This is awesome! On the Rocks is the University of Oregon's premiere all male a cappella ensemble. Had to share this to brighten your day.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
What is Studio J™ Design Software?
Studio J™ is FREE online scrapbooking design software brought to you by Close To My Heart. Studio J helps you easily create custom-printed two-page layouts using our foundational scrapbook patterns, exclusive color palette, and themed designs all delivered in 12" × 12" custom prints ready for your albums. It’s a snap!
Is Studio J easy to use?
Studio J software is extremely intuitive and easy to use. The program walks you through five steps that include:
~ uploading your photos
~ choosing your desired themed kit
~ selecting an exclusive layout pattern
~ adding photos, embellishments, titles, and journaling
~ purchasing custom-printed layouts ready for a cherished album
I love Close To My Heart products. Will Studio J use the same great papers, patterns, colors, and embellishments?
Of course! If you love Close To My Heart’s scrapbooking philosophy, then you will love Studio J.
Do I need to download any software to my computer to use Studio J?Not at all! You only need an Internet connection, and then you simply log in to your Consultant’s MyCTMH website to get started. Feel free to design to your heart’s content—you are not required to buy anything or provide any personal information to get started!
Can I save what I am working on and come back to it later?
You bet! You can create a customer profile that allows you to save and return to a project in progress at a later time. Your active projects will be saved for up to 90 days, giving you plenty of time to work on them. You extend that timeline for your active projects by 90 days each time you make a purchase, and your purchased projects will remain archived for one full year after purchase.
Do I need a printer that can print 12" × 12" pages to use Studio J?
No. Your Studio J layouts are not available for you to print from a home computer. In fact, we take care of the printing for you. When you purchase your designed layouts, we print and ship them quickly and directly to you using only top quality printing technology and archival-quality papers.
What is the price?
You are not charged a thing until you order your custom prints. The price per printed two-page layout is $12.95. We also offer some fantastic rewards for larger orders. You can receive FREE Memory Protectors® to protect your layouts in your albums, and FREE shipping/handling based on the number of layout prints you purchase in a single order as follows:
For 5–9 layout purchases: You’ll receive a pack of 5 Memory Protectors FREE!
For 10–20 layout purchases: You’ll receive FREE shipping/handling PLUS a FREE pack of 5 Memory Protectors for every 5 layouts in your single order.
When can I begin creating with Studio J?
You will be able to start creating layouts with Studio J TODAY.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Point to Ponder: Living with purpose is the only way to really live.
Verse: "For David ... served the purpose of God in his own generation."
Acts 13:36 (NASB)
Question to Consider: When will I take the time to write down my answers to life's five great questions? When will I put my purpose on paper?
Create a LIFE PURPOSE STATEMENT that:
- summarizes God's plans for your life
- points the direction of your life
- defines "success" for you
- clarifies your roles
- expresses your shape
Ask these questions of yourself:
1. What will be the center (worship) of my life?
2. What will be the character (discipleship) of my life?
3. What will be the contribution (service) of my life?
4. What will be the communication (mission) of my life?
5. What will be the community (fellowship) of my life?
Start living on purpose today!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Point to Ponder: Blessed are the balanced.
Verse: "Live life with a due sense of responsibility, not as those who do not know the meaning of life but as those who do."
Ephesians 5:15 (PH)
Question to Consider: Which of the four activities will I begin in order to stay on track and balance God's five purposes for my life?
"Love God with all your heart" - You were planned for God's pleasure, so your purpose is to love God through worship.
"Love your neighbor as yourself" - You were shaped for serving, so your purpose is to show love for others through ministry.
"Go and make disciples" - You were made for a mission, so your purpose is to share God's message through evangelism.
"baptize them into ..." - You were formed for God's family, so your purpose is to identify with his church through fellowship.
"teach them to do all things ..." - You were created to become like Christ, so your purpose is to grow to maturity through discipleship.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Point to Ponder: The Great Commission is my commission.
Verse: "Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind."
Psalm 67:2 (LB)
Question to Consider: What steps can I take to prepare to go on a short-term missions experience in the next year?
