Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Mike Castrucci Used Car experience

Well, we are at it again. Looking for another vehicle.  We have been through this process more times than I want to admit and I would love nothing more than to never have to do it again. But the reality is that it's just another part of life.
This time we are looking to trade JR's beautiful truck for something with a lower monthly payment. We've been talking about this for a while now and last Saturday we finally came across a car listing that interested us. Since it was late Saturday, we decided to go Sunday afternoon to look at it. I packed a few sandwiches and we headed south to Mike Castrucci Used Cars in Milford, Ohio.
This is our frustrating yet comical experience on Sunday, September 22, 2013:

We arrived at 1:30 pm and met up with salesman that we had spoken with the day before. The drive was about an hour and a half by the time we arrived and I really needed to use the facilities as soon as we got there. I got out of the truck and noticed right away that the Bengals Football game was turned up in a few of the sports cars near the door and wondered who was actually listening. I decided to ignore it and proceeded to walk into the building where the offices and bathrooms were located. As soon as I walked in, I noticed a TV on the wall with 3 salesmen glued to the TV watching the game. Hmmm. I guess that explained why no one was outside. I continued through the office and came to the bathroom door. I went to turn the handle to the women's bathroom and noticed that the door was locked. So I waited patiently for my turn. And waited. And waited.  I thought maybe I didn't turn the handle hard enough and tried again. Still locked. I then heard some water running. So I waited. Again.  I suddenly heard the door unlocking. I turn around to see one of the salesmen coming out of the women's bathroom with his shaving cream and razor in hand with the other hand rubbing his chin. (yes really) HA!  His face suddenly became red and it was all I could do to keep from busting out laughing. Not once did I think to use the men's bathroom.
As I walked out I passed by the TV again and noticed that the game was still on with about a half dozen eyeballs glaring at it . 
By the time I got outside, the salesman had pulled the vehicle around and JR was already checking it out.  The outside of the vehicle was beautiful for being 10 years old but the interior was a wreck.  We took it for a ride and it seemed to run pretty good, but I could not get over how bad the interior was.  The salesman did his job and offered to fix a short list of things "on us" and even though we were still pretty sceptical, we agreed to go in and talk numbers while someone else went to test drive our truck.
Now before we arrived, JR and I had done our research and already knew how much we wanted for trade on his truck and felt that it was reasonable. Unfortunately the salesman came back with a crazy low price for the trade right away then wanted us to sign another 5 year loan that in the end would cost much more than what they were asking for on the car. And about another hour of going back and forth with "the manager" behind the curtain, we were still not at a price that made us feel like we HAD to have the car. As it turned out, those repairs that the salesman was saying were "on us" were actually being taken out of the trade in price on JR's truck. I'm sure this happens all the time but for some reason it suddenly hit me what was happening. We finally had enough of  the wheeling, dealing and guilt trips and it was time to go. During this awful process we still watched men coming out of the men's AND women's bathroom and noticed the game still on with the rowdy salesmen even more enthralled. They were only missing the popcorn and loungers.  I also noticed that all the salesmen desks were facing the TV. Hm.  They must be rich already.........
So it was time to go. We got in our truck and started it up only to get the Bengals game blaring on our radio. The guy that tested our truck had actually turned on the radio and turned our channel to the game. (yes really)  JR and I looked at each other with our mouths wide open and began to laugh hysterically. I said "get me outta here!"  THEN.... wouldn't you know it, the salesman came out to our truck as we are ready to back out and says "If we lower the price to $$$ a month, would you consider it?"  It was a price much closer to what we wanted but a drastic difference from what they offered inside. If we could have just cut to the chase and gotten to this point an hour earlier, we wouldn't be sitting in our truck upset and ready to go. So I said "Well that is something we can actually think about but we will not be buying today." In the end we shook hands with the salesman and thanked him for his hard work but drove away empty handed and a little salty about the long drive home.   We also went home a little smarter about the used car business.

Buyer beware---make sure you do ALL your homework BEFORE you get to the dealership. The more you know going in, the better your price will be in the end

Dealerships beware-- Don't assume all buyers are uninformed. The first price you come out with sets the tone for the whole experience. Might as well start with a fair and reasonable price. Oh, and a little professionalism goes a long way.  :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spring project is done!!

