Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review: No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches

As much as I love to write, I also love to read. Therefore, I chose to participate in a book review of:
No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches (ISBN 978-1-63357-001-6) by Jeff Davidson.

Jeff shares his personal experiences as a dad having a son with special needs in No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches. The stories provide insight into his perspectives on life, on parenting and on his faith. Families raising children with special needs will benefit, however the encouragement he intends to share also applies to the universal theme of challenged faith, no matter what the struggle.

As a pastor who is called to serve the special needs community, Jeff’s generous heart to help others is evident. The book, however, falls short in story-telling techniques and instead slides back and forth from anecdotes to sermons. His writing is redundant and preachy, as if his existing sermons were assembled and printed together to compile the book. There are helpful ideas interspersed between the stories, however.

I found the concept and ministry appealing and useful, however recommend Jeff’s blog site and Rising Above Ministries as a resource for inspiration instead of the book.

The paperback is available on Amazon:


Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Targeting My Thoughts

My daughter and husband are competitive pistol shooters. Some of you may cringe at the word “pistol” because of the fear of guns and all things gun-related. I get that. Guns, in the hands of people with evil intent, can be used as deadly weapons.

 It’s not the guns themselves but the people with evil intent which frighten me, though. When I think of my daughter’s bull’s-eye competitions, I smile with pride at her skills. It takes intense focus, physical training, and a gut-level dose of courage to hit the tiny little “x” in the middle of the big, bad white paper with black rings. I also smile with joy at her shared experience with her father. Nothing will replace their special times together, in training and in competition, and my daughter’s life is blessed as a result. The guns they use in these competitions are not in the hands of people with evil intent. Instead, they are in the hands of people who love competition, who love each other and who safely handle the tools of their sport.

As for me, I have my own version of target shooting: healthy eating. I watch what I eat, when I eat it and how much. It takes gut-level motivation to continue to plow forward even when the scale moves slowly and everyone else in the world seems to be eating donuts.

There are three principles in target shooting which I can apply for success in eating right.

 1)      Everyone in shooting knows it’s virtually impossible to hit the ‘x’ every time.

When I watch what I eat day after day, there are certain to be moments when I miss the mark. Today, for instance, I had a York Peppermint Patty (yes, it jumped from the counter into my shopping cart) but counted the calories towards my day’s allotment. This meant dinner was a tuna salad and soup, but it still worked. Not quite an ‘x,’ but close.
2)      Shooting professionals manage their thoughts by approaching the target one shot at a time.  

I take my eating plan one day at a time, and sometimes one hour at a time. The focus it takes to figure out what to eat to stay healthy and yet manage to keep going can be overwhelming. Instead, by weighing in one week at a time, and approaching each new day with a new attitude, I can break the long-term goal into smaller, achievable goals. These are the goals which result in healthy weight loss.

3)      Finally, true competitors know that each shot is a clean slate. 

Having a plan in place for the entire day makes it easier to stay on track, but if I blew it for that half-hour between picking the kids up from school and figuring out what’s for dinner, then I start over by approaching the dinner meal as the next shot. It’s about writing down what I ate, then continue to write down the next meal, too. There’s a finality in putting it on paper, instead of replaying the mistake over and over in my head. Not a good idea. For me, it’s about watching what I think about, and then I can have results with my actions.

Most importantly, hitting the “x” for me is when I reach out for help, either from God or friends or both, when I’m having a weak moment and want to eat instead of coping with the feelings I prefer to avoid.
This verse helps me:
Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I PRESS ON toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Targeting my thoughts…now that’s a worthwhile competition.