Tag Archives: Tip of the Week

Affordable Medical Insurance that is actually affordable.

Dwane Thomas’ Tip of the Week – November 18, 2017

As most of you know, my son almost died in a car accident last April.  My family and I were living in Athens, Greece at the time.  I had gone there to study Greek.

We received the call no parent wants to receive.

Within hours, my wife was on a plane bound for Aurora, Colorado.

Before she landed, my girls and I were on another plane bound for Aurora.

Instead of studying in Athens for several months, we ended up living in a hotel (for several weeks) across the street from Aurora medical center.  Eventually, with help from our friends and with help from our church, we rented a home.  We ended up living in Colorado for almost 2 months.

As most of you know, medical insurance is no longer as affordable as it was before the “Affordable” Care Act went into effect.

Fortunately, The “Affordable” Care Act did not make insurance unaffordable for my family.

The reason is simple.  We are members of a medi-share organization called Samaritan Ministries.

Most of you are probably familiar with this organization.  If you are not, I recommend you check them out.

During our awful ordeal in Colorado, we had plenty to worry about.  We did not have to worry about medical bills.

The help from Samaritans Ministries was phenomenal.

While I continued to work from Colorado, my wife managed the medical bills.  From time to time, when I would ask her how things were going, she would report to me that working with Samaritan’s ministries was very easy.

What a relief.  With everything else we were going through, medical bills were a major concern.  It turns out, we didn’t have to worry.  Samaritans Ministries had us covered.

It’s been over six months now since the accident.  My son continues to improve every day.  He is back to work.  Back to filming, and back to photography.  We are very grateful.

And, I am happy to report that Samaritans Ministries stepped in to cover all of my son’s medical expenses.  The medical bills did not bankrupt us, and I can keep on working.

If you are looking for an affordable shelter to protect you from the “Affordable” Care Act, then please check out Samaritans Ministries.

And if you don’t mind, when they ask how you heard about them, mention me.

I hope you all have an excellent Thanksgiving celebration!

I am currently working on another book.  I hope to have it available in a few weeks.  Meanwhile, here’s the book I wrote in 2013.  For the most part, it’s about learning Latin.  The tips and tricks I share, however, do apply to other subjects.  Check it out here:

Is it too late to join one of my online classes?  No.  You can join anytime.  Simply click here:

Would you like to be able to read the New Testament in Greek?  I can take you there.  It’s not going to be easy, but I can take you there  Join the class here:

Almost every Saturday, I send out a tip of the week.  I also include announcements, upcoming classes, and so on.  If you would like to hear from me every weekend, sign up for my weekly updates here:

How many pages did you write?

Dwane Thomas’ Tip of the Week – November 4, 2017

Are you a writer?  Do you sometimes wonder how much you are writing?

Maybe that’s a strange question.  Let me explain.  Every week Grammarly sends me a report like this one:

Generally, I ignore the reports.  But, this report stunned me.   373,000 words?  What does that even mean?  I needed the information in pages.  Number of words?  That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I feel the same when talking to teenagers about cell phones.  Gigabytes?  Megabytes?  Kilobytes?  Oreo bites?  What are we talking about?  I need the information presented to me in a different format.  How many audiobooks can my phone hold?  THAT Is a measurement I can understand.

I could go on.   In fact, I think I will.

How old am I?  I have been alive 533 months, or just over 11 Olympiads.

How tall am I? 69 inches.

How much do I weigh?  Hey.  That’s none of your business.

Soooo… 373,000 words?  What does THAT mean?  Obviously, It means that my family was busy, and I was terribly bored.  But, what does it mean in pages?  Fortunately, there’s a way to find out.  Simply go to this site: http://www.netbookasus.com/wordstopages/.

Make a few adjustments.  For example, I switched the font to Times New Roman, switched the size to 12 point font, and switched the spacing to single.  (Be careful with the last one.  If you have multiple tabs open on your computer, you might accidentally switch your relationship status to single.  That could get you into trouble.  Seriously, be careful.)

After plugging in the information you will know the number of pages you wrote.  During my very long week of boredom, it turns out, I wrote 914 pages.  If you’re wondering where those pages are, they’re on my site.  I was transferring student answers over to the members’ section that week.

Incidentally, that week inspired me to try it again.  I haven’t written a book since 2013.  I don’t know why I stopped.  I’ve been waiting around for permission to write another book.  Or, maybe I’ve just been waiting around for the extra time.   Or, maybe I just found it easier to make excuses.

