Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas JOY the Celebration

It started like any other morning before a Spreading Joy event. A million things running through my mind and this time, it’s a little different because I’m planning and handling much of the Christmas JOY event for the ladies at the Battered Womens Shelter & children from my hotel room in Virginia. Then it hits me. SNOW!! It was supposed to snow over night. I hurry to the huge window in my room and sure enough, IT’S SNOWING!!!! The little girl in me is so very excited! I can immediately see that there are several inches on the ground already. I’m supposed to work a half day and then head home to Charlotte NC and start picking up toys for Friday nights Christmas JOY event! I quickly get ready and head to work.

Much like a child that can’t wait to get out in the snow, I find a window and look out. It is pouring snow! Buckets! My heart is filled with worry at this point. How am I going to make it home? I call my sister. Tell her what I’m seeing. She tries to comfort me saying, things will be a little stressful but it will be ok. I quickly tell her that “you are NOT seeing what I’m seeing!” We chat about the possibilities of me not making it back. Two of the greatest things I love are both now tugging at my heart, snow and Spreading Joy. I head back to work thinking ok, it will work out no matter if I get home or not. I’m just going to enjoy my gift of snow! I finish out my half day of work, head back to my hotel and preparations start. The phone calls to my mom, sister and friends asking for help. The planning of who will do what, just in case I can’t make it back into town. These ladies deserve a wonderful meal, a time of fun and laughter and these toys for their kids. I’m determined to make it happen and with friends and family that have huge hearts, it goes off without a hitch!

The phone calls come in, “you won’t believe what Clark Nexsen collected for this event!” My friends Dave and Dale from Iron Mountain assure me it will be fine for them to bring the toys to me! Wow! Not only did they collect toys, but made things easier for me by bringing them to me, knowing that I was short on time! Amazing!

We get to the church, start setting up, sorting toys, picking up food, decorating and having fun. Later that evening I hop aboard a bus with my brother in law and we had to pick up the ladies and children. We are enjoying a trip back and I tease the ladies that we are having MY favorite meal – HOT DOGS! I giggle and tell them that Olive Garden has graciously given pasta, salad and bread sticks. We are all excited.

Everyone gets settled, and is eating, laughing, relaxing and having fun. There are enough workers so that the ladies that need help with their small children can eat their meals without worry for their tiny ones. I love the view, the children laughing and slurping up spaghetti, the moms smiling and chatting with one another. Peace, happiness and pure JOY surround me! My heart is soaring beyond belief!

The children stay in the fellowship hall and I take the ladies with me next door so that they can “shop” for their children. I thank them for coming and being such a wonderful part of my Christmas! I have been thinking about them all week and take a few minutes to tell them the wonderful attributes I see in them. I give them instructions as to where to find the toys, the gift wrapping stations and such. I wander through the halls as the ladies “shop”, listening to the giggling, listening to the oooohhhhh and ahhhh’s, listening to the thrill in their hearts as they pick out toys for their children. There are Easy Bake Ovens, dolls, Barbie dolls, stuff animals, play dough sets, Tonka Trucks, footballs, basket balls, games and so much more! There are literally 4 rooms full of toys for these wonderful ladies to choose from!

The ladies finish wrapping and start heading to get their children and load back on the bus and van. Several people volunteer to follow behind to “haul” presents as there’s no way all the people and the gifts are going to fit. I love each and every single HUG that I am receiving! The sparkly eyes, bright smiles and huge warm HUGS are priceless. Everyone leaves and I look around and the Spreading JOY heroes have already started cleaning up! Wow!! Amazing!

The night is perfect. Chaos, silliness, fun, Christmas music, laughter, toys, food, drinks, hugs and the mile wide smiles make it memorable!

But, the giving is not over with yet! Sunday, more toys are given out. To a local church and some for a teacher who has some homeless children in her class. Thursday NIGHT – MORE toys will be given away!! A week of Christmas JOY, my heart can hardly stand it! It is flooded with happiness and JOY!

We were able to distribute 545 toys and books this year. This is no small feat as we normally have 8 or 10 companies collecting toys and this year, we didn’t have that many.

Thank you seems so small in the light of what YOU did to make Christmas JOY 2010 possible.

Thank you to the director of Amy’s House, Vicky, for the wonderful work you do to help these ladies! It is my honor to make a difference for them, to encourage them and to remind them just how very special they are!

Thank you to Olive Garden for providing the meal for us! There was plenty of delicious food for everyone to enjoy! Thank you to Jim Taylor and Marvin McAllister for picking up food for us. Thank you Dave Finley for meeting me with toys and saving me so much time. Thank you Momma, Angie and Meg for picking up toys on Thursday for me while I enjoyed my gift of snow and stayed safely at the hotel. Thank you Dale and Jeanne Strickland for being available at a phone calls notice to pick up toys for me and for helping out the night of the event.

Thank you to Pastor Jerry Taylor and Mrs. Taylor of New Grace Baptist Church for the use of your wonderful facilities and being available “just in case” I was snowed in! Thank you to the wonderful members of New Grace for volunteering to help serve, sort, clean, wrap, entertain and for the great JOY you brought my way! I could not have made it without your help!

Thank you to Patterson Pope for giving us employees paid Community Service time to make a difference in our world!

Thank you to my family for supporting Spreading JOY the way you do, helping and allowing me to make a difference right where I am. Thank you Tripp and Bob for driving the vehicles to bring the ladies to the church.

Thank you Quiznos, Iron Mountain, Clark Nexsen, Arthur Squad, Stone Pump and Trench and Linden ARP church for collecting toys.

Thank you my precious twitterverse for your online donations, the interviews to spread the word and for using your voice to reach people that I couldn’t reach without your help! You were instrumental in making Christmas JOY 2010 a huge success!

YOU are all HEROES and I hope as you watch the video, read and recount this week of Spreading JOY that your heart is flooded with warmth, love and pure delight for the part that YOU played for Christmas

Thank you!!

{{HUGS}} yall

30 Day Challenge Jan 2011

I love spreading joy to others, but more than that, I love how easy it is to get into the habit of spreading joy. A new year is upon us and it is my goal to help you see just how easy it is to get into the habit of spreading JOY.

The 30 Day Challenge - ONE thing a day for someone else, on purpose. That’s all it takes. It can be for family, friends or random people. Your mind will be looking, thinking and preparing for ways of spreading joy in no time. By the end of the month you’ll have gotten yourself into the habit of spreading joy and it will be a natural thing for you to do as you meander through your day.

Here is the challenge.

Will you publicly join me in developing this habit of spreading joy? If so, please let me know. I’d like to add your name here to a list – so that I won’t forget who is joining me, but so that I can encourage you too. If you are on twitter, please include your twitter name, cause I’m old and forgetful like that!

Together we can journal our daily acts of joy. I will write in my journal each day about what was done and then every 3 days or so, come back here and update things in the comment section. I would encourage you to do so as well. This will encourage everyone that is participating.

