Sunday, September 18, 2011


Everyone has a secret…

This makes my heart smile!

I love Post Secrets. Like the secrets we hide in our hearts, there are good ones, bad ones and everything in between. If you have never heard of Post Secrets, this site is a collection of post cards that people have mailed in, releasing their secrets. This site is updated with new secrets weekly. Many of them make me smile – as not all secrets are bad. Then there are those that make me think or wonder. But then you have some that just break your heart.

Tonight, one secret did just that, broke my heart.

Trust me - YOU matter!

When I read the secret above, I wanted to reach out and wrap my arms around this person and whisper to their heart:

YOU are not useless…YOU matter

There are so many people that struggle with this. One thing I’ve noticed with nearly everyone of them is that they truly matter a lot. The trouble is that the people they are around are not the squishy hugs, you matter to me kind of emotional people. If they were, the person who sent in this secret and those that feel this way would know beyond a doubt that they truly do matter. Some people simply struggle with this just because their heart is fighting a battle that many of us can’t even begin to imagine.

What can we learn from this secret?

  • The people we are around MATTER and need to know it! Tell them. Do not assume they know it.
  • Everyone wants and needs to matter. We all do. We need to make a difference. Why else do little toddlers hand little yellow ”weeds” to us and we validate that?
  • Many feel useless needlessly. It doesn’t cost us a single cent to hug someone important to us and tell them that they matter.
  • Something so small, is actually HUGE in our lives. Amazing how far a little affirmation goes isn’t it?
  • The negative things we hear stay with us far longer than the positive. Keep reinforcing the positive.
  • The old rhyme we all said as a child is a lie – Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Words not only hurt us, but often times break us. Choose them wisely.
  • Put it in writing! That card or letter letting someone know that they made a difference in you will likely be read and re-read time and time again.
  • When you see someone or leave someone give those big squishy hugs! They matter too. Don’t be in a hurry to let go quickly. Enjoy the moment!
  • When our hearts are screaming in pain, our minds simply do not remember the difference that we’ve made. Keep pictures or something that will jog our memory.
  • If you make someone smile….at anytime EVER – you are NOT useless. Period! Times are tough, things are hard – smiles are priceless.
  • Fearlessly be YOURSELF! We need you to be you – not who you think we want you to be. Y O U – because you are amazing!
There is so much more that can be said here.
I invite you to do a few things.
  1. Look around. Have you told those that matter to you, that they matter?
  2. Take stock in your own heart….do you KNOW that you matter and are NOT useless? YOU matter!
  3. What would you tell someone that feels like they are useless. Please encourage others and share your thoughts in the comments below.
*whispering to your heart* You matter! YOU are making a difference!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sticky Jesus

Does living your faith out loud and online seem like an impossible thing? Think again! Social media has given Christians a wonderful way to expand their ministry into places that I wouldn’t have even thought possible years ago. Many people wonder if it’s worth the time, if it’s all its hyped up to be and should they bother.

I say YES!

You aren’t sure where to start? Then Sticky Jesus is the book for you. Authors, Tami Heim and Toni Birdsong met online and have burst onto the scene with helps, tricks and continued support for those looking to expand their ministry. There are helps via uploads and downloads at the end of each chapter and then the true stories of how social media has made a huge impact in the lives of so many will be refreshing to your soul.

Sticky Jesus will:

  • Explore how Christ honored and built relationships and how you can do the same online.
  • Give you a practical understanding of the marketing-driven culture online.
  • Point to the Holy Spirit as your Power Source.
  • Provide personal stories that show God moving and transforming lives through social networking channels.
  • Summarize each file with a download and a prayer that are 100 percent retweetable.
  • Alert you to the danger zones.
  • Demystify the world of social networking with easy instruction on getting started on Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and content gathering (RSS).
  • Provide ongoing resources to help you grow beyond this book at
  • Include a glossary in the back of the book to help you along the way

I love living my Faith out loud and am thankful for the heart of these ladies. I encourage you to get a copy and see how your reach can be increased, how you can be a beacon for the Lord online and get to know some wonderful people along the way.

Here is a link to purchasing the book. Let me know if you get it and what your thoughts are.

A few of my favorite blog posts from their site:

50 Promises God Gives you as you step into the digital world

100 Three Word Power Posts

Make sure you follow Tami & Toni and @stickyJesus on twitter for more insite, encouragement and ways to live your faith OUTLOUD.

Tami and Toni inspire me with each new post, they help so many and I’m honored to call them my friends. Social media has made the world a little smaller and I’m thankful for the friends that I have made from all over the world that I would have never met without social media.

Tell me how you’d like to reach more people and the issues you may be facing.

What are your doubts, fears and concerns about Social Media and the online world.

Do you find it all a bit overwhelming?

