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Showing posts with label Book Reviewer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviewer. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

07 Review Excerpts: Be Informed! Possible Disasters

Sharing from a book I reviewed in 2007.

If you or your child/children need professional counseling - do not be ashamed to seek help.

Be Informed! The first step is finding out what could happen. Once you have determined possible events, & their potential community, it is important that you discuss them with your family. Then a plan should follow for disasters.

Discuss the types of disasters that are most likely to happen. Explain what to do in each case. Just in case you do not seek - seek what to do.

Pick two places to meet: (1) right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, (2) outside your neighborhood in case you can not return home. Everyone must know the address & phone number.

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Ask an out-of-state friend to be your "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long-distance. Other family members should call this person & tell them where they are. Everyone must know your contact's phone number.

Discuss what to do in and evacuation. Plan how to take care of your pets.

Write down all of these contact numbers & information on the family emergency contact card.


I received a complimentary copy of 'What's In The Bible for Women' (this book) for review from Bethany Publishing.

The author & general editor are Georgia Curtis Lang & Dr. Larry Richards.

Georgia is a best-selling author. She graduated from Kentucky Christian University with a major in Bible in 1979. She & her husband, have one son & live in a log cabin in Kentucky.

Dr. Richards was converted in the Navy in the 1950's. He has written Sunday School Curriculum for every age group. He has published more than two hundred books, & his books have been translated into some twenty-six languages. His wife, Sue, is also an author. He is a native of Michigan & now lives in North Carolina.

Recommended Basic Emergency Supply: Review Excerpt 07

Sharing from a book I reviewed in 2007.

If you need professional counseling or your child/children - do not be ashamed to seek them.

What You Can Do:

Recommended items to include in a basic emergency supply include:

Water, 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking & sanitation

Food, at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable food

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Battery-powered or hand-crank radio & an NOAA weather radio with tone alert & extra batteries for both

Flashlight & extra batteries

First-aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air, & plastic sheeting & duct tape to shelter-in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags, & plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Can opener for food

Local maps




Additional items to consider adding to an emergency supply kit includes:

Prescription medications & glasses

Infant formula & diapers

Pet food & extra water for your pet

Important family documents, identification, & bank account records in a waterproof, portable container

Cash or travelers check & change

Emergency reference material such as a first-aid book

Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

Complete change of clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, & sturdy shoes

Household chlorine beach & medicine dropper (when diluted 9 parts waters to 1 part bleach, the mixture can be used as a disinfectant, or, in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops if regular household bleach per gallon of water)

Fire extinguisher

Matches in a waterproof container

Feminine supplies & personal hygiene items

Mess kits, paper cups & plates, plastic utensils, paper towels

Paper & pencils

Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children


I was sent a complimentary copy of 'What's in the Bible for Women' for review from Bethany Publishing.

Georgia Curtis Lange & Dr. Larry Richards are the author & general editor of this book.

Georgia is a bestselling author. she graduated from Kentucky Christian University with a major in Bible in 1979. She and her husband, Phil, have one son & live in a log cabin in Kentucky.

Dr. Richards was converted in the Navy in the 1950's. He has taught and written Sunday School Curriculum for every age group. He has publised more than two hundred books, & his books have been translated into some twenty-six languages.

Children & Disaster . Prepare . Emotions: Review Excerpt

Sharing from a book I reviewed in 2007.

If you are your child/children need professional counseling - do not be ashamed to seek them.

What You Can Do:

Talk with your child/children before an emergency occurs. Reassure them with the following:

1. Disasters do not last very long. Soon things will be back to normal.

2. You can get a new routine if you can not go home for a while. You will settle down into a new place, & you will can/can meet new friends.

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(Angela's tips: Watch the people you & your child/children take up with as friends)


3. Look to your parents or trusted adults for help when you feel scared or confused. They will help you understand what is happening. Do not be afraid to ask questions such as 'How long will be in a shelter?' & "When will we go back to school or home?'




4. Sometimes it will or can help to write about your experiences or to draw pictures about what has happened. You can describe what happened & how you feel.

5. It's okay to cry during a disaster, but remember, it will get better.

6. You may be able to help out. Children of all ages can/might be able to help in the shelter by baby-sitting other children or cleaning up or serving food. You can even help with sandbagging.

Angela;s Tips: Keep a close eye on your child/children during stressful times as well. Do your best to focus - keep a level head,

I was sent a complimentary copy of 'What's in the Bible for Women' for review from Bethany Publishing.

Georgia Curtis Lang & Dr. Larry Richards are the author & general editor of this book.

Georgia is a bestselling author. She graduated from Kentucky Christian University with a major in Bible in 1979. She & her husband, Phil, have one son & live in a log cabin in Kentucky.

Dr. Richards was converted while in the Navy in the late 1950's. He has taught & written Sunday School Curriculum for every age group. He has published more than two hundred books, & his books has been translated into some twenty-six languages. His wife, Sue,, is an author.

Proverbs/Mishle 22:3 ... Pray . Plan: Review Excerpt

Sharing from a book I reviewed in 2007.

If you or your child/children need counseling seek a professional or the angel(Leader/Christian Leader) of your local Church.

Proverbs/Mishle 22:3 ... A prudent man sees danger & takes refuge, but the simple keep going & suffer for it.

Emergencies come in all different forms, including natural disasters & terrorist attacks. We've all seen the total destruction & devastation of both in recent years. This book 'What's in the Bible for Women' says that we need to prepare for & respond to potential emergencies.


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'What's in the Bible for Women' shares about The U.S. Department of Homeland Security: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security advises that we should have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least 3 days if an emergency occurs. This book encourages to make this a high priority for families before disaster before it strikes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book 'What;s in the Bible for Women' from Bethany Publishing for review.

Georgia Ling Curtis & Dr. Larry Richards are the author & general editor.

Georgia is a bestselling author & well-liked speaker who touches the heart & tickles the funny bone as she writes about faith, love & life. She graduated from Kentucky Christian University in Bible in 1979. She & her husband, Phil, have one son & live in a log cabin in Kentucky.

Dr. Richards was converted in the Navy in the 1950's. He has taught & written Sunday School curriculum for every age group. He has published more than two hundred books, & his books have been translated into some twenty-six languages. He is a native of Michigan & lives in North Carolina. His wife, Sue, is also an author.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This Biz of Supplier Diversity How To Do Biz With Corporate America ... Book Review

Book Review . Business . Diversity . Entrepreneur . Minority . Gill Law Firm . Corporate . Corporate America . Business Fable . Billion Dollar Round Table

I was sent a complimentary copy for review by Mr. A. Wayne Gill's marketing department, or Mr. Gill himself.



At the other spectrum of corporate involvement are corporations that see the minority mission and are acting in innovation ways to strengthen minority businesses and communities. These companies should be studied and emulated. One such company is Johnson's Controls, Incorporated,one of the eighteen Fortune 500@ members of the Billion-Dollar Roundtable.

CEO John Barth said in 2004 "Supplier diversity is about expanding opportunities for everyone.

Companies are swift to tell about their great commitment to supplier diversity and why it makes good business sense. However, in practice, their activities fail to match the rhetoric. This is not so for JCI, a corporation that is at the cutting edge of minority business development.

In March 2004, Bridgewater received the largest contract ever awarded to a minority company by Ford Motor Company.

American business is in need of more companies like JCI and Ford companies that understand the business case for diversity and have stepped forward boldly to capitalize and show leadership. These companies demonstrate the future of supplier diversity for any corporation willing to listen and learn.

Mr. Gills grandmother died the day "Tales My Grandma Told Me," was published. It was if she'd seen him over the goal line, and then went home to be with the Lord. His grandmother is still his entrepreneurial hero and her blood still courses through his veins.

Since writing Tales, his life hasn't been the same.

It's opened countless doors to speak and collaborate with many minority business owners, aspiring business owners, students and supplier diversity professionals.

His hat is off to all who is in the arena; who fight daily for equality of opportunity. We aren't there yet, but you make achievement of the goal possible.

The first principle that Grandma would teach minority entrepreneurs and business people is that business is business.

In order to succeed, minority-owned businesses must abide by and operate within the same principles that drive all successful businesses. This means that minority businesses must, among myriad responsibilities, create a product or service that satisfies a demand, reach its target audience through sales and marketing channels, grow its market share, create profit for its investors, and stakeholders, and innovate for future growth and opportunities. Setting aside issues of social injustice, for the discussion, there isn't one set of rules that apply to minority business and another set for others.

There are no shortcuts. All business must create value for their customers.

The myth of receiving business based primarily on ethnic background probably grew out of affirmative action programs that provided for minority set-asides in government spending. However, these programs have been under attack from the outset and have been seriously eroded through court challenges. Minority businesses must recognize that the words "set aside" and "quota" are almost dirty words in the world of twenty-first-century American business.