I’ve done this challenge publicly before and here is a link to how it turned out.

I would love to hear how this challenge affected your daily outlook, if you had any troubles and just over all, how it made your heart feel, to think, plan and then execute this challenge.

Ideas to get you going:

  • Give away reesecups and Little Debbie Cakes randomly
  • Have a NO chore day for family
  • Leave the closer parking space for someone else
  • Purchase a book of stamps and mail to Spreading Joy
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle
  • Have a “Eat dessert first” night with your family.
  • Make a financial donation to Spreading Joy, see if your company matches charitable giving – 2 acts in one
  • Meet someone for coffee and purchase it for them. Enjoy the chat.
  • Sign up for this challenge and invite others to do so as well!

There are some ideas to get you going. If you need more, don’t forget that there are a total of 100 ways of making a difference WITHOUT spending one single penny listed here and here on this web site.

Are you ready to take the challenge? Are you ready to develop the habit of spreading joy?

Those taking the 30 day challenge:




IF we all do just 1 act of JOY a day – so far we are up to 93 #actsofJOY for the month!! wow. I’m so excited to be making a difference this way!!

Thanks for JOYning me!!

{{{HUGS}}} yall

Monday, December 20, 2010

How I See YOU

I love speaking to ladies groups, kids and just encouraging others. I’m hoping to do more of it in this next year.

I recently had the privilege of speaking to some wonderful ladies that have been or are in a local Battered Women’s shelter. I spent the week thinking about some of what they may have endured, what they probably tried to do for them, their children and to bring peace to their home and focused on how those events made me see them.

Here is how I see these ladies.


BEAUTIFUL – Your beauty comes from deep within. Nothing or no one can ever destroy it. When you gaze into the mirror, look past the surface, go deeper….deeper still. That beauty that is deep within you is ready to bubble up and gush out! Let it bubble up and out freely. Our physical beauty is limited, but the beauty that is deep within our soul outshines and out lasts the physical and has a positive effect on all of those around us! YOU are beautiful!

COURAGEOUS – Yes, YOU! You lived in fear, you live with fear and have many fearful moments ahead of you, but look back with me a moment. Look at how far you’ve come. The courage you’ve shown to get out of the abusive situation and into something better is nothing short of amazing. You’ll continue to move past the fears, move past the doubts and other horrors you face daily that will try and hold you back. Your heart may tremble, your hands shake but you won’t let that stop you. You can do this as YOU are courageous!

STRONG – You are strong! You’ve endured abuse that others can’t possibly imagine, and that takes strength. You’ve tried to fix things, make things better and be the right kind of gal but that was never the issue. You then stepped out, with children in tow and are working towards a better future. The strength it takes to be a single mom, to ease their fears, to show them what is right and good is unbelievable. You are strong, you fight through difficulties, you fight to survive and you’ll push past the barriers that try and hold you down. You will make it! YOU are strong!

WISE – Yes, I said wise! Don’t sell yourself short. We all make mistakes, we all make decisions that we wish we could take back and moments we wish we could order up a “do-over”! Look at you! You are moving forward, learning and making things better. You are doing the right things right now! Don’t look back at the mistakes, unless you are choosing to grow and learn from them! Hear me….YOU are wise.

CARING – You have amazing hearts! You care so much. That’s why you tried to work things out, why you sacrifice for your children, that’s why you are the wonderful person that you are. Your heart is huge for others and you want to make a difference and believe me you DO! YOU are caring!

PERSISTENT – You put one foot in front of the other each and every day. I’m sure there are days where you feel like throwing up your hands and saying “what is the use”, but you move forward anyway. You grow tired from the struggle, but you get out of bed and face the day. You wonder about tomorrow, next month and next year, but you keep looking, hoping and knowing that the future is there, waiting on you to grab it up with both arms, embracing all the wonderful things that are waiting you. You keep trying, learning and going! You push yourselves as well as push your children! YOU are persistent.

IMPORTANT – YES – YOU!!! You make a difference every day! You bring smiles, warm hearts with big hugs. You encourage, motivate and teach. You give hope to little eyes that wonder about a million things a day and love to hearts that need it. You are important to today and the next generation. The great things that you are doing today, will have a huge impact on tomorrow and the future. YOU are important.

CAPABLE – YOU can do this! It is so easy to look and see the negative, see where we feel like we have failed and think we just can’t do it. We don’t have to teach our children to see the negative, but we do have to teach them to see the positive, do what is right and look for opportunities to make a difference. Use those negative things that creep into your mind, trying to make you feel horrible to remind yourself that you’ve learned from that. You’ve come a long way from that point and you are not going back, simply because you don’t have to. Use the past to remind yourself that you are capable of moving forward, doing whatever it is you set your mind on doing. YOU are capable.

ADAPTIVE – This is so important and you excel at it! Think with me for a moment. You knew when you had to keep the kids quiet, when you could let loose and enjoy the laughter in your hearts. You knew when “he” was home that certain things had to be done a certain way and you adapted. When he wasn’t around, you lived, loved, laughed and adapted to that as well. This is a priceless ability for when the storms of life are raining down on you. This ability will serve you for years to come as you face the mountains in your way and your initial thought is for the mountain to “swallow me up, I can’t face you.” You will adapt time and time again! YOU are adaptive.

SENSITIVE – Your hearts are tender and it grows stronger every day. You’ve seen situations that many have not had to see, much less endure. This has made you even more sensitive than most. You can see the sadness in the eyes of a child quicker than most and know how to turn that frown upside down. You can see the loneliness oozing from the hearts of others and know that a simple hug and smile will help to ease that pain. Because of this sensitivity, you have an opportunity to make dark days brighter; you have the chance to be the light at the end of the tunnel. You can shine brighter than you ever thought possible. YOU are sensitive.

SPECTACULAR – YOU are beyond awesome! You have a huge heart, a loving spirit and the willingness to fight through whatever comes your way. You don’t ask for much, yet are willing to give all for your child. You will take lesser portions, step in front of physical harm and remind your child that tenderness will get you further than being demanding and hateful. You amaze me at the courage, strength and abilities you have to make it through each day. YOU are spectacular.

These attributes are evident in all of us if we look deep enough. We tend to stop just short of the surface because that is what society is teaching us to do. We need to look past the surface. We need to look at the things that matter, which is far more than physical features.

It is my desire that as you step into a new year that you’ll be more aware of these wonderful qualities about you. I hope that you’ll focus on the positive and grow from the negative. As you look at yourself, I hope that you’ll see all of these wonderful things in a wonderful new light this year – and always.

{{HUGS}} yall

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

His Love

When I think of the love that flows
I know I’m truly blessed
I might not ever know the joy
Of fancy houses, cars and the rest

One thing is certain and without a doubt
One thing I’ll never wonder
Is the fact that I’m loved beyond measure
And that for me HIS mercy and grace will thunder

My heart soars with gratitude
For the gift of grace, love and peace
The unspeakable joy that lives there
Is because I know HIS love will never cease

Do you KNOW HIS love?

