Thursday, May 31, 2007


This morning, we were invited to Lauren's school to see her get an award, for getting straight A's this year!! WAY TO GO LAUREN!! It was a beautiful thing to see my daughter walk across that stage with her head held high! I am proud of you girl!

Pain..Pain..Go away...

So.. the saga continues.
I went to the dentist on Tuesday, but before I could see dr. Snow, I had to leave. I got sick and felt as though I was going to pass out. They told me I could come back the next day. : (
Wednesday was my appointment with Dr. Callaghan (the ears nose and throat doctor). My appt. was at 10:30 am. I arrived at his office around 10:15, knowing that I'd have to fill out some papers. I didn't get seen until 12:00 pm. My exam took about 1/2 hour. He couldn't see anything irregular, except my right tonsil was swollen.
So he had me go get an cat scan on my sinus cavities. I went and got that done and came back to his office. He examined the results, and still could not find anything. waaaaaaaaaaah! He ordered a brain scan, which I will have done on Friday. I didn't leave his office until 2:15 pm!! That was a long dr.'s appt.!!
So Dr. Callaghan believes what I have is called TMJ. You can read about what TMJ is here.tmj
He said I have a severe case of it. He gave me lots of meds to try to control the pain, and also some exersizes for my jaw. I'm not convinced that is what I still feels like a tooth problem..but we will see. I will call Dr. Snow (my dentist) and see what he thinks! Please continue to pray..

Miss USA falls.. Poor thing!

Coming soon!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Freedom Writers..

Brenda recommended a movie for me to watch. She told me how inspired the movie made her feel. The movie is called Freedom Writers. It is an amazing movie! It inspired me too. THe movie is about a teacher with an uppperclass background, who is hired to teach a class of under-achievers..the worst of the in Long Beach, California. The kids are gang-members, Latinos vs. Hispanics vs. Blacks vs. whites.. They all come from messed up homes, in messed up neighborhoods.
This woman, Erin Grewell, started teaching the kids about tolerance, and loving each other, and most importantly loving and respecting themselves. She gave them dignity. She worked two jobs outside of teaching so she could buy the kids books, and take them out to dinner at nice restaurants..and field trips. They read books that the school wouldn't provide for them..books like Anne Frank, and Night by Ellie Weisel.. They could relate to the characters in these books... was an excellent movie. I hope it inspires you, like it did me, to make a difference in our world..our community!
This Saturday, Brenda and I working at the food pantry at Solid Rock Church. Do you want to help with us? It's easy..just putting food in people's bags. It is serving. It's just doing something small, but it's doing something for someone need.
Call me and let me know if you'd like to help with us! This Saturday, from 8 am until 10:00 or 11:00 am. Susan

Give God's love will come back to you!

Thanks for your prayers regarding my pain.. I have an appointment with the dentist this afternoon, and an appointment with an ear, nose, throat specialist tommorow morning. I'm still in pain, but it comes and goes. When it's's almost unbearable, but when it is calm, I can function normally. I want relief, desperately. I have been taking so much motrin, my stomach is starting to hurt. The dentist gave me tylenol with codeine but that hasn't done anything.
So... I worked all day yesterday and we were busy!!!! It was a good busy. I was able to deal with the pain. After work Joe and I took my mom and Lauren to Outback Steakouse for dinner and then shopping at Target. (Ally went to Geauga Lake with a friend). I bought a new pair of shades and the book Freedom Writers. I started reading it last night when we got home and I am almost finished! It's very good..very inspiring. I like to be inspired.
I've been working a lot these past few weeks, which has caused me to have extra money!!! WOAH!! I haven't had any extra money in about months. Because I chose not to work for the winter, it was a huge financial struggle, but we made it through!!!!!
So today,I chose to bless someone with some of my extra money!! I can't wait to give this blessing to this certain person. She needs it..and she will be happy! Oh, I do loves showing God's love!!! God's love is so ENORMOUS!!
Do you have anything that you could bless somebody with? Could you do something kind for someone..without expecting anything in return? By anything..not even a thank you. Maybe you can give or do something anonymously!! Do it for God!!! Pass His love and blessings on!! EACH and EVERY ONE of us, has something we could do or give pass God's blessing on!! This person, I am passing God's blessing onto...she is right now, fixing up a little house for someone in need, even more than in need then she is! That is what amazes me about her.
She has so little..but she gives so much!!! God loves her heart : ) I love her heart too!
So pass it on. DO SOMETHING.. GIVE SOMETHING!! It will make your heart feel good! It will make your father proud of you!
Please continue to pray for me..that the doctor/dentist can find out what's causing my pain and can relieve it!! Thanks friends!! I hope you have a great week!
With Christ's amazing and neverending love, Susan

Monday, May 28, 2007


It's 8:30 am, on Memorial day and I am sitting here on the couch writhing in pain. I've had some kind of tooth infection or sinus infection or possibly TMJ, for about three weeks now, and nobody can figure out where the pain is coming from.(I've done two rounds of if it was sinus, I think that would have cleared it up!!
I have to go back to the dentist tommorow,(for the third time!) and if he can't do anything, I'll go to the doctors for the third time!!! :( I'm seriously in agony. I couldn't sleep last night : ( It hurts so bad.. my whole right side of my face is throbbing. My eye, ear, jaw, roof of my mouth,teeth and cheek...all throbbing. THe dentist gave me pain medication but it's no longer helping...
I want relief!!! Please Lord, give me relief. Please. Let me be able to go back to sleep. I have to work today. I need relief and sleep.
Please friends, if you're reading this..pray for me.

Memorial Day Tribute

Quotes from Great American Leaders

John Adams (1735-1826)

Second President of the United States

- is religion and morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which freedom can securely stand......

- ...if 'thou shalt not covet,' and 'thou shalt not steal,' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free.

- Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Elias Boudinot (1740-1821)

American lawyer and public official who was involved in the American Revolution

- If the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.....These considerations should lead to an attentive be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers.... and judge of the tree by its fruits

Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Leader in Great Britain during American Revolution

- The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

- The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.

- Nobody made a greater mistake then he who did nothing because he could only do a little.

- When bad men combine, the good must associate else they will fall one by one, and unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

- The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Whitaker Chambers (1901-1961)

American Journalist

- Humanism is not new. It is in fact, man's second oldest faith. It's promise was whispered in the first days of creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: Ye shall be as gods.

Rev. Charles Finney (1792- 1875)

Attorney Turned Evangelist

- The Church must take right ground to politics... The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them...God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country or this, and Christians must do this duty to their country as part of this duty to God...God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence

- They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

- I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in the political building no better than the builders of Babel; we shall be divided by our little, partial local interests; our projects will be confounded; and we, ourselves shall become a reproach and a byword down to future ages.

Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

American Revolutionary Leader

- Whether this [new government] will prove a blessing or a curse will depend upon the use our people make of the blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable. Righteousness alone can exalt them as a nation [Proverbs 14:34]. Reader! Who ever thou art, remember this, and in thy sphere practice virtue.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

3rd President of the United States

- ... if we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.

- I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

- No man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

- Should things go wrong at any time, the people will set then to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.

done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.

