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Friday, 24 January 2020

Heart Beats Spiritual Being Human Journey - A.K. Frailey

Heart Beats: Spiritual Being Human Journey
A.K. Frailey
A. K. Frailey Books
ISBN 9780997067569
ASIN B076P5VRHK



I have only read one novel from A.K. Frailey. But have intended to read more of them, and even have a few on my device ready to go. I have enjoyed many of the stories and reflections she has shared links to via social media, and greatly enjoyed them. When I found out she had released this collection of reflections and a collection of short stories called It Might Have Been: And Other Stories, I immediately picked up both. I could not decide between fiction and non-fiction first so tossed a coin. And this was an excellent collection. The only thing really missing is an index or table of contents so you can jump to specific pieces. I also would have loved original dates if they had been posted elsewhere previously. But for the price it is an excellent series of reflections. I read through the pieces in 2 days, but plan to go back and reread them at a slower pace at some point in the future. The pieces included in this work are:

Turning Points
Picture Perfect
Eight Kids and Grateful
Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot
Getting Educated
No Guts, No Glory
This Side of the Divide
Who Are You?
Know What I’m Saying?
Some Days I Wonder
A Deep Moral Dilemma
Surprise Me
Walk On Water
Well Lived
Looking On the Bright Side
In the Souls Of Those I Love
To believe in god
A Timeless Truth
Supernatural Synchronization
A Better Point
Learn As I Go
Another Season
Along the Roadside
Love Anyway
Whispering In My Ear
Living Spring Time
Both Sides Of the Road
The Real Reason
Take It Easy and Get Back To Work
Allow My Soul To Soar
Stars Twinkle In Concert With Darting Fireflies
What God Has Desired
Wisdom Between Them
A World of Faces
Make One Strong
Back To Shore
What Hope Looks Like
Love Alone

My first time through I highlighted 18 passages in the volume. Some of the pieces are deeply moving. Some might make you laugh. All are well written and they are both entertaining and encouraging. A few of the passages I highlighted as examples of some of the wisdom in the volume are:

“Faith is a lot like hope. It isn’t reasonable. It doesn’t protect itself at all costs. Love embraces both the faithful and the despairing, strengthens the will, holds up exhausted arms, and heals even the most mortally pierced heart.”

“I can’t define or even defend God. That’s His job.”

“It isn’t my goal to completely disengage from the Internet madness but rather to engage on a human level with the people around me. I don’t think I can stop evil. That’s never been my job. I can disconnect from toxic people. Never a bad idea. But the best solution of all—being honest and decent to my fellow human beings both on and offline. Now that I can do.”

“In a world where everyone seems like an expert—I’m okay being uncertain about some things. I’m glad that God is God. I don’t want His job. I’ve got to make a semblance of sense of the struggling-to-survive-world in front of me. This human journey is a labyrinth fraught with peril, and our choices can have eternal consequences. Yet we must live. We must make decisions. We must keep walking. On water. So it seems.”


“Perhaps a simple life isn’t the point. Perhaps just living life as it comes with dead batteries, iridescent eyes, locked doors, missing phones, and the need for help makes a better point. Simple or complicated—live.”

“One of the things I always loved about Tolkien’s stories was the way he managed to include some kind of retreat. A time-out. Or maybe, a time-in. It was a period where the characters would get off the road, luxuriate in a hot bath, shift into clean clothes, eat honey and homemade bread, and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.”

“My experience as a human being is summed up in the word—unpredictable. The moment I imagine the perfect scene is the moment that the scene won’t measure up in reality. God can imagine a leaf and make it quiver with life. I imagine anything and I stop seeing what really is. I stop being present. Alive to what grows and goes all around me.”

“In the country, it can seem foolish to get attached to animals since we know full well that some critters are raised as food. Pets are a luxury. An illusion sometimes. It is a human decision who lands on the dinner table and who gets fed from the table.”

“The words faith, hope, and charity swirled around in my head this week. I have faith in God, and I try to show charity wherever I can, but I had to face my inner trauma-drama and admit that I don’t often feel a whole lot of hope. Hope seems a lot like trust, and it’s hard to trust these days.”

