First of all, a big Texas-Sized thank you to Alicia from For His Purpose for the nominee nod. You are truly gracious. Although I feel I don’t deserve the nomination for the Sunshine Blogger Award, I am humbled and grateful. I would nominate you if not for the fact you are already a nominee, and so well deserving.
If you’ve not read Alicia’s posts, expect blue-jean, everyday life experiences wrapped in a personal application for spiritual growth. So well worth it.
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS? IT’S NEW TO ME.
About the Sunshine award:
This award is given to creative, positive and cheerful bloggers by other bloggers as a token of appreciation and admiration.
Here are the rules:
• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to him/her.
• Answer the 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated you.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
• Notify the nominees by commenting on one of their blog posts.
• List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post.
Okay, Alicia…you asked. Here are her questions for me:
1) Why do you write?
Really, I believe it’s a threefold reason. A: I love, absolutely love the outlet of sharing my thoughts. B: For whatever reason there might be, I adore the friends I have made in the blogging community. I have learned so much through their writings and photos. Getting to know them has simply been an uplifting pleasure in my life. C: Lastly, I love to teach. My heart wants to touch the soul of another for the better. There’s something special about teaching biblical concepts through personal and social proof experiences others can relate to. Life’s race to the finish is long and uphill at times. We need Divine fuel.
2) Who do you admire and why? (sorry I know I’m sneaking two questions)
Wow, Alicia. That’s an umbrella of folks. If you’ve read my blog you might already know I greatly admire my deceased grandparents. Salt of the earth people with extraordinary servanthood hearts of tremendous love. Also, Chuck Norris, who holds up his socks with thumbtacks. LOL For much of the 1970’s, during my karate/kickboxing life, he was always so kind to me whenever I was around him. Of course, he was/is a wiz at business, the Babe Ruth of Karate champions, and a successful instructor and actor. Beyond that, he has gone through much heartache in life and rediscovered God in his journey back to a peaceful place. He is also a champ in helping kids stay away from gangs and drugs. I want to add, CS Lewis for his writings concerning the introductions into a life with God, and the proof thereof. His book, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters changed my life.
3) What has been your best vacation?
I have to choose just one? Arg! My #1 would have to be when I treated my family (wife at the time and three daughters) on a road trip from Dallas, Texas through Santa Fe, New Mexico and up through Colorado Springs to Denver, Colorado. The family and I had gone through some devastating personal trauma and in need of some immediate healing. It was the week after Christmas in 2001 through the first week of 2002. Plunging straight into the snow and ice we took in the splendor of that beautiful land. No regrets. I would do it again.
4) Where would you love to visit one day?
Scotland, Ireland, and Israel.
5) Why is your best friend, your best friend?
On earth, my wife. I remarried in 2017 to an old high school acquaintance. In 2013, way before we met-up again, I had a major health crash, a near death experience. I wasn’t supposed to survive. It left me in the hospital for six weeks. The hospital staff called me “Miracle Man”. Since then I have struggled physically. She has seen much of the underside of this. Nevertheless, she has been a warrior through it all. We have no secrets between us. We speak truth in love to one another, during the good, bad, and ugly. It makes for a lasting marriage. However, she’s not the one I pray to. She would agree with me that Jesus has been my lifelong best friend.
6) What is your biggest concern (about anything)?
Honestly, above all else, the world my three girls are experiencing as adults, as well as my 8 year old granddaughter. Moral decay, hatred, and violence are causing the earth to groan. Jesus said the times would grow to be like this. Still, it concerns me.
7) When did you last owe someone an apology?
Today! Got to do it before the sun goes down on me.
8) What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched?
Now this isn’t fair. Way too many. If I had to choose one…It’s A Wonderful Life.
9) What’s your most favorite childhood memory?
Mid 1960’s. Waiting until my grandparents, and my mom, went to bed so I could hustle to sit in front of their aluminum Christmas tree to watch the color wheel change the branches to different holiday hues. For me, it was mesmerizing.
10) What do you love most about yourself?
Eek! Is this a trick question, Alicia? Really? Oh, man. Okay, uh….well….uh….I can tell you there’s much I hate about myself. Frankly, I love the Spirit God placed in me to be kind and caring for others. If not for His influence and direction, I would be the opposite. I know this because I know myself without God.
11) If you could ask Jesus a question what would it be?
Why and how did He create music to enrich the brain of humanity, to the point of it being medication? Also, the TRUE story of why and how He did not save the dinosaurs from extinction. To have a Brontosaurus on a leash in the park would be grand. The poop bag would be trouble.
Drum roll please! Now for my nominee choices in alphabetical order:
(If you choose not to participate, you will not hurt my heart. As an admirer, I just want to shine a light on you and your blog for others who may not know of you. No pressure. Nada, zilch, zero. And if you are already a nominee, I am unaware.)
Dominique at 3C Style combines her posts with highly creative photos of her personal showcasing of beautiful stylings from her own closet. She has a talent for matching subjects in nature with her outfits while highlighting eco-friendly ideas. This French scientific journalist from Quebec is a terrific writer who introduces you to possibilities in fashion you might have never imagined before, wrapped in her passion for life. Her zest for life, fashion, and imagination is simply radiant and thought provoking. Most of all, I like the fact that Dominique is a caring, loving person toward others. I’ve learned a lot from my friend from Quebec.