James Madison (1751-1836)

4th President of the United States & Chief Architect of the Constitution

- I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

Peter Marshall (1902-1949)

Chaplin of U.S. Senate

- The choice before us is plain, Christ or chaos, conviction or compromise, discipline or disintegration. I am rather tired of hearing about our rights and privileges as American citizens. The time is come, it now is, when we ought to hear about the duties and responsibilities of our citizenship. America's future depends upon her accepting and demonstrating God's government.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

American Writer

- The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

Jedediah Morse (1761-1826)

Patriot and Father of American Geography

- To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys...whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be over thrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow form them must fall with them.

Benjamin Rush (1745-1813)

Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Father of Public Schools

- Remember that national crimes require national punishments, and without declaring what punishment awaits this evil, you may venture to assure them that it cannot pass with impunity, unless God shall cease to be just or merciful.

- Let the children... be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education. The great enemy of the salvation of man, in my opinion, never invented a more effectual means of extirpating removing Christianity from the world than by persuading mankind that it was improper to read the Bible at schools.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

American orator and politician who practiced prominently as a lawyer before the U.S. Supreme Court and served as a U.S. Congressman

- ...if we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.

Noah Webster (1758-1843)

American lexicographer known for his American Spelling Book

- .....the principles of all genuine liberty, and of wise laws and administrations are to be drawn from the Bible and sustained by its authority. The man therefore who weakens or destroys the divine authority of that book may be accessory to all the public disorders which society is doomed to suffer.....

- ....if a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

28th President of the United States

- A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, does not know what it is today, nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about.....

John Witherspoon (1723-1794)

Signer of Declaration of Independence

- The people in general ought to have regard to the moral character of those whom they invest with authority either in the legislative, executive, or judicial branches

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Top Ten Mistakes Church Planters/Pastors Make (perry noble)
#10 - Refusing To Dream Big

I hear TONS of excuses from pastors who say, “But I can’t do this and I can’t do that because I am not in Chicago or Atlanta.” NEITHER ARE WE!!! God is NOT limited by geography! Come on, when He sent His Son into the world–He sent Him to Bethlehem, NOT Rome!!! DREAM BIG…and take small steps to get there.

#9 - Trying To Be Someone Else

I’ve fallen into this trap before–pastors, understand that there is a unique calling on your life to be YOU! We should ALL learn from other leaders and other ministries…but at the end of the day we MUST be ourselves. I will never be as smart as Bill Hybels, as creative as Ed Young or as happy as Joel Osteen, but I will be the best Susan Hougelman I can be.

#8 - Not Growing As A Leader

If you are not growing then you’re dying…and so is your leadership.

#7 - Refusing To Take Risks

Too many churches grow to a certain size and then fall into “safe mode.” There is a safe place for all Christians…it is called HEAVEN…and until we get there we need to do all we can to continually kick the devil in the mid-section!!! We are called to do a lot of things–but we are never called to play it safe.

#6 - Letting People With Money Dictate The Vision

I have a theory…and so far it has been true with every church planter that I know. Within the first year a “big money” person will threaten to leave the church over an issue related to the vision…and you will either beg them to stay or let them walk. I have seen first hand that if you don’t allow them to leave then God will leave!!! We are told in Scripture to FEAR GOD…and that’s it. If you allow people with money to dictate your decisions then you are nothing more than an ordained prostitute.

#5 - Not Teaching About Money

Too many church planters were told somewhere along the way that you can’t teach on money–that it is offensive and will run people away. I believed that for a long time; in fact, I believed that until we did our FIRST money series last year here at NewSpring…and OUR ATTENDANCE INCREASED throughout the series. People want practical help with their lives…and the Bible has a TON to say about money; therefore, the church should as well. AND STOP APOLOGIZING for it…we don’t apologize for preaching on adultery…why should we apologize for speaking on money–especially when Jesus said what He said in Matthew 6:21 and Matthew 6:24!

#4 - Listening To The Wrong People

Christians are the ONLY people in the world who will buy a book and read it…and the author has never done what he has written about…all he has is theories. NO ONE in the secular world would do that crap! Seriously, if I wrote a book on surgery and then tried to say, “Buy my book…my wife is a doctor,” there isn’t a doctor in this country that would think my book was necessary for success…but many church planters are victims of that exact scenario. That is equal to asking your bankrupt brother-in-law for financial advice…it just doesn’t make sense.

#3 - Too Much Prayer and Not Enough Planning

I know church planters who are in constant prayer mode, asking God to “do it all.” And five years later they are in the same place…it takes a PLAN!!!

#2 - Too Much Planning And Not Enough Prayer

AND…I have seen the opposite! I will say this–EVERY leadership mistake that I have ever made was because I was not listening to the Lord.

#1 - Forming A Leadership Team Too Quickly

I have discovered that when you plant a church that you will attract every freak within a 50 mile radius. SO…delegate slowly! Allow people to serve…but do not appoint people to leadership positions until you are confident that the person is a leader, loves Jesus, gets the vision AND loves the church.

Women in art

This is lovely

I love technology

Mother's day books!

For mother's day Joe and the girls got me an gift certificate! I love to read. I love books! I love the feel of the new crisp clean pages..I love the smell of a new book!! I love to hold them in my hands and feel the smooth covers and turn the pages..
When I was young, books were my escape! No matter how tough life was, I could step inside other worlds, make friends, visit new places, experience a different life.. I dreamt I was one of the boxcar children, living on my own..or stuck in the museum with Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler..I was Rebecca of sunnybrook farm and I fell in love with Heidi ..I solved mysteries with Encyclopedia Brown..then Sherlock Holmes! I loved/love SHERLOCK HOLMES!! I also fell in love with poetry..Wordsworth..and Shelly, and Lord Byron..and my favorite, Edgar Allen Poe..

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

The Telltale heart..and other short stories.. Oh how I loved reading..and still do!!
Now most of the books (besides the Bible..I tried to read scripture every day)..are church planting books, or Christian Life books, and lately I've been pouring through marketing and business books.. I am fascinated with learning new things!!

So..the girls and Joe got me an gift certificate and here is what I bought!

a href="">

Those are my choices!! Now, I can hardly wait until they come!!!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Peace, Love and Chicken wings..