I'm Back! I just had to take the time to show everyone what's been happening at the Yoder house this spring. Ever since we bought our house, the plan has always been to tear off the dark paneling that was in our kitchen and living room and after 6 years we finally did it! My only regret is that we waited so long to do it. I can't believe the difference it made in the lighting of our small house and I'm convinced we now have more space ;)  Here are some pictures of the before and after.

This was the before paneling (eww) and the second night of demo. Unfortunately this is the only before shot we got of the old paneling.

 Jonathan's dad is a skilled carpenter so he was in and out that week to help and supervise the project. He was a HUGE help.
 This was our lovely window covering for a week. I can only imagine what the neighbors were saying....
 Rather then painting these walls, we decided to go with a knotty pine wood planking that would provide a lighter more rustic look.  It took several months to decide but we both agreed this was the look we wanted.  --Notice the electrical box?? Jonathan is so proud of that :)
Officially done!  I even got a new door! For those that have been to our house, the first thing you will notice is the propane wall heater is gone (whew! thank goodness) but we still need to pull the gas line out of the floor. This is the view from the kitchen wall to the living room.
 This is a night time shot of the window which shows the trim around the window better. We were able to use the old trim for the window and we really love the darker stain with the lighter planking. We have a darker stain for the window and doors, and a clear coat for the walls.
 View of the outside wall.
Look at the light.  I love it!    We are ready for company!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Look What's Cooking

I'm still here! I haven't forgotten about my blog. I think of great things to write about everyday but somehow find it hard to put those thoughts into sentences lately. It seems like the blog world has rapidly changed from casual weekend writers to more of an avenue for professional writers with a team of professionals to design their blogs. Unfortunately, I am not a professional writer and certainly not a professional blog designer. My blog has the same design from when I first started in 2007 and sadly my grammar and punctuation reflects the C average I had in school. But, occasionally I have some good stories to tell, some good recipes to share or an opinion that must be heard and hopefully people reading this can overlook the casual weekend writer appearance of my blog.

So, what's cooking today?
Today I had a Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon and Dark Chocolate Chunks baking in the oven. I wish I could put a scratch and sniff link on my blog so that you could smell just how amazing the bread was. This year I've been a bit obsessed with finding the "perfect" Zucchini bread recipe only to realize that "perfect"  is a matter of preference. I have spoken to a few people lately that each had their own idea of what the "perfect" Zucchini bread should have in it. Some people will say Zucchini bread should have nuts, some will say raisins and someone from work made hers with nuts and coconut. My husband prefers his plain with only Zucchini.  I love every version listed but I do have a personal favorite, Zucchini Bread with Chocolate. I had never tried it until my mother-in-law served it with our Sunday dinner back when JR and I were dating. After that first piece, I was hooked.
I've made different versions of Zucchini bread over the years, but I believe I've found a recipe that has earned a place in my recipe box. I stumbled across the recipe while searching through other blogs the other night and the best part about it is that she gives great tips on making good Zucchini bread. Here is the recipe link for:   Whole-Wheat Zucchini Bread with Cinnamon & Dark Chocolate Chunks
And this is what I made today.
The picture isn't nearly as fancy as the one in the other blog but I'm sure mine was just as tasty as hers. I particularly loved that this recipe was made with whole wheat flour. I thought it added a bit more "meat" to the bread and of course it makes it a little more healthy. This recipe makes 1 large loaf and then 6 muffins. I think the next time I make it, I will do the whole recipe as muffins so I can freeze them and only take 1 muffin at a time and not overindulge to much.
For this chocolate lover, it's a keeper!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Barn Inn.......take 2

