Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Monday Minutiae

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the Scheppmann house. This weekend was a wonderful time with family and lots of turkey. I am actually sick of turkey and that is amazing for me. My husband and I decided we couldn't stand one more bite and ordered chicken wings and pizza last night as we decorated the Christmas tree. I only broke one glass ornament which my dogs wanted to eat.

Here's what I have accomplished before the 1st day of December.

Tree up and trimmed

4 batches of carmel corn made

3/4 of my shopping done

1/8 of my presents wrapped. I really dislike this job and am so thankful for gift bags!

All my revisions for Embraced by the Father back to New Hope Publishers

1 wrenched back

Yup, my lower back hurts. Don't ask me how I did it. Mark and I were putting fresh sheets on the bed and I was standing there watching him do it. :) Then all of sudden I felt a tweak in my lower back. (I do not have a bad back at all, well, at least I didn't.) It stills feels a little tender and I am babying it today. Honestly, I wasn't even moving. Weird!

Tomorrow's hot topic is the Minnesota Vikings. Don't change that channel.

Keeping the Heart-Print Faith,

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. Helps me and my heart is filled with joy! I burst out with songs of thanksgiving!

Here is what I am most thankful for today--my family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Diet on Thanksgiving!

Life is too short to diet on Thanksgiving. I used to try to watch what I ate on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, but not after what I experienced a few years ago. I was a dutiful Weight Watcher, and I attended my weekly meeting on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I listened as our leader Tammy instructed us on how to be “good eaters” on Thanksgiving Day. She explained the points of every typical turkey dinner component. How many points were in a tablespoon of gravy? The pumpkin pie was a no-no unless you scraped the filling off the crust—the crust was about a bazillion points.

I took my notes home and calculated allowed points. What would I eat on Thursday? What would I have to sacrifice? I honestly do not remember what I ate or didn’t eat, but here is what I do remember. The next Tuesday I went back to the group meeting and our leader Tammy was not there. Three weeks in a row—no Tammy. Finally, I asked the substitute instructor where our usual leader was. She grew quiet and then said, “She passed away the day after Thanksgiving.”

It seems that she had had a liver transplant several years before. Unexpectedly, after switching some prescription medication her liver completely quit working the day after Thanksgiving. The doctors could not save her in time to get a new transplant.

Now I know this doesn’t sound compassionate, but the first thing that went through my mind was, “I bet if she had it to do over again she would have eaten the pumpkin pie.”

So I don’t believe in dieting on days of celebration. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy the blessings that the Lord has given to us—for me that includes mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is the Internet a Blessing or Curse? - Hot Topic Tuesday

Blessing or Curse—The Internet: What has the Internet changed in your life?

The other day my husband Mark and I had a heated discussion over phonebooks. I believe that phonebooks are a thing of the past, but my husband is still a believer in the Yellow Pages. He thinks that people use the Yellow Pages as much as ever.

Right after we had this discussion I read the article The Decade of Destruction. It states several things that have been adversely affected by the Internet. Just to name a few: newspapers, music, movies, books, letters, and the postal service.

So I started to ponder all the changes the Internet has made in my life. I can’t imagine life without my online life. It’s pathetic, I know.

But here are the major changes to my life because of the Internet.

  • Letters to email
  • Newspapers to news on my homepage
  • Maps to Mapquest
  • Library to online research
  • A big old medical book to online health information
  • Going to the mall -- now it's
Well, I think you get the idea. The Internet has enhanced my life. However, I understand its potential for the destructiveness: pornography, social isolation, and the ruin of certain business. What’s your opinion? What effect has the Internet had on your life?

And just to settle the discussion that started this whole post, do you use the Yellow Pages?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday Minutiae

We are ten days or so away from Thanksgiving. Turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes is a favorite dinner for many of us. Can't wait!

But until then I thought I would consider some of the little things I am thankful for, just some little minutiae of life that make my days brighter, more fun and more fulfilling.