I was given a free copy of Sticky Jesus by these generous hearts, but will be purchasing a copy to give away! I’m not required to give a positive review

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Favorite Twitter Helps

Anyone that truly knows me, knows I love twitter. I love the reach it has given me, I love the friends that I’ve made (yes, I said friends and yes…I do love them) and I love the encouragement that I receive there daily. I love it.

I am on all the other Social Networks and you can use those buttons over on the sidebar to hit me up there, but if you really want to interact with me online, it will be better via twitter. If you Tweet me, I’ll always reply….at some point.

So, what does a Non-Techy gal use to get the most from Twitter? I’m glad you asked. :) I’ll share with you my favorite Twitter Helps. These are in random order with the exception of the first one!

By the way, when you are experimenting with various Twitter helps, may I suggest that you try them for a few weeks and not just for a few days. Tweet out questions about what you are using if you are just not getting the hang of it. There are many people that will help you by answering your questions.

By Far the best thing for Twitter

  • TweetDeck – This is a Twitter must! You can have your @’s your dm’s and several columns all on ONE screen. No flipping back and forth! When you are starting out, this is an easy way to categorize people into groups that appeal to you. You can shorten links right from this page, send pictures, videos and even send posts Facebook, LinkedIn and others.

You can RT and even see the RT’s done from the web. I hope that one day Twitter will fix that…but for now, TweetDeck allows me to tell those people that RT from the web thank you. If I were to only use the web, I would never know they Re-Tweeted one of my posts.

You need to check out the various things TweetDeck can do. I have it on my itouch and I also use it on Google Chrome. The real time update is amazing (no refreshing screens) when I’m participating in various Twitter chats or my absolute favorite… the Online LIVE Worship Service on Twitter… #Tworship. (Click the link to see how to participate with us each week night.) I love the automation feature – I can schedule the songs and Invite people to JOYn us.

The only negative thing for me with TweetDeck is that the larger my following gets, the more it will lock up. It is actually better than it use to be, so I can tell improvements are being made. If I were limited to one way to participate on Twitter only…it would be with TweetDeck. Also, I can’t seem to get it to schedule to my facebook, but will keep working at that. One of my favorite IT Heroes says “You have a PICNIC problem – Problem In Chair, Not In Computer” and usually, he is correct.

  • UberSocial – I have a Blackberry and this is the best app I’ve seen. This makes Tweeting on the go super easy peasy. I need that. I love that I can follow people, block people, RT and add in my own comments. I can DM and even Reply All if I’m tweeted in a group. I love the Uberbar! I have several people that are “Tabs” at the top that I can easily pull up their Tweets for the day and RT out what I love. There are so many more functions to UberSocial! Check it out for yourself! I’m glad to see there is an UberSocial for the iPhone and Droid!
  • HootSuite – I love that I can schedule my #nuggetsofJOY to my Twitter account as well as my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. It has a shortner and is very easy to use.
  • SocialOomph – Many features that I love like scheduling, replying and you can tie your blog here. I don’t, but you can. It is very user friendly.
  • iTwitter – I don’t know if that is the proper name or not, but I love using this one on my iTouch. It’s from iTunes, easy to navigate, reply, RT. Love all the features.
Everything that I’ve mentioned so far is FREE for you to download and try.

Many have asked me how I’ve grown my Twitter account. I’ll tell you. Every day, I would spend about 15 minutes following the people that I was on lists with. If you listed me on a list, I would assume that the others you listed were in some way “like” me, so it made sense to follow them too. People would follow back. I did this for 2 years! Saturday mornings, when I had more time, I’d spend a little more time and grew my account up to 19,000 followers. I never would have imagined that I could be spreading joy to a thousand people, much less 19k. This year, a wonderful friend of mine that just loves super squishy hugs, gave me an awesome gift. Tweet Adder. Many people are skeptical of purchasing this but I have to tell you, it is worth the one time fee of $55.00 for One Profile. You can have up to 5 Profiles for $74.00, 10 Profiles for $110.00 and Unlimited Profiles for $188.00. (Many businesses use the multiple profiles.) This has been the best gift ever.
Tweet Adder will let you follow those that follow a certain person, or by lists, or hashtags or even key words in a profile. If you wanted to follow all of the coffee lovers in the world, you can do so. It does so much more than this! Use the link I provided and check them out. Using Tweet Adder, I can focus on doing what I do best – and that is Spreading Joy and encouraging those that need it.

May I caution you though?

If you simply “grow” your account using Tweet Adder but never interact with those that you follow, you’ll miss out on some amazing friendships, wonderful laughs and some good times. Think about it. People like Oprah and others “stars” that only follow 20 people are missing out on some pretty cool friendships from all over the world. I noticed that early on and wrote an article about it a few years back. Even though it is a few years old, it still holds true today. Click here to Read about the friendships I made early on.

