Sunday, October 31, 2021

Taking The Narrow Road

Have you ever gone hiking in a new area and came upon two trails and you weren’t sure which trail to take?

Life will always take us down numerous trails or paths. Following the wrong one can cause a lot of frustration, hurt and anxiety.   How do we know which road or path to take?  Well, Jesus clearly tells us in the Bible to stay on the narrow road.  Matthew 7:14 says, "But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”  The wide road is easy, many people walk on it and go and do whatever they please. Staying on the narrow road means we listen God even when He says what we would rather not hear.   You will find that the narrow road is not very popular to be on compared to the wide road where you will find most populated.  

Every time we make the difficult but right decision we are walking on the narrow road. In the world we live in today it is tempting to follow whatever everyone else is saying or doing. It’s normal not wanting to feel left out or that we are missing something. 

Walking the narrow road is sometimes difficult.  It’s like swimming or rowing upstream. To make it even harder, the things we are exposed to brings plenty of things into our lives that look good to the eye but not good for the soul.  It is then that we have to decide are we going down the wide easy road or to turn and say no to those things that look captivating and inviting but in our hearts we know that it’s not the way to go so we turn towards the narrow difficult road.  

Even though it might be hard to choose or walk the narrow don’t forget that God gives us grace.  When the road gets hard or life gets challenging and we don’t seem to have the strength to keep moving it is then that we can ask for help and He will be there to see us through.

  We always need to remember that we don’t have to face the narrow road alone.  He is always there right by our side willing to help and guide down the path that was meant for us to succeed, grow and live a vibrant and fulfilling life.   Jeremiah 7:23 says,  “Live exactly the way I tell you and things will go well with you.”   Think of it this way.  Jesus is the guide on the trail who says, “Do not go that way!   And when we ask why he just says, Trust me!  Many times God will not tell us why we should do things a certain way, in fact Jesus rarely explained in detail the benefits of following his instruction or commands. 

In the end, God wants us to simply trust Him.  


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Gift Ideas Under $100, $50 and $25


It's that time of year where we are all writing out our holiday gift giving lists.  Whether it's for family or friends now is the time to think about what you want to give.  Also, with the supply chain craziness we have going on right now in our country it might be wise to shop ASAP to make sure you have all your gift buying done sooner than later. Here are a few ideas that might help you cross some people off your list.

Gifts Under $100

I love to grill but there are times that the weather doesn't permit it so I was excited when I heard about this Smokeless Indoor Grill.  I have been using it for at least most of this year and I love it.  I have. grilled steak, pork chops, chicken, hamburger and fish.  Everything has come out perfectly and cleanup is super easy!  Easy to use and to clean, this countertop appliance has two dishwasher-safe, nonstick cooking plates (one griddle and one grill plate) and a built-in fan that helps to reduce the amount of smoke released into the air.Whatever the weather, you can still enjoy the delicious taste of barbecue from the comfort of your kitchen If you know someone who likes to grill or who is a foodie and you need a gift that is under $100 check this one out by PowerXL.   First time customers use code HOLIDAY to save another $10. 

Do you have an NFL football lover on your holiday gift giving list?  If so, I know they would love this NFL full zip hoodie.  All NFL teams are available in sizes XS through 5X.  This graphic-packed, color-blocked NFL hoodie lets everyone know exactly who you're cheering for. A full-front zipper is joined by your fave team's name, logo, and city boldly splashed all over the front and back. So whether your seat's in the stadium or on the sofa, you've got the gear to cheer on your team. Check out this NFL Full Zip Hoodie for that sports lover on your list that's currently on sale for under $55.  First time customers use code HOLIDAY to save another $10.

