Pretty Items by Christian Women

We have some really talented women in the sisterhood.  Just for fun today, here are a few of my favorite (affordable) handmade goodies:

WREATHS by Kristy Woodall (Albuquerque, NM)

They’re not just for the front door.  Kristy’s wreaths are pretty and stylish.  I have a springtime one hanging in my dining room now.  The lavender, jade, and cream colors add new life to our home.  Check out her beautiful creations for yourself (or someone else):

Sophistacreations

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CARDS by Joyce Gillaspie (Albuquerque, NM)

A handwritten note beats a text or email any day.  These cards can only be described as gorgeous.  Each one has unique details, harmonious colors, and a thoughtful message.  I personally love her lighthouse series.  Whether you want to thank a friend or let someone know you’re thinking of them, these pretty cards are the way to go.  They will give you as much pleasure as the one who receives them.

Made from the Heart

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JEWELRY by Amy Clevenger (Greeneville, TN)

Essential oil users, you’re going to love this.  Amy makes necklaces and earrings for diffusing your favorite oils.  The jewelry holds little felt balls (in your choice of neutral colors).  My necklace arrived early this week.  I placed a couple of drops of soothing lavender on the felt ball and wore the necklace all day.  Even my sons enjoyed the scent.  They joked, “People will always feel good when they’re around you!”

Quiet Life Jewelry

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MONOGRAMS by Erin Moore (San Marcos, TX)

From handbags and baby bibs to mugs and aprons, Erin can personalize just about anything for you.  Her work is fun and fresh.  Anyone would enjoy receiving a special gift from her shop.  I have a personalized key chain in a cheerful periwinkle blue that goes with me everywhere and makes me smile.

Stitches and Such

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ART by Amanda Hilburn (Nesbit, MS)

Country fresh and sweet describe Amanda’s paintings.  She uses water colors, acrylics, and mixed media.  I’m trying to decide between two of them for my office (see pics below).  If you are drawn to mason jars, and agree that “Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat” (Laura Ingalls Wilder), you’ll be enchanted by Amanda’s work.

The Little Bluebird Gallery

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I think both of those would look charming in my office, don’t you?

Next time you need to buy a gift or would like to bring some beauty into your home, these lovely Christian ladies would love to have your support!

(I don’t get anything for sharing these links, monetary or otherwise.  I just think they’re grand!)

Interview with sunny RENITA ARCHEY

Every interaction I’ve had with Renita Archey has left me smiling.  She is delightful, and I was thrilled when she agreed to an interview.  True to her transparent nature, she shares about herself in a warm and real way.  Grab a refreshing drink and enjoy this chat with a fun-loving Christian woman.

Renita, please tell us a little about yourself.

Renita:  I am a lifelong Tennessean and an only, and slightly spoiled, only child. I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home with both sides of my family being faithful members of the Lord’s church. In fact, when I returned to my home congregation to speak at a ladies day they asked everyone who was related to me to stand. My Mom, six aunts and two or three cousins were in the audience.

I graduated from Freed Hardeman and returned to East Tennessee (you can only return to Tennessee from Tennessee if you live here and understand that East, Middle and West Tennessee are each considered their own state) to work in local radio. But then, at a Wednesday night bible study I met a young, handsome man by the name of Jeff Archey. One year later we married. We have enjoyed 27 wonderful years this April.

I work in the CEO office of the Volkswagen Chattanooga Manufacturing plant. I can literally say I have been here since dirt because I was hired before the plant was build and watched the facility come to life during my first three years of employment.

Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!  As a speaker, your lessons are always Word-filled and practical. What are some lessons you think we need more of today?

Renita:  No matter how old we are, a good reminder of the basics is never out of date. We can draw something new from those words we have studied many times, and I think we are strengthened every time. That is especially true as our nation appears to be making so many of the same mistakes the Israelites made as a nation. Drawing those parallels are very important reminders. It is also necessary to keep reminding ourselves of the basics because, unfortunately, as we look around our congregations, it is sometimes very evident that they are not being put into practice in our everyday lives. We see immodest apparel at worship services or our members posting in social media about ungodly activities in which they are participating.

From the very first time I met you, I’ve been drawn to your sweet spirit. To what can attribute your peaceful demeanor?

Renita:  I am not sure if those who live with me on a day to day basis would call me peaceful. This morning I was sitting at the foot of my dad’s hospital bed watching him sleep and I thought of how practical, patient and even tempered he is. I have never seen him lose his temper. He always has practical advice to give, and has handled many difficult situations with wisdom and grace. That life-long example is where I hope I get my spirit. I hope I can be half as effective as my parents have been in the Kingdom.