Heavenly Father, help me to become more of a world-class Christian, than a worldly Christian, by:
- shifting from self-centered thinking to other-centered thinking
- shifting from local thinking to global thinking
- shifting from "here and now" thinking to eternal thinking (distinguish between what's ultimate, not urgent)
- shifting from thinking of excuses to thinking of creative ways to fulfill my commission
I pray for opportunities to witness, for courage to speak up, for those who will believe, for the rapid spread of the message and for more workers.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Point to Ponder: God wants to say something to the world through me.
Verse: "Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect."
1 Peter 3:15b-16 (TEV)
Question to Consider: As I reflect on my personal story, who does God want me to share it with?
I am God's messenger, entrusted with a personal message to be shared with the world. I am a member of his family, a model of his character, a magnifier of his glory, a minister of his grace and a messenger of his Good News to others.
Parts of my message:
testimony - the story of how I began a personal relationship with Jesus
life lessons - the most important lessons God has taught me
Godly passions - the issues God shaped me to care about most
Good News - the message of salvation
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Day 36 - Made for a Mission
Point to Ponder: I was made for a mission.
Verse: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
Question to Consider: What fears have kept me from fulfilling the mission God made me to accomplish? What keeps me from telling others the Good News?
God has called me to a ministry in the Body of Christ (service to believers) and a mission in the world (service to unbelievers).
As part of God's family, he sends us out as messengers, to reach and teach others about him. He wants his lost children found.
The importance of my mission:
- is to continue Jesus' mission on earth
- is a wonderful privilege
- telling others how they can have eternal life is the greatest thing I can do for them
- has eternal significance
- gives my life meaning
- God's timetable for history's conclusion is connected to the completion of our mission
I pray for God's help in completing the details he has written on my blank sheet.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Point to Ponder: God works best when I admit my weakness.
Verse: "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)
Question to Consider: Am I limiting God's power in my life by trying to hide my weakness? What do I need to be honest about in order to help others?
God loves to use weak, imperfect, ordinary people to do extraordinary things. God is never limited by our limitations and wants to turn our greatest weaknesses into strengths.
Admit your weaknesses - own up, stop pretending and be honest.
Be content with your weaknesses - contentment is an expression of faith in the goodness of God.
Share your weaknesses - ministry begins with vulnerability.
Glory in your weaknesses - receive grace and lean on God.
I've always said "it is a strength to know and admit your weaknesses". But I never really thought about how God uses my weaknesses for his glory. I now see that those weaknesses (not faults) cause a dependence on God, prevent arrogance, encourage fellowship between believers and increase my capacity for sympathy and ministry.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Point to Ponder: To be a servant I must think like a servant.
Verse: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 2:5 (NIV)
Question to Consider: Am I usually more concerned about being served or finding ways to serve others?
1. think more of others than yourself - "lose your life"
2. think like stewards, not owners - because God owns it all
3. think about your work, not what others are doing - don't compare, criticize or compete
4. base your identity in Christ - base your worth on your relationship to Christ
5. think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation - serve with gladness
Monday, April 19, 2010
Point to Ponder: I serve God by serving others.
Verse: "If you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded."
Matthew 10:42 (NLT)
Question to Consider: Which of the six characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to me?
Do all the good you can,
by all the means you can,
in all the ways you can,
in all the places you can,
at all the times you can,
to all the people you can,
as long as you ever can.
And this one struck a cord: Less-than-perfect service is always better than the best intention.
1. make themselves available to serve
2. pay attention to needs
3. do their best with what they have
4. do every task with equal dedication
5. are faithful to their ministry
6. maintain a low profile
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Point to Ponder: God deserves my best.
Verse: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Question to Consider: How can I make the best use of what God has given me?
Love this ...
What you are is God's gift to you;
what you do with yourself is your gift to God.
There are times when I feel like that square peg in a round hole. I need to focus on those times when "the fit is right". I need to discover, accept and develop my "shape".
discover - assess gifts and abilities, consider heart and personality, examine experiences and lessons
accept - do not resent or reject, but embrace and celebrate your shape
develop - practice and utilize your God-given abilities and skills, or you will lose them
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Point to Ponder: Nobody else can be me.
Verse: "God has give each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God's many kinds of blessings."
1 Peter 4:10 (LB)
Question to Consider: What God-given ability or personal experience can I offer to my church?
Spiritual gifts - an unopened gift is worthless
Heart - represents the source of individual motivations (passion)
Abilities - God given for His glory
Personality - "different personalities reflect God's light in many colors and patterns"
Experiences - share in order to encourage others
"You will be most effective when you use your spiritual gifts and abilities in the area of your heart's desire, and in a way that best expresses your personality and experiences."
Friday, April 16, 2010
Point to Ponder: I was shaped for serving God.
Verse: "God works through different men in different ways, but it is the same God who achieves his purposes through them all."
1 Corinthians 12:6 (PH)
Question to Consider: In what way can I see myself passionately serving others and loving it?
God created me as a one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece. Everything that has happened or will happen in my life is significant and helps to shape me into service to God.
Spiritual gifts - an unopened gift is worthless
Heart - represents the source of individual motivations (passion)
Abilities (day 31)
Personality (day 31)
Experience (day 31)
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Day 29 - Accepting Your Assignment
Point to Ponder: Service is not an option.
Verse: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
Question to Consider: What is holding me back from accepting God's call to serve him?
I was created to serve God, placed here by God with a special assignment.
I was saved to serve God. A saved heart is one that wants to serve.
I am called to serve God. My salvation included a call to service.
I am commanded to serve God. Give through service and be a blessing.
God created me to make a contribution to life on earth and give something back, not just take from it. I want to make a real difference ... with God's help and guidance. No more excuses.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
April's Stamp Of The Month is adorable! "Flower Pot" is one of those stamp sets that is so much more versatile than you imagined at first glance. Springtime cards and layouts looks perfect with flowers!
And don't forgot that the Miracle kit is available starting tomorrow!
Point to Ponder: There are no shortcuts to maturity.
Verse: "God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again."
Philippians 1:6 (NCV)
Question to Consider: In what area of my spiritual growth do I need to be more patient and persistent?
Spiritual maturity takes time:
1. We are slow learners - repeated exposure creates new habits
2. We have a lot to learn - old habits must be removed and replaced
3. We are afraid to face the truth about ourselves - denial doesn't work
4. Growth is painful and scary - self-defeating ways feel comfortable and familiar
5. Habits take time to develop - practice, practice, practice
Cooperation with God is key:
1. Believe God is working in your life even when you don't feel it.
2. Record lessons learned.
3. Be patient with God and yourself.
4. Don't get discouraged.
PBPGINFWMY <---- leave a comment if you know what this means
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Point to Ponder: There is always a way out.
Verse: "God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."
1 Corinthians 10:13b (NLT)
Question to Consider: Who can I ask to be a spiritual partner to help me defeat a persistent temptation by praying for me?
God promises that he will never allow more on me than he puts within me to handle it.
Biblical keys to defeating temptation:
1. refocus your attention - resisting only intensifies and reinforces a focus
2. reveal struggles - don't repress; confess, don't conceal; reveal to heal
3. resist - fight back with the power of God's Word
4. realize your vulnerability - it is easier to stay out of temptation than to get out of it
Monday, April 12, 2010
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1 – Floral B&T Duos® Paper
1 – Stripe B&T Duos® Paper
1 – Crystal Blue B&T Duos® Die-Cut
1 – Sweet Leaf B&T Duos® Die-Cut
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1 – Mini-Medley Accents Colonial White Collection
12" Colonial White Waxy Flax
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2 – Sponge Wedges
Colors: Sweet Leaf, Olive, Crystal Blue, Bamboo
• purchase the kit outright for $19.95
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• sign up as a new Consultant between May 1–31 and receive a kit FREE
• host a Home Gathering between April 15–May 31 and receive a kit FREE
Point to Ponder: Every temptation is an opportunity to do good.
Verse: "God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
James 1:12 (NLT)
Question to Consider: What Christlike character quality can I develop by defeating the most common temptation I face?
Every temptation is an opportunity for good, an occasion and choice to do the right thing.
God develops the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) in my life by allowing circumstances in which I'm tempted to express the opposite quality.
