Vanilla Coke Zero – It’s Baaaaaack

Back in 2017, those olden and mythic days when men were men and women were women (oh, how that phrase has changed in meaning 😦 ), I had discovered Vanilla Coke Zero. In 2019 I discovered Vanilla Orange Coke Zero. Sadly, Vanilla Orange has been discontinued and even Vanilla Zero was very hard to find in the last 2 years. In the last 2 months however Vanilla Zero (now rebranded Zero Sugar for some nonsensical reason) is back on the shelves and I’m doing my part to drink as much of it as I can.

Now, I am not a huge fan of this tan brown look. It’s not horrible, but it says to me “Drink me only if you’ve got nothing better to do. In fact, try water”. It does taste just as good though, which is why I’m doing my part to help keep that Mom & Pop company, little ol’ Coca Cola, afloat.

Just a little update on the doings of the Great and Powerful Bookstooge. I wanted to share because I know the Little People are always interested in what their betters are doing and they can vicariously share in the thrill. Never say I wasn’t a great humanitarian!

Bookstooge | A Loner But Not Alone

A couple of years ago I wrote a post entitled “Bookstooge | A Reviewer of One” and I thought it was high time to either repost it or update it. Reading through it I realized I needed an update style post instead of a repost. While some of the info in that post has changed (I’ll be touching on that later, especially in regards to other people), my own motivations and personal quirks have changed a bit too. And I wouldn’t want ANYONE to miss out knowing all about that kind of stuff.

So first off, other people. In the post previous mentioned, I had listed out 4 blogs where co-bloggers had really seemed to work out, even when life circumstances had changed. Well, those blogs have fallen victim to the usual outcome of co-blogging, which is what I was worried about back then. The Bibliosanctum is now carried on the capable shoulders of Mogsy alone. PCBushi is on life support and I haven’t seen the other Bushi’s in years. Lashaan valiantly tried to keep Bookidote going but eventually had to start his own site. And the Reading over the Shoulders brothers? Life priorities took them away from blogging completely. Nobody did anything wrong, it’s just that when you add another person to the blogging mix, you end up with 4 times the pressure, not just 2 times. I feel like my decision to stay solitary on the blogging journey has been fully justified.

What has changed however is me. I still fully stand behind myself as a Reviewer of One. But I have come to realize that I simply cannot go it a lone. I could not write into a void any more. I am ALSO not a spur of the moment writer any more. In fact,, as I type this, it is actually 3 weeks in the past. Hello citizens of the future! * waves * If I write 2 posts a month spur of the moment, or even the night before, that’s about as close to the edge as I get now.

Everything else stands though. I don’t want to share my blog with anyone. I only want posts that glorify me. I still want to be top dog and not have to worry about a co-blogger stealing all my awesomeness. In the words of the famous visionary Matrix Lincoln “I have a dream! That every blogger can write just as they want to and be totally awesome at it, dude.”

Matrix Lincoln said it, that settles it!

I have realized that over the last 5 years I have stayed A Loner in terms of writing but when it comes to blogging, I cannot do it Alone. (see, that right there is pure blogging gold!) That is part of why it feels personal every time a blogger stops blogging even though I know it isn’t. Sometimes how things are all mixed up inside of us really leaves me scratching my head wondering how we all survive getting out bed in the morning, much less function in a group.

Be that as it may. I stand here a testament to the power of sheer willpower and stubbornness of the dedicated but casual blogger. I am a Loner but I am NOT ALONE.

Rest in Peace: Patricia McKillip

Last week Jeroen informed me of Patricia McKillip’s death on May 6th of this year. Here’s an article from Tor.com:
World Fantasy Award Winner Patricia A. McKillip Has Passed Away

I am quite saddened by news of her passing. I had hopes that she would write several more of her absolutely gorgeous lyrical fairytale prose. I guess this means my re-reads will be all that more poignant knowing there will be no more. If you have not read any of her books, here’s a list of my many reviews as I gush over her books like I have for no other author. Gushing over an author, me. That’ll probably never happen again.

All of my Patricia McKillip Reviews

[Repost] PSA: Honesty and Book Reviewing

PSA

I was browsing WordPress the other day and one of the blogs featured had a Tag, so I figured I’d read through it to see if there was any questions I liked that I could twist for my own fun.

Well, one of the questions was “What was your last 1star book” and the young lady answering it wrote something like “Oh, probably never. If a book is that bad, I just DNF it”, with the assumption being that it doesn’t get rated and I’m guessing, not reviewed. Another blogger also recently did a post where she talks about Negative Reviews and how she appreciates them.

