SBG daily ~ Shar-ities

I’ve got the new computer set up and running and got the old one set up in the living room for the kids.  Then ran into a problem.  Apparently, while my cable acct says I get two lines, there’s only one hole on the back of the modem.  So, either I get a splitter and run 2 computers on it, which probably won’t work, or I have to go get a new modem for in there and pay an extra 4 dollars a month.  Nothing’s ever easy.

AND, trying to get back into the habit of everything is dificult, too.  I just remembered, “Oh yeah… My Google Reader!” and I’ve got 156 posts to get through now, not to mention totally spacing the SBG SBG coverdaily yesterday, Booking Through Thursday and Friday Fill-ins.  And I’ve been spaced out with reading.  I’ve only managed to read 1/2 a manga book last week and about 25 pages of Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg.  Well, anyway…

Today’s daily is the last one and I want to give everyone a chance to leave a link to their favorite charities in the comments.  Be they local, national, or international, online or off, what are some of your favorite charities?

Here are a few of mine:

Emmaus Mission Center is very close to my heart.  At one point in time, my girls and I were homeless.  We stayed at the Emmaus shelter for three months while I took the time to save money and get my brains screwed in straight.  If they hadn’t been there, I don’t know where I’d be today.  Besides a shelter, they also have a girls’ home and a boys’ home, a benevolent center, food pantry, Birthright Center, and a Hispanic help center.

FreeRice.comis a fun website where you answer trivia questions and win a  grain of rice per correct answer.  The rice you win will then be donated to help fight starvation around the world.  Sammi, my oldest introduced the site to me, and I can tell you, from experience, that there is a maximum number of correct answers a day, but it takes like 3 or 4 hours to get there.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a great example of how kind acts can be contagious.  On this site you’ll be able to get ideas of things you can do, as well as report the good deeds you yourself have done.  You can also get together a team.

Feeding America, formerly America’s Second Harvest, uses monetary donations to buy food and get the food to local food banks where it can be distributed to those in need.  Whereas FreeRice.com is global, Feeding America, as the the name implies, is a domestic charity.

I have so many more charity links, but they are on the old computer and I haven’t even started the process of transferring the data yet.  But now you can help out your favorite charities by sharing a link to them so we can all check them out.

SBG daily ~ Right Place, Right Time

SBG coverBusy busy busy!  I’ve just hooked up my new birthday computer and ordered Pizza Hut for supper.  My hands were filthy from all the dust bunnies that had collected in the old computer and under all the snakes (wires).  I took off the cover on the old tower and cleaned all the dust and fuzz out of it, which must’ve been at least an inch thick.  Maybe that’s why it was running slow?  THIS is the first post written on my new computer, and I must say YAY!! :-)

So, today’s Something Beyond Greatness daily post is a continuation of yesterdays, or rather, an expounding of it.  In the book, the authors give a formula for greatness.  One part is the ability to see with love, to see the person you’re helping as a person belonging to you in some way.  For instance, when you see the commercial of the child scrounging through the garbage for dinner, do you see a child who needs help and are moved to do something?  Or, and this is the category I fall in, do you see a camera crew who has dinners provided, a host trying to convince you to send him (or her) money so they can “help” them (they’ll give a kid a sandwich, and take the rest of the money to Rio, I bet).  Okay, so the commercials don’t work on me, but I help the missions at church and “adopted” a child or two in Uganda and Brazil.

A second part of the equation is what I talked about yesterday, Instrument Consciousness.  Being open and willing to be used to do a kind act.  I ran into the house, even though it was on fire, and pushed the people out the door.  The third part is that of Destiny, fate, or the design of the supreme being, God’s Will.  Being in the right place at the right time.  This is the part we’re discussing today.  It’s this part that’s the most humbling of the process and what makes a person an instrument and NOT a hero.

For a long time, and even now, so many things about that night just leaves me in awe… not of what I did, but of the odds that I was even able to help.   First off, I was on the phone with my mom at that time of night, because the cell service I had provided free calls after 9 at night.  That particular night, I was even later than normal to call because the kids were late to bed.  Normally, I would have been inside and in bed by then.  I was outside on the porch talking because I have a weird Bermuda cell zone in my house and I had to go outside to get reception.  I had moved my chair to where I was sitting because the door we had been using (our house has 2 front doors) had gotten stuck in the frame and we couldn’t use it and I had slid the lawn chair in front of the stuck door. 

Now, all that put me in the right spot on my front porch to see the glow of the fire between the houses across from me.  Six inches either way, and I would’ve only seen the houses.  AND it put me on the porch at the right time to have seen it.  Add to it that I’m nosy by nature and HAD to check out the weird light, and I was in the right place at the right time.

