Devotional Nuggets

Devotional Nugget #6: Choose wisely which master to serve.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24

Last Thursday, my BFF Tammy and I met to have a day to ourselves and it was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time! We bought some fun stuff before sitting down to have a nice chat. We found ourselves reminiscing, talking about our writing, and the Industry from a Biblical perspective which led us to discuss serving two masters.

Sign Direction Kids - Free image on Pixabay

The Bible makes it clear: WE CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS! There is a reason why the world is filled with hatred, greed, and jealousy. Why there are so many robberies and frauds taking place. Why our entertainment (magazines, TV shows, books, commercials, etc.) are filled with blaspheming products that are not of God (gambling, drug overdose, nudity, etc.). Why professing Christian actors play ungodly roles in movies. Why professing Christian musicians neglect to drop God’s Name from their lips. Why preachers thirst after riches. For the mammon (money, wealth, and material things) makes them compromise their relationship with God. And when you serve mammon, you do not serve God, but Satan, thus you’ll do ANYTHING for it.

So you go to church
Read the holy word
In the scheme of life
It’s all absurd

Want your pot of gold
Need the Midas touch
Bet you sell your soul
‘Cause your God is such
You don’t care
You kill for the money

You do anything for money

Money, Michael Jackson

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Don’t get caught up in all that glitters for what does it profit a man to gain the world, but lose his soul (Mark 8:36)? The world may look good dangling before our eyes, but the lust of this world cannot satisfy us like Christ can. God is our Sustainer and He doesn’t want us to worry (Philippians 4:6-7). Rather, we should learn to be content in whatever state we’re in (Philippians 4:11). When we’re content, we do not lust after mammon in any form, for we’ll be putting our trust in God for our provisions (Proverbs 3:5-8; Matthew 6:31-34).

We’re to be set apart from the world (1 John 2:15-16) and not conform to it (Romans 12:2) for the enticing, sparkly, glittery, shiny things of this world is deceitful (Mark 4:19). 

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Reflection

Are you storing up treasures on earth or in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21)? Be honest with yourself during your self-evaluation for God doesn’t do compromises. 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

꧁The Book Blogger Memory Challenge ꧂

I love fun challenges and madamewriterblog recently posted a good one based only on total recall! For this challenge, I can’t look at my bookshelf or use the internet which is fine for I’m currently at work listening to the sound of rain. 

Name a book written by an author named Michael

I am yet to read this book, but Moonwalk by Michael Jackson. I hope to read it soon for it’s been sitting in my TBR for way too long.

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Name a book with a dragon on the cover

I am not a fan of anything dragons for the devilish symbolism is not lost on me, but there were a few popular books a few years ago that I kept seeing EVERYWHERE and now that I need my memory the most, it fails me! This is unaccepta… wait, wait, wait! Yu-Gi-Oh! mangas have a few covers with the – I can’t believe I’m about to say this – Blue Eyes White Dragon on them. Other dragons from the series were also featured on later covers including the golden glorious Winged Dragon of Ra.

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Name a book about a character named George

George… George… ah ha! George of the Jungle by Justine Korman! I only know this George and the curious one. Wait, Curious George is also a book! If I recall correctly, my youngest sister had a CG book. I can’t recall the author’s name, but I’ve locked in my final answer, Eddie: Curious George

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I love this monkey! Also, late afternoon memories are assaulting me
so hard right now. I used to marathon CM when I got home from work
only a few years ago.
😔 I know what I’m going to do when I get home!

Name a book with an author with the surname of Smith

Ooh, Nighty Night and Good Night by Michael W. Smith (Yes, the Gospel crooner). It’s a children’s book that I’ve been meaning to get my hands on for a while now.

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Name a book set in Australia

The only book that comes to mind is Private Down Under by James Patterson and I disliked that book big time! As a matter of fact, I dislike what I’ve read of the Private series (2-3 books in) and called it quits because I can’t stand the main protagonist Jack.  

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Name a book with the name of a month in the title

This book is either in my TBR or I’m yet to get it: April in Paris. I love that the title contains my birth month and dream destination. 😄

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Name a book with a knife on the cover

This is easy because it’s in my TBR: The Chef by James Patterson.

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Name a book with the word ‘one’ in the title

This one is also in my TBR: The One Year Bible

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Name a book with an eponymous title

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. I hope to read this book once again in the near future.

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Name a book turned into a movie

My favorite book to movie adaptation was The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The 1993 version was the only one I accepted as a pass.

