Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dental Woes: Falling Through the Cracks

I am quite annoyed. Those who were readers of this blog last year may recall my ongoing horrific experience throughout 2013 with Bellevue dentist Dr. Jamie Gross who tried to force a crown on that did not fit before finally taking a new impression and then forced the 2nd crown on although it didn't fit well either. The pain was terrible, and I think I was x-rayed SIX (6) times in ONE (1) sitting one of the times she kept trying to force the first crown on.

Following that, I developed consistent pain that she addressed by filing and more filing as well as not seeing me on a couple of occasions. 4 months later it turned out I had had a serious infection from around the time she started trying to force that crown on me which finally bored through the tooth, root, bone and tissue and started expelling infection into my mouth. Dr. Gross was not able to do a root canal and told me I needed to go get one. 

I owed Dr. Gross somewhere around $1400 at the time for the crown and a couple of cavities and was still paying off flood debt so I had to go through Interfaith Dental Clinic who referred me to Endodontic Associates who performed the root canal on Feb. 11, 2014.

The crown came off last week, and I contacted Dr. Freeman at Endodontic Associates on Jan. 13 since I had a follow-up visit scheduled with him on Jan. 20. Dr. Freeman referred me back to Interfaith since he didn't do the original crown and he canceled our appointment. At that point the crown just needed to be re-attached and I had pushed it back in place. However, it came off again while I was chewing a couple of days ago, and this time it broke.

On Jan. 14, Interfaith set the appointment for 6 pm tonight, but when I got there, they said the crown did not fall under their emergency plan and that they weren't responsible. So, Dr. Freeman isn't responsible, Interfaith isn't responsible, and it took months to pay Dr. Jamie Gross for the terrible job she did on the LAST crown. I am sure not going back to HER. So, I am at square 1 again after all that trouble. And.Very.Frustrated.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Birthdays Of Christian Artists - Month By Month List of Gospel Music Birthdays

MercyMe and me photo property of Kathryn Darden

Do you enjoy Christian or gospel music? You may have and not known it as artists like Sixpence None the Richer, Mercy Me, Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay, Vince Gill, Pat Boone, Sir Cliff Richard and others have had their songs featured  on Top 10 Pop lists and other music lists for several decades. Have you ever wondered when your favorite gospel artist was born? Find out when your favorite Christian artists celebrates his or her birthday here!

So, when do your favorite gospel artists celebrate their birthdays? There is no need to wonder any more!   Features Matthew West, Jeremy Camp, Kirk Franklin, Elvis Presley, Todd Agnew, Michael English, Michael Tait, Chris Tomlin, Bebo Norman, Sandy Patti, Kevin Max, BeBe Winans, Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Toby Mac, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Natalie Grant and more.

January birthdays of gospel artists include: Jeremy Camp, Kirk Franklin, Nichole Nordeman, Elvis Presley, Nicole C Mullen, Matt Odmark, Rachael Lampa, Dolly Parton and many more. Ful llist at: What gospel artists were born in January? Jeremy Camp, Kirk Franklin, Phil Joel, Elvis Presley...

February birthdays of Christian artists include: George Beverly Shea, John Schlitt, Brian Littrell, Johnny Cash, Geoff Moore and many more. Complete list at: What gospel artists were born in February? Johnny Cash, John Schlitt, Brian Littrell, Geoff Moore

March gospel artist birthdays include: Randy Stonehill, Marvin Winans, Todd Agnew, Tiffany Arbuckle, Bryan Duncan, Stacie Orrico, Grover Levy, Phil Keaggy and many more. Full list at What gospel artists were born in March? Randy Stonehill, Todd Agnew, Stacie Orrico, Denise Jones....

April gospel artist birthdays include: Matthew West, Tammy Trent, Michael English, Mark Stuart, Michael Card, Andrew Shirley, Jennifer Knapp and many others. Full list of April artist birthdays at: What gospel artists were born in April? Matthew West, Michael English, Mark Stuart, Al Green, more

May birthdays of gospel music artists include: Michael Tait, Chris Tomlin, Bebo Norman, Derek Webb, Tonex and many others. Find more May birthdays at: What gospel artists were born in May? Michael Tait, Chris Tomlin, Bebo Norman, Derek Webb, more

June birthdays of Christian artists include: Andy Griffith, Pat Boone, Cindy Morgan, Nicole C. Mullen, Chris Rice and more. List of artist birthdays at: What gospel artists were born in June? Andy Griffith, Chris Rice, Pat Boone, more

July gospel artist birthdays include: Andraé Crouch, Sheila Walsh, Larnelle Harris, Sandy Patti, Ricky Skaggs, Rebecca St. James and more! Full birthday list at: What gospel artists were born in July? Rebecca St. James, Sandy Patti, Dino...