“Perhaps I don’t feel enough. Or I feel too much. But in the end, I find that saying the words, “I love you,” without expectations but simply because it happens to be true—even when I disagree with that person over politics, religion, and how to properly laminate the floor—is very freeing. I can love even though the other person has bad habits, is an unresponsive jerk or jerkette at times, and worst of all, might not love me back the way I want them to. My love, like my self-esteem, does not depend upon another person’s acceptance. It is a free gift. Even when it stands alone.”


This is a wonderful volume. Pick it up and read it. Pick up extra copies and pass it on. An excellent book that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by A.K. Frailey:
Melchior: Vengeance is Mine
The Adventures of Tally Ho
It Might Have Been: And Other Stories


New Earth Series:
The Last of Her Kind
NEWEARTH: Justine Awakens


Deliverance Series:
ARAM
Ishtar's Redemption: Trial by Fire
NEB the Great: Shadows of the Past


Hidden Heritage Series:
Georgios
Georgios II - A Chosen People


Old Earth Series:
OldEarth ARAM Encounter
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter
OldEarth Neb Encounter
OldEarth Georgios Encounter


Non-Fiction:
The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings
Heart Beats: Spiritual Being Human Journey




Thursday, 23 January 2020

The Missing Mitt - Franklin W. Dixon - The Hardy Boys Secret Files Book 2

The Missing Mitt
The Hardy Boys Secret Files Book 2
Franklin W. Dixon
Scott Burroughs (Illustrator)
Aladdin an imprint of
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
ISBN 9781416993940

eISBN 9781416999249
ASIN B003GFIVGG


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My son and I have read this book twice now 4 years apart to the month. Part of his schoolwork is they like the kids to read at least 20 minutes a day and parents need to sign off on it. When he was younger and really struggling, I would often read to him. This time he read the whole book to me. He read from his paperback edition, and I had the book open on my laptop, following along. That way when he struggled with words or mixed them up, I could help out. He really enjoyed the book and still wants to read the remaining 17 that are currently available in the series. These are very different than the Blue hard Cover Hardy Boys Mystery Stories I had when I was his age. But it was still a fun read.

The chapters in this volume are:
1 The Big Game
2 Racing the Clock
3 Practice Makes Problems
4 The Missing Mitt
5 The Six Ws
6 A Surprise Witness!
7 Strike Three, You’re Out!
8 Triple Play
9 Deep in the Outfield
10 Secret File #2: A Home Run!

And like the previous book there is a short two-page comic strip style vignette at the end. But back to this story. Frank and Joe hardy play for the Bayport Bandits little league baseball team. They are playing in the championship game against the Johnston Jupiters. But right before the big game the Bandit’s first baseman Jason Prime, son of legendary big league pitcher Willy “Winner” Prime, has his prized mitt go missing from their pile of gear. And one of the biggest and best players in the league Connor Hound was seen near their pile of gear. The hardy brothers are trying to figure out what happened to the mitt. Joe wont play without it and them team is always playing short. When the hardy’s get benched by their coach, they know the only chance of winning is to find the mitt and discover what really happened. And unlike their first adventure being outside at a public part almost anyone could have done it. They need to work the 5 W’s and use their budding detective skills. 

But to find out if they recover the mitt and save the game. You will need to pick up this book and give it a read. It is another fun read in a great series of books introducing the hardy Boys to younger audiences. 

The Hardy Boys Secret Files:
Trouble at the Arcade
The Missing Mitt
Mystery Map
Hopping Mad
A Monster of a Mystery
The Bicycle Thief
The Disappearing Dog
Sports Sabotage
The Great Coaster Caper
A Rockin' Mystery
Robot Rumble
Lights, Camera . . . Zombies!
Balloon Blow-Up
Fossil Frenzy
Ship of Secrets
Camping Chaos
The Great Escape
Medieval Upheaval
The Race Is On
...









Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Four Favourite Workouts - Team Body Project - Alex and Daniel Bartlett

Four Favourite Workouts
Team Body Project
Alex and Daniel Bartlett


I have now completed 9 workout plans with TBP and as of the posting of this review worked 6 months straight using TBP videos. I love following the plans, but there are a few workouts I use for active rest days, or when time is very crunched, and I just want and need to hit play. Three of those workouts are stand alone, and the fourth is part of a plan I have not done yet. This review will focus on four individual workouts: Flow, Power Flow, Warrior Stretch, and Resistance Roar.

