Bible Verse Of The Day

Saturday, December 31, 2011

My 2011 In Review

I cannot believe this is the last day of 2011. Like a lot of people I had my struggles this year but I have had a lot of good things happen too. Some things that I hoped would happen did not happen. I had some good surprises too.

I got hired on at my job as a regular employee at the end of 2010. I has been good to finally work for a company gives pay raises when they say they will give pay raises. I have made in my life and seems stable at this point. I also have started selling books online and doing good with it. I hope that in 2012 the book sales do even better. Even with my job going good, I have a lot of friends and family that are unemployed now. Some have run out of their unemployment benefits. Even with their struggles in this hard time, they are lucky to have family and friends helping them.

One thing that my job made possible is the filing for Jo Anne's Visa. Our lawyer helped us get the paperwork filed before the deadline. When I came back from my visit almost 3 years ago now to the Philippines to meet Jo Anne, I found out I did not have a job to good back too. We are in the waiting part of the Visa process now. We are excepting an answer from Homeland Security any day now and then it is over the State Department.

My aunt almost died in the spring. My family and I rushed to the hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. We are thankful to all the with the emergency crews and the hospital that saved her life.

I was blessed when I had a tire go flat on me on the way to church one Sunday and another local church paid for all four new tires for my car. A member from the church stopped to help my mentor and I change the tire. The next thing I know, the guys who help changed the tire called and said his church was going to pay for new tires for me. This was a great help to me.

This fall, my mentor had a heart attack. It was great to see the faith that my mentor has and the many ways God worked things out for him. Business slowed before his heart attack with his business and now that he is able to work again his business is picking back up. Insurance and other things are coming together to help take care of the cost of the hospital stay.

This past year was full of mountain highs and Valley lows but, God was there all the way. I am thankful for all the blessings I seen this year for all my family and friends and for myself. I am looking forward to seeing the great things God has in store for 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Photo Of The WeeK: Resting In The Tree

I saw this squirrel sleeping in a tree. Woke just before I took this picture. The ones I got while he was sleeping do not turn out as good. But he did stay put for the picture.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Angel Calendar Success!

I lucked out today in my annual search for an angel calendar for my mom. As I shared with you before Christmas, each year my mom ans I look for a angel calendar for the new year. My mom collects angels and loves any things to do with angels. I found them in two stores that I already looked in. One I found in a calendar store setup for the end of the year and the other I found in a local Christian book store. I brought them both and I am sure mom will love the calendars. I just cannot believe that it is so hard to find angel calendars now. It used to be so easy to find them, you could found at least one at any store that sold calendar. Maybe next year my mom and I will have a easier time of finding one.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Joyful Christmas

Christmas is the most awaited day of everybody especially the children. It is the time when our Lord Jesus Christ was born. Let us all remember that Jesus is the true reason for this season.

For this year, I can say I had a wonderful Christmas with my family though I'm just missing the presence of my eldest brother together with his family because they already moved in Australia, and of course I miss a lot the presence of my Love. I keep praying and hoping next Christmas we are already together.

The day before Christmas, I was busy preparing some food that we are going to partake for our Noche Buena. I woke up early and went to the market to get some stuff I need for Spaghetti. My brother and I prepared different foods. I made fruit salad, spaghetti, I bought some Puto and get some drinks too while my sister in law made some macaroni salad and chicken nuggets sandwich. Around 4:30PM, I went to church together with my dad and brother Jonjon to attend the candle light service. It's a great joy for me that my dad joined us again at church after a long time and I thank God for that. When we got back home, we took our dinner and take some rest while we wait until 12 midnight to have our Noche Buena and exchange gift as we welcome Christmas. I'm very happy that I spent more time talking with my Love and able to see him on cam after our Noche Buena.I miss him more and wishing we were together by that time.

On Christmas day, lot of kids came to our house and some of my god children came over too. I gave the gifts I prepared for my god children and my dad gave some money for the kids as his gift for Christmas. Around 10:30am, my dad and I went to the cemetery to visit my Mom's grave then we went to SM to take our lunch there. After our lunch, we go straight at Quezon City Memorial Circle to meet my brother and his family. We took our snacks first before walking around the area.

It is so nice to have a family bonding and spent more time walking and talking with one another. I thank God so much for the wonderful celebration we had. Indeed, God is faithful and His love for us is great that He sent Jesus to bring us back to His arms. To God be the glory now and forever!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Merry Little Christmas!

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. As we take time to remember the greatest gift every given, that being the Son of God, Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

I spent Christmas Eve, doing the last of my mom's Christmas shopping, getting some gifts for mom and the last of the things needed for Christmas dinner. I also enjoyed sometime talking with my Love using the web cam on my computer. I wish it was in person. I am sure next year, we will be celebrating Christmas together.

This year, my church had three services for Christmas which were all the same. Two on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas morning. I went to the 6 PM service on Christmas Eve with my mom and sister, Lisa. The best part of the service was when a young man came up to me and told me that he was going into full time ministry and I played a part in it. Twelve years ago, I was a camp counselor at a summer camp and he was one of my campers. He told me that I was one of many people that God put in his life that show him the love of God to him. After the service, we talked a little more and prayed. Hearing what he said made me feel good that God used me to change someone's life and help spread the Good News of Jesus to people I will never meet.

Christmas morning, I spent the morning exchanging text messages with friends and family. I got a phone call from my Love. We enjoyed talking to one another and Jo Anne talked with my mom. The call made me wish that Jo Anne was here to celebrate Christmas with us. I do miss her so much.

My family joined we over at my mom's house for Christmas dinner. Mom prepared roast beef this year for something different. Everyone enjoyed the dinner and then we had the gift opening time. My sister's kids had a good Christmas this year with different people getting gifts for them. I hope my sister is able to find a job soon. After the gift opening we shared in some desserts. It was a Merry Little Christmas for me this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Photo Of The Week: Christmas Lights

I enjoy driving by this house each December. There are couple people around Hendersonville, North Carolina that go all out with there Christmas lights. I enjoy looking at them and can not wait to drive around with Jo Anne to look at them next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Break!

This past few weeks, I have been too busy at work and don't have a chance to write and share something on our blog. It's been a month now since I posted my last entry here.

November is the busy month at work for this year, because we moved to our new building called Hills of Grace which is located at Montalban Rizal. From the time we moved there, I also need to stay at work during my four days of duty because I do not want to travel anymore during night time and for my safety too. All of us are busy transferring and arranging our things there and of course cleaning the whole area upon our arrival. December 1, 2011 is the "BAYANIHAN" day at work, where all the staff came over and had designated areas to clean as preparation for the Inauguration which is done last December 3, 2011. After the Inauguration, the next preparation we did is for the Children's Christmas Party which is done last Dec. 16, 2011 and the SCM Staff Christmas Party which is done last Dec. 19, 2011. That is also my last day at work for this year.

It is good to have a 2 weeks break this Christmas Season. I have more time to spend with my family, More time to talk with my Love Daniel, more time to rest and of course more time to meditate for the true meaning and reason for this season which is our Lord Jesus Christ.

Few days before Christmas, I was rushed doing Christmas shopping for some gifts to all my god children. It is really hard for me to budget the money to buy gifts for more than 40 kids. Here in the Philippines, I could say it is the tradition for the kids to visit and come over to the house of their relatives and godparents to give respect through "MANO PO". In return the godparents and their relatives prepared small gifts or sometimes give a certain amount to them. It's good to see how happy they are when they receive a gifts.

