Writing --- Reading & Everything In -Between

Friday, December 18, 2015

THE WRITER’S EYES - 2

The eyes are valuable assets to any writer. Yet many of us tend to take them for granted. I have had some problems with my eyes in the past because I didn’t pay adequate attention to taking care of them. But with knowledge came a change in the way I take care of them and I just want them to last my life time, so help me God!
In the concluding part of Dr. Oma’s article, she shared some valuable tips on how you can make your eyes last your lifetime. If you missed the first part, please click on here
Enjoy!
Grace Greatman

THE WRITER’S EYES  - 2
Dr. (Mrs.) Oma Ulu [Optometrist]

I emphasized in the last edition that the environment in which you work must be properly lit. Straining to see or read in a poorly illuminated place is one of the ways to weaken your eyes. Proper eye care especially from childhood can prevent long-term vision loss and blindness. When eye problems go undetected, they can lead to learning disabilities and other behavioral problems. Poor vision and eyestrain can cause frustration and physical pain such as headaches, and inability to write and learn.

So AVOID:

Rubbing The Eyes
Eyes are what age the most on our faces. This is because the skin around the eyes is seven times thinner than the skin on the rest or our face; so it is more dry and brittle. Rubbing, pulling and pressing on them creates a loss of elasticity in the skin, which causes wrinkles.
Rubbing can also cause the eyelid and eye area to appear temporarily swollen. It can break capillaries and make blood clots form. In addition, it can tear the eye lens and cause the retina to detach if it is rubbed hard enough to cause excessive pressure.

Traditional Medicine And Practices
Some of the practices used by traditional healers or untrained people can result in vision impairment. These practices include instilling into the eyes sugar or salt solutions and herbs in treating conjunctivitis or dissolving cataracts, cough, etc. These can cause corneal scars and opacity, lens opacity (cataract) and even blindness.

Poor Hygiene And Lack Of Adequate Treatment
Poor hygiene is not only a major cause of some eye diseases; it also leads to its widespread. And some of these diseases if not properly treated can become more complicated leading to blindness.


CARE OF THE EYES
To make your eyes last your lifetime especially as writers; do the following:

1. Maintain a good personal and environmental hygiene in order to reduce the risk of infection and diseases

2. A good nutrition particularly diets rich in vitamin A will go a long way to help vision.

3. Abstain from traditional practices and do not patronize quacks. Use only glasses recommended by professionals.

4. Avoid reading and writing, working on the computer and watching television in a poorly lit place

Visit an eye doctor for routine eye examinations especially when there is a noticeable change.

Enjoy God's Exceeding Grace!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

THE WRITER’S EYES

Writers have the tendency to neglect their health as they dig for writing  ideas, task the mind on the choice of words and expressions, race to meet  deadlines etc. if you are passionate about writing, you must have subjected your body to some unhealthy practices. Well, as the year round off, we must decide to take care of ourselves, so we can continue to write.
Here is an article a dear friend of mine contributed to my Writers’ Digest a few years ago. It’s titled, The Writer’s Eyes. You don’t have to be a writer to read this.
Enjoy!
Grace Greatman

THE WRITER’S EYES
Dr. (Mrs.) Oma Ulu –Optometrist
Image courtesy of Google Images
The writer’s eyes are a vital asset to him. Without them, he will be utterly limited. Every seeing writer fears to go blind. Yet many do not know how to give adequate care and attention to these organs that facilitates the writing passion. The eyes are a part of the body, the two organs that you see with. This organ of vision measures just 24mm and weighs 7.5 grams. Our eyes allow us to perceive light, dark and color in astonishing detail, revealing the beauty and complexity of the world around us.
The human eye is remarkable. It accommodates to changing lighting conditions and focuses light rays originating from various distances on the eye. When all the components of the eye function properly, light is converted to impulses and conveyed to the brain where an image is perceived. However, some common practices engaged by people are harmful to the eyes and may eventually leave a permanent damage.
Here are some activities you should not engage in when you are in the dark or in a place that is poorly lit.

Image courtesy of Google Images
      1. Reading and writing
      2.   Working on the computer
      3.   Watching television

Doing these three things in an environment that is poorly illuminated result into headache, strain and pain in the eyes. 
Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut/freedigitalphotos.net
  

These discomforting symptoms may cause you to stop reading or working on the computer, thereby reducing your productivity. Although, these effects are just temporary discomforts that go away once you sleep or take a break, the strain they cause may degenerate your eyesight as you become old.

