Rabu, 29 Februari 2012

Dress Up Your Walkway

Dress Up Your Walkway
    Transform your front walk into a stylish
     statement by edging it in easy-care plants 
    such as variegated hosta and boxwood.  

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Add value to your home by increasing curb appeal with an attractive, functional, front-yard landscape.

Add curb appeal to your home with these appealing multiseason flower gardens.

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill 
except for learning how to grow in rows.

Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The Place of Tears

The Place of Tears

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" (Mt 26:38).

Often the place of our greatest pain becomes the place of our greatest triumph. Gethsemane was the place of Jesus' greatest trial. Three times He asked the Father to let this trial pass. It was not to be. The Father sent His Son to the cross to pay a debt owed by humanity.

Jesus was faced with His own temptation to quit, to not fulfill His destiny, to run from his assignment. It was a personal battle to persevere. Sometimes we face situations that cry out "I quit! I cannot endure anymore!" We want to throw in our towel of what little faith we have left. We conclude that this faith thing simply does not work.

"Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him" (Lk 22:43).

After Jesus asked the Father if this cup could pass, an angel was sent to Him to comfort Jesus. The Father's answer to Jesus' prayer was "No." But, His compassion to His Son came in the form of an angel. Some temptations seem to be more than we can bare. However, God tells us: 

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it"(1 Cor 10:13).

If we persevere we often realize later the place of our greatest battle becomes the place of our greatest victory. It would be here, on the Mount of Olives, near the Garden Gethsemane where Jesus ascended and would return triumphantly - not as a sorrowful soul - but as our triumphant Savior. The battle He won in Gethesmane would result in the triumphant entry as Lord of the universe.

God will use your greatest failure or greatest sorrow to be a powerful force in your life and the lives of others. Your Valley of Baca (weeping) becomes springs for you and others. You will go from strength to strength (Ps 84:6). It is in the dying that the new springs are allowed to come forth and a new strength emerges.

If you find yourself in your Garden of Gethsemane, lay yourself at the feet of the only one who can sustain you. Entrust yourself to your Heavenly Father. Let Him determine your fate. It will ultimately become a place of victory.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Dr. David
The Relationship Doctor

We’re all familiar with alcohol sobriety, drug sobriety, sexual sobriety and even sobriety as it pertains to our eating habits. Sobriety—being sober in our approach to certain aspects of living—is not only wise, but Biblical as well. read more

Selasa, 28 Februari 2012

When Life Gives You Sour Cream, Make Coffee Cake!

When Life Gives You Sour Cream, Make Coffee Cake!

These vegan Coffee Cake Cinnamon Rolls stuffed with brown sugar walnut filling and slathered in orange cream frosting are the perfect morning or coffee break treat.

Buns In My Oven: Raspberry Coffee Cake

The crust is so flaky and tender and the inside is just oozing with red raspberry preserves. It’s a raspberry lovers dream come true...

Paula Deen's Ultimate Coffee Cake

The Road to Perfect and Complete

The Road to Perfect and Complete
Bayless Conley

I want us to focus our attention today on James 1:2-4,

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

What I want to look at today is how God seeks to bring us to maturity by building patience into our lives.  If there is one thing I have learned in my Christian walk, it is that God is not in as much of a hurry as I am!
Now, what is patience?  Patience is the long-lasting quality of your faith.  If you let go of your patience, your faith falls to the floor.

The end result God is looking for is that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  The word perfect here means mature.  God is developing maturity in us by working on our patience.
I have a dear friend who has a great church.  They endeavored to build another building on their property and it ended up being a major undertaking.  In fact, it turned out to be the most difficult thing he had ever done.  I mean, it took a strip out of his hide.

Eventually it got built, but you know what my friend says about it?  He says, "You see that building?  I didn't build that building.  It built me."

Going through those trials, facing those difficulties, having his faith tested, having to trust God when it seemed like there was a lack of finances, having to hold onto God's Word when he was a laughing stock with some people, all of that built character in him as he stood the test.

I have a question for you:  Has anything been building you lately?  If so, rejoice, because God is working maturity in you! 

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more
 ways to Connect with God 

No More Nagging

Girlfriends In God

Today’s Truth
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” (James 5:16 TNIV).