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It started with the book The Shape of Mercy and the main character assuming that someone was hired help by the way he was dressed when he was actually a friend of the family. The book is about the Salem Witch Trials and all of the horrible assumptions there.

Next I hear it. You’ve heard it and maybe even said it before. “Well, you know how those people are.” Oh, really? Do I? I literally shake my head and say, no…no I do not.

Assumptions are nasty things. With the exception of when your son calls and says something like “Do you know I have the most beautiful Mom in the entire world?” By all means, assume he wants something and reply with “No, tell me how beautiful she really is.” And then smile and sit back and take in the wonderful words that are being said about you at that very moment.

If it’s not this situation, then assuming can be very harmful, dangerous and just plain wrong. I honestly try and not assume things about people based on where they live, how they dress, what size they are or what kind of vehicle they drive. When I meet someone, I immediately start looking at how their heart sees things. I want to see things through their eyes, but again, I do not assume to know or understand how or why they see things the way they do. I try to live by this and make it a rule. I don’t assume things about people based on surroundings.

Many people assume that just because someone says they are a Christian that they truly are. Unfortunately many people speak the language, but don’t walk the talk and this is very misleading. Others think that if a non-believer asks questions that they simply want to debate. Again, this is not always a correct assumption. Many people that ask questions are simply seeking the truth and shame on us for not giving it without assuming they want an argument.

I could go on and on here. So many assumptions are made about people based on their size, place of employment and such. Why do we do this? Why do we assume things without taking the time to see things through the eyes of others or even try to understand where people are coming from?

We've all had our moments where things were better, where we looked better, felt better, dressed better. We’ve all had moments where we were proud to be who we are and held our head high. The opposite is true, we’ve all had our moments where the worst part of our being has shown through and we’d love to take it back and undo the damage we’ve done, but we can’t. We would love to go back in time and change many moments in our life that were less than pleasant. All of these moments are shared by each and every one of us and yet we still make horrible assumptions.

Have you caught yourself assuming the worst about people or even the best about people? Do you assume that what you see at first glance is all that there is? Do you assume that there is no need to look further for facts because you know all the facts you need to know?

Am I assuming that everyone assumes way too much? If I am assuming, is my assumption wrong? Assuming you will answer me in the comment section, will you have the courage to speak the truth about assumptions?

{{HUGS}} yall

Sunday, October 24, 2010

ANOTHER 50 Ways to Make a Difference Without Spending a Penny

There is something deep within us all that knows it is better to give than to receive. That is why my heart is always screaming "There's NO joy like Spreading JOY!" Just like most people, this economy is killing me financially. I can't seem to get out from under the ever growing snowball of horror as far as getting ahead goes. That does NOT stop me from giving and making a difference. It's what I do, always has been, always will be.

This need to give inspired me to write 50 Ways to Make a Difference Without Spending a Penny last year. I'm honored to say that it has inspired many whose hearts have the desire to give, but their wallet says NO. My goal with these ideas is to get you to a point that you are keenly aware of ways to make a difference. That you'll recognize various chances that tend to pop up. I want your heart to soar as you are doing what you can, where you are, with that you have. And, believe me - it will.

EVERY act of joy, regardless of what it is, has limitless possibilities. You may never know just how far your selfless act of joy went.

It is my pleasure to present to you ANOTHER 50 ways of making a difference with OUT spending a single penny!

1. Click on Ads when visiting web sites. - You are already there reading & the owner of the site makes some money off each click, so why not?

2. Blog Comments - Take a few moments and tell the writer of the article if you liked or even disliked what was written. Feed back is always wonderful!

3. If you shop Amazon.com USE the affiliate link of a friend! WHY not let a small percentage of your purchase help someone? Don't know anyone? I know of 2. Richard @mcProdigal & Brett @ChristianRep (click their NAME to be directed to their sites which has their Amazon link there!)

4. Make every phone call extremely pleasant. Even the "Non helping" help desk calls.

5. Post Links to Charity organizational events to your facebook wall or twitter feed. If you can't donate a financial gift, donate your voice! Do it daily to help promote the event without being asked to.

6. If you know someone is having a rough day, make a video encouraging them to keep going and email it or facebook it to them. I have received a few of these, and LOVE it!

7. Donate your used computer, projectors etc to someone that doesn't have one. May take some time to research it, but completely worth it. Many single mom's would love NOT to have to go to a public library to use the internet.

8. Leave a comment below with a way of spreading joy without spending a penny. ;)

9. Establish a monthly "NO Chore Day" for your entire family. Mom - yes, this includes you too. Do something fun with that time. The dishes will wait for you!

10. Invite a friend over for coffee, dessert and a fun time of chatting.

11. Color with some children. Color with YOUR children. Don't even stay inside the lines. Be adventurous and color outside the lines.

12. Email this list to someone who has a huge heart but is without the financial means to make a difference.

13. Turn off all lights when leaving the room. (Mom's all over the world will thank you!)

14. Send an encouraging text to let someone know you were thinking of them.

15. Give a HUG - my goodness, just do it! One size fits all, you can't hug the wrong person and even if you are having an awesome day, a hug will just make it fantabulous!

16. When making homemade bread, double the recipe and give some away.

17. If you have someone's Instant Message or Skype contact info, leave them a message even if they are off line. They will find it and be encouraged when they log on.

18. Send Ecards to people in your email address book. I love using www.greetums.com and www.sendwisecards.com for this. The possibilities are truly endless. Go, encourage and email smiles!

19. Recently read a book that you loved? Has a friend given you a book that they had published? Write a review and post it without being asked to on your web site promoting it. Every bit of promotion helps. (I'm so far behind on this...I'm working on it!)

20. Surprise your family with a HOT breakfast one morning, instead of the traditional quick milk, juice and cereal as they are running out of the door.

21. Give kind words freely. Honestly, after a day of "you didn't accomplish this, you made a D on that test, you monthly projections were off by a long shot...blah, blah, blah" WE all need to hear more positive things that we did do.

22. Be generous with the pat on the backs, the handshakes and eye to eye contact. Positive reinforcement here!

23. When my head is on my desk, don't bother me. Honestly, there is reason.

24. Share confidence! Remind others that they CAN do this. They are excellent at what they do. They are strong and will make it through.

25. When you are sick with a head cold, don't write. Just don't do it. Spare us all the whinybrat ickiness and don't write. ok? (LOLOL, that is a note to myself. I currently have a cold and can't think of anything to write here and am feeling kind of bratty! Thus the "harshness" of #23. I'm leaving this, but will do a for real #25 and stop writing for the night.)

25. If you see someone in distress, tears or extremely emotional about something. Even if you don't know them, take a moment to smile and remind them that it WILL be alright. Don't make light of their situation, but do be encouraging.

26. Return a favor - without being asked.

27. Do not assume - Don't do it. What you think you might know isn't necessarily the truth of the actual known fact. You just never know....you know?

