This Week’s Challenge Is To Praise God

Are you up for a challenge?

This week’s challenge is to praise God.
Not just thank him,
but PRAISE him.

There’s a difference
between thanking God
and praising God.

We thank him for
what he does
or provides us.

We praise him for
Who He Is.

The smallest of children
can think of endless things to thank God for –
especially if they are trying to avoid chores or bedtime.

A preschooler will thank God for
mommy and daddy,
grandma and grandpa,
trampolines and triangles,
birds and bugs,
wallpaper and toilet paper,
and every single toy they own.

The list will go on until
whomever is listening to the child calls a halt.

You and I thank God for
our families,
our finances and
our friends.

We thank him for
our health and
our homes.

Our list could go on indefinitely.

Being thankful keeps us focused
on what we have
instead of what we don’t.

It wards off discontentment
and a bad case of the gimme’s.

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What’s Unique About You?

  Under the odd but true category,
I wonder,
What’s unique about you?

I had every intention of taking down my
Christmas tree before Easter …
I really did!
but …
it’s still up …
and lit.

Yup, up and lit.

And, yes, I know it’s weird.

I’m always the last one on the block
to dismantle the tree,
but we had such a mild winter this year,
I just kept thinking that I would have more snowy landscapes to enjoy
from my front window as I sipped warm beverages,
listening to Christmas music in the glow of my Christmas tree.

December gave way to January, and I thought,
Whatever, just one more week and I’ll take it down.

But I never did take it down!

We laughed about
having it up on Valentine’s Day.

By St. Patrick’s Day,
I was used to it.

When the kid’s came over for Easter and said,
“Mom, the neighbors are going to think you’re nuts,”
I thought, It might be time,
but I was too busy breaking my
Lenten television fast to deal with it.

(Easter Sunday with Mr. 4-Ever)

So, here we are,
the week after Easter
and my tree is still up.

And you know what?
I’m owning it.

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Have you been to the Creation Museum?

 Girls,
have you ever been to the
Creation Museum
in Petersburg, KY?

Mr. 4-Ever and I just went for the first time.
It was awesome!

Narrated exhibits
filled with life size replicas of
dinosaurs and people,
the Creation Museum brings
the story of creation,
the fall of man in the Garden of Eden,
the building of the arc,
and what happened
during and after the flood,
into clear focus.

There’s a planetarium featuring
our Created Cosmos and
Aliens: Fact or Fiction.
There is a special effects theatre
that shows films of interest
about God and his creation.
There are live presentations
from creation experts
several times a day.

Outside, there are zip lines,
botanical gardens,
a petting zoo,
camel rides and
nature walks.

I know this sounds like an advertisement
for the Creation Museum,
but I have to tell you what I saw
so you’ll understand what I learned.

Two things.

1.

We are significant to God,
worthy of his attention
and of utmost interest to him.

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3 Things Your Husband Really Wants You to Know

As someone who has
plenty of experience
with husband(s),
I assure you …

This is what your husband wants you to know.

If you don’t know my story of being
widowed twice,
you can read it here.

1.

Your husband wants you to be
committed to him.
Not just the marriage, to him!

It’s not enough to just avoid divorce.

Marriage isn’t 50-50.

Divorce is 50-50.

Marriage takes an ALL IN,
ALL THE TIME commitment.

You won’t believe how I learned this lesson!
Let me save you the humiliation.
You can read about it here.

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5 Fool Proof Tips to Survive a Road Trip

Girlfriend,
if you’re planning a
big road trip,
I’ve got 5
fool proof survival tips for you!

Mr. 4-Ever and I just got home
from a 3,900 mile road trip
to FL and GA.

We criss-crossed the south
speaking at multiple events.

It was awesome!
God showed up in women’s lives magnificently.
Women came to Jesus.
They laid down shame.
They forgave themselves for not being perfect.

Can you say hallelujah?

Now let me tell you
about the road trip.

I thought 3,900 miles in the car
would be a piece of cake.
We’re on the road a lot already.
We’re together 23.5/7 anyway,
(I go potty alone)
how much different could it be?

Ha!
Being in the same OFFICE space
is A LOT different
than being
IN. THE. CAR.
IN. THE. HOTEL.
TOGETHER.
EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT.
on a trip.

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Grumbler’s Anonymous Anyone?

Do you have anyone in your life
that’s a handful?
Someone who provokes
you to complaining
and grumbling?

Yeah, me, too.

One of my fathers-in-law was
a Golden Gloves boxing champion
for the Army during WWII.

After leaving the Army,
he joined the police force in
Milwaukee, WI. 

 

He rode motorcycles year-round
in the freezing Milwaukee, WI winters.
“Heck, yes, (except he didn’t say heck) it was cold.
We’d wrap our legs with newspaper
as insulation under our uniforms.

He was a strong man
with strong opinions
and not much of a filter
if you know what I mean.

At least, his sweet wife buffered
his coarse talk
and old-fashioned opinions
with graceful scoldings and smiles.

Then . . . his wife died. 

Suddenly,
I became the primary caregiver
for that cantankerous man! 

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God Still Speaks – Are You Listening?

Do you ever wonder
if God still speaks
to his people?

Let me assure you that He does.

Think about it.

Has a Scripture ever leapt off the page?
A passage you’ve read many times,
but suddenly,
it’s vibrant and significant
to your current situation.

Has a song on the radio
or in church brought you to tears
repenting something bitter,
or remembering something sweet?

Has the pastor delivered a sermon
and it seemed like he or she was
reading your mail?

Has a friend or stranger provided
a kind word or admonition
precisely for the season of life you’re in?

That was probably God
speaking to you,
comforting you,
reminding you.

Sometimes God speaks in a gentle whisper –
like a thought that runs across
the backyard of your brain.

When I make time to listen for Him,
I often get a thought that is
too wonderful to be my own.

Sometimes I get a picture of something
that is meaningful to me.

Other times,
God speaks with a gentle correction.

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Time Is Too Short Not To Follow Your Dream

Time Is Too Short
Not To
Follow Your Dreams

 

Last week,
one of the founding members of 

my home group died.

Perhaps you remember reading about him?

This man…
Mid-Fifties.
Picture of health.
Strong.
Hard working.
Lover of Jesus.
Lover of people.
Everybody’s best friend.

BAM!
Heart attack.
Gone.

Girls, I gotta tell you,
it rattled me.

I don’t presume to know what God is up to here.
That might be another blog.

What struck me was this.
John was about 5 years younger than me.

What if I had died 5 years ago?
What would have gone undone?

I wouldn’t have seen Jake graduate
from college as a Mechanical Engineer.
I would have missed Eli and Kym’s wedding.

Motivational speakers
tell you to visualize the future
as an incentive to propel yourself
into your destiny.

Isn’t it just as important
to review the past

to see what you
would have missed?

Five years ago,
I was a full-time mom and wife.
I volunteered to teach Bible Study at my little church.
I was working part-time at a dental office.

No regrets
about that season of my life.

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Seeing God’s Best In Every Situation

 

I try to see God’s best in every situation,
but when I walked into
the lobby of our hotel … 

I just knew this stay
was going to be an adventure. 

Mr. 4-Ever often gets us great hotels at low prices,
but every once in a while
we miss out on the
Swanky Suites
and end up at
Bob’s Sleep Palace.

Such was the case this trip.

Every surface in sight was filthy.
The smell of antiseptic cleaner in the lobby
warned of impending germs…
Or bugs …
Or worse.

Our room smelled like an ashtray.
A bare wire lay exposed in one of the outlets.
The drains in the sink and tub weren’t just slow,
they became standing basins of yucky water.

The handle to the hot water faucet came off in Mr. 4-Ever’s hand!

The worst part?   

We’d booked through “Hotel Roulette”
(a non-refundable online service)
and were stuck.

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Do You Expect Good Things From God?

 

Do you expect good things from God
or do you settle for the mundane
when God offers the miraculous?

 Mr. 4-Ever and I were driving home 
from an event on a
hot and sunny day.
We’d been on the road for hours
and I just had to have
a break … and a chocolate malt.

A jumbo cup of
thick, chocolatey deliciousness.

I tried to talk myself out of it
but the hankering would not go away.

Finally, I asked Mr. 4-Ever
to be on the lookout for ice cream.

At the next exit,
we followed the signs to McDonald’s.

Mind you, McDonald’s will do,
but I had something a little different in mind.

I wanted hand scooped ice-cream
and lots of malt powder mixed
with whole milk – blended together till
it was a cold, smooth concoction
fresh from the whir of a malt maker.

Just as we saw the golden arches,
I spied an ice cream stand
on the other side of the road.

“Can we go there instead?”
I asked Mr. 4-Ever excitedly.

He was already in McDonald’s mode,
drive-through quick,
inexpensive and satisfactory.

“No, let’s just stick with McDonald’s,”
was his disappointing reply.

“Ok,” I drooped,
“I have to use the ladies room anyway.
I’ll go in and get the shake.”

At the counter,
I saw a big “OUT OF ORDER” sign
on the machine that oozes milk shakes.
I was practically giddy as I asked,
“Is your milk shake machine working?”

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