Sweet Misery

My daughter likes candies. And that’s a concern and problem for me.

I don’t buy a lot of candies for her, only occasionally for holidays or as a reward. Since candies are her favorite thing, she asks for candies as a reward for good works or achievements.

I try to monitor and control how many candies she eats. So I take her candies away and give her a couple or less than a handful of pieces a week. If I don’t watch over her, she could eat a bag of candies  in two days. 

She still eats more candies than I give her. She gets candies from school or other people. I often find candy wraps here and there.

When it comes to candies, my daughter lacks some self-control. 

I often tell her about the harm candies can do to her health. Her teeth have cavities. Long term affects of eating too much candies can be worse than bad teeth.

I often tell her that she can eat all the fruits she wants every day, without limitation, but candies have to be limited to the minimum. But she is not interested in fruits. She only likes banana. I can have all kinds of fruits on the table, she won’t touch it at all.

Lately I have been doing smoothies and make her eat that, so at least she is getting a little more than just a banana on most days. And that was a great progress for her. For years, she only ate a banana a day, no other fruits.

Yesterday I asked her to watch a documentary film about Aspartame titled Sweet Misery.  Aspartame is in a lot of candies, sodas, yogurts, and snacks.

You can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink.

I hope someday my daughter will come to her own realization and stop her “candy addiction.” I can’t police her all the time. She has to take the responsibility and have more self-control.  

Other food related films I have watched and would like to watch are Supersize me and Food, Inc.

Breast cancer do’s and don’ts

 My families on both my mother’s side and my father’s side do not have a history of breast cancer. So I am not concerned about it myself.

In fact, I have never done a mammogram in my whole life. Even when I pass the 50 mark in a few years, I do not plan to do it.

However, I often hear about other women having breast cancer. The situation is getting worse.

Recently I read a few articles on breast cancer. If you are interested in the topic, check out the following links. I know there are tons of information out there on the Internet. There is a lot more I can read.  

Do’s and don’ts to prevent breast cancer

Breast Cancer Breakthrough – Cut Your Risk of Death in Half (Also read some comments)

Avoid Routine Mammograms if You are Under 50

NEW Studies Reveal Alarming Hidden Cause of Breast Cancer

The power of social media

Today I attended a presentation at Mn/DOT on social media by Lee Aase, Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. He shared how Mayo Clinic used social media as an effective and inexpensive marketing tool to promote its services, win new patients and stay connected with its customers.

Lee Aase also shared some examples of using social media to garner national attention.

A fun example was about an old couple in their 90’s playing piano at Mayo Clinic. The video posted on Youtube generated 7 million hits. The couple ended up being interviewed on Good Morning America.

Another well known case involved United Airlines breaking Canadian musician David Carroll’s guitar and didn’t take responsibility for it. After several months of going nowhere with United Airlines, David Carroll posted a song titled “United Breaks Guitars” on Youtube which became a hit. So far it has generated 10 million hits. He had posted two more songs – United Breaks Guitars Song 2 and United Breaks Guitars Song 3. United Airlines gave in and offered to compensate him for the damage.

The story was widely covered in news media. I remember reading it. It even has a Wikipedia article.

You can read Lee Aase’s 35 Social Media Theses on the SMUG website. SMUG stands for Social Media University, Global. Aase created it for the purpose of learning and sharing social media. Check it out. You can learn a lot there, without paying a tuition.

Yes, social media tools such as blog, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc. are powerful. Use them to benefit your personal and professional life.

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33 simple tips for a good night’s sleep

I feel fortunate that I do not have a sleeping problem. But I know many people do. Some have to depend on sleeping bills to help them fall asleep.

My parents both have insomnia, which is largely caused by their constant worries about me and my brother, about what will happen in the future and what happened in the past, and everything else their minds can think of.

My Mom uses sleeping bills in recent years, but my Dad doesn’t like take medicine, so he toughs it out every night on about 3 hours of sleep. As the result, he often gets tired and weak during the day, especially when it’s hot.

I know my parents are not alone. Insomnia is a common problem among elderly people.