Within the realm of supplier diversity, the practice of quotas and set asides never took root; but the programs were designed, in part, to address vast disparities in dollars spent with minority versus non-minority suppliers. For example, despite great gains over the last four decades, less than four percent of annual corporate spend is spent with minority-owned companies. Most Americans would agree that minority suppliers should not be denied a fair share of annual corporate spend in the aggregate. The disparity between the dollars spent with minority-owned companies and their non-minority counterparts begs the question of fairness and demands an answer.

You must be ready with an excellent product or service that adds value to its intended corporate target.

Minority entrepreneurs must come to the conclusion that business is business. There are no gimmes. However, presented with an opportunity for inclusion, minority entrepreneurs must be prepared to compete on the same level with their non-minority counterparts. If the minority company is not prepared to perform at a high (or even higher) level than the competition, then that company will be in for a rude but needed awakening.

Corporations are in the business of creating wealth for their stakeholders. Business is business.


The failure to plan prohibits the MBE from asking and answering hard questions about true target audience and fit.

Mr. Gill would suggest that all MBE's without a written business plan stop and immediately write a plan for the company. There are excellent resources available in the general library or on the general market. The plan should be personally written by the entrepreneur, without any initial assistance by outside "experts."

In our technological age, changes are sweeping and rapid. The modern business person must be nimble-able to turn on a dime to exploit business opportunities or to respond to rapid change.

A study by the Kaufman Foundation found that almost 18 percent of all bankruptcy filings stem from biz (business) failure.

Mr. Gill's advice is to forget the shortcuts. Write out the plan. Be specific. Be strategic. Be ruthlessly honest. Then get in the game and win.

Many MBE's wrongly assume that simply being a minority entities them to participate in corporate supplier diversity programs.

Minority-owned businesses should not approach business with a desire or expectation of any special breaks based on minority status.

Due to the size and breadth of the corporate spend of Fortune 500@ companies and the growing participation of American corporations in supplier diversity initiative; the spectrum of opportunities for minority businesses is wide. MBE marketing is often directed to departments or areas that either do not buy or do not have opportunities within the MBE's area of expertise. Other times, the marketing campaign is directed at several corporations, across the board, without a clear assessment of the corporations' needs.

The MBE's register frustration because the corporations seem uninterested or unresponsive.

This process works best when MBE's take the time and initiative to properly research their intended targets to either discover or make those corporations aware of how they intend to add value. Some MBE's market to certain corporations for name only, regardless of whether they can truly add value to that potential customers.

This is a mistake and a waste of time. MBE's must get to the place where they know their target clients immediately and tailor their approaching to address the needs of their intended customers.

A closely related principle to knowing the customer is knowing the competition. This is an area of real opportunity for MBE's who are willing to study their their customers, their competition, and to innovate. MBE's are often in the best position to design custom solutions for their clients. This is what corporate purchasing are looking for.

By understanding the competition, MBE's can innovate their way to successful contracts.

Minority business owners have overcome racisim, legal hurdles, and a host of incredible obstacles to make the advances that have been made up to the current date. Perhaps for these reasons-pride in themselves and pride in their companies - minority entrepreneurs tend to primarily sell themselves (and their companies) to corporate America.

MBE's have all been taught to polish their "thirty-second commerical" or elevator speech and to practice well to sell themselveds. While there is some truth to this advice, Mr. Gill adds that corporations are less interested in minority business entrepreneurs and their companies per se, and more interested in how those entrepreneurs and companies can help solve problems, make more money,or create more shareholder value. Every entrepreneur - to some degree - believes deeply in himself and can memorize an elevator speech.

Clients need to know how an MBE intends to make them better. If the MBE cannot do it, then it needs to rethink why it is selling to that client. The MBE may have a very impressive resume, but most clients listen to that favorite old radio station WIFM, namely, what's in it for me?

Elevator speeches don't satisfy needs, solutions do. To be effective, MBE's must research their targets in order to discover and sell solutions to their problems.

Business is all about relationships. It's a well-known truth that people are most comfortable doing business with those who they know and trust. As trust goes, so goes all relationships. It's imperative for MBE's to spend the time necessary to cultivate relationships with gatekeepers and other individuals within their target market.

Modern corporate shuffling and downsizing means that relationships get reshuffled and downsized in the process.

Knowing in advance that even the most well-tended relationship can be suddenly broken, the successful MBE should take steps to protect itself.

Mr. Gill also adds a word about lower-level employees. Do not underestimate their power by focusing on their position.

MBE's must learn the all-important lesson to develop relationships with individuals at all levels of management within their clients and targets. In business, as in life, relationships are everything.

MBE's should be open to exploring opportunities within local, state, and federal government; civic, trade, and business leagues; chambers of commerce; and a host of other avenues for potential business development. This is not to deemphasize the importance of supplier diversity initiatives.

One of the best corporate clients for Mr. Gill came from a conversation with an acquaintance in the hallway of his Church. Others came from volunteerism, trade associations, and other avenues. The bottom line is that MBE's must expand their business development horizons beyond supplier diversity.

Business volatility dictates that heavy dependence on few clients is a recipe for failure.

There is an irreversible trend i corporate procurement that all minority-owned businesses must quickly acknowledge: corporate America's desire to cut costs and build efficiencies and shareholder value by considering its supplier base. This means that corporations are looking to do business with fewer vendors with greater capacity and geographic coverage. This is a trend that is accelerating and is creating great challenges for minority-owned businesses, which are typically small in size and geographic scope.

In short, MBE's must look to grow size and scope in order to be competitive in the modern economy.

One of the greatest obstacles to growth and a constant challenge to businesses of all backgrounds is the lack of access to capital. This problem is acute in the minority business community.

MBE's must consider the option of out-right merging together in order to create companies of size. This requires homework, trust, and great risktaking; but MBE's who remain stagnant in growth are taking greater risks by failing to seriously consider this option.

In 2003, Mr. Gill merged his MBE law firm into the largest MBE law firm in the country.

His advice for MBE firms, particularly mature MBE's (Mr. Gill's firm was over 20 years in business) is to immediately begin this process if it has not already begun. Fortunately we live in a time where there are a plethora of resources, in the forms of consultants, university classes, published books, and white papers, etc., which map out effective succession strategies.

Succession planning is what Stephen Covey would call a Quadrant 2 activity - Important, but not urgent. Ninety percent of the mature minority businesses surveyed had not engaged in any succession planning. That is a disturbing and telling statistic.

Build a solid business before pursing supplier diversity opportunities. Most minority business startups are simply not ready to meet these requirements.

IT is more advantageous to develop a business platform by doing business with smaller companies, until the experience and resources are earned to service a large corporate contract. The experience of building up the company to the requisite maturity level is invaluable, and it teaches the minority entrepreneur how to build a business, independent of supplier diversity channels.

For the MBE looking to grow its business, no option should be off the table.

Develop good, old-fashioned perseverance.

Business relationships take time to nurture, and great companies are never built overnight. Minority entrepreneurs live in the most exciting era of American history for business opportunities.

To succeed, you get to keep improving, keep growing, and keep going. Eventually, your hard work and tenacity will reap dividends.

In business, timing is everything.

Never quit. Never give up. Even when it seems that all doors are slammed in your face and no one responds to your calls and iniquiries, stay the course. That transformational opportunity is in front of you. Just keeping moving in the direction of your dreams one step at a time and never give up.

The minority myth says that minority business means lack of quality.

The truth is that corporations that desire to thrive in the twenty-first century must confront, expose the minority myth. Companies that continue in the myth are simply choosing to ignore reality.

Minority-owned companies are growing at four times the rate of the average Untied States firm and creating thousands of jobs annually. Corporations that see only social welfare opportunities in the foregoing statistics are sadly mistaken.

Since the publication of Tales My Grandma Told Me, in 2007, the nation's largest companies have not exceeded 3% of their combined corporate spend with minority-owned companies. Of the approximately 3,500 corporate members of the NMSCE, only 18 of those corporations belong to the Billion-Dollar Roundtable, a group of companies that spend in excess of $1 billion annually with minority-and women-owned companies.

Successful corporations must move from the minority myth to the minority mission, recognizing the latest potential of minority markets and therefore assigning mission critical status to minority business development programs. These programs build wealth in minority communities, which translates to bottomline profits for corporations that make the connection.

Far too many corporations use supplier diversity initiatives as window dressing. Beyond the platitudes and marketing fodder, there is very little commitment to the process of identifying and integrating diverse suppliers. These companies do more more harm than good by creating unrealistic expectations in MBE's who respond to their glossy invitations to do business.

World-class programs take time, so it may appear that these companies are insincere when, in fact, they are actually evolving. These companies are to be applauded for moving in the right direction.