Anel at Barefoot Diary has a highly unique blog. I’ve known and loved her for 41 years and I can tell you of her multiple talents. After the devastating hurricane which leveled so much of Puerto Rico, where she and her husband had been living, they moved on to experience an adventure most would never do. Since they left the island, they have been travelling from one Central or south American country to another, reveling in each culture with gusto. Anel’s blog is all about their adventures. You never know where they will be blogging from next.
Mandy at Blue Collar Theologian is a seminarian and writer. I love to go deep in biblical studies and so does Mandy. She has my admiration for her exclusive casual way of serving up the depths of scripture without going over the head of the reader, especially the seeker. You’ll find she writes about various camera angles of life with a good dose of awareness of biblical thought, shaken together for a personal application anyone can chew on.
Anita at For The Love Of has a smooth way of sharing her love for dogs, which I share, along with God’s love for us. On any given post she will somehow bring to mind the truth of how we crave love, shelter, belonging, and care. Be ready for some brilliant photos that touch the eyes and heart.
Jon at His Grace Is Sufficient is an old childhood friend of mine. He pastors a small church near Green Bay, WI. Recently Jon was diagnosed with ALS. The disruption is already taking its toll on his breathing, his speech, and some mobility. Thus far, he is standing by his word that he plans on delivering sermons until he physically cannot. He asked me about starting a blog to record his journey with ALS. So, I encouraged him to go headlong into it. I love him dearly. Clicking on you will hear his heart of love and his faith through this hard, rocky road he is travelling.
Julien at Julien’s Thoughts can be defined as…his thoughts. He literally takes subjects that press on his mind and heart, considers them against the backdrop of a biblical world view, and woodsheds what he learns. Whenever he writes you can feel his intellect. I am grateful he shares the thoughts as most of us identify with the topics he showcases. A simple devotional thought process which is encouraging, yet challenging at times.
Lisa at Lismore Paper is a master at eyeing antique art forms. She then cleans them up for a visual experience to die for. One terrific graphic design artist, as well as a gardener extraordinaire. I’ve not seen artwork exactly like her talent. Lisa simply is a craft magician. She loves photography, as I do, and often highlights her shutter work in nature. You never know when she will be hiking through the woods taking beautiful shots of plants, birds and trees. One of the items of wizardry from her hands consists of antique prints lifted from pages of old shipping logs, documents, or ledgers and turn them into a background for layering other art subjects. Just amazing. Visit her blog and find options to download her items for your personal use. Sometimes you will find her art on t-shirts, along with other items, which are available. As you explore her visuals she writes of them with the love of an artist at work.
Ann at Muddling Through My Middle Age I believe is my first blogging friend after I launched my blog two years ago. She is so admired. I liken Ann to the wisdom and wit of the late syndicated columnist, Erma Bombeck. She is a volunteer for her local shelter who loves and cares for the four-legged friends behind bars. She adopts, and so do I. She is a loving grandmother who often shares with us of her times with her grandchild. But most of all, Ann writes about the everyday scenarios of life, as well as life’s phases, which can be cantankerous or just plain humorous. She muddles through what life tosses at her while always searching for the rainbow at the end of the day’s conveyor belt.
Ann (another Ann) at Seeking Divine Perspective is an author and truth-teller. I discovered her about the time I was going through some doubts in my spiritual journey. My reading of her posts came just at the right time. Ann is retired and loves CS Lewis, as I do. She is not afraid to share the hard knocks in life, or the current social issues of our times, and what she has learned from them. She is bold with direct conviction, willing to teach with the written word in posts. Don’t be surprised if she types in a prayer on her heart as it often reverberates what the human heart is thirsty for. We are all seekers, some just don’t realize it. Ann spotlights her perspectives.
Stefan at The Fourth Dimension of Life is a young studious thinker. His love for writing truly hits you in the face…softly. Stefan is a bright, multi-talented Indian lad attending one of the best universities in India. Don’t expect his posts to be the norm, or even similar in scope from one to another. Some days you will get a thought in a statement. At other times you will read one of his poems. Inside his random thoughts he often speaks of his life from God’s balcony view. He also can show you his devotional blog link.
Junaisha (June) at The Godly Chic Diaries will lead you to think twice, or three times about the topic she writes about. Unlike some, she is bold about the fact that the spiritual walk is not a perfect stride. She speaks of the fact that there will be failures in the God-driven journey. In her quick devotional posts the spotlight on grace, forgiveness, and mercy are illuminated. Through her telescopic lens concerning life, she will test the mind of the reader with questions not often dissected in one’s own thoughts.
I want to publicly thank all of the above for the influence you have on my life.
And here are my 11 questions for those I’ve nominated:
1 – Who encouraged you to launch a blog?
2 – Who was your first blogger-friend & what drew you to that writer?
3 – What country, or state are you writing from?
4 – Has your writing evolved over time & why?
5 – Be honest with me on this one. How often do you consider the unseen spiritual aspect beyond the tangible? If “never” is the answer, let me know. It’s okay. No tricks.
6 – Do you have a pet?
7 – When you wake up in the morning, what is your first thought?
8 – Do you eat breakfast? If so, what does it consist of?
9 – If you’re still friends with a childhood pal, tell me what has kept you together?
10 – What keeps you returning to the same blogger?
11 – Does your own family read your posts?
Again, if you are on my nomination list of favorites and would rather not participate, just know I understand totally. I appreciate what you do and how you make my life sweeter. Love and hugs from Dallas, Texas. – Alan