Maybe it is the peace that I feel after spending a lot of time with God these past ten days..Perhaps it's the love that once again has filled up inside of me and now spills over..or just's the chicken wings that Joe brought home tonight from the restaurant...
Whatever the reason, I'm back : ) Ahhh, some of you missed me! You've emailed me and told me so! Some of you have called and others have seen me and told me to start blogging again! Thanks for missing me.. I've missed you too! : )
I've missed pouring myself out..
I'm in a different place then I was ten days ago. I needed time away. I needed to sort out emotions. I needed to make decisions. I needed to spend some time with God.
There is so much on my mind, I truly do not know where to begin.
Let's start with American Idol. It was Jordin!! She was the winner! They are all winners really...their lives will never be the same. Anyone catch them on Larry King tonight? Nice to see other sides of the contestants. It was a good show.
My girls are doing good. Lauren is going to be recognized at an awards ceremony at her school next Thursday. We don't know what for, exactly, but probably for getting straight a's this year!! WOOOHOOOO GO LAUREN!
Ally has been having a lot of fun with her friends and got to go to Kennywood with her class, and she had a blast!!
She has also been working at the restaurant with me this year, and is a great worker!! I'm really proud of her. I'm proud of both my girls!
Joe has been really busy at the restaurant, trying to improve our business. He also has been asked to make soap for the Green Supreme company!! They ordered 75 bars to take to a convention with them!! GO JOE!!!! He is really excited about that. He's also been enjoying planting flowers around the house!! I can appreciate that : )
And what's been going on with me....
I've had a horrible sinus infection and some kind of tooth infection, that my doctors and dentist can't locate : ( I've been in pain!
I met with a church planter from Michigan and his wife who may feel called to come to New Castle!
I talked with Tim and Sue Klein about Solid Rock!
I've been having some great convos with my sister Dianna.
I've been spending lots of time with my family!
I've been missing my friends.
I've been reading my Bible
I had a great dinner with my mom and my brother and his fiance'!!
I haven't been reading many books..(JUST ONE!!!!)
I haven't really watched tv
I haven't gone anywhere or done anything fun.
Had a few power lunches.
I've neglected some relationships.
I've listened to some great podcast sermons online!
I haven't watched any movies.
I've been working a lot more lately at the restaurant.
A Day in the life for me...
Has been a day that I'm contemplating..seeking God..wondering..

Two paths..
Two choices..
Which way do I go?
Peace, Love and Chicken wings.. Susan : )

The gospel according to Oprah

Monday, May 14, 2007

Oh Baby...

Hey! Happy Monday : ) I've been working all day on my business blog....oh Baby, I think it's going to be good!! I can't wait to show it to y'all!! I turned off my phone today...and no emails..gotta work! I hope you're having a great day!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's day to all of the mother's that I'm blessed to call my friends. Happy Mother's Day Karen, and Emily, and Dottie and Cathy J. and Brenda, and Cathy, and Janyse! I hope you have a day filled with love and happiness! Happy Mother's day to my two sisters Dianna and Amy! You are both wonderful mothers! Most of all.. Happy Mother's day to my MOM!!!!
Thank you for loving me! Thank you for showing me so much love and grace! I am sitting here thinking of my childhood, and thinking of how my mom would shower me with affection and love! She showed me how to give affection so beautifully! She taught me to be a loving mother to my girls! Thank you for always being here when I need you! Any time I ask you to pick up the girls from school you NEVER say NO!! I appreciate that so much!! Mom, you are beautiful inside and out! Know how much God loves you! You are a princess in God's Kingdom..your Father is the KING!! Stand with your head held high, shoulders back! Light up the room when you walk into it! Be confidant in who you are! You are an amazing woman! Since Dad has died you have taken over the restaurant and brought it back to life! Just you mom!! You are a business owner! You own mulitple properties, you make the decisions on everything!
WOW!! You've done it mom! You've stood on your own two feet! I am so proud of you!
You blow me away..all that you do! Your time will come mom... Hang in there. Don't grow weary..keep chipping day at a time!
I love you Mom! Thanks again for all that you do for me. Thank you for all that you've taught me. Thank you for being my mom!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Who's cooler?

Blake, Jordin or Melinda?

who's the best singer? : )
Who's gonna win?
Come on..what do you think! Let me know!

A connector..

Lunch yesterday with Janyse was wonderful. Janyse is definitely a connector. Do you know what a connector is?
Connectors are people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions. A connector is essentially the social equivalent of a computer network hub. Connectors usually know people across an array of social, planes, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles. Although connectors are rare -- only one in several thousand people might be thought of as a true connector -- they are, like mavens and salesmen, very important in the healthy function of civil society and business. Connectors are also important in trendsetting.
Author Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term connector in his 2000 book The Tipping Point.
I am almost finished reading "The Tipping Point"! It's a great book! I highly recommend it!
Back to Janyse. Janyse provided a wealth of information for me yesterday. She had some excellent advice in many different areas of my life..from church speaking in a possible job for parenting!!
She made phone calls to get me info on a future worship pastor..she gave me websites to go to..she invited me to join a circle of leaders that she meets with once a month..she gave me a lead on a job (said I'd make a good salesperson, and can work from home!). haha!! All that in one lunch! Can you see why I like meeting with Janyse? : )
Everybody needs mentors! They are like life teachers! I've been so blessed to have several in my life.
God is number 1 of course. The Bible is my instruction manual for life!
Janyse asked for prayer. She's trying to sell her house, and then she's moving to Akron. So please pray for Janyse!
Today, Saturday, I'm going to spend with my girls! We are going to do laundry and clean our house, and then we're going to take some Strawberry pies to my mom, and just hang out together. I love when I get to spend the day with my girls. I have to work tommorow, on mother's day today we're going to celebrate our mother/daughter relationship! I hope you have a wonderful day today. Whoever you are/wherever you are, I pray that God brings blessings into your life!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Geez this turtle is mean!!

Happy Friday!

I just returned from the state legislative breakfast sponsered by the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and Comcast. It was wonderful! Karen and I are representatives for Cross Current Community Church. Because we want to be a positive voice in our community we decided to join the chamber of commerce and get to know some of the business leaders in our community, and also get our name out there.
Breakfast was @ 7:15 am at the Crane Room. We walked in and were greeted by two Lawrence County Chamber of commerce board members.They gave us a name tag and welcomed us. There were about 15 tables, beautifully decorated with white tablecloths and red napkins, set up around the room as well as a long table at the front of the room for the State Legislaters and representatives.
Karen and I, chose a table close to the front and sat down. Within a few minutes, a man that I had met at a Toastmasters class, joined us. His name is Calvin Ray. He is a very well known leader in our community. Calvin and his wife Ruth are involved in many volunteer operations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Jameson Guild, and others. When I met them at Toastmasters, they impressed me because they were very well traveled and extremely social. They seemed to know a little about everything!!
Calvin remembered me, so it was easy to have a conversation with him. He also knew Karen's dad, so they had something to talk about as well.
Then a woman, named Barb sat down with us, and she was a supervisor for Neshannock School District. She asked many questions about our church. She seemed very interested. She is also involved in an organization that reaches out to people on highly addicted drugs. She is very concerned for this generation of children. She said there is a huge problem that needs to be taken care of.
AMEN! We know that! I wish I could have talken to her more, but we were called to go to the buffet line and get our breakfast.
Each table had it's own pitcher of Oranje juice, water and coffee. Breakfast was delicious. Scrambled Eggs, homefries, bacon and bagels. We talked and ate but rather quickly, it was time for the state representatives to speak.
Gerald lavelle, Bob Robbins, Michelle Brooks, Chris Sainato, Jared L..something. and Attorney General Jack Wagner each spoke for about 5-10 minutes. Then some people from the Chamber asked questions. It was a very informative event.
Many local politicians were in attendance, as well as representatives for non-profit organizations, and businesses in the community. I can't wait to attend the next event! I really enjoy meeting new people, and networking! It's a great place to network! Breakfast ended at 9:00 am!
Now, I will soon be taking Ally to work at the restaurant, and then I am meeting Janyse Cain for lunch. Janyse is the founder of Teen Fusion ministries, and the Freq 107 radio station, and she is also one of my Christian Women Leader role models! I love talking to her and listening to her wisdom and advice!
She is interested in helping out with Cross Current, and for that I am so appreciative.
Oh one more thing..what stuck in my mind the most from the breakfast...None of the politicians like the governor of pa!!! They all agreed on that!!
I hope you're having a wonderful day today. Make it special. Smile at someone! Do a random act of kindess. Make someone's day brighter!
Peace out! Susan

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Going to a Legislative Breakfast tommorow! Any questions you want me to ask our legislators?

