Saturday, April 30, 2011

I = Ichthus

You may know it as the Jesus fish. You have seen it on vehicles, on clothes, on jewelry, on business advertisements, and possibly many more places. Do you really know what it is, though?

ψάρια (ikhthýs) is a Greek word meaning "fish." You may know that fish are a prevalent thing in the Bible, both actual fish and fish used as a metaphor. Some say that the Greek word in capital letters is ΙΧΘΥΣ, which can also be used as an acronym meaning, "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior."

I found the following explanation here.
  • Iesous (Iasoos) is Jesus. The first letter is ‘iota’, Ιησους.
  • Xristos (Christos) is Christ. The first letter is ‘chi’, Χριστóς.
  • Theou (Theou) is God. The first letter is ‘theta’, Θεοῦ.
  • Yios (Huios) is Son. The first letter is ‘upsilon’, Υἱός.
  • Sotare (Sotare) is Savior. The first letter is sigma’, Σωτήρ.
Today many Christians display this symbol as a proclamation that they are followers of Christ. Additionally, some display it as reminders that Jesus calls us to be fishers of men, to share Christ with others.

I have read several places that this symbol was originated in the first and second centuries when Christians were being commonly persecuted, tortured, and put to death during the reign of Roman emperors that despised them, possibly starting with Nero, under whose reign both Peter and Paul are thought to have perished.

How did this symbol come to be? It is said that when two people met, one of them might casually draw an arc in the sand or dirt with their toe. If the other person was also a Christian, they would just as casually draw another arc with their toe, thus creating the fish symbol. If that was done, then both people know that they were safe to acknowledge that they were Christians and talk freely amongst themselves.

If you are curious to know more about the ichthus (or ichthys), I encourage you to research it. So many every day things have such interesting backgrounds about which we could learn so much if we want to!

Oh, and for a neat bonus, I discovered the ichthus wheel. When you combine the Greek letters of ΙΧΘΥΣ, they make a six-spoked wheel. Apparently, this symbol can sometimes be seen with the ichthus and the Greek letters.

Friday, April 29, 2011

H = Happiness

What is happiness? Happiness is different for different people. For me, happiness comes with a decision. Am I happy? Yes. Is it that easy? Most of the time, yes.

You may be thinking that I am an idiot. A person cannot just decide to be happy. Life is hard, and there is so much pressure and stress and difficulty, and a person cannot just be happy.

I would beg to differ. Much of the time, it is that easy.

Many of the things in life that cause us stress, frustration, aggravation, are not that big of a deal. We make them a big deal. We make mountains out of mole hills. The next time something upsets you, pause and ask yourself, "Is this really a big deal, or am I making it one?"

Yes, many of us do have big things in our lives that are painful or stressful or difficult. How we handle those situations and our outlook on those situations is up to us.

Do not begin to think that I do not have those things in my life because I can assure you that my husband and I have our share of difficulties and sorrows this year. The fact of the matter is, though, that I do not grab hold of those experiences and let them dictate my mood. After all, is being miserable and wallowing going to change the situation? No. It is not going to accomplish anything but making myself unhappy. Therefore, I can choose to be happy, and I can either do what I can do to change a difficult situation or accept that I cannot change it and ask God to help me do what I can to get through it, to be at peace, to be content, to be happy.

If you still do not believe that you can simply decide to be happy, try it. The next time something causes you to be in a foul or unhappy mood, ask yourself, "Is this really worth feeling this way?" Maybe if you accept that being miserable will not help the situation and choose to be happy, you will find that you actually can be.

I am just saying.

Monday, April 25, 2011

G = Giveaway

G also stands for God. God makes so many beautiful things in our world and blesses us with the senses to enjoy them. Thank you, Lord.

One of our senses is smell, and so many people enjoy candles and air fresheners and other smelly things. Do you like beautiful scents and creative home decor? If so, then this giveaway might be for you. My buddy, Miranda, is offering a giveaway available only to my blog readers!