Friend to Friend
There are some verses in the Bible that I wish God had just left out.  Here are a few of them:

  • A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping. (Proverbs 19:13)
  • A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. (Proverbs 27:15,16)
  • Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife. (Proverbs  21:19)
  • Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Proverbs 25:24) 
OK, that’s about all I can take right now.  When I wrote the book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, I surveyed and interviewed men about what they longed for in a wife.  One thing that men repeatedly mentioned was their aversion to nagging. Drip, drip, drip. Webster defines nagging as to scold or find fault with repeatedly, to cause annoyance by scolding or repetition. Interestingly, a nag is also an inferior or aged horse. The best remedy to cure ourselves from being a nagging wife, or a nagging mother, or a nagging friend, is to become a praying woman. Jesus invites us to stop nagging our husbands (and others) and begin nagging God!          

Here’s what Jesus had to say:
"Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'

"Then the one inside answers, `Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:5-9).

In the Greek, the words ask, seek, and knock are present participle verbs. The more correct translation would read, ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking. God invites us to be persistent in our prayers. We can give our worries and cares to God and leave it up to Him to do the rest. “Cast all your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you,” (Psalms 55:22).  “Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you,” (1 Peter 5:7). If you are married, remember, you don’t want to be your husband’s mother…you want to be the woman of his dreams. 

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I confess that sometimes I nag my husband…alright, maybe more than sometimes. But Lord, I am determining in my heart to stop nagging my husband and start being consistent and persistent in prayer. My husband is Your workmanship, not mine. Forgive me when I try to yank the paint brush from Your hand and create brushstrokes of my own. I pray that I can be the woman that he needs in order to become the man that You desire.
 In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn
What do you think a nag sounds like?

Do you ever nag your husband or other significant people in your life?
If there are things that you tend to nag your husband about, try this - write them down on a piece of paper, turn the list over to God, and then turn off the leaky faucet. Give it a try.  You might be surprised!

More from the Girlfriends
Nagging just seems to come natural for most of us girls. But God calls us to live super-naturally.  If your marriage could use a bit of freshening up, take a look at Sharon’s book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams. And if it that little but powerful muscle called the tongue that needs an overhaul, see her book, The Power of a Woman’s Words. It is up to us to turn off that leaky faucet for good!

Seeking God?
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Senin, 27 Februari 2012

Love In Action

Service: Love in Action
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing (Ephesians 2:10, NCV).

Friend to Friend
The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water that flows down, clear and cold from the heights of Hermon and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. The Sea of Galilee is a place of great beauty because it has an outlet. It gathers in its riches and then pours them out again to fertilize the Jordan plain. 

However, the Dead Sea, with the same water creates horror. The Dead Sea has no outlet. It gets to keep.

When we come to God, one of our first “natural” responses is to serve Him. In fact, our service to God should be spontaneous, enthusiastic and tireless. If there is no desire to serve or we find it hard to serve, then there is something wrong in our relationship with God.

One summer, our air conditioner was not working correctly. It only partially cooled the house but seemed to run all day long, doubling our electric bill. When the repairman arrived, the first thing he did was remove the filter from the air conditioning unit. It was filthy. He then removed the coil which was completely covered with layers of dog hair, cat fur and dust. The repairman explained, “This unit was never meant to work under this load. It is working as hard as it can but it is not strong enough to do something it was never intended to do.” He then replaced the filter and cleaned the coil. Our electric bill went back down, the house was cooler than it had been in months and the unit ran smoothly.         
We were created to serve God and to worship Him – here on earth and for eternity. Worship and service cannot be separated. When we worship God, we will naturally serve Him and when we serve God, we are worshipping Him.

There are many Christians who are doing nothing but there are no Christians who have nothing to do. When we think of a servant, we may think of someone who reports to work for a specific amount of time and is paid a specific wage. That is an employee - not a servant. The word “serve” comes from the Greek word “latreuo” and is often translated as “worship.” It is not the picture of a slave serving a master. It is the picture of a love relationship that compels action.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”

We worship God by pleasing Him in the daily routines of life. In other words, we should consider each day as a worship service to God.