Thank you for making a reservation for the Legislative Breakfast at the crane room this Friday May 11, 2007. The event has been sold out for over a week! The morning’s schedule will be as follows:

7:15 AM - Registration
7:30 AM - Call to Order (dismissed by table for breakfast)
7:50 AM - Program
9:00 AM - Adjournment
The format for the program will be as follows:

7:50 AM - Featured guest Auditor General Jack Wagner
8:05 AM - State Legislators (5 minutes each)
8:30 AM - Questions
Please bring your questions along. This is a great opportunity to find out where your legislators stand on issues important to you.

See you Friday morning at 7:15 AM!

I won!!!!

Okay.. so it's not a vacation, but I love books!!! I'm so excited!
Check this out!!
Greetings, Susan: Congratulations:
You've won Chasing Cool! Every once in a while, while at a watering hole or sitting around the office, I find it mildly entertaining to play "Who's Cooler." You pick two well-known celebrities and ask every one in the vicinity which of the two is cooler, and they just have to pick one. No justifications, no arguments, no reasons - just pick one and move on. Let's try it: Who's cooler - Peter Jennings or George Clooney? See isn't this fun? How about Christopher Walken versus Lebron James? Sometimes the decision is easy, sometimes not, but for some reason once you start this game, it can be hard to stop. Oooh, who's cooler - Steve Jobs or Chopin? That's a tough one.

The thing is, everyone has their own idea of cool. That's why you're not allowed to argue about WHY one person is cooler than the other. I will say, however, that their are two people who consistently trump everyone else as the kings of cool - who for certain reasons, are almost universally considered cool - Paul Newman and Tom Waits. I said we're not allowed to argue why people are cool, but I'll tell you why I think certain people are generally considered cooler than others. They consistently take risks and face possible failure. And it's not just me who thinks this. I'm talking about cool people, but Gene Pressman and Noah Kerner explored what it takes for some brands to stand out from others in the arena of cool. Our conclusions match, and you can see what I mean by diving into Chasing Cool: Standing Out in Today's Cluttered Marketplace
The inBubbleWrap Team

DO you want to have a chance to win a different book every day? It's free, and I've won three times!! No strings attached!! Check out this site!!

Cross Current News!

It's been almost two years since God put the vision of a new church plant in New Castle in my heart. In those two years, I've dreamed, visioned, imagined, talked about, shared with everyone I've met, made friends, met incredible mentors and leaders, learned so much, gained confidance, developed as a leader, grown as a Christ follower,been humbled, seen lives changed, and Grew so much closer to God!
It hasn't been easy. Many people haven't understood, why I don't just find another church. The answer is because God won't let me feel comfortable doing that. I thought perhaps a sort of marriage between Solid Rock church and Cross Current was the answer, but God is showing me otherwise. I have to admit I'm disappointed. It has made me feel tired. I wanted it to be right, but God will not let my heart be comforted! I do believe though, that we are meant to be at Solid Rock and help them out until our church gets off the ground!! I think we can learn a lot from Tim Klein and the incredible ministry and mission that they do! I love the people there too! They are such good people!! I can't wait to help them grow!! I think they will always have a special place in my heart and perhaps be a sister church to Cross Current!! Remember.. God has ordained this vision. God has guided my every step. I am following God and I believe this is His will for my life. God wants a new church brought to our community. He wants to see many lives changed. He wants New Castle. He wants Lawrence County. I can make a difference in my community! You can too!
I will not be silent and I will not give up. Many people don't know what they're missing because they haven't experienced God. If they only seek Him and Find Him, and ask Him into their hearts, then...ahhhh, then they'd know..they'd realize how foolish they've been. I want to help people be set free. I want to help people find healing. I want to help bring people closer to Christ. OH, I can't wait for the day that I can Baptize someone in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost! I can't wait for the day, that I get to marry two people in love. I can't wait for the day, that I can put on a huge community event, and see children laughing and families having clean, pure fun together! I can't wait for the day that the worship band in my church are so fantastic that people can't help but to stand up and clap their hands!! I can't wait to see people coming up front at my church to accept Christ into their hearts!! I can't wait for the day that a huge group of teenagers with their hearts on fire for God are going to do great things!!
The last two years, there were about 50 kids at the See you at the pole rally @ New Castle High School.. 50 out of about 1000. That's about 5 percent. I can't wait until there are at least 300 students and teachers standing around that pole dedicating their school to Christ all members of Cross Current Church!!
I want to be the church that nobody living in within 10 miles of where we are located, does not know who we are!
I want to make the name of Jesus FAMOUS in New Castle and Lawrence County!
Instead of everyone talking about Gary Felasco, I want the number one topic to be JESUS CHRIST! "Hey, have you seen what Jesus did today?"
I want to see the sick healed, the poor clothed, the hungry fed! I want to see the rich and the poor, the black and the white worshipping under the same roof!
I want to bring hope to New Castle! I want to see the drug dealers GONE!!!!!!
We can do it! We need to take back, what Satan has stolen from us!! We need to get off our butts and take back this community!! Come on.. who is with me? Will you fight with me?? Will you help change our world, one neighborhood at a time??
How can you help?
Cross Current Church has a pastor coming for an interview next weekend. Please Pray DAILY for this man and his family. His name is Jamie. His wife is Kristy . They are from Michigan. I'm going to attach a letter to this blog post, to introduce him to you, and to get you started praying!
Come on..please..pray without ceasing! Help me friends! God hears our prayers..our pleas! I feel this so strongly, that my prayers are turning into pleas. Please God..Please..we need change in our community. We need this church. We need a good leader to help us bring this church here. Please Lord send us a leader. Please help us. Please be with his heart up and mind up to love New Castle, and to want to move here!! Please let his house sell quickly if he is the right man!
Thank you friends!! Here is the letter from Jamie.
Dear friends - You know those times you feel completely desperate for
leading? A Word of wisdom? A clear direction? Kris and I are on our
hands-open there.

For the last 8 months we've been asking God what he wants from our
lives in
the long haul:"Father, how can we use all you've given to us for the
greatest impact for your kingdom glory?". Now convinced that the
weight on
our chest is a holy one we're stepping out. We want to see people
and set free from sin, guilt, shame, fear, anger, worry, drinking,
-you name it - and find life abundant.

We've been to a Church Planting Assessment Center April 17-20, and thru
process have come to believe that He wants us to use all we have to
churches for His kingdom glory!

Will you be a part of our inner circle of prayer warriors?

