Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today I Will Make A Difference

Such wisdom can be found reading any of Max Lucado's books and I got this via email today. I had to share it because I believe someone else needs to hear it besides me. Enjoy!

Today I Will Make a Difference

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pinterest? Are you interested?

OK, yet again there is another Social Media app that has taken me by storm and it's called Pinterest. Have any of you heard about it?

It's basically pictures of things you like, can make, recipes, you name it, that you can "pin" to a board you create. I mean how many times have you found an amazing recipe and forgot to book mark it or perhaps didn't save it when you should and now you are frantically trying to remember where you saw it. Forgot it, if you saw it on one of your Facebook feeds, it's probably long gone. But Pinterest enables you to create your own bulletin boards of fun stuff you want to keep.

For example, I have a recipes board, one for things to make, school ideas, bucket list items I may want to see some day, ideas for my Dream Home, photography ideas, and of course Household tips.

But the real question is how do these fair? Are the recipes really easy? Do they taste good? Would you really want to keep them? So I thought I would dedicate a day to testing out ideas to see whether that are Keepers or Trash.

If you're a Facebook follower of mine, you caught my dessert last night that so many of you wanted me to share and here it is. It's labeled under Banana Wafer Pudding but this variation is so easy, no bake and tastes so heavenly I am already thinking of different applications for it, such as cupcake filling for Banana Nut cupcakes, to a pie done in a different way. So here it is:

What You'll Need:

2 small boxes of Instant French Vanilla Pudding Mix
3 Cups of cold milk
1 - 14oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 - 8oz package of cream cheese
1 - 12oz container of Cool Whip
1 - Box of Nilla Wafers cookies
4 - Medium size bananas


1. In a 13 x 9 baking dish or container, place a single layer of Nilla Wafer Cookies along the bottom of the pan.

2. Next slice up the 4 bananas and layer them on top of the cookies.

3. Mix together boxes of pudding with 3 Cups cold milk for 2 minutes with a hand mixer.

4. In a separate bowl mix together cream cheese, and condensed milk. Once blended together, fold in container of Cool Whip.

5. Add pudding mixture to cream cheese mixture and stir until blended. (Taste it and you'll be in heaven already!)

6. Pour the mixture over the bananas and wafers and smooth out. - Wait you're not done yet.

7. Add a layer of Nilla Wafers to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Hope you made plenty because in my house, EVERYONE wanted seconds. This is the perfect pot luck dessert because it's so simple. Would love to have your comments if you've made it too! Come back here next week for Chicken and Dumplings in the Crock Pot that taste heavenly!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Moment of Truth - Giveaway

As a Christian, I know I will have eternal life, a life without end, without tears, aging, illness or any more death. Yet it doesn't stop me from time to time, wondering and sometimes afraid of when it actually happens. Will it hurt? Will I be carried by angels to my heavenly home? What will it be like in heaven? What will I look like?

I guess it's pretty natural considering not many people have made it there and back and lived to tell their tales. Most Christian believers that have had a near death experience really didn't make it into heaven but got glimpses of what it might be like, they were sent back instead of proceeding forward. It simply wasn't there time. I for one, hope it happens quick. I have a huge fear of pain, and I would hate for it to be long and drawn out, like with a terminal illness. I think it would grieve me to watch my family members and friends have to deal with saying goodbye.

I have found comfort in what God's Word, the Bible, has to say regarding some of my greatest fears, from 1 Corinthians 15:55 "“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” Sounds like for us, it won't hurt, or perhaps like childbirth, its simply a pain that is forgettable. We remember it hurts, but it doesn't last.

We know how this will all end, in one of two paths, the road to heaven for believers and the road to hell for those that don't. We've read the book so we know how it all ends. If you don't perhaps you should read Revelations. I can tell you it's quite eye-opening. I, for one, know it won't be like what I heard in high school, that hell is a place for partying with all your friends, doing everything you're not supposed to be doing here. It will be a place for eternal suffering, and torment. Think of the worst pain imaginable and think of that, never ending but only way worse.

Yet heaven awaits for believers of Jesus Christ. The Bible is quite clear on that point, especially if you believe in the word of God, the Bible, is true!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That means to my understand, not through Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, or any other Higher Power but Jesus. Without a belief in Him, what He did for all of mankind and what He represents, we can not enter heaven. We shouldn't think we have time to wait either. How many times do you hear of someone who died so suddenly, no one even had the opportunity to say goodbye. Yet I have so many friends who believe they will make it to their death bed and make their confession there. That, my friends, isn't a risk I would ever want to take. The odds aren't in their favor, but it could happen.

So I am curious and thus the reason for this post, what do you really believe happens when we die?
Do we fall asleep or are we instantly transported to heaven? What is heaven going to be like? What will we be like? Will we have any memories of this life in heaven? Will their be pets in heaven?

I am curious and would LOVE to hear your thoughts. If you leave your thoughts below in the comment box, I will be having a giveaway for the book by Joe Beam and Lee Wilson, called The True Heaven. Simply share with me what you think and if you can, your email address so I have a way of contacting you if you're the lucky winner. This giveaway will be going on until August 10th, so please share your thoughts. I'd love to know what you think heaven will be like.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Life Lesson with God

I've been learning quite a bit as I grow older with each passing day. Sometimes those nuggets of wisdom are precious and find themselves posted at status updates on Facebook, jotted down in a notebook with a star next to them, saved in an email file or create a dog ear tab in a book for reference. These are my tools to help me not forget the life lessons I believe that God is teaching me in my own personal walk of faith.