According to the NNSDC, corporations that are committed to creating supplier diversity programs that are work should start with 6 key areas for development.

In 2012, The Billion Dollar Roundtable published the book "Billion Dollar Roundtrable Supplier Diversity Best Practices" which builds on the platform laid by the NMSDC.

The implementation of these policies spells the word: Commitment. Corporations must not only talk about supplier diversity, they must demonstrate commitment by their actions.

According to Diversity Inc. magazine, "successful supplier-diversity directors are passionate about their work. The best directors invest a lot of time in bringing together buyers and business-owners-a job that can't always be done between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

It is elementary that people make programs work.

Nothing speaks to commitment more than money. It is easy to discover what a company values by analyzing where it spends its hard-earned dollars.

In the first analysis, corporate insiders do not need to be experts on race relations. Ultimately, they should understand the color green - that supplier diversity translates to green for both their employers and themselves. Corporate executives may never understand brown, but when it comes to their own green, their learning curve will accelerate exponentially.

Corporate policy is set at the board level. It also follows tat corporate boards must be diversified to include members of minority groups and women.

Corporations must become proactive about recruiting diverse board members.

Good intentions without focus accomplish little.

Corporations must become strategic at the highest levels of management to uncover latent opportunities for minority business development.

One of the best resources for development in this area is the 36 NMSDC affiliate councils. These councils are home to the top minority businesses in the country.

Those at the table for the wrong reasons will falter. That is not minority business - just business.

Like all businesses, MBE's are seeking opportunities.

Take a look at any business magazine, and the messages are manifold. Corporations should establish a policy of straight forward communication with the minority business community, advising it of real opportunities and also of areas where opportunities do not exist. MBE's will appreciate the honesty if the information is honestly presented.

Mr. Gill's grandma taught him that everything happens for a reason-that there is an opportunity in every situation, good or bad. She would often say, "when one door is closed, another is opened."

Just across town, in downtown Chicago Luis Calderon was standing in side of Chicago Business Opportunity. He was looking inside a copy of Minority Business Digest, the glossy magazine that chronicled issues pertinent to minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Being Mexican he was sure that he met the "minority" part of the equation. Being the sole owner of his fledling public relations firm, he was equally sure that he had met the "business"side of the equation.

If he could attract even one percent of all the corporate attendees as clients.

Luis Cslderon hustled to conclude the telephone call: Today was the long-awaited informational meeting on AMCA minority certification.

Several Hispanics-Americans were featured, which made Luis especially proud.

There were ethnic minorities from several racial and cultural backgrounds.

Minority-owned businesses were welcomed, but not one cold force the corporate members to dance.

What was it Grandma once said? "Business is business, son. You got to give the people what they want. Quality and service at a fair price-end of story."

Back in Chicago, R. Clayton Hughes, CEO in the multibillion-dollar health and beauty giant Elegance Cosmetics, was fit to be tied.

The minority business would ask a lot of questions, get no real answers, and he and his colleagues would get made out to be insensitive bad guys.

First,the room was mostly filled with women. The second thing he noticed was the great diversity of ethnicity and shades in complexion, hair, and attire of the attendees. A strange thought entered his mind: This is what makes America great.

Mr. A. Wayne Gill is the Managing Partner and majority shareholder of Gill Law Firm, P.A., a law firm operating in multiple jurisdictions throughout the Southeast United States. His clientele includes leading multi-national companies, and he serves on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Minority Supplier Development Council. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Macy's "Crystal Award" for Outstanding Minority Business Advocacy and Northwood University's Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award.

Moses Quilt (Book 1) ... Book Review

Book Review . Quilting . Fiction . Harriet Tubman . Faith . Storytelling . Weddings/Broomstick . Moses . Christian Life . Christian Dating . Christian Marriage . Christian Interracial Dating . Christian Interracial Marriage



I received a complimentary copy of this book from New Hope Publishers.

And so Harriet Tubman, bereft of family, friends, and finances, pressed on, accompanied only by her God and destined to become the Moses of her people.

The apostle Paul also reminds us to press on.

God never forgets His people (Deuteronomy 1:6-8; Luke 5:4-8) 9-1994 preached by one of my former Pastors.

And yet, though this woman who was quickly becoming known as “Moses” was heroic, she did not take foolish chances. She went when and where she believed God directed her, trusting Him to keep her safe until her work for Him was done.

The Holy Spirit directs Christians where to go and He even tells Christians where they are not to go (Acts 13:2; Acts 16:6,7).

A minister friend of Harriet’s named Thomas Wentworth Higginson first introduced her to the audience as “Moses,” alluding to her work of leading the slaves to freedom, much as the biblical Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Because of her complete dependence on God, she didn’t hesitate when asked to expand her public speaking to include the cause of women’s suffrage.

The woman had rescued hundreds of slaves before the war and given three years of her life to serve the Union Army, most likely without any monetary compensation, realized when that the fight to set her people free was far from over.

“If you want to understand this courageous woman,” Mimi said, “then you have to first understand her great faith. There was no compromise when it came to her belief in God. From the earliest age, she was forced into a life that demanded complete trust in God if she were to survive. She understood that, and she practiced it daily. Combine that faith with a deep-seated desire to be free and to see her people free, and you’ll get a glimpse of how one solitary—uneducated and without a dime to her name – accomplished so much for so many.”

Could knowing more about this woman give her the inspiration she needed to become more like her? Mazie certainly hoped so.

“Harriet’s parents set the example, Mimi said. “These were not people who prayed once in the morning and once at night, or just before they ate, though they certainly did that. But they talked to God all day long, and Harriet grew up doing the same. She believed God talked to her. And when she heard from Him, she took His words seriously. The cruelest master in the world couldn’t take that from them. She committed her spirit to God, and she believed He would keep it safe.”

Last night Edward sat in on the part about Harriet’s younger life and what a strong Christian she was. He knew that, but it hadn’t really registered with him what a huge part of her life that was, and how impossible it would have been for her to be the courageous woman she was and accomplish all that she did without that faith. He paused.

He told his Sis, it really started me thinking about my own faith and how easily he took it for granted. And if he could get in on another installment of the Moses quilt story tonight, then he’s going to be there.

And now Edward wanted to come over and spend an evening listening to an old woman’s story. A story that in many ways he probably knew better than Mimi knew. What a fine young man that Edward Clayton was!

Lilly’s brow drew together as she gazed up at Edward. “She stated to Edward, I understand that some of Harriet Tubman’s story is new to Mazie. But you, Edward? Surely you already know it.

Mazie watched Edward pause before nodding True. Most of it anyway. But somehow, hearing Mimi tell it in relation to the quilt from Gee’s Bend … He shook his head and shrugged. He wasn’t sure why it fascinated him to hear it, but it did.

And how would the story ultimately impact Mazie’s relationship with Edward? For as surely as Harriet Tubman had known the master’s death would somehow change her life. Mazie suspected change was in the offing for her as well.

When Miss Susan explained that Harriet wasn’t doing the job correctly, the sister scolded her for punishing the child for something she’d never been taught to do. The sister showed Harriet how to perform some simple household chores to Miss Susan’s specifications, and the situation improved slightly.

“By staying close to God; her relationship with Him was at the center of everything Harriet Tubman ever did or said or believed. It’s the reason she was able to accomplish all that she did in her amazing lifetime.”




Mimi’s smile was weak. The Scriptures promise that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. There is no other way, child. Sadly, we don’t seem to learn or understand that until we’re put in a position where our own strength isn’t enough. That’s when we have to make the choice to turn toward God – or away from Him. Thankfully, Harriet turned toward Him, time and time again, throughout her life, regardless of circumstances or suffering. And God used her mightily because of it.”

Mazie thought, “How many followed in Harriet’s footsteps even now, inspired by her courage and her faith, her selfless life and powerful legacy? Would anyone ever follow
In Mazie’s footsteps, challenged by some honorable deed or sacrificial gift?

Mazie had always thought she had a strong faith and, for the most part, modeled a fairly exemplary Christian lifestyle. But did she? Was it enough to believe in and adhere to the basic tenets of the Christian faith? Or was God calling her to something more? Was He in fact, calling all His people to something more? If so, how many truly responded?

Edward stated, he may have experienced instances of prejudice, in his lifetime, his dad had before him, and Pops told stories that let him know that he didn’t have it easy. But nothing close to Harriet.

Harriet’s life really helps put our own in perspective, doesn’t it? Just about the time I think, I might have something to complain about, all I have to do is think about Harriet and the cruelty she endured. It’s mind-boggling ---------- especially when you think thousands of other people lived in similar conditions – maybe even worse.