First in the giveaway will be this lovely Scentsy Plug-In Warmer. Miranda asked me which warmer I thought would be good for this giveaway, and since this was Easter weekend, the angels seemed to be the likely choice.

With Scentsy Plug-In Warmers, you still get amazing fragrance in even the smallest spaces. Available in a range of colors and designs, each plug-in features a detachable base, making it quick and easy to change fragrances.

The warmer for this giveaway is called Heavenly and it has a creamy base encircled with angels. Matte porcelain finish with gold highlights. The Heavenly warmer retails for $20.00 and measures approximately 3" x 3.5" in size.

Now you may be wondering what to put in the warmer to make the yummyscents that you will enjoy.

Refresh your home with Scentsy’s authentic wickless candles. Simply break off portions of your favorite Scentsy Bars and add them to a warmer for long-lasting fragrance!

Scentsy Bars are available in more than eighty scents, and the person who gets the Heavenly warmer will also be treated to April's sent of the month, Flutter, which resembles delicate orange blossoms and whipped almond cream float above a bed of bright lemon verbena. Scentsy Bars are just $5.00 each or 10% OFF during the month of April!

By now you may be saying, "Okay, Dug, we got it. Now how do we GET it?" Hehe. Okay, okay, I will tell you.

1. Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect on the right side of this blog and/or NetworkedBlogs. Leave a comment for each.
2. "Like" Miranda's Scentsy page on Facebook and comment to let me know.

Optional for more entries:
3. Follow Words from DUG on Facebook and comment to say that you did.
4. Comment on this post and tell me what you would do with the Scentsy Plug-In Warmer and Scentsy Bar.
5. Comment on as many of my alphabet blog posts from April as you would like and get an entry for each letter under which you comment, leave a comment here for an entry.
6. Browse Miranda's Scentsy web site and leave a comment to tell me what is your favorite kind of product.
7. Follow me on Twitter and leave a comment saying that you did.
8. Place an order at Miranda's web site and comment to tell me that you did.
9. Phone Miranda at 713/480-7684 to book a Scentsy catalog party and leave a comment below with your date.
10. Tweet or blog or post on Facebook about this contest using the URL for this page, and enter comments to let us know that you did.

WOW! There are sooo many opportunities to enter, and this is a gift that you will be able to enjoy for a long time. Thank you for playing and for helping me help Miranda spread the word about her Scentsy business. I hope the best for each of you!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

F = Failure

You may or may not know that I set a challenge for myself to do 111 focused kind deeds in the last 111 days of 2010, starting on September 11th. These were to be deeds that I found that were not something that I would naturally do. I did not achieve this challenge, so I set a new challenge to do 100 deeds in the first 100 days of 2011. That ended on April 10th. Again...failure.

The fact of the matter is, as several of us discussed previously, it is difficult to find other kind deeds to do for others when you are normally inclined to help where you can, anyway. Oh, well. In a way, this challenge was a success, though, because it pointed out that we do not have to achieve everything that we attempt, and it is okay if we sometimes fail.

How many of us cause ourselves stress because we take on too much? Oftentimes, some of what we try to do is not even important.

Today I am going to try to not stress over the little things.

Tomorrow is the day when we celebrate the greatest kind deed ever done.

Monday I might have a treat for you.

Friday, April 15, 2011

E = Easter

Easter is so close. Some people think that Christmas is the most important Holiday for Christians, yet Easter is the reason that we have Christmas in the first place. Christ came to this earth for the purpose of sacrificing himself for us. The Resurrection is what it is all about.

How beautiful the heart that bled
that took all my sin
and bore it instead.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, -Romans 3:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:32

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. -Romans 10:13

How many people do not realize how simple it is?

How beautiful the tender eyes
that chose to forgive
and never despise.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. -Romans 8:1-2

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. -John 3:17

How beautiful the radiant Bride
who waits for her Groom
with His light in her eyes.

To my readers who are believers, I would be happy to read scripture that you feel goes with the last stanza that I posted above, so please comment to share some.

