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Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Greetings and News for Pentriloquist

I'll be taking a blogging break for the holidays.  This is always a time for me to evaluate where I plan to go in the next year, and this year is no different.

In addition to Christmas & New Years, my husband is having a couple basal skin cancer spots removed on the 28th.  It's weird to be grateful for a sort of cancer, but we were assured "If you're going to have skin cancer, this is the one you want."  !!!

I'll also be stretching my tiny little tech muscles for a lot of DIY work on the blog.  I believe I'll be moving to self hosting, learning Wordpress, acquiring a new layout and a new look. 

One of the Weeping Women Series
And if that all works like it should, I'll be giddy with excitement over the improvements.  OR my blog may look like a painting by Picasso when you stop back in January.  Perhaps this one, since I'll probably also be weeping. 

To my daughter, if you're reading this... I accept the possibility that I don't understand the genius of Picasso.  I'm OK with exposing that ignorance.  (I once joked at Picasso's expense and she shared some interesting information about him that I didn't know, and upon Googling him later I realized that not all his paintings fit the joke.  Still, I enjoy using him from time to time, so I'm going to go with that.)

So, please don't forget me.  I WILL be back.  The blog should be awesomely different with a prettier look, much more to offer and easier to navigate to amazing places within it.... I'll be excited if the new look is in place and I have a new post up - the rest will be a work in process.

Have a beautiful holiday season.  May you find people to bless with your presence, and may you be blessed by the presence of others.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ebook Christmas All Year Long: Launch Post

 If you enjoy getting free Kindle books, check out my new blog.  There are 7 books up today.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Ebook Christmas All Year Long: Launch Post:

A Small Business Owner's Prayer Request

Today is my husband's last day of work until next year.  Business is slow, so the holiday vacation is long.  Hopefully when our government gets this fiscal cliff taken care of that will change.  In my husband's industry, there is a large collective "hold your breath" party going on.

If everything government spends is cut by 10%, then they would know what to expect... however this continuous failure to make decisions has everyone concerned it may be more.  Knowing God has always taken care of me reminds me to not work myself into a worried state.  However, not every employee knows that, and some families already have lost one job.  So, my husband isn't sleeping well.  He was a major influence in helping me to not worry when we were younger, but this is an area where worry is hard for him to ignore.

Employees aren't exactly your children, but he does feel responsible for providing business and work for them so they're able to care for their families, pay their bills, and buy their homes.  We'll be praying hard for the people in Washington D.C. to put their egos aside and do what needs done so our people can continue to work.  It feels like they're playing chicken, but they're driving our cars, not their own.

If you could remember to add these concerns to your prayers, it would be a lovely Christmas gift for each of us.  Thank you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Why Would God Forgive Me? The Awkward Truth

Jesus said in Mark 7:6-8  "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written; 'These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'  You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."

Some days a Bible verse just smacks you in the face, you know?  I wonder how many times my voice joined the choir to support rules taught by men rather than God's commands.  I shudder to consider it, and yet today it's my very salvation that is being brought to mind.

When I received salvation, it was after I'd repented.  Repentance is sort of "old fashioned," isn't it?  But we all must start there, right?  I had to accept that my sins are worthy of bloodshed.  Red, warm, painfully drawn and spilled blood.  A life was given - brutally - because that was required to cover my sins before God.  A sin offering.

No matter how my heart breaks for those who are tortured in their lives on this planet, or volunteer to ease someone's suffering, I can't earn God's forgiveness by doing a lot of good stuff - not even the stuff that He himself has told us to do.  If I stand in my contemporary church service and lift my hands and eyes to heaven as I sing, "How Great Is Our God," it doesn't cover me in righteousness... no matter how much awe is flooding through me, my sins are not covered by an exceptionally high level of emotion.

Someone innocent of all my sins was beaten, crucified and bled out for those sins.  Why?  Why can't I just love people, love the idea of a gentle and tender God, sing emotionally uplifting songs of worship and call it a beautifully spiritual (not religious... religious is a bad word, right?) and blessed day in the life of a Christian? 

