Hymns & Hallelujahs
There are a few books coming out in the next few weeks that I’m anxious for the world to read. Bob Goff’s, “Everybody Always,” Rich Wilkerson Jr.’s “Friend of Sinners,” and Melanie Shankle’s new devotional, “Everyday Holy.”
First of all, if you don’t know Bob Goff, run, do not walk, and research him online. This man exudes more joy than quite possibly anyone I’ve ever encountered. There is a fantastic interview on this week’s “Going Scared” podcast with Jessica Honnegar if you need an intro to Bob. His book, “Love Wins,” is one of the best books of all time in my opinion and I can’t wait to get my hands on this new book, “Everybody Always.” The subtitle is, “becoming love in a world full of setbacks and difficult people.” If that alone doesn’t seal the deal for you, you are lying to yourself. Bob is one of the best story tellers in our world today and I know this latest book will be stocked full of incredible words. An excerpt from the book description for you, “The path toward the outsized, unfettered, liberated existence we all long for is found in a truth as simple to say as it is hard to do: love people, even the difficult ones, without distinction and without limits.” 
Rich Wilkerson Jr. is the pastor of Vous Church in south Florida. He has written other titles like, “Sandcastle Kings.” I love that this book is written on the truth that Jesus calls us His friends not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who He is. Wilkerson writes about how Jesus understood the fundamental truth that so many in our churches are not realizing today, that people want to feel accepted before they ever will want to change. Wilkerson writes, “He understood that the power within Him was greater than the darkness around Him, so He loved fearlessly.” In today’s society where no one can get along and we all disagree, I think this message will be so timely for us all. 
Melanie Shankle is one of the funniest women around today. Her podcast with Sophie Hudson, “The Boo Cast,” is one of my absolute favorites. If you listen to their podcast you heard Melanie struggle through writing this daunting book. And that humanity makes it all the more appealing to me. The driving force behind her new devotional is to help women reexamine their lives and find the beautiful little pieces that create a picture of a beautiful big God. Melanie’s humor and fantastic stories are sure to play a pivotal role in this new title and I can’t wait to buy a few copies for friends. 
On Wednesday of this week, thousands of students around the US walked out of their classrooms.
Just one month since the horrific events that played out inside the halls of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 students and staff were murdered, these students, driven by their own conviction that they should never have to run for safety from their schoolhouses, walked out.
There are those who have argued with what they did. Saying instead of walking out, they should walk up.
Truth be told, they should walk up.
The two are not mutually exclusive.
Those students are on the front lines, inside of buildings that our law requires them to be inside of. They are faced with insurmountable challenges that as adults we did not face at their age. They don’t have a voice in our electoral system yet. They don’t have the authority to change the things that endanger them. But they do have their own voices. They do have their own bodies. And they do have their own minds. These kids are far wiser than we were at that age, I assure you. And a lot of that is due to the fact that their innocence has been stripped of them by school shootings.
We bicker back and forth over the 2nd amendment and gun rights in this country, all while these kids walk in the doors of these schools five days a week for the majority of the year. We say that teachers should be armed, and then one has a gun go off inadvertently this week. We say that there should be security guards at every school, then we trash them if they don’t prevent these incidents from happening.
These kids are sick and tired of our “adulting” and they are sick and tired of burying their friends and siblings.
These kids should be more inclusive. Bullying should be eradicated. These kids should seek out the loners and sit with those who are different. And we as adults should do everything we can to help protect them and the schoolhouses that we send them to learn in.
Bourbon & Bowties
President Trump tweeted out the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this week. He already had a plan in motion to move Mike Pompeo from the CIA to State and Gina Halspel will take over the CIA. If confirmed, Halspel will be the first female to be the head of the CIA, doesn’t quite fit the “sexist” narrative cloud that surrounds President Trump. There are quite a few opposed to Halspel’s nomination as she was a key figure in a torture investigation back in 2002, where prisoners in Thailand were being tortured by US forces. The reports have been that Halspel played a role in the destruction of video tapes that showed the torture of the detainees at the black site she ran and other secretive locations.
Who is Mike Pompeo?
He graduated first in his class from West Point with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard, while there he was on the Board of Editors for the Harvard Law Review. Pompeo, a five year Army veteran, also served as a congressman from the state of Kansas.
We shall see who is confirmed and who is not. And as the NFL free agency period is going, so are the job changes in the White House.
Preps & Pints
Y’all I can’t even keep up with what NFL players have landed where. Jordy Nelson is now a Raider. Kirk Cousins is a Viking. Case Keenum has become the franchise quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Sam Bradford is taking the reigns under center in Arizona. Rumors started flying today that Panthers tight end Greg Olsen is auditioning to be a commentator on Monday Night Football. Tom Benson, longtime owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, passed away yesterday. The NFL is not even recognizable after this week.
March Madness is underway and with the loss of Arizona many brackets were destroyed.
Here’s hoping my Carolina Tar Heels and Arkansas Razorbacks don’t break my heart.
Sangria & Seersucker
Marvel released their new trailer for the blockbuster film Avengers: Infinity War. Around our house, that’s a big deal. My husband is a huge Marvel fan and he’s suckered me into a few story lines and of course, there’s always my love for Chris Hemsworth. Talk about a powerhouse cast, Angela Bassett, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Benicio Del Toro, Vin Diesel, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Pratt, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Cobie Smulders, and the list goes on and on. The story line picks up where the 2016 film, Captain America: Civil War, left off; dissension among the heroes. It’s safe to say that there will be heroes who die. The enemy is Thanos, an indestructible villain.
My husband assures me that some of my favorite characters will die, but I’m still intrigued enough to see the story play out.
Prosecco & Pretties
Hope Made in the World: principled style. They make three promises to their customers, 1) child labor free certified, 2) exceptional quality, and finally, 3) transparency. 
This week’s fashion find believes in doing business the right way, as they say, “there is no other way.”
Hope Made in the World is meticulous in who they work with, from every material they use to every vendor or farm they partner with they are 100% focused on integrity, intention and transparency. Their vision is for an industry where craftsmanship and sustainability are not a luxury, but a foundational core value. And I love that. What they do fits so perfectly with my company, Do Good America. 
Hope Made in the World prides themselves on being a brand for all seasons.  They have beautiful sweaters for men and women, scarves and bags; something incredible for everyone.
Each piece of their clothing is crafted by artisans, craftsman and makers who are treated fairly and equally. Hope Made in the World has just launched a new collection, their Weaving Hope Collection.
The Weaving Hope Collection is created by the indigenous tribes in Colombia, they are paid fair wages to create one of Hope Made in the World’s top products, the Arhuaco machida. The Arhuaco group believes in the existence of a creator and a great father, and their mission is to preserve the natural order of the earth and its surroundings. 
This bag truly empowers the indigenous women who are crafting it.
And with that, another edition of the Happy Hour comes to a close, go enjoy your weekend friends, have a drink on us!