As of now, i'm really enjoying my day at home. We are going to prepare some food on the night of 24th to have our Noche Buena together with my brother and his family. My dad and I are planning to go out this Christmas to visit my Mom's grave at the cemetery then we will go straight to Trinoma to take our lunch there, then we will meet my brother Jonjon together with his family at Quezon City Memorial Circle to walk around and have our dinner together in one restaurant there. I hope and pray I will be with my Love Daniel by next year so we can enjoy and celebrate different occasions together. I trust God He will answer our prayers and we will hear good news on my visa.

I hope everyone will have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Let us all enjoy the Holiday Season of this year. God bless us all!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fun Christmas Gifts

Back when I was in college the Tickle Me Elmo was the popular gift to give for Christmas. It was so popular that you could get a Tickle Me Elmo in the college book store where I went to college. I do not know what the big Christmas gift is this year and have not heard anything about a must get gift for this Christmas like the Tickle Me Elmo was. Here is my list of interesting gifts that I have seen for sale this Christmas season.

Hoodie-Footie – I have not worn footie pajamas since I was a little boy. Now they make footie pajamas for adults. Perfect gift for the person in your life who just will not grow up. I think it would be cool just to have a Hoodie-Footie.

Leg Lamp – While I was out Christmas shopping with my mother this past weekend I saw in one of the stores, the leg lamp from A Christmas Story. Okay, it was not as big as the one in the movie but it was modeled after it. A Christmas Story is one of my favorite Christmas movies.

Obama Chia Pet – I always wanted to get a chia pet but never seemed to have the money to waste on one. If I had the money, I would get the whole line of president chia pets they have. Last year, the Obama Chia pet were hard to find. I heard it was because when the plants grown on the chia pet it looks like President Obama was a fro. Some people were offended. Okay people, it is a chia pet and all the people ones look like they have a fro.

Singing Turkey Hut – I think this one was leftover from Thanksgiving, but I have seen it in the local Wal-mart. The singing fish was a big thing around here several years ago. Hey, I have a turkey dancing and singing on my head.

What are some interesting things have you come across while Christmas shopping that would make unique gift this Christmas?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Preparing for Next Year and Christmas Shopping

December has been a busy month for me. This Saturday, I started working on a project that I am plan to do for my other Blog, Spiritual Places, Spiritual Moments. The main purpose of yesterday was to see if it would be feasible to do the project. At this point, it seems that I will only have a few problems, which I should be able to come up with a good solution for them. I will do a little more work on the project on this coming Friday and Saturday while I am on my Christmas Break from work. I will tell you more about the project, once I have more of it done and have the biggest problem that I see at this time taking care of.

Today after church today, I took mom up to Asheville, North Carolina, so she could do some Christmas shopping at the stores up there. I was surprised that many of the stores that we went into where not as busy as I thought they would be. I could tell people had been there. I hope that the employees have been cleaning and stocking each day. While, mom did get half her shopping and we are planning to finish the rest of her shopping on Friday or Saturday evening.

While, Jo Anne is on her Christmas break she plans to do a couple post for Mountain Highs and Valley Lows. She feels bad about not posting anything in a while due to work. I have a few ideas that I will be working on too. I hope all my you enjoy this final week before Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enjoying And Spreading Christmas Joy

The pass few days, I have been busy with going to parties and helping make the Christmas season a little better for others.

My mom had a Christmas party to go to Saturday in which she needed something to take which I took care of for her without her asking me for help. My mom enjoyed the party. While she was at the party I head out to have some time for myself. I stopped and got something to eat. While I enjoyed eating I hoped online with the free wi-fi at the restaurant. I was looking for ideas for things I could do to improve my Blogs. After, I finish eating and surfing, I when to look around the different stores nearby looking for mom's angel calendar and other things.

While I was looking around in the first store my oldest sister, Mary called and asked if I could be an extra pair of eyes with she goes shopping for my nephew's birthday party on Sunday afternoon. I met up with my sister and helped watch the kids while she gets the things she needed for the party. The kids mostly behaved themselves in the stores. Mary got most of the things she was looking for. She ordered and cake and asked me if I would pick it up after church on my way to the party.

After church on Sunday, my mom, sister Lisa and I headed up to the birthday party. My mom and I helped cook the food and prepare the snacks served at the party. My sister had a kids play different games which included musical chairs, stick the tail on the donkey, guess how many pieces of candy are in the container, and a pi┼łata. The kids enjoyed the games and the prizes they got for winning the games. My nephew enjoyed his seventh birthday party.

After my nephew birthday party, my mom and I headed home and I got ready for a Christmas party with my friends from church. I enjoyed my time at the Christmas party.

On Monday, my mom and I headed down to Marion, North Carolina to see my aunt. While in Marion, I paid one of my aunt's medical bills from her trips to the hospital earlier this here. Paying some of my aunt's medical bills is part of my sharing the blessing from God to bless others. I only share it here in the hopes it encourages others to do the same. I also took my aunt to her eye appointment. She got good news that her eyesight did not change and no new problems.

God has blessed Jo Anne and I over the past year. We hope to get the approval for Jo Anne's Visa soon. When we final get together, we plan to continue to find ways to bless others with the blessings we receive.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Helping Mom This Week

This week, I have been helping my mom with a couple things. This past weekend we started are annual search for an angel calendar for the next here. On Monday, she took her car into the garage to get so well needed repairs done.

On Saturday, mom and I headed down to Greenville, South Carolina to eat at a bar-b-que buffet in Travelers Rest and look around in a couple stores. My mom collects angels and she likes to have a calendar with angels for the year. I buy my mom different angel things now and then. There are a ton of different items with angels as the subject. We have no problems finding pictures, books, and statuettes but, we have the hardest time finding a calendar. In all our searching Saturday, we only found one calendar. I guess it will be like last year with the angel calendar with searching through the stores and finding only one calendar. A couple years ago we could find at least one angel calendar in every store that had calendars for sale. Now it seems we are lucky if we can find in one calendar in only one store is all of the area we look.

My mom has been driving around with out power steering on her car for a couple months now. Recently, she has been having problems with her car stalling. It is getting cold this time of year, so it is not a good thing for your car to be dying on the side of the road. So she took the car into the garage. It turn out that the censor that is near or has something to do with the power steering went bad and it was causing the car to stall. We decided to get the of the power steering system fixed. My mom was planning to let it go until she had enough money saved up to get a new car. She hopes to have enough money by spring or summer. I have been taking her to work in the morning and picking her up when she gets off in the afternoon. I am glad she got her car back yesterday, taking my mom to work messes my sleeping up. We are starting to work a little overtime due to the holidays and everyone using the last of their vacation days at work.

I am sure we will find a nice angel calendar for mom before the new year. I also need to pickup a calendar for my house too. I am glad that I do not have to worry that mom's car may stall on her while I am at work and there maybe no one to help her.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

70 Years After Pearl Harbor

Seventy years ago, the Japanese attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor. This attacked brought the United States fully into Would War II. As part of the the attack plan, the Japanese also attacked the Philippines and other islands in the Pacific. I would like to take some time to remember all who served and those who died in World War II.