Because God is Holy.  He doesn't compromise on sin.  I don't get a pass for 5 sins because I purchased sin credits with exceptionally loving behavior.  Oh, this is flying in the face of all those rules taught by people... by Christian people. God is loving.  Yes.  Restoring?  Yes.  But restoration is taking something in poor condition and restoring it to a valuable condition.  This wasn't done by a big hug, a pat on the head and a comforting "It's OK."

A price was paid for our restoration.  It was done with the body of God's Holy son.  God didn't turn his back on holiness to be able to accept me.  He provided a sin offering so I could turn my back on those sins and once that blood covered them, I would be cleansed from their stain - grateful for the mercy... not pretend that it wasn't all that dirty

Do I carry that message?  Do I forget the powerful experience of that first cleansing of my soul?  Do I downplay the beauty of holiness so that I honor God with my lips but not an obedient heart?  Do I worship people (the creation), bowing to a resistance to submitting ego and self esteem in repentance,  rather than worshiping the creator and His Truth? 

Sin killed Jesus.  It isn't harmless or unimportant.  Sometimes I think I've become comfortable with some sin in order to be comfortable in our culture.  But Jesus bled for those sins.  I share the love part of my faith, but I'm not very quick to share that my faith began with submission and repentance. 

Wow.  It just got real. 

Yes, we've all been called to love and serve the hungry, imprisoned, lonely, sick and don't forget .... LOST.  How can they have hope for a clean soul if they're shielded from testimony of our repentance?  Precious things are rare or expensive.  Salvation is precious.  It was very expensive.  It isn't easy to get, just because we don't have to shed blood.  We have to submit our pride, bowing to a Holy God.

I'm certainly not implying we're all called to live in the wilderness in animal skins like John the Baptist and shout "Repent" at people who walk by.  Though, as uncomfortable as we may be with that - God has called someone to do just that at least once, hasn't he?  But we don't have the authority to change the message that repentance is required for salvation.  We don't get to tweak it to be easier or less dramatic.  Being saved by someone else's death is nothing if not dramatic.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gun Control, Mental Illness & Evil

Since Friday, I've not been able to wrap my head around what happened in Newtown.  My husband lived not far from there when he was a boy.  Over the past month, we've heard of tragedy after tragedy involving small children and I've hardly digested one story when another pops up.  I was overwhelmed by them before Friday. 

I've heard knee jerk reactions run the gamut as we try to find the one thing that will stop this from ever happening again.  Some people are opportunists and will use it to further whatever their agenda is.  I'm just sad.... and sickened.

All I can do is pray, and yet... prayer is a big thing.  Only God can bring any amount of comfort to these people, and I long for them to be comforted.

Between our government and the media, and ridiculous bloggers that believe the government was behind this, fear is spread on a daily basis.  Some people choose to arm themselves in response to that fear.  Some choose to protest arms in response to that fear.  Some are calling for a return of state hospitals and commitment of the unmedicated mentally ill that have lost touch with reality.

We're securing the weapons we own.  Making certain that they never end up in the hands of someone capable of using them against innocent people.   We're evaluating reasonable points of view that prohibit this sort of mass attack, while still keeping people secure in their homes.

I don't believe criminals care which laws they violate before they shoot their family or community members.  I don't think we can make the laws about the criminals.  I think we need to make laws for those of us who possess weapons and are law abiding people.  That's why gun control doesn't work.  The people who obey the laws aren't going to shoot anyone.

But we can operate our own sort of gun control.  We can control our own guns.  We can support requirements that gun owners guarantee a secure place for their weapons.  We can support responsible gun ownership and possession.

We can insist that if our government is taxing us, the minimum they should provide is safety to the best of their ability.  These people never attack police barracks - where they expect some resistance.  They attack our defenseless babies.  In truth, they don't need automatic weapons to commit a massacre - once the adult is taken out of the picture, no one will interrupt him while he changes clips or even weapons.

Our local courthouse has an armed guard, but the schools didn't.... until Monday. Our schools now have an armed retired state police officer at every building.  It was like that 30 years ago when I was in school.  We need a last line of defense to let people know  - Schools are not an option for the cowardly.  If you're going to end with suicide, perhaps you should just start there, because we're not letting you near our kids.

