Monday, November 4, 2013

Voters Unite

What's the Challenge?      Choose an ideological preference that you wish to change.  Explain why in at least 2 paragraphs.

Who's Invited to Participate?   Voters!!

What's the Point?  To express your views on current issues on a non-judgemental forum and work towards understanding the views of others.

Another election is upon us and another one is always on it's way.  Where do you stand?

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Author's Influence

****By Guest Blogger, CCM****

What's the Challenge?    Choose two authors who's books you think give a strong reflection of humanity and show the INNOCENCE of humans for what they are and who they are.

Who's Invited to Participate?   Anyone influenced by!!

What's the Point?    To give you a positive look on the world in which the authors lived, and as an added bonus, renewed hope from reviving some powerful messages that should never be lost.

My two authors would be John Steinbeck and Mitch Albom.  The books would be 'Of Mice and Men' and 'Tuesdays with Morrie'.
    Both of these books show how one man can look after another despite the worst of problems the other one has.  These books show a bond of trust and character that can be displayed through the author's imagery and vividly creative word choice.   Both main characters choose to take care of another when they are needed most.  This is a lesson authors try to tell the reader; you should always be there for someone when they need you the most.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Imaginary Challenge (w/ non-imaginary prizes!)

What's the Challenge?   Introducing our imaginary friends to the world!  And, if need be, creating one for our adulthood.

Who's Invited to Participate?  Everyone!!  Those who already have imaginary friends can help inspire the rest of us who are creating one for our adulthood (as I did.)

What's the Point?  Waking up our imaginations and unearthing our child within.  An imaginary friend in adulthood may not have the same characteristics as our childhood buddies, but damn, isn't it nice to have a reason to pretend again?!

How can I get a prize?  So glad you asked!  If you send me an introduction to your imaginary friend they (your imaginary friend) will receive a prize through the mail that complements their unique personality.  All introductions will be posted in the comments section of this blog so please make them family friendly.
Include your postal address; all addresses will be used only for this challenge and will not be posted.  Email your introductions to and have fun representing your special friend!!

How Else Can This Challenge Be Utilized?  This makes a great family or classroom downtime project to promote and refine artistic, creative writing, and/or public speaking (confidence) skills.

Visit  (Imagine) to read the introduction of my own imaginary friend, Imagene.

Some Helpful Tips Before You Get Started

*This is a challenge without rules.  Have fun, revert back to childhood or create your own computer/toaster oven/large screen/wing-man imaginary drinking buddy.  The world of 'anything goes' is yours!!  It's imagination, baby!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The 'Damn Near Perfect' Challenge

What's the Challenge?
Taking a cold hard look at where we fail others.

Who's Invited to Participate? 
Anyone who desires a little less turbulence in their relationships and life in general.

What's the Point?  
Because even those of us that are damn near perfect, fall short.
Because everyone else isn't always to blame for unhappiness in our lives.
Because your happiness and the happiness of those who love you are intertwined.

Here are some questions to kick start your search.  Take it from there in your own self-evaluation by being aware of....
* where conflict in your life is strongest and
* in which situations you feel the weakest

1)  This has to be the first questioned answered.  Is abuse a factor in your life?

       If you or someone else suspects this is the case, leave the situation immediately
       and approach it from the outside with help.
      For information on signs of abuse visit,
       A Resource on Domestic Violence

2) Do you expect change and growth from other people but not from yourself?

3) Can you really find nothing wrong with you?  (You're not being honest with yourself if you can't.)

4) What are your favorite characteristics about yourself?  Are these qualities responsible for bringing other people down or introducing unnecessary conflict?

5) Are the standards you hold against people impossible to meet?

6)  Can you find happiness without anyone else's presence or help?

7) Can you find nothing you like about yourself?

8) Do you find joy in bringing joy to other people?

     This is certainly not a comprehensive list of evaluating questions, nor is this professional advice.  Simply put,  I try here to help others gain control in areas of their lives they may not have thought needed some tweaking.  Almost always, it's my life that sparks the idea for these challenges.  Okay, it's always my life that sparks the ideas for these challenges, but we can only help ourselves so much.  Introspective powers are limited and often professional counseling can better lead us to a less turbulent future of healthier relationships and positive attitudes.

Finding a counseling service in your area is as easy as a Google search for 'local counselors in 'insert your township here'.

The blogpost for June 2013, 'Damn Near Perfect' at Write For Life  introduces why I created this challenge and how to dig a little deeper to orchestrate change.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The H2/G2 Challenge

What's the Challenge?  Claiming a simple object (two sided, two toned, or two objects of different colors...) and keeping it/ them in view, in pocket, around your a reminder of the control you wield in your own life.

Who's Invited to Participate?   Everyone  in need of an attitude reset button.

What's the Point?  To enable us to more easily toggle from the attitude of  'I only have to do this once' to 'I only get to do this once' (H2 vs G2, because I'm a nerd and this feels very 'Issac Asimov' to me when phrased with capitals and numbers).