Wow. It's been a looooong time since I have blogged.  
Jonathan just finished his longest time ever on 3rd shift with his job that required him to work in Columbus for the last 7 months. This resulted in a rather uneventful Fall and Winter with a small break in December for us to retreat to Gatlinburg, TN for the Christmas season. But, as of 1 week ago, he is done with this 3rd shift stuff and his drive to Columbus. Yay!! 
Jonathan decided to take this coming week off since he has so much vacation time to burn plus it's giving him a chance to get his sleeping schedule back to normal. And since yesterday was his birthday, I asked him what he wanted to do this weekend. He first mentioned camping. My first thought was brrrr, it's a little chilly for that right now even if we stayed in a camper cabin. As it turned out, the weather was forecasted to be rainy and windy most of the weekend which made us consider a plan B. We agreed on plan B about 2pm on Saturday and then booked our reservation at The Barn Inn in Millersburg, OH.
Most of you reading this might recall me blogging about this place in 2008 when we went there for the first time, but I am blogging again because I just can't say enough good things about this place. It's a great place to go if you are needing a night or weekend away to relax. I could seriously spend a whole weekend here and have no desire to leave, except to get dinner. But, if you did want to see the sights, The Barn Inn sits in the heart of Amish country so there is no shortage of things to do. We only spent one night this time and decided to see some of the sights a little farther North before we started home.
You can view The Barn Inn website here.
This is a picture from the road and the beautiful main entrance.  This barn is many, many years old but was bought with the house next door in 1996, renovated and turned into The Barn Inn in 1997.  Paul and Loretta Coblentz are the owners and resident Inn keepers
This is the back side of the barn. As you can see, it's three stories high. Our room this time was located on the far left side, ground floor.
This is what you see when you walk in the main entrance. Just beautiful.
This is part of our room. All the rooms are decorated beautifully and this room is called  Country Charm. The last room we stayed in was the Rose Garden.
This was Jonathan's birthday present from me. It was a basket of local Cheese, Crackers, Trail Bologna, Chocolates and Sparkling juice that was there for us when we walked in. All of his favorites.
This was taken behind the barn and across the creek while sitting in the gazebo.
Spring Blooms!!

Other residents. They had sheep, a goat and a Llama on the property that were very friendly and let us pet them at the fence.
One of only 2 places open for dinner on a Sunday was the Inn at Honey Run which required a reservation and is walking distance from The Barn Inn. . The picture above is the complimentary Chef starter. I'm not sure what it was called but it was a yummy stale bread that was drizzled with oil and herbs.
                                          One of the best Caesar salads I've ever had.

This is Jonathan's meal which was a Ham Loaf with a sweet sauce over top with some dreamy mashed potatoes and veggies. He also had a Green Sweet Tea that was wonderful!
I had the Mountain Trout with rice and perfectly cooked green beans.
I only take pictures of my food when I'm expecting a really great meal and this definitely was a great meal. A highlight to a really great weekend.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Tasty Surprise

Unfortunately neither one of us remembered it was Sweetest Day until late but thankfully we both were in the mood for something adventurous today (for us anyway). When we set out at 4 o'clock today, our intention was to go to a recommended Puerto Rican restaurant in Dayton. But when we got there, we were greeted with a sign that said "closed due to family emergency". I was definitely a little deflated when we saw the sign. I had been looking forward to it and had planned on taking some great pictures to share here on my blog. As we sat there in the parking lot trying to think of an adventurous plan B, I reached in the back seat and grabbed my Entertainment book and found a coupon for a restaurant that was just a few miles from where we were. I asked Jonathan if he would be up for some Indian food tonight and to my surprise, he said yes!  I have never even asked him to try Indian food before because I assumed he wouldn't be interested, but he was definitely up for something different tonight!
 Jonathan holding the menu with the restaurant named Ajanta. Our server was so nice. I told her this was our first time trying Indian food and she was so helpful in explaining the menu to us.

 Our courtesy drink. It was Mango juice with yogurt. It was soooo good and perfect for some of the spicy food we tried.
 This was our appetizer sampler plate. It had a fabulous Pakora chicken, fried cheese, a fried potato pouch of sorts, Vegetable Pakora and some sort of flat crisp. All of it was wonderful. I felt like my taste buds were suddenly awake! Not just spicy hot awake but, "WOW, that was tasty!" kind of awake.
 And this is the sampler platter for my entree: bottom left, Dal. top left, Aloo Chloey (made with Chick peas). top middle, was coconut milk with rice. Top right, Lamb Curry. Bottom right, Tandoori Chicken. Middle: Basmati Rice.
 This is Jonathan's dish: Lamb Curry with mushrooms.
 This was my favorite part, the Naan. It is Indian flat bread. Soooo good.
And this is what came home with us.  Looks like we get to enjoy our meal all over again!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On top of Spaghetti......

I happened to be singing in my head the other day 'On Top of Spaghetti'. I realized I was singing the same first verse over and over again and I didn't know (or couldn't remember) the rest of the song. One of my friends came across the website and it had all the words!  When I read the words, I realized I had never heard the last few verses before.
So, for your amusement, I have decided to share this song for those that never knew all the words to this goofy song. So sorry if this becomes the song you sing in your head all day tomorrow........Baahaha!


On top of spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball,
When somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table,
And on to the floor,
And then my poor meatball,
Rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden,
And under a bush,
And then my poor meatball,
Was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty
As tasty could be,
And then the next summer,
It grew into a tree.

The tree was all covered,
All covered with moss,
And on it grew meatballs,
And tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti,
All covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball,
Whenever you sneeze

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a difference a year makes.

Wow! What a year this has been. I am completely amazed at how different life is right now compared to this time last year.
In order for me to fully explain what life has been like, I must first back track about 3 years before this time last year. At that time I was frantically looking for a job just before Jonathan and I got married. My plan was to have a house, a job and to be moved from Northern Kentucky all just before our wedding. I ended up taking the first job that was offered to me and was so excited because I was already pretty familiar with the company.  After only a few weeks in this position I quickly discovered that I was very much under qualified for this job, but was determined to make it work some how.  So much determined that I allowed myself to be miserable for the 3+ years I was there. I found myself working many extra hours just to keep up with the unbelievable work load, allowed myself to be degraded by others and even behaved badly in an attempt to fit in.  Emotionally and physically , my life revolved around my job. It was kinda sad that I spent my first 3 years of marriage, married more to my job, a terrible job at that.
So in October 2010, I was called into a meeting room and was told I was getting"workforce reduced"along with 7 other people that day. As rotten as the scenario seemed at the time, I look back now and see they really did try to be as decent as they could when breaking the news. I even got a little severance out of it. It was probably best that it happened that way rather then working there another year and possibly being fired because of my performance.   I can remember going home that day and being in shock. I had a million things running through my head but the biggest was the mess that I had to leave on my desk for my co-workers to figure out. Some of the same people I had a hard time working with, I strangely felt guilty for the unfinished work still on my desk I had to leave them. I had a strong urgency to call  2 of my biggest clients to let them know I was no longer working for the company so they wouldn't keep sending me emails.
My first week off was mostly a blur. I believe I was still in shock  much of the week. I was feeling more sad because I was suddenly cut off from the only life I had known for the last 3 years. All the clients and co-workers I talked to daily were suddenly not a part of my life anymore. It was even sadder that some people who I thought were friends, really could have cared less that I was gone (except for AmyS. Love ya Amy!) It was just business as usual.  I spent many months while I was off trying to fight off the bitterness of what happened, something that kept me up at night. I started to see just how much this job was a part of my life, too much of my life. How could I stay at a job that consumed so much of my personal life?  I allowed myself to stay at this job because of fear. Fear that I couldn't do another job. Fear that I wouldn't find one that paid as well. Fear of having to start over. While dealing with all those fears, I was also dealing with the daily mental and emotional challenges of a job I didn't like and didn't do well.
As the months rolled by, I started my job search. In November I started working with a company that helped me with my resume and also provided some refresher courses on how to's and what it's like to find a job in today's job market. I must say, they put an awesome resume together for me. It's very hard to make your own resume at a time when you feel like you have no usable skills that employers will want. I gave them my work history and they were able to figure out the best way to sell my skills.  The only positive about my previous job I would say is that I was given the opportunity to learn new usable skills that looked great on my resume. Once my resume was done and my study courses were complete, I was more then ready to start my search.
I got my first interview at the end of November. After answering some questions by email, doing a phone interview and taking a basic skills test, I was told that I made the top 9 of over 400 applicants. I ended up finally going to the interview and it went well but was told that there were other applicants that had more years of experience that would likely be chosen. Even though I didn't get that job, I have to say it was a great boost to my self-esteem to hear that I was in the final 9 of 400. It was also great to hear that I had done well on my basic skills test, which really surprised me since I have been out of school for so long. I scored a 98% on the business reading comprehension and a 94% on the Math. Even though I studied especially hard for the math, I was still surprised I scored so high since math has always been my weakest subject.
The job prospects started to look bleak about half way through December. I was really starting to get worried but people kept telling me that things would start to pickup after the first of the year. And that they did. About the second week in January the job options just exploded. I was able to apply for over 15 jobs within 1 week, all of which appeared to be a good match for my skills. I started to receive calls pretty quick and started interviewing again the last week of January and continued with at least 1 interview a week for the next 6 weeks and at least 2 of those weeks I had 2 interviews! As exciting as it was to get a call for an interview, I was starting to get pretty discouraged with the rejections. Some interviews were great. I would leave feeling great and think I had a real shot only to be deflated with a phone call or email a few days or weeks later. Other interviews were down right awful. I would get there and realize I was not qualified for the job. I would fumble my way through the interview and would pray they would end it quick to put us both out of our misery. The interview process is definitely and emotional up and down process.
While my self-esteem was slowly being plucked away a little everyday by perfect strangers, I found myself slipping into the dark pit of depression and also found myself experiencing insomnia for the first time in my life.  It was kind of nice to not have to worry about driving through the weather through the winter, but it left me at home closed up all winter. This is not good for someone that struggles with seasonal depression. Many days I didn't even step outside to go get the mail. Many people tried to convince me to get out and take advantage of the time off but I found it very hard to get out without feeling guilty for not being at home looking for a job.
Unemployment is also another hassle of being unemployed but also a God send. No matter how much I worried about money during this time, things always managed to work out. I had my severance for the first few months and then my unemployment benefits kicked in. And strangely during this time, Jonathan was getting all kinds of overtime and even had the chance to work a prevailing wage job which easily made up the difference from my unemployment check. As much as I worried during this time, God was always providing for us. And because of that we made sure to stay faithful with our tithing.
So about mid February I received a call from a company called 4Over saying they were hiring 3 new customer service reps. I did a phone interview and then went in for my interview. The interview was the easiest one I had been on. The people who I interviewed with were completely approachable and not the least bit intimidating. I was pleased to learn that I was completely qualified for the job, based on what they wanted. During a time when companies are cutting, they were hiring 3 people! I felt I had a pretty good shot but had learned to not get my hopes up. Two weeks later they called me back and asked me to come back for a second interview and was pleased when that interview also went well. A few days later I received a call from 4Over making me a job offer. I was so excited! The pay was good, the hours were great and the people seemed great too. How could I turn that down?? I said yes right away.  I started on March 28 and hit the ground running.
It's six months later and things are great! I have learned soooo much at my new job about an industry I had no experience with. I just had a 6 month evaluation and they say they want to keep me around.  I am very much excited to be a part of a company that is growing by leaps and bounds and occasionally does some really cool stuff. Best of all, I can honestly say I love the people I work with. I know that we all have our ups and downs, but I really do look forward to coming to work and seeing these shining faces! This is by no means a glamorous job and I do have moments when I need to step away but the people make all the difference. It feels great to go to work and feel like a contributing member of a team. It's also great that I can give my 100% at work and go home. I am not stressed and overwhelmed by work while sitting on my couch at home. This has freed up sooo much time in my life that I now have time for things that matter most in life.
And now time for the thank yous. I have to say thank you to all my family who were very supportive and encouraging during this time, especially my mom who told me many times what I needed to hear. And also a thank you to all my supportive Facebook friends. Many of you were the only people I talked to during this time while I had myself holed up for the winter. Your encouragement, support and prayers everyday were greatly appreciated. A great  BIG thank you and I love you to my husband Jonathan. You are always my rock during these times. Many times you could have hounded me about my lousy house keeping while I was home, but you didn't. You could have slapped me silly to get me to snap out of it, but you didn't. Instead you were always patient, encouraging and hard working. You always had faith that things would work out.  I know this will not be the only time in our lives we will face unemployment so I am certainly going to take some life lessons from this for next time.
The last thank you must go to God. Even though I didn't pray through this as much as I should have, He was always watching over us and continues to provide us with everything we need. He will always see us through the good times and bad.
Thank you all again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What fear has done to my writing.

Gosh, it seems like forever since I've blogged. Life seems gloriously busy right now. I always have scenarios that pop up I think would be great blog stories, but for some reason I always find an excuse to keep from sitting down and writing them. Sometimes it's pure laziness, but most of the time it's about being afraid to say what's on my mind.
About a year ago I became painfully aware of other people who could be reading my blog since it's open as public. I suddenly had stage fright when I would sit down to write! I managed a few posts but not the amount I really wanted to do. I started worrying about what others thought and if I was offending them. I certainly didn't want to turn anyone off by the things I would write. Unfortunately we can't please everyone, especially with the broad range of people that are reading this. On one side I am encouraged by many to keep writing, on another , I am told my blog is "to churchy" and I'm sure my terrible grammar and punctuation may turn people off too (I was only a C student). I also battle my own head when I start thinking "who wants to read what I have to say?", "Am I interesting enough to read about (if I don't have kids)?" and "Do I always have to be happy and positive in my blog?" Don't get me wrong, I love telling true stories that are just everyday scenarios and telling them in a way to make people laugh. It's my way of being transparent and reminding people to find humor in our everyday lives. But I certainly don't want to be thought of as a downer because I decided to write something that someone doesn't agree with.
As I sit here writing this I keep back spacing, second guessing what I want to write next....
The bottom line, I need to push away the fear of what others think and keep writing about the things that I am most passionate about and the thoughts that consume my head. Some days I aim to humor my audience, some days I want to uplift them and other days I simply just want to say what's on my mind.
Hopefully you will stay on board for this ride. If not.... oh well!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Homemade Ice Cream!!