28. Wink at random people. Make sure you pass along a huge smile too!

29. Shake hands or some how, some way greet our wonderful Military personnel each and every time you see someone in uniform. Look them in the eyes and say thank you. Make this a rule! I never pass up this opportunity.

30. Take time to smell the roses. You pass them in the store, you pass them in gardens. Take the time to do it. You never know who is watching and how you will inspire them.

31. Write a note for your child(ren) expressing how proud of them you are. Leave it on their pillow or put it in their overnight bag. This is always fun for a lunch box too, especially if your child is young.

32. Be forgiving today. Bury the hatchet and let bygones, be bygones.

33. SLOW down - so you won't be grouchy! YOU know it's true. When you are in a hurry every SINGLE thing gets on your nerves and you are grouchy. (Pointing the finger at MYSELF!! I never do things slowly)

34. VOTE - Don't let this opportunity pass you by.

35. Tell those that you love, you love them. Seriously. Go on....I'll wait.

36. Designate your company MATCH to Spreading JOY. Many organizations will match your contributions 100 % up to a certain amount. Here are some Corporations that match donations.

37. Attend the party. Seriously. You were invited. The Host is working hard at putting it together! YOU will make someone happy...so GO - - have fun, sit back and ENJOY!

38. When singing in the car, LOUDLY, be aware of the feelings of others - if YOU are not alone. ;) Make sure its songs they can sing along to.

39. Phone calls - for NO reasons. Love this. Go ahead and make that call. You never know who you will encourage, whose day you'll make brighter and how that person just might have needed that encouragement at just that moment.

40. Eat Dessert FIRST. You will be a huge spreadingJOY hero to your family when you plan this. Go all out - do ice cream in waffle bowls. Have Reese's Cup Pie (and invite me over) or Chocolate Cake with Chocolate frosting. Have it first and have lots of fun!

41. Celebrate your UN-Birthday with your family. Make a cake from scratch, using basic ingredients from the pantry. The fun, laughter and the fact that it's your UN-birthday will have your home filled with great laughter and JOY!

42. Use a gift card that you received for someone else! Wow. HOW selfless is this? You'll make a difference and it will not have cost YOU a single cent.

43. Share your frequent flyer miles. Do you travel alot? Have an abundance of miles racked up. Offer a night or 2 at a hotel to someone. Let me know that you would be a resource of miles for Spreading JOY.

44. Do not wake up Grumpy. Let him sleep. ;) (hahahahaha. Ok, that is as old as the hills, but still funny to me.) Seriously. If you wake up grumpy, focus on others, think of the millions of little things that make YOUR life big and keep the ickiness to yourself until it passes. We want to be spreadingJOY not spreadingICK. Check out Confessions of a Cranky Gal.

45. Host an afternoon Tea Party with your child(ren). These will be cherished memories indeed. Before you know it, you'll be attending the wedding of your princess. Remember, PINKIES up!

46. Be happy for someone else's success AND help them, in any way, shape or form to be successful.

47. Watch your words. This reminds me of "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me." yeah, you remember that rhyme. IT IS NOT TRUE! Your words are powerful! They will leave a mark on people! Either positive or negative. You get to choose! Choose wisely!

48. Help your child(ren) complete an act of joy every day. Starting joyful habits at a young age will instill a kindness that will last a life time.

49. Leave the mole hill small. Do not make a mountain out of it. Trust me, you'll face enough mountains in your lifetime. Don't add to it.

50. End on a positive note. I realize this cannot always be accomplished, but it is worth the effort.

51. Leave a sticky note of encouragement on a few of your co-workers computer. Don't sign it. Just do it.

There you have it! Another 50 ways of making a difference without spending a single penny. I love this stuff. Spreading joy has never been easier.

I know things are tough, but you are tougher. You can make a difference, right where you are, with what you have. Free your heart of guilt because you feel you can not make a difference. You can. Do one thing a day. Just one.

What are your thoughts?

Make sure you come back and tell me - How are YOU spreading joy?

((HUGS)) Yall

Saturday, October 23, 2010

In A Valley

I'm in a valley. It's true. Have been for about a month now AND I love it! I do! I'm working in beautiful Salem Virginia. Mountains are everywhere I look. The ride to and from each week has been gorgeous with the color of the leaves changing to burnt orange and bright reds. Megan even asked me when I started working there, what is it was like. My reply was, "I'm in a valley." to which she responded ohhhhhh, niiiiice! I had to smile because I knew that I've been wondering about life's valleys.

Being in this majestic valley has got me thinking lately about "life's valleys."

We all go through the valley in life, there is no escaping it. It's a matter of when. My question to myself has been why don't I "look up" at the wonderful surroundings when I'm in life's valley, just as I'm doing while working here in the valley of Virginia? I know that I'm surrounded by a million little things that make life glorious and I also know the valleys are going to happen. So what is the disconnect?

Could it be that I'm so focused on the issues that I forget to look up and enjoy what is around me? Or maybe the discouragement during that time has put a huge cloud over me and I can't see the beauty that is all about me? Could it be that discontentment wastes my energy and I have no strength to focus on making it through the valley? Why have I never thought of looking up before?

We all have so many blessings in our life that should carry us from one valley to the next but when we are in those valleys - we tend to forget them, so our stay there seems much longer than necessary.

The valleys of life are hard. I've been in many of them and do not enjoy them during that time. I'm always thankful for friends I can come to for help, but like many - I sometimes choose not to ask, for fear of being a "burden".

I faced another closed door a few weeks back. My heart ached with great pain, discouragement and no music was there. Until I poured out my heart in the following words that day, I sat in silence. No singing, no happiness and fighting back the tears from yet one more closed door.

The Closed Door

Sometimes the hurt is too much to bare
Even though you say I can, I feel I can't share

The Load is heavy, the road is long
The heart is weary and has lost its song

I know there's hope that never ends
But for now it seems my life won't mend

I just want to be held, I'm tired and weak
I'll simply rest in silence, as I can't even speak

You are strong, I'm not. I can't even try
I can't stop the tears from falling from my eyes

This is me, this is all - there is nothing more
Such is my life - as I stand, facing the closed door.

Will I remember this in my next valley? Yes. Will it make a difference? I honestly don't know. Will I struggle along alone? I hope not. I hope that I will have the courage to ask for help that day, but it takes courage for that, and I'm far from courageous.

What do you think? Why do we not look up when we are in life's valley? Why do we struggle alone - without asking for help? We have great friendships and tons of resources, yet we choose to limp along through the valley - alone.

Tell me, what is the disconnect?

{{HUGS}} yall

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Little Things

"Holding Pure Joy! Thanks Chris!

Some time ago, I came across a saying

It's the little things that make life Big

and instantly I fell in love with it, because my heart has always celebrated little things. I even asked my mom recently if I had always loved the little things in life as a child and she recalled that I did. That the small, wonderful and simple things were always amazing to me. Learning that made my heart smile.

