Tickle-Me Tuesday

A little guy is sitting at a bar just staring at his drink for half an hour when this big trouble-making biker steps next to him, grabs his drink, gulps it down in one swig and then turns to the guy with a menacing stare as if to say, 'What'cha gonna do about it?"

The poor little guy starts crying.

"Come on man, I was just giving you a hard time," the biker says. "I didn't think you'd CRY. I can't stand to see a man crying."

"This is the worst day of my life," says the little guy between sobs. "I can't do anything right. I overslept and was late to an important meeting, so my boss fired me. When I went to the parking lot, I found my car was stolen and I don't have any insurance. I left my wallet in the cab I took home. "He continues crying even harder. "Then I found my wife in bed with the gardener and my dog bit me. So, I came to this bar trying to work up the courage to put an end to my life, and then you show up and drink the poison."


Man-ificent Monday: Lawrence Brothers

This week's cutie pies are the Lawrence brothers, Joey, Matthew, and Andrew. Joey is best known for his role as Joey Donovan on Gimme a Break and Blossom's hot older brother, Joey Russo, on Blossom (remember his popular saying, "Whoa!"). Matthew had roles in Boy Meets World, The Hot Chick, and Mrs. Doubtfire while Andrew is best known as the voice of T.J. Detweiler on the cartoon Recess. All three of them have GORGEOUS smiles...and eyes!

Word(s) to Describe: Guapisimos! Gorgeous! Fine!

Andrew Lawrence Matthew Lawrence

Joey Lawrence


Inspirational Sunday

"We must hold tightly to the hope that we say is ours. After all, we can trust the one who made the agreement with us." Hebrews 10:23 (CEV)

Rae's Thought: Imagine yourself climbing a mountain using a rope. One wrong move can cause you to take a plunge. Now, tell me. Knowing what could happen, wouldn't you hold on to that rope for dear life? Wouldn't you keep a firm grip on the rope? That's exactly the picture I have of hanging on to God's promises. The Message version of Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going..." A firm grip...holding on for dear life.

You have the promises that God has given all of His children (He loves us, He'll never leave us, He came so that we may have abundant life, etc) and you have the promises He's given you personally. I don't know about you, but I'm going to hold on to His promises. God has given me some personal promises that haven't come to pass yet (it's been 10 years for some), but I REFUSE to let go. You do the same! Satan will try to make me doubt God. He wants us to give up, not wait on God and do things on our own. Don't do it. Is it easy waiting? NO! Sometimes it may feel as though God has forgotten about you. He hasn't. He thinks about you 24/7! We have something that nonbelievers don't have: hope. Not only that, but also a God who keeps His word. Hold on to His promises, no matter how long it takes. Wait for God and you won't be disappointed!


Random Thoughts Thursday

Katsaridaphobia. I finally found out the name of my fear of roaches. It's actually a phobia! Katsaridaphobia. YAY! Not that I'm celebrating my irrational fear of cockroaches...just that I'm not the only one with that irrational fear.

Rae's Ultimate Career Dream. My ultimate career dream is to be a successful business owner who doesn't have to go in to work everyday (I'll have people who'll run things while I'm gone cos I'll be the boss chick); write books for children and teens full time; continue to research in reading and education...become an expert of some sort that people come to; and travel the world doing conferences and motivational speeches for girls and youth.

Fall Lineup. Shows I look forward to this fall:

Old Favorites. Dancing With the Stars, Castle, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, The Good Wife, Glee (OF COURSE), Criminal Minds, Law & Order SVU, CSI, CSI NY, CSI Miami (OF COURSE), Desperate Housewives (only cos Vanessa Williams will be on it), and Grey's Anatomy (only cos cutie pie, Jesse Williams is on it).

New Must Sees. The Event, The Defenders, Law & Order Los Angeles, Undercovers, Blue Bloods, Melissa and Joey (um, 2 words...Joey Lawrence).

Of course some of these shows are on at the same time, so I'd have to choose. I so can't wait til the fall!