Now, at that time of night, the neighbors hadn’t noticed because first shift workers were in bed and those on the second shift were still at work and wouldn’t have seen it for another hour at least.  So, if I hadn’t been in that exact spot on my porch at that time, the kids whose bedrooms were on the second floor would’ve been overcome by smoke and possibly died, if they had had to wait for second-shifters to come home and call 911.

It’s all the what ifs and maybes, the overwhelming amount of coincidences (if you believe in coincidences like that) that humble me and leave me in awe.  I wasn’t a hero.  I was in the right place at the right time and I had no choice, I had to act.  I had to help.  To choose to walk away would’ve been unthinkable.  The lady hugged me and cried and held on to me for a good fifteen minutes.  In the end, there was no mention of me in the papers, no ceremony or parade in my honor.  I think the firemen who do that sort of thing ON PURPOSE as a career are real heroes.  The people going UP the stairs on September 11, 2001 while everyone was going down, away from the blazing, steel-warping inferno… those people are heroes.  People who join the military to protect their county and help to bring freedom to others, they are the real heroes.

So, has there ever been a time where you were in the right place at the right time to help someone?

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Something Beyond Greatness, and comment here for an extra entry

SBG daily ~ Running into a Burning Building

SBG coverMy apologies for being late with this post.  Today’s been a busy day here with appointments, lunch, the library, the post office… It’s nice and cool and I really should be mowing and cleaning and doing yard work… Wow, I’m wore out just thinking about it!  But before I go to work… or lay down and nap (praying for rain… it’s a good excuse), I wanted to get this Something Beyond Greatness Daily Post in.

One of the things that was discussed in the book was how people who do heroic acts of kindness, like jump in freezing water to save a drowning person or stand up against a group of bullies to protect another, just do it.  They don’t think about whether they’ll die from hypothermia or take the other person’s beating.  It just seemed like the right and often only choice.  In the book, the author’s call this having an Instrument Consciousness.  Your ego steps aside which allows you to be open to be guided by God (fate, destiny, The Force) to do great things.

My own personal experience with this happened a couple years ago.  I was sitting on the front porch around 11 pm, talking to my mom on my cell phone.  I happened to notice a strange orange glow through the clouds over the hill across the street.  At first, I thought it was just the moon trying to shine through, but the intensity of the light waxed and waned, and it just wasn’t right.  Being of a curious *translation: NOSY* nature, I got up and began walking up the street toward it.

What it turned out to be was a house with the attic area engulfed in flames.  I had been telling my mom about investigating the weird glow, and suddenly said, “Mom, I gotta go.  The house is on fire.”  I was running by then and dialing 911 on the phone (btw, 911 on a cell goes to a nat’l center and you tell them the emergency then they redirect your call to your local authorities.  Save time, program the local number in the phone.)  While I was on with the operator, telling them the address of the house, I was running in to rouse the sleeping inhabitants. 

Imagine.  I didn’t knock on the door, I just busted in.  I’m  yelling, “Get out!  Your house is on fire!” and wrenching people from their beds.   Yelling to the mom, “Is there anyone else?  Is there anyone upstairs?  What can I grab for you?”  I didn’t think about manners, or LAWS, I broke in!  But there wasn’t any other choice.  It was impossible to turn and go home.  It was impossible to knock politely and inform them.  I didn’t suggest they exit the burning building.  I pushed them out.

I don’t tell you this because I’m bragging about being a hero.  Does it make me a hero when I had no choice?  I was only an instrument.

What acts of kindness have you done when there didn’t seem to be another choice?

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Something Beyond Greatness, and comment here for an extra entry

SBG daily ~ The Ripple Effect of Greatness

SBG coverThis week I’ll be posting about topics inspired by reading Something Beyond Greatness by Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine.  Today, I’d like to focus on how we get inspired to acts of kindness by watching others giving of themselves.

In chapter 9, “The Ripple Effect of Greatness,” the authors discuss how acts of kindness are contagious to those who observe them.  It makes sense, of course, when a child grows up with domestic abuse, that child is more likely to grow up to be an abuser or victim. 

 

Witnessing a good deed creates emotions of warmth, positivity, optimism, compassion and a desire to act.  In the book, these feelings are called “elevation.”

However, one doesn’t have to see the act first hand to get the effects.  You can read an inspirational book or news item, or watch a movie of people going above and beyond to help.  Even a TV commercial can inspire us to act.

Some of the most inspirational books and movies I’ve read that got me off my butt and helping were:

  • We Are Marshall~ How can you gripe about the little irritations and wanna give up after watching this movie (and Matthew McConaughey is a cutie).
  • The Bible ~ Yes, definitely The Bible, lookit… Esther, Jesus, Paul and so many more who put their life on the line, literally DIED to help others.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, how can you NOT be inspired by them?
  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer ~ Bonhoeffer’s life in general, and this book especially, forces me to step up and get real, not to just whine about it.  I think he’s one of the under-appreciated heroes of WWII.