WHAT TO DO
1. Ensure adequate illumination of your environment.

2. Don’t work with the computer in the dark. This is because the contrast between computer-generated light and lack of background light strains the eye.

3. Task light should be positioned to provide direct light for reading and other office work, but not to shine directly on the computer or in your eyes.

I will discuss some other harmful practices to the eyes in the next edition.

Meanwhile visit an eye doctor for routine eye examinations especially when there is a noticeable change in the eyes.

Compliments of the Season
Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

JUST ONE MORE DINNER by Grace Greatman



Image Courtesy imgbuddy.com
“I can’t believe you still want shoes.”
Kate threw her elder sister an irritating glance and returned to watching Joyce Meyer’s ‘Enjoying Everyday Life’ on TV.
“This is ‘The Shoe.’” Tracy ogled the tall Silver shoe on her Notebook. “Take a look,” she nudged Kate with her elbow. 
Kate leaned over to give the shoe an uninterested look.
Standing elegantly on a shinny bejeweled tray, was an ostentatious piece she thought was vain. The only thing she saw was the huge amount of dollars the shoes cost, money that could be put to more meaningful use.
“Look at the diamond stone on top,” Tracy enthused, “it’s undiluted. This is a must have.”
“You have a whole room full of designer clothes, bags and shoes, in all styles and shades and you can only wear one at a time.”
Tracy maneuvered her cursor to zoom in to the heel of the shoe, scrutinizing it with a squint. “This will go best with my wedding dress.”
“That was what you said two days ago when you bought your wedding shoes.” 
Tracy had dragged her to Vintage Store where she maxed out her credit card to buy a very expensive pair of shoes that she claimed matched her over-the-top wedding dress.
Sulkily avoiding her sister’s scolding look, Tracy clicked away from the shoe. Moments after, her shriek startled Kate.
“I did it!”
“What?”
“I’m going to have those shoes.” She beamed at Kate.
“How?”
“Jerry is going to get them for me.” Kate looked like she had been hit on the head. Tracy nodded excitedly and pointed to her screen.
“You've been chatting with Jerry?”
Tracy nodded again.
“You are getting married in two weeks and you are chatting with an old lover?”
“We are still friends.”
“You told me Mark insisted you cut all association with Jerry.”
“Something like that, but Mark can’t afford to give me all I need. He’s just a struggling lawyer. I showed him the shoes two days ago and all he saw was the price tag.”
“But he loves you.” Tracy’s look admitted that much.
No man had ever loved her so unconditionally like Mark. They've been neighbors and friends since childhood and Mark had not stop professing his love for her since they were sixteen. He had seen Tracy go in and out of affairs with men and still had not stop asking her to marry him.
“Only few men can live with your acquisitive habit. If you have a man like Mark still wanting you at thirty-six, I think you should do all you can to keep him.”
“Yeah,” Tracy agreed.
Jerry had told her marriage was not for him. She knew how blessed she was to have Mark. She knew she shouldn't be jeopardizing the beautiful relationship they shared. She needed to get settled and have children. But she still wanted the shoes and Jerry had told her it was no big deal, as long as she would have dinner with him tonight. Just one more dinner with her generous, fun-loving Jerry, before she becomes Mrs. Tracy Mark Aaron. Mark didn't have to know.
“I don’t want to see that guy with you anymore or the wedding is off.” Mark’s firm words rushed to her mind. He had never sounded so stern with her and she knew he was dead serious with that threat.
“Just one more dinner won’t hurt anyone.”
Kate threw the remote on the sofa they sat on and got on her feet, close to tears. 
“For years, we've both been praying to God for you to get married, but you keep frustrating God’s plan with your selfish attitudes. What’s wrong with you? Can’t you ever be contented? Always wanting more of everything? We are supposed to be Christians for crying out loud.” She picked her bag and walked out of the room.
“Good riddance,” Tracy muttered as Kate shut the door. “Now, I can prepare for dinner with Jerry.

*****************

Tracy opened the door to let Jerry in.
“You look ravishing.” He kissed her.
“We shouldn't be doing this.” She pushed him away playfully.
“You shouldn't have sent me the mail.” He pulled her close for another kiss. A shadow darkened the open doorway.
“Mark!” She stepped back from Jerry.
Mark stood shocked, a shinny shoebox trembling in his hands. “I bought you the shoes, but I see you won’t need them after all. Good bye Tracy.” 