Recently I read the article Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep by Dr. Mercola. I thought it’s good to share.

  1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible.
  2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F.
  3. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs).
  4. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed.
  5. Avoid using loud alarm clocks.
  6. Reserve your bed for sleeping.
  7. Consider separate bedrooms.
  8. Get to bed as early as possible.
  9. Don’t change your bedtime.
  10. Establish a bedtime routine.
  11. Don’t drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed.
  12. Go to the bathroom right before bed.
  13. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed.
  14. Also eat a small piece of fruit.
  15. Avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars.
  16. Take a hot bath, shower or sauna before bed.
  17. Wear socks to bed.
  18. Wear an eye mask to block out light.
  19. Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more).
  20. No TV right before bed.
  21. Listen to relaxation CDs.
  22. Read something spiritual or uplifting.
  23. Journaling.
  24. Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible.
  25. Avoid caffeine.
  26. Avoid alcohol.
  27. Make certain you are exercising regularly.
  28. Lose excess weight.
  29. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to.
  30. Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician.
  31. If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out by a good natural medicine physician.
  32. Practice Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
  33. Increase your melatonin.

For read the full article, click Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep.

Beginning of my gardening season

Yesterday was a perfect day for me to work in the garden.

No snow, no rain. It was cool and not cold. The soil was not very dry so when I tilled the soil, it didn’t fly all over me.

This year I started my garden work one month later comparing to last year. We had a long and snowy winter this year.

I did the first half of the work on April 11. Then we had unexpected snow again. Yesterday I was able to finish the second half of the work.

My gardening season always starts with tilling the soil and composting in the spring.

Since I started the vegetable garden in the backyard in 2001, I have been doing composting all year around.

During spring, summer and fall (2/3 of the year in Minnesota), I do composting by simply digging a hole in the garden and mixing in food scraps under the ground, or dumping the food scraps in the trench in the middle of the garden and cover it with some soil on the top.

During the winter months (4-5 months) when the ground is frozen, I just leave the food scraps in plastic bags under the deck. I compost them all when the weather gets warmer. 

When spring comes and the ground has thawed, I till the soil and mix under the ground all the food scraps that has been accumulated during the last few months.

Yesterday I asked my son to help me till the soil while I did the compost thing, he helped for only a few minutes and then run away. He said it looked so disgusting.

Not for me, I love doing it. It’s quite magic. I mix in the yucky food scraps and soon it will turn into black soil.

I feel good that I am able to garden organically using soils enriched with my own compost. It also makes me feel good to reduce trash and help protect the environment.

I worked several hours yesterday and on April 11 and got the garden prep work done – soil tilled and food scraps composted. I felt good.

Then I planted some seeds for lettuces, cilantro and a Chinese vegetable.

Hopefully I can harvest something early June.

Spirit Baptism – what, who, why & how?

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post on Water Baptism.

The following summary on Spirit Baptism was  created by Gina Parker for the new members class on foundational Christian beliefs at Spirit of Life Bible Church in Woodbury.

What is it?

Ezekiel 36:27              God’s spirit inside a person

Joel 2:28                      God’s spirit poured out on people

Matthew 3:11              something Jesus baptizes you with

Mark 1:8                      something Jesus baptizes you with

Luke 3:16                     something Jesus baptizes you with

John 1:29-34               something Jesus baptizes you with (33)

John 3:5                       being born of the spirit

John 7:37-39               rivers of living water (38)

                                       something those that believe on Him can receive (39)

John 14:15-21              comforter (16)

                                       spirit of truth that can be in a person (17)

                                        Jesus (18, 20)

John 16:13                    spirit of truth

Acts 2:38                      gift

Acts 10:45                    gift

Romans 8:11                 spirit of God in a person

Galatians 4:1-7             spirit of Christ (6)

Colossians 1:24-27       Christ in a person (27)

I Timothy 4:14              gift

Who is it for?

Joel 2:28                       everyone

John 7:37-39                anyone who is thirsty (37)

                                       those who believe on Christ (39)

Acts 2:38-39                everyone (39)

Why would one want and need it?