August birthdays of Christian artists include: Kevin Max, Gary Chapman, Michael O'Brien, Yolanda Adams and more. Full list at:  What gospel artists were born in August? Kevin Max, Yolanda Adams, Gary Chapman...

September birthdays of gospel artists include: Darlene Zschech, Crystal Lewis, BeBe Winans, Mark Schultz and more. Details at: What gospel artists were born in September? Darlene Zschech, Mark Hall, more

October birthdays of Christian artists include: Michael W. Smith, CeCe Winans, Toby Mac, Jaci Velasquez, Mandisa,  Rich Mullins, Sir Cliff Richard (October 14,1940) and more. What gospel artists were born in October? Michael W. Smith, Mandisa, TobyMac, CeCe Winans, more

November birthdays of gospel artists include: Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michelle Tumes, Donnie McClurkin, Dallas Holm and more. Complete list at: What gospel artists were born in November? Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Michelle Tumes, more

December birthdays of Christian artists include: Natalie Grant, Bart Millard, Mac Powell, Kim Hill and more. Full list at: What gospel artists were born in December? Natalie Grant, Bart Millard, Mac Powell, Kim Hill, more.

If you know someone who is celebrating a birthday, why not forward their birthday month link to them? While links are appreciated, please do not copy my lists.

Thank you for reading and sharing the link to this article. If you want to share this info, please share the link.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Black Friday Becomes Bless Friday | Christian Activities

Since 2010, Houston area churches have provided an alternative to frenzied Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. 

article at Black Friday Becomes Bless Friday | Christian Activities

Friday, August 15, 2014

Monkey Man Terrorizes Simians at India Railway Station

Lucknow Railway Station Hires a Monkey-Man to Control Local Monkeys: Sometimes Truth Really is Stranger Than Fiction

When I was a child, my father was stationed at the US Embassy in New Delhi, India, where we lived for three years. I have always been fascinated with India, so after I graduated from college and spent several years working in sales, I went back to India for a three-week tour. India is home to many strange things: snake charmers, sword-swallowers, wandering holy men, maimed beggars, and other oddities that can be a little overwhelming to Westerners.
However, my scariest moment came when I was opening a package of film to put in my camera, and a monkey attacked me, thinking the rattling sound was food. I wasn't injured except for a few small scrapes, as the monkey climbed me all the way to the top of my head where he grabbed the film out of my hand and took off. Monkeys are a problem in many parts of India; they are no longer afraid of humans, because they have learned that where humans are, there is also food. This has become a huge problem in many areas, leading to unusual solutions/

Monkey Man Terrorizes Simians at India Railway Station--Seekyt

One of the strangest stories in recent years has been the Monkey Man of
the Lucknow train station. At the Lucknow railway station in Charbagh,
India, the large monkey population had become such a nuisance that
railway officials were forced to take drastic measures to protect their
passengers and their property. Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar
Pradesh, the most populous state of India, and the busy Lucknow railway
station was home to thousands of pesky simians. The monkeys roamed the
large facility at will, damaging the station, ripping train seats, and
stealing food from the passengers.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Myth of the Direct Selling Personality

My Miss Katy: still loved; still missed.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have mentioned Rodan + FIelds to someone who has replied, "Yes, but you have the personality for it. I don't have the Direct Selling Personality.

These people don't KNOW me. They have no idea I was so shy in elementary school I hid in the bushes next to the playground during recess EVERY DAY in 4th and 5th grade so the more outgoing kids wouldn't bully me. They don't know that for FORTY YEARS, I was not invited to my own high school reunion because I was so shy and quiet in school, apparently no one remembered me.

These are people who don't know that for over 20 years, I published my own local magazine from my home with only my sweet dog for company, because I was perfectly happy quietly working from home by myself. They don't know I wrote for several publications from home after my print publication closed, because I was introverted and preferred to be with my little dog rather than with an office crowd.

These are people who don't know the bite of hunger or the fear you might soon find yourself homeless because of back-to-back natural disasters that deplete your life's savings, retirement, emergency funds and every dollar you own.

They don't know what it is like to hold your beloved 17-year-old companion, pet and writing buddy in your lap -- alone at night -- and watch her slowly die because YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE EMERGENCY VET, and no one has been stepping forward to offer any help with the bills, not even the church where you had finally asked for aid when the money ran out. 

They must NOT know these horrors or they would understand that when you have lost all your money, resources and your precious companion, you either give up, or you beg your friends for money -- or you ask them to encourage you as you start a new business -- one where you have to step outside your comfort zone and learn to be more outgoing, but where you have the opportunity to get behind something you believe in and START YOUR LIFE OVER.

So, please spare me any references to the Direct Selling Personality. The only Direct Selling Personality I know about is the one that says:
"Don't give up. Pick up the pieces and start over no matter how scary your new road might be."