What movies or books have you seen or read that inspired you?

Don’t forget to enter to win a copy of Something Beyond Greatness, and comment here for an extra entry ;-)

Something Beyond Greatness by Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine

SBG coverTitle:  Something Beyond Greatness:  Conversations With a Man of Science and a Woman of God

Authors:  Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine

Paperback:  122 pages

ISBN:  9780757307812

Pull up a chair and prepare to be inspired as the Something Beyond Greatness TLC Book Tour pulls in for a stop In the Shadow of Mt. TBR :-)

First off, I have to say that when I first read about this book, I was expecting something different.  I had understood it to be a book of tales of heroism in the face of danger, stories of people who stood up for what’s right without thought for the consequences, stories of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ghandi and everyday people.  While it did have a few stories in it, it was more a book about the recipe for such people.

[Great acts have] three elements: (1)seeing with love, (2) acting from the heart, and (3) the mystery of destiny -right place, right time. -page 20

At first, I didn’t think this book was much.  At times it was difficult for me to retain what was being said, which may have to do with the fact it’s been hot and I had walked to the library in the heat to read it there.  But the crazy thing about it is that the info pops out and says boo! now as I’m watching the news, movies, or reading.  There’s this little voice in the back of my mind that analyzes events I encounter through what I’ve read.  AND the whole time reading it, every heroic act I’ve seen or heard or done popped up for application or proof of what I was reading.

The person who will step into greatness must see the others with love, compassion, and concern.  He or she will have a sense of “mine” towards them.  Then he or she must be able to sense or see the way through to help.  Third, this person must have the will to step out and do it.  Usually, this will is recalled by the person afterwards as more of a compulsion, “I just did what anyone else would do.”

Every human being writes a small page in history; every human being -irrespective of how big or how small- writes a small page.  That is real human history. -page 19

My first impulse was to give this book three stars, but after watching it ooze and stew and bubble, I’m thinking it’s much more effective than I first thought and I’m going to give Something Beyond Greatnessby Judy Rodgers and Gayatri Naraine 4 out of 5 stars.

Additional resources for this book are:

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And now, because I think this book is very much a worthwhile read… and, because I somehow got a second book :-)We’re gonna have  a giveaway for a new copy!

This giveaway will be open until 11:59 pm, Saturday July 4th, 2009 with the winner to be announced on next week’s Sunday Salon post (July 5th).  Contest is open worldwide :-D , as long as you’ve got an address for me to slap on the packaging, you’re welcome to enter!

  1. To enter, leave a comment here letting me know you’d like to win a copy.  This will count as your official entry.
  2. Each day this coming week I will be posting something pertaining to the book, one day will be about stories you’ve heard that inspired you, inspirational movies, acts of greatness you yourself have done or witnessed, etc.  When you comment on the daily posts, you’ll earn a bonus entry!
  3. Post this contest on your blog and leave the link here for an extra entry
  4. Tweet about it, make sure to use @koolaidmom so it’ll show up on my TweetDeck, or leave the link of your update, for an aditional bonus entry.
  5. If you do all the above, commenting everyday, blogging it and tweeting, that’ll be 8 entries and I’ll add 2 more as a bonus, giving you 10 chances to win :-) (This post is technically a Monday post for June 29th)

Good Luck!

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Title:  The 19th Wife

Author:  David Ebershoff

Hardcover:  507 pages

Date Published:  2008

Publisher:  Random House

ISBN:  9781400063970

Twenty minutes later we were outside the Chevron, eating a sack of microwaved burritos.  ‘Now I know who you are,” said Johnny.  “But remind me:  why’d you get kicked out?”

“I was caught alone with one of my stepsisters.  What about you?”

“I was listening to the Killers.  It wasn’t even my disc, it was my brother’s.  But they caught me.  I don’t even like the Killers.”

That wasn’t the real reason.  They get rid of the boys to take away the competition.  With no boys around, the old men have the girls to themselves.

-The 19th Wifeby David Ebershoff, page 96

In The 19th Wife, David Ebershoff switches back and forth from the story of Ann Eliza Young, 19th wife of Brigham Young and his only EX, and the mystery behind the murder of Jordan’s father.   Jordan’s mother, wife number 19,  sits in jail, accused of shooting her polygamist husband, insists she is innocent.  Jordan believes her and sets about to discover the truth, which ends up being a lot more convoluted than he thought possible.

One of the interesting things about this book is how the two seemingly unrelated stories of the two 19th wives were used to not only display how such a lifestyle can be possible in the 21st century but how such a belief system came to be.  It gives the history behind the “Revelation” of plural marriage through the eyes a Sister Wife, and how the practice affected the whole family.

