Archives for May 2011

"Feather Your Nest" Giveaway Winner — Plus Home Improvement for All!

Somebody’s nest just got a little boost. That’s right—we’ve got a winner for the “Feather Your Nest” Giveaway! The Pier 1 gift card goes to Nanette (Mom Never Stops)!! Congratulations, Nanette! Have fun feathering your nest with a little something from Pier 1!

I could tell from the comments left on the giveaway post that many of you have some sort of home improvement on your minds. I can’t make all of those wishes come true (darn!), but instead, I’d like to offer you some tips for home improvement straight from the Word of God. Nobody knows how to feather a nest better than our Creator Himself, right?

So let’s try applying the following scriptures to our lives. If we follow their wisdom, we’ll soon spruce up our homes—and our hearts—from the inside out. See if you agree:

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

“…always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15b

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I don’t know about you, but I see some things I could work on. I know this is just a start, though. What would you add?

*Flickr photo by Fran Ulloa, Creative Commons License

*It’s not too late to receive the current issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Checking Levels

Keeping an eye on levels is important business. Checking fluid levels in our vehicles is especially important. Just try not doing it and see what happens. Sooner or later we’ll pay for our negligence.

Because my hubby has always taken care of car maintenance issues, I have to admit the only fluid level I keep an eye on is the gas. I don’t want to be stranded on the side of the road and have to go through the humiliation and hassle of trying to find gas for my car. And in today’s world, it’s just too dangerous to risk being easy pickings for some unsavory character who might happen along.

Don keeps an eye on the other levels in our car, though. Not only does he make sure we get regular oil changes, he checks other fluid levels before I take off on out-of-town trips. He doesn’t want me to have unexpected trouble because of low oil, antifreeze, or transmission fluids—and neither do I! I’m thankful he’s watching out for me. Without him, I’d have to get educated on car maintenance in a hurry or pay the price through some painful and likely expensive lessons.

Keeping levels in an appropriate range is vital in other areas of our lives as well. That’s why the doctor orders blood tests and makes us get on the scale when we go to see him for our annual check-ups. That’s why others test our drinking water, soil, and air quality. And let’s not forget the levels of expertise that must be met to qualify for most jobs. When you think about it, levels are important in almost everything.

What about our spiritual lives? Any levels there that need to be examined periodically? Sure. If we fail to feed on the Word of God or neglect our time with Him in prayer, we’ll soon find ourselves spiritually parched or feeling distanced from Him. Our hearts may even grow hard.

What about the level of love in our lives? What’s the motive behind our worship, our confession of sin, and our acts of service? Another level to keep an eye on is the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. How well are these qualities being displayed in our lives?

Let’s not neglect to keep an eye on our levels—spiritual levels included. We don’t want to find ourselves sidelined or distanced from our heavenly Father. We don’t want to be easy pickings for our unsavory Enemy. Let’s not find ourselves paying for our negligence. Let’s stay watchful. Let’s check our levels.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

*Flickr photo by Pat Hawks, Creative Commons License

*The current issue of Life Notes, my inspirational quarterly newsletter, came out this week, and it’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Be sure to enter the “Feather Your Nest” Giveaway! Deadline is noon Sunday.

It’s May — Time to Celebrate!

Spring 2012 056Ready or not, May is here, and it’s time to get your celebrate on. Just think about it. For most people, May packs quite a punch with all its opportunities—and obligations—to celebrate one thing or another.

Right out of the gate comes May Day, but does anyone still observe it? I hope so. It would be a shame for that sweet tradition to fall by the wayside altogether. What fun to find a basket or bouquet of flowers left on your doorstep by some mysterious gift-giver. And what fun to be the one who surprises someone else!

Next comes Mother’s Day, huge in scope as our entire nation acknowledges it in one way or another. Cards, gifts, flowers, church, eating out, family gatherings. Any and all of these happen on Mother’s Day.

At the end of the month during Memorial Weekend, most of us kick the summer off with some kind of fun, but life is certainly not quiet between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. Be sure to make room for all the graduations and weddings that will take place. And don’t forget birthdays that still beg celebration and also the anniversaries that roll around because of all those May weddings from preceding years.

Anyone tired yet? But it’s a good tired, isn’t it, when we’re celebrating the special events of people we love with people we love. We just need to plan for it—make room in our schedules by letting a few things slide so we can take the pressure off and enjoy our various celebrations.

And while we’re busy partying with family and friends, let’s not forget to celebrate our Creator and the beauty of the world He’s given us. From the vibrant splashes of spring flowers to the ripe, red lusciousness of a strawberry fresh from the patch, we have plenty of reasons to celebrate and praise our awesome God. May the month of May in all its glory and with all its celebrations point us to Him!

“Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.” Psalm 72:19

What are you celebrating this May? I’d love to hear about it!

*Life Notes, my inspirational quarterly newsletter, comes out this week. If you don’t already receive it, sign-up is free and to the right!

*And don’t forget to throw your name in the hat for the “Feather Your Nest” Giveaway!

*My photo