Monday, February 28, 2011

FIRST Wild Card Tour: Nehemiah (The Wiersbe Bible Study Series)

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


Wiersbe Bible Study Series Nehemiah

David C. Cook (February 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Karen Davis, Assistant Media Specialist, The B&B Media Group for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe is an internationally known Bible teacher and the former pastor of The Moody Church in Chicago. For ten years he was associated with the “Back to the Bible” radio broadcast, first as Bible teacher and then as general director. Dr. Wiersbe has written more than 160 books. He and his wife, Betty, live in Lincoln, Nebraska.



SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Nehemiah was an ordinary man given an impossible task: to rebuild the war-torn city of Jerusalem. This Bible study examines the life, legacy, and perseverance of Nehemiah.


Product Details:

List Price: $8.99
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 078140455X
ISBN-13: 978-0781404556

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


A Caring Attitude

(NEHEMIAH 1—2)

Before you begin …

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth and wisdom as you go through this lesson.

• Read Nehemiah 1—2. This lesson references chapters 1 and 2 in Be Determined. It will be helpful for you to have your Bible and a copy of the commentary available as you work through this lesson.


Getting Started

From the Commentary

“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” George Bernard Shaw put those words into the mouth of the Rev. Anthony Anderson in the second act of his play The Devil’s Disciple. The statement certainly summarizes what Jesus taught in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37), and it rebukes all those who fold their arms complacently, smile benignly, and say somewhat sarcastically, “Ask me if I care!”



1. What are some of the evidences in Nehemiah 1 that Nehemiah was a person who cared? Why are care and concern important traits for leaders? How might the lack of care and concern affect a leader’s ability to lead?


More to Consider: Nehemiah was a layman, cupbearer to the great Artaxerxes Longimanus, who ruled Persia from 464 to 423 BC. Nehemiah’s name means “The Lord has comforted.” What is the significance of Nehemiah’s name in relation to the task God has for him? Why do you think he mentions abruptly that he was the cupbearer to the king (Neh. 1:11)?


2. Choose one verse or phrase from Nehemiah 1—2 that stands out to you. This could be something you’re intrigued by, something that makes you uncomfortable, something that puzzles you, something that resonates with you, or just something you want to examine further. Write that here.


Going Deeper

From the Commentary

Nehemiah asked about Jerusalem and the Jews living there because he had a caring heart. When we truly care about people, we want the facts, no matter how painful they may be. “Practical politics consists in ignoring facts,” American historian Henry Adams said, but Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Closing our eyes and ears to the truth could be the first step toward tragedy for ourselves as well as for others.



3. Go through Nehemiah 1 and underline what Nehemiah learns about Jerusalem. What does this tell us about Nehemiah? About the Jews living in Jerusalem? About Jerusalem itself?


From the Commentary

The prayer in Nehemiah 1:5–10 is the first of twelve instances of prayer recorded in this book. (See 2:4; 4:4, 9; 5:19; 6:9, 14; 9:5ff.; 13:14, 22, 29, 31.) The book of Nehemiah opens and closes with prayer. It is obvious that Nehemiah was a man of faith who depended wholly on the Lord to help him accomplish the work He had called him to do. The Scottish novelist George MacDonald said, “In whatever man does without God, he must fail miserably, or succeed more miserably.” Nehemiah succeeded because he depended on God. Speaking about the church’s ministry today, the late Alan Redpath said, “There is too much working before men and too little waiting before God.” This prayer begins with ascription of praise to God (1:5). “God of heaven” is the title Cyrus used for the Lord when he announced that the Jews could return to their land (2 Chron. 36:22–23; Ezra 1:1–2). The heathen gods were but idols on the earth, but the God of the Jews was Lord in heaven. Ezra often used this divine title (5:11–12; 6:9; 7:12, 21, 23), and it is found four times in Nehemiah (1:4–5; 2:4, 20) and three times in Daniel (2:18–19, 44). Nehemiah began his prayer as we should begin our prayers: “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9).


4. What’s the significance of addressing a prayer to “the God of heaven”? Why does Nehemiah begin his prayer this way? (See Neh. 1:5; see also 4:14; 8:6; 9:32.) What is the focus of Nehemiah’s prayer?


From Today’s World

Every few years, the church suffers through “media scandals” prompted by public revelations of leaders’ misconduct. Though the focus is usually on a single individual—or a tightly knit group of people in positions of influence— these media scandals can have a lasting effect on the church. Long after the details of the scandal have faded into the past, people with an axe to grind continue to point to these events as evidence that the church is at worst, corrupt, and at best, a place for hypocrites and fools.


5. Why does the media give so much screen time to church-related scandals? What makes scandals newsworthy? What impact does this sort of event have on the local churches? Church leaders? Believers in general? What are some positive ways to respond to such scandals?


It has well been said that prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven but getting God’s will done on earth. However, for God’s will to be done on earth, He needs people to be available for Him to use. God does “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20 NKJV). If God is going to answer prayer, He must start by working in the one doing the praying! He works in us and through us to help us see our prayers answered. While Nehemiah was praying, his burden for Jerusalem became greater and his vision of what needed to be done became clearer. Real prayer keeps your heart and your head in balance so your burden doesn’t make you impatient to run ahead of the Lord and ruin everything. As we pray, God tells us what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, and all are important to the accomplishing of the will of God. Some Christian workers are like Lord Ronald in one of Stephen Leacock’s short stories who “flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”


Nehemiah planned to volunteer to go to Jerusalem to supervise the rebuilding of the walls. He didn’t pray for God to send somebody else, nor did he argue that he was ill-equipped for such a difficult task. He simply said, “Here am I—send me!”