You know the ones I am referring to? Those "Ah Ha!" moments! Where you can sense that light bulb had turned on once more and you are a little brighter than you were a few moments ago. The older I get, it seems, the more profound the lessons are.

The lesson I feel especially proud to be on this time, is one of servant-hood. For me, at times, it'be been a bitter pill to swallow. We all think we can do it in a pinch but how about if that time frame is pushed past our comfort zone, perhaps going a lot longer than you had expected, or increased in the amount you must do, or have to take care of multiple things at the same time and not complain. Eye rolling, and silent gestures also count. You can't have none of that. So what is your motivation? What pushes you to do more when all you want to do is throw in the towel?

Perhaps its love for the person you're doing it for? However, would you consider doing the same thing for someone you didn't care for but needed help? Tough question to consider and be honest about at the same time.

Lately, however, in my own personal walk with God, it seems like I am learning how to be a good servant. This does not mean, just to help out when asked, it goes a whole lot further than that. It means watching our silent gestures, looks, body language and words while completing the actions. And with all the health concerns finding there way into my personal life lately, all of them requiring self-sacrifice at some point, God and I have been talking a lot more lately.

I find myself grumbling under my breath after taking yet another load of food upstairs to whomever needs it, walking back down the stairs and answering yet another cry for help, while finding out where I have mis-placed my smile again. I ask, plead and beg God for help to do this with the right attitude. I hear God's voice on my heart, to be a great and humble servant. Time to learn by doing, by getting in there and really putting forth my best effort. Reminding myself that Jesus came here to serve.

So if He can do it, I most certainly can. And this is my life lesson at this time. To learn to be a faithful and humble servant. To offer assistance in any way I can as if God, Himself, asked me to personally. To do it with a cheerful heart, to go the distance, to never feel overwhelmed but to remember, I am here to serve, just like my Savior did. I also have to make sure what my intentions are as well when doing something for someone else, is it for my pride to show God, "look what I am doing!" or is it to truly help someone without caring what anyone thinks even myself. That is an important thing to consider.

I'm not always successful and sometimes I have to take a few moments and get back in touch with God and have Him remind me, "I am here to serve." Sometimes each morning I remind myself that in every encounter I have that day, "I am here to serve!" It's a great life lesson for me and one that requires a careful, disciplined walk with Jesus to get me through this one, but I know it will make me a better person for doing it. Minute by minute, day by day, calm and quiet spirit, I am learning to grow. I am finding it easier to enjoy when I am asked to serve others, and even now, I am looking for ways to help serve others. It's helping me learn to be a better servant of God and that makes it all worthwhile!

How about you? What life lesson do you find God walking with you through right now? I'd love to hear from you and would LOVE to lift you up in prayer as you continue on your own personal journey. And thanks for stopping by today! If I have encouraged you in some small way, be sure to let me know, I'd love to hear your thoughts too!

Matthew 20: 26-28 "26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Let us Give Praise and Encouragement Today

Yesterday while waiting in the hospital waiting room, I love to people watch. I guess it's a habit, I've become more aware of as I have gotten older. I love watching how people view their surroundings, how they communicate with one another, body language and how they interact with other people around them in different ways.

One trend that I seem to notice that almost everyone around them responds to is praise and encouragement. It's almost like people are completely starved for this type of attention. Whether people pore their heart and soul into their work, whether it's their job or a task they are doing, it makes it seem worth it, when someone notices. When they acknowledge what you did. Whether it's that new recipe you tried, that your family ah's and oh's over, to the photograph you uploaded on your social media site that not only are people liking but commenting on; or that new venture you've tried to step out in faith on and find you really enjoy; I don't think for one moment, that no one hates praise or encouragement.

They might find it embarrassing but deep down inside, I believe it's something God created inside us to respond to in a positive way. I believe it is why God loves us to praise Him. He knows how good it feels to be loved, admired and have us say positive things that are on our hearts. But I believe praise needs to be genuine and honest, not something you fake your way through just to say something nice to someone.

I believe praise and encouragement is best applied when it is sincere and it needs to be administered when we see it to have the very best results. It doesn't mean as much if you wait til the end of someone's life to let them know what they meant to you or how their life impacted yours in a life changing way. How often do we take for granted that loving meal made by our families, or the laundry that is washed, dried and folded for us to simply put away; or what about the husband or wife that bring home a paycheck after putting in hours so food is on the table each night, the lights are on, and there is water when we turn on our faucets?

What if for one moment, the things we take for granted each day that we never acknowledged simply ceased to exist? How would that change how you conveyed your praise or encouragement or how might that drive you further each day to work that much harder? The better question might be how much of life would be left if we failed?

I'm sure that there are countless people who ask themselves every single day, "Does what I am doing really matter?" "Do I really matter?" "Does anyone really care?"

Can't you hear the cries of the souls of every single person you meet? Is it that hard to thank the waitress sincerely by looking her in the eyes and let her know how much you enjoyed her bringing you your food and taking care of your dining needs? What about the nurse who responds to your care while you are sick and hurting? How about a simple sincere word of thanks?

I think too often people are trying for the bigger rewards instead of recognizing that people all around you, that you will encounter every single day, are just looking for a word from you that they matter, that you notice them, that you appreciate them? I would encourage you to view every single person you meet today with this simple thought, "What if this was their last day on earth, that at the end of the day, today, they would simply die?" Suppose it was a divine gift you were bestowed today by God. How would that impact how you treated each person you came into contact with.

I guess the bigger question is this, "What are you waiting for?"

People every single day need your praise, your encouragement, so since it's FREE why not hand it out in the largest doses we can today. I bet it will not only change them, but it will also change you!

Are you game?

Well, what are you waiting for?