Many that know me, know I love Reese Cups and the picture here is me holding a "GIFT" from a student that had just attended the concept of Spreading Joy presentation at their school. I held it up to Angie, saying in my mind "LOOOOOK what I just got!!" I was so excited because I came to the school that day to GIVE to the students, not expecting a single thing in return and he put what he had just heard to work by spreading joy MY way. Those kinds of unexpected little things will make my heart float through the day!

Inspired from a calendar of 10 Happy Things a day I purchased as a treat for myself last year, I started keeping a list in the back of my journal of the wonderful little things that make my heart smile. I've decided to share them with you here, hoping that as you journey through your day with a million little joys floating around you, you'll take time to notice them as well as appreciate them. Who knows, maybe you'll start a list of the little things that make your life BIG too!

In no particular order at all - Some of the little things that make my life BIG!

CoffeeReesecupsHugsDiet CokeTwinkling Eyes
OceanSunriseSunsetFull MoonGel Pens w/Bright colors
Cloud ShapesBright StarsPlaydohBibleBlowing Bubbles
SingingMusicAmerican FlagSunglassesHandwritten Notes
Chuck NorrisSoft CarpetFavorite JeansMonkeysRoasted Marshmallows
Favorite Tennis shoesRiding a BikeWalk along a riverRoasted MarshmallowsHot Chocolate w/marshmallows
Holding HandsBlue RosesTeddy BearsSoft KleenexOver Sized Sweaters
Watching My kids sleepLaying in grass aloneSound of crashing wavesLaying in grass w/a friendCatching snowflakes on tongue
Fresh SnowfallLong necklacesWizard of OzFireballsSplashing in a puddle
M&M’sCute SocksTechnologyToe SocksUnsweetened Iced Tea
BreakfastChristmasGreen LIghtsSoldiersHeart dangle earrings
Standing FirmBlackberryDisney WorldNursesHandmade bracelets
Jukebox full of OldiesLightning across the skyCrossing a bridge w/out stoppingPolice officersFriends who call in the middle of the night
Roller CoastersPuppiesSlinkiesCard gamesInstant Messaging
Board GamesCute Note PadsSticky NotesWhite OutUnconditional Love
Steady RainRolling FogCrisp BreezeHot SoupWaking to a kiss
ForgivenessCute PursesQuotesPoemsMaking Cotton Candy
Belly LaughsPicturesScrapbookingOpalsEating Cotton Candy
Sleeping BabiesAudio BibleAudio BooksSkypeThunder in the distance
LemonadeCircusCute SunglassesiTunesPrecious moments
Face PaintingNo Spill DaysiTouchHair SprayHot Cookies out of oven
Hugs from nieces/nephewsWatching when NO one seesOverstuffed comfy chairsMy Heart Ring from DaddyHot Cake w/melted icing
Swinging on SwingHUGE sliding boardsEmpty Tomb of HOPEBeing SAFE in Gods ArmsBreakfast for Dinner
ChoicesTriple CouponsComing HomeOperasHugs for NO reason
Walking BarefootRandom PhotosHappy EndingsRosesLittle Debbie Cakes
Plants surviving in my houseGrowing up to be my MomBeing only ONE in the movie theaterMeeting new PeopleSitting sideways in comfy chair
Ice Cold SlushiesAnimal CookiesDisney ClassicsHopeAlways having music
Spreading JOYOpportunitiesWater SlidesGod’s PowerChuck Norris Bookmark
Golden SunsetsGod’s PlanSafe flightsFree DinnerBath & Bodyworks
Smiles during tearsToasted Bagels & Cream CheeseWatching a merry go roundMovie Theater PopcornSocial Media making world accessible
Hope RestoredNew WatchesMisprintsPaper ClipsKids that talk &talk….
Sparkles of love in eyes of friendKisses from Todd & MeganSnow that is soft on day 2Listening to the RainWatching my kids make the RIGHT decisions
Unplanned vacationsFull moon hanging on a cloudLong lingering WARM hugsSeeing Todd for 19th BdayHearing Harry Connick JR Sing in PERSON!
BlistexJourney PerfumeCare BearsCurve cologneMonkey Bookmark
Sleeping to sound of ocean lapping at shorePB&J Sandwiches w/MilkExtra HOT Cinnamon Dolce LatteLaughing thru nite w/a friendSleeping just after alarm goes off
Free AnythingNiagara fallsContentmentA quick exitBeach Trips w/Mom
Passing w/A “C”God’s CharacterGod’s PromisesGod’s PowerFree Audio Books
Golden GrahamsCurve 4 WomenTweet-upsCandid photosMeeting Chuck Norris
Kids PrayingBeing WelcomeBeing Paid Up…….InsteadDreams Coming True
Singing YOU are my sunshine!Power of Holy SpiritOverhearing kids say something niceChocolate covered pretzelsBeing held close as I sleep
Texts from my childrenSitting w/young peopleBlowing bubbles w/gumKisses on the foreheadChocolate covered Marshmallows
Seeing Dad in my dreamsA day of “To Don’ts”Beauty in the OrdinaryBeing loved as alwaysSaved messages in my Voice Mail
Unexpected helpReesecups in mailBeing FoundBeing TrustedMy Flower garden living
Angels Among usHugs from SantaBeing NoticedGuidanceOcean at Midnight
Not giving upPonderingFinishingSoaringFireplace at 1 am
Cute Coffee CupsSaying Thank YOUTreasures of the heartCourage to step outMaking a Difference
Smokies of TNCobblestone walkwaysFirefighter friends in BostonAcceptance of situationFrequent Flier Miles
Early Morning SmilesLoving with No BoundariesGreat things HE has doneAppreciating NOWLearning to live again
Phone calls of thanks from oceanLove that lasts foreverRealizing love hurts and it’s okBrightening MY corner of the worldUnbridled laughter of Teen girls
Meg sitting upside downTodd’s time beside me talking about nothingNoticing a smile & glance from across the roomGetting items donated for othersDiscernment right on time
Getting what you needHearing what is NOT being saidComputer prayers answeredSitting in Church w/momBeing happy -regardless
Seeing Hearts GrowMy moms unconditional loveWinning the heart of a shy childHair blowing in the windLearning a friend is a true American Hero
Happy gatherings for no reasonGetting the gift that seemed ridiculousRealizing the headache is easing upTexts asking are you OK after horrid dayKisses from my almost grown children
Laughing while others wonderUnexpected gifts in the mailPrinting off cute photo hugsSight for sore eyesLittle Debbie making it easy to give by giving
Falling asleep immediatelyWhiffs of old spiceBeing prayed throughColor making my day brightLaughing at myself
Friends PrayingWalmart @ 5 amOne More DayProtectionGetting to the Point
CertaintyString cheese2 hour napsAnother ChanceMy John R. Rice Bible
Wild FlowersNew JourneysSimple pleasuresMomentsKeeping things going
Giggling…a few days laterHonest CommunicationInspirational wordsListening…really listeningBeing accepted just as I am
Being Believed inJoy after the PainBlueberry MuffinsFamily CookoutSurprise phone calls
Strawberry yogurtExtra night for freeBelieving in my childrenBrighter days aheadSharing my passion
Marie PongA car to borrowNew purse 4 freeMessagesPeace, glorious peace
Stress free ping pongCool nights after hot summerResources at fingertipsHot apple cider w/cinnamonGuilt leaving the heart
Passing with flying colorsFasting & being close to GodFinding out you’ve inspired someoneMsg of Praise for blessing Psalm 6Todd in suit & Tie for me
New book in mailNo bake cookiesPrivacy!!!StickersKnowing this isn’t all
Being inspiredCool SandalsEncouraging textsMilk duds1895 House a B&B
Learning from an expertBeing a persistent little boogerBeach all to myselfEmptying my heart of guiltTrusting even when I don’t understand
m&m minisStickers in journalStickers on FBComing HomeBeing a Homebody
Jesus - AlwaysWanting to….Gifts to myselfSilenceCool sunglasses cheap
Todd saying “its perfect mom”Foggy Quiet morningsOne of these days…being todayExploring new placesShaking hands w/40 military personnel
A smile that dries the tearsBright paper to write onBreeze from an open windowSounds that brings smilesOpportunities in another state
Going before security comesPraying without ceasingTravel and explorationComing home to a clean kitchenStrength for tomorrow
Sweater when you need itMoon hanging in the morning skyMountains every where I lookRecognizing simple miraclesKids having the Bible I gave to them from 2nd grade & they are in 5th grade now
Friends sharing pics of beach & mountainsVisiting a new ice cream shopLetting my light shineChristmas StockingsWatching a wall of rain approach
Lance cheese &pb crackersCompliment from Princess MeganFamous Author commenting on blogWarm comfy Christmas sweatersPhoning a friend, asking for help & getting it
Phone call from ToddContacts & Corrective lensesPraying at Alter & a friend joins unexpectedlySurprise Videos in email from friendUnexpected knocks at door
Cool JournalsChocolate MilkPlumsPeace LiliesFixing a problem easily
Cool WhipSprinkles on topRememberingIT HeroesWonder Woman
Fresh Roasted chicken dinnerFav Worship song being sung liveDinner, movie & Bookstore dateFriends pics on FBWatching my brothers with their Grand kids
Saying Yes to God and trustingMuffins in the MailMustard seed faithBlissful UNeventfulnessSausage Egg & Cheese McMuffin
BewitchedCool BootsBlue Ridge PkwyPromises KeptWhen the stars line up
Cake Icing Wars with ToddMeg Blocking goals in soccerReading under a treeWarmth from Fire PlaceCream Cheese Brownies
Sesame ChickenBundling upEmergency ExitsPar 3More than Enough
List makingAnkletsBraceletsCool shellsStove Top Stuffing
Wireless InternetLucky CharmsWinter Olympics“Getting” ItHands free Headset
Laughing till I CryDel Sol Nail PolishMailing GiftsSleeping InHot hush puppies
Free E BooksSigned BookSilly Book marksSilly PuttyChuck Norris Facts
Cute StickersWorship SongsBalloon bouquetsHappy bunnyKey Chain from friend
Special Olympics & the smilesMatching Hair colorSugar free Lattes from McDonaldsBurger king Onion RingsWeekend alone at beach
Scotch TapeSharpie MarkersLove SongsOldiesPaper Jam Free Days
Extra Strength TylenolMechanical pencilsChocolate cupcakesSecrets of the heartFinding lids for bowls easily
FaithOrangesStrawberriesRanch DipLate nights on Twitter
Seizing the DayBeing NeededAn Extra HugInner StrengthLiving your Passion
Soothing rainBaconPhases of moonBouncinessUpgrades for free
Wooden swing on tree w/ropesExtra suite for guestsSitting in warmth of sunshineKids doing what is asked on first requestThinking of a friend late at night, calling and they answer
Exactly enough cakeKisses from slobbery babiesUnexpected calls that make you laughKnowing what faith can doPeanut Butter sticks
Messing with song director in church, during serviceWonder Woman to do bookMissionaries coming to visit churchSitting with Angie in churchMinute maid sugar free lemonade
People WatchingTip toeingWall of windowsChips & salsaNapping in the sun
Cute post it notesBarefoot in grassRomantic table for 2Slow dancingLove songs being sung to you
Laying in his armsChildren that prayin…believingLaughter through troublesEmailsFinding true love
Splitting a banana splitEnding the day with a friendArriving safelyEaster basketsSharing JOY with others
Facebook friendsGod’s StrengthMore than 1 bestest friendHot fudge brownie sundaeStarting a chain of yawning
Pony tail holdersSecret pathsSchoochinClean windowsPimento cheese
Pig tailsFace paintChallenge free tripsCorn dogsGazing at sky
PerseveranceFunny peopleSomething worth waiting forEarly morning thunder stormsTime capsules
Welcome home flowersWatermelonEmailed hugsFeeling better after cryingWaking to roses
You Tube qued upHelp through the rainSwimmingBeing prayed for & not even knowing itDeep, peaceful sleep – through the night