6. What are some of the lessons we can glean from Nehemiah’s prayer? What is significant about his use of “we” in the prayer? What does this say about Nehemiah as a person? As a leader?


From the Commentary

Unknown to him, Nehemiah was about to join the glorious ranks of the “champions of faith,” and in the centuries to follow, his name would be included with heroes like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Esther, Deborah, and David. One person can make a big difference in this world, if that person knows God and really trusts in Him. Because faith makes a difference, we can make a difference in our world to the glory of God. “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace,” said Martin Luther. “It is so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”



7. Read Mark 9:23–24 and Matthew 17:20. How do these verses apply to Nehemiah’s faith? How can they help inspire church leaders today?


From the Commentary

The king asked him, “What is it you want?” What an opportunity for Nehemiah! All the power and wealth of the kingdom were wrapped up in that question! As he was accustomed to do, Nehemiah sent one of his quick “telegraph prayers” to the Lord (4:4; 5:19; 6:9, 14; 13:14, 22, 29, 31). But keep in mind that these “emergency prayers” were backed up by four months of fasting and praying. If Nehemiah had not been diligent to pray in private, his “telegraph prayers” might have gone unanswered. “He had only an instant for that prayer,” wrote George Morrison. “Silence would have been misinterpreted. Had he closed his eyes and lingered in devotion, the king immediately would have suspected treason” (Morning Sermons, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1931, p. 243).


8. Review Nehemiah 2:4–8. Why is it significant that Nehemiah took a moment to pray before answering? What lessons can we learn from this small action? How did God answer his prayer?


More to Consider: Jewish rabbis often answer a question with a question, and Nehemiah followed that example. Instead of telling the king what he planned to do, he aroused the king’s sympathy and interest with a question regarding how he should feel about the sad plight of his ancestral city and the graves of his forefathers. Why do you think he chose this approach?


From the Commentary

Nehemiah is a good example of how believers should relate to unsaved officials as they seek to do the work of God. Nehemiah respected the king and sought to work within the lines of authority that existed in the empire. He didn’t say, “I have a commission from the Lord to go to Jerusalem, and I’m going whether you like it or not!” When it comes to matters of conscience, we must always obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), but even then, we must show respect for authority (see Rom. 13 and 1 Peter 2:11–25). Daniel and his friends took the same approach as did Nehemiah, and God honored them as well (Dan. 1).


9. How might the king’s reaction have been different if Nehemiah had spoken in more “religious” terms about his commission? What are some examples in today’s church where leaders have related well to nonbelievers in positions of authority? What are some bad examples of this? How can believers today apply Nehemiah’s wisdom in their dealings with non- Christian bosses or other authority figures they relate to in daily life?


From the Commentary

After his long, difficult journey, Nehemiah took time to rest, for leaders must take care of themselves if they are going to be able to serve the Lord (Mark 6:31). He also took time to get “the lay of the land” without arousing the concern of the enemy. A good leader doesn’t rush into his work but patiently gathers the facts firsthand and then plans his strategy (Prov. 18:13). We must be “wise as serpents” because the Enemy is always watching and waiting to attack. Leaders are often awake when others are asleep, and

working when others are resting. Nehemiah didn’t want the enemy to know what he was doing, so he investigated the ruins by night. By keeping his counsel to himself, Nehemiah prevented Tobiah’s friends from getting information they could pass along to Sanballat.…


As he surveyed the situation, he moved from west to south to east, concentrating on the southern section of the city. It was just as his brother had reported: The walls were broken down and the gates were burned (Neh. 2:13; 1:3).


10. Review Nehemiah 2:11–16. Why did Nehemiah not want the enemy to know what he was doing? In what ways was Nehemiah practicing what it means to be a good leader? What role did his “secret survey” play in his plan to rebuild the city?


Looking Inward

Take a moment to reflect on all that you’ve explored thus far in this study of Nehemiah 1—2. Review your notes and answers and think about how each of these things matters in your life today.


Tips for Small Groups: To get the most out of this section, form pairs or trios and have group members take turns answering these questions. Be honest and as open as you can in this discussion, but most of all,

be encouraging and supportive of others. Be sensitive to those who are going through particularly difficult times and don’t press for people to speak if they’re uncomfortable doing so.


11. What are some ways you show your care and concern for your local church? How do you show respect for tradition while also being sensitive to today’s needs? Are you more of an encourager or a complainer? If the latter, why? How can you be more constructive in your relationship with your church?


12. Nehemiah puts a great deal of emphasis on prayer from the very outset of his plan to rebuild the city. What role does prayer play in your plans? How much emphasis do you place on the importance of prayer before, during, and after a plan is put into effect in your life?


13. What aspects of Nehemiah’s leadership appeal to you most? In what ways are you like him? What are some things you’d like to work on in order to be a better servant leader?


Going Forward

14. Think of one or two things that you have learned that you’d like to work on in the coming week. Remember that this is all about quality, not quantity. It’s better to work on one specific area of life and do it well than to work on many and do poorly (or to be so overwhelmed that you simply don’t try). Do you need to work on expanding your prayer life? Is there a particular matter you need to pray about, perhaps for an extended period of time? Be specific. Go back through Nehemiah 1—2 and put a star next to the phrase or verse that is most encouraging to you. Consider memorizing this verse.


Real-Life Application Ideas: One of the key features of Nehemiah’s leadership was his deliberate prayer life. Take a few minutes to consider the various plans you have for your own life (and your family’s life). This could be anything from plans for a summer vacation to educational goals to career plans for you and every other family member. Now, think about how your prayer life intersects with these plans. What are some ways you can be more deliberate in your prayer life about these things? Make practical plans for how to become more prayerful, then commit to those plans.


