Category Archives: Flawless

Use Your Gifts to Change the World – On Beauty and Acceptance

Your beauty does not need to come from outward adornment.  Instead, it is that of your inner self, the unfailing beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.             1 Peter 3:3-4

Happy Wednesday!  It’s a great day to use Your Gifts to Change the World!

From the time we are old enough to understand, it is easy to see how the world is obsessed with beauty.  Beautiful men and women are constantly flashed in front of us on television, movies, games and Internet websites.  Little girls play with Barbie dolls, who have perfect body dimensions, beautiful hair and makeup.  Women are constantly working out, starving themselves and paying for plastic surgery, so they can be accepted by their peers and be attractive to men.  This goes on usually for their entire life.  Boys strive to have the ideal body of an athlete so they can be desirable to women.  Teens and adults participate in body piercing and tattooing to try to make themselves more attractive. We spend billions of dollars on shoes, clothes, hair, weight loss medication  and jewelry every year.  While annually many die from eating disorders and suicide related to feeling unaccepted.  We all want to feel beautiful and belong.

The most attractive thing about you should have less to do with  any of these outwardly adornments and more to do with your Christian heart.  Christians should notice inward beauty from the heart before outward beauty.  If you are living what you are studying and witnessing to others, your inner beauty should radiate out so bright that no one even notices your outward appearance.  Ask yourself, if everyone were blindfolded, how many would be impressed with you?  How many people would want to have a relationship with Christ?  It’s wonderful to take care of your body and be the best person you can, but make your emphasis be on your inward beauty.  My mother use to tell me “pretty is as pretty does”.  It’s an old but true saying.  Also, remember what a special friend told me last week.  If you put your trust in God, you don’t need the approval of others.  You were created perfect in his image and you are so blessed!  It is when we take the focus off outward appearances and place our efforts on living a joyful life in Christ that we become the most beautiful to everyone.

Today, I challenge you to be yourself and live your love for Christ! Then, be an inspiration and encouraging force for others. Also take a few minutes to hear Laura Story’s personal message on blessings and her song.  God bless you.


Try Something New Tuesday – Out of Bad Comes Good

Let light shine out of darkness.  2 Corinthians 4:6

Its Try Something New Tuesday!  Sometimes we find that out of the bad comes something good, and out of darkness, light.  For instance, I’ve been sick, so my husband I are trying a new eating plan to replace bad stomach bacteria with good.  Another example is I heard from my cousin who lives in Seattle last night.  It’s the first time I have spoken to him in years.  I’m excited  that he will be visiting us this week, but his visit is due to a funeral.  So, remember that God will always help turn your sickness and sorrow into something better.

When we are experiencing dark troubling times, we need only look to God and the light will shine through.  He loves us and wants our happiness.  That doesn’t mean that every dark situation will brighten immediately.  We need to be faithful and trust God to help us find the light.

So, if you are experiencing sadness and despair, know that God loves you.  He is always by your side and will never let you down.  Turn to him with faith.  God bless you.



Tell Me Something Good Monday – What Would a Christian Do Scenario #2

I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born says the Lord.  Isaiah 66:9

Happy Monday!  I have several good things to share this morning.  I’m not in the hospital.  I’m headed back to work, which is particularly exciting since I have the best staff in the world.  I love, love, love them.  Finally, I spent  a nice relaxing Sunday with my husband just enjoying his company.  Life is truly wonderful when you walk with God.  That’s not to say that you won’t experience rejections, disappointments, set backs and upsets, but you will never be alone when you look to God.

What Would a Christian Do? – Scenario #2

In the Gret Commission found in Mark 16:15-16, we are instructed to go “into all of the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” because only those who believe will be saved.  Even in 2017 there are places where Christians place themselves and others in danger by preaching God’s word.

For example, American Jeffrey Edward Fowle was detained by the North Korean government for leaving his Bible in his hotel room in April of 2014.  Anyone with a Christian bible is considered a spy in North Korea.  Since the 1970s Christians have been persecuted in Cambodia.  China continues to torture Christians.  Christians are persecuted and churches burned down in Columbia.  While inroads are being forged in Cuba, it is still dangerous to openly display Christian beliefs.  In Egypt Christians were accused of poisoning the water and planning to attack Muslim neighborhoods resulting in the death of 21 Christians.  While the government in India does not persecute Christians, it has created an environment for random attacks to take place such as that of 52 year-old, Yesu-Dasu.  His hands were tied and his head chopped off by an axe.  His body was left in a field of cattle.