1. I-pod -- It's the best for my music and audible books.

2. Garmin -- My inexpensive GPS system that I purchased at Walmart has been such a blessing. I am so directionally challenged.

3. My three favorite books this year: The People of the Book, The Help, and God Meets Girl.

4. Pepsi product that is called H2O. I can't get it on the west coast, so I have to buy it when I am in Minnesota and bring it home with me.

5. My three dogs -- Tiki, Tulip and Taffy.

6. My BOOKWORM bracelet made out of old typewriter keys. It makes me smile.

7. The blogsite Stuff Christians Like. Hilarious! Can't wait for the book to come out.

8. The website I didn't think I would like listening to books, but I am now addicted.

9. The new Daughtry cd.

10. My cowboy boots.

All right, there is weird stuff in my list, I know. But what tiny tidbits of life are you thankful for?

Keep the Heart-Print Faith,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogs: Life, Learning and Laughter

I listened to a couple of friends chat the other day; they were talking about blogs. Why do we read blogs? Why do we care? Should we spend our lives reading about other people's lives? Or should we live our own life to the fullest instead? Good questions! Since I write a blog and am a follower of several blogs, I definitely have an opinion on the issue. I personally prefer blogs that make me think or make me laugh. The blogs I read MUST bring value to my life in order for me to follow one on a daily basis. Right now my favorite blog is . It's sort of a tongue-in-cheek blog on Christians and our quirkiness. Remember, God said we are a peculiar people!

1 Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (KJV)

So with these thoughts in mind I am going to change my blog posts up a bit. I am going to make each day a selective topic so that YOU can decide if you want to read or not depending on the topics.

Here’s the schedule:

Monday Minutiae: Facts on me, life in general and current events that are truly not important, but may be entertaining.

Hot Topic Tuesday: Topics that should push an emotional button in your mind—one way or another.

Wednesday: Heart-Print Faith—How does our faith apply to our hot topics?

Thursday: Babbling about Books—a book review, possibly concerning our Hot Topic.

Friday: The Writer’s Porch—Topics of interest for writers.

All right, so let’s agree to this. Unless I have something to say that is newsworthy, a debatable topic, or something that is entertaining, I will resist in posting. However, if you want to be a part of a few topics that will spark debate or just need some mindless entertaining prattle, then stay tuned.

Keep the Heart-Print Faith,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Minnesota Nice

Most of you know that I have been in Minnesota for the past couple of weeks visiting my kids and grandkids. It's fun stuff up here--even the cold weather.

But here is the thing about Minnesota--the people here are nice--extremely nice. It must be something in the water, because I hardly ever run into someone cranky. Everyone goes out of their way to be helpful and friendly. The phrase "Minnesota Nice" is commonly used to describe the residents.

For example, I was in the grocery store and received the typical question, "Did you find everything all right?" I mentioned I had trouble finding one item. No kidding, the employees almost tore the store apart for twenty minutes--but they did find the elusive item.

Then yesterday I had a mental headslap moment. I backed my car into the garage door. It was almost open, but not quite. Duh me. So the local garage door repairman was called. He was so nice, I felt like I was in a sitcom from the 1950's. And to top it off the total charge was only $79 to realign, fix the bent brackets, etc.

I am going to work on becoming Minnesota nice. Cold hands and feet, but a warm heart.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Writer's Porch--NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is here. Yup, it's National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a 50,000 word or more novel during the month of November. Check out the site!

There is not a lot that I find is unique out there in the writing world, but this thrilled me. Maybe because I have wanted to write fiction for years, but just could not seem to get motivated to do it with all the other stuff that kept pouring onto my desk each year.

