Daily Archives: July 20, 2012

Our Daily Bread: Blunders To Wonders

READ: John 21:15-19

Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored. — Lamentations 5:21

Artist James Hubbell says, “Mistakes are gifts.” Whenever he’s working on a project and something goes wrong, he doesn’t start over. He looks for a way to use the mistake to make something better. None of us can avoid making blunders, and all of us have favorite ways of dealing with them. We may try to hide them or to correct them or to apologize for them.

We do that with our sin sometimes too. But God doesn’t throw us away and start over. He redeems us and makes us better.

The apostle Peter tended to do and say whatever seemed best at the moment. He has been referred to as an “impetuous blunderer.” In his fear after Jesus was arrested, Peter claimed three times that he didn’t know Jesus! Yet later, on the basis of Peter’s three declarations of love, Jesus turned Peter’s humiliating denial into a wonderful occasion of restoration (John 21). Despite Peter’s flawed past, Jesus restored him to ministry with these words: “Feed My sheep” (v.17).

If you have made a “blunder” so big that it seems irreversible, the most important matter is whether you love Jesus. When we love Him, Jesus can turn our most serious blunders into awesome wonders. —Julie Ackerman Link

Lord, I’m so human and make foolish mistakes.
And worse yet, I willfully sin against You.
Please forgive me, change me, restore me,
and use me for Your name’s sake. Amen.

God can change our blunders into wonders.

Copyright © 2012, RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI 49555 USA

5 Ways to Bring Peace into Your Day

Take A Moment for Yourself

As soon as you wake up, it begins. You have meals to make, kids to dress, and a to-do list that never ends. Even your phone is delivering calls, text messages, emails and “Angry Birds” that keep pulling on you for attention. Does this merry-go-round world ever stop?

Here’s the good news: your life may not slow down, but you can. Moments to refresh and recharge are all around you. From the busy soccer mom to the over-worked executive, everyone can take advantage of these easy-to-do tips and tricks to bring more peace into your day.

Mute the Commercials

Unless you have a DVR, you’re ingesting a lot of ads with needless noise that you’d rather not see during your favorite television shows. When the commercials start, mute the sound. It gives you 30 seconds to a minute of peace and quiet.

Breathe

I know you think you’re breathing right now and you are. However, I’m talking about deep breathing – the kind that lifts your chest, fills your lungs and then exhales the body into relaxation. Breathe before a big meeting. Breathe while you’re in traffic. Take a moment as often as possible to close your eyes and take deep breaths.

Use Mouthwash

Okay, stay with me on this one. Most mouthwashes recommend that you swish the liquid around for 30 seconds. You have to be careful not to swallow it, while still making sure it hits all the corners of your mouth. It takes some focus; it’s difficult to do anything else and use mouthwash at the same time. If you’ve ever wanted to practice mindfulness (the art of being fully and singularly dedicated to whatever you’re doing in the moment), using mouthwash is a great start. Stand still, close your eyes and really feel the mouthwash between your cheeks. When you’re done, you’ll not only have a fresh mouth, but a calmer mind.

Nap

Feeling stressed out? You might just need a nap. Millions of people don’t get enough sleep, and if that’s you, it affects every area of your life from your weight to your emotions. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, find a spot and take a nap. The snooze will do your body good.

Go to the Restroom

Who among us has not escaped to the bathroom for a moment of solitude? Whether you’re at home, the office or in a crowded restaurant, it can buy you at least a minute or two of privacy to collect yourself. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you need a moment, excuse yourself. Put the “rest” back in restroom.

Copyright © Beliefnet, Inc. and/or its licensors. All rights reserved.

7 Things You Don’t Need to Buy

What are you doing?

If your family is struggling financially right now, author Crystal Paine says that one simple way to save money is to simply buy less — or to stop buying certain items altogether. “We’ve found that there are many items that  aren’t really necessities for our family and we can easily do without them,” she writes. “Here are 7 things we don’t buy.” She’s a self-proclaimed minimalist and stay-at-home home who has written a new book, The Money-Saving Mom’s Budget.

Shaving Cream

For years, I’ve only “purchased” shaving cream for myself if it was free or almost-free. I’ve found that a good lathering of soap does just as good of a job–and it’s less expensive, too. Since making my own homemade soap, my husband has stopped using shaving cream altogether. He says that my soap works great, instead!

Paper Towels

We do keep a few rolls of paper towels on hand in the basement pantry for guests, but otherwise, we don’t use paper towels. Rags work just as well–or better!–and you can just stick them in the washer when you’re finished. Or, if it was a really icky mess, you can always just toss the rag when you’re done.

Soda Pop

We’ve saved a lot of money over the years by not paying for the empty calories and sugar in soda pop. My husband still enjoys a Vanilla Coke from Sonic every now and then, but we don’t keep soda pop on hand at our house (except for the occasional 7Up or Ginger Ale we’ll buy when in the middle of sickness).