Things to take to God's throne for us:

We will tell our church May 27
not talk with others at this time. We don't want to injure anyone's
spirit). Our church is doing great. We love our Pastor, leadership
and family here. Our students are dear to us. They need to be part of
process with us and challenged to live missional for Jesus as well.
Pray we
do that well.

Pray that our home sells by August 30th. This is a big deal.

Clear direction on whether or not we go to the Pittsburgh area and be
of a much needed movement of new churches planted. The vision is
set 20 churches by 2020, and over 200 home cell groups missionally
out Jesus together. Check out these websites. (1st
church in this movement), (model we're looking
implimenting + 1/week celebration service- excellent material for
church growth).

Prepray: "God, stir hearts and bring the right church planting team
together: Godly, genuine, passionate, sacrificial, no agendas, same
vision, with a good gift mix. Pour out your resources for us!"

Please respond to this if you're able to be a part of this inner circle
prayer by committing daily to bring us to the Father for the next
I'll update you as we go.

If you have thoughts or counsel for us. You are dear friends and we
there is safety in a multitude of counselors. Set free forever at age 19,

teletubbies wazzup !!

Teletubbies Wazzupp!!! - Watch more free videos

Two incredible musicians!

Andy Mckee Amazing Guitar Player - Watch more free videos

Amazing Fiddle Player - Watch more free videos

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Still dreaming of that vacation...

Ride the wave!


OJ tossed from restaurant near Kentucky Derby

The owner of an upscale steakhouse in Louisville said he asked O.J. Simpson to leave his restaurant the night before the Kentucky Derby because he is sickened by the attention Simpson still attracts.

"I didn't want to serve him because of my convictions of what he's done to those families," Jeff Ruby said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "The way he continues to torture the lives of those families ... with his behavior, attitude and conduct."

Simpson, an NFL Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner, was found innocent in 1995 of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman but was found liable in a civil trial that followed.

Ruby — who owns restaurants in Cincinnati, Louisville and Belterra, Indiana — said Simpson, who was in town for the Derby on Saturday, came in with a group of about 12 Friday night and was seated at a table in the back. A customer came up to Ruby and was "giddy" about seeing Simpson, Ruby said.

"I didn't want that experience in my restaurant," Ruby said, later adding that seeing Simpson get so much attention "makes me sick to my stomach."

He said he went to Simpson's table and said, "I'm not serving you." Ruby said when Simpson didn't respond, he repeated himself and left the room.

Ruby said Simpson soon came up to him and said he understood and would gather the rest of his party to leave.

Simpson's lawyer, Yale Galanter, did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday night seeking comment.

"It was the first time since 1994 he has ever shown any class," Ruby said. "He showed it that night in the restaurant" by leaving quietly.

Ruby said after Simpson left, people in the restaurant started applauding him. He said he has received about 100 positive e-mails since the incident.

The walls of Ruby's restaurants are decorated with celebrity photos. A photo of Simpson and Ruby used to be on display, but Ruby said he took it down after the killings

Vacation anyone?

I just received an ad for a cruise in my email box. It made me want to cry. Joe and I need a vacation together. We haven't had a vacation with just the two of us, since our honeymoon..17 years ago. Joe and I have worked hard in our lives. We've owned the restaurant for 16 years. Do you know what that means? It means we've never had a weekend together. We've always worked on Friday and Saturdays. Every Memorial Day, Every Labor Day, Every Mother's Day and Father's day, when people usually go out to dinner or have a picnic or a bbq, we work. We do take all major holidays off..but it's one day..never a three day weekend, or heck, never even a two day weekend. Also, we've been focusing on planting this church, and serving others for over two years.. I feel like it's catching up to us.
We need to relax and reconnect. We need to have fun. Joe and I are critically missing fun in our lives...and it's taking a toll on us both. Can anyone help? Anyone want to bless us with a vacation? : ) God says ask and you shall receive! I have great Faith!!!

Christian vs. Athiest Debate on Nightline tonight

The Nightline Face-Off
Christians and Atheists to Debate the Existence of God
ABC Nightline 11:30 pm.
Also a great debate in the comments section on the website. Check it out!

click here for more info

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Beam it down from the Web Scotty!

Wow!! Check out this article! In a few years we will be able to download 3 dimensional objects from the web!!

Researching obesity in preparation for gastric bypass surgery.

I found these two articles. The first one is from the NY times..the second from a doctor at The Rockefeller Universtiy. It's what I've believed for a long time now..
They are long articles but so worth the read!

Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside
Sign In to E-Mail or Save This Print Single Page Reprints Share

Published: May 8, 2007
It was 1959. Jules Hirsch, a research physician at Rockefeller University, had gotten curious about weight loss in the obese. He was about to start a simple experiment that would change forever the way scientists think about fat.

Skip to next paragraph

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
Jules Hirsch, a research physician at Rockefeller University, conducted a simple but groundbreaking experiment on obesity nearly 50 years ago, changing the way scientists think about fat.

Readers’ Opinions
Research has shown that obesity is largely determined by genetics. What does that say about our obsession with dieting?

Post a Comment
Obese people, he knew, had huge fat cells, stuffed with glistening yellow fat. What happened to those cells when people lost weight, he wondered. Did they shrink or did they go away? He decided to find out.

It seemed straightforward. Dr. Hirsch found eight people who had been fat since childhood or adolescence and who agreed to live at the Rockefeller University Hospital for eight months while scientists would control their diets, make them lose weight and then examine their fat cells.

The study was rigorous and demanding. It began with an agonizing four weeks of a maintenance diet that assessed the subjects’ metabolism and caloric needs. Then the diet began. The only food permitted was a liquid formula providing 600 calories a day, a regimen that guaranteed they would lose weight. Finally, the subjects spent another four weeks on a diet that maintained them at their new weights, 100 pounds lower than their initial weights, on average.

Dr. Hirsch answered his original question — the subjects’ fat cells had shrunk and were now normal in size. And everyone, including Dr. Hirsch, assumed that the subjects would leave the hospital permanently thinner.

That did not happen. Instead, Dr. Hirsch says, “they all regained.” He was horrified. The study subjects certainly wanted to be thin, so what went wrong? Maybe, he thought, they had some deep-seated psychological need to be fat.

So Dr. Hirsch and his colleagues, including Dr. Rudolph L. Leibel, who is now at Columbia University, repeated the experiment and repeated it again. Every time the result was the same. The weight, so painstakingly lost, came right back. But since this was a research study, the investigators were also measuring metabolic changes, psychiatric conditions, body temperature and pulse. And that led them to a surprising conclusion: fat people who lost large amounts of weight might look like someone who was never fat, but they were very different. In fact, by every metabolic measurement, they seemed like people who were starving.

Before the diet began, the fat subjects’ metabolism was normal — the number of calories burned per square meter of body surface was no different from that of people who had never been fat. But when they lost weight, they were burning as much as 24 percent fewer calories per square meter of their surface area than the calories consumed by those who were naturally thin.

