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review 2018-12-18 21:34
24 Festive Tasks: Door 15 - St. Nicholas' Day / Sinterklaas, Book
Desert Heat - J.A. Jance,Hillary Huber


I needed a break from all the Christmas and winter reads I've been indulging in lately, so I squeezed this one in -- the print version has been lingering on my shelves way too long as it is.  And I'm happy to have finally started on a series that I've long had a feeling I would like: There's a tiny bit of TSTL syndrome and a few somewhat implausible character actions / choices, as well as a bit of tautological writing at the beginning (surprisingly so, since by the time she published this book, Jance already had another successful series under her belt that had been running for almost a decade), but all of this is essentially over and done with -- and Jance and her protagonist Joanna Brady have found their book series feet -- by the end of the second or third chapter, and from then on we're off to very solid enjoyment.  The solution is clear pretty much from the word "go", too, but once the book finds its feet, it's fun to just come along for the ride.  This is definitely a series I'm happy to have added to my library.


And go figure, the audio version I listened to even has a bright red and orange cover, so it qualifies for the St. Nicholas square in 24 Festive Tasks!

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text 2018-12-05 13:12
Having No Mercy For Others, Only For Ourselves


Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. – James 2:13


We all have been shown great mercy in our lives. God has shown great compassion and forgiveness towards us in not counting our sins against us. We were in a place were God was ready to punish us and cause us great harm in sending us to hell for eternity for our great sins. Yet he showed great mercy and love towards us, forgiving our sins in his Son. When we therefore show no mercy to others, especially believers, we sin greatly. Warren Weirsbe says, “The most miserable prison in the world is the prison we make for ourselves when we refuse to show mercy.” Such a prison many believers are in not being able to show mercy to others but being a great benefiter of mercy from God. God came down from above as the compassionate one to forgive your sins, yet we cannot show compassion to the sins of another believer. Judgmentalism is one of the great sins in the Church, as we are always faulty in the way we see others, never knowing someones motives and heart (Jeremiah 17:9). When we learn to be full of mercy for others, we start to share the heart of Jesus Christ who did not judge but showed compassion to failing humanity. Look into the eyes of Jesus Christ now and see his wounds where he was pierced for you, can you say to him that you cannot forgive another? Have mercy to another?


The Desert Fathers were those who sought the Lord in a life of prayer in solitude, they sought God for God Himself. These were some of the godliest followers of the Lord in that era of Church history. A story of a Desert Father on not judging says, “A brother in Scetis committed a fault. A council was called to which abba Moses was invited, but he refused to go to it. Then the priest sent someone to him, saying, ‘Come, for everyone is waiting for you’. So he got up and went. He took a leaking jug and filled it with water and carried it with him. The others came out to meet him and said, ‘what is this, father?’ The old man said to them, ‘My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I am coming to judge the errors of another.’ When they heard that, they said no more to the brother but forgave him.” If we see our sins as this old godly brother did, we will not judge but show mercy to a fellow believer on this journey with the Lord. If we judged our own selves we would see our failings as great and have great mercy to others. We should find ourselves as the publican calling out to God for mercy constantly (Luke 18:13). Just like the pharisee in the temple praying we can judge our fellow brothers, looking down on the errors of others, but not seeing our own. Lord have mercy on me and help me to be merciful to others. Amen.

Source: greggordon.home.blog/2018/12/05/having-no-mercy-for-others-only-for-ourselves
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text 2018-11-23 21:12
24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 - Penance Day, Task 4 (In the Desert: Egypt, with an Addendum for Moonlight)

As many here know, I've lived in Southern California for a while, which is of course largely a desert region, and traveled throughout the American Southwest from there -- but the last time I visited a desert was when I took my mom to Egypt a few years ago:




Abu Simbel:

Sunrise in the desert, and our "caravan" of 40 or so tourist buses (as a prevention against armed attacks -- by terrorists or robbers -- the only way, other than flying, that you were permitted to travel to Abu Simbel at the time; the "caravan" was heavily guarded by police)

Entrances to the temples of Ramses II and his wife, Queen Nefertari

Temple of Ramses II

Temple of Nefertari
(photography not permitted inside either temple)


Temple of Hatshepsut:

Hatshepsut depicted as a pharaoh, in the traditional manner ... and in a rare instance, as a woman

Head sculpture of the goddess Isis

Wall paintings, depicting Hatshepsut's army (glorifying her military conquests), as well as the 3 sacred symbols: Uas (salvation, the sceptre of the gods), Djet, or Zet (stability, the backbone of Osiris), and Ankh (life, eternity)


Valley of the Kings:

Model of the Valley of the Kings: each of the dots represents a tomb ... and excavations are still continuing

"KV 62" -- the most famous of them all

Tutankhamun's burial chamber (not my own photo: source here)



Entrance to the temple compound and Alley of Rams

Great Hypostyle Hall
The photo doesn't really do the height of these columns justice (no photo could); they totally dwarf us humans ... we don't reach much higher than the bottom pedestal and the lower part of the actual column

Toppled obelisk of Hatshepsut, and scarab altar (for luck, you're supposed to circle it -- seven times IIRC)

Statue of Sekhmet, the lion goddess, and colored relief of Ankh with two falcons (or eagles -- not sure)

Looking back towards the main compound from the other end of the temple district




For Moonlight, as a follow-up to her Day of Penance post: San Xavier del Bac, way back when I visited ... and without trying to touch up or re-colorize the photos in any way.  Though they're not quite as ancient as they look; they were just taken with a cheap camera (my very first one).  So you'll just have to take it on faith that the sky was as brightly blue as in your photos and the church as gleaming white! :)


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review 2018-11-05 04:07
Steamy read with danger and a little bit of a mystery
Her Desert Doctor - Marie Tuhart
Quick read with a little BDSM but a lot of sparking and emotion. Sara was a strong woman, meant to help others, and it was how she overcame her past. Hassan took too much on, trying to save his country and have a job. He was protective of and drawn to Sara, yet his past almost brought him down. The caring of both these characters made this a good read.

I received a copy of this story through Authors XP, and this is my unsolicited review.


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text 2018-08-14 10:14
Dessert tables to overload your life with sweetness

Sweets and sugary delights are a necessity at any celebration or occasion. Whether it is a birthday party, anniversary celebration or wedding reception; no occasion is complete without the presence of sugar coated, syrup dipped desserts that are a symbol of the happiness and joy one should feel on the special day. If you are looking to get the best dessert table Singapore for the guests in such a grand party, then Rainbowly is the best choice you have. It is known that sweetness signifies god and happy times, and with Rainbowly, everyone at the party will have ample of them.


Along with making you happy, Rainbowly is also concerned about your health and is aware of the fact that excess sugar can be harmful. So to balance things out for people who cannot intake much sweets, Rainbowly keeps naturally sweetened items on their dessert table Singapore. These treats are delightful and delicious, and will not taste bland due to lack of artificial sweetening agents. They comprise of various desserts made of strawberries, fruits cream, etc. which will keep a check on the sugar that goes in, and as a result, no harm would be done to your guests’ health and everybody will be able to enjoy the food. 


Rainbowly’s sweets are sure to make anyone who has tasted them experience a dreamy world of sweetness and deliciousness. The numerous desserts at the dessert table Singapore from Rainbowly have an identity of their own and Rainbowly has the reputation of being the provider of the unparalleled taste and healthy services. Keep no one away from sweets, as despite having troubles with sugar; the guest would still be able to enjoy other natural desserts. Make the celebration come more joyous by distributing sweet happiness to everyone.

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