Seeking Help

15. Write a prayer below (or simply pray one in silence), inviting God to work on your mind and heart in those areas you’ve previously noted. Be honest about your desires and fears.


Notes for Small Groups:

• Look for ways to put into practice the things you wrote in the Going Forward section. Talk with other group members about your ideas and commit to being accountable to one another.

• During the coming week, ask the Holy Spirit to continue to reveal truth to you from what you’ve read

and studied.

• Before you start the next lesson, read Nehemiah 3—4. For more in-depth lesson preparation, read chapters 3 and 4, “Wall-to-Wall Workers” and “Workers and Warriors,” in Be Determined.



REVIEW:
Nehemiah: Standing Firm in the Face of Opposition is another excellent Bible study from Dr. Warren Wiersbe. This study is designed for individual and small-group use. It goes hand in hand with Dr. Wiersbe's expositional commentary of Nehemiah, Be Determined. This book includes excerpts from Be Determined, thought-provoking questions, tips for small groups, and real-life application ideas. Nehemiah is a book about Godly leadership, rebuilding, the importance of prayer, commitment, steadfastness, determination, and celebration. Dr. Wiersbe helps us dig deep into God's truth & principles revealed in Nehemiah and encourages us to apply them in our life. Be determined to do what God calls you to do and do it for His glory!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday's Fave Five #40

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. We had lots of fun sledding yesterday.

 2. I received Apologia's Exploring Creation with General Science plus Solutions and Tests via Paperbackswap.com. Very happy about that :)! If you decide to sign up at Paperbackswap.com, please use my email address: serving_theKingofkings@yahoo.com as your referer. Thanks.

3. I love seafood....even the frozen varieties :). Fresh seafood is the best though.

4. Swagbucks' 3rd Birthday Celebration. I have already traded my swagbucks for several Amazon gift cards. You can earn swagbucks by searching the internet, watching videos, playing games, and/or shopping online. If you have never signed up yet, check out my post here for details and a code for extra swagbucks.

5. I'm currently hosting 2 great giveaways. You can read my review, watch the trailer, and win a copy of MOST DVD--The Deluxe Edition here. MOST is a beautiful allegory of God's amazing love and sacrifice. You can also win a copy of The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn and Robert Lewis here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Life Ready Woman Contest

In celebration of Shaunti Feldhahn’s Life Ready Woman, MomLife Today is giving away 2 Weekend To Remember Gift Packs and much more!

Not only, is MomLife Today helping promote Life Ready Woman, but they are thrilled to announce that Shaunti will be joining MomLife Today as a regular contributor!!!

Weekend To Remember Get-Aways offer marriage-changing principles that you can take home and apply to your daily lives to strengthen your marriage. Whether you are newly engaged or have been married for 50 years, you will find value in the tools provided at the getaway.
MomLife Today's Weekend To Remember Giveaway


Don’t miss this opportunity to receive a conference registration for you and your spouse … and more! MomLife Today will be randomly selecting NINE lucky recipients to receive one of these great gifts:
  1. 2 Weekend To Remember Get Away conference registrations for two. $259 value each pair (Two couples will receive this.)
  2. 2 Life Ready Woman DVD packs. $149 value each (Two different people will receive this gift.)
  3. 5 The Life Ready Woman books. (Book will go to 5 people.)
To enter click one of the icons below then tell your friends. Winner will be announced on March 2nd on the MomLife Today website.
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

MomLife Today provides encouragement, advice and resources to help YOU with your daily Momlife! Because…every MOMent counts!

Note: You can read my review of The Life Ready Woman and enter to win a copy here.

Swagbucks' 3rd Birthday Celebration!

Swagbucks (the best place on the web for free stuff) is turning 3, and the celebration they have planned for the 28th is going to be HUGE! It'll feature a bunch of Swag Codes, a new look and feel for the Swagbucks Blog, and the launch of two new features, one of which will redefine the way you use their search function. You definitely won't want to miss it, so be sure that you're on the site bright and early the morning of the 28th for your chance to earn big and be a part of the biggest birthday celebration on the web! Swagbucks.com is a site where you can earn 1,000s of free products for doing the things you do every day. Whether it's searching the web, watching videos, playing games, shopping or more, we've got a way for you to be rewarded with free stuff. No strings. No gimmicks.

Special offer for my blog readers: Use the code BirthdayTime for an extra 35 Swag Bucks when applied during registration on top of the 30 Swag Bucks that everyone starts with when they sign up (it's free to sign up). This code is active from Monday, February 21st at 6am EST to Monday, February 28th at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Life Ready Woman Blog Tour and Giveaway

About Life Ready Woman
Thriving in a Do It All World
Are you a 'Doing it all' or 'Do what matters' woman?

Whether a stay at home or working mom, an airplane-hopping executive, an empty-nester caring for multiple generations or a single juggling high demands of career and personal life, today's fast-paced modern world leaves women gasping for balance. We as modern Christian women want to look to the Bible for guidance on how to manage our lives -- but because the world of women looks so different today than it did when the Bible was written, it is hard to find chapter and verse that seems to apply to our situation today.

Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and God's best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find God's best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.

God has given every wonderfully unique woman different skills and abilities, different desires, and different temperaments -- and every woman around the planet and through the ages is certainly living in different circumstances. But no matter what a woman's life looks like, the Bible says that God has an individual mission and plan that He's carefully designed for each of us. And He wants us to find it. Starting January 2011, The Life Ready Woman and the Life Ready Woman Video Series will help every wonderfully unique woman to thrive as she identifies and courageously pursues God's unique design and callings for her. LifeReady Woman puts you on a roadmap to make decisions that will lead to relief, delight, and fulfillment instead of regret.