While I was visiting with Jo Anne in the Philippines, we took the time to visit a couple historical locations which have had reading the history of World War II more real. If you are fortunate enough to live near a place where a battle or other action of the war took place, go there and reflect on the sacrifice that the brave men and women made on both sides. If you do not live near a location that was part of World War II history, take the time to talk with a veteran of World War II. Ask if your can record you interview. They are passing away now and there is no better way to learn about history then by someone who was there when in happened.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Photo Of The Week: Surviving Mushrooms

I first saw these mushrooms before Thanksgiving Day. I notice them again this week, surprise they survived the high traffic area they are in and with my nephews being there for the holiday.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


My friend found another funny video I though you guys would enjoy. Hey, you know you have seen some strange looking people at Wal~mart. When I worked at Wal-mart, I got to the point I could tell you what the weather was outside just by looking at the type of people who were shopping at the time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last Look At The Fall Color Of 2011

I enjoyed the the colors this year as the leaves changed color. It seemed the color lasted longer too. I thought now that the leaves are gone, that I would share one last look at some of the pictures I took on the leaves this fall.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings: Crazy Shoppers

Lining up at the doors before them open.
Running down the aisles.
Pushing, shoving, fighting
All this for what?
A cheap gift
Bruises, cuts, blindness
Guns shots
Time in jail
Is it worth it?
A few fleeing moments of happiness.

Written by Dan the Mountain Man

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sister Gets Baptized

My sister, Lisa got baptized at church this morning. We are excited to see Lisa start this new chapter of her life.

Baptism is an outward symbol of one's commitment to Jesus. People are not saved by being baptized. By being baptized, is an act of obedience to God when one accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Baptizing people in the name of the father, son, and Holy Ghost is part of the Great Commission.

And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." ~ Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

I go to a Baptist church where we fully submerge during baptism which symbolizes the death to the old self and rebirth into a new life in Jesus.

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." ~ Matthew 3:13-17 (ESV)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spending Thanksgiving With Family

I enjoyed the past couple day with my family and having some needed rest. My whole family join me at my mom's house. My mom was happy to see everyone on Thanksgiving Day. With one of my mom's friends joining us the total number of people was 16.

My aunt and Uncle came up with my cousin and his family from Marion, North Carolina. It was great to share Thanksgiving Day with them since we almost lost my aunt this year. We are thankful for the great job the EMS of McDowell County, the air medics from Hickory, North Carolina, and the doctors and nurses at Mission and St. Joseph's hospitals in Asheville, North Carolina. My youngest brother made it in from Kentucky.

I cooked the turkey and ham. My aunt, mom, and oldest sister helped cook the side dishes. I was surprised we had enough food for everyone. We decided to have ham with the turkey this year due to the number of people coming. We have are normal sides of stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, creamed onions, and other vegetables and cheese. For dessert we had apple pie, cherry pie, chocolate cake, peanut butter balls, and my favorite pumpkin pie.

Before we ate, we said the blessing and then when around telling the things we were thankful for. I was missing my Love so much and happy to see my whole family together I could not get what I was thankful for out. I ended up crying instead. This is the first time in a long time my whole family been together in a long time. I hope that next year Jo Anne will be with us.

While Black Friday, I took the day to rest. I only got up to go to the post office and to check on my house and turn the heat back on for when I returned last night. I do not like dealing with a lot of people and I saw nothing I needed or wanted for sale. By the news accounts, some people went all crazy over a brunch of junk. Besides, there are other sales where you can get the things cheaper if you watch for them.

The holiday season is off to a great start for me this year. I hope Jo Anne get the approval on her Visa we are waiting for this week. I hope all the readers and followers of Mountain Highs and Valley Lows have a Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings: Thanks For the Simple Things

Thanks for the simple things.
Thanks that I can breathe.
Thanks for a loving family.
Thanks for the food to eat.
Thanks for a place to live.
Thanks for the saving blood of Jesus.
Thanks for the simple things.

Written by Dan the Mountain Man

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Selling More Books On eBay

I just got done posting some books to sell on eEay. After several weeks of not being able to list any books, I managed to list 35 books to sell this week. Take a look at the books here. Any profit after I tithe will go to help me get Jo Anne here. Which there will not be much profit after the fees and shipping are getting care of. If selling books online goes good now, after Jo Anne get here I will use the money to help start our ministry we are planning to start to help the people in the Philippines have better lives. Take a look at the books and if you live in the United States and see a book you want please buy it. They make great Christmas gifts and most look new even though I listed them as good condition.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Lot Happened This Week

Last week, I got an eye exam and order new glasses. Sunday afternoon, I got new steel toed shoes for work. On Wednesday, I lost my cell phone down a drain in a parking lot. In all that happen this week, I am thankful for what I have.

I got vision insurance at work as part of my benefits. I decided that I should use it since I have been paying for it. I had my eye exam last Thursday and received my new glasses on this Thursday. My eyes have not changed that much so I did not need to get new glasses. My old glasses are over four years old. The exam and glasses can to the big total of $22. I will use the new glasses for doing my running around, special events and church. My old glasses I will use for work. This way I have a pair of glasses that look good when I have a special events to go to.

Last Sunday, I went to a discount shoe store up in Asheville, North Carolina. My shoes that I have been using for work were in need of replacing. The front is starting to come off. That is not very safe if I happen to drop something on my foot at work. Which I have done and some products in the warehouse are very heavy. I got my old shoes at Wal-mart and I am surprised that they lasted over a year before they got to the point of needing to be replaced. Not bad for a pair of shoes costing $28. The company I work for pays 60 percent of steeled toed shoes up to $50. I decided to try to get a major brand of shoes this time with the use of the benefit. I got a pair of Wolverines for $61 with tax and the company reimbursed me $37, so the shoes ended up costing me only $24. I had a spare pair on shoes in my locker at work in case I forget my shoe at home which I have done. I plan on getting another pair of shoe next year, so I can which the shoes off so they will last longer I hope.

Wednesday, it was raining when I got out of my car at the meeting spot for the car-pool for work. I had my cell phone in my jacket pocket. My phone fell out of the pocket and was washed down the drain in the parking lot. I looked all over and could not find it, so I headed on to work. After work I headed to my mom's house and got a flashlight and returned to where I parked my car while at work and looked there. I found it down in the drain. I lifted the cover and retrieved my phone from the drain. In the morning, I filed a claim and received the replacement phone on Friday. I hated losing my phone since it is the main way that Jo Anne and I talk with one another. I find it amazing that we can talk everyday even with being over 8,000 miles away from one another.

So many of the things that made my life easier this past week we take for granted. I believe we should be glad for the blessing we do have instead of looking at the things we do not have. Maybe the things we do not have are as important as the blessings we all ready have.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I Have Blog Block?

Okay, I have lots of ideas for post for here on Mountain Highs and Valley Lows but just can not seem to write them down. I am not sure how to word them. So post I decided not to do because I do not want to be to negative with my post and complain about things. I have not been working as much overtime at work but it seems I have been doing more around the house and working on other projects. I guess I will be able to sit down and work on some of my ideas during the holidays coming up. I have four days off next week for Thanksgiving Day. Then I have time off for Christmas and New Years. I will have more overtime between Christmas and New Years, which I guess would help me write more. I will have more to write about when we hear news from Homeland Security Department about Jo Anne's Visa. When the State Department approves their part of Jo Anne's Visa we will start a countdown for me to head to the Philippines to help Jo Anne get ready to come here and bring her here. While for now things seem to be moving slowly but soon we hope things will be moving quickly. We are looking forward to sharing the start of our life together with our followers here at Mountain Highs and Valley Lows. I am sure my Blog Block will break soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Working Around The House

This weekend, I have been busy with some work project around my house. I started to work on my plans to get the my place ready for winter and for when Jo Anne get here. At this point I am figuring that an approval is coming since it is taking so long. With my dealing with government the longer the wait the better the response for you. Jo Anne and I hope to hear the good news any day now. I have been checking the post box everyday.