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This was actually quite fun! However, doing this challenge made me realize that I’ve gone slack in reading. I’ll have to fix that soon. If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here:

The Book Blogger Memory Challenge

***Images and GIFs via Google Search

 

 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

꧁30 interesting questions challenge ꧂

I love fun challenges and when I read the 30 interesting questions challenge over on Stories of Hope blog, I just had to participate. This post was supposed to have been done since last month, but I am always late to the party.

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Let’s do this!

1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

Well, almost everyone calls me Dee and I have no problem with that at all.

2. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I don’t doodle much as before, but does this…

…count? It’s the last thing I did sometime back in November or so. 

3. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive?

I recite Psalm 91 and pray. Another great one is Psalm 4.

4. Do people consider you as talkative or quiet?

I am both talkative (especially if we’re talking about God, the Bible, travels, etc.) and quiet.

5. What makes you cry?

When people accept/return to God acknowledging Him as their EVERYTHING. And humanity…

6. What is your biggest pet peeve?

When the Lord’s name is taken in vain. I also dislike it when people listen to music via their headset really loud. Like, what’s the use of having a headset if other people are going to be hearing your music?

7. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?

I normally look in the mirror when I’m leaving the house.

8. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?

That people entered inside the television set from behind to be on TV. 😆

9. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up?

Guilty pleasure? What is that? Here I quote the great Matthew Gray Gubler: “Don’t feel guilty if you like something.”

10. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?

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11. How often do you read the newspaper? Which sections?

I don’t read the newspapers, but I do read news online once or twice a week.

12. Which animal scares you the most? 

This question is very subjective so I’ll give a pragmatic answer: diseased animals.

13. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?

I run away from conflicts. 

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14. What was the most recent compliment you received?

It was from my sister in Christ, Leiya. She said that she enjoys watching me grow in Christ. 💙

15. What question are you tired of hearing?

Do you watch Game of Thrones? No. Just no.

Is Annie okay? Of course, she is! She was a CPR mannequin for Smooth Criminal’s sake! She saved millions of lives!

Why do you like Tom Cruise? You, do you.

Why do you support France and not Spain? Last time I checked, Messi wasn’t Spanish and it was Les Bleus who got me into football, not FC Barcelona or Argentina for that matter.  

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16. What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

I’m not an adventurous eater so I have to go with pepperoni. 👎

17. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends?

Close friends that I cherish and love.

18. Do you have a catchphrase?

None I can think of at the moment so I guess I don’t have one.

19. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why?

San Fernando! It’s the most beautiful place in the south and it should’ve been the capital of Trinidad. The people there are very different than the town people and they don’t have time to mind your business. And the hill’s got a panoramic view!

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20. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?

I love the name my parents gave me so I don’t see the need for changing it.

21. When was the last time you lied?

Let’s see…

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22. What’s something that amazes you?

Simply God. Especially the way He answers prayers! 

23. Would you rather be the first person to explore a planet or be the inventor of a drug that cures a deadly disease?

The inventor for I wouldn’t be able to explore another planet anyway given the firmament God put in place.

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24. What is your favorite amateur activity?

Reading and also walking to clear my mind while communicating with God.

25. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

Another day? Thank You, God! 💙

26. What is your favorite song (at least for the moment)?

“All I Want” by Michael W. Smith.

27. List someone you know, and describe them in 5 words.

Lee is caring, eager, driven, focus, and learning.

28. You can select one person from history and have them truthfully answer one question. Who would you select and what would the question be?

Oh my! So many people! Here are a few:

Albert Einstein: Why can’t you take the time to fix your hair? And why would a grown man be sticking his tongue out of his mouth?

King Solomon: How did you ever make time to communicate with your 700 wives one on one?

King Louis XIV: You were four-years-old when you ascended the throne and you became the longest reigning monarch in Europe. How did your longevity affect your reign?

Napoleon Bonaparte: Why in the world did you continue to trust Talleyrand even after you found out that he was not trustworthy? 

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29. Which celebrity or artist do you resemble the most?

It’s been often said that I look like…

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…God! I was created in His image after all. I wouldn’t even give my left foot to look like any of these basic celebrities out here.

30. What do you want me to know?

Jesus is coming again. Are you ready?

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This fun challenge is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Thank you to Stories of Hope for allowing me to join in the fun. See her post here:

30 Interesting Questions Challenge

***GIFs and images via Google Search

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

200 Question Challenge: 7-24

7. What job would you be terrible at?

Jobs that require public speaking. I’m more of a background person. I’ll toss salesperson in there for I don’t think I can approach random people and ask them to buy stuff.

