Thursday, April 29, 2010

On The Rocks - Bad Romance

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.

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - week # 17

I'm completely caught-up with the Organize Your Stuff Challenge over at 2Peas and can cross "punches" off my task list. The question of the week posted: "With the invention of all the die-cutting machines, do punches seem somewhat "old school" to you now?" I do own a Cuttlebug to dry emboss and use my Spellbinders Nestabilities. I don't own an electronic die-cutting machine and I have no intention of purchasing one. Punches, especially borders, are big right now. And I don't think basic shape punches will ever go out of style. Compared to some scrappers (certain Peas will remain nameless), my inventory of punches is pathetic. It might not even count as an "inventory", since it's so small. But, none the less, they are organized!

I love the one-and-only Fiskars border punch I have and my wish-list of designs is growing (Effervescence, All-A-Fleur & Diamond). I use the EK Success scallop circle to create the gorgeous paper flowers that you currently see everywhere on cards, layouts and paper craft projects. I picked-up the Martha Stewart punches at Walmart after the holidays for a steal-of-a-deal. They punch smooth and crisp every time I use them. I have my eye on a few of her "punch around the page" designs.

Week 18 covers "tools" and I'm getting a head start in that area today.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happiness is ...

Quick card I made last night using mostly CTMH products. After seeing Alanna's card posted this past weekend, I decided to try-out her Unscripted Sketches #52 design. Thanks for the inspiration Alanna! Although the lighting doesn't show them off well, the clear plastic flower shapes behind the buttons and snaps look awesome IRL. supplies: CTMH - Colonial White & Hollyhock cardstock, Connections Club clear shapes, Hollyhock snaps, Bitty Sparkles, Love Letters rub-ons, Liquid Glass, Garden Green ink, June Word Puzzle (D1288) other: CM corner rounder, MM buttons

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Studio J is here!

Questions and Answers:
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

TPDL-Day 40

Day 40 - Living with Purpose

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?



- 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

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

Please take a few minutes from your day to read-up on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution campaign. I promise you, it will be time well spent. Then voice (in writing) your support by signing his petition.

TDPL-Day 39

Day 39 - Balancing Your Life

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

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - week # 16

Paints, glitter and Stickles are the focus of week 16 for the organizing challenge. Since I only have a small supply of each of these, this was an easy task for me. My stickles are stored in a 3-drawer sterlite container with my embossing stuff. I've moved the paint (out of a CTMH distressing kit) over to the stickles drawer so everything is in the same place. That means my distressing kit now holds only the "tools" to distress, such as my texture tools, paint brushes, sanding blocks and edge distresser. My small 1" x 1" distressing inks were also moved out of the kit and into the 3-drawer organizer. I'm amazed how much this little organizer holds.

Love my P-touch labeler ~ top drawer: Stickles, MS glitter/glittering glue, paint, mini distressing inks and fun flock, middle drawer: Staz-On pads, VersaMark pad, embossing powders and sculpting foam, and the bottom drawer: heat gun, craft tray, stamp double scrubber and chalks. I still have enough room to expand my Stickles and embossing powder collection, so I'm sticking with this organizer. It's the perfect size for the Expedite cubbies and I even have enough space to store my Prismacolor pencil tin on the top. Cross week 16 off the list!

TPDL-Day 38

Day 38 - Becoming a World-Class Christian

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

... and a final glimpse

TPDL-Day 37

Day 37 - Sharing Your Life Message

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


Disclosure: the above picture is a stock photo and is not of my family. We purchased a trampoline for the girls last Christmas. It was their joint, big gift and it was a huge hit. Just fifteen minutes on this thing a day has become a workout for me. You'd think just bouncing on a tramp is play time, but I can assure you, there are muscles involved that you don't use on a regular basis!

TPDL-Day 36

Purpose # 5 - You Were made for a Mission

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

... a few more peeks

TPDL-Day 35

Day 35 - God's Power in Your Weakness

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

TPDL-Day 34

Day 34 - Thinking Like a Servant

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?


Serving attitudes:

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

Sneak Peek - CTMH's Summer 2010 Idea Book

Just a few peeks into the new Summer 2010 Idea Book from CTMH, available May 1st. There are gorgeous new paper packs, fun embellishments, Clear Cards, new additions to the My Creations line and, of course, great stamp sets. Plus, there's reduced-pricing on select items throughout the pages of the Idea Book - available for this Idea Book only and while supplies last. Contact me to reserve your copy of CTMH's 2010 Summer Idea Book.

TPDL-Day 33

Day 33 - How Real Servants Act

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.
(John Wesley)

And this one struck a cord: Less-than-perfect service is always better than the best intention.

Real servants:

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

TPDL-Day 32

Day 32 - Using What God Gave You

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.
(Danish proverb)

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

TPDL-Day 31

Day 31 - Understanding Your Shape

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

Silly Bandz

These things have taken-over my house! Why can't I come up with just one idea like this? What could possibly be next? 'Nuff said.

TPDL-Day 30

Day 30 - Shaped for Serving God

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

TPDL-Day 29

Purpose # 4 - You Were Shaped for Serving God

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

Art & Soul

CTMH has posted a new episode of Art & Soul called "Live Your Dreams", and it's full of tips and techniques, plus great artwork. You can learn how to make a "puddle pad" to create one-of-a-kind gorgeous multi-color stamp images or backgrounds. Take note of the beautiful wall hanging that Janette created for her art studio. Check back here often because I will be creating something similar to decorate my newly organized scroffice.

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!