·         Cleaning house
·         Cooking meals
·         Making beds
·         Picking up children
·         Helping a neighbor
·         Buying groceries
·         Teaching a bible study
·         Listening to a hurting friend

Service begins in the heart where it was conceived in love and then works its way out in every day life as an act of praise and gratitude. Service is love in action.

Let’s Pray
Father, thank You for sending Your son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place and pay for my sin. I can never thank You enough for Your grace, mercy and love. I want to serve You with my whole heart. Please lead and direct me in the way You have for me to go. I want to be Your servant.
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn
  • List several talents and gifts that you recognize in your own life.
  • How are you using those talents and gifts to serve God?
  • Ask those who know you best to identify your strengths. You may be surprised at their response.
  • Look for ways to serve in the areas that give you the most joy.

More from the Girlfriends
The most joyful people I know are the ones who serve God whenever and wherever they can. Don’t try to serve with the gifts you think you should have. I encourage you to identify your gifts and abilities and then use them to serve others. God created you with a specific plan in mind and will empower you for His service.

Looking for a Bible Study? Check out one of Mary’s E-Bible Studies. You can download each lesson on your own computer, print it out and complete it at your own pace. Perfect for both personal and small group study.

Need encouragement? Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study Light for the Journey and join women across the world in Bible study and prayer. The current topic is When I Am Afraid. Learn how to face and deal with the fear in your life.

Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

The Missionary Question
Pastor Charles Stanley

At every missions conference hosted by my church, I give God the same message I've been repeating since my early 20s: "I'm available, Lord. I'll go to foreign fields if you say so." Until He tells me to pack my bags, I'm going to keep on sending others to work among unbelievers in distant and even remote lands.

Paul asked a series of rhetorical questions in Romans 10 that can be summed up like this: How will the world hear about Jesus if you do nothing? God uses Christians to spread the word that His salvation plan is available to all. He put us in families and communities and nations so we will mingle and share what we know. But some believers are called to carry the gospel farther than others. Those who stay behind are to offer prayer and resources for those who travel. 

If you're shaking your head and thinking, Mission work isn't where my heart is, I have news for you: Every believer is called to missions as either a goer or a sender. That call comes in dramatic ways for some, but for most of us, it is simply a biblical principle to be followed (Matt. 28:19). What's missing for those who don't have a "heart" for such work is passion. Christians who share and go and send are often excited about God's message for unbelievers—and it's possible for you to become more enthusiastic too.

I challenge you to ask the Lord, "Am I open to going anywhere You send me?" Our roots in a community should be sunk only as deep as God wills. If you aren't called to go, then choose to be a sender. Offer your prayers, your money, and anything else that will help to put others on the mission field.  

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, 
please visit www.intouch.org.

Jumat, 24 Februari 2012

Let's Talk Living Rooms

Living room

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Decorating a living room has never been easier with inspiration from these gorgeous spaces, which are filled with ideas to help you make your living room beautiful and livable.

From colorfully modern to tastefully rustic, these spaces showcase the best of seaside decor.

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Kamis, 23 Februari 2012

Beautiful Rooms In Blue and White

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Evoking the sea and skies with a few perfect clouds, a blue-and-white palette brings comfort and style that’s cool, calm, and collected. Get inspired by this roundup of our favorite rooms decorated with this timeless color combination.

You might also like these pretty 
Blue and White Rooms:



Country Living

Jonathan Alder Bedding



Finishing The Race

Finishing The Race
Max Lucado
SCRIPTURE  Psalm 137:1-138:8

SITUATION  During the Babylon captivity, the Israelites mourned for their lost land.

OBSERVATION  In times of trouble it is easy to wonder if God hears us.  God does hear our prayers and he carries us through the difficulties.

INSPIRATION    Since God is more moved by our hurt than our eloquence, he respond(s).  That's what Fathers do.

That's exactly what Jim Redmond did.

His son Derek, a twenty-six year old Briton, was favored to win the four-hundred meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  Halfway into this semifinal heat, a fiery pain seared though his right leg.  He crumpled to the track with a torn-hamstring.

As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet.  "it was animal instinct," he would later say.  He set out hopping pushing away the coaches in a crazed attempt to finish the race.