How this book affected me:

I couldn’t help but get angry again and again while reading it.  For one, it boggles my brain how any woman with half the sense God gave a house plant would tolerate such a practice.  I don’t mean that I don’t understand it on an intellectual level, the book does an excellent job of showing how it was a progressive thing, but at a heart level I can’t believe (it scares me to think it possible) that a woman would say, “Why yes, you have my permission to objectify me and treat me like livestock.  Then, when my daughters are older, you can passel them out to their uncles and other men three times their age to be chattel.  It sounds like a lovely set up!” 

No, I learned the history of it, that a man decided to use his position as a leader to cover up his own leachery by saying, “God said” then made his followers eternal salvation contigent upon their following along because if everyone’s doing it then it’s not as bad.  Then the powers that were discovered that if they kept the women breeding their numbers and voting power would be formidable.  Also, the idea of the man being king of his castle and serviced and waited upon by as many women as he wants, doing whatever he wants, would bring in flocks of them in a time when men were the only ones with legislative powers.

To be honest, I haven’t finished this book yet, I’m not even halfway through.  But I will continue to read it because it’s very compelling and well-written.  I want to know how 5 will fare… Why did she lie about not being there the night her step father was killed?  Will Queenie get caught? or will she escape the Firsts?  Did Jordan’s mom do it? Will she be found guilty?  What’s the lawyer’s, Mr. Heber’s, real angle and why does he seem to want her to be guilty?  Is there really unrest within the Firsts? And how did Ann Eliza become the 19th wife of Brigham Young?  I can’t put it down… I wish life would leave me be to read it, though.

Well written, intriguing and, best of all, inspires conversations and further study, The 19th Wifeby David Ebershoff is an excellent book.  I give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

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And NOW for the good stuff…. 

How would you like to win a copy of The 19th Wife? 

To enter, leave a comment telling me you’d like a chance to win :-)  Contest ends 11:59 pm, June 23, with the winner announced at the beginning of next week’s Viral Video Wednesday post (June 24th).

 

Tweet, blog and email about this contest for an extra entry each.

Free Books and an Award, WINNING ROCKS!

You are a winner!!!!

 

Who doesn’t want to hear those four words?  I’ve been hearing them a lot in the last couple weeks and I’ve gotten behind a bit on sharing it, not to mention I have the Great Goblins! Giveaway winner to announce!

First, I’ve got a funny story to tell…  It would seem that it has been decided by the book gods that I MUST read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson, because I’ve won it three times now in three different blog giveaways of it (I only accepted the first one and asked the other two to draw another name so someone else could enjoy it :-) )  Thank you Joystory, Fresh Ink Books, and Gramma’s Reads for  hosting these giveaways :-)

The latest book giveaway that I won was for Shanghai Girls by Lisa See from Devourer of Books.  I have both Peony In Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but haven’t gotten to them as yet, and I think I’m waiting to just have a big Asian book read-a-thon or something… lol.  Thanks Jen!

One book that I was uber-geeked out about since I first saw it’s banner in Shelf Awareness, then saw the website and trailer for it, is BoneMan’s Daughter by Ted Dekker.  So I was doing the happy dance when The Literate Housewife announced she was hosting a giveaway for the book.  When I saw my name as one of the winners, I actually screamed with joy… Missy, my little rat terrier, came running to see if her mommy was okay, even.  Thank you, Jennifer! :-D

AND I’d like to say THANKS! to texasheartland of Texas Banter Book Reviews for giving me this lovely award:

The Literary Blogger Award

Here are the details of this award:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Okay…. comfy and warm inside?  Well… I’d say winning books there makes me feel warm and comfy inside, so all the afore mention bloggers are 5 of my nominees, and for the other 4 of the “up to nine” I’m going to stretch a little :-)

  • Lost In Books – great blog and great Twit :-D (which is not an insult, ;-) )
  • Must Read Faster – relatively new blogger, just a month since she popped her blog’s cherry :-)  She is learning fast, reading fast, and tweeting fast :-)
  • Wrighty Reads – a LibraryThing friend, fellow Zombie Chicken blogger, and, most importantly, fellow left-hander!  YaY! for LEFTIES!
  • Books and Movies –  Carrie’s Blogroll is a directory of the best blogs in the blogosphere :-)  (and yes, Mt. TBR is on it ;-) )

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And now for the Great Goblin! Giveaway winner…

I cannot tell y’all how much fun, absolute and plain FUN, I had reading Goblins!  And I was happy that there were so many entries to win it… if only I had a copy for everyone who entered!  But, alas… I only have one to give away.  And the winner of that copy is….

Carrie K.

 

There are two more book giveaways coming soon, one for The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy and one for The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, so keep an eye out for those announcements!

Thanks to everyone who visits Mt. TBR, to my fellow LTers, BookMoochers, PBS’ers and Tweeps.  Y’all make reading and blogging so much fun!

MWAH!! Thank ya!

MWAH!! Big Kisses of THANKS!

 

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