I needed a jolt.  About a week ago, I read a book by Bob Bly on Writing E-books.  Inspired, I decided to go for it again.  In fact, I decided to follow his instructions in painstaking detail.  Not only that, I challenged myself to complete the book in one month.  If I can write 914 pages in a week, then maybe I can write, edit, self-publish and sell another ebook in a month.  I’m about 40 pages into it already.  My goal is to have the book available November 30.  We will see.

If you’re a writer, you now know how to count those pages.

Unfortunately, I can’t explain gigabytes to you.  Go find a teenager.  Those guys can help.

Have a great weekend!


Here’s the book I wrote in 2013.  For the most part, it’s about learning Latin.  The tips and tricks I share, however, do apply to other subjects.  Check it out here:


Behind in Latin?  Need help with Henle Latin?  You can join one of my classes anytime.  Help is here:


How would you like to be able to read the New Testament in Greek?  I can take you there.  It’s not going to be easy, but I can take you there  Join the class here:


Every Saturday, I send out a tip of the week.  I also include announcements, upcoming classes, and so on.  If you would like to hear from me every weekend, sign up for my weekly updates here:

What to pack

Traveling can actually be quite a hassle.  Or, it can be a forced rest.  Sometimes, sitting on a plane with nothing to do sounds nice.

Every time I travel, I am always envious of the the cool, carefree travelers with one backpack.  I am not envious when I watch the travelers who couldn’t decide what to pack… and, so they decided to bring it all.

Have you ever found yourself wondering exactly what you should bring on a trip?

Now, you no longer have to wonder.

Bookmark this page: https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light/ricks-packing-list.  Next time you travel, you will be glad you did.

My family and I have used Rick Steves packing checklist for years.  Keeps us from bringing too much.  It also keeps us from forgetting important essentials.

Here is the checklist itself: https://d3dqioy2sca31t.cloudfront.net/Projects/cms/production/000/014/077/original/586156d1a1849a3cb0a2bc1b10693ba1/RickStevesPackingList.pdf

As Rick Steves says, “Remember to pack light to enjoy the sweet freedom of true mobility. Happy travels!”


Have a happy Saturday!


Every Saturday, I send out a tip of the week.  I also include announcements, upcoming classes, and so on.  If you would like to hear from me every weekend, sign up for my weekly updates here:

Heal your brain.

Now and then, I simply borrow someone else’s tip of the week.

Since it is 11:45 and I am still up answering emails, I am going to do just that.

This tip comes from Bill Myers.  I am doing exactly what he recommends at the moment.  I am listening to soothing music on You Tube.  I’ve got to get back to work, so here’s Bill:

Bill Myers Tip of the Week – August 12, 2017


Heal Your Brain?

They say that ‘Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast’.

I don’t know if that holds true in every case, but I do know that in our house when my wife tunes our XM radio to the Spa channel (music you can relax to), our normally rambunctious two-year-old male cat, will settle down in front of the speakers and nod off to sleep.

Me, I prefer the soothing strains of Pink Floyd. Especially when I drive.

But a lot of people, millions it seems, like to listen to what’s being called ‘mind wave’. Music that is supposed to heal the brain, relieve stress and soothe nerves.

You can see evidence of this on YouTube, where videos with titles like ‘Heal your brain fast’, get tens of millions of views.

Whether these videos with their mind wave audio tracks can actually heal your brain is debatable. What isn’t debatable though, is the number of views they get. Some have close to a hundred million.

The thing is, these mind wave videos are easy to create – no video camera or special equipment needed. In fact, it took me less than ten minutes to create one of my own.

If you want to see what mind wave videos are and how to create them, check out the short video I posted on my site. I’m not promising what you see and hear will ‘heal your brain’, but it might.

You can watch it at


Bill Myers


Have a Happy Sunday, everyone.


How to track what you are reading.

Last week, I blogged about a simple way to stand out in your chosen field of expertise.

Simply read more than everyone else.

If you read a book a week for twenty years, that adds up to 1,040 books!

20 years is going to pass anyway.  You might as well have something to show for it.

By the way, we have the time.  How many hours are spent each week watching football, baseball, or hockey games?  The same math applies. Just one game a week for twenty years adds up to 1,040 games.

After I sent the tip of the week last Saturday, I received this email from a friend.  Not only does she have 8 kids, she has already read 50 books this year.

After punching a hole in the sheetrock, and after crying on the floor for a while, I emailed her back and asked how in the world she does it.  In her response, she reminded me of a site I used to know about but had long since forgotten.