John 3:5                        enter into the kingdom of God

John 14:25-27              receive teaching (26)

John 16:12-15              be guided into all truth (13)

Acts 1:8                         receive power

Acts 2:38-39                 it’s promised (39)

Romans 5:1-5                love of God (5)

Romans 8:9-17              be Christ’s (9)

                                         the ability for your mortal body to be quickened (11)

                                        adopted by God as His son (15)

                                        children of God (16)

                                        heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (17)

Romans 14:17               righteousness, peace, joy

I Corinthians 12:1-11     spiritual gifts     3 categories:     1)  power to “know” supernaturally

                                                                                                      – “word of wisdom”

                                                                                                      – “word of knowledge”

                                                                                                      – discerning of spirits

                                                                                                 2)  power to “act” supernaturally

                                                                                                       – faith

                                                                                                       – working of miracles

                                                                                                       – gifts of healing

                                                                                          3)  power to “speak” supernaturally

                                                                                          – prophecy (forthtelling and foretelling)

                                                                                           – diverse kinds of tongues

                                                                                            – interpretation of tongues

How does one receive this gift?

Isaiah 28:11                  foretold that people would speak in tongues

Acts 2:1-4                     spoke with other tongues (4)

Acts 8:9-25*                after they received the Word of God (14)

                                      when they had Peter and John pray for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost (15)

                                      after they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (16)

                                      with the laying on of hands (17)

Acts 10:44-46            after they hear the Word (44)

                                     spoke with tongues (46)

Acts 19:1-7                  after they believe (2)

                                      after they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus (5)

                                     with the laying on of hands (6)

                                      spoke with tongues (6)

What is “speaking in tongues?” (Definition:  speaking in a language not naturally acquired)

*It does not explicitly say they spoke in tongues here when they received the Holy Spirit, but if you look closely at the story, it makes a strong argument for the case that something outward happens when people receive the Holy Spirit.  What did Simon see?  What happened when people received the Holy Spirit that Simon wanted to buy because he called it “powerful?”

Why do people speak in tongues after they receive the Holy Spirit?

I Corinthians 14:2          speak to God supernaturally

I Corinthians 14:4          self-edification

I Corinthians 14:14        so your spirit can pray

I Corinthians 14:22        sign to unbelievers

I Corinthians 14:26        to strengthen the church

Water Baptism – what, when, why & how?

Spirit of Life Bible Church in Woodbury offers new members a class on fundational Christian beliefs. I have attended one of those class in the past. 

Church member Gina Parker teaches two sessions of the class, one on water baptism and one on spirit baptism. She has done a lot of study on those subjects and did a great job with her presentation and handouts.

She has generously allowed me to post the summaries she created for the class here to share with anyone interested. Thanks Gina for sharing your knowledge with others.

Hope you will find them helpful.

I will post the summary on water baptism today and the summary on spirit baptism tomorrow.


Where did the water baptism concept come from?


What is water baptism?

Command of Jesus (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16)
Remission of sins (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16
Command of Paul (Acts 10:47-48)
Washing away sins (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Revelation 1:5)
Identify with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4)
Put on Christ (Galatians 3:27)
Rebirth (a part of salvation) (Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:20-21)
Answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:20-21)
Circumcision of the heart (Colossians 2:11-12)

When should someone be baptized in water?
When they’re a…

Disciple (follower) of Christ (Matthew 28:19)
Believer (Mark 16:16, Acts 8:12, Acts 8:37-38, Acts 18:8)
Repentant person (Acts 2:38)
Receiver of the word (Acts 2:41)

Why would someone want and need to be baptized in water?

