Category Archives: Resources

Come Visit Ohio

As some of you know, I have a photography blog – OgleOhio.com. It is where I showcase some of Ohio’s scenic views, however we are under a Stay at Home order beginning at 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Instead of cruising around Ohio on weekends, I will be flipping through and showcasing some photo’s taken during the past decade or so since I got back into photography after Joe’s passing.

So if you are in need of a mini-vacation during these unsettled times, hop on over to OgleOhio and enjoy the views.

The cool thing about OgleOhio is that WordPress changes the color of the background every day depending upon what picture I upload.

Alderfer-Oenslager Wildlife Sanctuary

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Awakening Your Courage and Living Victoriously In Unsettled Times

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

Well we made it through winter weather-wise. However we now find ourselves in a winter of panic over toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

Feeling anxious, stressed-out, or down right panicked over what this Coronavirus is doing to our economy and it’s impact on your job?

Then I have 2 resources today that will help you – Fear Fighting, awakening courage to overcome your fears and Battle Ready, Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously, both by Kelly Balarie.

I was blessed to be a member of both book launch teams. Below are mini-reviews of the books with links to my original reviews.

You need Kelly Balarie’s books. They were written for such a time as this.

Fear Fighting

Fear Fighting, awakening courage to overcome your fears is a book that will remind you that God is with you no matter what you fear. Kelly tells you how to demolish 8 fear inducers, including worry.

She points out we need to do we need to do whatever it takes to give Jesus and the Holy Spirit access to our hearts.

It is by dwelling with the Spirit that we go about abiding in the Lord.

Kelly Balarie
Fear Fighting, awakening courage to OVERCOME your fears
Pge 108

And when you abide in the Lord, fear gets the boot.

Fear Fighting, awakening courage to OVERCOME your fears – by Kelly Balarie Link to my review

Battle Ready

I am writing this mini-review after being told I will have a new position at work. Learning something new is great and I am all for it. However, it is what I will be learning that has me anxious.

When I went through the book deciding what quote to feature when I came upon these words in chapter ten.

Warrior-Mindset Ten

Say “God Can, and I will Rest in That”

(Positivity)

Since the beginning of Lent, I have been sowing Isaiah 43:19 as my daily prayer because my life and job have seemed stale and I’ve felt stuck in the muck.

“See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”

After today’s announcement at work, I need to work on seeing new faith in me and my abilities and faith that God knows what He is doing with my career. “God can, and I will rest in that” is going to be my mantra as I learn the ropes of this new position.

Yes, God, I see you not only doing a new thing in my life and career but also prepping me to be Battle Ready.

Battle Ready, Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously by Kelly Balarie – Link to my reivew.

Final Thoughts

Whether it is the Coronavirus upsetting you, being quarantined with the hubby and kids for 14 days, experiencing a temporary layoff because of the virus, or some other fear, both Fear Fighting and Battle Ready will help you deal with this unsettling time.

Remember this:

The truth is you’re moving from glory to glory.

Kelly Balarie
Battle Ready, Train Your Mind To Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt, and Live Victoriously
pg 171

Hallelujah!

Rainbow Over Woods Behind House – June 2008 (photo by Michele Kearns)

The Legal Pad – All Links are non affiliate. However, I was privileged to be a part of Kelly’s launch team for both books. I did receive a free copy of Fear Fighting and Battle Ready.

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Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to inspire widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s currently using those skills as a virtual logistics contact center representative for a Fortune 100 company. She’s also managed call center teams, co-facilitated a grief support group, and helped small businesses with various writing assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, music, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Holiday Helps

It is 2:43 a.m. this morning as I write this post. I woke up and could not get back to sleep so I decided to get out of bed, light a virtual fireplace, and do some work on this blog.

There is a new page on the menu – “Holiday Helps.” It is filled with various articles, websites, music and book recommendations to help you get through the holiday season. There is something on this page for everyone, whether you are grieving or just stressed out from all the chaos.

There is also a sub-page, “Joy Filled Recipes” that contains links to unhealthy but extremely delicious recipes.

I will add to the pages as I find more resources or recipes that you will enjoy.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God – A Widow Rekindles Her History Joy

Ever since Joe’s passing I’ve been rediscovering and/or reinventing who I am. The first step was upgrading from film to a DSLR camera, the next step was reading books, then came unemployment followed by LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogging. That is what widowhood is all about – moving forward with creating a new life while not forgetting the old one.

Now I am on to rekindling an old flame – history.

This summer I read Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God; The Role Of Christianity In The American Revolution by Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.

History always fascinated me and was my best subject in school. Once I got out in the working world, my love of history did not occupy much of my time. My interest was slowly been rekindled over the past few years but has intensified this summer. History brings me joy.