What a blessing to have that kind of example from your father!  He will continue to be in my prayers.  Is there something you’d like to share about yourself that others might be surprised to know?

Renita:  I am a pretty meat and potatoes type of girl. There is not much surprising about me. Jeff thinks it really cool that I was able to interview a couple of Presidents of the United States of America during my time as a news reporter, and it was neat…but I don’t know…I would rather someone say it surprised them to know I am 53 years old.

Jeff is right!  What’s your favorite thing about being a preacher’s wife?

Renita:  I think it would have to be the opportunities I am given at work. Most people call themselves “Christians” but because they call me “the preacher’s wife” many times co-workers come to me with Bible questions or with an issue in their life where they need help. I don’t believe I would be able to have as many bible studies over lunch without that “title”. Right now two ladies that I work with are attending my ladies’ class at the Chattanooga School of Preaching and Biblical Studies. It opened the door to an in-depth study on the role of women leaders in the church. Another co-worker approached me when her daughter came home talking about “a young earth”. She had never heard the term before and we studied for several weeks. I also cannot remember the number of times two of us have retreated to the restroom for a session of prayer over a specific issue they were facing. I pray that the small seeds planted each day bear fruit in the years to come.

Renita, I think that’s one of the best answers I’ve ever been given.  I love your soul-winning attitude about the “title,” when so many preachers’ wives seem to resent it.  Keep up the great work! What’s your go-to company meal?

Renita:  Well…I am more likely to take you a mile down the road to a local “meat and three” we frequent than offer to cook for you . It is a quiet place most days where you can easily talk, and then we go back to the house for dessert. If I really need to fix something at home it will be easy like a large pan of lasagna and salad. One of our members once told me it was a sin that I had such a nice kitchen since I didn’t know how to use it.

Ha!  Sounds like fun!  Would you mind sharing one of your favorite books with us?

Renita:  I love to read…there is nothing I enjoy more than curling up with a good book. I love workbooks and commentaries and lectureship books. But I am guessing I have read Daughters of Eve by Lottie Beth Hobbs a dozen times and Heart Bouquet by Louise Barnett Cox almost that many.

Thank you, Renita.  Time spent with you is always refreshing.  May God bless you abundantly as you continue to shine for Him!

Renita with husband Jeff

Renita with husband Jeff

 

Unplugged Attention

I crave that, don’t you?  I long for conversations without devices.  Just a few minutes of uninterrupted connecting.  Of having someone’s eyes looking at my face for just a little while without sneaking a peek at their phone.  I’d like to walk into a room and see people interested in one another instead of hooked like an IV to their own digi-world.

There’s always a good reason for holding our devices so close.  We’re waiting for answers to queries or reports from our kids.  We’re checking in for flights or checking the stats on an order.  We’re posting pics to document the moment.

There are lots of efficient and cool things we can be doing, but do we really have to do them when we’re with real people?  Is whatever we’re checking or doing that essential?  More often than not, it’s not.  When there’s a five second lull in the conversation, that seems to be the cue to whip out something of more interest.  And sometimes there isn’t even a lull.  Sometimes the device comes out smack dab in the middle of a sentence.

This might label me old-fashioned, but I can’t help but think it’s just rude.  And yes, I’m guilty.  Maybe it bothers me now because I’m getting older and more aware of how quickly time is passing.  Which is more precious–face to face interaction with loved ones or face to device time?  Which will we look back on and wish we’d spent more time doing?

Unplugged attention is a form of respect.  It tells others we think they’re important and we want to make the most of our time with them.  It allows us to enjoy the full experience of communication and interaction.  It prevents us from missing out on body language cues or what’s going on around us.

I came across a sobering quote:  “You will never have this day with your children again” (Jan Hatmaker).  When it comes to time with our children or our spouses or our church family, we are squandering precious moments when we are only partially engaged.

Unplugged attention is intentional.  Let’s stop excusing ourselves and start paying attention.  I don’t think we’ll miss the devices, and I don’t think we’ll regret the investment in others.

“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

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I Said a Little Prayer for You

“I said a little prayer this morning for you to have a great day.”

These simple words by Kristy Huntsman stayed with me for days.  She posted them on my Facebook wall, and the for-no-special-reason encouragement made me smile every time I thought of it.  She prayed to the Father on my behalf!  I felt loved and strengthened.

A little prayer has a lot of power.