8. When was the last time you climbed a tree?

I was about 14…

Image result for lucas and marcus hanging in a tree

9. What is the most annoying habit that other people have?

To be honest, I dislike it when people complain about every single thing in their life when there are others suffering worse than them.

10. What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Paralegal. I love doing research and preparing documents. The best thing? I’ll be around the law. 

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11. What skill would you like to master?

Fluent French and archery. 

12. What songs have you completely memorized?

Too many to count, but I’ll say a few of Michael W. Smith’s songs, Michael Jackson’s ‘Man in the Mirror’, Depeche Mode’s ‘Peace’ and Brian Littrell’s ‘The Answer Is You’. 

13. Are you usually early or late?

I am the most punctual person you’ll ever meet. 

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14. What takes up too much of your time?

At the moment, it’s nothing, really. I have some downtime at work and I use it wisely… or at least try to. 

15. What do you wish you knew more about?

I don’t believe in wishes, but I wish I knew more about world history and how to speak tons of foreign languages so I can tell more people about God and how much He loves and cares for them. 

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16. What’s the nicest thing someone has ever said to you?

Someone recently told me that they like how I’m following in Christ’s footsteps. 💙

17. Where did your name come from?

*Shrugs* My parents liked the name Diana and hence they named me Diana. Thank God I was not named for the likes of Diana Ross or Princess Diana. 

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18. How do you want to be remembered in life?

As a representative of God.

19. What’s the one thing you cannot live without?

God’s Word. I thirst and hunger after it every day.

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20. What do you want your last words to be?

I lived, I loved, I laughed, now, I sleep.

21. What is something that offends you?

When people can’t keep what you told them in confidential to themselves. They just have to go and spread the love to others.

22. What is something you are certain you’ll never experience?

Hmm… I tend to never say never and I tend not to dwell on things… but, maybe attending a concert or parties for I dislike crowds.

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23. Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?

If I don’t understand something, I ask enough questions even if I asked it twice already.

24. Write a letter to your 5-year-old self.

Life is going to have its ups and downs; bumps, twists, and turns. You’re going to go through some tough trials and a period of self-doubt, but once you lean on and trust God, everything is going to be all right. 

Image result for gif trust God

*** GIFs and images via Google Search

 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Share Your World – June 11, 2018

Here again to participate in Cee’s Share Your World Challenge!

If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?

This is hard, but I’ll have to go with King Louis XIV because he was an intriguing, fascinating, fabulous, fashionable creature of habit… and he’ll make a great muse for stories!

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And he had France in heart, soul, and mind when he made her the most enviable country in the world when he built the extravagant Palace of Versailles.

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60s, 70s, 80s, 90s: Which decade do you love the most and why?

The 80’s because it gave me the best music I’ve ever experienced and it gave me this man…

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I tend to always associate the 80’s with music. 🙄

When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?

For being a true representative of God. 💙

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What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? 

Preparing for the World Cup! I am excited for the tournament to kick off already!

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***GIFs/pictures via Google Search

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Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 29: A song you remember from your childhood

*clears throat and attempts to sing* Have you seen my childhood? I’m searching for the world that I come from… 

Right. Kidding! I have to go ‘Remember the Time’ by the one and only, MJ. 

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Yass! I remember & cherish those times! 😄

Michael dedicated this song to Diana Ross because he liked causing speculation, theories, rumors, gossips, and fan fiction. Or did he? His brother Jermaine said that the song was in fact about Mike’s relationship with Ross, but eh, I’m certain that it’s about a girl who had amnesia and she can’t remember him so he’s recalling her to remember the awesome times they had together. 😉

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Do you remember
Back in the Spring
Every morning birds would sing
Do you remember
Those special times
They’ll just go on and on
In the back of my mind

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 27: A song that breaks your heart

My heart is not easy to break, so I’ll list a few songs that I think was actually heartbreaking.

Stranger In Moscow by Michael Jackson

The raw pain, the sadness, the hurt, the loneliness, no other artist had been able to capture such emotions in a bottle, shake it up and pour it out in a song like Michael. 

Fun Fact: This is my favorite MJ song and I consider it his greatest masterpiece.

Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinéad O’Connor

This song was written and recorded by Prince in 1984 and never released… until April this year. It was written during the time when he broke up with his girlfriend and lost his mother to cancer. O’Connor does a fantastic job with it but had Michael Jackson sang it, it would’ve been raining buckets of tears!

Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely by Backstreet Boys

This sad, but beautifully composed song touched on some of the boys’ real-life issues at the time: Brian’s open heart surgery for a defect he has had since childbirth, Kevin’s deceased father (he provided some actual footage so I know that this song must be quite personal for him), Howie’s sister who died a year earlier of Lupus and Denniz Pop who died in 1998 and produced some tracks for BSB.