The Rockefeller subjects also had a psychiatric syndrome, called semi-starvation neurosis, which had been noticed before in people of normal weight who had been starved. They dreamed of food, they fantasized about food or about breaking their diet. They were anxious and depressed; some had thoughts of suicide. They secreted food in their rooms. And they binged.

The Rockefeller researchers explained their observations in one of their papers: “It is entirely possible that weight reduction, instead of resulting in a normal state for obese patients, results in an abnormal state resembling that of starved nonobese individuals.”

Eventually, more than 50 people lived at the hospital and lost weight, and every one had physical and psychological signs of starvation. There were a very few who did not get fat again, but they made staying thin their life’s work, becoming Weight Watchers lecturers, for example, and, always, counting calories and maintaining themselves in a permanent state of starvation.

“Did those who stayed thin simply have more willpower?” Dr. Hirsch asked. “In a funny way, they did.”

One way to interpret Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Leibel’s studies would be to propose that once a person got fat, the body would adjust, making it hopeless to lose weight and keep it off. The issue was important, because if getting fat was the problem, there might be a solution to the obesity epidemic: convince people that any weight gain was a step toward an irreversible condition that they most definitely did not want to have.

But another group of studies showed that that hypothesis, too, was wrong.

It began with studies that were the inspiration of Dr. Ethan Sims at the University of Vermont, who asked what would happen if thin people who had never had a weight problem deliberately got fat.

His subjects were prisoners at a nearby state prison who volunteered to gain weight. With great difficulty, they succeeded, increasing their weight by 20 percent to 25 percent. But it took them four to six months, eating as much as they could every day. Some consumed 10,000 calories a day, an amount so incredible that it would be hard to believe, were it not for the fact that there were attendants present at each meal who dutifully recorded everything the men ate.

Once the men were fat, their metabolisms increased by 50 percent. They needed more than 2,700 calories per square meter of their body surface to stay fat but needed just 1,800 calories per square meter to maintain their normal weight.

When the study ended, the prisoners had no trouble losing weight. Within months, they were back to normal and effortlessly stayed there.The implications were clear. There is a reason that fat people cannot stay thin after they diet and that thin people cannot stay fat when they force themselves to gain weight. The body’s metabolism speeds up or slows down to keep weight within a narrow range. Gain weight and the metabolism can as much as double; lose weight and it can slow to half its original speed.

Skip to next paragraph
Readers’ Opinions
Research has shown that obesity is largely determined by genetics. What does that say about our obsession with dieting?

Post a Comment
That, of course, was contrary to what every scientist had thought, and Dr. Sims knew it, as did Dr. Hirsch.

The message never really got out to the nation’s dieters, but a few research scientists were intrigued and asked the next question about body weight: Is body weight inherited, or is obesity more of an inadvertent, almost unconscious response to a society where food is cheap, abundant and tempting? An extra 100 calories a day will pile on 10 pounds in a year, public health messages often say. In five years, that is 50 pounds.

The assumption was that environment determined weight, but Dr. Albert Stunkard of the University of Pennsylvania wondered if that was true and, if so, to what extent. It was the early 1980s, long before obesity became what one social scientist called a moral panic, but a time when those questions of nature versus nurture were very much on Dr. Stunkard’s mind.

He found the perfect tool for investigating the nature-nurture question — a Danish registry of adoptees developed to understand whether schizophrenia was inherited. It included meticulous medical records of every Danish adoption between 1927 and 1947, including the names of the adoptees’ biological parents, and the heights and weights of the adoptees, their biological parents and their adoptive parents.

Dr. Stunkard ended up with 540 adults whose average age was 40. They had been adopted when they were very young — 55 percent had been adopted in the first month of life and 90 percent were adopted in the first year of life. His conclusions, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1986, were unequivocal. The adoptees were as fat as their biological parents, and how fat they were had no relation to how fat their adoptive parents were.

The scientists summarized it in their paper: “The two major findings of this study were that there was a clear relation between the body-mass index of biologic parents and the weight class of adoptees, suggesting that genetic influences are important determinants of body fatness; and that there was no relation between the body-mass index of adoptive parents and the weight class of adoptees, suggesting that childhood family environment alone has little or no effect.”

In other words, being fat was an inherited condition.

Dr. Stunkard also pointed out the implications: “Current efforts to prevent obesity are directed toward all children (and their parents) almost indiscriminately. Yet if family environment alone has no role in obesity, efforts now directed toward persons with little genetic risk of the disorder could be refocused on the smaller number who are more vulnerable. Such persons can already be identified with some assurance: 80 percent of the offspring of two obese parents become obese, as compared with no more than 14 percent of the offspring of two parents of normal weight.”

A few years later, in 1990, Dr. Stunkard published another study in The New England Journal of Medicine, using another classic method of geneticists: investigating twins. This time, he used the Swedish Twin Registry, studying its 93 pairs of identical twins who were reared apart, 154 pairs of identical twins who were reared together, 218 pairs of fraternal twins who were reared apart, and 208 pairs of fraternal twins who were reared together.

The identical twins had nearly identical body mass indexes, whether they had been reared apart or together. There was more variation in the body mass indexes of the fraternal twins, who, like any siblings, share some, but not all, genes.

The researchers concluded that 70 percent of the variation in peoples’ weights may be accounted for by inheritance, a figure that means that weight is more strongly inherited than nearly any other condition, including mental illness, breast cancer or heart disease.

The results did not mean that people are completely helpless to control their weight, Dr. Stunkard said. But, he said, it did mean that those who tend to be fat will have to constantly battle their genetic inheritance if they want to reach and maintain a significantly lower weight.

The findings also provided evidence for a phenomenon that scientists like Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Leibel were certain was true — each person has a comfortable weight range to which the body gravitates. The range might span 10 or 20 pounds: someone might be able to weigh 120 to 140 pounds without too much effort. Going much above or much below the natural weight range is difficult, however; the body resists by increasing or decreasing the appetite and changing the metabolism to push the weight back to the range it seeks.

The message is so at odds with the popular conception of weight loss — the mantra that all a person has to do is eat less and exercise more — that Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, an obesity researcher at the Rockefeller University, tried to come up with an analogy that would convey what science has found about the powerful biological controls over body weight.

He published it in the journal Science in 2000 and still cites it:

“Those who doubt the power of basic drives, however, might note that although one can hold one’s breath, this conscious act is soon overcome by the compulsion to breathe,” Dr. Friedman wrote. “The feeling of hunger is intense and, if not as potent as the drive to breathe, is probably no less powerful than the drive to drink when one is thirsty. This is the feeling the obese must resist after they have lost a significant amount of weight.”
Obesity not a personal failing, says leptin discoverer Jeffrey Friedman, but a battle against biology
Broad-based basic and clinical research program needed to better understand interactions of genes and environment

"Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean," goes the classic children's nursery rhyme, implying that Jack's trim figure and his wife's portly profile were a conscious choice, since "betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean."

But as Jeffrey M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., argues in a "Viewpoint" article in a special obesity issue of the journal Science published Feb. 7, obesity cannot be easily explained as simply a breakdown in willpower. Genes and environment, explains the Rockefeller University and Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher, both play important roles in determining a person's body weight. He points put that "in general, environmental factors account for trends in a population over time, while genetic factors account for most of the differences in weight among individuals in present time.