Find out more about the LifeReady Woman book and study at http://www.lifeready.com/lifereadywoman/ .


About the Author

Shaunti Feldhahn is a former Wall Street analyst and the best-selling author of For Women Only and now The Life Ready Woman with Robert Lewis. These resources investigate and illuminate those easy-to-miss truths that have the greatest power to transform lives.

Shaunti is also the mom of two active young kids, and wife to attorney and entrepreneur Jeff. In the middle of juggling work deadlines, soccer runs, church activities, business opportunities, field trips, and time with her husband, she has seen personally how vital it is to have a biblical blueprint for life balance.

For more information about Shaunti, please visit her website at http://www.shauntifeldhahn.com/ .

My Thoughts and Review:
I love being a woman. Yes, often I do wish there were more hours in the day :). Being a woman trying to juggle a plethora of things is challenging and exhausting. The Life Ready Woman aims to help women be ready for a fulfilled life from a Biblical perspective. Initially, I had a hard time getting into the book because it didn't hold my attention. However, it got better/meatier starting in Chapter 3. The book is divided into two parts: Part 1: God's Plan and Purposes for All of Us and Part 2: Getting to God's Best for You. The authors (Shaunti Feldhahn & Robert Lewis) address the five most common issues facing us women nowadays, define Biblical womanhood, and point out the three types of callings that direct our path (core callings, feminine callings, and personal callings). If you want God's best for your life, you need to live from the inside out (beginning at God's core callings). The authors offer five faith steps and various wise steps (for different seasons of life) for women to follow in order to be "ready". This book is an insightful and practical life-coaching guide based on the compass of God's Word for women of all ages and all stages.

Download the Session workbook and watch Session One at  http://lifeready.com/lifereadywoman/sessionsampler.html

GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of this book. The giveaway is open only to U.S. residents. Deadline: Feb. 28th at midnight (Pacific time)
To Enter: Please leave a comment here sharing what you think is the most challenging thing about being a Godly woman, wife, or mother.

For Extra Entries: 1. View my daughter's video here (only 3 min. 15 sec. long) and come back to leave a comment letting me know.

2. Rate my book reviews here (click on each title to read and rate each review). Come back to leave a comment letting me know the title(s) of the book(s) you've rated. Each book review rating counts as one extra entry.

3. Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect or NetworkedBlogs.


~I received this book for review and a giveaway copy from Litfuse Group.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: LillyMae Bag

I often use a fanny pack but it does not look feminine like a purse. Well, now I can have a feminine-looking fanny pack, thanks to LillyMae Bags. I picked the green/brown flower strip design. Isn't it so pretty? I know I'm not a teenager but I still like this style :).
When I first got it, I was a little concerned about the size because I like to have necessary things with me when I leave the house. Wow...guess what I was able to pack in this little fanny pack. My coin purse, camera, key chain flashlight, business cards, a pack of tissue, and mp3 player! I really like the adjustability of LillyMae bag. You can wear it as a fanny pack, a purse, or a cross-body bag.  It's also practical and convenient; there is a side eyelet through which you can connect your headphone cord to your mp3 player.


LillyMae Bag is great for shopping, exercising, working, traveling, etc. You can be active and stylish at the same time :). There are several styles to pick from. Black fanny packs are available for men. You can also adjust the strap size to fit children. Check all the cool & fun styles out at http://lillymaebags.com/cart/products_all.html .

*Special offer for my readers: Use coupon code 15001 to get 15% off at Lillymaebags.com.

~ I received a Lillymae bag for free from Lillymaebags.com via Family Review Network in exchange for my honest opinions.

FIRST Wild Card Tour: 30-Day Marriage Makeover

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:

Siloam (February 1, 2011)
***Special thanks to Anna Coelho Silva | Publicity Coordinator, Book Group | Strang Communications for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:





Douglas Weiss, PhD, is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The author of Intimacy, The Seven Love Agreements, and Sex, Men, and God, he is a regular guest on national television (both secular and Christian) as well as radio.



Visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Based on principles from his best-selling book Intimacy, Dr. Doug Weiss offers thirty daily teachings for married Christian couples that will help them discover what true intimacy looks like, learn how to overcome the five main roadblocks to intimacy, and help them fall in love all over again.


Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Siloam (February 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 161638140X
ISBN-13: 978-1616381400

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask

for, it will be done for you by my "ather in heaven. "or where

two or three come together in my name, there am ! with them.

—Matthew 18:19–20


Throughout my years of counseling, I have discovered that many marriages lack structures to encourage intimacy. We grow up believing that one day we will get married and live happily ever after. We enter marriage ill equipped for intimacy and are disappointed when our husband or wife doesn’t possess the secret code to intimacy either.


At first marriage is fun as you begin to learn about your spouse, go to work or school, get your first apartment, pick out furniture, go to church, and are physically intimate together without guilt. The sheer complexities of your new life together, along with the many new decisions you must make, can keep you talking and sharing regularly. Slowly and subtly it happens. No one really knows when or where it happens, but something changes within the relationship. You don’t seem to talk as much.