Obey Jesus (Matthew 28:19)
Salvation (Mark 16:16)
Enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:5)
Remission of sins (Acts 2:38)
Wash away sins (Acts 22:14-16)
Walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4)
Put on Christ (Galatians 3:27)
Rebirth (Titus 3:5)
Answer/response of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:20-21)

How is baptism in water done?
Baptize = immerse

Where there is much water (John 3:23)
Go down into the water (Acts 8:38)
Come up out of the water (Acts 8:39)
Buried with Christ (Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12)
In the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38, Acts 8:16, Acts 10:48, Acts 19:5, Colossians 3:17)

Gitmomer on trust

In the last few days I have been reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Teal Book of Trust: How to Earn It, Grow It, and Keep It to Become a Trusted Advisor in Sales, Business and Life. I like the following quotes from the book.

Without trust there is low morale

Without trust there is low productivity

Without trust there is poor service

Without trust there is strict policy

Without trust there is high turnover 

Without trust rumors are rampant

Without trust there is no open communication

Without trust there is doubt and disappointment

Trust is not a request. Trust is earned

Trust is not spoken. Trust is a feeling

You don’t get respect, you earn it.

Breaking Free with Beth Moore


On January 29, the Women’s Ministry at Spirit of Life Bible Church in Woodbury started an 11-week Bible study based on Beth Moore‘s popular Bible study Breaking Free: The Journey, The Stories.

Last Saturday, we completed the Bible study. I never missed a single session.

When I found out that my daughter’s MMTA piano exam fell on Saturday morning during my last Bible study session, I asked the piano teacher to reschedule the exam time. I ended up having to pay a rescheduling fee. I just didn’t want to miss my study.

Beth Moore is a very gifted Bible teacher. About a year ago I did my first Beth Moore Bible study “Living beyond yourself: exploring the fruit of the spirit.” and I really enjoyed both Bible studies with Beth Moore.

Beth Moore leads participants “through a study of the Scriptures to discover the transforming power of freedom in Jesus Christ. Themes for this study come from Isaiah, a book about the captivity of God’s children, the faithfulness of God, and the road to freedom.”

Below are some notes from the book to refresh my own memory and to share with others interested.

What leads to captivity and keep us in captivity? What hinders us to live a life in freedom? 

  • Unbelief
  • Pride – Pride puts ourselves at the center of our universe.
  • Idolatry – Anything we try to put in a place where God belongs is an idol.
  • Prayerlessness
  • Legalism – Legalism happens when regulations replace relationship, microscopes replace mirrors, performance replaces passion.

 5 primary benefits of a relationship with God

  • To know God and believe Him
  • To glorify God
  • To find satisfaction in God
  • To experience God’s peace – Peace is the fruit of an obedient and prayerful life.
  • To enjoy God’s presence

5 step process from captivity to freedom

  • Recognize the captor, the lies
  • Stand in agreement with God
  • Tear down the lies
  • Put up the truth
  • Take thoughts captive

Lie or lay?

There are some words in the English language that are confusing not only to non-native speakers like me, but also to many native speakers. 

An example I mentioned in a previous post is about i.e. and e.g

Today I did some research and reading on lie and lay. I would like to share what I read and learned. 

1. Understand the definition –  

Lay means to put something [or someone] down. Lay is a transitive verb and requires a direct object

Lie means to rest or recline. Lie is an intransitive verb, so no direct object will follow. 

2. Know the correct verb form –  

The following table is helpful in choosing the correct verb form: 

Infinitive Definition Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle Present Participle
to lay to put something down lay(s) laid laid laying
to lie to rest or recline lie(s) lay lain lying

What makes things more confusing and complicated is that “Lie” also has a different meaning – A false statement deliberately presented as being true. In this case “lie” also has different verb forms – to lie, lies, lied, lied, lying.

If I can remember these two important points, I will no longer be confused and should be able to use lie and lay correctly.

3. Examples –


Present tense: I lie down on my bed to rest my weary bones.
Past tense: Yesterday, I lay there thinking about what I had to do during the day.
Past participle: But I remembered that I had lain there all morning one day last week.


Present tense: As I walk past, I lay the tools on the workbench.
Past tense: As I walked past, I laid the tools on the workbench. 
Past participle: . . . I had laid the tools on the workbench.

After I “lay” something down, it’s just “lying” there. It’s not doing anything to anyone or anything. 

For more information, visit the following websites: