Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lessons on Praise

Recently, I had the opportunity to become a “Pixel Praiser” on one of my favorite digital scrapbooking websites. Pixel Praisers go through the gallery of scrapbook layouts online and leave happy little comments about the layouts that members have uploaded to the website. I decided to join this group mainly to fuel my digital scrapbooking addiction. Pixel Praisers have full access to a wide variety of free stuff to use in their scrapbooks.
In my quest to do a good job, I have been studying up on effective praise and have learned that whether you are praising adults or children or even praising God a few rules apply.
1. Praise specifically—If you want to develop a world class athlete for the New Orleans Saints, which would be more effective, “Great game!” or “I like the way you coordinated your body movements in that front block tackle.”? Likewise, God wants you to praise Him specifically for how He has blessed you. 2 Chron. 20:21 and Ps. 99:3-4
2. Praise effort not accomplishment—I found this to be strange, but studies show that kids who were praised on their intelligence often refused to attempt anything that was deemed harder that their last success. So, rather than telling a child that he is smart, congratulate him on his success and praise his effort. With God, often we don’t see the whole picture. God wants us to praise him in all things, because we know that all things work for our good. Romans 8:28
3. Praise builds a bridge to relationships—People like to be noticed for their hard work. I am amazed how people respond with just a little note of praise. In the same way, God is a personal God. The Bible tells us that we are the temple of God; that He dwells and walks with us. That is pretty personal, and through opening your heart to praise Him, you will build a closer relationship with Him! 2 Cor. 6:16
4. The more you praise the easier it is to praise—As you spend time praising others, you will find that the attitude of gratitude continues and becomes a habit. God desires our praises continually. Hebrews 13:15
Spend some time this week praising! Praise your family for their efforts. Praise your co-workers for helping you, but most of all praise God for the blessing that He has given you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The water fountain at the office isn’t plugged in to the outlet. We have been in this office building for almost a year now, and the water fountain has never been plugged in to the outlet. I don’t know if the water fountain works if it were plugged in, or if it is unplugged because it doesn’t work at all. Maybe the owners of the office building are saving electricity or maybe the water fountain makes too much noise for the people in the office close to it when it is plugged in. Maybe someone in the offices in our building likes their water lukewarm or maybe the one of the custodians unplugged the water fountain to plug in their vacuum and just forgot to plug back in the water fountain. I like my water cold, so the water fountain has been a mystery to me for many months. I always wonder if I should plug it in to see if it works, but I’m a coward and never do. I just drink lukewarm water and wait for the day when we will be moving into our new offices.
People are like that water fountain. We pass them everyday; they serve us at our favorite restraint or grocery store. They live in our neighborhoods and subdivisions, but do we wonder if their spiritual life is plugged in to the Power Source of God? Do we stop to see if their spiritual life is working or broken. Or are we just cowards and wait to see if they happen to show up to church on Sunday? Our church is great at ministering to people when they come to church, but I want to issue a challenge to “plug in” the people you touch everyday in your life. We don’t have to drink lukewarm water. Maybe I should plug in the water fountain!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Cleaning

It is spring cleaning time! My mom would get the bug to do spring cleaning, and that would always mean we children were on the floor with a bucket of soapy water and a rag cleaning the baseboards. I hated cleaning baseboards!
Spring cleaning would also mean that we would all be sent to clean our rooms. “Don’t come down until it is clean!” Mom would say. She would give us garbage bags to put throw away our trash and then she would want to go through the trash bags to make sure we didn’t throw away anything that we shouldn’t have. As most moms know for an eight year old, clean is a relative term! By eight years old, my brother had figured out that if he just dumped everything on the floor in the trash bag or stuffed it under the bed or in the closet, Mom would be happy and he could go on with life. I, on the other hand, was not so smart! Mom knew that if she just sent me to clean my room, I would go up there and start cleaning but then get sidetracked and start playing. Mom would call up, “Is your room clean?”
“It’s getting there.” I would call back down the stairs. I spent most of my childhood “cleaning my room.” The problem was Mom never taught me how to clean my room or explained the steps to get it cleaned. I’m the type of person that I need a list to keep myself organized, so today I want to give you a list to help with your Spiritual Spring Cleaning.
1. Get healthy/Cleanse your heart—Psalms 51:10—Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit.
2. Deep clean inside and out/Clean out your mouth—Philippians 2:14 –Do everything without complaining or arguing.
3. Take out the garbage/Renew your mind—Romans 12:2- Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
4. Clean out your closet/Repent from hidden sin -Psalm 32:3-5 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"—and you forgave the guilt of my sin
5. Get rid of old baggage/Release unforgiveness and bitterness -Hebrews 12:1 Therefore ... let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress...
6. Let the Son shine in/Involve Jesus in your daily life—1 Corinthians 1:9 God ... is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
7. Learn to laugh and love life! - Psalm 126:2 -Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Well, it is mower season again! I know some folks are reading this and saying, “No, dear, mower season started several weeks ago.” I put it off as long as I could, but the weeds have taken over. I don’t mind mowing as long as:
· The grass isn’t too tall, the terrain is flat,
· The trash, toys and sticks are picked up,
· The mower is running smoothly,.
· There is plenty of gas,
· There are no rocks to be thrown.
· The weather isn’t too hot or humid.
Nope, I don’t mind mowing at all if all of the above conditions are met.
Isn’t that like telling someone about Christ? I don’t mind witnessing as long as:
· They are willing to listen.—Matt. 10:14, Luke 6:22-23
· They don’t ask questions that I can’t answer. Luke 12:12
· They are willing to follow the Roman Road to Salvation and not get off on all these sight-seeing trips. John 14:6
· They don’t want to do a doctrinal comparison of all the different religions. 1 Tim. 2:5
· They don’t bring up my past sins. –Eph 2:5
· They are ready to accept Christ! -1 Cor. 3:8
Sadly, when I was ready to mow Wednesday evening, it had been raining; the mower wouldn’t start; and the yard still had rocks and holes in it. Just like mowing, witnessing needs to be done. We are called to share our faith. The Bible has all the answers to my excuses. Stop making excuses and share Christ with others. Want more information on how to witness? Visit

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.
Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My first mini-kit

Well, I have started designing digi scrapbooking kits. This is my first one and I want to share the mini kit version to my blog readers. The colors were inspired by two of my daughter's favorite outfits. If you like it and would like the mini kit, leave me a comment and I will email you a link. Thanks!

Amazing Grace--My Chains are Gone, I've Been Set Free!

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine
Written by John Newton and Chris Tomlin

I love this old tune and the additional chorus by Chris Tomlin just adds to it.