Decisions are not met with the same excitement as when you were first married; instead, they are delegated, then discussed. Purchases become fewer, and sex and life take on a routine. You don’t feel as close but seem just to be living together. What happened? Where did the passion for one another go? Americans believe that people are either passionate or they are not. But this kind of thinking is incorrect. Passion is a dividend of consistent investments made into a relationship. Let’s reflect back a minute to when you were dating. You were selling your spouse on the idea that being married to you was a great idea. Remember the passion you had for your future spouse? Of course you remember the passion, but what you may have forgotten is the foundation of that passion, the priority of the relationship. Do you remember how you “made” time to be together? You planned your days and weeks around each other’s work schedule, including your days off. Those of you who were attending school in another city away from your future spouse, as I was, had the phone bills to prove your passion and priority. In my case, those phone bills took a giant bite out of the little income I made just so I could tell her about my day. If you were a Christian at the time, do you remember how spiritual you were? You prayed together as often as you could and perhaps even read the Bible together. You desired to know God’s will, and you wanted God to help you stay pure and still express your love to one another. Do you remember the gratitude you had for the smallest things your spouse did for you? ,is was especially true for me when Lisa cooked for me. I was so grateful! I 5lled her life with a constant stream of praise. Do you remember when you thought she was so smart and attractive and had so much potential? You believed in her and regularly encouraged her.


Understand that passion is a result of setting priorities. Too many people attempt to get back the passion instead of getting back their priorities. Once you get the priorities back, the passion follows and grows

naturally. What priorities? I will discuss priorities shortly, but before I do, I want to share an analogy I often use in counseling sessions. Many couples come in for help with sprains or fractures in their relationships. I liken the repair of a marital relationship to 5xing a broken bone. When your bone is broken, you can continue to function in a limited way, but you look and act unusual. When you go to the doctor or emergency room. The first thing the doctor does is order an X-ray of the bone. Sure enough, he looks at the structure. Regardless of how it happened, the X-ray shows a damaged structure (your bone is broken). The doctor and nurse apply a structural treatment to your structural problem in the form of a cast. The cast is a structural treatment that allows the bone to heal. The cast itself is just plastic or plaster, and it has no healing properties. But when it is applied to a broken bone to hold the bone in place, surprise! Healing can and does happen. The same thing happens when you place the priorities back into your

marriage. No matter how sprained or broken a marriage is, healing can and does take place. I have seen genuine miracles of restoration in marriages when priorities were put back into the relationship. One of

the structures I apply is what I call “the three dailies.” I want to add a personal note of testimony. As I have stated before, I would never ask you to do something that Lisa and I have not done or are not doing presently in our relationship. Lisa and I have done two of the three dailies every day for years, with only a few exceptions. When I developed the third exercise, we actively applied it to our marriage routine also.


These three exercises help Lisa and I maintain our relationship priorities. They are part of our bedtime routine. Neither of us expects to go to sleep without our relational ritual of the three dailies. They are a major highlight of my day. I get to hear about my wife’s day, hear her heart, and she gets to hear about my day and heart as well. ,is relational structure has richly developed our skill for intimacy to such a level that it can weather the day-to-day challenges of children, writing, and media demands, together with all of our other commitments. When your marriage priorities are restored, your passion will be restored. Everyone who knows me is well aware of my passion for Lisa.


I love her and really like her as well. This passion is the fruit of disciplinethat is born out of a heart of love.


THE THREE DAILIES

1. Prayer

Prayer is an absolute necessity in your marriage. I am constantly amazed when couples tell me that the last time they really prayed together, not including praying over food or a good night prayer with children, was years ago. Sometimes they say, “We both pray, just not together.” Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” The Lord must be part of building your house. Prayer is an active way to include the Lord as part of the building plan of your marriage.


Matthew 18:19 says, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” As we’ve previously noted, this verse discusses the importance

of two or more agreeing in God’s name. It doesn’t say when one agrees—it says when two agree. Since Christ’s resurrection, He intercedes with and for His bride, which is the church. The Lord sees prayer as being extremely important. God’s pleasure is for us to commune with Him not just as individuals,

but as a couple as well. Prayer is one of the priorities that must be set in place by a couple desiring more intimacy. Remember, intimacy is three dimensional, involving spirit, soul, and body. As we grow together spiritually, our intimacy in the other two areas will grow as well. Prayer is just talking aloud to God with your spouse, similar to talking with a friend. Prayer doesn’t have to take long hours in any particular

position. It is the principle of connecting with God that is essential. As a couple, within your governing style in your marriage, process the decision of daily prayer. As a result of your decision as a couple, place a

check by which of the following statements you agree with.


* We have agreed to pray daily together to improve and maintain our intimacy for the next thirty days.


* We have agreed not to pray together daily for the next thirty days, knowing that it will negatively affect our intimacy. The structure of prayer taking place within your marriage is one essential part of the three daily exercises. This structure will also be a part of your thirty-day log at the end of each day. Hopefully you have agreed to daily prayer. I know better than most that each couple has many variables. Some of these differences include sleep preferences, work schedules, children’s school and extracurricular activities, church, and fellowshiping with family and friends.


Look at your schedules. When can you pray together? In the morning? At lunch? In the evening? Take the time to discuss this with your spouse, and see if you can agree on a time to pray together. In the space below, write your first and second options to pray together.


Option one is ________ a.m./p.m.

Option two is ________ a.m./p.m.


In your thirty-day log, it’s important to track your progress regarding this exercise to maintain the consistency that ignites the passion and intimacy you both desire. Those who travel often ask how to maintain the thirty-day program while out of town. In this day of modern technology, it is a non issue for the creative person. You can use your calling card or mobile phone to pray with your spouse over the phone. This really demonstrates a commitment to maintaining your spiritual intimacy. Even if you’re in Hong Kong, you can e-mail a prayer to your wife and chat with her. Remember that the structure first brings healing, then passion. As you walk together spiritually, your intimacy over the next thirty days can

nourish.


