Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hits and Misses (December 11-17)

This week's post comes a day later than usual, but can you blame me? I'm on vacation! So here's a look back at the week that was.....


  • Finals are over! It's so nice to have grades submitted and ready to enjoy a little though too short downtime.
  • The last week in Plainview featured some great music. Things started with a nice recital by one of the local piano studios. Student juries brought excellent performances by most. The PSO jazz concert on Thursday was great fun.
  • As snow moved into west Texas on Saturday afternoon, I wasn't certain that I would be able to make it out. I was thankful that I only fought the storm for an hour or so. Once I was ahead of the snow, I put the pedal down and made my way home. Really thankful for safe travels.


  • I don't enjoy the dead days that come with the end of the semester. I found myself having completed my work, but too tired mentally and emotionally to dive into new projects.
  • I love having time to watch TV, but this week it was a nuisance. I simply wanted to jump in the car and head home. That was the only thing on my mind.
Now that I'm home, I've decided to take a break from blogging for a while. I need to rest and find fresh inspiration for my writing. I plan to return to Livin' Life in the new year. ~Kennith

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hits and Misses (Dec 4-10)

Here's a look back at the week that was.....

  • The piano students from the Talkington School in Lubbock came for their second annual visit this week. With a year under our belts, we were a little more prepared and a lot more organized. I enjoyed getting to explore careers in music with the middle school and high school students just as much as hearing them play. What a wonderful day that will hopefully lead to more recruits in the future.
  • It's easy to forget just how much I miss family dinners. After choir rehearsal on Wednesday, I headed to a local restaurant and was soon greeted by a family from my church. They invited me to sit with them. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them better as we laughed together and shared stories. Family time is certainly not something to take for granted.
  • Classes for the semester are over! You cannot fully understand how happy I am to say that -- and I know the students are as well. I can't fully put my finger on the reason, but this has been a challenging term that I'm ready to see in the rear view mirror!
  • With the end of classes comes a little more time to sit at home. That means I'm watching more Christmas movies -- yep, I'm one of those people! -- and that's getting the holiday season rolling for me. Let the holidays begin!
  • My back has decided to give me fits this week. According to my chiropractor, the problem is in the L4-L5 region. That's causing pain in my right hip as well as traveling down my leg. Getting in the car and in bed has been interesting. My back is finally feeling better, but my leg and hip seem to be getting worse. I'll admit that I'm starting to get a little worried about things and plan to have a serious conversation with my doctor in the morning.
  • The pain has led to some restless nights. I can't lie on my right side at all. This is a problem because I only sleep on my back when I'm sick. I suppose my brain subconsciously associates back sleeping with poor rest. All I know is that I'm ready to feel normal again...and fast!
  • The pain forced me to pull the ice pack out of the freezer for the first time in several months. That is a good thing....but it also reminds me how much I hate icing my back (as well as my shoulders, neck, and arms). The ice pack suggests I need to slow down, but that's just not possible at the moment.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Current Bible Reading Plan

I've been a Christian since childhood and have always known the importance of daily Scripture reading. For some reason, it has always been a struggle to fit it into my routine. Even though I love to read, I found myself getting bogged down in Leviticus's laws and the history of Israel's kings. I have tried several reading plans over the years, but nothing seemed to grab my attention.

Earlier this Fall, I felt desperate to connect with God's Word. Upon a friend's recommendation, I decided to commit myself to giving Professor Grant Horner's Bible Reading System a try for two months. That was in August, and I'm still enjoying -- and looking forward to -- diving into reading Scripture daily.

If you are not familiar with the plan, you can read about it in detail here. To briefly summarize the plan, the Bible is grouped into 10 lists. Ideally, the reader will read one chapter from each of the ten lists daily. I hear ya! That sounds intimidating, but it is actually not as daunting of a task as you might imagine. Most days, I split the reading into two 15-20 minute sittings. It's actually quite refreshing to know that this quiet time is set aside and it gives me a chance to bring my focus back to the things that are most important.

Why has this plan worked so well for me? First of all, I love its flexibility. Life happens and there are days that I simply can't find time to read the 10 chapters. When I figured out that missing a day or not completing the "entire assignment " didn't ruin the plan, my Reading found new freedom. Since there are no dates associated with the passages, I don't feel guilty because I've "gotten behind." Only have time to read 3 chapters? No problem! Read what you can, move your markers ahead, and start fresh the next day!

I also love the variety that comes with the reading. At first I thought it would be confusing since I wasn't following a storyline from beginning to end. For a young Christian, this might be a legitimate concern. But what I actually experienced was a greater understanding of how Scripture opens up in a wider sense. Last week, I was blessed as I read of the crucifixion in John before reading about the Passover in Leviticus and Messianic prophecies in the Psalms. The plan is re-enforcing in my heart and mind the truth that all Scripture is God-breathed.

How long do I plan to read this way? I don't know. It's certainly not how I study Scripture....it's just for my daily devotions. However, since starting in August, I have probably consumed more of the Bible than in any other season of my life. I've already read the entire New Testament -- and I'm getting close to finishing a second reading! And I've worked my way through the Proverbs three times while just finishing my 4th reading of Acts! The most exciting part? I'm discovering things that I never realized were sitting right on the page in front of me.

Whatever method you choose, the point of this post is simple....JUST READ! You'll be glad you did.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Hits & Misses (Nov 27 - Dec 3)

Here's a look back at the week that was....

  • Christmas is in the air! I have always loved this season. Decorations are appearing everywhere. Houses are adorned with twinkling lights and joyful sounds fill the air. It means that I'll get to celebrate the birth of Christ with family very soon. Since it's Christmas time, that means .....
  • I'm getting to reconnect with friends through carol videos. Last year, I accepted the challenge to post a Christmas carol arrangement each day of the holiday season. What was birthed in simplicity -- and really intended for my family -- grew to a larger audience. I'm repeating the project this year and truly having fun. I'm hearing from friends around the world as they use my videos to assist them in their family celebrations. As the daily posts are being shared around Facebook, I'm also meeting new people who love Christmas as much as I do. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would share the sounds of the holidays with such a large virtual. When I get frustrated with the recording process, I try to remember the fun of sharing the music.
  • On Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to judge the concerto competition of the Youth Orchestra of Lubbock. I heard some really talented young musicians and met some fine educators as well. I hope to have a chance to continue developing this relationship with YOL.
  • I've fought with cold showers much of the week. My hot water heater was on the fritz and we simply couldn't seem to get it fixed. Whatever the problem was, I finally got to enjoy a hot shower on Thursday afternoon....and my mood immediately improved as a result.
  • Why did it take so long to fix the water? Poor communication! I called my landlord as soon as the problem occurred. He never called me back to tell me the repair had been made.....and that's where the problem ensued. I was attempting to be understanding and patient. I assumed he was having difficulty getting a plumber to see what was going on. When I called again on Thursday to ask about the repairs, he told me they had already been made.....on Tuesday! When he learned that the problem continued, he apologized profusely. I chuckled when I got a voice mail from him later that afternoon telling me the repair had been made and to call him immediately when I got home if there was still a problem. Oh well....lesson learned.
  • In the midst of the cold water issues, I felt like I was meeting myself coming and going. I simply couldn't get my stuff together. I was repeatedly asked if I was angry.....I suppose I know now that cold showers don't do much for my disposition. Here's hoping that the new week will bring a more manageable schedule and a better appearance of joy on my demeanor.