  • It brings the peace of God- Phil. 4:6,7
  • It brings God near- Psa. 145:18
  • It brings good gifts- Matt. 7:11
  • It brings the Spirit’s help- Rom. 8:26
  • It brings healing- James 5:16
  • It brings forgiveness- 1 John 1:9
  • It brings mercy and grace- Heb. 4:16

These truths about prayer remind me of a few things.  First, I should never take an offered prayer for granted.  It’s a meaningful and mighty gesture.  Second, I should follow through when I offer to pray for others.  It’s so easy to say, “I’ll pray for you.”  It takes intentional diligence to actually do it.  And third, I should offer to pray more.  There are needs and hurts and fears, and I can definitely pray in those situations.  But I can also offer a prayer on your behalf when there’s no special reason.  What a blessing God has given us!

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy”  (Phil. 1:3,4).

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How to Read Your Compass

A compass is an instrument used for direction.  It helps determine where you are and how to get where you want to go.  Hopefully the Bible is your compass.

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).

In an article entitled, “How to Read a Compass,” the Compass Dude shares the benefits of owning one, “from telling which way is North to finding hidden treasure or following an unmarked path over wilderness terrain”  (http://www.compassdude.com/compass-reading.shtml). But to reap those benefits, you have to know how to accurately read a compass.

1.  Know Your Basic Compass Reading

The Compass Dude explains the essential basics of how to read a compass:

  • “Hold the compass steadily in your hand…”  The compass will be no use at all if we don’t pull it out and use it.  If it stays in our pocket or gets left at home, it will offer no direction whatsoever.  If we want the Bible to direct our lives, we must hold it steadily in our hands.  “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16,17).  To reap the guiding benefits of the Word, we will study it daily before taking our steps.
  • “Look down at the compass and see where the needle points.”  Sometimes we feel sure we’re going the right way or facing a certain direction only to pull out the compass and discover we’re way off course.  We must look at the Bible often to see how we’re doing and where we’re headed.
  • “Turn your body while keeping the compass right in front of you.”  In addition to studying God’s Word to know His direction for us, we need to follow through with our actions (James 1:22,25).
  • “Hold the compass level” and “read the correct end of the needle.”  These simple instructions make all the difference in accurately reading a compass.  In the same way, we must “accurately handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
  • “Use common sense.”  Regardless of what the compass shows, some will continue going the wrong way or make choices based on their own misguided sense of direction.  We have the common sense to know and understand God’s Word.  We mustn’t twist it in order to try to conform it to our own feelings or to justify what we would like to believe is right (Prov. 14:12; 16:25).

2.  Check Your Bearing

“By simply moving your compass with your body and using the N-E-S-W markings, you can get a good idea which way you are going…The direction you are going is called your heading.”  Since we are constantly on the move, changing, and being influenced, we need to continually look to the Word to check our bearing to see which way we are heading.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8).

Heaven is where we want to go!   Let’s keep pulling out our Compass to make sure we’re heading in the right direction.

Google images

Google images

 

 

Managing Stress & Anxiety

I wish I could title this post, “Getting Rid of Stress & Anxiety,” but I don’t think that’s very realistic.  With the exception of perhaps childhood, each new phase in life presents its own unique set of challenges.  Perhaps you find yourself in one of the following situations:

  • New marriage, new baby, new home, new work.  While these are also exciting and wonderful, they also call for stamina and courage and wisdom.
  • Long-term care of an aging parent.  In addition to the physical exhaustion is the emotional turmoil of seeing your loved one suffer.
  • School/ work load.  I know some Bear Valley students right now who are being stretched in more ways than they ever expected.  Perhaps you’re in the midst of a project or job requirement that’s been going on for so long you can’t remember your last decent night of sleep.
  • Poor health.  After months or years of battling whatever is attacking your body, you wonder if you’ll ever simply feel good.
  • Financial worries.  Finding a job, paying your bills, wondering about retirement, health care…whether you’ve accumulated a mound of debt or you just long for financial security, money can be a very real and daily stressor.
  • Rocky relationships.  Perhaps your marriage is just barely hanging on.  Or you’re worried about your grown-up children or a spiritually wayward relative.  Sometimes the people we love most can be a source of great anxiety.

Sometimes stress is temporary and we know it.  We can see the light at the end of the tunnel and we’re just trying to get through it.  Sometimes stress is ever-present and overwhelming, and we find ourselves trying to survive one day at a time.  Whichever we find ourselves facing, there are a few simple, proactive ways to manage stress and anxiety.