How else can this challenge be utilized?

- Create a 'choice coin' (or card etc..) with two clearly different sides to give to a younger child as an object lesson about attitude and personal choice.

- If you benefit from journaling, keep notes and tell your story of daily choice.  This could prove to be a valuable reminder of moments of joy you almost let pass.

Some tips to get you started:

*If you are choosing an everyday item like a coin, don't spend it then pick up another coin.  Although this can work as a reminder for you every time you see a coin, more likely the significance will quickly be lost.  Personalize your object somehow and keep it.

*Very much unlike Two Face (remember the Batman bad guy as hauntingly portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones) this is not a 'flip the coin and let fate take its course' scenario.  This is a reminder that although we may not have the power to change something, we still have power.

*Associate the object you pick/create with only the purpose of representing the idea of choosing to enjoy life (one side or color) over choosing to muddle through life (the other side/color).  Sometimes all we need is a quick reset to remember that attitude is everything.

The blogpost 'A Pog in my Pocket' at  (May 2013) will shed some light on how and why I came up with this challenge!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Sneffels of Conviction

What's the Challenge?    Finally taking on a personal conviction that has been put on the back burner for too long.

Who's Invited to Participate?   Anyone with a gnawing sense of responsibility toward a particular cause or goal in their lives that has gone unheeded, until now.

What's the Point?   Because we've wanted to, perhaps for a long time, and have been looking for a reason to finally 'tackle the challenge', 'take the plunge' and/or, 'slay the beast' (however you want to look at your own daunting 'mountain to climb'); otherwise there wouldn't be that gnawing sense of 'I should be doing this, now!', would there?

How Else Can This Challenge Be Utilized?  This isn't your ordinary 'to do' list.  This challenge is addressing the issue that leaves you feeling you haven't been giving your own life your best effort.  We all have different issues, and each is a mountainous task (to us, anyway) to face.  If they weren't, we would've overcome them by now.  So.......

* When addressing your goal, think of getting family or friends involved.  If they understand this area that burdens you, they can better support you and possibly join in the undertaking in their own lives.

*Children have a very narrow view of life, so far.  If you have kids directly involved in your life, break off a little piece of your goal to share with them.

*If you need to approach this mountain alone, keep in mind that I'm climbing my mountain, too.  Many people are.  Address this attempt as personal, not lone.

To see the blogpost that inspired this challenge and to answer the questions of 'Why does this challenge have such a stupid name?' and 'What do mountains have to do with any of this?' visit Climbing Sneffels at

Some tips to lead you forward:

*Whatever personal goal/conviction you are tackling, your efforts, defeats, and successes are your own.  No one achieves goals the same way as anyone else.  Whether someone did it faster or couldn't do it at all has no bearing on your own outcome.

*Conviction has a purpose.  It is a drive within ourselves to do what we know we should be doing or should have done.  Outside support isn't necessary for you to act on your own convictions.

*Often, there is more than one area in our lives that we want to approach with change or action.  Tackle each in its own time, with the first being the one that will aid most in achieving the others in their own turn.

*This change in your life doesn't have to have a deadline to its accomplishment (unless, of course, it's time sensitive).   Some goals involve a lifetime of change, with the growth of self being the ongoing challenge.  Pushing yourself too hard or jumping in headlong may well be your recipe for disaster.  Discouragement is often difficult to overcome so take your time to minimize its assurance.  In other words, take 'who you are' into consideration when approaching monumental goals.  If you need to take 'little bites' in other areas of your life, expect that approach to better serve you in this area.

Good luck, God speed and Congratulations!  (There is strength in optimism!)

Friday, March 1, 2013

27 Hour Stand For Freedom

What's the Challenge?   To participate in actively combating today's thriving slave trade.  Sound daunting?  Don't worry, these students are going to be doing all the hard work!

Who's Invited to Participate?    Adults and teens only, please.  (Of course you are free to use your own discretion on whether you want to involve your younger children but I don't advise it.  Human trade is a foreign concept to American children (or, at best, a detached concept involving Abe Lincoln and a long speech they had to memorize in class) and this subject may expose them to realities that they are not psychologically equipped to handle.)

What's the Point?  To raise awareness concerning the thriving slave trade internationally in existence today and to raise funds to keep 'Miles' fueled and the International Justice Mission in action to continue to break the bonds for the millions still oppressed.

" Using the people's car to combat the buying and selling of people, our stand 4FRDM event sends Miles, the world's first abolitionist spokescar, from Asbury University in Wilmore,  Kentucky to their campus in Orlando and back in under 27 hours.  The symbolically restored 1964 getaway car rolls out on March 8 and has to average at least 65 mph for the duration of the 1,650 mile journey, with no more than 2 hours to rest and refuel.  Stand with Miles as he puts all four cylinders to the test again on behalf of the 27 Million people enslaved in our world today.  Help IJM stand against modern day slavery by sponsoring this event @ $2.70/mile."