"And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Luke 12:15


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TALENT 2

I have no special talent.
I am only passionately curious. 
Albert Einstein

Talent is innate, present from birth; not man-made, but God-given.
It comes directly from within rather than being acquired by experience or from external sources. It is an unusual natural ability; a remarkable, out of the ordinary capability. A talented person has the natural tendency to do something successfully well. He is endowed with a high degree of intelligence and competence in a particular field.
Everyone has it!
Everybody God created has a special gift to do something well. It is just a matter of discovering it.
Why did God in His infinite wisdom give all men gifts?
ð      To glorify Him
ð      To advance His kingdom
ð      To impact humanity
ð      To make a living
So, if you have not discovered your talent, you may be functioning below capacity and disappointing your maker.
Talents are diverse and should not be seen only in terms of the arts. 
For example, a person can be a talented 
Athlete
Hair Dresser
House Builder
Babysitter
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
Baker
Car Maker
Caregiver
Cleaner
Comforter
Cook
Decorator
Driver
Encourager
Furniture Maker

Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev/
freedigitalphotos.net

Humorist
Listener
Nurse
Organizer
Repairer
Salesman
Speaker
Story Teller
Wine Maker


Like Albert Einstein's quote above, being able to be ‘passionately curious’ is a God given ability that enhances creativity. 
Teaching may be a talent; that is, having the ability to explain things in simple, clear terms thereby Imparting knowledge. You may also be good at 
Image courtesy of Aopson/ freedigitalphotos.net
Observing
Analyzing
Investigating
Building Friendships
Managing Crises
Negotiating
Resolving Conflicts

You name it! God furnished people with gifts to manifest in every sphere of life.
What is your talent?

Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TALENT

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net
Talent is not to be seen only in terms of being performers, superstars singers or hotshot players,but as abilities that make you unique. For example, you can be a good reader, organizer or be good at math.”
Ben Carson
Renowned Neurosurgeon
John Hopkins Medical Institutions

Talent is an unusual natural ability to do something well. Everyone has this ability but not everyone is using it. Many people don’t use their talents because they don’t realize they have it. I have talked with some who confess they don’t know their talents. God put a gift; a talent, an ability to do something in every man. He did not create anyone without this unique ability to do something.
ð      Some know this truth but still are not able to recognize what their talents are.
ð      Some use them without realizing they are gifts from God
ð      Some know they have talents; they recognize them, but ignore them.
ð      Only very few people recognize their talents and use them appropriately.
To what category do you belong?

What are your gifts and talents?
Here are 2 simple ways to find out
1.      What you find very easy to do without pressure.
2.      What you enjoy doing without stress.
Look inward. You have something in you. Use it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