1.  PRAY

Prayer is probably the first reaction when something causes stress, and I don’t think God resents that.  We find many passages reminding us to turn to God in our distress.  We’re told to cast ALL of our cares on Him (1 Pet. 5:7).  Prayer brings peace in the midst of anxiety (Phil. 4:6,7).  When stress is long-term, our prayers can fade or turn sporadic.  A renewed desire for God’s listening ear can go far in calming anxieties.

2.  MEDITATE

I’m not encouraging “getting your Zen on, man,” but rather committing to quality time in Bible study.  I like the quote I ran across the other day– “Meditation is not an emptying of one’s mind, like some religions teach, but a filling of our minds with the truths of God’s Word” (Jen Thorn).  The Scriptures are powerful (Heb. 4:12) and strength-giving (Eph. 6:10-17).  Neglecting this crucial practice only exacerbates stress and anxiety.

3.  BOOST YOUR HEALTH

It’s common knowledge that long-term stress takes a toll on our health.  Is there an area of your physical well-being that’s taking a harder hit?  See if you could make some small changes for overall well-being:

  • Exercise.  It strengthens the heart, clears mind clutter, and boosts stamina and self-esteem.  Take a walk in the morning and try yoga at night.  No one ever regrets making time to get the blood flowing.
  • Water.  The benefits are endless.  How easy it is to replace empty calorie drinks with water.  Add lemon for even more vibrancy.
  • Sleep.  Who hasn’t been robbed of some zzz’s?  Sleep is essential for mental clarity and emotional stability.  Young moms, get over your guilt and take a nap in the middle of the day when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Cleaner eating.  Bad food equals yucky mood.  Studies are now linking a healthy gut to an overall sense of well-being.  The last thing we need when anxiety is churning in our gut is to add processed foods or sugar to the mix.  Seriously, while it may not be fun to talk about, better eating choices are important when it comes to dealing with stress and anxiety.

4.  UNPLUG

We are attached to our devices, aren’t we?  They’re everywhere and in every room.  Unplugging for a while each day will allow us to focus on those around us, re-appreciate moments of quietness, and even remove some additional anxiety (unpleasant posts on social media, disturbing news, etc.).  It’s good to give our eyes a break from any kind of screen.  Unplug and listen for natural sounds instead like the wind blowing, leaves rustling, birds chirping.

5.  UNCLUTTER

Speaking of devices…we can remove some from our sleeping space for a more peaceful and relaxing environment.  Clearing counter tops of paper stacks and junk also helps clear our minds.  Taking the time and trouble to make the bed and straighten up makes it easier to drift off to sleep later.  Messy rooms add to a feeling of anxiety.

6.  UNWIND

Yes, we could probably use that half hour to cross an item off the to-do list, but sometimes the wiser choice would be to intentionally unwind.  Don’t think of a soak in the tub as a luxury but as a way of promoting peace and health.  Discover the calming benefits of chamomile tea.  You might have to develop a taste for it, but consider it an all-natural anti-anxiety medicine.  Light a candle, rub your feet with lotion, and take deep breaths.  Even a few minutes of slowing down makes a big difference in a trying day.

7.  LAUGH

Laughing relieves stress, lifts the mood, and burns calories!  Have you laughed today?

8.  LOVE

Looking for tangible ways to show our love for others will ultimately lead to our own happiness.  Giving feels good.  It allows us to step outside of our cares and focus on bringing joy to others.  In the midst of your crazy schedule, do something even crazier like adding in a visit to a shut-in or making a homemade, unexpected surprise for someone.

Hopefully these ideas for managing stress haven’t added even more stress.  You might be thinking, Who has time for any of THAT?!  Some of the tips can be combined, like sipping tea while studying the Bible.  Or praying while going for a walk.  It’s probably unrealistic to try to hit all 8 tips every single day, but we can be more intentional in handling our anxieties.  It will be good for us and for those around us.  God has given us many ways to combat stress.  We could even add singing, looking for beauty, and counting our blessings.  What tips do you have?

“In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul” (Psalm 94:19).

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The Greatest Circle

During worship on Sunday, 70-year-old Janice went forward to put on her Lord in baptism (Gal. 3:27).  As is our custom, we all gathered around into a large circle around the auditorium after worship.  This “welcome circle” is meant to represent Christians all over the world who have put on Christ and are now united.  It represents Janice’s new spiritual family who stands ready to support, encourage, and help her in any way we can.  We sang songs like “God is So Good” and “I’m Happy Today.”  One of our elders prayed for Janice, and then we each went up and hugged and welcomed our new sister into the Lord’s body.  Her shining face was truly a beautiful sight to behold.