Mazie tells Edward that she loves him. What she don’t know is why she resist what her heart longs for – and that’s to say to him, to be his wife. And she has to keep asking him to wait too. She realizes that this isn’t fair, and she worries that she’ll make him wait too long and lose him. But she has to be sure

“Thanks to Old Rit’s tender care of her daughter, Harriet recovered once again.” But then she was sent out as a housekeeper for a different woman, who treated her every bit as badly as Miss Susan. The amazing thing is tat as Harriet got older, she claimed to have no ill feelings toward her former masters.

The old woman shook her head. That slave girl might not have been able to read, but she loved the Holy Scriptures. One of her favorites was Isaiah 16:3. And she was known for praying nearly every waking moment of her life.

It was all part of God’s preparation for the great work He had for her in the future.

Tracy didn’t make a habit of attending any Cburch other than the one in which she’d grown up in and her family still attended. But her parents were out of town enjoying a little “alone time,” as her daddy called it, and Tracy knew Edward was planning to go to Mazie’s Church. He’d make a point of inviting Tracy to join them and at first she had turn them down.

Deep down she had to admit that at least part of what she was feeling on this unusual morning was a desire to see Mazie and Edward together – at a Church where just decades earlier, Edward would have been barred from worshipping.

Tracy wanted to look her best at all times, whether at work or grabbing a burger downtown – but most of all when she went to the house of the Lord. Her parents had taught her and Edward that. It did not matter to her if Mazie and her family did attend a Church that didn’t seem to care if people came in suits or blue jeans. She certainly hoped that Edward would not show up in the later.

Mimi reminded Mazie “Remember, God numbers our days, and only He knows if we will have another time …. Or not.”

Mimi shares another part of the Moses quilt: the patch with the two white bells on it.

The image between the two white bells is a broomstick.

Broomstick ceremonies were practiced by most slaves in those days, though Mimi was a it fuzzy on the origination of the practice, and she imagined Mazie was too. Mimi asked Edward if he could add any details to the custom. It seems the bride and groom would jump over a broomstick to seal their vows one to another. Many people, including Harriet’s parents, thought the girl would never marry. “But then she met John Tubman … and everything changed.”

Harriet was a hard worker, a woman of great faith, and she had a powerful singing voice. John Tubman, a liberated slave who carried his “freedom papers” with him at all times, was also an observant man who didn’t allow Harriet’s qualities to escape his notice.

The two worked side-by-side for a man named John Stewart. Because both groups did nearly the same type of work, however, freed blacks made it a point to have their papers with them wherever they went so as not to be mistaken for slaves.

Soon, however, Harriet could no longer deny the truth of John’s interest in her.

Finally, one day in 1844, in the presence of family and friends, both slave and free, Harriet Ross became Harriet Tubman. It was a simple ceremony, with no mention of “till death do us part” or “what God has joined together let not man put asunder,” since Harriet was still a slave and could be sold or traded away by her master at any time.

John Tubman was a free man who could also read and write.

You see through John was a free man, thanks to a stipulation in his former master’s will, they still had to live in the slave quarters because of Harriet’s status. And sadly, so far as anyone knows for certain, they never had any children. Her entire being still burned with the longing for freedom, but each time she suggested to her husband that they make a run for the North, he discouraged her, even threatening to betray her if she tried it.

Harriet was obviously an all-or-nothing kind of woman with a courageous and selfless heart – the complete opposite of Mazie Hartford, who couldn’t make a simple commitment to marry the finest man she’d ever known.

Edward and Mazie had been out riding and on their way back to Mazie’s there was blinking red and white lights.
There was a stretcher (gurney) by Mimi’s bedroom door. A tall, hefty man wearing a Langsdale Fire Department T-shirt stood beside it.

The fireman turned his attention from what was going on inside the room toward Mazie, the new arrival.

He allowed her the spaced needed to catch a glimpse of what was no doubt another fireman and two paramedics, gathered around Mimi’s bed, poking and prodding and questioning.

Mazie looked up after they had taken Mimi to the hospital and Edward was standing beside her and Lily. He opened his arms and encircled them both and told her ‘Let’s pray right now.’ Then we’ll get in my car and I’ll drive you to the hospital.

Surely Edward was the sort of husband that every Christian woman dreams of finding one day, and here he was, sitting next to her, ready to slip a ring on her finger if she would only say yes.

A door opened – and it was not a doctor or nurse. Tracy stepped through it.

Edward no doubt called or texted her.

Lily smiled at Tracy and told her to “pray,” and know that they appreciated her support.

The doctor came in and spotted them and revealed that Mimi had ‘Congestive heart failure’ ‘COPD.’

Lily has tried to prepare Mazie for the day that Mimi will pass (not now but later in the book). The Bible teaches that when someone we love dies, we grieve but not as those who have no hope.

Dr. Marsh released Mimi to go home.

Mazie retrieved the patchwork covering and held it up for Mimi to see.

The patch with what looks like burst a bird on it.

That patch represents Harriet’s courageous decision to be free, regardless of the cost. Like a bird being let out of a cage, our heroine was about ready to fly.

Harriet had been beaten, whipped, starved, and humiliated more times than she could remember, and her desire for freedom grew with every abuse. Not only did Harriet long to be free herself, but she also wanted to help free as many of her people as possible. Why couldn’t John understand that?

John was a handsome man, and a charming one too. And oh, could he sing! He was quite a catch, that one.

But free or not, there wasn’t much opportunity for freed slaves to make a living except as farmers or field hands, working right alongside the slaves.

To make matters worse, Harriet had come to believe that she and her family had been set free as well, but she had no way to prove it. At one point Harriet managed to pay a lawyer five dollars to find proof of this arrangement. The lawyer did, and Harriet discovered her mother should have been set free years earlier, but a deceptive master refused to honor his agreement.

Harriet’s master, the young heir to the Brodas plantation, died suddenly, and rumors began to fly. The guardian of the estate planned to sell off several slaves. Harriet and two of her brothers were among them. It was a fate Harriet was not willing to accept without a fight.

If Mimi was able to continue her story to the end, Mazie might find the answer to her dilemma. At least, she certainly hoped so.

Lily, “We think we have problems sometimes don’t we? But we don’t even begin to know what a hard life is until we hear about someone like Harriet and all she went through. What a courageous woman.”

Finally, one warm summer evening in 1849, Harriet wrapped a tiny bit of food in a bandanna, knowing it might be all she’d have for some time. Excitement swirled with sadness inside her, as she wrestled with the need to run and the tragedy of leaving loved ones behind. Sadly, she couldn’t even risk telling her parents or other siblings what was about to happen the next morning.

As her final day on the plantation drew to the close, Harriet walked through the slave quarters, singing as she often did.

Harriet knew she was not alone. “Oh, dear Lord,” she prayed, “I ain’t got no friend but you. Come to my help, Lord, for I’m in trouble.

Mazie knew that Harriet was called the Moses of her people and that she was involved with the Underground Railroad, leading slaves to freedom, but that’s about it. Somehow listening to Mimi’s story and following it on her quilt makes it more personal, she suppose.

Was it possible Mimi was telling them this story about the Moses quilt so their family could finally unwrap a story of their own.

As a child Mimi was almost assaulted by a couple of young boys, and a man saw and stopped them. She had wanted to go and pick some fruit and the boys saw her by herself.
The fugitive slave statue, passed by Congress in 1793, allowed owners to recapture their slaves and bring them back to their plantations, punishing them in any way they saw fit.

Harriet had once met a white woman, a quaker named Miss Parsons, while working in the fields. Miss Parsons was touched by Harriet’s story and told her if there was ever anything she could do to help her that she shouldn’t hesitate to ask.

At the next stop she received more food and more information.

The man name was Thomas Garrett, and he was already deeply involved in the Underground Railroad when Harriet appeared in his life. A devout Quaker, he had dedicated his life to rescuing slaves and seeing slavery abolished.

Mazie was haunted by the idea that Harriet was so driven to find freedom that she left her husband behind. She wondered if she would ever experience a passion or longing so deep that she would be willing to risk absolutely everything else to achieve it. She also wondered how much deeper Harriet’s feelings for John had run than her feelings for Edward.

Mazie had been surprised when even Lily decided to join them, but when she heard Mimi was going to tell them about Harriet’s life beyond rescuing slaves on the Underground Railroad she’d quickly voiced her interest.

Mimi “You see that patch with the gold coin, off to the right?”

That coin represents the many expenses involved in supporting Harriet’s treks back and forth to the south, not to mention her own living expenses and caring for her aging parents and others once she’d brought them north.

Harriet had been attending antislavery events for years, but when approached in 1858 to become a speaker, she was stunned. Who would want to listen to an uneducated former slave?

As a result, when urged to join the speaking circuit, she sought God’s guidance and decided it was indeed what He wanted her to do.

Because of her complete dependence on God, she didn’t hesitate when asked to expand her public speaking to include the cause of women’s suffrage.