This led me to think about this whole subject beyond my little comment on BVT’s post. It still comes down to Trust so while I’ll be talking about that, I’d like to talk about some of the other components too.

So, Trust first.

thank-you-for-your-honesty

If a book reviewer deliberately with-holds a review because it doesn’t get a particular rating, that is dishonest. Lying by omission is still lying.  A blogger might write completely honest reviews about all the fantastic books they read  but if they don’t publish the reviews about the crappy books, that is like someone doing their checkbook and showing only the credits  and not the debits. It’s honest, but it’s not the real picture. Just ask your bank.

debit-in-credit

Another reason that I won’t follow people who state they won’t do negative reviews is because it shows a paucity of character and a lack of integrity. If you don’t believe me, this picture from the INTERNET will show you the truth!

evidence.jpg

Now, there is a difference between being a dick online and calling a piece of garbage a piece of garbage. Exactly where that line is though, that’s a very tough question.  It’s also tangential to this discussion so I won’t discuss it further.

Another reason to write negative reviews is to help out other readers.  For the record, I want to state that reviews are NEVER for the author. N-E-V-E-R!!!!! They might get something out of them but it was never meant to be for them. Reviews are for other readers. If you are going review books, it is your duty to not only steer your followers towards the books you love, but to also steer them clear from the disasters, the broken bridges and the just plain bad books.  If you drive off that bridge, put up a freaking warning sign.  Its pure negligence if you don’t. Friends don’t let friends read bad books without warning them.

maxresdefault

Another reason that negative reviews are a reviewers duty is that unlike in Magic the Gathering, you don’t get extra turns in your reading life. You read that bad book, that time is GONE! Don’t let others repeat your mistakes. Let them learn from you.

Finally, a book blogger may feel virtuous for not having any negative content on their blog. That shows a lack of understanding of what is virtuous, what is right and is a paving stone far along the path to hell. Yeah, I’m not going to pull any punches here and nothing funny like the ending of the PSA post from last month. I don’t want to follow someone with that lack of understanding, it is just plain dangerous to be around them.

angel-1014564_500_299
This fairy is about to burn up in the fire. Good intentions not withstanding.
bookstooge
Bookstooge brings the FIRE!

[Repost] Bookstooge in 100 Books

Only a few titles have changed since I originally posted this in 2018. Much like my other Repost articles, this is more for those who have started following me in the last year or two than those who have been around for a spell.

★★★★★★★★★★★

(I got the idea for a 100 Book List from The Book Jotter. If you read her post, you’ll see that I’ve changed things a tiny bit)

The following list of books are ones that have affected me through the years. Good and Bad. While my About page is a good look at me as a man, this is a good look at me as a reader. These aren’t organized in any particular order nor is this list in any way a comprehensive list of all the books I’ve read. If you see a majority of books that I hate and you love, or that you hate and I loved, think long and hard about following me.

Books I have Hated: 50

Toll the Hounds

Catch-22

Earthman Jack vs the Ghost Planet

Light

The Midden

Obsidian Worlds

Venetia

The Night of the Swarm

Feeling Lucky

Walden & Civil Disobediance

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Think and Grow Rich

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

The Monk

Sullivan’s Sting

The Last Town

Free Ware

The Dracula Caper

The Boy and the Peddler of Death

Cadman’s Gambit/Sword of the Archon

Curse of the Wendigo

Threshold

We are Legion (We are Bob)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The Store

The Punch Escrow

The Wizard

Badland

Beyond Varallan

A Quest of Heroes

Sandworms of Dune

The Daylight War

Superman: Doomed

Inkheart

The Fog

The Singer’s Crown

The Last Day

Wolf Hunting

Curse of the Mistwraith

Demon Deathchase

New Moon

Empire of Ivory

The Omen Machine

Superman: True Brit

Germline

The Darkness that Comes Before

Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters

The Way of Kings

Abaddon’s Gate

The Great Gatsby

Books I have Loved: 50

The Bible

What Adventists Believe

Way-Farer

Dune

Sentenced to Prism

Galactic Odyssey

The Sublimity of Faith

Mere Christianity

Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol 1

The Phantom Tollbooth

The One Kingdom

Empire in Black and Gold

Gardens of the Moon

Icerigger

The Many Faces of Evil

Nicholas Nickleby

Ready, Set, Hut (Eyeshield 21 #37)