"While answers are beginning to emerge as to why so many of us are obese, there can be no meaningful discussion on this subject until we resist the impulse to assign blame," writes Friedman, who led the laboratory team that discovered the obesity hormone leptin in 1995. "Nor can we hold to the simple belief that with willpower alone, one can consciously resist the allure of food and precisely control one's weight.

"Instead, we must look at the facts dispassionately and uninfluenced by the numerous competing interests that drive debate on this subject."

The facts, according to Friedman, are: increase in weight does not fully account for the increase in the incidence of obesity; the drive to eat is to a large extent hard-wired and differences in weight are genetically determined; and evolution exerts powerful forces that obese people need to fight in order to lose weight.

An understanding of how genes and environment interact to cause obesity, Friedman urges, requires a broad-based research program that investigates not just the genes but how they interact with the environment.

With nearly one-third of the U.S. population obese — an increase of 10 percent in the last decade — public health officials have been sounding an alarm, since obesity carries an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And even more disturbing is the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in children — which public health officials blame on the obesity epidemic in young adults. Friedman points out that although the incidence of obesity in the United States has increased from 23.3 percent in 1991 to 30.9 percent today, the weight of the average American has increased about only seven to 10 pounds, on the average.

Why does an incremental increase in the average weight have such a significant effect on the incidence of obesity?

As Friedman explains, the reported incidence of obesity is rooted in the definition of obesity, which is described by the body mass index, or BMI. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. (A BMI calculator can be found at Obesity is diagnosed when BMI passes a defined threshold: People are said to be overweight if their BMI is greater than 25, and obese if their BMI exceeds 30.

According to Friedman, since obesity is defined as a threshold, an increase in average weight has a disproportionate effect on the increasing incidence of obesity.

Friedman suggests that there is a bright side: small, achievable decrease in the average weight of the U.S. population could have an enormous benefit to public health.

In addition, Freidman cites a statistical analysis of BMI trends by Katherine Flegal, Ph.D., an expert in the epidemiology of obesity and overweight at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows that in addition to an increase in average BMI, the distribution of BMI in our population is also becoming increasingly skewed at the higher end.

"Thus in modern times, some individuals have manifested a much greater increase of BMI than others strongly," Friedman writes, "suggesting the possibility that in our population there is a subgroup that is genetically susceptible to obesity and a different subgroup that is relatively resistant."

Many factors have been cited as contributors to the rise in obesity: a shift in American eating habits toward more fast food, increased consumption of soft drinks, decreased physical activity and increased inactivity.

But even with these environmental changes, Friedman poses a basic question: how can anyone be thin in an environment where virtually everyone has unfettered access to calories?

The answer lies in the interaction of the environment with the biological system that our genes comprise.

In 1995, Friedman and his colleagues discovered the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat tissue and signals the brain when to stop eating. As body fat increases, more leptin is produced, which acts to reduce food intake. As body fat decreases, less leptin is produced, which stimulates food intake and reduces energy expenditure. Research by Friedman and other scientists has shown that genetic mutations that lead to a full or partial loss of leptin are associated with obesity in some humans.

In addition to leptin, Friedman and other scientists have identified a number of hormones and genes that play a role in appetite and weight. These hormones orchestrate the unconscious urge to eat, a basic biological drive that is difficult to fight with the conscious desire to eat less.

"Those who doubt the power of basic drives, however, might note that while one can hold one's breath, this conscious act is soon overcome by the compulsion to breathe," notes Friedman. "The feeling of hunger is intense and, if not as potent as the drive to breathe, is probably no less powerful than the drive to drink when one is thirsty.

"Who is it that can resist a drink of cold water when their lips are parched? This is the feeling the obese must resist after they have lost a significant amount of weight.

"The power of this drive is illustrated by the fact that, whatever ones motivation, dieting is generally ineffective in for achieving significant weight loss over the long term."

But what is the role of environment in all this? According to Friedman, genes that compose the biological system that regulates weight should be expected to vary depending on the environment due to intense selective evolutionary pressure.

In other words, people who lived when food was sporadically available - for example, hunters-gatherers -- benefited from genes that predisposed them to obesity, since "these genes would increase energy stores and provide a survival advantage during times of famine," Friedman says.

For those who lived in areas where the risk of starvation was low because of farming, domestication of animals and the ability to store food — Western civilizations, for example — the same genes that protected people from starvation may have exposed the obese to significant health consequences, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Modern-day humans, according to Friedman, "carry the genetic legacy of both environments.

"In modern times, obesity and leptin resistance appear to be the residue of genetic variants that were more adaptive in our previous environments," he says. "It may be that the obese carry the 'hunter-gatherer' genes and the lean carry the 'Western' genes.

"The lean carry genes that protect them from the consequences of obesity while the obese carry genes that are atavisms of a time of nutritional privation in which they no longer live," he continues.

Taken together, our genes and our environment collaborate to build a formidable barrier for those who want to lose weight.

"Obesity is not a personal failing," Friedman argues. "In trying to lose weight, the obese are fighting a difficult battle — a battle against biology, a battle that only the intrepid take on and one in which only a few prevail."

Friedman is the Marilyn M. Simpson Professor at The Rockefeller University and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the federal government's National Institutes of Health.

Anyone interested?

Pittsburgh Area
May 15 - May 17, 2007

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 - 12:30 PM
The Four Points by Sheraton

910 Sheraton Drive
Mars, PA 16046
We're going to a Rich Dad conference!! It's free! Anyone interested shoot me off an email

Catching up...

This weekend Joe and the girls and I went to my mom's house and cleaned and weeded her landscaping, cleaned her patio and cleaned and set up her patio was an early mother's day present. It was wonderful working together as a family! We were a weeded, the other raked, one washed, the other dried etc... I truly love being with my family. I love when we accomplish something together as a team. I always tell my girls this.. imagine holding a stick in your two easy would it be for someone to snap that stick in half and break it.. that's what it's like when you stand alone..but imagine a bunch of sticks all together, try breaking's too difficult! That's what it's like being a part of a family and sticking're much stronger!!
Not only was it great working together as a family, but the joy that it brought to my mom was awesome!! She was so grateful that it made me feel sad. I wish I could do more for her. She shouldn't have to feel so should be part of being a family..we help each other. She should expect it from us.
Life gets so busy..there's many important things that need to get done..I'm a semi-working mom, a church planter..a volunteer, a restaurant owner etc... but I also want to be a good daughter. I know I can't do everything..I can't be everything to everyone..but I want to do the best I can. Am I doing the best I can? That's what each of us have to ask ourselves. Are we being the best daughter, wife, mother, husband, son, that we can? Why or why not? Lord show us how to be better!
Lord, help me to be the best wife, mother, daughter, boss, co-worker, leader, that I can be. Help me to love others unconditionally. Help me to forgive those that need to be forgiven, even those who don't think they need to be forgiven. Help me to love ..even those that seem unloveable! Help others to forgive me, even if I don't think I need forgiven, help others to love me, even if I am unloveable at times!! Lord, help me be more like YOU! Jesus, I love you so much..mere words aren't enough to describe the gratitude I feel for loving me..the grace that you show me, the forgiveness that you've given to me, and the mercy that you allow me! Jesus..Thank you! I love you!!
Today, I took my mom to get her car inspected, then we went and had breakfast and bought some flowers. IT WAS AWESOME!!! I LOVED SPENDING TIME WITH MY MOM TODAY!!!
Mom, thank you for the beautiful flowers and for breakfast!! I love you mom!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Go serve!