Join this monumental effort here!

How Else Can This Challenge Be Utilized?

There are 3 major (and equally important)  ways you can be a part of the action:

1) Contribute financially.  We already went over that one, but it's the tread on the  

2) Prayer.  The students and staff involved in this project are pushing forward  
     through treacherous territory through faith in a God that has called them to help
     the oppressed.  Please pray for:

* The safety of the teams involved
* Endurance and strength for the teams to accomplish their mission
* That the teams' efforts not be in vain.  That awareness will be brought about    
   through their faithful action.
3) Spread awareness!!!  Educate yourselves, and others, on the ugly reality we know  
     is there but are too squeamish to face head on.  I'll be blogging at for all of March with facts, statistics, websites,
     video suggestions and ways in which we can support the abolition and no longer
     participate in the oppression.

Here's what's fueling the teams' spirits and I hope will be a motivator for you as well:

Proverbs 31:8-9
Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth judge righteously,
Defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Champion Challenge

What's the Challenge?  Assume the role of spokesperson, championing for your favorite cause, for a self appointed # of texts, status updates, hours or days.

Who's Invited to Participate?   Everyone that has a cause close to their heart.

What's the Point?  To give a boost up to those who want to help but don't know where the need is great, what resources are required and/or how to access the proper people in order to participate in the cause.

How Else Can This Challenge Be Utilized?  This makes a great family project as well as a classroom/ scout troop activity.

Different approaches to this challenge could be:

*...that every person (regardless of age, skill level or financial status)  is capable of making a difference in someone's life.

*Highlighting the variety of projects people have undertaken all over the world.  Sending a donation is just a fraction of cause action in this age of info sharing.  'Giving' can range from shoe/clothing/food/toy collection, a lemonade stand (sound familiar?) myth-busting, petitioning (I recently signed a petition penned by an elementary student to Crayola to initiate a recycling program for their markers)....  Find the creative ways people are helping out there!   Everyone can act 'big' in simple ways.

*Emphasizing the range of causes (from eco-awareness, religious tolerance, literacy, animal welfare,  supporting the troops, keeping the arts in public schools, etc...) and finding one that hits home.

Some Helpful Tips Before You Get Started 

- If you are doing this challenge with kids, choosing local causes will further highlight their individual impact on their own community as well as the community's need for individual action.  Ex/ if you choose to promote animal welfare, learn what you can about the shelters in your area.

-When sharing information, put yourself in the shoes of someone who wants to act but is without direction on where, why and how.

      +website info (the url, the cause, and a brief description of what kind of help is  

      +stories of your own interaction with a cause.  How you helped and volunteer  
         information on how others can participate.

-  If this is a role you assume on a daily basis already, share your most valuable
   information on how best to spread the word and rally enthusiasm for a cause.

-  For a bit more inspiration before getting started visit the post 'The Champion's Call' at

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The '2013, I Survived 2012 So It's Time To Rock My World' Challenge

What's the Challenge?    Creating a calendar on which to remember the highlights of the month; pics of friends, surprisingly wonderful weather, when uncle Dean had to have the pinto beans surgically removed from his nasal cavity, moments of inspiration, the new Victoria's Secret catalog arrived, Yay, you're pregnant!, Yay, you're not pregnant!......whatever good this year throws your way is to be captured and immortalized on this calendar.  To see the post that further explains the creation of this challenge visit 

Who's Invited to Participate?  Anyone who needs 2013 to be better than '12

What's the Point?    As a reminder that we aren't so easily beaten as to not be able to stand back up and find joy.  Essentially this is a practice in recognizing what is good in order to not have to work so hard in recognizing it in the future.  (Don't worry, it's an easy habit to fall into I'm told)

How Else Can This Challenge Be Utilized?  Do you have a family member or friend who is not so easily convinced that there is that much good in their lives?  Keep a calendar for them where you can prove through moments of silliness, warmth and the embarrassment of others that smiles can pervade their frowns, too.

Tips to get you started:

*Any blank 2013 calendar will be suitable as your canvas.  If, however, you don't like the monthly picture of different PNC bank locations just cover the picture little by little with select pics found in junk mail, store flyers or magazines, or just glitter glue the hell out of it!!  Here's a chance to use what you have lying around.

*I recommend that you use this calendar where you usually have your responsible grown-up commitments calendar of bill deadlines and dr's appointments.  If this moving this calendar stresses you out, try placing this new calendar on an opposite wall in the same room and possibly working toward switching their locations.  It will make for a nice surprise in the morning when you keep looking at the wrong one :)

*Don't try to look hard to find moments that are 'calendar worthy' 'cause then you're missing the point!  Simple, out of your control moments of pleasure are everywhere. Capture them!

*Don't make this a chore but something that stays in the back of your mind wherever you are.  Take mental notes or capture pics on your phone during the day. Use this calendar as something you look forward to seeing.

*Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog your favorite 2013 moments so far or how you've personalized this challenge!