Merry Christmas!!!

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Love watching my nieces and nephew open their stockings. I hope you have a wonderful day as we celebrate the miracle of Christmas!!!

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”

– Isaiah 9:6

Simple Organizing Tips

 

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Although it would be great to have Mary Poppins around to help out, these simple tips can go a long way toward getting and staying organized!

  • Use an inbox for incoming papers. If necessary, use one that divides into bills, coupons, records, etc. Each day, all the mail and other papers requiring attention should go there until you are able to go through them.
  • For papers you need to keep, use a file bin with alphabetized tabbed dividers that identify the various categories of papers you have (medical, financial, etc.). I’ve found it easier to use only left-sided tabs so that adding new file categories is simple.
  • Each time you come home, check your car to see that you bring in any trash, papers and other items that need to come inside. That way, your car is always ready for the next trip!
  • Designate specific places for items, especially those you need everyday. This will drastically cut down on time spent looking for these things. Where will you put your keys when you get home? Where will items that you need to take with you when you leave the house go? A place for everything and everything in its place!
  • Keep things where you use them as much as possible. You’re more likely to accomplish your tasks and to put items away when the process is as convenient as possible.

Psalm 34

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”

“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.”

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.”

“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

“O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.”

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”

“The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”

Mediterranean Vegetable Salad

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Here’s a recipe for those who, like me, want to eat more vegetables but don’t always find them appealing. This side dish is super easy to make – yay! – and can go with many different meals. Plus, I think it’s quite tasty. So go on, give it a try!

Ingredients

About 4 cups vegetables, chopped
(I used grape tomatoes, broccoli/carrot slaw, cucumber, bell pepper and red onion)
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Umm…combine and serve. Easy!

Casting Out Beams

“Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.” – Luke 6:42

The Lord has recently been showing me areas where I am quick to think harshly about someone else for something that I am guilty of myself. It’s hypocrisy and it’s ugly. If I’m to be of any benefit to others, one of the most important things I must do is examine my own heart and life to see where I have ‘beams’ that need to go – attitudes and actions that are wrong. And praise God that He has the power to change me!

Daily Routine

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of success is found in your daily routine.”

                                                                                                                                – John C. Maxwell

Love the Lord

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
– Mark 12:30

Jesus said this is the first commandment. But how often is it our top priority? It’s so easy to put our heart and mind and strength into other things rather than seeking to love God well. But I find the greatest satisfaction when I do invest in my relationship with Him. What does that look like? Well, I think it looks similar to how I would invest in my marriage relationship if I had a husband.

If I had a husband and sought to love him well, he would be in my thoughts during the day more than anyone else. I would show him the utmost respect, honor and appreciation. I would be honest with him and would trust him. I would always be excited to talk with him, to tell him about my day, to seek his thoughts on things, to just enjoy being with him, and of course to laugh with him! I would tell him all the time how much I love him, how thankful I am that he’s mine. I would be eager to do whatever was needed to serve him and to bless him. It would be my goal to put a smile on his face every day and to make him feel like the most blessed man on the planet to have chosen me.

Since God chose marriage as one of the greatest pictures of our relationship with Him, it seems that ways we can love our spouse well parallel how we can love God well. This type of relationship with God may seem implausible, but the more I get to know Him, the more I fall in love with Him. And the more this type of relationship develops between us because He is a wonderful Heavenly Bridegroom! I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and I look forward to spending eternity with Him!

Little Foxes

Song of Solomon 2:15 says “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”

This is what God has been bringing my attention to lately – all the ‘little foxes’ of compromise and disobedience that I’ve been ignoring. Are they things God has shown me before and convicted me of before? I’m sorry to say, the answer is yes. But back when He nudged my heart, I chose not to listen. I dismissed that gentle conviction, justifying my actions and attitudes and casually moving on. These things weren’t important to me. I didn’t want to yield these things, so I was unwilling to listen when God told me they were important to Him.

But it’s the areas that I want to dismiss as insignificant that are keeping me from an abundant life. Small areas of stubbornness, of dishonesty, of laziness, of bitterness. It’s so tempting to justify these things and ignore them. But if we compromise in little areas, it’s only a matter of time before we do it in bigger areas. David started out compromising by staying home when men go to war. No big deal, right? But that ‘small’ thing led to him committing adultery and murder.  May we heed this warning!

Matthew 25:21 says: “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” That’s what I want God to say to me, and that means I need to be faithful and obedient in the little things. He’s given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” if we will only refuse to settle for less!