But here’s what I really love about the welcome circle:

I love being able to look around and make eye contact with every member.  It’s a treat to be able to look at the faces around the circle and think about my relationship with them, how thankful I am for them, or what prayer needs they may have.

I love seeing the expressions on their faces.  No heart is untouched by a baptism.  Whether young or old, each face reflects emotion.  Everyone is smiling, and many are doing so through tears.  I imagine most of us are recalling the day we obeyed the gospel ourselves.

I love the sense of connection.  In an increasingly disconnected society, I’m especially grateful for the sweet tie that binds us together in Christ.  These relationships are real and everlasting.

I love the joy.  After the circle broke up, I looked around in every direction.  The building was filled with groups of people whose faces were bright.  There were no polite or half-hearted smiles, but genuine teeth-showing grins.  Our hearts were encouraged and our strength was renewed.  This happiness can’t be fabricated or bought or forced.  It’s simply the unique joy experienced by those who love God and love His people.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation” (Psalm 35:9).

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I See Good People #2

Thank you to all those who are sharing your inspirational thoughts and spreading cheerfulness.  You’re lighting up social media (Matt. 5:16)!  Here’s just a glimpse of some of the good stuff going around:

-Mandy Liddell posted this poem.  I need to memorize it!

Dear Lord, may I ever refrain
From speaking ill of others;
May I have kindly thoughts, as well,
For all my earthly brothers!
May I, dear Heavenly Father,
Radiate pure love for all…
May I see good in everyone;
May I pray for those in woe…
If I can do these things, O Lord,
While I am here on this earth,
I’ll feel my life’s not been in vain—
That I was blessed at my birth!”
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham

-In the past three days, I’ve been excited to read three new blogs by young Christians.  I thank God for their desire to encourage others and share God’s Word.  Let’s encourage them, too, by supporting their efforts.

-For something fun, girly, and helpful, check out this new planner by Virtuous Magazine:

-Sometimes I read something and know the thoughts will stay with me for days.  Such was the case with these words by the brilliant mind of Cindy Colley:

-Recent terrific tweets:

  • @Gospel Advocate-  “Jesus viewed the 39 OT books as inspired by God and devoted Himself to studying them. Should we do any less?
  • @Stan Butt- “If anyone ever tells you, “It’s okay to be selfish,” they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
  • @Kevin W. Rhodes- When people do not see the good in life, it is because they first fail to see the God of life.”
  • And just for grins….@Tim Hawkins- “Conversation heard:

‘Grandpa, did you ever work out?’

‘No.’

‘Why?’

‘Because I was out working.'”

-Hugo McCord quote posted by Jared Jackson:

When two people disagree on the interpretation of a Bible passage, one or both are wrong … but the Bible is always right.”

-Looking for some yummy recipes?  Check out the lovely Chelli Guthrie‘s blog, “The Planted Trees.

Prayer for Today:  Bless these good people, Lord, as they continue to brighten the lives of others!

New bloggers, Dale Pollard & Katlyn Vanderwende

New bloggers, Dale Pollard & Katlyn Vanderwende

Meet Brittany Davis, Christian magazine editor (and a recipe)!

Brittany Davis is a woman who decided to use her talents in a way that would spiritually uplift other women.  As a wife, new mother, editor, speaker, and author, she understands the need for good time management and proper priorities.  Anyone can see that Brittany is a beautiful woman with a radiant smile.  It doesn’t take long to discover that her beauty is heart-deep.  Please enjoy this pleasant conversation with our dear sister in Christ.

Kathy:  Tell us a little about yourself, Brittany.

Brittany:  My name is Brittany Davis I am the eldest daughter of Eric and Vanessa Owens. I’ve been married to my dear husband for five years and this past August we welcomed our first child, Landon. I am an author, speaker and publisher of the website, www.virtuousmagazine.com.

Kathy:  Virtuous Magazine is such a great resource!  What led you to start it?

Brittany:  I married my beloved in May 2009 and about a month before the wedding we found out that he had medullary thyroid cancer. So in June, right after the honeymoon, we came home and he underwent surgery.

To say I was stressed was an understatement. All went well with his surgery, but my very active and new husband was practically on bed rest for about four months.  I needed to channel my jumbled nerves, and painting rooms and scrapbooking weren’t cutting it. So I started Virtuous Magazine.