Rock Star Dad. My dad was a member of the group, Merge, popular in the late 70s/early 80s. He's the one at the top of the pyramid. This is one of their popular songs, Take it to the Top. Cool, huh?


Tickle-Me Tuesday

I'm SO gonna do something like this for my wedding (whenever that will be). No one would expect me to do it. That's what's gonna be so awesome!


Man-ificent Monday: Iglesias Brothers

This week's Manificent Monday features the Iglesias Brothers: Enrique and Julio Jr. Both men are Spanish singers, although Enrique is more known. Older brother, Julio Jr, is a model, actor and singer. Two year ago, he won the CMT competition, Gone Country. Enrique started out with Spanish albums, but has since crossed over. Both are sons of Spanish singer, Julio Iglesias. While Enrique is definitely a cutie pie, I'm thinking big brother, Julio Jr, is the hotter of the two!

Word(s) to Describe: Muy caliente!

Enrique Iglesias

Julio Iglesias Jr.


Inspirational Sunday

"...none of you men who are over twenty years old will enter the land that I solemnly promised to give you as your own..."
Numbers 14:29-30 (CEV)

Rae's Thought: This week's inspiration is for those who have not reached their promised land. There could be several reasons why you haven't crossed over, but I'd like to focus on two main reasons: your own rebellion or lack of faith in God and God's raising you up to do His will.

Your own rebellion/lack of faith. Let's look at the Israelites as an example. In Numbers 13, Moses and Aaron sent 12 men to spy on the land God had promised the Israelites. The men spent 40 days spying on the inhabitants and taking notes. At the end of the 40 days, the 12 came back with two slightly different reports. Ten men reported that, although the land was flowing with milk and honey, just as God had promised, (1) the cities were huge and fortified, (2) the people were strong and of great size, and (3) there was no way the Israelites could conquer the land. Only two men - Joshua and Caleb - believed that they could definitely take on the inhabitants because the Lord was with the people of Israel (Numbers 14:9). Who did the Israelites listen to? The 10 men. Despite all that they'd seen God do - their exodus out of Egypt, parting the Red Sea, manna from heaven, to name a few - the Israelites forgot all about God's power. Because of their unbelief, all of the adults, except for Caleb and Joshua, missed out on the promised land.

"Those who do not trust God, continually vex themselves...Sinners are ruined by their own rebellion" (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible). Sometimes, we, as children of God, get angry with God and wonder why, if we're going to church and saying our prayers, haven't we experienced life to the fullest. It never crosses our minds that it's not God, but it's us. Are you doubting God today? Despite all He's done for you, have you forgotten all about His power and who He is? Has God given you an assignment that you have yet to complete? Your doubt and/or rebellion is what's holding you back from your promised land...that abundant life God yearns for you to have.

God is raising you up to do His will. Did you know that, even though Joshua and Caleb were the only two who trusted God completely, they had to wander around in the desert for 40 years before reaching the promised land? When I first read that, I felt it was unfair. I mean, when the 10 men came back with the negative report, riling the Israelites up against God, Joshua and Caleb got upset, to the point of tearing their clothes - which, by the way, was a sign of great distress. I asked God why couldn't these two men of God automatically go to the promised land while the doubters died out. His answer: The desert was their training ground. You see, although Joshua and Caleb trusted God, they weren't completely ready for what God had in store for them. While in the desert, God molded, guided, and prepared them for what was to come. By the time the 40 years were up, both Joshua and Caleb were ready to do God's will. Joshua succeeded Moses in leading the people of Israel and Caleb conquered Hebron, the main city that had the 10 spies up in arms. If you remember, the city was large, fortified, and had people who were of giant size. Not bad for an 85 year old, right?

The Bible doesn't say how Joshua and Caleb felt after finding out that they'd have to wander in the desert, but from what I do know about them, I can imagine they took the news pretty well. They both strike me as men of God who trusted that God knew what He was doing. It was their faith in God that kept them from being banned from the promised land. It was their trust in God that brought them through the desert and across the Jordan River. If you're "wandering," keep that trust in God. He may be preparing you for something big...something beyond your wildest imagination. In His mind, you may not be ready yet. Oh, but when He deems you ready, you can best believe you'll cross over with the power and victory He afforded you! Matthew Henry tells us that, "while we have the presence of God with us, we need not fear the most powerful force against us." When He reveals that great mission - that big assignment - He has for you, you can conquer it with no fear and the belief that He is with you.