However, in school I do not recall getting much of an education about Christianity’s role in our founding. My teachers may have casually mentioned it. So I did some research on Amazon about Christianity and our founding. Dr. Stackhouse Jr’s book was one of the search results and I found the title intriguing.

His book is packed or should I say stacked with quotes from and information about the founding fathers and their faith. There is so much information I found this post hard to write because I want to include everything.

Here is my best shot at a general overview with some quotes scattered through out.

The title of the book comes from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson proposed seal for the United States, which is on page 98 and the book’s cover.

They Had A Dream

The founding fathers had a dream, a dream of a country where man was not under the rule of tyrannical leaders imposing taxes on it’s citizens. A country of the people, by the people and for the people where man was free to choose and create his own destiny.

They Had Faith

But bringing this dream to life was in going to be what most would say is an impossible dream. However our founders had the faith to know that nothing is impossible with God.

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26
King James Version (KJV)

Their faith in God is the one thing that I quickly noticed when reading in the book. It was a strong faith, a passionate faith, a faith unlike what we see and experience today. These men KNEW their Bible and applied it to everyday life.

Our faith today is sterile, sanitized and bleached out. It’s too formal, to routine, to bland in fact it is down right too establishment-like. But that is a subject for another post.

#EarlyInfluencer

The Apostle Paul talks about submission to those in authority in Romans 13 as God put them there. It is generally interpreted as blind obedience to whoever is in authority.

However, Puritan minister Johnathan Mayhew (1720-1766) of the West Church in Boston gave a sermon on Romans 13 where he stated obedience to whoever is the ruler applies ONLY when the leader is being kind to his people. If he is imposing things, like taxes on tea, he is not being kind. Since he is not doing God’s will, we have a duty to rebel against the tyrant.

If it be our duty, for example, to obey our king, merely for this reason, that he rules for the public welfare, (which is the only argument the apostle makes use of) it follows, by a parity of reason, that when the turns tyrant, and makes his subjects his prey to devour and to destroy, instead of his charge to defend and cherish, we are bound to throw off our allegiance to him and to resist.

Johnathan Mayhew
Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH. D.
pg. 13

Mayhew’s sermon was given on the 51st anniversary of King Charles I’s execution after the English Civil war of the 1840’s.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (emphasis mine)

Matthew 22:37-39
King James Version (KJV)

Obviously imposing taxes or other nasty things on people is not loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Therefore we the people have the right to rebel against tyrannical rulers.

Preaching Politics

There were even sermons about politics preached from the pulpit in the pre-revolutionary war years. Sermons about God being almighty, powerful and the ultimate ruler. Understanding this puts into the power of kings and queens into perspective as they are mere mortals like the rest of us.

Knowing God is the almighty gave them courage to boldly proceed with the fighting for our right to be free from England and the tyrannical rule of King George III.

The Country’s One Foundation

American historian Henry F. May best explains the answer as to why Christianity played a role in our founding:

A great many people believed throughout the period that the religion of the Bible, understood best by simple people, was the safest foundation for all essential truths.

On the whole, various forms of Protestant Christianity served the emotional needs of most Americans better.

Henry F. May
American Historian and Margaret Byrne Professor Of History
University of California, Berkeley
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.
pg. 43

Christianity is about a loving God who wants a relationship with all of us because we are his children. However, we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. He sent Jesus down to rescue us because God knew we would never be able to work our way up to heaven. Our good deeds towards others prove we are saved by God’s grace.

It is that simple. And that is how I like my religion – simple. No fancy, foo-foo, frilly religion for me. Foo-foo belongs on evening and wedding gowns. Life was hard back in the 1700’s and is still hard now, therefore religion needs to be simple.

Christianity And The Declaration

With Biblical principles so entrenched in people’s minds it only made sense to use them in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

The Declaration of Independence
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.
pg. 60

The words were discussed and discussed until everyone could agree upon them because:

The Declaration had to be acceptable to all of the American People “if Congress expected them to live by it and die for it.” wrote Rod Gragg.

Forged in Faith How Faith Shaped the Birth of the Nation 1607 – 1776 by Rod Gragg
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D.
pg. 60

Dr. Stackhouse, Jr. points out that while Thomas Jefferson (writer of The Declaration) did not acknowledge a personal salvation experience, he agreed with Jesus’s teaching. He was also suspicious of religious institution and their leaders.

[Christ’s] system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime probably that ha sever been taught, and consequently more perfect than those of any of the antient philosophers.

Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Dr. Joseph Priestly
Rebellion Against Tyrants Is Obedience To God
Daniel S. Stackhouse, Jr. PH.D
pg 62

Guess it is a good thing you are not alive today, Thomas. There are a lot of preachers and religious leaders that you would cause you to raise an eyebrow. (By the way, antient is an archaic variation of the world ancient per Merriam Webster.)

“But Wait, There’s More!”