Whew.... that is a lot, I know. but trust me. this list will continue grow. Maybe the next set will be in color...as I do love writing in color. All of these things listed in my journal are in different colors.

What are some of the little things that make YOUR life big? What JOYS do you see daily that make your heart smile? I hope you'll take the time to tell us! You never know who YOU will inspire!

{{{HUGS}} yall

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Wish

I wish I knew what was going on
I wish you’d let me see
I wish I could bring you smiles
Just the way that you do me

I wish I could melt the hurt away
I wish you’d let me in
I wish for you great happiness
And that your heart will soar high again

I wish away the sorrow
I wish away the dread
I wish you a thousand blessings
Upon your life instead

I wish you every kindness
I wish you joy and peace
I wish you amazing laughter
And great love that’s within reach

I wish these great things for you
And even a million more
And for every one that’s granted you
I wish for hope restored.

What do you wish for?

Have you ever wanted to help someone and didn't know what to say or do? What did you do?

{{HUGS}} yall

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Hug Is

A HUG is……

LOVE wrapped around you so tight

WARMTH when your heart feels cold

PEACE when the ocean within you rages

A SMILE when the tears flow

COURAGE when fear abounds

FULLNESS when the soul feels empty

DELICIOUS when the world tastes bitter

HARMONIOUS when your life is out of tune

HEALING for the one that is grieving

KINDNESS in the midst of hatred

STRENGTH for those weakened by the journey

WISDOM when confusion is all around

ENCOURAGEMENT when you feel defeated

PURE JOY when happiness is hiding

A WELCOME HOME after the day has been cruel

REASSURANCE when all confidence is lost

CERTAINTY when all is unsure

PRICELESS when the heart feels worthless

EXTRAORDINARY when typical over throws the day

MYSTERIOUS as the miracle of its uniqueness takes form

A WHISPER – I love you

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Shape of Mercy

The Shape of Mercy written by Susan Meissner is an amazing Novel based on historical facts from the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600's.