Spend some time to take a good look at yourself. If you find that it's your own doubt and rebellion holding you back, I have three words for you: request, repent, and remember! Request God's forgiveness. Tell Him you're truly sorry for ever doubting Him. Let Him know you're ready to trust Him and do what He's called you to do. Repent and turn away from your doubt and rebellion. You'll be tempted to go back (Satan's very persistent), but don't. Don't let Satan trap you again. Remember all that God has already done for you. He's gotten you through some crazy stuff, hasn't He? Guess what? He can do it again! If you find that you haven't crossed over because God is preparing you, PRAISE HIM! This only means He's about to use you in a big way. He's chosen you to do His will and to bring glory to His kingdom. Isn't that awesome? When you've finally crossed over, give God the glory that He so rightly deserves.


Random Thoughts Thursday

Ok, can I just say that I absolutely LOVE Claudia Mair Burney? I mean, really. I do. She is probably my 2nd fave writer - Maya Angelou being my 1st. I've read 5 of her books and loved them all. She doesn't disappoint. If I see her name on a book, I just know it's gonna be AWESOME! I stayed up late last night finishing Deadly Charm, the 3rd book in the Amanda Bell Brown mystery series. I knew I had to work this morning, but I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was gonna happen. I love the character of Belll Brown. She's flawed, but strong. And Jazz...Lord, have mercy! *fans self* I'm so gonna review this book soon.

I can't wait to get her next book, Exosistah: X Returns. I reviewed the 1st book in this series, The Exorsistah, a few months ago. You can find it here. Are y'all looking for a good book to read? Try any of Ms. Burney's books. You won't be disappointed!


Writing Wednesday: Sharing the Spotlight

August 5

Niki: Why does life hate me so? Why? It's bad enough I still have to share a room with Ren - Mom refuses to give up her 'office'. Now, I have to share senior year with her, too? Don't get me wrong. I love my sister and all, but come on. This was supposed to be MY year, not ours.

And to make matters worse, Mom is making us "chronicle" our senior year in a diary. I mean, really Mom? Diaries are so 20th century. Hello! Anything more than 140 characters is just too long. Do we even use pen and paper anymore?

Life is so unfair! Why did Ren choose to skip a grade? Was she even thinking about my feelings when she made her decision? Apparently not.

Ren: Niki is such a drama queen sometimes. I bet her first diary entry is about how I ruined her life or about how life is so unfair. Look at her with her eyebrows drawn together. I wonder if she knows that frowning can cause wrinkles.

It wasn't even my idea to skip junior year. Mrs. Porter, my guidance counselor, suggested it. It was either skip or attend some outrageously expensive private school for nerds like me. Considering the fact that the private school doesn't have a good volleyball team, I chose to test out of junior year. You'd think my big sis would be happy for me. Guess not.

The more I think about it, the more I get excited. I mean, I'm a senior now. I'll be part of the first graduating class of Kingsley High School. And I'm finally gonna step out of Niki's shadow. No matter what I've done - made straight A's for the 10th year in a row, became the only freshman on Varsity volleyball, etc - I've always been known as Niki's little sister. This year, I'm finally getting my own identity! Yeah. This year is looking so good!


Tickle-Me Tuesday

Say what you want, the image of Christ is everywhere, even in the Whirlpool Galaxy. This is an image taken by the Hubble telescope.

Whirlpool Galaxy


Man-ificent Monday: Benjamin Bratt

This week's cutie pie is Benjamin Bratt, best known as Rey Curtis on Law and Order, a tv show I faithfully watched. He was also on Clear and Present Danger, Demolition Man, and one of my fave movies, Miss Congeniality. Can I say that I just LOVE Benjamin Bratt!

Word(s) to Describe: Sexy. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Etc...