Song for the Basilisk

Bridge of Birds

Flowers for Algernon

His Sombre Rivals

The Art of War

Persuasion

Oblomov

Across Five Aprils

Crime and Punishment

Talion: Revenant

Akira 1

The Death of Superman

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

A Memory of Light

Dealing with Dragons

Hogfather

Bridge to Terebithia

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000

Count of Monte Cristo (abridged)

Three

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians

Anne of Green Gables

I, Joker

Furies of Calderon

Sea of Silver Light

Through Wolf’s Eyes

The Eye of the World

The Warded Man

A Wizard of Earthsea

The Hobbit

Revenge of the Sith

Magician: Apprentice & Master

The Dragonbone Chair

Merry Christmas!! (2021 Edition)

hope

 

 

The Fall

22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

Genesis 3:22-24

 

The Prophecy

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
    and you shall bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15

 

But he was pierced for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

 

His Birth

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Luke 2:1-25

 

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matthew 2:1-15

 

His Death

14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. 19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,24 so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,

“They divided my garments among them,
    and for my clothing they cast lots.”

So the soldiers did these things, 25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth.30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 19: 14-28

 

His Resurrection

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Mark 16:1-8

 

His Ascension

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Acts 1:9-12

 

The End

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

Revelation 22:1-5

 

His Call

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Revelation 22:16-17

 

So a Merry Christmas to you all!

 

Thanksgiving 2021

The First Thanksgiving in the 1620’s in New England

(this is copy of the post I released last year. Still thankful for the same things this year too)

Today is the day that Americans are supposed to give Thanks to God for the many blessings they have received over the past year, whether they deserved them or not. In this day and age of Commercialism, Covid19, Uncertainty and Fear, it is all the more important.

If you haven’t figured it out yet (or read my About page), I’m a committed Christian. In this context, it means that I’m specifically giving thanks to God and not just having the warm fuzzies while making general “thankful” noises to the universe at large.

Without Further Ado, I am thankful for:

Mrs Bookstooge! What a surprise, right? But seriously, without my wife my life would be so much harder, so much tougher, that I don’t contemplate it. Someday I’ll write up a post for how we met. It wouldn’t have happened without God’s intervention, that is for sure.

Work. You’ll notice there is a “Boo” in that pix. That’s how I feel about work sometimes. But at the exact same time I am thankful for it. I enjoy my work, for the most part (you all just tend to hear the bad stuff) and because of it we live comfortably. We’re not millionaires or even hundred-thousandaires, but all of our financial needs have been met this year and we don’t take that for granted. Because there have been years where work was scarce as gold.

Our Families. The majority of our families live far enough away that it takes something special for us to get together. Both Mrs B and I appreciate that our parents brought us up as Christians and continue to have a strong walk with God themselves.

Our Hobbies. While blogging isn’t on the above list, it should be. Thankfully, reading is. We’re both big readers and we appreciate that the other one understands. We’re both happiest sitting on the couch or lying in bed, reading next to each other.

Church. This year especially we’ve been very thankful for our church and church family. The leadership team has been committed to keep us meeting in person but also providing ways for those who don’t feel comfortable to see and hear the sermons live online. They have also made it a special point to use this time to bring us together as brothers and sisters in Christ instead of allowing things like wearing or not wearing a mask to divide us. It takes real wisdom to navigate those channels, especially when people feel very strongly on both sides of the issues. I don’t know what we would do if we couldn’t go to church for an extended period of time.

I think that is enough for now. God bless you all and may you find Peace in Christ Jesus.

Is WordPress Dying?

Yes it is. FaCT!

In fact, WordPress.com (not org mind, but those guys have huge problems of their own) is probably going to shut down tomorrow and the internet as we know it is going to go kaput! I suggest a brisk regimen of running in circles, waving your arms wildly and screaming as loudly as you can. It won’t stop WordPress from going out of business but it will prepare you just in case any assassin dinosaurs jump out of black helicopters while attempting to kill you. Always be prepared is my motto.

In a less serious vein though, has anybody else noticed that their feed and general interaction have been down this summer? I thought it was just me and wasn’t sure that it was accurate, but both Jeroen and Wakizashi mentioned it earlier this week in my comment sections so at least I know I’m not alone in my paranoid delusions!