This may not be the most spiritually sound post I'll ever write.  Part is venting, part is a little ranting, part is just fighting the feeling of defeat against evil that would hurt our beautiful children.

Some days I want to enjoy the blessings of my life for years and years.  Some days I don't know if I can bear however many years I have left, seeing the horror people can inflict on one another.  Sad day, today.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Can You See Me Now?

Last month I heard a news story where a school district plans to either finger print children, or hang a bar coded tag from a lanyard around their necks.  This so that as they enter and exit the bus - they can scan themselves or their assigned bar code and the driver is alerted if it's the wrong stop.

When did we stop looking at children as people and start believing it was better to "process" them like bar coded products on a delivery truck?  Why is it considered "realistic" to accept that their driver won't pay attention to the little person walking right past them and off the bus?  Since when did apathy and laziness cross from unacceptable to inevitable.

Have we become so emotionally detached from other human beings in our daily lives that we only see the efficiency in this and are oblivious of how a child must feel to just slide his card past a digital product to get off the bus?  It must be very lonely to be a child today.

We really need to reconnect with community - the community with arms and legs, toothless smiles and button noses.  The Like buttons and Tweets are tools training us to be less engaged with real people.

How often do we ignore a real person in order to look at our phone?  How often do we ignore our kids to see what someone "more important" or "more interesting" is doing on Facebook?  What if we reverted to that time when that was considered rude?  What if we actually paid attention to the people around us, instead of the status updates by our third cousin's funny friend in that digital device?

What crimes could we prevent, what value could we bestow upon our kids if we just lifted our eyes out of the palm of our hand and looked at real people more often?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Party Upcoming - Volunteers Needed

Saturday night we'll be hosting our Christmas party - this includes everyone my parents or Ed's parents consider their kids or grandkids, except R & K - they're out of state and just had a brand new baby!! :-) 

I should be studying right now, but I'm Googling ideas to entertain children at family parties.  I have come across some very good ones, but they require more volunteers for preparation than I have at my disposal. because that's pretty much - me.  Not that my husband isn't helpful... but my concept of a "great" idea is sometimes his idea of "my wife is just insane and wants to turn our house into Disneyland in 48 hours."  And that throws a wet blanket on things, doesn't it?

I have more confidence in people that he does.  Yes, I believe he IS able to rearrange an area in the basement for an art station by Saturday, and yes the grandchildren will of course keep play dough on the table, crayons in the coloring books, markers on the paper, game pieces inside the home.  They wouldn't dream of fighting over the remote control cars, or throwing hard toys within 10 feet of the television. They will sit perfectly fascinated as I put Mary Poppins or Home Alone on the DVD downstairs, and no one will run and fall and smack their head off the concrete floor.  There will be no wrestling between the 4 boys ages 6-8.

There are days I just don't understand his propensity for doom and gloom.  Doesn't he know it's Christmas?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hunters Aren't Villainous

Have you ever brought meat home from the grocery store, forgot it was in the fridge and it spoiled?  The recent conversations on Facebook about hunting brought this to mind.

My Grandad hunted, as did/do my uncles, son-in-law, nephews, and cousins.  The Monday after Thanksgiving my Granny's kitchen table always had 4-6 men eating a big breakfast together in the predawn hours.  My Grandad got a deer each and every year, until the year his eyesight diminished from his diabetes.  He was sad that year.  Sad that he was no longer able to provide for his family in a way he had for decades.

We buy meat at a grocery store someone else was responsible for slaughtering and don't allow ourselves to think about it.  We've let some of those animals spoil in our fridges, or freezer burn when not used in a timely fashion and not considered what we've wasted.  We allow half eaten burgers to be taken from our table and thrown in the garbage, not finished that rotisserie chicken we bought earlier in the week, threw away the beef stew that wasn't finished.

I think none of us would let that happen if we were responsible for hunting that meat ourselves.  I'm not appalled by hunting.  I learned as a girl that overpopulation led to animals starving to death because the new mall that took out a hundred acres of their habitat.