Wannabe Writers #28

Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published started by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-published. It's a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Interested in joining? Click here to find more about how it works.

Where Am I in the Writing Process: Unpublished. Writing novel #2.

My Current Problem(s): Ugh! I thought this summer would be the time where I finish the next great novel, but I haven't been working on it. *sigh* Summer vacation has struck again. I've given myself a deadline. I absolutely MUST finish the first draft of novel #2 by the end of this year.

This week's question: Do you suffer from Shiny New Idea Syndrome? What are some ways to beat it?

My Answer: Boy do I EVER! While writing novel #1, the idea for novel #2 (my current wip) came and bugged me. First, I ignored it. Then I started planning it (yes, I'm a planner). After a few months of trying to split my brain in 2, I got smart and finished novel #1 before completely concentrating on novel #2. Now that I'm working on novel #2, so many new ideas are bombarding my mind! I'm disciplining myself to only write the ideas down in my notebook and not work on them. What about you?


Tickle-Me Tuesday

Another email sent to me...


A guy calls a company and orders their 5-day, 10 lb. weight loss program..

The next day, there's a knock on the door and there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic, 19 year old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nike running shoes and a sign around her neck.

She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company. The sign reads, 'If you can catch me, you can have me.' Without a second thought, he takes off after her. A few miles later huffing and puffing, he finally gives up..

The same girl shows up for the next four days and the same thing happens. On the fifth day, he weighs himself and is delighted to find he has lost 10 lbs. as promised. He calls the company and orders their 5-day/20 pound program.

The next day there's a knock at the door and there stands the most stunning, beautiful, sexy woman he has ever seen in his life.. She is wearing nothing but Reebok running shoes and a sign around her neck that reads, 'If you catch me you can have me'.

Well, he's out the door after her like a shot. This girl is in excellent shape and he does his best, but no such luck. So for the next four days, the same routine happens with him gradually getting in better and better shape.

Much to his delight on the fifth day when he weighs himself, he discovers that he has lost another 20 lbs. as promised. He decides to go for broke and calls the company to order the 7-day/50 pound program

'Are you sure?' asks the representative on the phone... 'This is our most rigorous program.'

'Absolutely,' he replies, 'I haven't felt this good in years.'

The next day there's a knock at the door; and when he opens it he finds a huge muscular guy standing there wearing nothing but pink running shoes and a sign around his neck that reads, 'If I catch you, you're mine.'

He lost 63 pounds that week.


Man-ificent Monday: Omari Hardwick

It's baaaack! This week's cutie pie is Omari Hardwick, who plays Ty Curtis on TNT's Dark Blue (season premiere Wednesday, August 4th). His film list includes Gridiron Gang, Miracle at St. Anna, Next Day Air, Kick Ass, and The A-Team. Doesn't he have a gorgeous smile? *sigh*

Word(s) to Describe: Enticing!


Inspirational Sunday

"Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me."
Psalm 23:4

Rae's Thought: One day, as I walked to the park with my 4 year-old sister, she worried about getting hit by a car. I took her hand and assured her that she was safe. I told her that I walked near the curb so I could protect her from the danger of getting hit. In spite of my assurances, she worried all the way to the park, sure that a car would jump past me and get her. She didn't feel completely safe until we got to our destination.

Later, it crossed my mind that the children of God are just like my sis. We go through life, worried about getting hit by life's hardships. Even when God takes us by the hand and assures us we're safe, we're still filled with fear. Why? Because we allow Satan to fill our minds with doubt...doubt that God will take care of us; doubt that He knows what's best for us. We have an easier time believing the father of lies than we do the One who is the absolute Truth.

Jesus didn't sacrifice His life just to do it. His death and resurrection means we can live our lives free from fear. He's walking near the curb of life in order to protect us from the danger of getting hit. He is our protection. We have no reason to go through life scared and afraid. Fear is like a black hole, sucking everything in til there's nothing left. God didn't intend for us to live in fear; He intended for us to live in abundance. Why can I walk through the darkest valley with no fear? Because God is right there by my side. I'm ready to leave fear behind and step out in faith. What about you?