I love walking in the garden of my life with Lisa and coming with her into the presence of our loving Father. I really believe this has been instrumental in developing the strength and intimacy of our marriage. couples come in for help with sprains or fractures in their relationships. I liken the repair of a marital relationship to fixing a broken bone. When your bone is broken, you can continue to function in a limited way, but you look and act unusual. Then you go to the doctor or emergency room.


The first thing the doctor does is order an X-ray of the bone. Sure enough, he looks at the structure. Regardless of how it happened, the X-ray shows a damaged structure (your bone is broken). The doctor and nurse apply a structural treatment to your structural problem in the form of a cast.


The cast is a structural treatment that allows the bone to heal. The cast itself is just plastic or plaster, and it has no healing properties. But when it is applied to a broken bone to hold the bone in place, surprise! Healing can and does happen.


The same thing happens when you place the priorities back into your marriage. No matter how sprained or broken a marriage is, healing can and does take place. I have seen genuine miracles of restoration in marriages when priorities were put back into the relationship. One of the structures I apply is what I call “the three dailies.”


I want to add a personal note of testimony. As I have stated before, I would never ask you to do something that Lisa and I have not done or are not doing presently in our relationship. Lisa and I have done two of

the three dailies every day for years, with only a few exceptions. When I developed the third exercise, we actively applied it to our marriage routine also.


These three exercises help Lisa and I maintain our relationship priorities. They are part of our bedtime routine. Neither of us expects to go to sleep without our relational ritual of the three dailies.


They are a major highlight of my day. I get to hear about my wife’s day, hear her heart, and she gets to hear about my day and heart as well. ,is relational structure has richly developed our skill for intimacy to such a

level that it can weather the day-to-day challenges of children, writing, and media demands, together with all of our other commitments.


When your marriage priorities are restored, your passion will be restored. Everyone who knows me is well aware of my passion for Lisa.


I love her and really like her as well. ,is passion is the fruit of discipline that is born out of a heart of love.


THE THREE DAILIES


1. Prayer

Prayer is an absolute necessity in your marriage. I am constantly amazed when couples tell me that the last time they really prayed together, not including praying over food or a good night prayer with children, was years ago. Sometimes they say, “We both pray, just not together.”


Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” The Lord must be part of building your house. Prayer is an active way to include the Lord as part of the building plan of your

marriage.


Matthew 18:19 says, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” As we’ve previously noted, this verse discusses the importance

of two or more agreeing in God’s name. It doesn’t say when one agrees— it says when two agree.


Since Christ’s resurrection, He intercedes with and for His bride, which is the church. The Lord sees prayer as being extremely important. God’s pleasure is for us to commune with Him not just as individuals,

but as a couple as well.


Prayer is one of the priorities that must be set in place by a couple desiring more intimacy. Remember, intimacy is three dimensional, involving spirit, soul, and body. As we grow together spiritually, our

intimacy in the other two areas will grow as well.


Prayer is just talking aloud to God with your spouse, similar to talking with a friend. Prayer doesn’t have to take long hours in any particular position. It is the principle of connecting with God that is essential.


As a couple, within your governing style in your marriage, process the decision of daily prayer. As a result of your decision as a couple, place a check by which of the following statements you agree with.


We have agreed to pray daily together to improve and maintain our intimacy for the next thirty days.


We have agreed not to pray together daily for the next thirty days, knowing that it will negatively affect our intimacy.


The structure of prayer taking place within your marriage is one essential part of the three daily exercises. This structure will also be a part of your thirty-day log at the end of each day.


Hopefully you have agreed to daily prayer. I know better than most that each couple has many variables. Some of these differences include sleep preferences, work schedules, children’s school and extracurricular

activities, church, and fellowshiping with family and friends.


Look at your schedules. When can you pray together? In the morning? At lunch? In the evening? Take the time to discuss this with your spouse, and see if you can agree on a time to pray together. In the space below, write your first and second options to pray together.


Option one is ________ a.m./p.m.


Option two is ________ a.m./p.m.


In your thirty-day log, it’s important to track your progress regarding this exercise to maintain the consistency that ignites the passion and intimacy you both desire.


Those who travel often ask how to maintain the thirty-day program while out of town. In this day of modern technology, it is a non issue for the creative person. You can use your calling card or mobile phone to pray with your spouse over the phone. This really demonstrates a commitment to maintaining your spiritual intimacy. Even if you’re in Hong Kong, you can e-mail a prayer to your wife and chat with her.

Remember that the structure first brings healing, then passion. As you walk together spiritually, your intimacy over the next thirty days can nourish.


I love walking in the garden of my life with Lisa and coming with her into the presence of our loving Father. I really believe this has been instrumental in developing the strength and intimacy of our marriage.






MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW:
30-Day Marriage Makeover offers 30 daily guides on how to achieve genuine intimacy with your spouse, communicate more effectively, and experience more passion in your relationship. The lessons are divided into 4 main topics for 4 diffent weeks: Spiritual Makeover, Emotional Makeover, Sexual Makeover, and Making the Marriage Makeover Last. At the end of each day, there is a place for readers to record their daily progress. And at the end of each week, there is a place for readers to note their progress for the week. The author did a thorough job on addressing a variety of issues common in marriage from emotional roadblocks, forgiveness, sexual development, financial management, to dating your spouse. Three essential dailies are emphasized: praying together with your spouse, feeling-sharing exercise, and praise & nurturing exercise. I appreciate that the author's advice is Biblically sound; however, I think in light of practicality, some of his suggestions/teachings are too mechanical. Each individual is unique and each marriage is unique. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible should be our ultimate guides. Nevertheless, this book is still a good tool to use as guidelines for a healthy marriage.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

DVD Review and Giveaway: Most--The Deluxe Edition

MOST: The Deluxe Edition DVD
33-minute Academy Award nominated short film directed by Bobby Garabedian

MOST, the Czech word for "The Bridge," is a modern-day parable about a loving father, his young son, and a life-changing decision. What would you do if you were forced to choose between saving one life who is dear to you and saving hundreds of lives you hardly know? The train. The drawbridge. His one and only son. Death. New life. A single act in a split second makes all the difference. This short film is profoundly touching and heart wrenching. It's a beautifully crafted allegory of God's amazing love and sacrifice. It certainly moved me and made me so thankful for what Christ did on the cross for me. Jesus is also "the Bridge" between God the Father and us sinners.

