's just getting old. Leave me a comment and I'll be sure to include you.)

You know how you specifically helped me during my difficult unemployment. I don't have to write it out.

But I just wanted to acknowledge it...and you....





And last but not least, a special thanks to Steve and the rest of the Purple Trout family.

Needless to say, I am very excited about this new chapter in my life and am looking forward to working with an incredible team of people and for an exciting company that's definitely going places.


Thank you Steve and the PT family for giving me...at least...

...one chance.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Boys Will Be Boys...



I don't know why this picture makes me smile coyly to myself.

Usually, when I see men gawking, I puke in my mouth...and then into the sis'.

But there's just something about this pic that just makes me happy and warm-all-over.

And really, after close introspection, I strongly believe it's because this picture just solidifies what I already assumed about our President:

Obama is a freak.*

And baby...

...mama loves her some freaks.

*sigh*




(Note: Sarkozy's actions are not anything new...everyone knows he's a dog.)

(Note-to-the-note: Okay, okay, so there's apparently video that may clear up Obama's twice-over...but in my mind...it'll always be because he likes big butts and he cannot lie.)

(Note-to-the-note's-note: Okay...can you even BEGIN to imagine the beat down Bama got from Michelle when they got back home??!! Oh to be a fly on that wall!)

(Alright...I'm done.)

















*Takes one...to know one.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

When Newsmakers Make (Sad) News



Today will be a hard day.

Reports have been public for a while that The Cincinnati Enquirer will be laying off 100 employees this week, most of whom will know their fate before July 9th.

I know many people that work at the company.

I've read their numerous Facebook status updates of them trying to cope with this day.

To all my friends and acquaintances, who will be affected by this unfortunate time - whether as a part of management or as employee - my prayers are with each and every one of you.

I know how you must be feeling.

I have been there.

I offer you only what I know best...a prayer of hope...and serenity...

Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.


***UPDATE***

The entire staff of CiN Weekly was laid off as well as Peter Bronson and David Wells.

Source.

Monday, July 6, 2009

What Would Jesus' Face Do?



I've often wondered about Jesus' facial expressions while He was here on earth.

Were the people around Him able to read His emotions?

Did Jesus wear His emotions on His sleeve?

There have been numerous documentation in the Bible about the various human emotions that Jesus felt and experienced. There's no denying that while He felt sad, angry and disappointed, that those emotions would play out physically in His demeanor, gestures and expressions.

What I want to know is, how did Jesus (non-verbally, facially) react to those who persecuted or mistreated Him?


I've been pondering this more recently since I find mys
elf trying to practice grace more and more in my daily life with people that are just plain ole rude and disgusting.

I know how to look past someone's despicable behavior and love them like Jesus would...that I have down pat. But it's the how I look when
I'm doing it...that has me a little bewildered.

Because sometimes when I say, "God bless you," - to the countless mean sales clerks who don't even make eye contact with me and literally throw my merchandise and receipt at me - I can't even muster the strength for a fake smile. It's like my face doesn't match the words coming outta my mouth and I bet if someone were watching me in closed caption, they would think I was just mumbling a swear word.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like I have a sour puss face on...I think what would best describe my usual expression when confronted with obvious hatred and meanness would be...stone faced or emotionless.

In general I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I don't feel right about it...and that's usually a strong (divine) indication, to me, that I need to change my behavior...ASAP.

Did Jesus put on a fake grin and exuberantly shout, "Bless you my son!" when someone spat in His face? Or did He just utter the words stone faced? I can't imagine Jesus ever being fake and insincere.

But I really want to know...what would Jesus' face do in a similar situation?

I do believe that I should be sincere in blessing those who cu
rse me, otherwise, in God's eyes, I'd just be going through the motions.

And when I say to someone, "God bless you," after they have mistreated me, I sincerely mean it from the bottom of my heart, because I recognize that it's not the actual person that's doing it...but rather it's just a Satanic attack.


Now if I can just get my face to convey my sincerity...