A young man proudly standing beside an animal he brought home to his family for food has personally taken part in the process.  That meat will NOT spoil on a refrigerator rack.  He knows what was given up for them to eat.  A package of steak on a Styrofoam platter is not nearly as respected. 

That steer was no less alive than a deer, though the steer lived his entire life in captivity while the deer roamed free.  There are no pictures of the steer after slaughter, because in all truth - there's no challenge in putting down a contained animal.  I have nothing against farmers.  I just wanted to take a minute to point out that if you're buying meat at the grocery store, it didn't grow on that Styrofoam tray.  Someone, somewhere killed that animal on your behalf.

I know I wouldn't want to do it - the deer congregate in my front yard during hunting season and I take pictures.  I think I saw little arrows in the woods pointing the way with the caption "safety zone and free corn in the bird feeder - this way. Pay no attention to the lady in the window."  But, I respect those with the strength to be hunters.  I'm a gatherer, myself.  Berries, anyone? 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Frugal Christmas Ideas - Gifts & Decorating

Christmas is a time for giving, but the pain of that giving can often last well into the new year.  Here are some ideas to make your Christmas less costly.

Gift Ideas

1. Load That Kindle! - If you're giving a Kindle to someone in your household, or someone on your Amazon account has a Kindle - Start accumulating free books.  Kindle Korner on Facebook announces free books all the time.  Here's a Link to Amazon's "Free" Search.

2.  Free To Play Games  Free Games Link.  Add some surprises to the computer on Christmas eve and simply turn on the monitor in the morning to reveal your additions.

3.  Second Hand Movies and Games - I admit it. I've rarely purchased new games.  A trusted eBay seller with a great feedback rating (over 99.5%) is a great way to pick up movie collections or video games that get you more bang for your buck. Perhaps an old movie that no longer is available at your local store can be stuffed into a stocking.

4.  Book Lots.  Another great way to pick up something special is to check the book lots on eBay.  For the cost of a hardback, I've picked up an entire series.  This is also great for children's books.

12 Months -
6 Issues $4.97
5.  Magazine Subscriptions Under $10  Almost everyone loves to receive magazines in the mail.  Many of these are only $5.  Amazon allows you to print out a gift card to slip into the stocking.  The magazine will ship directly to the recipient.  Be aware - many are auto-renewing.  After I purchased these as gifts, I immediately removed the auto-renew feature.

6. Baked goods.  Whether it's a fresh baked loaf of bread with some jelly, or a tray of cookies - you can extend your gift giving without breaking the bank by remembering people beyond your usual shopping list - the kids' bus driver, school teacher, your mailman, trash collector, or a neighbor.

Decorating Ideas

Gift wrap scraps are free.  They usually end up in the trash.  When my kids were little, I would take tiny boxes made of whatever cardboard I could lay my hands on.  I'd wrap them in the prettiest paper scraps and use them for decorating.  The kids would occasionally be caught playing with them, but they're unbreakable and free.  Tie strings to them and group the tiny "presents" for a hanging on your front door.

You can add a little festivity to your children's rooms by using ribbon or wrapping paper to form a Christmas tree on their door - secured with a little transparent tape.

Using Nature
  • This time of year, there are plenty of branches (here in this colder climate of Western Pennsylvania) with oak leaves still attached.  Clip off a branch, spray paint it and sprinkle it with glitter while it's still wet.  If you have some spare ribbon, you can loop it through the small branches or tie bows on the ends of them. Wind an old string of lights through them and you have a festive display.
  • Pine cones - yet another wonderful resource.  Whether you glue bows onto the fat ends, or brush a little school glue onto them and sprinkle with glitter... or even wire some together and hang them on your front door, you can't beat the cost and availability of pine cones.  A ride down a back road, and I've gathered a full bag in no time.  If they're sticky with sap, or not quite as open as you'd like them to be - follow the tips on this page to prepare them. How to Prepare and Preserve Pine Cones
  • Plain or Pine branches - glitter - yes, glitter again.  OR nestling an ornament into a couple pine branches on your window sill.  Just be sure to put something under them to protect your sill.