This past summer I wrote a piece called Starting Over in Southwestern Ontario! A Fitness Update! What I started with was the workout videos from team Body Project, and specifically Real Start Just Move. You can watch that video on YouTube, or even workout with it. I had been a member of Team Body Project for three years now, but only just started the videos. I am in my 50th year, and I really needed to get back at it. And the TBP plans have been a great way to do that. And these specific workouts are my default fall back when on off days from plans or between plans. Even when I have had flare ups with my knee I have I been able to do something and move every day.



Flow

I love this workout. My goal is to get to the point where I start my day each morning at 430am with this and Warrior Stretch, and then have my main workout in the evening. This is a great 16-minute routine that stretches and moves the whole body. It incorporates both static stretching and dynamic stretching and some active movement. For this workout all you need is the app with the workout downloaded, and any device with internet access. The focus is a low impact mobilization stretch workout. And it is set to classical music. 



Power Flow

This workout was released as a celebration of 300K followers on YouTube. There is the option of light dumbbells for a resistance section. It has classical music like Flow, but the music is live with a sting quartet playing as Daniel leads us through the exercises. This workout includes sections focusing on: Boxing, Cardio, Circuit, Low impact, Resistance, Standing, Stretching. This workout is 17 minutes long. 



Warrior Stretch

The Warrior plan is a two-week Resistance Boxing plan, but it is designed to be done over and over again. I found this workout by filtering on mobilization. Once I tried It I loved it, and I have done it over 40 times. Either on active rest days or as an add on before or after other workouts. It was a great one to fall back on while travelling recently and in a very small room. You do not need any equipment and it is an excellent 19 minutes. As Daniel says if we do not use it we lose it and in this workout we move the whole body in several different ways. 



Resistance Roar

At the time of completing this review I have only done this workout twice. But I plan to do it monthly as a test. And I always feel incredible after completing it. This workout is 10 rounds, 10 exercises 10 reps. In and hour and 11 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly 1000 reps full body resistance. The first time I did this I did 10lbs, the second 15, next time I will be doing 17.5. This workout is my new baseline. Daniel does a few exercises on the floor. With my knee injury I find getting down and up from the floor hard. And I used a bench. My son did this with me last time using 7.5lbs and he did it on the floor. It is a great workout.

Those are my favourite workouts so far during my half year working out with Team Body Project. If you use TBP and have a favorite share it in the comments or shoot me a message. 

Now it must be noticed that all 4 of these workouts are available through the paid membership. You can join for free and will have access to a lot of workouts and the first week from some of the plans. But to access everything you will need a paid membership. Currently you can even gift a 3 month, one year, or lifetime membership. 

Team Body Project is a website, an app and a community. And the community is part of what makes this an excellent resource for your health and fitness. The private community on Facebook and the forums on the website are very supportive and encouraging. But what really helped me is that the workouts in the Real Start program are geared for anyone.

And as I always conclude a TBP review, do not just take my word for it check out Kylie Young’s story or the other testimonials on the site. I can say that TBP is one of the best resources for health and fitness that I have ever come across. 

This is another great program, especially for those of us who love an old school weight workout, but with a number of new twists. Thank you again, Alex and Daniel. 




Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Managing Successful Projects with Prince2 - AXELOS

Managing Successful Projects with Prince2
AXELOS
The Stationery Office Ltd
ISBN 978113315338
eISBN 9780113315352
ASIN B072BYH793



I have been managing projects for a number of years now at work. And When I compared Project management institute PMI, and Prince2 I really felt that prince 2 better suited my style and the type of projects that I have run. I registered for a Prince2 course and was asked by my manager to get a book and do some extra preparation before the course. I picked up this book. Both the eBook edition and the physical print versions. I am normally an eBook kind of guy. But I have found out that the Practitioner Exam is open book and the only resource you are allowed is this physical book.