I’ve included a snapshot of my “Monthly” stats from the last 2.5 years. Why 2.5 years you ask? Because that’s what WordPress gives me and you. You can see a big drop off in May of this year. Right at the beginning of summer. Now while the stats show things improving in later months, that is only because I started posting 6-7 days a week in July in stead of the 4-5 like I had been previously. (thank goodness for google calendar. a nice visual reminder of what’s getting posted when). So what I think that means is that my core group of followers picked up the slack from all the casuals who seem to have disappeared.

Anecdotally, I’ve had more than a handful of people I follow announce they’re going on hiatus, whether for a week, a month or to be determined. I’ve also had more than a handful of people, who used to post 4-6 times a month cut back to 1 or 2 times a month. And I’ve stopped following almost 10 people over the summer who stopped posting even once a month (that’s my determining factor by the way. If someone stops blogging for a month without notice, I’ll stop following that person). So those data points, backed up by Jeroen and Wak’s observations, lead me to the conclusion that bloggers in general are either getting burned out or the casual blogger is just stopping. It makes me wonder how much the Block Editor has to do with this.

I’ve written several times (Peeved) (Beaten) (and Others) about the forsaken editor and have nothing good to say about it. While I am now completely used to it and use it without a second thought, it never fails me to remind me that it was not created to write casually, like you know, for a blogger. How many casual bloggers got sick of trying to use the block editor and have just given up? That would definitely feed into the downturn I, and others, are seeing.

At the same time, there seems to be more stress and pressure in the world (whether there actually is or not, it all depends on how much you believe the mainstream media) and when people are stressed, they burn out easier on hard hobbies. And blogging is a hard hobby. Covid, and peoples’ fear of covid, has changed things drastically and when you are on the edge, you retreat from anything that takes effort. And blogging takes effort. Sometimes just following people takes effort and you can forget about writing posts.

I’ve mentioned to others that I’m going to have to change my blogging habits in ’22. I don’t plan on taking a hiatus or quitting, but I’ve got to reformulate my schedule because writing 15-20 reviews a month is exhausting, even with my “reviews” usually being under 600 words 😉 But part of that reformulation is figuring out what is going on with others and to see if it is going on with me. Once I know, I can deal with whatever it is much more effectively.

No Giving Up Allowed on this Blog! (even if the flipping block editor won’t allow me to center the caption like the old editor did)

I’m writing this in hopes of getting some more input from anyone who reads this. Has your blogging changed or have you seen a change in those who follow you? Hit me with all the gory details, because “I’m Listening”.

Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving in the 1620’s in New England

Today is the day that Americans are supposed to give Thanks to God for the many blessings they have received over the past year, whether they deserved them or not. In this day and age of Commercialism, Covid19, Uncertainty and Fear, it is all the more important.

If you haven’t figured it out yet (or read my About page), I’m a committed Christian. In this context, it means that I’m specifically giving thanks to God and not just having the warm fuzzies while making general “thankful” noises to the universe at large.

Without Further Ado, I am thankful for:

Mrs Bookstooge! What a surprise, right? But seriously, without my wife my life would be so much harder, so much tougher, that I don’t contemplate it. Someday I’ll write up a post for how we met. It wouldn’t have happened without God’s intervention, that is for sure.

Work. You’ll notice there is a “Boo” in that pix. That’s how I feel about work sometimes. But at the exact same time I am thankful for it. I enjoy my work, for the most part (you all just tend to hear the bad stuff) and because of it we live comfortably. We’re not millionaires or even hundred-thousandaires, but all of our financial needs have been met this year and we don’t take that for granted. Because there have been years where work was scarce as gold.

Our Families. The majority of our families live far enough away that it takes something special for us to get together. Both Mrs B and I appreciate that our parents brought us up as Christians and continue to have a strong walk with God themselves.

Our Hobbies. While blogging isn’t on the above list, it should be. Thankfully, reading is. We’re both big readers and we appreciate that the other one understands. We’re both happiest sitting on the couch or lying in bed, reading next to each other.

Church. This year especially we’ve been very thankful for our church and church family. The leadership team has been committed to keep us meeting in person but also providing ways for those who don’t feel comfortable to see and hear the sermons live online. They have also made it a special point to use this time to bring us together as brothers and sisters in Christ instead of allowing things like wearing or not wearing a mask to divide us. It takes real wisdom to navigate those channels, especially when people feel very strongly on both sides of the issues. I don’t know what we would do if we couldn’t go to church for an extended period of time.

I think that is enough for now. God bless you all and may you find Peace in Christ Jesus.