Lauren, a young college student, is hired to transcribe a diary that belongs to Abigail, a mysterious elderly woman who lives alone. The diary belonged to a distant relative of Abigal's - a young woman, Mercy Hayworth, who experienced the horrors of how assumptions and accusations can influence people to the point of changing their way of thinking about a person, place or thing, even to the point of many needless deaths such as in the Salem Witch Trials.

One of my favorite lines from the book is "never let anyone tell you what to think." So many people erroneously assume things just by what kind of clothing is being worn, what vehicle is being driven, or even what school or people you spend time with. The shape of mercy isn't just about kindness being given to those who do not necessarily deserve it, it is also about not judging based on anything other than facts, thus avoiding the "Well you KNOW how those kind of people are" syndrome.

This exciting story of love lost in one generation, yet found in another is filled with example after example of how we make horrible assumptions based on a quick "glance" and the stigma associated with it.

It also reminds us that fear is a powerful emotion. When our hearts are gripped with anguish and our minds are searching for answers, we must be careful not to allow the emotion itself to consume us and allow us to falsely place blame just to satisfy the need to blame.
Mercy showed us our true selves. Beautiful and awful. Deep and Shallow. Marvelous and mortal.

I hope that as you read and/or listen to this book, that when you think of mercy, it will be shaped differently as you see your true self when you examine your thoughts and assumptions on a daily basis.

Mercy reminds us that we have a choice.

The strategic use of actual names from that period in history makes you feel as though you could actually look for and find the diary of Mercy Hayworth. Tavia Gilbert is exceptional at reading the book, capturing the emotions and grabbing your heart as you journey through this wonderful book.

Thank you to christianaudio for a complimentary copy of this book via the Reviewers program. I am not required to give a positive review of this book.

Christianaudio has a free audiobook for your downloading pleasure each and every month, as well as gift certificates for the audio book enthusiast in your world.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Session 13 - The Bible in 90 Days

Can you believe it. The last session? Wow. I have enjoyed this journey with you. I don't know about you, but I do plan on reading through my Bible at least 2 or 3 times in a year. Now that I know I can do it more than once a year, I will make this a priority in my life. Plus, I do love listening to it as well.

So, let's get to it...shall we?

This week's reading schedule:

  • Day 85 Hebrews 1:1 - James 3:12

  • Day 86 James 3:13 - 3 John 14

  • Day 87 Jude 1 - Revelation 17:18

  • Day 88 Revelation 18:1 - Revelation 22:21

From Children's Letters to God:

Dear God, who draws the lines around the countries? - Nan

Dear God, I bet it is hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in my family and I could never do it. - James

Dear God, we read that Thomas Edison invented light. But in Sunday School, we learned that you did it. So I guess he stole the idea from you. - Donna

Dear God, I didn't think that orange went with purple until I saw the sunset on Thursday. That was cool. - Eugene

Dear God, thank you for the baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy. - Joyce

Are you getting out of the reading what you expected? If so, what are you getting out of it? If not, what had you hoped for and what are you getting instead?

Digging in:

1. After Stephen is stoned, the church is persecuted and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 8;1). Is there any upside to this tragedy? What are other examples from your New Testament reading where adversity leads to comparable consequences?

Do you feel that your reading has more thoroughly equipped you for your service for the Lord?

Books you'll encounter this week:

Hebrews - In this letter to the Hebrews, Christ is explained against the backdrop of the Old Testament. The author of this letter is unknown.

James - James is a half-brother of Jesus. His message here is to submit to God in humility. This book is a call to action, with James asserting a person is justified by what he does and not faith alone.

1 Peter - The apostle Peter writes on being holy, submitting to others and living for God.

2 Peter - Peter reminds Christians that he writes as a witness of Christ's life and he encourages all to actively develop a number of Christian qualities as byproducts of our faith.

1 John - Echoing Peter, the apostle John proclaims that he writes as one who witnessed Christ's life. John encourages readers to walk in the light, love one another and fear not, because perfect love drives out fear.

2 John- The Spostle tells readers to love one another, but to be wary of those who do not bring the teaching of Christ.

3 John- John encourages his friend Gaius to walk in truth and protect himself from evil.

Jude - A half brother of Jesus, Jude calls on believers to build themselves p and persevere in the faith. (I love verse 22 KJV And of some have compassion, making a difference - compassion, nothing like it.)

Revelation - The Apostle John's apocalyptic vision is a fantastic end to an extraordinary journey through the Bible. Like the rest of the Bible, reading Revelation once is a good start, but further reading and study are necessary to begin grasping its complex and layered message.

WOW - whahoooo... celebrating the completion of our journey. I have a few final things:

How did this impact your life?

Will you recommend that others do it?

If you haven't finished reading yet, do you plan on finishing?

Is there something you are chaning in your life as a result of reading all of the Bible?

What is next for you? Do you have questions for further study? Take a moment and jot down some things that are next for you. Also, you'll find "Next Steps" suggestions at www.biblein90days.org check them out.

Click here to Listen to the Bible as you read it.

This Weeks Study Guide: Week 13: John There is good stuff here, don’t pass this by!

Here is the audio lesson . (You’ll need to log in!)

Please listen the lessons. I have the dvd’s but can’t post them here…copyright rules. We can discuss what you heard here as well. Listen while you cook, clean or are just taking time to enjoy this journey. I hope you’ll take advantage of this free resource. Listen towards the end of the 7 day time frame, as THIS would be what we would be watching/discussing if we were to be meeting weekly.

If you are seeing this for the first time, we started on June 1st, but you can start right now, just go to Session 1 and begin. Here is the main information page as well.


As of this writing, I'm not going to finish in 90 days. But I will finish, as I do not give up so easily. I have notes scribbled all over the place and will go back and get them together and place them in the comment section of each of the sessions.

I will also be reading the study guides and commenting on them as well - so check back often - especially the comment section and see if there has been anything new added.

Thank you for joining me on this wonderful journey throught the Bible. I hope your heart has been touched by it. I hope you'll start again, as each time you journey through the Bible - the journey is different. That is the coolest thing of all. You get something wonderfully different each time you read.

{{HUGS}} yall

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Session 12 - The Bible in 90 Days

Can you believe how close to the end of the Bible we are? It has been a fun time of learning, reading and just grounding our faith. I hope these studies has helped you see things in a different way, that you've had several "ah - ha" moments and that your desire to continue to dig deeper into God's word will grow.

This week's reading schedule:

  • Day 78 Acts 6:8 - Acts 16:37

  • Day 79 Acts 16:38 - Acts 28:16

  • Day 80 Acts 28:17 - Romans 14:23

  • Day 81 Romans 15:1 - 1 Corinthians 14:40

  • Day 82 1 Corinthians 15:1 - Galatians 3:25

  • Day 83 Galatians 3:26 - Colossians 4:18

  • Day 84 1 Thessalonians 1:1 - Philemon vs 25

Faith is a funny thing. For many of us, it can seem like it changes a lot. One minute our faith seems unsakable and we feel 100 % certain about God, Christ or the Holy Spirit. But, if we are completely honest withourselves, many of us will admit that every once in a while there's this lingering question mark in the back of our minds.