My last gift idea for under $100 are these super cool 2 pack of these Tiki Torch Bluetooth Speakers with Ground Sticks.   We have these on our back pool patio and we use them almost nightly.  I love that you can use them with or without the speakers and they recharge with an USB cord.  Perfect for parties or days spent working in the garden, this pair of tiki torch wireless speakers will be the ultimate addition to your backyard. Use the included ground sticks and sync them together with your Bluetooth-enabled device to enjoy your favorite tunes outdoors. Once night falls, turn on the bright LED flame inside each speaker for extra ambience.  This set of 2 is under $65 but if you are a first time customer use code HSN2021 to save $20 more!

Gifts Under $50

If you have a makeup lover on your gift list check out this set of four Tarte Lights, Camera Action Mascara's.  This set normally retails for $92 but you can get them now for under $43 and FREE SHIPPING.  Plus they come with holiday gift bags.  This four-in-one mascara volumizes, lengthens, curls, and conditions the look of lashes. The ultra-black pigment delivers darker, defined lashes with a vitamin-rich formula that conditions with each coat. Plus, get an instant lash lift with the magniLASH wand that boasts shorter bristles add the look of intense volume, while the longer bristles add an instant curl.  First time customers us code HOLIDAY for another $10 off.  

Most every woman loves to have nice nails!  I have a product that I have been using for years that is now part of a 6 piece set.  It's by Perfect Nail Treatment and Color Kit!  Perfect Formula Gel Coats create a think protein rich coating over nails that add an instant temporary strength and thickness effect.  This set retails for $96 but it's currently on sale for under $32.  First time customers use code HOLIDAY to save another $10.  

I love cross necklaces!  I found a beautiful one that is done in sterling silver that I think you will love as much as I do.   It's called the He Is Faithful To Complete It necklace that's based off of Philippians 1:6.  This cross sterling necklace is a beautiful reminder of God’s grace, love, and redemption. A sweet simple design with such a powerful message makes this the best gift for a special occasion or just because. Made in sterling silver and hung on a dainty 18" sterling silver chain.  It's available for $45 but use code EMILY15 to save 15%.

Gifts under $25

I have been using these amazing 7 piece Makeup Remover Towel Set.  Use with a cleanser or just water to gently and thoroughly remove all makeup, dirt and grime!  This set redials for $104 but it's currently on major sale for $26 and free shipping.  There are four color print options to choose from.  When you first get them wash them on the gentle cycle by themselves with no fabric softener.  You can tumble dry or just set out to dry.  After that you can wash them with other things but just not ever with fabric softener.  First time customers use code HELLO10 to save another $10.  

I love essential oils and we love diffusing them daily and nightly in our home.  This Essential Oil Diffuser we have in all our bedrooms!  We have also purchased many of these as gifts.  We love diffusing lavender each night to help us sleep.  I love this one because you can set it to go on for 30 seconds and then off for 30 seconds.  Plus, there are all different light color settings you can choose from.  I love the compact size which is perfect for a night stand, desk or countertop!   We've had ours for at least three years and it's going strong and it's only $15.  

This last items is a great gift but would also make a great stocking stuffer.  it's called the ID Police and it's an amazing invention.  Use the  ID Police to cover bank statements, credit card statements and offers, prescription labels, shipping labels, court documents, tax documents, and anywhere else your name, address, phone number and/or social security number is printed.  The ID Police is so incredibly easy. Simply roll it over your personal info you want hidden and that's it! There's no inking pads or stopping to re-ink your stamp. Just one roll is all it takes and it's under $15.  

Sunday, October 10, 2021

We Are A Reflection of God

"We have been created with a soul which means we have been given an eternal nature.
 Therefore, you and I  are a reflection of God our Creator." 

Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  God who created Heaven and Earth in the seven days of creation saved the best creation for last - Mankind! His very own reflection.   Genesis 1:27 says, "And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

God created us in His image and made us each uniquely. Psalm 139:14 says, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!"  As a Christian and as one who professes to follow Christ I am called to represent or reflect Him in my actions, my thoughts and my words.  Why?  So that others may see the love, grace, and kindness He has brought into my life.  By reflecting God’s attributes in all I say and do my hope is that others will want to know Him too.  