There is more information in this book than I can cover in this blog post – freedom of speech, the Great Awakening, and separation of church and state (spoiler: it does not mean what you think it means) are just a few topics I did not cover.

There are also more quotes from other men such as Benjamin Franklin, Pastor William Sherwood, and George Washington.

I highly recommend Dr. Stackhouse, Jr’s book Rebellion To Tyrants Is Obedience To God; The Role Of Christianity In The American Revolution. It is only 102 pages but the wisdom and knowledge in those pages is vast and profound.

In fact, it would make a great election year Bible Study.

“And The World Will Be Better For This”

It took courage and guts to work tirelessly at fighting for our freedom from England and establishing this country. Their effort is something that we take for granted today.

The world is better because of the founding fathers and their “marching into hell for a heavenly cause.”

To them and to God I humbly and simply say:

Thank you.

The Legal Pad: All links in this post are non-affiliate links.

Bio: Michele Kearns is the founder and HUG© (Hope Unites Globally) Award-Winner of JoyReturns. She shares her widowhood adventures hoping to encourage widows to move through grief and rebuild their lives. A graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, she’s used those skills while managing call center teams, co-facilitating a grief support group, and helping small businesses with various writing and administrative assignments. Michele is a bookworm, and a lover of history, chocolate, red roses, and golden retrievers. She is also the amateur photographer behind the blog OgleOhio.com

The Only Resource for “Discovering Love Online” (review)

Preparing Yourself For The Adventure

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and enter the world of online dating but have heard horror stories from friends and family that would cause Stephen King to have nightmares. Plus you do not know where to begin as there are so many dating sites your head spins like a merry-go-round.

Discovering Love Online: Love May Be Closer Than You Think: (Find the Love of Your Life Through Online Dating) by [Miller, Chuck]

Then Discovering Love Online, Love May Be Closer Than You Think by Chuck Miller is the practical resource you need in preparing for an enjoyable, successful adventure. In addition to his online dating experience, which led to him find his current wife Deb, Chuck was a singles ministry director for a number of years. His book is not only based on experience but a lot of research as well.

Chuck takes the guesswork out of what to do and where to begin. He does this by assuming you know nothing so he covers the basics, including grooming, manners, first impressions, and where to go on dates among numerous other topics.

He has a Master of Divinity degree so his Christian faith is mentioned throughout the book. Miller explains how his beliefs apply to dating and why his conservative values will help you when it comes time to meet someone in person.

While the book is filled with advice about online dating, it is also filled with age-old adages that are still true.

Where Do I Begin?

You begin at the very beginning with the age-old adage:

“Know Thy Self.”

Socrates

Because how can you know what to look for in a spouse if you do not know who you are, what you like and what your goals are in life. Part of this process may include personality assessments and even considering the advantages and disadvantages of staying single. There is nothing wrong with staying single as God designed everyone differently.

Part of the process of knowing yourself is determining your list of non-negotiables. These are items that are deal makers or breakers.

For example, potential non-negotiables could include: faith, whether someone is an animal lover, the political party they are affiliated with, are they a smoker or a drinker, and do they believe in tipping the pizza driver well.

This is just a partial list what could be non-negotiables. Your list of non-negotiable items will be different from anyone else’s since we are all unique individuals.

Paid vs Free

Another age-old adage that is still true today is:

You get what you pay for.

Chuck provides a brief summary and pros and cons, starting with Chemistry and ending with Zoosk, to help you determine which one is right for you. He does recommend choosing a paid site because people on those sites tend to be looking for long-term relationships.

Without passing judgment, the clientele on paid services tend to be more earnest in their efforts and more thorough and accurate in creating their profiles. I’ve experienced it first hand and so have many others seeking love online.

Chuck Miller
Discovering Love Online, Love May Be Closer Than You Think
pg 47


This is the person with whom you hope to spend the rest of your life.

Honesty Is The Best Policy

Once you’ve chosen a site, Chuck even tells you how to set up a winning profile. This includes what information to share and what not to share, photograph advice, answering questionnaires, and storytelling advice for your profile summary.

It is true today as it ever has been:

Honesty is the best policy.

There is no room for embellishment or flat out lying in your profile. It will come back to haunt you at some point in time. Be honest in who you are and what you do.

Also, he mentions that incomplete profiles are also not acceptable. Photo’s need to be there and be current, profile questions answered and basic information filled in.

Your dating profile is your online dating resume. You may wince and groan, but it is true. “Interviews” are granted based on the information contained in your profile. So if you do not want to end up in the shred pile, fill out your profile completely.

Not Just For Scouts

Chuck admits there are risks involved in meeting people you met online and encourages you to be extremely careful selecting people to meet offline.

However, he acknowledges these risks apply to people you are introduced to by friends, family or that you meet in the produce section or any other public place.