4-step process of temptation:
actions to overcome temptation:
1. refuse to be intimidated - temptation only becomes a sin when you give in to it
2. recognize patterns and be prepared - avoid situations and circumstances to stumble
3. request God's help - God's love is everlasting and his patience endures forever
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I'm just starting to emboss, so those supplies are limited. The 3-drawer Sterlite organizer shown below holds my heat gun and craft tray, VersaMark and Staz-On ink pads, plus some embossing powder jars. There's definitely room to expand as I collect more colors of embossing powder. The organizer itself fits nicely in a cubbie of my Expedite, allowing for easy access to my supplies.
Point to Ponder: There is a purpose behind every problem.
Verse: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Question to Consider: What problem in my life has caused the greatest growth in me?
Accidents are just incidents, part of God's plan to develop my character. And everything that happens to me has spiritual significance, all according to his master plan. Circumstances are temporary, but character will last forever.
Respond to problems as Jesus would:
1. remember God's plan is good - "The plans I have for you are plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
2. rejoice and give thanks - God will never leave us on our own
3. refuse to give up - patience and persistence
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Point to Ponder: The truth transforms me.
Verse: "If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:31-32 (KJV)
Question to Consider: What has God already told me in his Word that I haven't started doing yet?
"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God." Never take the Word of God for granted and make it an integral part of your daily life.
Accept God's Word as the ultimate authority, the first and last word. Do not make choices based on culture, tradition, reason or emotion, for they are flawed.
Assimilate its truth. Receive it, read it, research it, remember it and reflect on it.
Apply its principles. Become a "doer of the Word". And even though personal application of the Word may be painful, it will ultimately set you free.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Point to Ponder: It is never too late to start growing.
Verse: "Let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God - what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect."
Romans 12:2b (TEV)
Question to Consider: What is one area where I need to stop thinking my way and starting thinking God's way?
"Nothing shapes your life more than the commitments you choose to make. Your commitments can develop you or they can destroy you, but either way, they will define you. We become whatever we are committed to."
I choose to be a follower of Christ through an intentional commitment. The want and decide parts were easy; the effort (and especially the persistence) parts have been more of a challenge. I need to make sure my deeds are consistent with my creeds, and my beliefs are reflected in my behavior. The acknowledgement that I need to stifle my own willpower and let "Jesus take the wheel" is easier than the actual process of letting go of control.
"Change starts in your mind. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel influences the way you act." Spiritual maturity involves shifting my thinking from self-centered and self-seeking, to a focus on others, not myself.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Day 22 - Created to Become Like Christ
Point to Ponder: I was created to become like Christ.
Verse: "As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more."
2 Corinthians 3:18b (NLT)
Question to Consider: In what area of my life do I need to ask for the Spirit's power to be like Christ today?
Sanctification, becoming more like Christ, is the third purpose of my life here on earth. God wants to shape and develop my character, not change my personality or the uniqueness he created in me. Spiritual growth and maturity is not easy, and my time spent on earth is meant to strength my character. I am a work-in-progress, to be fully completed in heaven.
3 responsibilities in becoming like Christ:
1. let go of the old ways of acting
2. change the way you think
3. "put on " the character of Christ by developing new, godly habits
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Point to Ponder: It is my responsibility to protect the unity of my church.
Verse: "Let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony and the growth of our fellowship together."
Romans 14:19 (PH)
Question to Consider: What am I personally doing to protect unity in my church family right now?
Unity is the soul of fellowship, as modeled by the Trinity. And it is my duty to protect the unity of my church. I am responsible to do what's best for the body of Christ, not myself.
- focus on commonality, not differences
- have realistic expectations
- encourage, not criticize
- refuse to listen to gossip
- practice God's method for conflict resolution
- support pastors and leaders
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Point to Ponder: Relationships are always worth restoring.
Verse: "Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody."
Romans 12:18 (TEV)
Question to Consider: Who do I need to restore a broken relationshps with today?
I need to be a better peacemaker. Peacemaking is not avoiding conflict, nor appeasement. God has given me the ministry of restoring relationships, no matter how difficult the task may be.
7 Biblical Steps to Restoring Fellowship:
1. Talk to God first - ventilate vertically.
2. Take initiative - make the first move.
3. Sympathize - listen and understand the other perspective.
4. Confess your part in the conflict - accept responsibility and ask for forgiveness.
5. Attack the problem, not the person - how you say something is as important as what you say.
6. Cooperate - compromise, not compete.
7. Emphasize reconciliation, not resolution - disagree without being disagreeable.