However, NaNoWriMo has spurred me on to begin my book. It is an exciting thing to say, "I am writing a novel." Now, I may not get all the 50,000 words completed. I most likely will not win the contest. But the important point for me as a writer is to say, "I am writing!" Because writers write. Procrastination is a writer's bane. If you long to write, but then stare at the computer screen, do laundry, walk the dog, and make your grocery list, then you will be tickled by this video compiled by author Angela Hunt. It's in honor of NaNoWriMo and it's writers "finding more important things to do." Things Novelists Do While Their Novels Remain . . .Unwritten. You can view it on YouTube or on Angela Hunt's blog.

Now I am off to work on my novel. I only have 1500 words written--need to write about 48,000 more. YIKES!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Flu, The Fever and The Blahs

One of the symptoms of H1N1 is the blahs. No one actually lists the blahs as a symptom, but it is and it lasts for days. Almost two weeks ago, I had fever, a headache, a cough and fatigue. I slept for days, it seemed. After about a week I slowly began to feel better except for the cough and the blahs.

Today I finally decided I needed to get out for a long walk and clear the cobwebs from my brain. So I walked for an hour with my three dogs and had a good time. It felt great. However, I sat down to write--BLAH. I would rather play Solitaire or better yet peruse Amazon for great books and Christmas ideas.

However, I MUST write. Here's a list of the things piled on my desk.

#1. Blog posts

#2. Devotions for Proverbs 31 Ministries

#3. It is NaNoWriMo. What in the world is that? Check tomorrow on the Writer's Porch.

#4. I have been offered a new contract for another Bible study, so I need to get started on that project.

#5. Magazine articles that I should have written months ago.

#6. Need to work on new messages as I have a busy spring speaking schedule.

#7. Prepare a conference/retreat with my friend Glynnis.

All of this seems overwhelming to me. The Blahs in my head say, "It's too much. You just can't do it, so why bother at all?"

That's a good question, Ms. Blahs. But it is my purpose and calling. So I will finish each of the tasks--maybe not today, maybe not even in 2009, but the flu, the fever and the blahs will not steal me away from what I am called to do.

So on that note, one checked off my list. The blog for today is posted.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Returning to Raising Faithful Children

Hey! A couple weeks ago I drove from Las Vegas to Minneapolis by myself. Well, I did have my three dogs. I know, am I nuts or what? Here's the thing--I had a great time. I listened to teaching tapes, music and watched the peak leaf change all the way through Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska. Now I am in Minnesota and it feels, looks and probably is winter. I think we are going to have snow later in the week.

So as I drove I pondered a lot of things. I again wondered why children leave the faith. What as parents are we missing? Do we think our church will provide the cornerstone of faith? Do we trust that since our children go to "Christian" school they will be protected? Do we think because we home schooled our children, they will be kept from doubt?

I look back to when I became a Christian at the age of 15. I was so on fire for Jesus. I truly loved Him from the depths of my soul--with all my heart, mind and strength. But in my mid-twenties I walked away from the faith. Why?

Because I could not understand the pain of suffering of life. If God was good how could He allow all this junk in my life. I remember going to my pastor's wife for help. (She will remain unnamed.) What did she do? She criticized me for my lack of faith, my sinful nature, blah, blah, blah. Needless to say I did not return to her for counseling. I turned to my friends who seemed to understand my confusion. Sadly because they didn't walk strong in their own faith, they inadvertently led me further away from God.

So for seven years I walked in a desert of faith. I knew I believed, but yet I didn't behave as I did. Finally after years of frustated living, Jesus drew me back to Him. It wasn't a big church event. It wasn't a friend who "witnessed" to me about my sins. Jesus spoke to my spirit in a Volkswagon Jetta in the parking lot of Knott's Berry Farm. It wasn't mystical. It was supernatural. It was just Jesus reconnecting with His lost lamb.

I do believe wholeheartedly that my mother's prayers were being answered. Her prayers never wavered. Her love never failed. She persevered when the future looked bleak for her eldest child's faith walk.

Never underestimate the power of a parent's prayer. Remember what James 5:16 states, "The prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." (NLT)