When he reached the stretch,  a big man pushed through the crowd.  He was wearing a t-shirt that read "Have you hugged your child today?"  and  a hat that challenged "Just Do It."  The mas was Jim Redmond.  Derek's father.

"You don't have to do this," he told his weeping son.

"Yes, I do." Derek declared.

"Well then," said Jim "we're going to finish this together."

And they did.  Jim wrapped Derek's arm around his should and helped him hobble to the finish line.  Fighting off security men, the son's head sometimes buried in the father's shoulder, they stayed on Derek's lane to the end.

The crowd clapped, then stood, then cheered, and they wept as the father and the son finished the race.

What made the father do it?  What made the father leave the stands to meet his son on the track?  Was it the strength of his child?  No.  It was the pain of his child.  His son was hurt and fighting to complete the race.  So the Father came to help him finish.

God does the same.   Our prayers may be awkward.  Our attempts may be feeble.  But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.  (From He Still Moves Stones by Max Lucado)

APPLICATION   God wants us to pray to him without getting bogged down in proper words and phrases. Forget the fancy words and eloquent phrases.  Don't get caught up using the right prayer words.  Pour out your joys, fears,  concerns, and requests.  He hears and will aid and comfort you.

The Devotional Bible, Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers.


Rabu, 22 Februari 2012

Win Outstanding Performance In the Kitchen On Oscar Night

The Help
"...chocolate pie certainly deserved a nod 
for a supporting role as “the Terrible, Awful Thing”....  

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Win "Outstanding Performance in the Kitchen" with recipes inspired by this year's
nominees and past Best Picture winners.

You might also like

BHG: Host An Oscar Night Party With Red Carpet Appeal

For a complete list of films and nominations for this year's

Academy Awards please go here:

Oscar Nominations 2012

What Will Remain?

What Will Remain?
Pastor Adrian Rogers

“If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:15

A thousand years from now, some of the things that you think are so important are not going to be so important—your meticulously groomed lawn, who won the Super Bowl, your date for the Senior Prom, the make and model of your car.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these things, but I want to ask you: What is there about your life that is going to remain when the mountains have crumbled? When the stars have fallen from their sockets?

Wood, hay, and stubble are going up in flames! But “if any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward” (1 Corinthians 3:14). Things are going to look much different in the light of eternity.

In your day today, ask yourself what are you doing, what are you building upon, that will remain?

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org

His Stuff
Bayless Conley

You have probably noticed that over the last few days of devotionals, we have been focusing on material blessings and how we should view those blessings.

1 Chronicles 29:14-16 is very helpful to see God's perspective,

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this?  For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.  For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope.  "O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own."

In these verses, King David is actually talking to the Lord as an offering is being received, and resources are being collected for the building of the temple (something his son Solomon is going to achieve).

We see that David recognized that everything he had, everything the people had, literally belonged to God.  They were just giving God back something that belonged to Him in the first place.

I am going to let you in on a little secret:  You and I are just stewards, and one day the Owner will call us into account for how we handled His stuff.  Every one of us will give an account for our stewardship of His possessions.

While He gives us richly all things to enjoy, He is going to ask you if you did what He told you to do with His stuff.  It is not our stuff.

Material treasure is a stewardship, and we must do what the Owner wants with it.  This means we have a responsibility to be listening for the Owner's voice and following His instructions with His goods.

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

Absent From Flesh (Featuring Jamie Barnes) Sojourn

Selasa, 21 Februari 2012

Stylish Home Ideas

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Blend stereo equipment and the television into a room's decor -- without it taking center stage.

Using a Mantel as the Focal Point of a Room
P.Allen Smith

A Common Cause

 Restoring Our Culture
with James Robison and Jay Richards

As we enter an election year and obey the Bible’s exhortation to make “supplications, prayers, intercessions…for all that are in authority” (I Timothy 2:1-2), we offer these excerpts from Indivisible by James Robison and Jay Richards, which is available this week in bookstores and online.

God is not finished with us as a country. Decline is not inevitable. But if we're going to escape decline, we have to make a hard turn - and fast. Will our grandchildren enjoy the freedom and prosperity we enjoy, or will they ask us, "Where were you when freedom died?" The choices we make in the next few years—in our personal lives, families, churches, and politics—will determine the answer.

