Bible Verse Of The Day

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!

A LOVE 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.