Movies

In all our years of marriage, I cannot recall a time that we’ve ever paid to purchase a movie to add to our small DVD collection. We’ve rented a lot from RedBox and Blockbuster kiosks (usually with free rental codes!) and we checked out dozens upon dozens of movies from the library, but we don’t buy movies. And there’s always Netflix – unlimited instant downloads for a monthly fee less than the price of one theater ticket.

In the same vein, going to a movie at a theater is usually a once a year event for our family–typically when a really high-quality movie comes out that we want to support at the box office. Considering that reduced priced movie tickets typically cost at least $6 each, we’d be spending at least $360 per year on movie tickets for our family if we went and saw a movie once a month.

Dryer Sheets/Fabric Softener

Growing up, we never used dryer sheets or fabric softener, so I’ve carried this tradition on in our home, too. Sure, we have a bit more static sometimes, but truthfully, it’s something we hardly ever notice.

Coffee Filters/K-Cups

I’m a one-big-cup-a-day girl when it comes to coffee, but we don’t purchase coffee filters or K-Cups. Instead, we use a French Press. It makes fantastic coffee, we can make the exact amount we need, and we don’t have to buy anything other than coffee to refill it!

Cable TV

We’ve never had cable TV and we’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years, as a result. There’s occasionally a time when my husband has wished he could watch a sports event or a time when we’ve wished we could watch political coverage, but overall, we’ve survived just fine without cable TV. It might not save us thousands of dollars each year to not buy these seven different things, but it definitely saves us a few hundred dollars–painlessly! And the small things add up to big savings over time.

Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschool mom to three, self-proclaimed minimalist, lover of dark chocolate and good coffee, and a wannabe runner. For practical help and inspiration to get your life and finances in order, purchase a copy of her book, The Money Saving Mom®‘s Budget.

Copyright © Beliefnet, Inc. and/or its licensors. All rights reserved.

God Can Restore Whatever You Lost

Dear Friend,

Have you ever lost something of importance only to find it again later? –a wedding band, a watch, a photograph, an heirloom?

If you have, you know the jubilation that floods your heart when what was lost is restored to you.

Today, I want to share this good guarantee:
God wants to restore the thing you thought was lost in your life. 

I’m not just talking about objects and possessions. God wants to restore the everlasting: your relationships, dreams, career, even your faith.

This happened to Jacob; day after day, he felt the sting of loss due to his own deceptive ways, and he thought like many of us that those things would never be restored. Jacob is cemented in scripture among the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But he got there through deception and manipulation.

If you’ve ever experienced broken relationships, disappointing outcomes, moral failures, an identity crisis, the loss of a dream, or a divided family, I want you to LOOK UP!

Jacob dealt with all this and more, and God restored him.

Now it’s time for your Jacob moment . . .
If you need something restored today,
I want you to let these words sink into your spirit:
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord . . .” (Psalm 121:1-2)

Twenty years went by after Jacob ran from his family to avoid the wrath of his twin brother. He was no longer the young trickster, and now he wrestled his own conscience. He wrestled the what-ifs of life. And ultimately, he wrestled God.

Some of you are wrestling with God right now, “Lord, when is my past going to stop influencing my present? Are you big enough to give me back what I’ve lost? Because I’ve tried it in my own strength, and it’s not working!”

One touch from God in your life can change everything. He can do more in one moment than you can do in 20 years.
One touch from God will bring healing.
One touch from God will repair broken places.
One touch from God will restore dreams.
One touch from God will reach your child.

One touch from God is all it takes. LOOK UP . . .

Free From Shame

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
“Let my heart be sound (sincere and wholehearted and blameless) in Your statutes, that I may not be put to shame” (Psalm 119:80 AMP)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria Osteen 
Did you know the Word of God will protect you from shame and embarrassment? God’s laws, or statutes, were established for your good. God sent His Word to guide and protect you. When you follow His commands, you can be sure that you are making clear, sound choices. You can have confidence knowing that you are making the very best decisions.

When negative, accusing thoughts come, you have to know that those are not from God. They are from the enemy. In fact, the Bible calls him the “accuser of the brethren.” That means he’s trying to make you feel guilty, shameful and condemned. He’s trying to make you second guess yourself. But remember, the enemy is already defeated! Because of what Jesus did on the cross, you are free from shame! The enemy has no legal power over you unless you open a spiritual door to him. Keep the doors closed by submitting yourself to God and His Word. Ask the Lord to give you a whole and blameless heart to follow His commands. As you do, you will walk in His protection and guidance and live free from shame today and all the days of your life!

A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father, thank You for Your Word which guides and protects me. Thank You for giving me the ability to make right choices according to Your Word. Give me a sincere and blameless heart that I may serve You all the days of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

© 2012 Joel Osteen Ministries