If you want to know about the Direct Selling opportunity that helped me turn my life around, let's connect!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jesus Was in Direct Sales: The Gospel of Direct Selling

Joseph the Carpenter by Georges de La Tour 
It's amazing how many people are willing to BUY things that are sold, but somehow "selling" and "direct selling" are dirty words! Guess who has been involved in Direct Sales? Almost everyone in the "good ol' days" before things like national retail chains, malls and the internet. This includes many people in Biblical times, like Jesus.

Direct Selling in Days Gone By

Yes, back in those long-ago days we look on with such nostalgia, farmers sold their eggs and produce  directly to the consumer. Dairies delivered milk directly to their customer's doors. Cobblers measured and sold their shoes, seamstresses and tailors measured/made/and sold clothes -- you guessed it -- directly to consumers. 

Methods of Direct Selling

Olden-days entrepreneurs sold their wares from carts, from tents, from boats, from the backs of donkeys, at makeshift markets, and from their cabins and houses or in their customers' homes for generation upon generation. In colonial times and earlier, direct selling was probably the most common form of selling,  because many people had little or no access to cities and stores. People commonly sold goods to each other and used the barter system. Even in rural communities today, direct selling of home-made and home-grown goods is commonplace.

The Gospel of Direct Sales

The Bible tells us Joseph, the father of Jesus, was a carpenter (tekton) and the gospel of Marks says Jesus was also a carpenter. Guess what carpenters do? They sell their services or they sell their products -- directly to consumers. Jesus and his disciples were also fishermen. Guess what they did with all those fish??? They SOLD them -- more than likely straight to the consumers. Oh, the SHAME of it!!!

But the "good news" is there is NO shame in it.

Definition of Direct Selling

Direct selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location 
So, where is the shame in that?

Benefits of Direct Marketing

With direct sales, you aren't dealing with a clerk who has no authority, no ownership and frequently no interest--you are dealing directly with a small business owner--someone who takes pride in his products and his business and who is INVESTED in the business and in marketing his products to build a relationship in order to build a business. 

So the next time you say "direct sales" with a condescending tone or like it is somehow less reputable than other professions -- like lawyers, politicians and IRS agents for instance -- slap yourself in the face and save me the trouble!

Direct Selling Opportunities

Since more and more workers with tenure are losing jobs in major businesses and industries --everything from accountants to retail clerks, from factory workers to teachers -- direct selling is proving to be a very viable business model. It is the oldest,  most reputable and usually the most profitable form of selling, after all. If you would like to know more about a great direct sales opportunity in skin care, partnering with the dermatologists who created Proactive, contact me!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Christian Poets Pen Blog for Inspiring Poetry

There's a blog especially for Blogger/Blogspot poets who write poems from a Christian perspective.Christian Poet's Pen is a great place for Christian poets to publish their poems and get feedback from other Christian writers. Membership is free and each poet gets his or her own personal profile page. If you like to read inspirational poetry, you can also sign up to be a follower and read new poems as they are published. There are already several respected poets contibuting who have been published in numerous anthologies, newsletters, websites and books.

Christian Poet's Pen has a long history. Started in the early 1990s as a bi-monthly print newsletter, Christian Poet's Pen was published for several years, publishing poems and passing along tips, before becoming a section on the website in 1999. For the past decade, the Poets Pen page on has provided a consistant voice for Christian poets.
However, with the advent of blogs where an entire community of posters can share and publish content, the opportunity arose for Christian poets to post their own poems and give feedback to other poets without having to go through an administrator or webmaster. Thus, the Christian Poet's Pen, blog was born in October of 2008.
Poets who want to contribute a poem need only find the comments link under any poem and share their poem as a comment. However, to become a regular contributor a poet must contribute at least two poems in the comments section, as well as become a follower of the blog. Contributing poets will also need to set up a free blogspot profile. After a poet has become a follower and contributed several poems and/or news, more than likely, he or she will be invited to become a contributing writer.
Contributing writers can publish their poems and news as regular blog posts, as well as insert images and edit their posts whenever they need to make a change. Contributing writers are also encouraged to post constructive comments for other writers as well as share news about poetry publications and other news of interest to poets. The Poet's Pen site also features original photographs from contributing poets as well as a section of links to the websites or individual blogs of contributing poets. It is a great place to gain exposure and get the word out about your poetry!
There is no payment for posting a poem, but poets do have the opportunity to join a network of other Christian poets, receiving constructive criticism and more visibility. In addition, contests are planned on the site in the future.
All poets hold the copyrights to their own poems and must be contacted individually for permission to reprint poems.
Come check out Christian Poet's Pen. Enjoy the poems that are there, become a follower, and share a poem or two. You will find a community of Christian poets who are always glad to make a new friend. Write on!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Gospel Music & Entertainment News

 What's going on in the gospel music industry in July?