He also gives you tips on what to look for to determine a possible unsavory character whether they intend to take your money, cause physical or emotional harm.

So whether you choose online dating or meeting someone the old fashioned way –

Be Prepared.

Be prepared for anything. Have friends or family at the same coffee shop if you choose to meet there. You can never be too careful.

The Tip of the Iceberg

This is just a tiny bit of advice covered in Discovering Love Online. This book will help prepare you to find that special someone with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

Chuck did a wonderful job combining his faith, age-old adages, and advice in his book. I highly recommend this book if you or anyone you know are considering online dating. If you have any questions, his information is listed below.

Doubting Thomas?

Still not sure if this book is for you? Then check out The Do’s and Don’t of Successful Online Dating –  FREE through Valentine’s Day. It is a 38-page Kindle booklet that will help jump-start your search, give you an idea of the author’s writing style and information that you will find in Discovering Love Online. $2.99 through Valentine’s Day (Kindle).

Additional Resources

Website: Discovering Love Online

Propeller Cap, LLC | Independent Publishing With A Unique Spin

Blog: Discovering Love Online

Chuck’s Amazon Author’s page

The Legal Stuff

Author’s Note: Chuck Miller and I met when he attended GriefShare after his first wife’s death. I’ve seen him go from mourning to joy and that joy includes finding his current wife Deb (an absolute sweetheart) via online dating.

Disclaimer: I purchased the Kindle version and was given a free autographed copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All links are non-affiliate.

Widows: A Problem or A Calling?

 

My friend Ferree, from WidowsChristianPlace.com, posted One Widows Story: Widowhood Is Not A Mere Problem To Solve an article written by Lynda, one of Ferree’s Facebook friends.

The article tells the story about Lynda reading The Undistracted Widow, Living For God After Losing Your Husband by Carol W. Cornish. The book shed new light on being a widow – it is not a problem, but a calling. 

Wow! I understand that Joe’s timeline ended and mine did not, however I would have never used the word “calling” to describe being a widow. Calling is what happens to men and women who become pastors.

I was intrigued by the concept, and used my Amazon gift card from last Christmas to order the book. (Yes, it is mid-April and I still have an Amazon gift card from last Christmas.)

Appendix 2

Once it arrived I looked at the table of contents and was intrigued by Appendix 2 – The Local Church and Its Widows. Ms. Cornish nails the topic and opened my eyes to a different way of seeing churches (more on that later).

I’ve since started reading from the beginning and a full review of The Undistracted Widow will be published once I finish it.

A Nun Named Maria

Are you a nun named Maria?

Me neither.

Then we are not a problems to be solved.

For some reason we were called to be widows, called for such a time as this. Now how are we going to glorify God in this season of our lives?

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14

(ESV)

 

 

 

A Review: Social Media Explained by Mark W. Schaefer

I entered a contest through an email for a chance to win a copy of “Social Media Explained, Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend.”  Well I won, which means there is a little piece of hell freezing over because I don’t normally win contests.

I agreed to let Mark know what I thought of the book. After reading it, I got this post 3/4 done when life got in the way. I am sorry Mark for not finishing this sooner.

So without further adieu, here is my opinion of Mark Schaefer’s book.

“Social Media Explained”

Suffering from grief deciding if you should use Social Media?

Suffering from grief because of a social media plan gone bonkers?

Then Mark W. Schaefer’s book “Social Media Explained, Untangling the World’s Most Misunderstood Business Trend” is for you. 

At 133 pages, this book is a quick easy read and packed full of valuable information.

The book is divided into 3 sections:

  • The Five Most Important Things You Need to Know about Social Media Marketing.
  • The Five Most Difficult Questions You’ll Face.
  • A Social Media Primer.

In these three sections you will find everything you need to know about social media presented in a clear and concise manner. Schaefer covers why you should use social media, content being a revolution, the dreaded “Should and/or how do we measure social media?”, how to handle negative comments, and where to start with social media.

He also tells you what makes a good Community Manager, because larger companies will need this person.

I was so blown away by what I was learning that I emailed the owner of the marketing company I do freelance work for and told her to get this book since she trains her clients on social media.

The information in this book applies to large and small businesses and can be adapted to job search as well.  After all a job seeker is a business of one trying to sell his or her skills to a new client (employer).

Not only does Mark explain social media but he includes a story about how a business client used this information to reignite a stagnant relationship with a business client.

Whether you are a small, medium or large company, get this book before you dive into social media.  If you are already social, this book will help you improve your game.

Thanks Mark for writing a book about social media that anyone can understand and for selecting me a recipient of a copy.

For more information check out Mark’s other books “The Tao of Twitter” and “Return On Influence” and for my fellow bloggers “Born to Blog: Building Your Blog for Personal and Business Success One Post At A Time.”

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