Fun Sad Fact: This is my favorite BSB song.

I Will Wait by Nick Carter

Gaa! I did not sign up for this feel trip! I forgot how sad this video actually is with that adorable elderly couple and the acoustic guitar does not help! 😭 Anyway, I love this song because it brings back warm memories of my grandfather because it has that waltzy thing from his era. 💙

Books & Reviews 📚

Reading Diaries: Covers/Titles I dislike

Dear Diary,

You know I don’t judge, but that’s exactly what I’m going to be doing today: judging… books by its covers.

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Yeah, that’s what they said, but there’s some book covers out there that sometimes make me pause and think: Will the story be any better than the cover? Is the story even related to the cover? What even is this cover?

Let the judging begin!

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My Boyfriend is a Bear by Pamela Ribon

When I first saw this cover, I questioned many things about the intimacy of it and wondered if this was the new Beauty & the Beast and the acceptance of bestiality, so I read a bit of what’s it about:

Nora has bad luck with men. When she meets an (actual) bear on a hike in the Los Angeles hills, he turns out to be the best romantic partner she’s ever had! He’s considerate, he’s sweet, he takes care of her. But he’s a bear, and winning over her friends and family is difficult. Not to mention he has to hibernate all winter. Can true love conquer all?

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I was also quite surprised with all the raving positive glowing entertaining reviews. How can it be funny, sweet, sincere, quirky, beautiful and all of that lovely jazz? From what I understand, Nora is having a relationship with a 500-pound wild beast because all of mankind is terrible. Did she ever stop to think that maybe she is the one making all the wrong decisions? That there are still good guys out there? She just had to fall in love with a bear and bring him home.

Right. And my boyfriend is a crazy psychopathic host call Chris McLean, but it doesn’t mean I want to take him home and play house with him.

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Someone is gonna die in that relationship and it ain’t me. *clears throat* Oh, I mean, someone is going to die in that bestiality relationship and it ain’t the bear. If there’s a sequel in which the bear eats the lunatic, good for the beast. And if you were to tell me that I am reading too much into the cover and it’s actually a sweet and warm story, I’ll call you a liar for I read a reviewer’s account of the heavily implied bestiality relationship and she had to stop reading the book when she came across “he literally spat into my…” Yep, Nora is talking about her lady part. 

I rather read about someone’s account of finding true love with Jesus. Books like these shouldn’t see the light of day. I can tolerate cheesy YA and boring romances, but I can’t get on the bestiality wagon. I don’t care if it’s for the open-minded, no one should be open to having sexual relationships or attractions to animals. That’s just wrong. 

I think it would’ve been better had the bear been an actual man in a bear suit. It doesn’t make it right, but at least, it would’ve been a man instead of an animal. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass

Amazon, please stop recommending this author to me for I don’t want to buy her books. I don’t like magic, fantasy or fairytales for that matter and I don’t want to read this dark looking book! Man, I just don’t understand the appeal of this author. She’s like J.K. Rowling 2.0 popping up everywhere. I don’t like this cover… and all other covers from this author for that matter. 

Thirteen Reasons Why

Another book Amazon has been dangling in front of me for a while. Here’s the thing, many readers love the book, and that’s fine, but I don’t think I’ll read it. On the surface, it sounds like suicide glorification.

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I won’t ever read this book – or watch the show for that matter – and I dislike when people keep shoving this book in my face encouraging me to read it. I figure if I do read it, I’ll be listing 13 Reasons Why I Hate This Book and I don’t want to walk down that route. I don’t want to be insensitive when it comes to handling suicide, but the book and the show seem to handle the situation quite differently. Apparently, the girl is a saint and she blames everyone, but herself for committing suicide. The bottom line I take away from this story base on what I’ve read concerning reviews and the plot: if you’re having problems, it’s fine to kill yourself. How can the girl be a hero when she takes her life, huh? HUH?

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

The book is about a prankster taking a joke too far one day causing her father to sentence her to spend her summer working on his food truck and some boy name Hamlet has a crush on her and she’s probably going to like him back in the end, and this is the best cover that publishing came up because…? I’ve come to realize that Korean YAs tend to have the least interesting covers out there. I’ll skip this story and take Michael Jackson’s contribution instead for he was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the title.

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The first time I saw this video, let it be known that I was impressed with his stalking behavior. He went from being stalked in “Billie Jean” to being the actual stalker in TWYMMF. 

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

I don’t like this cover a latte and I think the font is boring, but I’ll be reading this book once I get my hands on a copy.