The next morning Edward and Mazie opted to attend Church with Lily, not wanting her to have to go alone. After checking in on Mimi, whose caregiver was about to turn the still sleeping elderly woman over to Lily’s care. Mazie grabbed her pineapple and cabbage salad from the refrigerator and followed Edward out to his car.

“Mom and Dad will be so glad to see you,” he said, as he opened the door for her and helped her get situated after placing the salad bowl on the floor behind her.
Edward parents have been busy as ever.

His dad is always working, and his Mom is totally involved at Church – except when she’s busy looking for a potential husband for Tracy. Tracy does her best to ignore her, but she knows only too well how happy Mom would be if she’d get married and have kids.

The next installment of the Moses quilt story could wait until Edward brought her home that evening.

Within moments, they were all gathered around the table examining the quilt patch that showed a Union flag, sipping tea, and awaiting the next portion of Mimi’s story.

She agreed to the governor’s request, though it was May of 1862 before the doors opened for her to become actively involved in the service of the Union Army.

Though personally disappointed with President Abraham Lincoln, in that she felt his top priority should be freeing the slaves rather than preventing secession, she committed to doing whatever she could to help the Northern cause.

“God won’t let Master Lincoln beat the South till he does the right thing.” Harriet declared. “Master Lincoln is a great man, and she was a poor Negro(then)/Black/African Americans (now), but this Negro(then)/Black/African Americans(now) can tell Master Lincoln how to save money and young men. He can do it by setting the Negroes(then)/Black/African Americans(now) free.”

Harriet realized after she had gave her life to three years to serve in the Union Army that the fight to set her people free was far from over.

Mimi funeral was on Friday, with a nearly packed house at the Church. Edward set on Mazie’s left, her mother on her right. Each held on of her hands as the service progressed, with Mimi’s favorite songs being sung and a slideshow of Mimi’s life playing across the screen in front. She had answered the call of the angels the moment she saw Jesus, leaving the rest of them behind to miss her and long for the day when they would see her again.

Edward sat on his couch staring in the darkness and praying for Mazie.

With a sigh he pulled himself from the couch and padded barefoot across the room to his desk, where he flipped on the light before sitting down and jostling the mouse to bring his screen to life. He immediately went to the Internet and typed in Harriet Tubman’s name. Clicking on what he imagined would be one of the most reliable sources, he soon found himself immersed in the story of the second Moses.

Not only did his reading confirm much of what Mimi had told them, but it brought back details he hadn’t heard since his schooldays.
Sarah Bradford donated her time to write Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman. The book, was financed by other friends of Harriet Tubman, including William Seward. The book was a success and produced an income that covered not only Harriet’s living expenses but helped to fund her work. Harriet, still struggled financially until the end of her life simply because she was always ready to give away anything she had to help someone else.

In 1897, Harriet received the Diamond Jubilee model from Queen Victoria, in honor of the queen’s sixteen anniversary on the throne.

After a severe bout with pneumonia, on March 10, 1913, at the age of ninety-three, Harriet closed her eyes for the last time and no doubt heard her Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Welcome home at last.”

Over a year later, the city of Auburn honored their beloved Harriet, with a proclamation, issued by the mayor, to fly the flag all over the city as a tribute to the monumental work accomplished by this humble but courageous and faith-filled woman. The next day, flags flew everywhere across a city populated mostly by Whites.

By the time Edward had finished reading tears trickled down his face. “You know that when God made a promise, He meant it,” he whispered. “Of all he could remember and all he learned about Harriet, that’s the greatest thing.”

Booker T. Washington was among the attendees that day, and he said that Harriet had “brought the two races nearer together.”

Edward asks Mazie to marry him again. He tells her that he loves her and don’t want to live without her. It isn’t about their ancestors, about Pops of Mimi, and things that happened to them, or about anyone else. It is about Edward and Mazie. She found out what she went to Gee’s Bend to discover, so now he wants an answer now. Today.

They were not bound by the past; Christ had set them free, even as He had with Harriet and so many others through the centuries.

Yes she told Edward, that she would marry him. And the sooner, the better.

Family and friends gathered together at the Church Mazie and her mother had attended for so many years, the same sanctuary where just months earlier they had held a memorial service for her beloved Mimi. With the pastor from Mazie’s Church as well as the one from Edward’s performing the ceremony together. Behind the two pastors was a large wooden Cross on the wall. Underneath it hung the Moses quilt, reminding them of all they had learned. One patch in particular caught her eye – the one with the dove holding a branch in the beak. A symbol of peace.

The Dove is also an emblem of the Holy Spirit, of peace, purity, and affection.

Kathi Macia, is a Multiple award-winning author, with nearly 35 books including the “Quilt” series, the “Freedom” Series and the “Extreme Devotion” novels for New Hope Publishers. Her devotionals reach hundreds of thousands – through the Christian Civic League, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News, Christians in Recovery, and Crosswalk.com. A popular speaker, Kathi loves outreach to prison and homeless ministries, and praying for and aiding the persecuted Church globally. A wife, mother, and grandmother. She lives is California.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Contagious Optimism ... Book Review

Book Review . Uplifting Stories . Me Time . Motivational Advice . Positive Thinking . Personal Growth . Talents . Relationships: Divorce/Marriage . Career . Health . Fitness . Mastermind Groups . Frequent Wall Street Journal Contributor




You learn a lot when listening to people. Always keep your ears open. You never know the impact they will have on your life.

When I talked with David Mezzapelle, (who is a frequent contributor to the 'Wall Street Journal') over the telephone, I told him that I would like to have a copy of his book. He told me that he would have the publishing company sent me a complimentary copy, so I don't have an autographed copy of his book.

You may not be on a course that you are comfortable with at the moment. Be honest with yourself. From here make those changes that will restore the course you are meant to travel. But don't overlook a change of course that may have happened for a good reason.


The keys to achievement are:

1. Be clear about what you want.

2. Know you will achieve it.

3. Take dedicated and determined action.

4. Never give up.

5. Go for it!


At Merrill Lynch, there are 5 principles: Client, Focus, Respect for the Individual, Teamwork, Responsible Citizenship, and Integrity. Shortly after Mr. Daniel P. Tully became chairman, he had these principles chiseled in their lobby floor at their world headquarters in NY and posted in every office around the globe in the local language.

Reading Contagious Optimism will allow the reader to appreciate and understand the principles that people of all races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds live by have exhibited during their life's adventures. ... Mr. Daniel P. Tully, Chairman Emeritus, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc,. Hobe Sound, Florida

Understand, respect, and embrace other people's uniqueness. That is the foundation of any relationship - spouses, significance other, family, friends, etc.

Divorce is an unfortunate process that many people face. There's a moment often you realize that you have survived, emerged intact, and have strength you didn't know you had. ... Kerry Moeykens, Covington, Kentucky

It is suggested that you use this precious opportunity to rediscover yourself.

Overtime, you might have forgotten your unique gifts and are only thinking of what you don't like about yourself or your life.

Many people feel the need to stay busy to keep their minds off of this stressful time. Let this time also include pampering yourself. Take this time to experience life even for only ten minutes ... just simply be you!

Knowing your purpose will give you a true sense of who you are, and why you were put on this earth.

When you have discovered the "gold nugget" you already are, you will start to live your life with more ease and to enjoy the feeling of peace.




Divorce is not easy or fun but you can make it through this time of your life by realizing you will make it.

Sooner or later, all of us are exposed to a toxic person. That person can be a family member, a significance other, a boss, or a coworker. A toxic person exhibits mood swings, short temper, and inconsistencies as well as impulsive behavior. This type of person is very good at controlling people and situations because he or she knows how to use charm to keep the victim engaged.

Celebration time is right around the corner so take a deep breath and get started.

If you are spiritually inclined, prayers help.

Verbal and physical abuse as well as infidelity, lying, gambling, substance abuse can lead to the end.

Marriage takes two; it is not one person's fault for the demise of the relationship. Not playing the part of the victim will help you to move on and find life after divorce.

When Nancy Ferrari, interviews psychologists, therapies, relationships experts, the common thread in their advice for a successful relationship is communication. There is no perfect relationship however; in order to live in harmony with your mate, it takes work. Working on a marriage or relationship requires attentiveness, as well as respect, trust, and honesty.

She places a high premium on qualified marriage counseling therapy.

David Mezzsapelle, the author shares please don't tell yourself and him that you don't have what it takes to be the next golf sensation, musician, athlete, executive, or anything else. Contrary to what you think, you absolutely do have what it takes.

Building talent is one of the few tools for success that is not contigent on anything other than hard work. Your talent is the direct result of the hard work and practice you put in sure, there are some people that have an unfair advantage of knowing someone already in the field.

Whatever it is you are working toward picture yourself already there.

There are many scholars, theologians, motivational speakers, athletes, philosophers, and industry titans that have proven this.

Acknowledge where you are lacking and prioritize what it takes to improve. The brain and body together will accomplish the rest.

Do you know what your talents are?

When we are searching to find our true self, we are finding our talents along the way. Sometimes, it may even require us to deviate from an established patch and change our career.

Our talents are directly connected to our passions. When we have the courage to follow our passions, we will excel in what we do because we invest our whole energy into it.

It is also about joy, and fulfillment, growth, and a search for meaning, inner peace.

To be physically healthy you need to be mentally healthy as well. To start, believe in yourself and consider that mind exercise is just as important as physical exercise.

There are many talented people in the world who have achieved very little. On the other hand, there are many not so talented folks who have soared to amazing heights. Lisbeth Calandrino calls them "over achievers."

We all have talents - the question is which talents we choose to utilize. Some people fear failure while others fear success.

Focus not on what you think you're lacking, but rather on all the resources and resourcefulness you have. Give yourself a strong enough WHY and you will figure out the HOW.

"Convert the shame of financial disaster into your new start! Take the disgrace you feel out of consumer debt, by not looking back at the financial mistakes but instead look at the new beginnings and education that the experience offered you." ... Amy Beller, Southold, New York

Audi continues to significantly outgrow its primary U.S. competitors, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, in percentages of sales increase. Brand leaders now consider Audi likely to reach its goal of 1.5 million sales in America before earlier established deadline in 2015, and rather abruptly Audi of America has become a key partner in the German parent company's goal of overtaking BMW in global premium - segment sales.

The Audi transformation in the United States didn't come easy.

To be sure, Audi still faces a number of issues as it seeks to build on its accomplishment.

One doesn't need to rewrite their business plan nor reinvent the wheel. Just by initiating an analysis of your organization, you are already taking a step in the right direction toward success.

Ricky Wade grew up in Jamaica and was no stranger to poverty. He was directly exposed to it but knew that hard work and positive energy would yield success. There is always someone who is worse off than you. Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's, said it best, "You have to give back to the community that supports you."

Don't be scared to alter a long-term plan when things don't work out.

Ricky came to the the United States as an immigrant. His uncle gave him a piece of advice that was one of the most valuable assets that he took with him. He said "Be true to yourself, be disciplined, and stay focused. That advice led him to an assistant manager position in Miami, Flo

In April of 2001 he achieved the unimagimable for a McDonald's corporate employee - he purchased seven stores and became a franchise in Palm Beach, Florida. Together with his wife Lissette, they then grew to eleven stores and a staff of 500 people. Today his goal is to achieve twenty-five stores within the next ten years.

His family takes great pride in helping inner city kids focus on the positive and molding them into good citizens. Making a different may be a lifelong journey but providing opportunities for low-income youth yields a positive environment and a brighter future for everyone.

Karen Wright was dead broke. She'd heard others say this, but she'd never personally been that far out on a flimsy limb before.

Fear and panic overcame her pride as she stood before her Church congregation and she finally admitted the truth out loud. She needed work, any work. She tried not to think of the $250/hour her consulting clients used to pay. She took a job for a park ranger at $9.05 per hour.

She hated her situation! She wanted her old life-clean and respected.

She decided that cleaning toilets did not define her and went to work the following morning with her baseball cap raised, a smile on her face, and friendly words for those she engaged in conversation - ever while picking up trash.

The past two years have not been what she would have wanted. She used to consider those who settle for low-paying jobs as lazy and ignorant. She often say, and believe, that great work comes to those who do small work with dignity and pride.

Those who serve the welfare of others focus upon the act of giving. She'd always focused on what she could get in return.

Success is not tied to a financial worth.

Sometimes you have to leave all you know to find what is worth knowing.

Only those who serve will ever Lead.

The Standard and Poor's 500 Index, a broad gauge of Stock Market performance, fell by nearly 40% in 2008. Many seemingly safer investments, such as bonds issued by state and local governments, were also hit hard. Just as marketers were about to hit bottom, many folks pulled their money out and put it into bank accounts and money market instruments. By doing so, they locked in large losses in stocks and other securities.

Some forecasters believe that the ensuing years could bring a significance recovery in the nation's economy, even as unemployment remains high by historic standards. If interest rates rise, some types of bonds, such as those sold by the U.S. Treasury, may actually lose value.

Many are avoiding stocks altogether.

This isn't a pitch for investing in stocks. Diversification has never been more important. There are mutual funds that invest in a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets all at once if you aren't wealthy and can't afford to pay a professional advisor to manage your money.

By taking charge of your financial situation you may be able to reduce the risks of getting hurt the next time around.

As a child, Mr. Harvey Rephen, ESQ. witnessed many of life's hardships suffered by the people around him. The best way he could be of service is a common debt advocate. One of many profound lessons that have come out of his past is that there is no shame in financial difficulty. What makes a person rich is not the size of their wallet, but rather the size of their heart and principles.

Congress created the FDCPA (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) to regulate practices such as these.

The FDCPA protects the consumers' right by limiting the who, what, where, and how of debt collection. The primary power of the FDCPA is that it gives you, the consumer, the right to sue any debt collector violating your rights.

It is extremely important that all physical evidence be saved, such as messages left on your answering machine, letters received, and a written call log containing the date, time, and content of any conversation with any debt collector.

The FDCPA can stop the harassment and abuse and even take you from despair and financial devastation to hope and freedom.

A person's true wealth is based on something even more valueable than money; it;s based on the integrity of the person and how they choose to live their life.

Anabela's family had a good life. They had a nanny, housekeeper, luxury cars, vacationed often, and shopped at Nordstrom. Who wouldn't want the life-style they had?

One day, all that ended when she was laid off. A year passed and they lost their home, their cars, their nanny, their housekeeper, and, of course, shopping at Nordstrom. She believed they would have lived that way forever if the layoff never happened. "Keeping up with the Joneses" seemed easy.

Of course the transition period was difficult, especially when she began cutting coupons, but she realized she was more resilient than she thought.

When not job-hunting, she suggests picking up a book - any book. Spend more quality time with your children and family.

So, her family and her have a different life now, a good life!

Goals help us to achieve. We all need goals in our life.

Anyone who does anything worthwhile has either consciously or unconsciously followed through on goals.

One way to start this journey to get to the destination is through a very simplistic tool - journaling. Journaling is a technique that was originally taken from the therapeutic world in order to help clients identity their feelings and thoughts from a psychoanalytical perspective.

Writers and authors use it to help them document storylines, and teens use it in the form of a diary.

A journal can take several forms, such as a hardbound journal or book, or a spiral notebook, either large or small. You can use a voice recorder or the voice application on your cell phone. You can write on the computer through a word processing document or an online journal.

Share - only if you feel able; you may want to share with someone, such as a friend or a coach, who can help you to clarify and validate your breakthrough and successes.

Emotional and mental abuse made it harder to realize that it wasn't about me. We have been taught that abuse leaves physical scars, but emotional and mental abuse can be just as bad, or even worse, because it's not so obvious.

Faye had to believe in herself enough to walk away from disempowering situations early, rather than hoping things would change later.

Sometimes though, it's best to just let go and move on. Focus only on what you desire.

There are going to be bad days.

Adam Fisher shares after his horrible bount of jealousy and feeling sorry for himself he redirected his anger toward the future. He did his best to explore new markets, secure new clients, and create new sources of revenue. As he typed this story, he invested in several foreclosed properties and have created a wonderful stream of rental income.

Focusing on other people's success with envy is pointless and stressful. There is nothing good that can come from envy and jealousy - nothing!

Sometimes life if full of surprises. Shortly after Brenda Sutton Jones entered the workforce, she took a job with a marketing company in Raleigh, N.C., expecting to get her feet wet in sales and hopefully learn a bit about marketing.

What started out as a job quickly into a career.

One month later she came to work and learned that the new company had changed the lock on her door and taken ownership of all her files - after nine years. She had a number of profitable Fortune 500 clients, including GTE, IBM, & Alcatel.

On the third day after being locked out, she opened her own business.

In December 2010, her marketing company celebrated its 25th anniversary. From time to time she think about that CEO and how much she owe him for giving her the push she needed to start her own company. She believe that his actions were motivated primarily by jealously and envy.

Dr. Barbara Seifert shares we fill our daily lives with so many activities that we don't have enough time to just relax and enjoy. Even our families can exhaust us with their daily demands.

Self-care is one of the most important and basic activities that one can do. Self-care is critical to our physical and emotional wellbeing. If not addressed, emotional problems ca develop such as anger, anxiety, or depression. Health problems can also occur.

Take up journaling to capture these emotions.

Practice forgiveness, which is not forgetting or saying you are "okay" with what another person did, it is about releasing the negative feelings of what happened.

Take five minutes to picture the life you want, and enjoy it.

Learn to say "no."

Practice, practice, practice!

Susan Ross shares on The Mastermind Principle. In a Mastermind Group, the harmonious energy of the individuals connects, creating a powerful synergy (the "Master Mind") used to brainstorm, problem solve, and create powerful solutions that can only come from collaboration. It is truly a meeting of minds in pursuit of common goals, which might seem unreachable on your own.

Joining a Mastermind Group is a commitment to mastering your possibilities. Many icons of the twentieth-century, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison, as well as a host of presidents and statesmen, credit the Mastermind process for some of their collective success. Yet we find it a vastly underused business and life-building tool today.

It's utilizing the strengths and experience of others.

There are many types of Mastermind Groups, including same-company or same-industry, women, mixed business, virtual, and more.

The beauty of a Mastermind is that you can make your own rules to suit the group.

And the power of two or more minds focused on a single dream can dramatically increase the manifestation of that dream.

David Mezzapelle, the author has been motivating others to be positive since his childhood.

He has been a guest on various radio and television programs. He is also a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal and various other publications and websites around the world.

David was inspired to write 'Contagious Optimism' on his life's experiences, and the encouragement of his Alma Mater, Fairfield University in Connecticut. A portion of each sale will go to the school.













Ford 351 Cleveland Engines ... Book Review

Book Review . Ford 351 . Cleveland Engine . 351 C . 351 W . Power . Cleveland Blocks . Arrow Blocks . Brinell Hardness Testing





Ford engine codes can be confusing, especially considering the same engine codes often applied to two different engine families. The 351C, for example, had the same engine codes as the 351W, which means it is not always easy to tell which engine your Ford originally had.

It has been often theorized in Internet forums that the Xs and Ys in the lifter valley of most Cleveland blocks means a higher nickel content, but Ford has never continued this.

Mexican blocks and US blocks weigh within a pound of one another, which means there's no different in nickel content.

Free Power? You can find hidden power in friction-reduction efforts such as roller cams and rocker arms, Torrington bearings, and more liberal clearances.

Power is found anywhere you can reduce or eliminate internal friction. Keep in mind finding power costs money, but look at the dividends. When you set your clearances more liberally, the initial cost is free. When you tend to sacrifice is longevity.

We often fall into the mistaken belief that because a part is new and right out of the box it is a good part. Every part should be inspected for flaws. Though this doesn't guarantee a perfect part, it enables you to sleep better.

A shortage of good blocks has long presented logistics problems for Cleveland engine builders. In recent times and with better technology has come reproduction alloy and iron Cleveland blocks both domestically and from Australia.

When MME Racing in Waldorf, Maryland, introduced the new Titus Cleveland block in cast iron and aluminum, Mark McKeown explained, "We have been pushing the envelope of the Cleveland engine for many years and have been forced to use Windsor-base blocks for some build well over 1,100hp from a naturally aspirated small-block to be competitive in their race car.

The Titus is exciting for Ford performance enthusiasts because Cleveland blocks are becoming scarce every day. Though Ford Australia produced a lot of 302C and 351C engines for many years after Ford North America ended production, the global supply of good Cleveland blocks is drying up.

Classes like Super Late Model are very abusive on engines and larger displacement versions have durability issues.





Another recent reproduction Cleveland block comes from Arrow Blocks in Australia. It is a reproduction of the 351C block, with a lot of nice refinements to structure, lubrication, and cooling. This is a 351C block you can take to 440ci according to Australian Street Machine Magazine.

The Arrow is cast from high-strength, cast-iron consisting of carbon, silicon, phosphorous, sulphur, manganese, molybdenum and zinc.

Because the Arrow block has a lot of refinements to structure, it is heavier than Ford's Cleveland block. There's enough cylinder wall thickness to go to 4.185 inches while being able to maintain .216-inch wall thickness.

Brinell hardness testing was invented in 1900 by Dr. Johan August Brinell, a Swedish engineer and metallurgist.

Brinell testing is little more than striking metal with a 0.39-inch (10-mm) steel ball at 6,600 pounds of force to determine how hard it is. Less force is required with softer iron. Brinell hardness testing, searches for the true tensile strength of a cast/noddler iron crankshaft.

Ronnie Besselman of Bessel Motor-Sports, better known as 'Strokerkits.com,' offers excellent advice on how to shop for a strokerkit for your Cleveland..

Making power isn't just about adding displacement, large-port heads, a big carburetor, and a lumpy, camshaft, it is about the physics of packaging and turning your engine properly.

need Degreeing a camshaft is a quest to learn the truth about power and to get more.

A camshaft is degreed by bolting a degree wheel to the crankshaft, cranking piston number-1 to top dead center (TDC), finding true TDC, and installing a timing pointer.

Based on the calculations, you should never need more 3.00 inches of pipe diameter for a 600-hp Cleveland. You don't need 3-inch pipes with a 350hp engine. You can get away with 2 1/4 - to 2 1/2-inch - diameter pipes with a 400hp Cleveland.

The folks at 'Exhaustvideos' base their calculations on raw facts. They suggest your engine needs to flow 1.5cfm through thde intake per one inch horsepower.

I was sent a review copy from Car Tech.

George Reid, has been a Ford enthusiast for more than 30 years. He enjoys restoring and building Fords. George has written a number of books for Car Tech, including: High-Performance Ford Engine Parts Interchange, How to Build Big-Inch Ford Small Blocks, How to Rebuild and Modify Ford C4 and C6 Automatic Transmissions, and others.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Trauma and the Twelve Steps: A Complete Guide To Enhancing Recovery ... Book Review



Book Reviewer . 12 step recovery . traumatic stress . trauma survivors . Bosnia - Hercegovina . Sponsors . Storytelling . Writing . Dancing . Relationships . Coping Skills . Prayer . Therapy

This book shares on pros and cons on 12 Steps Programs. A real eye opener.
This is not a Christian book for it shares on a copy of non Christian values as far as I am concerned, but it could be studied and looked at by strong Christian communities.
It is also a book worth looking at for families to see what your loves ones might be exposed too.

No two cases will be the same.

This book does not intend to be diagnostic in any way and is not a substitute for a thorough clinical assessment. If you are at medical risk of withdrawal or in a serious mental state of mind that could harm yourself or others (e.g., suicidal or homicidal intentions), you are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately.

The purpose of this book is to show professionals, sponsors, and recovering individuals how to continue using traditional twelve-step recovery philosophies in a manner that honors what the psychotherapeutic professions have learned about traumatic stress. This book also explains how rigid application of twelve-step principles can do more harm than good for a traumatized person and how learning some simple accomodations based on the latest knowledge of traumatic stress can enhance the twelve-step recovery experience for trauma survivors.

My suggestion and request that I would like to see the professional community look at two books below: I am getting this resource from a January 3, 1957 Book "The Life and Times of Jesus" and this book was studied at a HBUC in 1957.

1. Is the hospital/therapy a continuation of Jesus' ministry?

2. A Religion in Illness and in Health: New York: Harper & Bros., 1942. Wise, Carroll A.

3. The Art of Ministering to the Sick. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1934.




You may have one twelve-step recovery group that is sensitive to its members talking about addictions or conditions, such as mental health concerns and trauma (van der Kolk, McFarlane, & Weisaeth, 2007).

Jamie's hope is that, her voice as a recovering individual will come through most strongly, even though she used her professional knowledge to justify the ideas in this book. There is an old, Chinese proverb to describe trauma and its effects: "Once you've been bitten by a snake, you're afraid even of a piece of coiled rope."

Her bachelors's degrees are in American studies. Her first major job following graduation was for a Catholic parish in postwar Bosnia-Hercegovina, primarily as an English teacher and language editor. While serving in this area, she became aware of trauma's impact on human development. Her pupils were primarily children and young adults who lived at a parish-run childrens' home. The region was transitioning from decades experiencing the aftermath of a major civil war. This experience during the two and a half years she spent in the country impacted her so much that she left her English teaching days behind, returned to the states, and began a master's degree program in counseling.

As many traumatized addicts have discovered, alcohol use, drug use, food, sex, or other reinforcing activities are particularly effective at killing the pain.

All you have to do is go on the Internet to find a host of people who have blogged about, video-taped, or posted about negative experiences in Alcoholic Anonymous, other twelve-step fellowships, and even alternative programs. People who have had negative experiences in recovery programs are often quick to label them "cultish."

Not everyone who walks through the doors of recovery group has a positive experience. In her practice, clients have shared with her experiences such as, from going to a first meeting and feeling preached at or belittled, to experiences as horrible as being raped in the parking lot following a meeting by a member of a recovery fellowship. Some stories shared with her from some of her clients range from negative experiences with sponsorship, ranging from militaristic sponsors who use belittling tactics, to unethical sponsors who ended up cheating with the wives of sponsees. Such experiences have costed some people to write off recovery programs completely.