Please share some of your own frugal holiday tips.  Later this week, I'll have more Holiday Ideas.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Branch That Doesn't Produce Fruit

The study I'm in right now is Secrets of the Vine, written by Bruce H. Wilkinson. I've known the illustration of the vine and the branches for a long time.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. “ Jesus speaking - John 15:1-2 NASV

It seemed clear to me what the first verse meant by “takes away.” Thrown away, removed, discarded. Imagine my surprise when I learned the Greek word “airo” - which is translated here as takes away – is the same word used when the disciples “took up” 12 baskets of food.

The author shared the story of a vineyard owner explaining what was done in a physical vineyard to branches that weren't bearing fruit, that had fallen down into the dirt, splashed by rain and mud. Someone would take a bucket of water and, kneeling down beside the grape vine, he would lift the vine trailing into the dirt and clean it off. Then he'd reposition it on the supports where the sun could reach it.

If God's desire is for us to do good works to glorify Him … to bear fruit … cleaning us up (making us aware of our dirty sinful condition and forgiving our repenting hearts) produces that result much better than cutting us off and throwing us away.

The image in my mind of God holding me up out of the dirt and washing me off so I can receive nutrition from the sun is thrilling. I don't want to spend my life in the dirt... trailing along in a sickly, nonproductive way, trapped and unable to lift myself onto the support with my own efforts.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is God Running "Help Wanted" Ads In Your Newspaper?

My dad has a saying - "Do something, even if it's wrong!"  Sometimes we approach ministry and volunteer opportunities with that frantic state of mind.  

"I have to do something.  Anything.  Because yesterday I did nothing.  I'm the first to admit - if I did nothing yesterday it does seem anything is better than that.  I'm anxious to produce fruit and express my faith with good works.

"Running around like a chicken with your head cut off" (that's a saying from my Granny) isn't typically God's plan for ministry.  It's been my plan for all sorts of decisions.  Actually, my plan was more like this... if it won't be an absolute failure, I must be supposed to do it - because someone should do it.  If I can make a living at it, I'll take the job.  If I can sell the books, I'll buy them. If I know how to put out food at the community meal, I'll volunteer there.  Lots of "if I"s.

So, this post is a volunteer idea - but it isn't for everyone.  I'm going to post these from time to time because I'm an idea person.  I have a gazillion ideas.  More than enough for myself, so I'm sharing them.  Please do not abscond with ideas and turn them into ministries that aren't meant for you.  How will you know?  Well, if you don't know - ask God about it, and listen for his answer.

If you don't know how to play piano - concert ministries are not meant for you.  That's an easy one, but spending time alone with God, allowing him to shine light on the talents and abilities He wants you to use is extremely important.  We will all share the work, and sometimes you'll be called to work.  As my girls were growing up, I wanted to be a mom that loved them and taught them to be wise and loving.  I also had to change diapers, give them baths, and help them find missing socks.  That wasn't the passionate calling, but rather work that needed to be done.  

So, don't just "get busy", seek to be available to God.  Today there will be prayers of pleading, "God, please help me."  "God, be close to me, I feel so alone."  "Please send someone to help me."  God has sent wonderful people to me in response to those prayers.  I want him to call on me and use me to answer a prayer for one of his other children.

This year my mother-in-law passed away.  Her husband lives 900 miles away from the closest of their children.  He spent Thanksgiving alone this year... as many of his friends had their own plans.  He doesn't attend church, but my mother-in-law did.  He would've welcomed an invitation.  In our churches and communities we have many facing their first Christmas without their spouse.  Every day the newspaper publicizes it - in the obituaries - in black and white.  Does that speak to you?  Do you have an idea bouncing around in your mind in response to that?  If you don't know anyone to include this year, can you each out to someone you find in your newspaper and include them next year?  

Others you can find in the newspaper - orphaned young adults, survivors of terrible car accidents, families that have lost everything in a house fire.

Is God running a Help Wanted Ad in your newspaper?  Are you the right woman (man) for the position?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Free Kindle books for December 4th!

Here are 5 Free Kindle books as of Tuesday, December 4th, 2012. 