“I know people never understand how I can read that much, so I always tell them 10 minutes at a time.  I never feel like I have to have huge chunks of time to read, but sitting down for even 10 minutes with a book a couple times a day adds up.   Have you heard of the website Good Reads?  I find that is a helpful way to keep track of the books I read every year, as well as read reviews on books, etc.  I am “friends” with just a few other people of whom I respect their reading choices, so it is also fun to see what they are reading.  It perpetually keeps me adding to my “want to read” shelf!  (Good Reads has “shelves” where you organize your books, i.e. Books Currently Reading, Books read in 2017, Family Read Alouds, etc.)  Anyway, you might find you like it!”

Actually, I thought all of you might like it.   If you want to track what you are reading, or if you need new ideas, or if you want to nose through your friends’ personal library without actually nosing around in their library, then check out Goodreads.com.

Have a happy Saturday (What’s left of it, anyway)!
Dwane Thomas

How to stand out.

In one of my favorite books, The Pledge, by Michael Masterson, the author reports that the average American reads one book per year.

It may not be that bad.  According to the Pew Research Center, the average American in 2013 read a book a month.

What about “above average Americans”?  According to the site, Rich Habits, the average millionaire reads a couple of books a month, or 24 books a year.

Author Brendon Burchard claims to have read a book a week for the last 20 years.

Using the sources above and using Brendon Burchard’s 20-year benchmark, here is how the numbers stack up.

  • 20 years = 20 books (The Pledge)
  • 20 years = 240 books (The Pew Research Center)
  • 20 years = 480 books (Rich Habits)
  • 20 years = 1,040 books (Brendon Burchard)

Want to stand out in your chosen field of expertise?  It’s a simple numbers game.

If the average person in your chosen field of expertise reads a book a year, or a book a month, and you read a book a week… who is eventually going to stand out?

It’s simple math.  You are.

Devote an hour each day to learning by reading and you are going to set yourself apart.

In time (and it may be sooner than you think) you will move into the top half of your field.

Keep reading.  You will move into the top 20% of your field.  You will stand out.

Keep reading.  Eventually, you will move into the top 20% of the top 20%.  In other words, you will move into the top 4% of your field.  You will very likely be recognized as an expert.

Perhaps you are thinking… 20 years?  That’s a long time!

So, what?  20 years is going to pass whether you want it to pass, or not.  You might as well have something to show for it.

As Tony Robbins says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year, and underestimate what they can do in two or three decades.”

By the way, I also recommend you write about what you are reading.  In this way, you also develop your writing skills.

I read a lot.  But, for some dumb reason, I have not been blogging about the books I read.  Until recently.  I am a slow learner, I suppose.

Anyway, I am now reviewing books on my site and will continue to do so.  I recommend you do the same.

You can check out my reviews here: https://dwanethomas.com/bookreviews/

So, turn the T.V. off.  Turn Netflix off.  You can always watch “Some Dumb Movie 3” later.

Stand out.  Grab a book instead.

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

Protect yourself before you go.

One of the great inventions of the modern world is insurance.  (I know.  I know.  It’s also one of the great nuisances of the modern world.)  But, think about it.  By pooling your resources with others, you can protect yourself from massive financial setbacks.

By now, all of you know that my son was in an accident in Colorado.  His accident brought my family back from Athens, Greece.  I had gone there to study Greek intensively.

When we heard of the accident, I immediately went online and bought a ticket for my wife.  She was on a plane for Colorado eight, or so, hours later.

My girls and I stayed in Athens.  We waited for more news.  How serious was the accident?  How badly was my son injured?

As news slowly filtered in, we realized the situation was, indeed, quite serious.  We settled all of our affairs in Athens and boarded a plane 24 hours behind my wife.

Last minute flights for myself, my wife, and my girls cost roughly $2,000 each.  So… $12,000.  With airport taxes and such, it was actually a bit higher than that.

Before our trip, my wife had purchased travel insurance for the family.  It cost $158.

This week, Allianz Global Assistance refunded the entire amount.  They deposited a little more than $12,000 directly into our checking account.

I am a bit of a complainer when it comes to taxes and insurance.  I shouldn’t complain, I know.  But… it feels so good.

Maybe I will stop complaining now.  Those $158 dollars my wife spent now numbers among our top 10 purchases for $158.

If you are traveling alone, you could possibly justify the risk of going without travel insurance.

But, if you are traveling with a family, do it.

And, if you are going to purchase travel insurance, consider Allianz Global Assistance.  They were easy to work with, and they upheld their end of the bargain.

Have a happy Saturday!
Dwane Thomas

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