We were inspired!! Last weekend we got to go to a Birthday party at the Stampers. And at the party they served the best Chocolate-Peanut butter homemade ice cream. It was especially refreshing since it was so hot that weekend. While we were at the party I started thinking about our ice cream maker. The fact that we got ours as a wedding gift and still had not used it. Every year we talked about getting it out but always seemed to procrastinate. I guess for some reason, I thought it would be much more complicated then it really was, which caused the procrastination.

This probably sounds very shocking for someone who really knows me. Ice cream is actually my favorite edible thing on this planet! I have always liked ice cream, but I didn't eat that much of it as a kid. I didn't actually love it until I started working at Friendly's in 1993. Of course I loved the taste of their ice cream, but more then anything, I loved serving it. Building a sundae was like a masterpiece for me. I always tried to make them as attractive as possible and made the scoops as big as I could get away with. After a short while, my co-workers started to say my sundaes had "Sommer scoops". I actually had a few customers that wanted me to make their sundaes! The part I loved the most was presenting the sundae on my customers table. Their eyes would bug out of their heads and then a smile would light their face. The first bite would make them close their eyes. It's always flattering to a cook to see an empty plate and that is how I felt when I made my sundaes. I worked for 7 fun years at Friendly's during high school and college. When it was time to leave, I dearly missed serving my customers and making my sundaes. Now, the only person I get to wow with my sundaes is my husband. He always seems impressed when I bring him a sundae.
This is the ice cream maker hard at work for the first time spinning and spinning. Thankfully we did this outside because we ended up with a lot of water on the ground.And this is just after we pulled it out of the machine and after we added the chocolate chips. It was more like a milkshake. We later found out this was normal after we read the troubleshooting tips in the directions. It tasted wonderful at this stage but it still wasn't ready to serve, unless we wanted a milk shakeSo into the freezer it went. We kept peeking at it every couple hours and stealing a few spoonfuls off the top.And here it is! The finished product, Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. YUM! I was so surprised at how creamy and smooth it was for home made ice cream and such a simple recipe too! We now have a lot of ice cream to eat between the 2 of us. It's a challenge we're ready to take on. ;)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"If They Ask About Your Savior"

After reading Facebook, it seems like everyone had a great day at church today! This must have been the day that everyone was paying attention in church and soaked in the messages given. I am one of those people that was extra attentive today and it started in our Sunday class.
In an effort to shake things up in our class, our whole class went and sat in with another class that was being instructed by Dr. Greg Ryerson. He is a wonderful teacher that provides great leadership within our church and always speaks encouraging words.
Dr. Ryerson's class was studying 1Peter 3:13-17 today and also provided us with a study outline. This passage is about always being prepared to give an answer when someone questions the hope that you have and dealing with the possible slander that is often spoken by cynics and non-believers. "It is better, if it's God's will, to suffer for doing good rather than for doing evil" (1Peter 3:17)
The title on the notes read "If They Ask About Your Savior". There are 3 points on the notes:

1) Be Confident- " Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread" (Isaiah 8:12-13 NIV)

2) Be Calm- "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27 NIV)

And the third point is the one that I identified with the most today because it was a hard reminder of exactly where Christ should be in my life. The big word was SANCTIFY: to make holy; to set apart as sacred. The notes were asking me, what parts of my life should be sanctified, set apart for Christ.

3) Be Committed- " I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 NIV)
Practical ways to Sanctify Christ: Give him the first.....
a. first moments of every day
b. first day of every week
c. first consideration in every decision
d. first place in your life

Powerful results of sanctifying Christ:
a. You'll have a readier answer when questioned.
b. You'll have a cleaner conscience when judged.
c. You'll have a stronger endurance when harassed.

This was a great message with a great instruction guide. A reminder to keep HIM first in everything I do, even when being confronted by others.