This book will teach you the Prince2 Methodology from top to bottom. I have read the eBook, and just finished a course where we used the physical book and a student guide and exercise guide. The instructor showed us a picture of his book with about 30 sticky note tabs sticking out from the top and one side, that he used the last time he wrote the exam. The book will prepare you for both the Foundations and Practitioner and exams. But it is also a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about this excellent Project Management Methodology. The book is full color and the sections are color coded with color tabs on the eds of the pages. The pages are thick stock. And glossy. The production of the book is of the highest quality. It is a beautiful book and excellent resource. I like the eBook because of quick search capabilities. But if you are taking it into the exam you need to have the physical copy. If you are preparing for the exams make sure you get the correct edition of the book. Currently the 2017 Edition.

This book is intended for anyone who is planning on taking the exams. Anyone looking to grow their knowledge of the method. But it could be a great resource for anyone who works on projects to help really understand the process and principals that drive Prince2. I recommend this for anyone who plays a major role in projects on a regular basis.


Monday, 20 January 2020

In A World Where You Can Be Anything … - Matthew Kelly

In A World Where You Can Be Anything …
Matthew Kelly
Blue Sparrow Publishing 
Dynamic Catholic
ISBN 9781635820928



Over the last 5 years I have read books by Matthew Kelly 25 times, and that does not count some of his children’s books that have been read many times over.  I am always excited when a new volume from Matthew is coming out, and eagerly await it’s release. The last one I read as a new release was Rediscover the Saints, and it was an incredible read. This one reminds me in some ways of Kelly’s The Book of Courage. Some of Kelly’s works are for business and some are for Catholics.  This one feels like it is trying to split the difference. I feel that there are many great points and some that miss the mark. 

The text on the back cover is the beginning of the introduction. The introduction ends with:

“We are people of possibility. Most possibilities are unseen and unexplored, but it’s time to change that. In a world where you can be anything … be…”

What follows is 148 pages of facing pages with “In a world where you can be anything …” on one side and on the other a word of phrase. The book is printer on heavier stock paper. The pages alternate between a white, and aqua and a navy. This is one of those books that will become popular for grads of high school and university. It will be given as gifts. It will sit on coffee tables and offices, and bathroom reading racks. In Some ways it reminds me of the H. Jackson Brown Jr’s Life’s Little Instruction Book’s my dad had many of them in the washroom over the years you could flip them open anywhere and start reading. You can read from beginning to end. With this one you could even read from end to beginning. It only took about 15 minutes to read through it the first time and that was with reading the whole back cover, the introduction and the afterword.

I love most of the books from Kelly that I have read. And I did enjoy this one. I was just expecting a little more. But as mentioned this book will make a great gift, and can be flipped through from time to time as a reminder, to become the best version of yourself, and to be open to the possibilities.








Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!


Books by Matthew Kelly:
I Know Jesus
The Long View
Decision Point: The Workbook
Decision Point: The Leader Guide
The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
The One Thing
Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction
Why Am I Here?
Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness
Perfectly Yourself Discovering God's Dream For You
Building Better Families: A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children
The Dream Manager
The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved
The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose
Building Better Families - 5 Practical Ways to Build Family Spirituality
The Book of Courage
The Shepherd: A Modern Parable about Our Search for Happiness
Mustard Is Persecution, Matthew Kelly Foundation
A Call to Joy - Living in the Presence of God
The Rhythm of Life: An Antidote For Our Busy Age
Words from God
Resisting Happiness
The Narrow Path
Our Father
Beautiful Hope
Beautiful Mercy
The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity
Why I Love Being Catholic
Good Night, Jesus
In a world where you can be anything ...
...

Rediscover Books by Matthew Kelly:
Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living with Passion & Purpose
Rediscover Advent
Rediscover Lent
Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation
Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer
Rediscover the Saints

Audio by Matthew Kelly from Lighthouse Media:
Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself
The Best Way To Live
Don't Just Try, Train
Faith At Work & The Holy Moment
The Four Signs Of A Dynamic Catholic - Excerpt
The Jesus Question
My Spiritual Journey
Our Lives Change When Our Habits Change
Raising Amazing Children
The Seven Levels Of Intimacy
The Seven Pillars Of Catholic Spirituality