I’ve always wanted to use my talents for the Lord and I love magazines so it was a natural fit. And running the magazine has led to writing books and speaking.

Kathy:  We gave away copies of your book as awards at our teen girls’ camp.  Can you give us a brief summary of what “Style Your Soul:  Getting Dressed from the Inside Out” is about?

Brittany:  Oh wow, that’s awesome! Style Your Soul is a guide book for walking worthy and for presenting yourself as a living sacrifice to the Lord. It’s unlike anything because it gets to the heart of the immodesty epidemic that’s plaguing our homes, church and nation, but also shows that modest style is not an oxymoron.

*Note:  Brittany has also written “Awakening Love:  30 Days to Renewing Every Relationship” and “Ladies’ Day Themes.”  For more information, visit http://www.virtuousmagazine.com/books/.

Kathy:  As an editor, writer, public speaker, wife, and mother, you stay pretty busy.  Do you have any time management tips?

Brittany:  I’ve definitely been on a steep, sleep deprived, learning curve with my new baby, but I’ve found that advance preparation is the way to go. I try to do everything the night before from picking up the house to putting the diaper bag together, making lunch and laying out clothes. I don’t always get it all done, but when I do it makes the next day a breeze.

Also, working in batches has been beneficial for me; meaning doing all of one thing at a time whether it’s the laundry or writing articles. Instead of having loads of laundry each day I just do it all in one day, even if it takes the whole day, to get that task checked off the list.

Kathy:  Would you mind sharing one of your favorite recipes?

Brittany:  Lately I’ve been enjoying pan seared salmon with a side of mixed garden vegetables. I simply put some olive oil in a pan on the stove and sear the wild Alaskan salmon on both sides until it’s flaky and has developed a slightly crunchy coating. I season it with Tony Chachere’s original creole seasoning, cumin and rosemary. The vegetables are frozen so I just cook them on the stove with some olive oil butter.

Kathy:  Thank you so much for sharing your time and tips with us, Brittany.  May God bless you and your sweet family as you continue to shine for Him!

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Generation Gap?

Society has changed.

The culture is different.

Communication has changed.

Opportunities are different.

Some young people are calling for change.  Some old people shy away from anything different.  “Change” and “different” seem to be the two words that embody the rift between generations.

The MILLENNIALS want to be heard and taken seriously.  They have some great ideas on how to reach the lost.  They’ve had the opportunity to express themselves in a more widespread way, thanks to the internet, and they’re eager to take advantage of all the amazing advantages afforded them.  That’s so cool and so great!  Some, however, view anything that was done in the Lord’s church by the older generation as ineffective, simple-minded, and something that needs to be tossed aside.  That’s not so great.

The older folks have wisdom from years of study and life’s experiences.  They have the ability to see the big picture.  They are energized by the new opportunities to reach out, and desire to keep up with the latest so they can share what they’ve learned.  The Word has much to say about the wisdom of older ones being a crucial asset.  Beautiful!  However, some older folks are fearful of the ideas of the younger generation and suspicious of anything different.  In their zeal to protect, they might appear short-sighted.  That’s not so beautiful.

I realize I might be oversimplifying things in the two previous paragraphs, but I do believe this generation gap is nothing new.  Remember when Rehoboam consulted with both the “old men” and “the young men who grew up with him” in 1 Kings 12?  The Bible addresses the old and the young in different ways because there are different needs/ thoughts in each group.  The Bible also emphasizes UNITY (1 Cor. 1:10).  Jesus prayed for UNITY.  It was what was on His mind before He went to the cross (John 17:23), which shows how important it was to Him.  We should pray for it, too.  It should be on our minds.  Our thoughts, words, and actions should show that UNITY is important to us.

So perhaps we Christians can enjoy the generation grasp.  From Mirriam-Webster, “grasp” means:

  • to take and hold (something) with your fingers, hands, etc.
  • to understand (something that is complicated or difficult)

Yes, that’s what we’re called to do.  To hold on and reach out to each other.  To be understanding, even at times when we don’t fully agree or see eye to eye.

How can we do that?  We can make a concerted effort to reach out to those in a different generation from us.  We can seek them out, listen to them, validate them.  We can encourage and thank them.  We can help them reach their goals.  We can smile more at them.  We can look for ways to make sure our lives intermingle.  And we can pray for them.

Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt.  We ALL, whether younger or older, desire to reach the lost, love God, and stay true to His Word.  Let’s use our unique perspectives and talents to reach those goals together.

“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another, be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8).

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