To see our culture restored, Christians must do a lot more. We must understand the sources of the ideas that ail us as well as their alternatives. We must learn to connect and apply these alternatives and think clearly about them. We must argue persuasively in the public square; apply our convictions consistently in our personal lives; build lasting alliances among Christians, other believers, and friends of freedom who share some but not all of our views; and act strategically to influence the people and institutions that shape culture over the long term. First, though, we need to clear out the weeds and fog in our thinking that have kept us from succeeding in the past, and clear a path to understanding and progress in restoring our culture.

Does it really matter whom we vote for or what policies we support? Yes, it does matter. Politics isn't everything, and certainly we should tend our own proverbial gardens. But in today's world, having no political effect is not an option. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Not to stand is to stand. Not to speak is to speak." The question is, "Will you stand idly by while our culture collapses, or join those who seek to restore it?"

To restore faith, family, and freedom in America, we need God's Spirit to transform our individual lives. Our public engagement should be accompanied by tangible, Spirit-filled growth in holiness and humility that others will see. If we were to pray hard for a real outpouring of the Spirit and zealously pursue lives of prayer and heroic virtue, surely we would have a more lasting impact on our culture.

A free society allows us to love, seek, and enjoy God. It frees us to fulfill our other God-given purposes as free beings made in the image of God—to love our families and fellow human beings and exercise the virtues required to do that. It lets us be fruitful and multiply, and exercise our dominion as God’s stewards over His creation.

The Founders saw human beings as sinners who could be shaped by society but who have a nature that men can’t change. This founding philosophy could not be more different from the so-called “progressive” philosophy that now dominates our public life. Socialists and progressives assume that man can be molded and transformed like a soft lump of clay. You just need society to be set up correctly and run by really smart people. But even in an ideal environment, human beings can fall into sin. That’s how we got where we are to begin with. Even when Adam and Eve were placed in a garden prepared by God, they still managed to get into trouble.

We believe America is exceptional and are saddened that so many people are ashamed of our country. That doesn’t mean we think it's the kingdom of God on earth. We've had our national sins—slavery and the treatment of Native Americans being the two most glaring ones—but surely we should condemn the sin and not the sinner, particularly when the sinner aspires to high ideals and has done more to spread freedom and justice than any other nation in history.

While everyone may long for freedom at some level, history teaches us that people will often give up their freedom without a fight if they are promised security in return. This is a sucker's bargain. As Benjamin Franklin said, "Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security."

Having children and raising them up in the way they should go has always been one of our most profound ways to affect the world. It is in pro-creating that we come closest to participating in God's creativity. The biblical text that says we are created in God's image also contains God’s first commandment, which is also a blessing, "Be fruitful and multiply." We live at a moment when the most influential voices in our world discourage childbearing. And they follow their own advice. So, in the long run, having a large family and passing on your faith and pro-family ideals to your children may be one of the most significant ways to renew our culture.

Restoring a culture is not impossible; it just takes a lot of hands and a lot of concentrated, thoughtful work. If cultures normally change through overlapping networks of elites, then we must influence these elites, penetrate their networks, and/or to create networks that overlap or compete with them . . . If we hope to influence our culture, believers have to be high achievers in many fields—business, academics, science, literature, technology, art, music, politics, journalism, publishing, and philanthropy.

We can't allow our Christian subcultures to become assimilated by a hostile culture or to become dilapidated ghettos isolated from the rest of the culture and from each other. We need to create our own culture, not just complain about popular culture or copy secular culture with a patina of Christianity thrown in for marketing purposes. To quote the overused phrase, we have to be fully in the world but not of it. Wise as serpents; innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Working together as allies, not fighting apart as rivals or enemies.
If we can etch Godly principles on our hearts and minds, seek a life of holiness and wisdom so we can discern them, teach them to our children, and apply them wisely in our personal lives and politics, then with God's help, we’ll have most of what’s needed to restore faith, family, and freedom in the twenty-first century.

Jay Richards and Sheila Walsh join James and Betty this week on LIFE TODAY to discuss the restoration of Godly principles in America and every culture. Excerpts are from Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late (FaithWords).

A Common Cause - James Robison