Fresh Reflection - 01/02/14

    I love the New Year.  It's a time of reflection and simultaneous dream building.   We wrap each year at my house by writing out our dreams and prayers for the new year.  We get one sheet of paper and draw a line across the middle horizontally and down the middle vertically.  This leaves 4 squares, one spot for each family member.  We've been doing this for the last five years.  Even before the kids were old enough to write sentences, we would have them articulate their prayers and dreams and we would write it for them in their little square.  We then place the paper in a little metal tube (almost like a time capsule.)  It's packed away with the Christmas decorations.   Each year, when it's time to pull out the lights and ornaments, we get to look in the rear view mirror of life as we read each entry aloud.   In some shape, form or fashion... God has addressed everything on all of our lists. 

    For our family, this is such an important act of gratitude.  We've found that by writing down our hopes and prayers, we're better able to see God's miraculous ways in black and white.  Each and every year, this exercise leaves us amazed at how He uses us to help others, to spread light and love, how He answers requests, fixes issues, heals broken bodies, opens doors and blesses our little family well beyond anything that money could buy.

    This weekend, as we take down the tree, we'll once again sit down and write out our prayers and dreams for 2014.  Not for God's sake, but for our own.  Without this visual accounting on paper of our blessings, we'd be hard pressed to remember them all.  

 

 

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Last Update on August 29, 2014 09:48 GMT

SEX IN CLASSROOM

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania teacher is back in the classroom -- after being fired for having sex in a classroom. Angela DiBattista was canned a decade ago after she admitted to having sex with another teacher. She's fought for years to get her job back. Now, DiBattista is teaching math in the McKeesport Area School District. Her lawyer says DiBattista was rehired after an appeals court overturned her firing. A district spokeswoman declined to comment on DiBattista's status, saying it was a personnel matter.

WSU PLANNER OOPS

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- They're both universities. And they're both in Washington state. But Washington State University isn't the University of Washington. WSU officials are trying to find out how a picture of the University of Washington campus ended up on the WSU student planner. The embarrassing mistake caught school officials by surprise as classes began. KREM-TV reports the academic planners are created by Barnes and Noble in New Jersey.

JOEY CHESTNUT-RIB CHAMPIONSHIP

SPARKS, Nev. (AP) -- There are no spare ribs when champion eater Joey Chestnut is around. He's the world-record holder at Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Contest in New York. Now, Chestnut has extended his lock on the rib eating championship at Nevada's Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-off. Chestnut claimed his fifth consecutive title in Sparks, downing nearly 9 pounds and 3 ounces of ribs in 12 minutes. He has won eight of the last nine rib championships. But Chestnut's appetite wasn't quite as big as last year. He set the world record then with near 13 pounds, 8 ounces. Chestnut says he bought 30 pounds of the St. Louis-style ribs earlier this week to practice.

OKLAHOMA JOE'S-NAME CHANGE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que restaurant is changing its name. That's because you won't find Oklahoma Joe's in Oklahoma. It has three locations in the Kansas City area. So, Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que is becoming Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que. Whatever the name, Joe's has made several national lists of best barbecue stops. Recently, Joe's served about $1,400 worth of food to Air Force One when President Barack Obama was in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports the business started in Oklahoma, but hasn't had a restaurant in that state for nearly two decades.

 
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