To my readers who are not believers, I hope that you will take the time to consider to message and the importance of Easter, and, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

How Beautiful by Twila Paris
Sung by Lisa Kosier
Signed by DUG

Thursday, April 7, 2011

D = Dactylology

If you know me, this will not surprise you. Many of you know that I have a passion for the deaf and sign language. I have heard/seen it said that if you put into a group all of the people in the world who are deaf, they would make up the fourth largest group of people who are not being reached for Christ.

At Grace Community Church on Hilton Head Island, I used to sometimes sign for worship, and many people appreciated and enjoyed it. Sometimes the pastor would ask me to stand up in the middle of a sermon and show the congregation how to sign something because he thought that it was neat to know, too. For a short while, I taught some basic sign language to other members of the church who were interested. It was a blessing for me to be able to share ASL with others on the chance that they may cross paths with someone who does not hear. Deaf people appreciate it when a hearing person makes an effort to be able to communicate with them.

One day a woman in the church asked me with a bit of a snippy tone, "Why do you do sign language? There are no deaf people here."

I responded, "Why do you think that is?"

Later, I found out that there was a deaf woman attending the church for several months. She finally left because she was not getting out of it what she needed. See? How often might we have missed opportunities to reach out and not even known it? This was before my time there, or I would like to think that I would have worked to help meet her needs. defines dactylology as the technique of communicating by signs made with the fingers, especially in the manual alphabet used by the deaf.

While living on Hilton Head Island, Hubby and I had the privilege of meeting some folks from Deaf Ministries International. This organization was started in 1979 and works in twenty countries in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, helping to establish resources and facilities to bring the message of Christ, and aid, to deaf people.

I will not spend a lot of time talking about Deaf Ministries International, but I will say that, from what I learned about them, I admire what they are doing and would encourage you to support them with prayer or however you can. Are you wondering about the picture of the pigs? You will have to check out the Deaf Ministries International web site to satisfy that curiosity!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

C = Church

How many of you go to church, and how many of you make excuses not to go even though you claim to have a relationship with the Lord? There are 168 hours in each week. Can you really not spend one or two of them at church? There are many explanations that people give for not going to church. Most of them are nothing more than lame excuses: they do not want to get out of bed, they do not want to tithe, the people at church are not any better than they are, and on and on. There is one excuse that sort of bugs me, though.

I have a personal relationship with God, and I do not have to go to church to worship Him.

That is correct. You do not have to go to church. If you truly have a personal relationship with God, though, then why would you not want to do what pleases Him? God wants us to fellowship with one another, to worship Him, to be a family -- His family.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." -Hebrews 10:24-25

Did you know that Jesus Himself attended what we call church? Luke 4:16 tells us that "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom."

Jesus...went to the meeting was his custom. Hmmm.

There are also practical reasons for being a part of a church family. "Family." You need people in your life with whom to fellowship and worship and learn and feed your spirit. You need to be surrounded by Godly love and support. You need others.

In addition to attending a church on Sundays, my family and I are a part of a Life Group on Fridays. This is a small group of people that has the opportunity to dig deeper in the Word and build relationships on a more personal level. Our Life Group has a Bible verse that is "our" verse.

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." -Acts 2:42

If you are someone who has reasons not to go to church, yet you love the Lord and want to be a part of His family, please let me encourage you to find a church home. You may be surprised when you find new relationships, renewal for your spirit, and possibly a place where you will actually enjoy being.

One last thing. Matthew 18:20 tells us, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." What better company could you hope to find?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

B = Beef

While walking several weeks ago, on a Saturday morning while the men were at their Bible study, a friend and I discovered a restaurant at DoMo. It looked like a finer restaurant, which would be different from what we usually see around here. One cannot really tell by looking through the windows at 7:30ish in the morning, though, what a place is really like. We both agreed that it might be a treat to dine there one evening and find out.

A week or so ago, I found Epic Chophouse's Facebook page and, from there, found the restaurant's web site. Last night, for the first time that I can remember since Boy was born, Hubby and I had (drumroll, please) adult date night. Yes, Boy is three. By what I have said so far, you can guess where we went to dine, right? Yes! We went to McDonald's.


I do not normally do reviews on this blog, yet a bunch of my local peeps read it, so what better way is there to spread the word?

We dropped Boy off with SaraBeth and headed downtown to Epic Chophouse. We did not use it, but they have free valet parking right outside the front door. Yes, free. Is that not a pleasant perk?

We were seated immediately, and I must say that I liked our table. It was in a corner and cozy and private. The one thing that I would have liked better would have been if Hubby was able to sit next to me instead of across from me. Yes, we are those people, the people who sit on the same side of a booth together.

Terra, our serving, assured us that she would be taking "very good care" of us. I kept thinking that Terra looked like Ashley Johnson. Different hair, similar face.

From the beginning, this restaurant had even small touches down. The gentleman seating us pulled out the table for me. I imagine that he would have pulled out the chair if my seat was not against the wall. Our orders were taken without us having to wait. Our drinks were refilled even without us needing to ask. Oh, and I was only charged for one cranberry juice, not three like many places would have done. The little things are noticed. Our food arrived exactly as we ordered it.

Hubby ordered a bone-in rib eye and was surprised at how small was the bone. (That is a good thing.) I asked him how was his steak, and he said that it was, "Fabulous!" Then he added, "Succulent."

My order was for prime rib, warm and red. It has been difficult to get really good prime rib around these parts. I will now say that I believe that was the best, most delicious piece of beef that I have had at a restaurant since moving back here from Hilton Head Island two years ago. It was thick. It was tender and delicious. It was beautiful. After it was half eaten, I decided that I should have taken a photograph of it.

Epic Chophouse also serves a selection of seafood, pasta, chicken, duck, and several specialties.

While we were eating, Jim (the owner?) happened by, and we got to meet face-to-face. Since we had spoken on Facebook and on the telephone, it was one of those small treats to put a name with a face. He was friendly and engaging, jovial even.

At one point, an employee was passing our table, and stopped to tell my husband that he had dropped a $20 bill. That was honest.

The one thing about which I was not crazy was the staff wearing jeans. I am not a big fan of jeans, and, in a restaurant like that, I might have expected to see black slacks. However, that is me, and I realize that a business needs to appeal to its clientele. The attire there seemed to be nice-casual. Anyone should feel comfortable there.

By the time we finished dining, I said, "I am done. Stick a fork in me."

Hubby said, "I don't think you would like that."


Since the night was so beautiful, after we finished our supper, and while we were waiting for dessert, which we had to order, Hubby and I stepped outside for a bit of fresh air and to stretch and let our food settle...and we needed room for dessert. While we were outside, an employee rushed out after us, not because he thought that we had left without paying, but to let us know that I had forgotten my wallet. Another kind and honest gesture.

Back inside. Cheesecake for Hubby. Chocolate cake for me. By then, really full.

Attentive staff, but not overbearing. Prime beef. Friendly management. Reasonable prices for the quality of food. Excellent experience. It would seem to me that anyone who has anything negative to say about this place...has not actually been there. If you are within driving distance of DoMo and have not been to Epic Chophouse on Main Street, GO. Treat yourself. Savor the meal. Enjoy the experience.

Now we are trying to figure out how we could eat there every night. Maybe we shall sell the car and set up an Epic Chophouse fund. We will be back.

By the way, can anyone give us a ride?

Epic. First. Date.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A = Abstemiously

For Fun Friday this week, I am posting a word.


What is so special about this word? Remember that this is Fun Friday, so try not to put too much thought into it.

If, however, you would like to delve beyond the fun and find out more about this word, abstemious is characterized by abstinence or sparing or moderate eating and drinking. How can that relate you your life? You can answer facetiously, yet it would be interesting to read people's various perspectives.