I finally brought the third bookshelf for my books. It did not take me long to long to put the new set of shelves together. I sent more time looking for a part that was right in front of my eyes then putting the shelves together. The new set of shelves look better then the set of plastic shelves I had in the middle of the two old shelves. The plastic shelves, I moved to the kitchen to hopefully used for the kitchen stuff. I guess this week, I will be putting the books that have been laying on the floor onto the news shelves. Then I will slowly organize them, so I can found the book I want quicker. I will have to see if I need to get another set of shelves or not after I put the books up. With a little moving around I think I could get one more in the living room. I need to start organizing the office so I can start using it. I plan to have at least I small set of shelves in there for my genealogy books and other projects I am working on.

I have three compost piles sitting out in my yard now. I am off to a good start on my plan to put grass seed down in the spring and maybe a garden. I have the leaves raked up. Unfortunately, there is one or two trees that still have leaves on them so I will have a little more raking to do over the next week or two. I have taking some of the leaves and used them to full the hole up where I park my car. I plan to put mulch down over top the leaves to make the parking area look better. I hope that I do not need too many bags of mulch for my parking spot project. I do not want to put a whole lot of money in to things I can not take with me since I am only renting the place. Jo Anne and I plan to stay where I am right now until we have enough saved for a down payment of a house of our own. In the meantime, I will do little improvement projects where I am now. I had some people ask my why I am doing some of the things around the house. One reason is that I want to have things looking better then what my landlord can do. I do have a good landlord but some of the other tenets are happy to live in junk. The other reason is I can use it as practice to see what works and what does not work in the yard. Then when Jo Anne and I get our own place we will have a better landscaping plan.

I got some plastic for my windows. I was surprised at how much it cut down on the drafts from the windows. I only need to do the window where the air-condition is and the one in the bathroom since I left the plastic up from last year. I will check the other windows to see if the plastic needs to be replace but they looked go this weekend when I check quickly. I will need to get some insulation in a can to seal up a couple holes and insulate the outlets. That should take care of winterizing the house for this year.

Once i get the books put on the shelves I put up this weekend, I can start working on the other things inside the house to prepare for Jo Anne coming. I need a get a sofa and a new bed frame. I have been pricing both at stores around the area. I saw some good looking sofas at a thrift store in town for a reasonable price but I plan to wait until I have things setup for the travel to bring Jo Anne here.

It seem that work around a house never ends and I am sure I will have more to do as time goes on. I look at it as a blessing to have a place to take care of and enjoy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Monday, November 07, 2011

Monday Musings: The Campfire

Cool night
Just right
For a campfire!
Gathered your friends
Start the fire.
Tell stories
Make the S'mores
Making memories
With your friends.
Is there more?

Poem written by Dan the Mountain Man

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Farewell Andy Rooney

I grew up watching Andy Rooney on 60 Minutes. As I got older his commentaries where the reason I would watch 60 Minutes on CBS when I had the time to watch it. I enjoyed listen to him and found him entertaining and insightful. I will miss Andy Rooney.

My favorite one is when he traced his old car that he traded in at the dealership and traced it to the new owner.

Thank you Andy Rooney for your wisdom and entertainment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Musings: Walk Through The Cemetery

It is midnight in the cemetery.
Moon is playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds.
Moonlight cause shadows to dance in the cemetery.
Breeze blows the leaves around the graves.
My imagination runs wild as I walk between the graves.
I am getting all scared as I look around.
Thinking a should not have walked through the cemetery.

Poem written by Dan the Mountain Man

Friday, October 28, 2011

Photo Of The Week: Blood Drop Leaf

I saw this leaf and found it very interesting. No it is not really blood, it is the way the leaf is colored.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Punky Blewster Goes Shopping!

I have been thinking about the old Punky Blewster Television show from the eighties. I remember this show from when I was young. I wish I could find it on DVD. This video brings back some memories.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Musings: Shadows In The Woods

Full moon is out tonight!
I see shadows in the woods!
Are they just shadows?
Could it be a werewolf?
Could it be a bigfoot?
Maybe it is a ghost?
I am to scared to check!
I see shadows in the woods!
Are they just shadows?

poem by Dan the Mountain Man

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Aunt's Birthday Dinner

Today, I took a trip down to Marion, North Carolina with my mom and sister, Lisa to see my aunt and uncle. We had a enjoyable trip down Old Fort Mountain as we looks at the beautiful tree that are full of color. After arrive at my aunt and uncle's house we talked a little before heading to the restaurant. My aunt told us about the Survivors Dinner the McDowell County EMS workers has for the people they helped in the past year. My aunt got to meet all the people form the EMS who saved her life earlier this year. We are all grateful for what they did in saving my aunt. In the pass couple years, both my aunt and uncle have spent time in the hospital for medical emergencies. We are thankful for God seeing them through so we could enjoy this day with them.

We eat at the Open Flame Buffet & Grill in Marion. They had a lot of good country food on their bars. My aunt and uncle enjoyed their dinner out since they do not get to go out that often. My aunt used to go to the buffet often before she went to the hospital.

After we finished dinner, we went shopping at Wal~mart in Marion. The store is starting to look a little bare since they are going to open a new Wal~mart Supercenter this week. Reminds we when Hendersonville got its supercenter years ago. My aunt could not stop thanking me for the dinner and my mom and my sister for coming down to see her. When we got back to their house I took a picture of everyone. We left after a little more talking to get back up the mountain before it got too dark. My mom and sister enjoyed their trip and time to with my aunt and uncle.

My uncle, aunt, mom and sister Lisa

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Enjoying My Day Off!

Today, was the first day in what seems like forever that I have had a day off from work with nothing pressing to do. I started my Saturday, as I normally do, with going to Chick-fil-a and talking with Jo Anne and using my webcam so she can see me. I sent my afternoon going up to Asheville and looking around in some thrift stores and shopping at Foreign Affairs Oriental Market on Tunnel Road. I needed to get some banana catchup (banana sauce) and vermicelli. I also got a can of lychee juice. Yes I said banana catchup and it taste better then tomato catchup.

I stopped at a shoe store on the way up to Asheville to look for steel toed shoes for work. They only had steel toed boots. I do not want the boot because they hurt my feet. The shoe I am wearing now at work are show the wear. They are a pair of shoe from Wal~mart and I am impressed they lasted over a year. I guess you can get good quality stuff at Wal~mart but it is rare. I need to look in some other shoe stores for the steel toes shoes that look like regular street shoes. I do not want to wait for the next shoe truck to come to work. The good thing is the company I work for will pay for 60 percent up to $50 of the shoes.

On the way back I drove on part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The leaves our in full color now. I guess there may be one more week. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a great place to look at the leaves. I enjoyed looking at the leaves on the whole trip today. Here are a couple pictures I took today of the leaves.

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

A tree at one of the stores

I will enjoy more leaves as I head down to Marion, North Carolina to see my aunt and celebrate her birthday. My mom and youngest sister will be joining me on the trip down. I am treating them all out for dinner at a local buffet my aunt likes to go to in Marion. It will be good to spend time with my aunt and uncle tomorrow. I plan on doing a post about my trip tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yea, I Passed My Car Inspection

I got my car inspected on Tuesday. I am glad I have less trouble with getting it pass inspection this year. I hope the guy I took it to last year is missing all the money he is not getting from me. I was going to one of these quick lube places for my oil changes. I thought I would get my my inspection done there since I needed a oil change too. While this idiot told me he could not pass my car for something doing with my car. I took it somewhere else to get fixed since they do not do that kind of work there. I talked to the guys who fixed the problem and the couple real mechanic and they all told me that the problem was not something that was covered on the State Inspection. The mechanic checked out my car and told me that it should pass now. I took my car back to the quick lube and he still would not pass my car pointing out more things that had nothing to do with the inspection. I left and headed to where I get my tires and pass the inspection with only needing to fix one small thing.