The cast members did an outstanding job. Their facial expressions communicate so effectively even when words are absent. They speak Czech in the film with subtitles (in 18 languages). I was totally absorbed in the whole movie even though I had seen part of it before on YouTube. This deluxe edition includes the behind-the-scenes making of MOST, bonus scenes, an extended ending, introduction and commentary by Luis Palau, and Bible study guides. This movie was filmed in Czech Republic and Poland over a three-year period. I really enjoyed learning about the making of the movie and how it got started. I highly recommend this DVD to everyone. It will be available at Christian stores and online retailers on March 1st.

WEBSITE: http://www.providentfilms.org/most/
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mostthemovie
You can also purchase it on Amazon.

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.

GIVEAWAY: I'm so excited that Mr. Bowen at Propeller offers an extra copy of this awesome DVD as a giveaway to one of my readers.

To Enter: Please leave a comment here sharing a Bible verse or a quote about God's love, sacrifice, hope, or forgiveness. Please also make sure to leave your email address or your blog address so that I will be able to contact you if you're chosen as a winner (randomly). This giveaway is open only to US residents.
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2011 at midnight (Pacific time)

For Extra Entries: 1. View my daughter's video here (only 3 min. 15 sec. long) and come back to leave a comment letting me know.
                               2. Rate my book reviews here (click on each title to read and rate each review). Come back to leave a comment letting me know the title(s) of the book(s) you've rated. Each book review rating counts as one extra entry.
                               3. Rate my daughter's review of Radical here and leave a comment letting me know.
                               4. "Like" Most the Movie Facebook page.
                               5. Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect or NetworkedBlogs.

"For God so loVed the world,
        That He gAve
              His onLy
              begottEn
                   SoN
                       That whosoever believeth
                       In Him
            should Not perish,
         but have Everlasting life."

                                          ~John 3:16 KJV

"This is how we know what LOVE is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers" 1 John 3:16
"But God demonstrates His own LOVE for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Happy VALENTINE's Day, everyone! May we all take time to ponder John 3:16 this Valentine's Day! Yes, God LOVES you that MUCH!

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday's Fave Five #39

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. I had too much fun shopping at Uwajimaya (my favorite Asian grocery store :)). We got lots of humbow, shumai, dumplings, and more.

2. I enjoyed eating duck (rare treat). So yummy!

3. Free DVD download from Answers in Genesis: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

4. Are you ready to be radical for Jesus? Click here to read and rate my daughter's review of Radical by David Platt

5. I'm still trying to help my 17 yo daughter win an iPad (for her graduation). Please view her video below (only 3min. 15 sec.). The video with the most views by Feb. 23rd will win an iPad. Thanks, everyone!                

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: Dei Fratelli Pasta Sauces

The day before yesterday, I was excited to receive five jars of Dei Fratelli pasta sauces for review.  I only have had a chance to try two out of five so far. I used a combination of Tomato & Basil and Traditional. First, I was going to use only Tomato & Basil but after I added mushrooms, onions, and chicken, I realize I needed another jar of sauce because I had put in too much stuff :). The result was fantastic. Very delicious. We really enjoyed our spaghetti dinner for two days in a row. My family gave thumbs up!

Dei Fratelli means "of the brothers" and is a fourth generation, family-owned company. They are proud of their family recipes and their secret: all sauces use the highest quality tomatoes harvested from local, family farms since 1923. I love their natural ingredients and the fact that they don't use any artificial additives or preservatives. All their great flavors start with freshly crushed vine-ripened tomatoes. They also use sea salt and extra virgin olive oil in their pasta sauces. In addition, their sauces (except Three Cheese) contain no saturated fat, no trans fat, and no cholesterol. I highly recommend these healthy and yummy sauces!

Other products made and sold by Dei Fratelli include salsas, canned tomatoes, tomato juices, tomato soup, pizza sauce, low-sodium diced tomatoes, sauerkraut, and more.

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.

Dei Fratelli - Our Ohio from RMD Advertising on Vimeo.

Check out Dei Fratelli on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DeiFratelli.

~This post was written for Family Review Network & Dei Fratelli who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Friday's Fave Five #38

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:-
1. Passport to the World journey at Christian Home School Hub. Fun way to learn about different languages and countries!

2. Wow..wow..wow..the Lord answered my prayer in a way that blew my mind away!!! And all I prayed was...May "it" be according to His will. I want nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. He chose to bless me/us beyond what we could ever have imagined.

3. We watched one of our home videos. Alyssa was 6 then (now 17) and Josiah was only 1. They were super cute :)! Josiah's laughter was so contagious. O precious memories!

4. My new profile picture for Facebook this month :).---->

5. Please take a few minutes to view my 17 yo daughter's video below. The most viewed video wins an iPad. Thanks, everyone!               

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

FIRST Wild Card Tour: 31 Days to a Younger You by Arlene Pellicane

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!