Find out more at: 
Kathryn Darden - Nashville Gospel Music & Entertainment Examiner - Music Examiner

Friday, July 4, 2014

Journey to the Sea - Poems Inspired by 'The Lord of the Rings'


A Man like You & Journey to the Sea

~ A Man like You ~
A poem about temptation and the corrupting influence of power inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's Witchking in "The Lord of the Rings"

Once I rode a pony small;
I sat upon my father's knee.
My mother sang fair lullabies
And placed her warm arms around me.
My father said, "Be strong! Be brave!
And strive to win whate'er you do."
I scarce remember, just in dreams
That once I was a man like you.
Once my father passed away,
And I ascended to the throne,
My mother said, "Be strong. Be brave,
And make this kingdom now your own."
I took the sword. I chose the blade
And wielded it to claim my due.
At least it seems thus in my dreams,
When once I was a man like you.
Once a noble came to me
Austere he looked in raiment grand.
Reading the desires of my heart,
He placed the future in my hand.
To me he said, "Fight strong. Fight hard,
This ring shall win what you pursue."
And when I wore it on my hand,
I ceased to be a man like you.
And now my flesh has turned to ruin,
My fine robes rotting with my skin.
And I with man no more commune
Except my howl upon the wind.
My blade now tears through mortal flesh,
Knowing no man's blade can undo
The evil that I have become --
I, who was once a man like you.
So when you hear the howling wind,
Recall my voice as fell it falls --
The scream of evil agony,
Remind you of my father's halls:
The boy I was; the choice I made;
The power I sought; then was seduced.
This evil token on my hand --
Could you refuse it - a man like you?

~ Journey to the Sea ~

A Poem Inspired by Lord of the Rings about an elf's journey to his destiny
Brave archer-son of woodland elves
In evil's growing shadows dwelt
In Elven halls of fantasy
Beneath the stars, under the trees.
Gone, the years of complacency:
No more the magic dinner feasts,
Deer driven out by cunning beasts.
The shadows grew a doom to tell
That must be brought to Elvendell.
A culminating prophecy.
Around the table tales were told
Of dark wraiths seen and rings of gold;
As tempers flared he made his case
To aid a friend, defend his race --
Irked by the dwarf's obduracy.
A strange pact forged in anger bound
Son of the tree, son of the ground.
Nine walkers made the choice that day,
A journey planned and then... away!
To carry war's diplomacy.
O'er barren lands to goblin mines.
Trolls, goblins, threats his bow would find -
Fell victims of his accuracy.
Through dark and danger, fire and flame,
The Demon's whip and burning mane.
At last escaping at great cost -
Their guide, their friend, the Wizard lost.
Despairing in their misery,
Still pressing on o'er glade they ran,
Into the trees - enchanted land -
In golden woods to find release:
A time to mourn, a time of peace,
Until the fateful prophecy...
A boat ride South with seven friends,
Where waters fall, the River ends;
As did the Fellowship that day.
Two halflings gone; two swept away
By Necromancer's progeny.
There one strong man succumbed at last,
Then lost his life while standing fast
Against goblins' foul piracy.
To horse lands fast on foot they flew
To find their friends, their bonds renew.
Into the living woods they dared -
A meeting caught them unprepared:
The White Wizard's conspiracy.
Dark days grew darker as they tread
Where none would go - Paths of the Dead.
There a Ranger cast off his doubts;
His power drove the dead to rout
To usher in his legacy.
By Great River the dead host sailed
Vows were fulfilled -- the host prevailed.
Yet in triumph on battle's field,
The Elf-son knew his doom was sealed
While gulls called o'er the war's frenzy.
As one lord spurned the Wizard's plea,
Snared by his own complicity.
Faithful companions journeyed on.
The company looked for the dawn
While battle raged on endlessly,
Fighting the fell and monstrous beasts.
They bravely suffered selflessly
Until the reign of terror ceased,
The ring destroyed, the lands released;
The King was crowned; the world knew peace.
For Elven-son - dichotomy...
Such wonders have I known and seen,
Such friends I've had, such victories,
Such joy I've felt beneath the leaves...
No more for me... no more to be...
No more at rest under the tree,
My home become a fallacy.
Gulls on the shore call out to me;
The tides rise in supremacy.
A yearning born from dormancy
Waking me from complacency.
My heart cries out for clemency,
For succor from the thing it seeks --
The doom proclaimed in prophecy.
Will my heart never more run free?
Until at last it finds release
Beside the sea... beyond the sea...
-- Both poems previously published in Silver Leaves: The Journal of the White Tree Fund  and on AC/YCN (11-9-2008)