Why, oh why can't I gift free Kindle books. It makes me so sad. :-(

The League for the Suppression of Celery
by Wendy Russ

 Kate Pearson heads west from Arkansas in an old jalopy with two parakeets, a job offer and a half-baked plan: Dreamboat celebrity chef Warren Hoffman has offered Kate a job – and himself – if she will relocate to Oxnard, California. The catch? Kate soon discovers Warren has a Big Secret. And that he’s possibly crazy.

During her journey, Kate stumbles into the lair of paranoid militants calling themselves the League for the Suppression of Celery. When they learn her destination is Oxnard -- celery capital of the world -- they stop at nothing to indoctrinate her into their nefarious cult.

Her escape from the League sends her racing toward her happily-ever-after while being pursued by members of the League who want her back, and by the compelling new friend who inexplicably quits his job to travel across the country to find her.

601 Chocolate Recipes
by Luke Wren

601 Chocolate Recipes: Delicious Easy Recipes For Homemade Chocolate Cookies, Chocolate Cake, Hot Chocolate, White Chocolate, & More Chocolate Desserts.

by Jackie Pilossoph

If your mother offered you 8 million dollars to have a baby, would you do it?

Jamie Jacobson doesn't have a lot of faith in love, except when it comes to her Jimmy Choo shoes. Her brother Danny has two loves; his barely existent acting career and his ability to pick up women. But life is about to take a wild turn for these two dysfunctional but lovable siblings now that their mother has just won the lottery.

Frankie, a longtime widow has wanted grandchildren for years. Now she's prepared to pay cash for them. When Frankie presents her son and daughter each with a contract promising $8 million dollars if he or she can produce a child in the next twelve months (DNA tested, of course), Jamie and Danny each begin a frantic search for a person to help them reproduce.

Come along on their desperate, outrageous and hilarious journeys where fake seductions, ovulation kits and a tarot-card reader are replacing condoms, the pill and fun, meaningless hook-ups. They hit a couple big bumps in the road that have nothing to do with their lack of diaper changing experience, but a lot to do with their hearts.

Now they face the choice of their lives. Give in to love? Or go for the JACKPOT?

303 Chicken Recipes
by Luke Wren

303 Chicken Recipes: Delicious & Easy Chicken Recipes For The Best Chicken Soup, Chicken Salad, Chicken Breasts, Chicken Casserole, Chicken Pot Pie, And Lots More!

Thicker Than Blood
by C. J. Darlington

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late? A stunning debut from the latest Christian Writers Guild winner.

Here's a link to the Paper White Kindle, in case you need to get one of those.
Not Free, but certainly delicious.... 

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Might Be Weird

I've found I have eclectic tastes and views.  I can't be labeled - there's too much of me to fit solidly into a box of any one category.  (I'm not saying that is always good, ok?)

If test takers color in the little circle with a number 2 pencil ... I'm the checkmark, or I color it in with black ink.  I don't mean to do that... I just do.

If the trendy colors are brown and blue, I don't have anything in that combination. 

So, when I read from successful bloggers that content needs to be a dependable sort of expected information, I become frozen.  I'm weird.  I like a little of this, a little of that.  This blog is undefined at best, a rambling journey through a weird girl's brain at worst.

Some days I feel overfilled with a new tidbit of wisdom I've gleaned when reading a book or studying.  I come here and sort it out for myself through the process of writing it out. 

Other days - I can't think of anything beyond the love of that pine tree smell in my living room. 

I love the ideas of others. I want to know what other people know.  Did a book change your life?  Awesome - tell me about that! Or even more significant (?) - share a recipe.  I've only eaten grits once - at a hotel, not cooked by a real person.  Ms. A. has a recipe for Garlic-cheese grits and I want to know what that tastes like.

I'm in love with people and service, and I'm an idea person - too many and too varied for one person to complete in one lifetime, so I want an opportunity to put my ideas out there and if they're good for someone... maybe one will ripple out beyond my view or knowledge. 

Everyone does want to be significant - not just soak up the natural resources and naval gaze... so maybe I'm not weird... just a little rebellious. Oh yeah, that's it.