This year, I was going to take it to the tire place but my check engine light came on so I took it to my regular mechanic. My regular mechanic fixed the problem with the light and passed my inspection all for less then fifty dollars. When it comes to my car it is the good service not the cheap service that keeps me coming back. Good service may cost more sometimes but in the long run it cost you less. My regular mechanic remembers who I am and about my car. That is without a computer. Plus he changes less on some things then other places. I know when he tells me something about my car I can trust his word.

The bottom line with this is my car is helps me make money. So you mess with my car you mess with my money. You just do not mess with a man's money. So do not mess with my car, especially if you want some of my money.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Family Bonding 2011

After four years, my brother Noel together his whole family came back to the Philippines to spent their short vacation and to celebrate the 18th birthday of my niece Kristine. It is a great joy for us to see each other after a long time, we miss each other so much and we thank God for the wonderful bonding moment we had though it was only for 2 weeks.

Kristine celebrated her 18th birthday last September 25, 2011 at Sulo Riviera Hotel. We're very happy to be a part of the celebration. I know that is her promise to my Mom before they leave and migrate to Australia, that she will come back to celebrate her 18 birthday in the Philippines. I'm sure Mom is happy though she's not around anymore.

It is nice to see each other. We had fun going out, eating together, and spent time talking with one another. Most of the time we went to SM City and Trinoma, they love going there to enjoy the mall and because they are having a hard time to adjust on the humid weather here. The kids really had a great time with their cousins Third and Chloe. Two weeks is not enough but they need to go back in Australia because of their work and school. We are longing for more bonding time soon but i guess it will take years again before it's going to happen.

Here are some of our pictures and I hope you enjoy viewing it.
Kristine's Debut

Bonding Moments

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Life or Riches?

Thought for the Day!
Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me." Matthew 19:21

As a taxicab driver, I sometimes transport patients who are afflicted with cancer and under medical care. Marielle, a 53 year old woman, lives on a hill overlooking the city, in a magnificent villa with a beautiful swimming pool and an unrestricted view of the ocean. She had gone back to school, hoping to get a better job and to improve her quality of life and had been highly successful.

One day as we left for her chemotherapy session, she told me she would gladly trade all her worldly good for 10 more years of life so she could see her 16 year old son grow up. What she said stunned me. I thought that material possessions could make people happy, but even with all that she had, Marielle was not happy.

Her anguish was an important lesson for me. I thought about the rich young man who was sad when Christ asked him to sell all his goods to give the proceeds to the poor, and follow him. That day I came to understand that riches cannot give us genuine joy. Christ alone, who invites us to drink from his source of abundant life, is capable of giving us true happiness.

True joy can only be found when you totally submit your life to God. The joy that money can give is only temporary but the joy that comes from the Lord is forever.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Musings: I Blew A Carrot Out Of My Nose!

I felt something in my nose.
I took a tissue and blew and blew.
Nothing came out!
The pressure grew and grew.
I took another tissue and blew and blew
Still nothing cam out!
I felt the pressure grow and grow!
Finally my nose did blow!
I looked at what came out.
There in the goo was a carrot!
I blew a carrot out of my nose!

poem by Dan the Mountain Man

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Samaritan's Purse Gift Challenge

This week a received the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog for Christmas 2011 in the mail. Many of you maybe aware of Operation Christmas Child which is another ministry of Samaritan's Purse. The gift catalog is not like a regular catalog where you buy things and they are shipped to you but you donate money for different gift to help with different personal and ministry needs around the world. You can chose a gift that will rescue a child from exploitation, help paid for the cost of life changing and life saving medical care, or buy a family a fruit tree or livestock to provide food and other needs of a needy family.

This morning I challenged my Sunday School Class to chose a gift from the gift catalog and share the blessing we received with people in need. I would like to open my challenge to the all of you who read and follow Mountain Highs and Valley Lows. Please look through the gift catalog and chose a gift that will change a life. Please challenge your friends, family and followers on your blog to the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog Challenge.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” ~ Act 20:35 (ESV)

I have seen the joy that Operation Christmas Child at different levels and how it brings joy to the children receiving them. Samaritan's Purse helps in improving the everyday life of people and assist in disaster relief all around the world. So join me and give a gift that will make a difference in lives all around the world.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Beautiful Day For A Wedding

I had the honor today to join in the celebrated of the marriage between Jen Byrne and Philip Taylor. The wedding was a beautiful start to what I hope is a lifetime of love for Jen and Philip. I know Jen from church and know she has a heart for Jesus. Philip is a blessed men to have her for his wife. Their wedding was officiated by Pastor Randall Popham, and he talked about the Language of Love and Respect in the ceremony. This mirrored what the book The Language of Love and Respect : Cracking the Communication Code with Your Mate by Emerson Eggerichs, which is what I got them for a wedding gift. I hope they remember the words of Randall and the book and have a great marriage.

I enjoy going to weddings. All during the wedding I was wishing that Jo Anne was with me and thinking our wedding to come. It was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for the outside reception. I saw a lot of people that I had not seen to talk with in a long time. It was good to tell them about how things are going with Jo Anne and I. Jo Anne and I are hoping to hear good news soon about her Visa and be married early 2012.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

How Many Slaves Work For You?

Slavery is still a problem in today's world. Compassion send we a link to Slavery Footprint. I took the survey on the website and it said that I had 22 slaves working for me to have the life I have. Take some time to take the survey and post the results in the comments for this post. Maybe me can work together to getting all results do to zero. First we need to see where we are starting at. So how many slaves work for you?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Stressful Week But Full Of Blessings

This week I was busy at work, my friend and mentor had a heart attack, and helped one of my mom's friends move to a new place. I feel like, I have been so busy the past few weeks. I plan to relax the next two weekends coming up.

I only worked two hours of overtime this week but still have a lot of order to pack. I am also still waiting for my pay raise. The blessing is when they finally give it to we, I get retro pay for to the second week of August. My understanding is the person in Human Resources that signs off my the raises has been out for three weeks. Good things I am not hurting for the money. Maybe it will be on this coming week's pay check.

Wednesday night, I got a call from the wife of my friend and mentor telling me they took him to the hospital because he had a heart attack. He is recovering nicely and is back home. My mentor is a great blessing to me and has giving me lot of great and Godly advise. The blessing with this is he looks a lot better and he maybe be able to take part in a study that will pay for his medicine.

The most stressful part of the week has helping my mom's friend move this weekend. She had been living in the same house for over ten years. The place she moved into is smaller, a lot smaller. She is a high stressed person to start with and then adding moving which is stressful to anyone. I was not prepared to deal with the stress as well as I would have like to be due to only getting a few hours sleep between work and helping her. Most of the stuff she give to my mom and I, we had to throw away for various reasons. I had problems finding people to help with moving her. My friend Seth came to help. God provided some other people through the social worker that is helping my mom's friend.

I have been having problems with my cell phone so I ended up getting a new phone today. The cell phone is my main way to talking with Jo Anne, so you see that it is important that it works good. Jo Anne and I missed our normal Saturday morning routine of seeing one another on web cam. I hope with the new phone Yahoo IM works better. I have been missing talking with my Love.