As we read the Gospels, faith is a core issue that gets a lot of attention. In the Gospel accounts we meet various people who could be plotted in a wide range on the Faith-O-Meter. (The Meter being - Perfect Faith; Big Faith; Middle Faith; Little Faith; No Faith)

1. Based on Matthew 14:25-31 & Matthew 26:69-75, where do you think Peter should be plotted on the Faith Meter?

2. Can you think of some individuals in the Gospels who deomnstrated greater faith than Peter? Who were they? Where should they be plotted on the Faith meter?

3. Has Peter's faith changed by the time he addresses a crowd of Jews in Acts 2:22-24? If so, Why? Where would you place Peter on the Faith Meter now?

4. In general, what happens to the faith of the disciples after Jesus' resurrection?

5. What does Matthew 9;29-30 suggest about the benefits of Faith? Does one's degree of faith seem to be important?

6. Discuss Matthew 17:19-20. What does it tell you about faith.

7. What does Matthew 13:58 tell us about the consequesnce of a lack of faith during Jesus' ministry? What does this suggest about the relationship between faith and God's use of his power to, say, move mountains.

8. Where would you place YOUR faith on this faith meter?

9. How would you apply Jesus's statements in Matthew 21:21-22 to the "mountains" in your life? Based on your reading to date, is there a qualification to the promise in verse 22? If so, what is it? how do you or could you apply this in your everyday living?

10. For a moment, try to imagine setting aside all of your doubts and limitations. What would you do if you had perfect faith?

Books you'll encounter this week:

Romans - The first of Paul's Epistles, this is a letter from the apostle Paul to the early church in Rome. In it, he covers several foundational themes such as faith, life in the Spirit and God's acceptance.

1 Corinthians - Paul appeals to the church in Corinth to avoid division by following Christ rather than competing disciples. He then describes what it means to be followers of Christ and encourages people to give themselves always to the work of the Lord.

2 Corinthians - In a second letter to the church at Corinth, probably written within a year of 1 Corinthians, Paul is replying to an evidently chilly reception by the Corinthians to his previous letter.

Galatians - In this letter to the church in Galatia, Paul establishes his authority before warning the Galatian to accept no other gospel than the gospel of Christ.

Ephesians - Writing to the church in Ephesus, Paul focuses on unity in Christ and living as children of God.

Philippians - Paul core message to the church in Philippi is to imitate Christ's humility.

Colossians - Paul writes to the church in Colosse regarding rules for holy living.

1 Thessalonians - Following a positive report from Timothy about the church of the Thessalonians, Paul writes to encourage them to continue strong in their faith.

2 Thessalonians - Writing soon after the first letter, Paul reiterates that the Thessalonians should stand firm and not be alarmed by false prophecies.

1 Timothy - Paul writes to his protege Timothy to instruct him in his leadership while in Ephesus.

2 Timothy - Paul encourages Timothy to preach the Word, since all Scripture is God-Breathed and prepares Christians to be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Titus - Writing to another young disciple, Paul gives him qualifications for ordaining church elders and instructions on what must be taught to a variety of groups.

Philemon - In this brief letter to his friend Philemon, Paul asks him to free his slave Onesimus and charge anything Onesimus owes Philemon to Paul.

Click here to Listen to the Bible as you read it.

This Weeks Study Guide. Week 12: Paul There is good stuff here, don’t pass this by!

Here is the audio lesson . (You’ll need to log in!)

Please listen the lessons. I have the dvd’s but can’t post them here…copyright rules. We can discuss what you heard here as well. Listen while you cook, clean or are just taking time to enjoy this journey. I hope you’ll take advantage of this free resource. Listen towards the end of the 7 day time frame, as THIS would be what we would be watching/discussing if we were to be meeting weekly.

If you are seeing this for the first time, we started on June 1st, but you can start right now, just go to Session 1 and begin. Here is the main information page as well.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Session 11 - The Bible in 90 Days

Celebrating the fact that we are leaving the Old Testament and now entering the New Testament. We are making such great progress! I'm glad to be on this journey with you.

This week's reading schedule:

  • Day 71 Matthew 26:57 - Mark 9:13

  • Day 72 Mark 9:14 - Luke 1:80

  • Day 73 Luke 2:1 - Luke 9:62

  • Day 74 Luke 10:1 - luke 20:19

  • Day 75 Luke 20:20 - John 5:47

  • Day 76 John 6:1 - John 15:17

  • Day 77 John 15:18 - Acts 6:7

Before we move completely out of the Old Testament, let's consider some "Minor" Prophets.

In the next 5 statements, there are 5 errors. Can you list and correct them?

  1. God instructs Obadiah to marry Gomer, a woman God knows will be unfaithful.

  2. Jonah is upset when he's swallowed by a big fish, but afterward he still doesn't carry out God's directive to prophesy to the Ninevites.

  3. The book of Habakkuk has nothing in common with the book of Job.

  4. Haggai 1:5-11 suggests that God doesn't react to the actioins of people.

  5. Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament contained many warnings. Have there been friends or loved ones in your life that have warn you about things but you've ignored it? Was there any possibility that this was God's way of getting your attention?

In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches about giving in secret. Have you given in secret during the past year? Spend a moment silently considering something you might secretly give in the near future.

Books you'll encounter this week:

Mark - The shortest of the four Gospels, Mark focuses on the ministry of Christ, beginning with his baptism by John the Baptist and ending with his resurrection.

Luke - Luke was a Gentile physician who traveled as a missionary with the Apostle Paul. He also wrote the book of Acts. In this Gospel, Luke provides "an orderly account" of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, highlighting Jesus relationship with many different kinds of people and emphasizing that Jesus came for all people, not just the Jews.

John - Harkening back to Genesis, the book of John Asserts, "In the Beginning was the Word and the word was with God and the Word was God" John portrays Jesus as the Son of God.

Acts - Written by Luke, Acts describes the coming of the Holy Spirit, the forming and persecution of the early church, the conversion and ministry of Paul, and the miraculous spread of Christianity.

Click here to Listen to the Bible as you read it.

This Weeks Study Guide. Week 11: Jesus There is good stuff here, don’t pass this by!

Here is the audio lesson . (You’ll need to log in!)

Please listen the lessons. I have the dvd’s but can’t post them here…copyright rules. We can discuss what you heard here as well. Listen while you cook, clean or are just taking time to enjoy this journey. I hope you’ll take advantage of this free resource. Listen towards the end of the 7 day time frame, as THIS would be what we would be watching/discussing if we were to be meeting weekly.

If you are seeing this for the first time, we started on June 1st, but you can start right now, just go to Session 1 and begin. Here is the main information page as well.
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