Today's Scripture
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and
to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

The best way to ease stress in your life is to get your mind off of the
pressures by reaching out to help somebody else. Sow good seeds in
someone else's life with a kind word or a helping hand and you will begin
to reap a harvest of blessing. God asks you to give, but He doesn't do
it to stress you out or frustrate you. He does it to give you
wonderful opportunities. God is trying to help you plant your seeds, so that
you can reap the harvest of your labors and your work. If you're
faithful to do your part, He will be faithful to do His part. Don't let the
enemy deceive you into thinking that you can't sow seeds of blessing in
someone else's life. Get that seed into the ground so it can grow into
a harvest of blessing and victory!
A Prayer for Today
God, thank You for the opportunities You give me to reap a harvest.
Make me alert today to those who need encouragement and help. In Jesus'
Name. Amen.

Incredible tornado video!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I'm in the May issue of BGC WORLD Magazine!

Read the article called Nightlife Redefined! It's about my friend and mentor's church called Steel City Church! Can you find me? : ) WOOHOOO!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Awesome Creations by Lauren E. Hougelman!

Hi Faust Family!!

Hi Hannah and Jordan and Emma!! Hey Amy and Rick!! : ) I hope you found me! It was awesome to see you today!
Most of you know, that along with my husband, I own a restaurant in Volant, Pa called the Neshannock Creek Inn. We've owned the restaurant for about 16 years!! I've waitressed at the restaurant for about 10 years. My FAVORITE Family that has been coming in for almost that long is the Faust Family. I LOVE THEM!! Rick and Amy remind me so much of Joe and myself. Because they've come in once or twice a year, we've formed a special friendship!
Amy and Ricks children Rock!! They are the most loving and well-mannered children I've ever known!! They are soooo sweet! I think they used to live in Zelionople but now live in the Laurel School district area, by Living Treasures Animal Park. When they come in they all give me hugs!! They used to all draw me pictures that I'd hang up in my waitress station! Every time they come in , they invite my family to their house to hang out!! One of these days..we're going to do it!! I know we'd have a blast hanging out with them..we've just got to make the effort to do it!!
Amy just told me that her dad was diagnosed with cancer. : ( I feel her pain,since my dad passed away almost three years ago from cancer. Amy and her family could sure use your prayers!! Her dad's name is Walt. Please pray for Walt and his family when you pray!! Thanks friends!
Thanks Amy and Rick and Hannah and Jordan and Emma for making my day awesome today! I really love seeing you, always!! Susan

8:00 am @ the food pantry!

I got up at 7:30 this morning. I woke up praying. As a matter of fact I woke up several times last night, praying and praising God. I have so much excitement in my heart. Our church, Solid Rock, has a food pantry every first Saturday in each month. Since our church plant is partnering with Solid Rock to form one great church, I wanted to see how the food pantry works, and I wanted to help out. Wow. I'm so impressed. Solid Rock reaches out.. About 150 people come through the doors and get bags and bags of food to help them out for the month. I loved smiling and showing these people who come through the doors respect and dignity and the love of Jesus Christ! I want Jesus's love to come through me, to love people!
I love people : ) I love my new friends at Solid Rock. I love their hearts and their willingness to help our community! If anyone's interested in volunteering a few hours of their time one Saturday a month we could sure use some help!! It's very easy..just putting food in bags and some need to help carry bags for people to their cars.. and it's very rewarding! We can sure use your help!!! Just email me and let me know if you'd like more info! Help is needed from 8 am until around 11:30 am, first Saturday of each month!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Glass illusion

doll face

This video is amazing. What a fantastic social commentary. Women try to achieve an image that is impossible to achieve and they end up emotionally and sometimes physically destructing because of it. Sad.

Have fun!

haha! click on this link!


Mother's Day @ the Neshannock Creek Inn

Today,I'm working on our mother's day menu for our restaurant! If you're looking for a great place to eat, that's affordable, come see us! I will be waitressing that day, so you will get GREAT service too!! Joe is making stuffed pork chops and chicken breasts and his famous blackberry cobbler as well as many other good things to eat!! Hope to see you there! Sunday from noon until six pm.

Brenda Rocks!!

This is a shout out to Brenda. Brenda and I get together sometimes once a week, usually once every two weeks..and we email a lot. I think Brenda and I could spend 24 hours together and not run out of things to talk about. Brenda inspires me! Brenda makes me a better person! Brenda is incredibly intelligent and full of wisdom! She is a person who is constantly evolving and growing and learning and changing and growing closer to God every single day. She strives to become closer to God and to do his will. She amazes me because she is constantly stretching herself! She does things that make her feel uncomfortable. And..she is the BEST Teacher I've ever known!!!! She is talented in teaching and helping others to grow..especially in their walk with the Lord!
Brenda and I are a lot alike in many ways and very different in many ways..but we share a deep love and respect for one another and our differences. We are like partners. We compliment each other. We make a good team! Brenda is grounded and very stable..anchored.
I love you Brenda! I love who God has made you, I love the wife and mother that you are to your family, I love that you love God so much and seek Him so much. I love the fact that seek to understand me, and don't let my wild ideas and dreams scare you away..they might scare you, but you haven't run away from them. That says a lot about your you are so willing to step out of that comfort zone..and dare to be different.. It's not easy, but you've done it! I'm proud to be your friend. THis pic is for you! YOU ROCK!!

This Sunday is Ten Commandments Day

Do you know the ten commandments? We all should! Here's a reminder!
(TCC) The 10 Commandments from Exodus 20:2-14:
* I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me
* You shall not make yourself an idol
* You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God
* Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
* Honor your parents
* You shall not murder
* You shall not commit adultery
* You shall not steal
* You shall not bear false witness
* You shall not covet your neighbor's wife or house

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Today is the National Day of Prayer! Please pray for our Country and it's leaders!

Here is a link to the national day of prayer website.
Here is the Presidents proclamation for The National Day of Prayer.
National Day of Prayer, 2007
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge. On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God's grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our Nation.

Americans of many faiths and traditions share a common belief that God hears the prayers of His children and shows grace to those who seek Him. Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, in towns all across America, in houses of worship from every faith, Americans have joined together to pray for the lives that were lost and for their families, friends, and loved ones. We hold the victims in our hearts and pray for those who suffer and grieve. There is a power in these prayers, and we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.

At this important time in our history, we also pray for the brave members of our Armed Forces and their families. We pray for their safety, for the recovery of the wounded, and for the peace we all seek.

The Congress, by Public Law 100 307, as amended, has called on our Nation to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to respect the freedom of religion by recognizing each year a "National Day of Prayer."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3, 2007, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the freedoms and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance, comfort, and protection. I invite all Americans to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.