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Blessing Your Guests with Favors

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25

Party favors aren’t just for kids’ birthday parties!  Any time you host a gathering at your home, you can bless your guests with a small favor. Even the smallest, simplest gift can brighten your friends’ day. Women are always giving, so receiving even a little gift often feels like a balm to the soul—especially if you include a Bible verse or scriptural message to lift their spirits even more! 

Favors don’t have to be expensive, either.  Check out your local dollar store; wander around and let inspiration strike you. On one shopping trip I saw inexpensive colorful fly swatters shaped like flowers.  I added a note that said “Swat away your troubles with prayer,” and they were a big hit with the my guests!  Even a fly swatter can make a cute gift with a heart for the Lord behind it.

Here are some fun ideas to try at your next gathering:

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How Not to be The Perfect Hostess

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.

Galatians 6:4

My dear friend, Elise, is a great cook and a natural hostess.  She inspires me! She makes it all look effortless—nothing seems to ruffle her feathers. She hosts her church small group, frequently entertains houseguests (sometimes longterm), and has invited my family over for amazing meals.

I, on the other hand, dislike cooking. When we host Elise’s family, I almost always serve them pizza (not exactly hostess-with-the-mostest stuff, right?).  To be fair, I put out sides, make a whopper of a dessert, and try to set a nice table…but still. After years of this, I determined to do something really special for them and cook a nice, big dinner. 

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Living in the Pocket

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

I Peter 4:10

 

I went to a Dave Matthews Band concert this summer, and I had many thoughts while I was there. Since the band tends to go on long instrumental riffs, there was a lot of time to think…

I thought about how I’m getting older. When I went to my first Dave concert in college, “Ants Marching” was big. This time, there was a teenage girl sitting next to me who said, “Well, I’ve never heard of Dave Matthews Band, but my dad says I’ll like it.” Wow.

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I Will Sing.

 

Read it! Psalm 108

My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul.

(vs. 1)

Think it through

This is the last installment of the “I Will” Bible study series in Psalms, and I cannot leave you without talking about the most often repeated “I will”:

I will sing.

If you add in “I will praise” and “I will sing praise,” the promise to sing makes up a really large percentage of the Psalm “I wills”!

Perhaps this isn’t surprising (we are studying Psalms after all, which were written to be sung)—but it’s still significant. And it’s very literal.

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What’s Your Why

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

 

I recently saw a meme (from the wonderful Michael Hyatt) asking, “What is your why?”  On the very same day, I received a short email from a fellow organizer that said simply this:

“Seems very odd that you focus mostly on Christian audiences. I’m not a Christian.

Seems like you would lose out on a lot of people who are not Christian.”

 

In other words, “Why are you doing what you’re doing?”

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Are You Real or Fictional?

 

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:13

 

My sweet daughter came home from Writing Day Camp last summer bursting with news. “I met a real author today!” she exclaimed.

My husband and I exchanged a smiling look over her head. Then she added, “And I met one at school last year, so that makes two real authors.”

“Wow!” my husband said, matching her tone. “And, you live with one!”

She blushed. “Oh, yeah, but…”

But.

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#PraiseHimAnyway

I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.

-Psalm 34:1

 

For the last couple of years, my little family has been making fun of all the hash-tagging.

This began when these symbol-led phrases started popping up on the bottom of our TV screen. I think I noticed it first on shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race. (Yes, we still love those two!) #TribalCouncil #Blindside #UTurn

It was just too easy to roll our eyes at those. Soon we were joking in hashtags.

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How to Create an Atmosphere of “Yes”

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

I’m a positive gal in general, and I’d like to think that I face life with a great big “Yes!”

But I’m also a planner, and when something outside of my plan presents itself, my knee-jerk reaction is, “No.”

Just ask my poor kids. This is the worst time of year to ask me for anything—my mind is so full of things to arrange that it’s like a constantly shifting puzzle without room for one more piece.

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Escaping into True Reality

 

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

-John 4:23

 

What’s your favorite way to relax and escape? You probably watch a few favorite TV shows. Maybe you love surfing the web, or playing game aps on your phone. Perhaps you do all three at the same time!

We have loads of ways to occupy our thoughts—plenty of false realities to choose from.

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Celebrating My 100th Post (A List of the Best of My Best)

I can’t believe it, but this is my 100th post.

As I wrote on my “blogiversary,” I never thought I’d be blogging at all. Yet today I took a look back at my first 99 posts, and you know what? There was some good stuff in there!

Over time, my posts have evolved from Monday/Thursday Bible study posts to a new schedule: Monday Bible study devotions with a thought-provoking “kick,” and Thursday posts that deal with either anxiety help (the Thought Shot posts) or Christian Growth (the Take the Challenge posts). All of them speak to what God’s bringing to the forefront in my life… and hopefully yours.

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