Lastly, here are some other Twitter Apps You may Enjoy! All Free!
  • Seesmic - Much Like TweetDeck
  • Twello – yellow pages of Twitter
  • Twitter Counter – lets you see your growth at a glance & some cool buttons
  • Nutshell Mail – Cool way to track groups, lists & is delivered to your inbox on your schedule
  • TweetReach – To see the impact of your tweet OR if you use the web, see who has RT’d you and say thank you
  • paper.liThis is an amazing app that collects “links” through the day and puts in a News Paper Format. I have 3 of them and I subscribe to them all so that I can go back and read at my leisure each night. The Spreading Joy Daily, The Praying Peeps Daily and the Praying Peeps2 Daily. The SJ daily collects links from those I follow and usually has about 200 articles or ore. The PP daily collects links from ONLY those on my 2 lists. Awesome stuff!!

This is just a drop in the bucket compared to the things that you can find on Google or Goodsearch. Remember, when you Goodsearch – good search for spreading joy and they will make a donation to us!

To save you some time, here are a few links to a few pages that have hundreds of Twitter helps.

Over 275 items here -

99 items here -

Here are some CUTE & FREE Twitter “Follow Me” Icon Buttons

Also – Do you know Twitter has limits? Yes, they do. Check them out here.

I do have an extra account on twitter, just incase anything were to happen – feel free to follow over there too. @jailedJOY I don’t use it much – but sometimes it’s necessary and sometimes, I just “play” there.

One last thing and probably the most important of all!!!

HAVE FUN…plain and simple.

What do you think?

What are your favorite Twitter Apps?

Talk to me….I want to know!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Demonstrating the Love Of God

Pastor Michael Harrison of The Community Fellowship in Collinsville VA invited me to come and see what was happening in their community for Back2School 2011. I was honored with the invitation and decided to make the trip to see what was going on in his corner of the world. What I saw and experienced was nothing short of amazing.

The entire event was very well laid out, from beginning to end. People came at their designated times, signed in and went to the story area. They were told about Christ and about washing feet/serving and how we show love for each other by serving and helping. The next station was where all the children received free haircuts if they choose to. People from his church, community and others that wanted to help make the day special volunteered to cut hair. Even though it meant standing much of the day, these volunteers were very professional, giving these children great cuts to start their school year off with.

Then the children moved on to received their new shoes and a pair of socks. I had the honor of working in this area. There were about 25 chairs set up for the kids to sit in and we (the workers) sat on the floor in front of them. We removed their shoes, sock and told our runner what size we needed. As we washed their feet, we chatted about what they wanted to be when they grew up and anything else that came up. 3 of the children that I served were enjoying their birthday that day.

I'd LOOOOVE to have a pair of these!!

The best part was when the new shoes came out and their eyes would light up. From girly pink converse, to sky blue and then the one’s that had hope, JOY and love on them. Some of the shoes lit up, some had Speed Racer and the Mach 5 on them, but ALL of them brought mile wide smiles from the kids as well as the parents and grandparents. I was blessed to be able to pray with each and every child that I served. Talk about an honor. Several of the children gave me the biggest hugs and thanked me before leaving. I smiled and said you are welcome and invited them to come and be part of this awesome church, knowing I was just a visitor for a day and that the thanks belonged to a church with a huge heart for others.

They left that area and went on to receive 5 articles of clothes. This clothing area was nothing like I’ve ever seen. They looked neatly pressed. I had the chance to speak with Nancy, who heads up the clothing closet and she told me that 25 precious ladies help keep it neat and in order by volunteering their time each week.

Once the kids received their clothes, they were then able to receive their brand new backpack filled with various school supplies.

I pretty much stayed in the one area from 9:45 am to 5:30pm. My husband worked in various places through the day. They started at 8am and I have no clue when the cleanup ended so that services could take place on Sunday morning.

Washing Feet

I can’t imagine the work that was put into this event through the entire year and invite Pastor Harrison to share in the comments below anything his heart desires.

The ladies I worked alongside of were simply wonderful! Everyone was super nice and had no idea I was from so far away, not that that mattered, as we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

I felt at home there, serving with them and look forward to going back next year and even helping where we can before then.

It’s my honor to support them financially, to be a voice for them and to do what I can to help.

I went there to spread some joy and be a blessing to Pastor Harrison as well as to see how they are making a difference in their community so that maybe one day, my community can reach out to others in the same fashion. I received a wealth of information on making a huge event like this happen as well as back2school supplies for my own upcoming event. Unbelievable!

If you are in the area, I invite you to check them out. If you are on twitter, I invite you to follow @michaelharrison and his church @the_community.

Thank you Pastor Harrison for the invitation and the opportunity to serve your community!

Please visit the following

The Community Fellowship – church link

Pastor Harrison’s Blog

Information on the Dream Center in Collinsville VA

Here is a link to Pastor Harrison’s Summary – in short 938 students came to the event and when you include adults over 2,000 people showed up. Over 400 haircuts were given, and over 230 volunteers helped to ensure this event was the best it could be.

Amazing. Completely Amazing.

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