In the Bible, there are several times where we are encouraged to reflect God. John 8:12 says, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” We are to reflect God and shine His light to others, as His light is shines onto us. When I said “Yes” to Jesus I was filled with a “spiritual light” that shines so that others can see God’s goodness and grace and love.  

Every day we are faced with stressful situations whether they be with friends and family, or with strangers that we meet as we go about  day to day. It’s in those times that we can either be quick to react negatively, or look at the each incident through God’s eyes with love, understanding, and patience. I read once that it is easy to show God’s goodness when we are in a positive place both mentally and emotionally, but our true image and character are conveyed most in the situations that we cannot control. That’s such a true statement.  When we  walk close to God we can find peace and understanding in each situation.  Each situation helps us to grow in God and all He has to offer us.  

 My hope and prayer is that every time I reach out in love, act in kindness, soften my heart in forgiveness, show a little extra patience, and follow through in faithfulness, that others would experience the character of God through me. 

 May you all have a very blessed day and remember Jesus love you very much!  


Sunday, October 3, 2021

When Fear and Anxiety Tried To Overcome Me!

"Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith."  Harold Ward Beecher

I always want to be honest with you here on this account.   I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I didn’t admit that this week I could feel anxiety and fear welling up inside me.  A few days ago I was on my daily 3 mile walk.  As I was walking all the emotions of everything that is going on in the world finally hit me and overflowed into tears.  I started thinking of it all - the mandates, people losing their jobs, food and other supply shortages, inflation and the price of everything going up, the southern border, election integrity, medical freedom and so much more.  

As the tears began to flow  I looked up to big blue, vast sky that had big fluffy clouds floating in it.  I tried to look as far as I could see even past the clouds as if I was trying to look right into heaven.  I then said to God, “Lord, I know you must see what’s going on down here but it feels like things are spiraling out of control.  Every day we wake up to another insane reality of what’s going on.  It seems the only place I feel peace is when I am asleep. I know you are bigger than my fear!  I know you are bigger than my anxiety!  I know you are bigger than the problems and chaos we face!  I know you are the true Peace Giver!  I need You God more than every before!  I need to feel Your presence even stronger than ever before.  I need You Jesus!!”   

After I spoke those words to God I felt a calmness and peace come over me.  I kept looking up to Jesus!  I felt the burden lifting!  I felt the anxiety lifting!  I knew it was a sign that He had heard me and He was there and He was going to see us through.  That peace and strength He gave me that day was just what I needed to keep on keeping on.  He took away my troubled heart and caused me to instead be courageous to face whatever we have to face.

Are you facing something that is causing fear or anxiety to well up in you?  Is peace missing from your life?  Look up to Jesus!  Call on His name and He will answer you!  He will fill you and He will cover you with the most beautiful peace.  John 14:27 says, “I leave the gift of peace with you - my peace.  Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world but my perfect peace.  Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts - instead, be courageous!”

I took the picture above while staring out at the Sea of Galilee the last time I was in Israel a few years ago.  This is the same water where Jesus calmed the waters and even walked on water.  In Matthew 14:22-33 we read the account of Jesus walking across the water to the disciples in a storm. They were frightened and thought he was a ghost. So Peter,  yelled out, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”    So Jesus told him to, "Come!"  Peter took a step out of the boat and we can see below what happened when he did.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, he said, “why did you doubt me?”

When we read this story of Peter we kind of hone in on Peter's fear but it wasn’t the fear that sank him. Jesus didn’t say, “why did you fear?” He said, “why did you doubt Me?” Look at verse 30 ... "But when Peter saw the wind, he became afraid."  Peter only began to fear when he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm.

So here is a lesson we can all learn.  When we  take our eyes off Jesus, we start to lose faith. When we don’t see Him in what’s happening around us, we lose focus and we lose faith.  Is there something you are fearful about that is taking away your faith and peace?  Let me know below in the comments and I will be pray for you that the Lord would take away all fear and replace it with strong faith and His sweet peace.