Today's Wild Card author is:


and the book:


31 Days to a Younger You

Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2011)

***Special thanks to Christianne Debysingh, Senior Publicist, Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Arlene Pellicane is an author, speaker, and formerly served as the associate producer for Turning Point Television with Dr. David Jeremiah. Her audiobook and website Losing Weight After Baby has helped many moms achieve their physical and personal goals. Arlene and her family make their home in southern California.

Please visit the author's website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Arlene Pellicane offers readers a solution to looking younger and feeling younger in just 31 days. Women of all ages will benefit from Arlene’s beauty and health tips, along with her Biblical encouragement to “grow more beautiful from the inside out.”



Product Details:

List Price: $11.99
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736929037
ISBN-13: 978-0736929035

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Back to First Grade



If you could go back in time, would you?

Most of us would pass because we remember the pain of puberty, high-school breakups, and dreadful first jobs. But what about those carefree kindergarten days when every morning brought a new chance to play?

My parents were born and raised in Indonesia, and they immigrated to New York before I was born. Shoveling snow was getting to my father, so when I was six, my family moved from New York to California. I tested out of first grade and began my new school as a second grader. Most people never knew I was younger than the other kids because I was tall.

Now that I have children, I wonder if there’s anything I missed by skipping first grade. First graders learn about addition and subtraction of whole numbers. They become masters of the alphabet, learning all the sounds and reading easy books. They are learning basic fundamentals and having lots of fun in the process.

Is it possible to learn the fundamentals of anything and have fun in the process? Sure, just look at little kids. Their eyes sparkle when shown a new object. They giggle with delight over simple stories. The word fundamental actually begins with fun. Have you ever looked at that word in that way? One definition of fundamental is “relating to the foundation or base, forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure, or something that is an essential or necessary part of a system or object.” As you were reading that definition, you probably weren’t thinking, Wow, that sounds exciting!

Practicing fundamentals may seem tedious, boring, and laborious. But therein lies one secret to looking and feeling younger: injecting fun into the fundamentals.

Can We Read the Bible, Please?

My kindergartener, Ethan, loves to read his Bible. He comes into my room in the morning asking, “Mommy, can you read me a story from the Bible?” His Bible is written as a children’s storybook with colorful illustrations and animated characters. Whether the story is “David and Goliath” or “Jesus Feeds Thousands,” Ethan’s attention is sharply fixed on each page. After one story has ended, he wants another, then another.

I sometimes wish I had this same kind of hunger and enthusiasm when I approach my Bible. I’d like to read it with fresh eyes like my son’s. Instead of knowing how things turn out, what if I read a story about Jesus and wondered, What’s going to happen? Is Jesus really going to walk on water? How did He do that?

If you’re not careful, Bible study can become a chore, something to check off a “to-do” list and nothing more. Anyone can become numb to the miraculous stories and truths found in God’s Word. After sharing a parable in Mark 7, Jesus says to His closest followers, “Are you so dull?” (Mark 7:18). Even the disciples who walked with Jesus experienced times of spiritual blindness.

Reading the Bible is a fundamental component to living your best life, yet so many people have forgotten the fun—the life—that’s found in studying God’s Word. So how do you put the fun back into the fundamentals of Bible study?

Pray first. Before you begin reading, take a moment to ask God to help you comprehend and apply what you read, that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).

Personalize it. When you read an Old Testament story, put yourself in the picture. What if you instead of Daniel were thrown inside the lion’s den? How would you feel when the morning came and you were still alive? You can also insert your name into a passage: “[Mary] be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Put it into practice. If you love to play basketball, it’s enjoyable to watch a game on television but not nearly as fun as suiting up and playing yourself. Likewise, you can sit on the sidelines, observing the truths found in the Bible. But until you put what you read into practice, you’re not fully realizing the positive power of God’s Word in your life. Take a passage of Scripture and ask God how to apply it to your life.

Here’s a beauty tip that illustrates what reading the Bible will do for you. To give your makeup a firm base, splash your face with cold water before applying makeup. This helps shrink pores temporarily and helps makeup glide on seamlessly.

When you read your Bible, it’s like splashing cold, refreshing water on your face. It cleanses your life of imperfections. It shrinks not your pores but your problems. It gives you fresh energy for the day. When you apply makeup, it helps your outward appearance. But applying God’s Word dramatically improves your inward appearance where true beauty begins.

I may be too old to sit in a first-grade classroom, but I’m young enough at heart to have fun doing the fundamentals, and so are you.


Thought for Rejuvenation

Think back to a time when Bible study was especially meaningful to you. Maybe you were studying a particular book, using a study guide, or looking for answers during a difficult time of life. What were you doing that worked well?



Act of eXpression

Do something today to make your Bible study come alive. Here are a few ideas:

Read the Bible with a notepad. Write your thoughts about a few passages and how they apply to your life.

Pray a few Scriptures out loud, inserting your name when appropriate.

Listen to an audio Bible on CD or your computer.

Take your Bible to a quiet place outside and read in a different environment than usual.

Review: Don't most people (adults) like to look younger and feel younger :)? Arlene Pellicane's book, 31 Days to a Younger You, aims to help women accomplish that goal without surgery or diets. She offers practical advice, health & beauty tips, and encouragement to help readers embrace a younger, healthier lifestyle. I was somewhat surprised to see her still talk about plastic surgery and Botox as options, though discouraged. The book is divided in three sections: Your Personal Rx for the Heart, Your Personal Rx for the Mind, and Your Personal Rx for the Body. The author reminds us not to just take care of our body and outside appearance, but also our mind and heart (spirit). The beauty within is always more important. Looking younger shouldn't be our main goal in life. Remember: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30) Are you ready to take a 31-day journey to improve yourself and boost your energy? By the way, Arlene is pro-dark chocolate...my kind of woman :).

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