TPDL-Day 28

Day 28 - It Takes Time

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

TPDL-Day 27

Day 27 - Defeating Temptation

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

Miracle by CTMH

CTMH has WOW'd us again with another fabulous kit for National Scrapbooking Month in May. The Miracle kit is quick to put together (no stamping required), affordable for any budget and the color scheme is flexible enough to use with any photos. And it's packed with a ton of product:

5 – Colonial White Cardstock
1 – Bamboo Cardstock
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
1 – 6" × 12" My Stickease® Assortment
1 – 6" × 9" Irresistibles™ Chipboard Die-Cuts
1 – Mini-Medley Accents Colonial White Collection
12" Colonial White Waxy Flax
3 – 4" × 6" Memory Protectors® Flip Flaps™
2 – Sponge Wedges
1 –Brochure
Colors: Sweet Leaf, Olive, Crystal Blue, Bamboo

Snatch the Miracle kit at a great discount or even FREE:
• purchase the kit outright for $19.95
• place a minimum order of $40 and purchase the kit for only $10
• place a minimum order of $60 and purchase the kit for only $5
• 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

TPDL-Day 26

Day 26 - Transformed through Temptation

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:

1. desire
2. doubt
3. deception
4. disobedience

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

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - week 15

Week 15 of the 2Peas organizing marathon covers ink (pads, re-inkers) and embossing. Seems I've finally caught-up to the current week, due in part to CTMH's fabulous organization accessories. All my ink pads and markers are stored in an Exclusive Inks Organizer which sits on top on my Expedite unit. Although the Organizer's footprint isn't large, I like my desk area clear and uncluttered. Since the Organizer turns, access to all 60 pads and 76 markers is easy. I only own two re-inkers right now, but as that changes, I'll order the matching Re-Inker Tray to keep the small bottles organized and safe.

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.

TDPL-Day 25

Day 25 - Transformed by Trouble

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

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - week 13

Stamp week at the 2Peas challenge ... and I've been waiting for this one! Another easy week since I conquered this area a year ago with the help of some wonderful CTMH consultants. When a fellow CTMH consultant finds the perfect organizing solution to fit one of our products, we all jump on board. And I did just that, even though the above tower of drawers was only available at Lowe's (DH works for Home Depot). Since 98% of my stamps are CTMH sets, the solution was perfect for my space. This 5-drawer tower holds about 150 stamp sets ... and I still have a little room available to expand. My sets are categorized by alpha fonts, holiday, seasons, sentiments and specific sets for our family interests, such as Girl Scouts, cheerleading and camping.

Photo 2 above shows an individual drawer pulled-out and how perfectly the 6" x 6" clear plastic envelopes fit inside. The back of the bottom drawer holds the few non-CTMH stamp sets I have, including 1 Stampin' Up set, 3 generic wood-mounted stamps and 4 Martha Stewart clear sets.

The magazine holder below holds my over-sized CTMH sets. I had originally purchased the magazine holder to store past issues of CTMH Idea Books, but they didn't fit. It's all good though, since the large sets fit perfectly inside. I'm looking forward to decorating the magazine holders with paper and rub-ons.

TPDL-Day 24

Day 24 - Transformed by Truth

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

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - week 12

Week 12 of the 2Peas Organize Your Stuff Challenge covered ribbon, threads and fibers. This was an easy week for me since I mainly use coordinating CTMH products and everything was already organized in my scrap space. The majority of my CTMH ribbon is stored in a CTMH Ribbon Rounds Organizer (photo 1). CTMH Sassy Strands (photo 2) come in 6" clear plastic envelopes that are housed in my stamp tower. Bulk CTMH ribbon, along with other manufacturers, is hung on a regular tension curtain rod in my desk hutch (photo 3). I even have room to expand on the rod! I also use embroidery floss and that is stored in a standard floss case (photo 4).

TPDL-Day 23

Day 23 - How We Grow

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

Grand Beach Resort

Our timeshare at The Grand Beach Resort in Orlando was fabulous. The resort is located right on Lake Bryan, just a few minutes outside Disney World entrances. Everything we needed to unwind after exhausting days at the parks was right here - 2 pools, hot tub, beach area with hammocks, workout room and tons of kid activities.
Our 3-bedroom, 3-bath unit had plenty of room for the kids to spread out. We spent time on the enclosed porch enjoying the view, found a few shells during a walk on the beach and relaxed by the pool during karaoke sessions. Grand Beach Resort was rated a "2-thumbs up" by our family.

TPDL-Day 22

Purpose # 3 - You Were Created To Become Like Christ

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

TPDL-Day 21

Day 21 - Protecting Your Church

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

TPDL-Day 20

Day 20 - Restoring Broken Fellowship

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.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Vacation

We are back from our family vacation trip to Florida and normal life slowly resumes. We took the Amtrak Auto Train from Lorton, Virginia to Sanford, Florida and then spent a week in Orlando visiting all the Walt Disney World theme parks. The weather was gorgeous and we had a blast! Over the next few days, I'll post photos of our adventures in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Our timeshare right outside Disney was fabulous, located right on Lake Bryan.

The above photos are from the Amtrak station in Virginia and the actual Auto Train. Traveling by train (with our Sequoia loaded aboard) was an adventure in itself. The entire crew was very friendly, meals were delicious, watched an on-board movie (highly recommend Old Dogs) for entertainment and over-all a neat and relaxing way to travel. The trip back home was just as wonderful and we met a bunch of great families along the way.

Amtrak definitely earned our return business. Besides saving over $1,000 (between airfare and car rental) by taking the Auto Train, Amtrak provided superior service to their passengers and more than surpassed my expectations. The Auto Train was not just a means to get to our vacation spot, but part of the actual vacation itself.