STOP AND SMELL THE COFFEE by Michele Fleming

Dani sat straight up in bed when she heard the rumbling of the garbage truck as it turned onto her street. She looked at the clock and panic washed over her.
“Oh no, my alarm didn't go off!”
Jumping out of bed, she made a mad dash for the bathroom in hopes of salvaging what was left of her morning. Sliding to a halt, she reached to turn the shower on, disrobed and jumped in even before the water had had time to heat up.
She couldn't be late for this appointment! It was probably the most important appointment since starting her career and she was furious with herself starting the day off like this.
Miraculously, she was ready and out the door in thirty minutes flat!
Racing to the car, she decided she would have just enough time to run in the coffee shop for a quick jolt of java. After purchasing her steaming cup of heaven, she lowered herself onto the bench out front to mix in her creamer.
Seated beside her was an elderly woman and out of the corner of her eye, Dani began to study her. Judging by her wrinkled and weathered features, she appeared to be in her late seventies. Her clothing, while dated, gave evidence to a rather comfortable life. She watched as the woman took out a worn monogrammed handkerchief and wiped at a stray tear. Her heart broke into a million pieces for this dejected soul and she wondered what troubled her.
Dani heard the woman sniffle and clear her throat. 
“How are you today?” The woman asked with a voice as weathered as her features.
“I am well.”
“My name is Martha.” She announced as she fidgeted with her hankie.
“I'm, Dani.” An awkward silence hung in the air for a moment. “I couldn't help but notice that you seem to be upset about something.”
“I was hoping to make it to my grandson David's party. He just opened his first law practice and his parents are throwing him a huge shindig at the country club. It's supposed to start in fifteen minutes.” Martha brushed another tear from her face.
“So, why aren't you going?”
“The bus was already pulling away when I rounded the corner.”
Dani 's heart began to fill with compassion for the older woman. She sat staring across the street and as her insides twisted with emotion, she pondered what to do. She desperately needed to make this appointment, but she found herself with an overwhelming need to help this poor woman. Dani did the only thing she could think of. She closed her eyes and asked the Lord for guidance.
In the midst of the prayer, her cell phone buzzed alerting her to a new text message. She opened her phone and read.
(Need to reschedule meeting! Please call as soon as you can.)
“Wow . . . that was quick!” Dani said aloud, amazed at how fast the Lord could work.
“What was quick, dear?”
“Oh, it's nothing. Why don't I give you a lift?”
“Really?”
“Sure, I would be happy to.”
The ride to the country club took only a few minutes. Dani helped Martha out of the car and walked her up to the door where she planned to say her goodbyes.
“You must come in for a moment.” Martha insisted while tugging on her arm.
“Only for a minute.” Dani agreed reluctantly.
As Dani entered the dining room with Martha at her side, she ran smack-dab into the most breath-taking man she had ever seen. When their eyes met, fireworks erupted inside her and she was sure every nerve in her body felt the singe. Several moments passed before they reluctantly gave up their hold on one another.
“Hello, I'm . . . David.” He stuttered.
“I'm Dani . . . I'm here with your grandmother, Martha.” She managed to tell him while taking a wobbly step backward.
David gave her a puzzled look.
“Martha died three years ago.” He announced as he motioned to a picture of his grandmother that was on display.
Dani began to scan the crowd looking for Martha, but something in the pit of her stomach told her that she wouldn't find her. Feeling a little dizzy, she grabbed for a nearby table and David reached for her.
“Are you alright?”
Dani looked into his gorgeous eyes.
“Do you believe in angels?”
David smiled and the fireworks started all over again.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

NEVER EVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM

Dream Big, Think Positive, Take Risks, Embrace Challenges, Pursue Vision, Refuse to Quit and many more of phrases like these rule our world today. Well, I can tell you, they are easier said, taught or preached than done. In a world besieged with many unresolved crisis and problems covering every sphere of life, people are becoming more pessimistic than ever before.

These phrases may seem difficult to apply, but they work. If only we are willing and ready to work them. At the beginning of the year, I made some decisions, as many people do. By the third month, those resolutions were still hidden in my diary and at a point, I got angry with myself.

Why do I always abandon my personal projects?

I am not lazy. I work hard, sometimes too much for my own good, but there are some personal goals I set for myself year after year and I’m still unable to achieve.

So I got angry!

I looked inward.

I looked upward.

I looked outward.

I remembered many of these phrases that were suppose to push me towards achieving my goals and I decided to do what I preach.

Inwardly, I drew strength to continue; to take risks or steps of faith; to pursue vision.

Upwardly, I received grace from God to embrace the challenges and refuse to quit. His Word keeps my thoughts positive and makes me see that the future He has shown me is achievable.

Outwardly, I enjoyed help from my friends and dream supporters. Top on the list is my husband and cheerleader. In his own ways, he continues to prod me to realize those big dreams.

Well, four months later, came READ – The Big Deal About Reading.

A month after came the Musical Video of our Children’s Church in Winners’ Chapel International Gotera - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After months of dreaming and praying, more months of planning and practicing and still more months of restless days and sleepless nights, COME TO THE LORD’S HOUSE is released.

Like every project, it’s not a product of personal effort. Many people contributed spiritually, financially, creatively, physically and even emotionally. Ha ha ha. I can’t tell you the amount and varieties of emotions spent, especially on locations. The wonderful teachers in our Children's Church served tirelessly at various stages of the production. We had help from supporting parents, active youths and our beloved pastor. 

To the glory of God alone, the work is done and my prayer is that it will bless lives especially Christian Children worldwide.

I have learnt quite a lot from these two projects.

1.    Dream Big. Let your dream be bigger than you.

2. Share your dream with like-minded people who will help nurture and support it.

3.     Lean solely on God.

4.    Take steps. I mean, take practical steps. As you go, God goes with you.

5.    Work with people. You can never achieve your dreams all by yourself. Also remember that, there are dream killers and dream supporters.

6.  Never, never, ever, ever give up on that dream; no matter how difficult it seems, it is achievable.


Enjoy God’s Exceeding Grace