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Over to you: Have you ever judged a book by its cover? 

Challenges/Tags/Fun Stuff

Day 25: A song by an artist no longer living

The ever timeless classic “Billie Jean” by the talented Michael Jackson. Who was Billie Jean? What was Billie Jean? Was she just a girl as Michael claimed? The stalker who wrote him letters about a son she thought was his? Shall we decode the song? First, let’s take a moment to appreciate the moonwalk:

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Now, the song. What I loved about MJ, was the fact that his songs and videos mimicked each other and didn’t confuse its audience, for he used the videos to tell the story of his songs. In this song, we have a girl claiming that MJ is the father which he is outright denying. After all, this is an outcry! He’s a virgin (straight from his mouth) so how can he be the father? A PI is then seen following MJ in order to take pictures with him and the so-call Billie Jean to prove that they’re lovers. A newspaper headline appears screaming “Billie Jean Scandal” showing that the press never lets scandals or rumors for that matter fade for the media is almost always the ones responsible for making them up. 

The glowing floor is the most mysterious.

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I think it represents MJ being followed and accused and that no matter what he do or were he goes, someone is ALWAYS going to be there watching (Big Brother), which was creepily true in real life. She shows him a photo of his kid, and although “his eyes were like mine”, he still denies it “She says I am the one but the kid is not my son”.

Pffftt!! Yeah, right, the kid was his son and the lady ain’t no crazy fan named Billie Jean. His admonition of warning “remember do always think twice” overshadows his repeated denials of “the kid is not my son”. He had history with that girl. He’s admitting his mistakes because of fathering a child while being a child himself (possibly), but when he found out that the child isn’t his, he’s relieved because “mother always told me be careful of who you love. And be careful of what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth” and he regretted not listening to her. He’s also relieved because he’s young, his career is just taking off and having a child can be a setback. Obviously, he slept with this woman. How stupid does he think I am? He does not get to play the innocent victim in this song for moonwalking out of Billie Jean’s life and his possibly child. 

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As for “For 40 days and 40 nights. The law was on her side” it brings to mind Biblical accounts such as Jesus fasting for 40 days and the great flood. Here, 40 is the nominal number of weeks of pregnancy. Gestation lasts 40 weeks or roughly 9 months.

Hmmm… maybe I should start a Hollywood Speculation & Theory series. 🤔

Anyway, here’s a fun fact: this was the first music video I actually saw and I was intrigued with the mystery surrounding the story. It’s also the video that’s credited for breaking the color barrier on MTV. His videos were always groundbreaking and he changed an entire genre with them for music videos were never the same afterwards, but Billie Jean was his lover… at least in song.

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Billie Jean is not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son

Yes, This Is Our World. 🗺

Michael Jackson music video inspires Cheswick boy to help the hungry

The following is taken from wtae.com:

A 9-year-old boy from Cheswick said he was inspired to help the hungry by watching a music video with his mom.

“I was watching a Michael Jackson video, ‘Man In The Mirror,’ and I just saw these kids that didn’t have enough to eat (and) not enough water,” said Sam Kieffer. “And it just didn’t seem right to me. Everyone should have enough food and water to live.”

Kieffer has established Sam’s Blessings Box on Jacoby Road. The outdoor food pantry provides everyday essentials to people who need them. Among them are fruit, vegetables and toiletries such as shampoo.

“I can’t survive a day without eating dinner,” said Kieffer, “so I can’t imagine how people feel when they don’t have anything for dinner for a week or many days. It’s just not right.”

Kieffer said he hopes his effort will inspire others to create similar roadside food pantries in their neighborhoods.

“I feel like the future of this small thing can make a big impact in every community.”

Helping the hungry isn’t the only mission for 9-year-old Sam. He has also become involved in raising money for research of the epidermoid brain tumor. He said his father has such a tumor.

Through the Save The Brains campaign, Sam, his siblings, and others have raised more than $7,000, making them the single-largest donor to the Epidermoid Brain Tumor Society.

Among the fundraisers they hold are lemonade stands and bake sales.

Kieffer has also written a collection of poetry called Freedom Zone, a portion of the sales of which are donated to the Epidermoid Brain Tumor Society. He has listed the book for sale on Amazon.

“Sam is a child who just has a genuine desire to help people and he tries to do that in various ways,” said Kieffer’s mother, Terri.

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This is the best story I’ve read this week and decided to share it here. Sam’s book can be purchased here: Freedom Zone. May God continue to bless this child as he carries out his mission in this world. 

***Photo via Twitter; GIF via Giphy