I am sure this week will be better. Maybe full of good news.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Musings: Fall Colors

Fall as come to the forest.
Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Red
God slashed color all over!

Final show of color in the forest,
Before die and off to the ground
Leaves on the ground prepare
What is needed for next year.

Take a walk in the forest.
Green, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Red
Enjoy the all the color!

by Dan the Mountain Man

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Overtime and Pay Raise!

I have been busy this month with work and another project I am working on. We have been working a lot of overtime at work. The company I work for is changing warehouse out of the west coast. We are sending product to the western warehouse as they are moving into their new place. The word going around work is we will be on overtime at least until the end of the year. I also will be getting my nine month pay raise soon. It is six weeks late but I am not worried because the company will pay me back to my nine month date. I talked with my supervisor yesterday and he told me that the paperwork is turned in. He is just waiting for Human Resources to get the paperwork back to him. I guess the raise will be on this week's check or next week.

The other project I am working on is selling book online. This is my third week for selling books and I am doing good so far. I have only sold 10 books and made $11 so far. I am doing this to see how it works first hand. If the project works, I will use what I learn to start my own business. I will use the business to help we start my ministry I want to start to help improve the lives of people who are less fortunate then me. I will be written for of this project later and the business and the ministry as things get rolling on them.

Money from the overtime and the sale of the books will help with getting Jo Anne here to the United States. We are still waiting for word on her Visa. We hope to hear good news soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

John Pinette: I Say Nay Nay

I was a little depressed yesterday due to not sleeping good the night before. I thought I share this video with you in case you need a laugh. This is the first part of six videos and I encourage you to check the other parts out. John Pinette is funny. One of my friend played these videos for me this past weekend.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting The Car Working On Round 2

This week I took my car in for more work. I am glad to say it only cost me $326 to get it fixed. Okay, not everything is fixed but the things that are not fix cost more to fix then I what to put into the car. I am going to start laying money aside to get a new car. While with these repairs, I got a new motor mount and got a couple coolant leaks fixed. I put off getting the freeze plugs replaced at this time. In order to replace them my mechanic told me that they would have to take the motor out and it would take 14 hours to do the job. That is a little bit more work I want done on the car at this time. I will monitor the coolant to see it the leak is getting worse.

At this point, I plan to only have this car for one more year. I will start saving up the money I need to pay for a new car and look at what kind of cars are for sale. I also hope that I have no more problems with my car until I am able to get a new one. The main reason I am waiting to get a new car, is that I am keeping as much money as I can for Jo Anne's Visa process. All the processing and lawyer's fees involved with it make car repairs look cheap. I am sure that it will be all worth it once Jo Anne and I are here together.

Since over the last month I have spent over half my savings for work on my car, it is time to start building the savings back up. I am glad that God has blessed me with my job that provides for my needs.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

The morning ten years ago start like any normal day but, quickly changed to a day of horror and shock. I remember having the day off but waking early to take my mom to work. I came out to the living room where my mom was watching the news just before the cut over to the World Trade Center. Terrorism did not enter my mind until I saw the second plane hit the towers. I remember thinking at that time, “Oh my God! We are being attacked!” I felt shocked more then horror that day and the days after. I had seen two the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in person before that day. I remember the tour guide on the bus pointing out where the truck entered the garage in the 1993 bombing of World Trade Center as we drove by as we toured New York City on a mission trip. On the same trip, we had the honor of preforming at the Pentagon. After we sung our songs, we took a tour of the Pentagon. I can not help but think that I had been in the section of the Pentagon that was hit by the plane.

Since that day, I have had many changes in my life. I have refused to let the fear that the men behind the attacks tried to bring to people in the would stop me from doing the things I wanted to do. This attack was an attack not only on the United States but all people of the world. It was an attack on Christians, Jews, Buddhist, and Muslims alike. I still rely on my faith in God to make it through each day. I pray that people while remember the protection and strength God provided that day.

I would like to take this time to thank the First Responders who service us everyday and run into danger as most are running out to help people in need. Many First Responders gave their lives to save other ten years ago. Lets always remember the heroes of 9/11, rather they were a First Responder or not.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Doing The Brakes

As I said in my post earlier this week, I replaced the brake pads and rotors on my car Saturday afternoon. I hate to say it was a project that made me feel really stupid. Changing the brake pads and rotors is one of the few things I can do on my car myself. While with my current car it seems I do not have the best lucky doing my own work. Today, it seemed like I had one problem after another with doing the brakes. It was not all bad. I got the tires off my easy enough. For those of you who have followed Mountain Highs and Valley Lows for awhile, you may remember a couple months ago when I had a flat tire and could not get the tire off the car. So getting the tire off was a good thing. My jack is a little to small for the car so I guess, I will have to brake down and get a newer larger jack instead of using a piece of wood to raise the jack up higher. My car rolled a little knocking the jack and jack stand over. I forgot to put the parking brake on. I put the parking brake on and got the car jacked back up and on the jack stand. I called my friend and mentor, Keith, for help with the rest of the brake work. Once he arrived, we got to work. After a little work I got the caliper off the passenger side. The pads needed a little encouragement to come off. Then my clamp I had was to small to push the caliper back. While trip to the hardware store to get a bigger clamp.

We got the clamp and got back to my car to finish the brakes up. I got the new pad and rotor on the passenger side. I had a hard time getting the caliper with the new pads back over the rotors. After a little more adjustment on the caliper, I got it back on and the passenger side finished up.

I got the tire off the driver's side then I got a phone call. When I got back from answering the call Keith had the old pads and rotors off. I told him that I should give up on working on my car myself and have him do the work. His answer was, “Then who I am I to watch to learn from their mistakes so I can make it look easy.” While the driver's side went a lot easier then the passenger side. I am so blessed to have such good friends like Keith. We got the brake finish in time for we to out to help my sister.

As you can see in the picture here of my brake pads need to be changed badly. There was no pads left. I did not hear the noise the pads make when they are low this time. If had I would have had the pads changed a lot sooner. I hope I am not that deaf, that I can not hear my brakes grinding. I guess I just was not paying attention to the different noise my car makes enough. The brakes are done and on to the next thing I need to fix on the car. I plan on taking the car in next week to my regular and trusted mechanic to the other problems checked out. I hope it will not cost too much to resolve the remaining problems. I am glad that I have had very few problems with my car even with its age. I hope to get at least another year out of it. When you have a good car and it is not nickel and diming you, why worry about getting a new car.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Waking On A Peaceful Morning

Waking on a peaceful morning
Enjoying the quiet of the morning
All rested for the new beginning
Everyone is else still sleeping

The sun has raised in the sky
The moon has said good-by
Clouds float by in the sky
The birds sing as they fly

The breeze blows
The flowers glow
The creek flows
The cow lows

Written by Dan the Mountain Man

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Getting The Car Worked On

I guess I have been lucky with my car being it is a 1996 model, only having to do a few repairs outside of the regular maintenance stuff on it. Last week, I got my regular oil change for the car. Monday, I took into the transmission shop to have a leak in the side pan replace. There went $440 and that was after the discount they gave me. Normally, they charge over $600 to do the job. They pointed out a few problems they found with my car as they were working on it. I can trust there option since they only do transmission work and they are not trying to get more money by saying there is a problem just so they can charge me more to fix it. On top of that I was already aware of most of the problems they point out.

This coming weekend, I will be replacing the brake pads and rotors. I knew that I would have to change them soon just not this soon. At least, I know how to do the brakes. Save a little money on the labor for doing it myself.

Since it is my turn to drive for the car-pool next week for work, I will take my car to my regular mechanic the following week. Most the other work deals with the motor. I do not want to mess to much with that part of the car at this point in my skill level with cars. I have a coolant leak, which I was aware of before the transmission shop told me about it. One of my spark plugs is misfiring and I hope that does not mean I have the same problem I had before with my motor. I hope that changing the hoses and the spark plugs will take care of the problem. The last time my spark plug was miss firing it was because coolant was getting into where the spark plug was and causing problem. That cost me around $500 to fix. Why someone would put a plastic part on a motor I have no idea.

The other problem was one of my motor mounts is broke. That is something normal there. This is the first on this car. I had one car that it seemed that I was replacing motor mounts all the time on it. The labor is the big part of fixing a motor mount. They can do it while doing the hoses.

It is times like this that I have been saving up money. Okay, I would rather be using the money for the immigration stuff for Jo Anne but I need to take care of the car. I am sure God will provide the money we need for the immigration process as he does with everything else. The car is not nickel and dime me yet. I plan to get a new car after Jo Anne gets here in the United States. I hope when we both have jobs to have two cars. Of course, Jo Anne will have the better of the two cars as it should be. The good thing is I believe I can cover the brakes with my pay check this week and will not have to take out from my saving for them. Beside, I am waiting for my nine-month pay raise to kick in. I will get retro pay back to the second week of August when out the raise on my check. I thank God for his previsions.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mom's Birthday Dinner

Today, I had the pleasure of taking my mom and two of our friends out for dinner. Going out for our birthdays is a family tradition for my family. Mom had asked our friends to join us since she has not had time to hang out with them for while with all of us working different schedules. Since, I paid for the dinner it not only was a birthday dinner for my mom but, I way to thank our friends for all the support they given us over the past couple years. I thankful to God for providing for me with a great support team. We drove out to the Twin Dragons Grand Buffet in Brevard, North Carolina. I was glad mom choose the Twin Dragons as the place to eat for her birthday. They are one of my favorite places to eat for Chinese food. After our dinner, we drove around the town of Brevard. We all enjoyed our evening together celebrating another year of life for my mother.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Photo Of The Week: End Of Summer!

Things are all quiet here at the fort That the kids in the neighbor built and played in this summer, now that school started on Thursday. This fort reminds me, how blessed that I am to live in the United States, where the poorest kids' play fort is what so many people in the world call a home. When I was in the Philippines it broke my heart to see so many people living in towns of houses that looked nothing more then this play fort for the kids.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Action Speak Louder than Words!!!

I just want to share a wonderful Love Story that I heard last Friday in our devotion at work. It is written by an unknown author that really strikes into my heart and inspire me a lot. Here's the story!


One day, I woke early morning to watch the sunrise. Ah, the beauty of God's creation is beyond description. As I watched, I praise God for His beautiful work. As I sat there, I felt the Lord's presence with me. He asked me, "Do you love me?"
I answered, "Of course, God! You are my Lord and Savior!" Then He asked, "If you were physically handicapped, would you still love me?" I was perplexed. I looked down upon my arms, legs, and the rest of my body and wondered how many things I wouldn't be able to do, the things that I took for granted. And I answered, "It would be tough Lord, but I would still love You." Then the Lord said, "If you were blind, would you still love my creation?" How could I love something without being able to see it? Then I thought of all the blind people in the world and how many of them still loved God and His creation. So I answered, "It's hard to think of it, but I would still love You." The Lord then asked me, "If you were deaf, would you still listen to My word?" How could I listen to anything being deaf? Then I understood. Listening to God's word is not merely using our ears, but our hearts. I answered, "It would be tough, but I would still listen to Your Word." The Lord then asked, "If you were mute, would you still praise My Name?" How could I Praise without a voice? Then it occurred to me, God wants us to sing from our very heart and soul. It never matters what we sound like. And praising God is not always with a song, but when we are persecuted, we give God praise with our words of thanks. So I answered, "Though I could not physically sing, I would still praise Your Name." And the Lord asked, "Do you really love Me?" With courage and strong conviction, I answered boldly, "Yes Lord! I love You, because You are the one and true God!" I thought I had answered well, but God asked, "Then why do you sin?" I answered, "Because I am only human, I am not perfect." "Then why in times of peace do you stray the furthest? Why only in times of trouble do you pray the earnest?" No answers, only tears. The Lord continued: "Why only sing at fellowships and retreats? Why seek Me only in times of worship? Why ask things so selfishly? Why ask things so unfaithfully?" The tears continued to roll down my cheeks. "Why are you ashamed of Me? Why are you not spreading the Good News? Why in times of persecution, you cry to others when I offer My shoulder to cry on? Why make excuses when I give you opportunities to serve in My Name?" I tried to answer, but there was no answer to give. "You are blessed with life. I made you not to throw this gift away. I have revealed My Word to you, but you do not gain in knowledge. I have spoken to you, but your ears were closed. I have shown My blessings to you, but your eyes were turned away. I have sent you servants, but you sat idlely by as they were pushed away. I have heard your prayers and I have answered them all." "DO YOU TRULY LOVE ME?" I could not answer. How could I? I was embarrasses beyond belief. I had no excuse. What could I say to this?
When my heart had cried out and the tears had flowed, I said, "Please forgive me Lord. I am unworthy to be Your child." The Lord answered, "that is My grace, My child." I asked, "Then why do you continue to forgive me? Why do you love me so?" The Lord answered, "Because you are My creation. You are My child. I will never abandon you. When you cry, I will have compassion and cry with you. When you shout with joy, I will laugh with you. When you are down, I will encourage you. When you fall, I will raise you up. When you are tired, I will carry you. I will be with you till the end of days, And I will love you forever." Never had I cried so hard before.
How could I have been so cold? How could I have hurt God as I had done? I asked God, "How much do You love me?" The Lord stretched out His arms, and I saw His nail-pierced hands. I bowed down at the feet of Christ, my Savior. And for the first time, I truly prayed.

Words are not enough to show how much we love God. A true love should express in deeds. If we truly love God, we will not hurt Him. We must give and commit our whole life to Him, not just a part of it but with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:29

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Currency of Humility

Mark Hanlon, Senior Vice President of Compassion USA, spoke to employees during our August 17, 2011 chapel about humility.

I find this video and wanted to share it with you. I sponsor a child through Compassion International.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Best

My Best

I give you my best.
You reject my best.
I want to give you my best.
You say you want my best.
I used to do my best.
You rejected my best.
Can I give you my best?
Do you really want my best?
I give you my best.
You reject my best.

Written by Dan the Mountain Man

I wrote this poem as part of dealing with trying to give my best to people who rejected my best. I always try to give my best to people in work, family, and relationships. I am surprised at how my times people reject the best a person can give them. I guess we all do it reject someone's best because their best is not our way. I take pride in the things I do for others. I am just tired of dealing with people who say they want my best but because I am not doing it their way the reject my best. Please do not ask for my best and then proceed to tell me I am doing it the wrong way. You can make suggestions on how I can do something better. I will try your way. If you way works for me I will use your way. If my way works better for me I will use my way. As I have many times before I will join the two ways together. I am different from you. Your way of doing things may not work for me. Give me goals to meet and some limits on how to do it. Do not force me to done it only one way, your way. If you want it done your way do it yourself. You are the only one who can do it the way you want it. All I can do is give you my best or try giving you my best. I am not the one who loses when you reject my best. You are the loser. If you let me do my best we both will look good.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Trip Through Eastern Buncombe County

Since I had this Saturday off, I decided to do some work of a project I am working on for my other Blog, Spiritual Places, Spiritual Moments, in which I we post in November. I planned on going through the towns of Swannanoa, Black Mountain and Montreat, North Carolina. I was happy when I heard Black Mountain was having their annual Sourwood Festival.

My first stop was Swannanoa First Presbyterian Church. I come here to see the grave of L. Nelson Bell, a missionary to China. You may know his daughter, Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham. I enjoy visiting places where great people of the faith walked or laid to rest.

After walking around the cemetery a little while, I headed to Black Mountain to enjoy the 34th Sourwood Festival. The Sourwood Festival is focused on Sourwood Honey. I like how Black Mountain had the festival setup with the vendors down by the railroad tracks, so you could still enjoy walking store to store in the rest of the town. It has been a while since I been to Black Mountain. I plan to send for time there after Jo Anne gets here.

I brought a funnel cake with powered sugar from one of the vendors. I sat down and listened to a guy singing on a stage nearby as a enjoyed the funnel cake. A funnel cake is made by poring pancake batter through a funnel into hot oil. You flip the funnel cake once to cook both side. Once done cooking you remove from the oil and top with powered sugar, cinnamon, chocolate syrup or fruit topping.

I looked around in some of the stores in town. I found a great used book store on Cherry Street. I also enjoyed looking the General Store on the corner of US Highway 70 and NC Highway 9.

After Black Mountain, I drove into Montreat for a little walk down memory lane. I went to college at Montreat College in Montreat. Montreat gets its name from the joining of mountain and retreat. I walked around the campus of the college and Lake Susan. I always feel at peace in Montreat.

I enjoyed walking the Lake Susan and remembering the many times that my friends and I would hang out down there. I even remember one time after the lake froze walking across the ice on the lake. I would not recommend doing that even after the temperatures being below freezing as my friends and I were lucky enough to have at the time. We all ran when we heard the ice crack and the police coming.

It was great to visit my old thinking spot below the dam, where I would spend lots of time reflecting on God.

After spending some time in Montreat, I headed to over to Ridgecrest to find the trail head for the Old US Highway 70 down Old Fort Mountain. This road was abandon when Interstate 40 opened and US Highway 70 was rerouted to join Interstate 40. I plan on walking down it one day. Of course, I will share my adventure here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Photo Of The Week: Bear Necessities

Title: Bear Necessities
Sponsor: Shelley's Jewelry
Artist: Donna Leven and Bernard Edwards

This is one of the bears of display on Main Street in Hendersonville as part of Bearfootin' in Downtown Hendersonville. This is an annual sidewalk art display for downtown Hendersonville, that last from May through the summer up to October when the bears are auctioned off to raise money for local charities. Come to downtown Hendersonville and see this and the other bears.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Am Who I Am

I am who I am.
I do not want to be like him.
I do not want to be like her.
I do not want to be like you.
I want to be like me.
I am who I am.

I am who I am.
If I was like him,
If I was like her,
If I was like you,
I would not be me.
I am who I am.

Written by Dan the Mountain Man

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Barney Frank Passing Gas

The best thing he said was right after jobs and he said it with his other hole. It is funny to watch how he is trying stop from passing gas on live TV. He settles down after the fart noise. I know I would turn beet red if it happened to me. It is good we can laugh at our politicians.

For my followers outside the United States, Barney Frank in a Democrat from Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives.,

Friday, August 05, 2011

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Unexpected Break From Blog

While, it has been all most two weeks since I posted something on Mountain Highs and Valley Lows. I have had a lot going on with the Blog, work and a little movement with Jo Anne's Visa.

Jo Anne did a couple post last week on some things she has been doing. I could not see the pictures she posted with the post, so Jo Anne and I worked on fixing that technical error all week. I am glad we got the pictures working on Saturday. In solving the problem, we learned a better way to post picture slideshow for Mountain Highs and Valley Lows.

I what to do a couple different things on Mountain Highs and Valley Lows but all my free time was taking up by getting the pictures working. I worked 9 hours shifts last week. Between the longer hours and work and the hot temperatures in the warehouse, I do not feel like doing much more then sleep. With the typhoons that made landfall in the Philippines, I had a couple hotter days then Jo Anne did. I had problems with my cell phone last week end and Verizon sent me a replacement phone which I got on Tuesday. I am glad the new phone seems to work a lot better but I do have a little problem with the G button on it. I will deal with that problem for now as long as nothing else happens.

While waiting for the package with my replacement cell phone and talking with Jo Anne on Tuesday morning, the kids of the white trash neighbor decided to start throwing their toys and trash all over their, my other neighbor's and my yards. I talked with the maintenance guy and he told me they would be kicked out soon. I did not get a chance to clean up my yard until Saturday. While cleaning my yard up I saw the my back window was broke by one or more of the toys thrown on Tuesday. The when down and reported the damage to the manager and she told me the some great news. My white trash neighbor is moving out and they were supposed to be out by Monday. They are gone now and left a lot of trash laying around but they are gone. I hate to see a family with kids kicked out of their house but if they want to live like animals they can do it somewhere else.

At work I have been working 9 hour shifts last week and the rest of this week. I hope I work this Saturday, so I can save more money for getting Jo Anne here. Work seems to be a little slower then last year. I thank God that I have a job especially one where I get overtime when so many do not have work.

Okay, now for the part you been reading this post for. Last Monday, I received a letter from USCIS informing me of an appointment I needed to go to Charlotte, North Carolina. I drove down to Charlotte yesterday and they took my figure prints. The appointment only took ten minutes and that includes checking in. The staff there was very friendly and made me feel a ease as I was very nervous. The lawyer that is helping us told me it maybe a month to three months after this appointment that we hear if the Visa is approved the Department of Homeland Security and sent over the State Department.

After the appointment, I went to the Billy Graham Library and drove around down town Charlotte. I need to plan a trip down to Charlotte where I came park my car and walk around the downtown and explore. I will have to ask my friends that live in Charlotte where are the best places to park and the best way to get to them. Charlotte has a lot of one way street and then you are aloud to turn on to them on some of the crossroads. I need to come up with a standing plan for Charlotte so I have a plan if the next appointment comes on a short notice like this one. Charlotte is a two hour drive and it is not worth the travel down for just a ten minute appointment. While the trip is worth getting my Love here just not wise to only do the appointment.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Debut is one of the special event celebrated here in the Philippines when the girl turns to 18. It signifies also that a girl from her childhood now turns to become a young lady. The program is set to have an 18 Roses, where 18 young men will give a rose and dance the debutant; 18 Candles, 18 young ladies who will give their wishes to the celebrant; 18 Symbolic gifts or Treasures, composed of 18 people who will have a present or gift to the debutant and they are going to explain it why they give it to her, something that represents her character or what she likes the most. It's good to reminisce my debut happened last 1997, I thank my parents who gave me a wonderful birthday celebration and making my 18 years of life a very memorable one.
This coming September is the most awaited month for me and the whole family because my eldest niece is going to celebrate her 18 birthday here in the Philippines. For our readers, I will keep you updated and post some pictures too about my niece birthday. I know not all country celebrates the debut, but I hope you all like what Filipinos did. I want to share some of the photos we had on the debut party we attended last Sunday, she's the daughter of Thess, my second cousin.