All posts by: Brenda McDearmon

#16 – Nehemiah 6:15-16 – So the Wall was Completed

Nehemiah built that wall.  Did that kinda make you laugh? I really hope so. Ok, sorry. Let's get on to the story of Nehemiah. Let's get serious here. No more jokes. I promise. Let's review. Our last verse took us up to the point in Israel's history when Cyrus, king of Persia had overthrown the Babylonian empire and began to allow the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity. In Ezra 3:11, we memorized the words that spoke of the people's worship when the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

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My Recommendations for Your Upscale Austin Valentine Dinner

Happy Valentine's Day!  Celebrating Valentine’s Day with those you love is a sweet treat, no matter where you do it. But if you want to spend a little time discussing life and love over a fabulous dinner at an upscale restaurant where the service is always stellar, try one of these fine Austin establishments. I personally recommend each and every one! The Capital Grille If there is anything not to like about The Capital Grille, I've yet to find it. Although you will be plenty happy with your choice of any spot on this list,

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#15 – Ezra 3:11 – With Praise and Thanksgiving

Have you ever been homesick? I remember when I was first old enough to spend the night away from home. I packed a bag with my favorite jammies, tucked in my toothbrush and couldn't wait for my mom to pull the car into the driveway at my friend's house. It was all kinds of fun until the sun went down and it got dark outside.  Then my stomach started feeling a little queasy, and I wondered what my mom and brother were doing at home. When the book of Ezra opens, it was 538 B.C., and God's people were plenty homesick. For 70 years,

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New and Coming Soon to Austin’s Restaurant Scene

Living in Austin is fun for a jillion reasons, not the least of which is the abundance of fantastic restaurants around here.  As one of our friends says, "When people ask me what's my favorite Austin restaurant, I usually say it's the last one where I ate. They're ALL so good!" There are plenty of restaurants to choose from after a sunset Bat Cruise on Lady Bird Lake.

Here are some new and some coming soon eateries to the Austin foodie scene. The only dilemma will be deciding which one to try first! Let's start

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Decluttering Over 50 – What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do With All Your STUFF

Two friends, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, call themselves The Minimalists, and they are definitely making a minimal name for themselves. Armed with many minimal maxims, these two are making a hefty minimal impact on the world around them, and their message is especially popular with millennials. There's a reason for that. I saw The Minimalists a few months ago when they were here in Austin putting together a podcast on their favorite topic. It was lots of fun, and they even took questions from the

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Celebrate National Soup Month With Austin’s Best Bowls

"Eating Soup. Thick soup served in a soup dish is eaten with the soup spoon. If you want to get the last bit of it, there is no impropriety in tipping the dish away from you in order to collect it at the edge. Indeed you are paying a subtle compliment to your hostess by this demonstrating how good it is. Drink thin soups and bouillons served in cups, as you would tea or coffee, but if there are vegetables or noodles left in the bottom, eat them with the spoon, rather than struggle unattractively to make them slide from the cup

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The Best of 2016

Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different. - C.S. Lewis How would you describe the past year of your life? Were the last 12 months long and difficult - or short and sweet? Did they creep by or fly like the wind? Here are my Top 10 experiences from 2016.  I'm hoping that when you see mine, you'll fondly reflect upon your own. Maybe you'll laugh about something funny you'd  forgotten, or perhaps you'll breathe a sigh of relief that you made it through that thing. You know

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10 Ideas for a Ho-Ho-Hill Country Destination Christmas

More than ever before, people travel during the holidays. Some young families, taking advantage of the school break, pack their summer clothes and go on a big trip to Disney World. Some take ski trips. But for the people who want to have a little Texas-size fun, eat some Texas BBQ and relax under the big bright moon in the spacious blue Texas sky, planning a Hill Country Destination Christmas is the way to go. Here are 10 ideas for a holiday trip in the Texas Hill Country.   1. Country Relaxation at the Meyer Bed

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25 Austin Christmas Gifts for Men

Ladies, if the men on your Christmas list are the hardest ones to buy for, get ready to be inspired. The following list of 25 Austin Christmas Gifts for Men is chock full of great ideas for gifts, stocking stuffers and adventurous experiences your man is sure to love. But, hey, why is it that men are so notoriously hard to buy for, anyway?  It’s not because they don’t want anything for themselves. I think it’s just that they’re more comfortable planning gift purchases for the ones they love than they are declaring a list of

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Stretch 12 Days of Christmas Into 15 With These Holiday Musical Events

It’s almost time to deck the halls, wrap the gifts and plan the menu – but, hey, first things first.  Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World, you know. We can never get too much of a good live music thing around here – especially at Christmastime! So, if you're really looking forward to what Austin offers in the world of its live holiday music, check out this list that will help you hold that note - and stretch 12 Days of Christmas into 15. With everything from jazzy vocals to symphonic instruments, there's a lot to

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