Most newcomers who come to recovery fellowship with unresolved trauma more often experience harm than help, especially in the long run, by such an approach.

Even though it is unrealistic to expect a perfect sense of safety at every twelve-step recovery meetings, some simple things that might promote it often go unnoticed. She have absolutely no place for the public shaming that often goes on in many recovery meetings, be they twelve-step or alternative meetings.

Solid sponsorship can make all the difference between whether or not a person, especially a traumatized person, sticks around and gives a recovery program a chance to work. Another major area of offense that happens a lot in twelve-step recovery fellowships, an offense that clearly violates the notion of safety, is when sponsors attempt to work too far outside their scope of experience. More dangerously, they will advise a person with mental health concerns to go off of his or her psychotropic medications because all they need is to work the twelve steps. She has seen this cause more harm than good to countless people who have taken this advice literally.

When she first sought out recovery, she had no problem admitting that she was an addict, but she couldn't quite accept that she was an alcoholic. In the Bosnia town where she lived at that time, there were only AA meetings.


Solid sponsorship can make all the difference between whether or not a person, especially a traumatized person, sticks around and gives a recovery program a chance to work. Another major area of offense that happens a lot in twelve-step recovery fellowships, an offense that clearly violates the notion of safety, is when sponsors attempt to work too far outside their scope of experience. More dangerously, they will advise a person with mental health concerns to go off his or her psychotropic medications because all they need is to work the twelve steps. She has seen this cause more harm that good to countless people who have taken this advice literally.

When she first sought out recovery, she had no problem admitting that she was an addict, but she couldn't quite accept that she was an alcoholic. In the Bosnia town where she lived at that time, they were only AA meetings. Her sponsor, Janet told her to come to the meetings and if she heard the word alcohol, just replace it with drugs ... "it's all gonna, be fatal anyway if you continue." By Janet not preaching to Dr. Marich from the onset, she was able to go to meetings with an open mind, and it eventually clicked in her stubborn brain that she was both a drug addict and alcoholic.

Another powerful way that Janet helped to meet her where she was at on the road to recovery was by demonstrating a clear understanding of her past and how it affected her. The sensitive combination of acceptance and challenge helped her work through her issue of both addiction recovery and unresolved trauma in those early days when hearing one wrong thing could have turned her off to recovery forever.

Janet didn't spoon-feed her recovery; she let her hit some road bumps along the way and reminded her that she was there for her when she was ready to take suggestions.

Janet was knowledgeable about what the fields of psychology, science, and medicine have learned about addiction. This meant she understood the realities of traumatic stress and how it can get in the way of learning new ways of living and embracing recovery. Her knowledge about addiction as a brain disease and the phenomena of cravings also informed her that it's futile to get hung up on one specific drug as a prerequiste to attend and to benefit from meetings.

You do not have to be a social worker or drug and alcohol counselor to be an exemplary twelve-step sponsor or mentor/leader in another type of recovery program. To be a trauma-sensitive professional or sponsor, recovery program leader, you need to honor certain principles: safety and flexibility. Meeting people where they are at is a principle so many professionals and sponsors like Janet already practice. However, the logic of it still needs to be more widely practiced in modern recovery so that traumatized people are not alienated as a result of being retraumatized by rigid professionals, sponsors, or community members.

One of the classic recovery tools is using the phone.

It is a fantastic, ultimate goal for people in recovery from both trauma and addiction to begin operating more with their rational minds and less with their emotional minds.

The physical steps required to pick up a telephone and reach out are classic examples of action-based steps that can aid in recovery.

Going to meetings. The act of committing to sit for an hour is practicing, or putting into action, the skills of patience and self-care, to Dr. Marich.

Reach out to others. If you are working with newcomers, emphasize the importance of small steps. Going around and shaking people's hands at meetings, even if they aren't making meaningful connections, is an action step.

Prayer and other spiritual exercises. Now by me being a Christian, I will share a few Scriptures on prayer: Genesis 15:15; Psalm/Tehillim 34:12-14,20; Luke 8:2 and Mark 7:24-30. And I realize that no two conditions are the same, and at times some might have to be on medication if not in an institution for various reasons.

Dr. Marich shares that even if there are no experiences of spiritual connection, talking action can serve as powerful coping mechanisms to get through difficult moments, or, when performed over time, can serve a function in helping them to develop new, more positive habits.

Dr. Marich shares about the "God box" as a spiritual technique. I would recommend this for Christians to look at seriously.

And at times from what I have studied in Sunday School forgiveness must take place.

Recovery people simply get an old shoebox, jar, or other container and put it in a special place, designating it as their "God box." Whenever a problem or issue cannot stop swirling around in their heads, they get out a piece of paper and write down what's bothering them. For many, the act of writing it down and "getting it out" is a key part of the healing; again, an action-oriented step.

I have said in Sunday School when making a comment "You can't treat God like a part-time lover" and keep expecting results.

Whether it's jotting down a simple statement and placing it in a God box or something out their soul into an entire novel, writing provides a means of emotional release for many people in recovery.

Dr. Marich tell her clients that after they write a journal entry, they have every right to rip it up ... this can be a process of working out the stress. This writing can include obsessions, emotional angst, resentments, past memories, or simply a list of stressors that may just need to come out visibly on paper.

Some even leave unsent letters at a cemetery. The options are endless, it is the physical processes involved with these activities that powerfully activate the brain to help with the overall sense of release.

Dr. Marich made a geographical move to receive her cure at that time, to the hills in Bosnia-Hercegovina humanitarian aid trailer that would become her treatment center. She learned that relationship heals. She told Janet that she believed she had a problem with chemicals. It was in that trailer that she explained to her the disease of addiction and the implications for treating it, and it was in that trailer that they met on an almost biweekly basis, engaging in the healing process that would become the basis of her own recovery.

There is a misconception that to begin healing from the wounds of addiction and trauma, a person needs sophiscated treatment.

A simple smile that we give to the person we're working with as they share something with us may strike us a insignificant, but it might be powerfully healing to the client.

Forging a strong therapeutic alliance does not mean that you have to be your client's best friend. Dr. Marich's view of a solid working alliance is that the person you are working with trusts you, can relate to you, believes that you relate to her, and trusts that the work you are doing together is helping her get well.

In the spirit of growth and development as empathetic counselors, it is also important to remember that, as helpers, they are not solely responsible for helping a client get sober and well.

The term support system often describes the people surrounding a person who literally support recovery of a person and have their best interest at heart.

Recovery capital is the "quality and quantity of internal and external resources that one can bring to bear on the initiation and maintenance of recovery" (Grandfield & Cloud, 199; White & Kutrz, 2006, p. 9). Recovery capital can include a support group, twelve-step meetings, a sponsor, a Church group, a job, hobbies, supportive family, motivation, and a place to live - essentially, whatever the person has going for him or her.

Depending on resources available in the community or certain benefits allowed with state-appropriated services (e.g., Medicaid) many clients can access separate case management services in addition to accessing traditional therapy.

Wise folks throughout the centuries were helping people process trauma long before professional psychotherapy even existed. Though Dr. Marich is not advocating that lay people, or even therapists, engage in any special interventions that she have listed without proper training. Proceed with caution.

In certain African cultures, speaking about the exact details of a trauma is taboo, yet using allegory-specifically animals as characters-is more than acceptable manner of telling the story for the purpose of catharsis.

Songwriting and other performance elements, like dance and the visual arts, are other outstanding ways to tell the story for the purposes of resolution.

Even King David danced.

One of Dr. Marich's dearest support figures in recovery, a wise woman name Denise, often tells her, "Jamie, addiction is one disease where, in recovery, we choose how well we want to get."

One time, early in Dr. Marich recovery, she was sharing her healing ventures with her brother Paul: going to meetings, going to therapy, going to Church, going for massage, writing music, and performing it with her partner. He jokingly said, "It takes a village to help my sister." It is a true observation-one that she feels has helped her to thrive.

I believe it was Cornersburg Media that sent me a copy of this book for review. I review books for publishing companies, marketing departments, authors, publicists, ministries and businesses.

Dr. Jamie Marich travels the country training and helping professionals on a variety of topics related to trauma and addiction while still maintaining a trauma-focused private practice at PsyCare, Inc. in Youngstown, Ohio. Jamie began her career in social services while working in humanitarian aid after the Bosnia war. Jamie is a contributing faculty member with several universities, and she is also involved in the performing and healing arts as a recording singer-songwriter and conscious dance facilitator. She is an award-winning researcher and contributor to peer reviewed publications.