Christians in Indonesia are often forced to undergo conversion rituals.  Those refusing are beheaded and churches are bombed.  The goal in Laos is to completely eradicate Christians.  Most Christians in Malaysia are ostracized.  It’s illegal for churches to be constructed in Myanmar.  At least two Christians in northern Nigeria were caned to death.   Christian Life in the Philippines is dangerous.  Twenty-nine Christians were lined up and shot at close blank range in Bumbaran.  Only eight survived.  Life is also very difficult for Christians in Russia, the world’s largest country.  Sudan is one of the most brutal countries toward Christians, forcing Islamic conversion.  Christian beliefs are difficult in Vietnam.  Even in the United States we have to be careful in our witness to others, because it may infringe on their rights.

Having said all of that, early Christian leaders and believers were also tortured, but where would Christianity be today if they had not fought to spread the Gospel?

What Would a Christian Do?  I look forward to your responses.  God bless you.

Praise the Lord Sunday – What Would a Christian Do?

He sustains me.   Psalm 55:22

Good Morning and Praise the Lord.  It sure was nice to sleep in my bed and wake up at home this morning.

While I was in the hospital I had to slow down, pay attention to others and when no one was around, watch some television.  During this time I noticed some Christian decision dilemmas.  Have you ever seen the ABC news program called What Would You Do hosted by John Quinones?  On the program different scenarios are setup unknowingly to others to see what people would do under certain circumstances.  Well, this post and from time to time some future posts will be about what would a Christian do.  A little similar to the popular phrase What Would Jesus Do – WWJD.  Some of the scenarios are real and some are not.  I hope you will participate and provide feedback.

Scenario #1

You are being admitted to the hospital and the floor registered nurse is gathering your information and entering it into the computer.  You notice something is not right, but can’t put your finger on it.  The  45-50 something year old nurse asks you for your medication and you provide her a piece of paper listing your medication and doses.  She moans, squints and seemingly struggles to enter the information.  She struggles to ask medical history questions with an unfamiliar accent and seems to be unable to handle routine tasks.  The nurse is very kind.  You look at her and silently wonder does she work more than one job?  She looks tired.  She seems fluent in English, but is there a language barrier?  She seems healthy, but maybe she’s unwell or is experiencing some early dementia. You are forgetful and realize this could be you.  On the other hand, you don’t know her.  She might be taking a medication that is impairing her judgement.  Now, remember you are sick in the hospital and the information she is providing is important to your care.

The next morning you are awakened to a different nurse trying to administer medication that you have never taken and that was not prescribed in the hospital.    You refuse the medication, knowing there is a problem.  Then, someone comes in to put allergy stickers on your armband.  You are awake and ask what allergies, because you know of only one.  The morning nurse begins to list off medication allergies of which you are unaware.  Are these allergies that no one told you about or was this a mistake.  This is important because if there were an emergency, this list may limit what medication could save your life.  You begin to realize you are not receiving the medication that you should be taking.  You ask a family member to bring them from home.  You later learn the first nurse had provided faulty preparation instructions for a medical test you took.

Others in the hospital are starting to notice and ask questions.  Now, remember you are sick, but God is control and taking good care of you.  You feel badly for the nurse and don’t want to make trouble.  You’ve been praying for her.  On the other hand, you are not the only one in the hospital.  Some patients may not be well enough to figure out similar mistakes or have family to help them.  Conversely, shouldn’t there be safety mechanisms in the hospital to ensure the patients safety?  Health care providers have a heavy burden at work, because lives are at stake.  Hospital staff is asking you questions.  What would a Christian do?

I can’t wait to hear your responses.  God bless you.


Take Care of Your Temple Saturday

For he will order angels to protect you everywhere you go.  Psalm 91:11

Happy Saturday!  My hospital care was fantastic, but I’m so happy to be at home now.

One thing that was on my mind While I was in the hospital, and even before, was how I need to take better care of my body.  After all, I Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, we should care for our bodies the same way we would care for our churches.  I know I could do much better.  So, last night when my IV machine was beeping I started identifying ways I could do better.  Please feel free to add to the list.

  1.  Eat for fuel and well-being.  Yikes!  This is difficult for me.  I love food.  However, I know that food isn’t supposed to be my God.  Therefore, I need to monitor quantities.  That’s not enough though.  It is equally important to eat a diet rich in healthy food from God’s kingdom, while limiting highly processed foods.  After this bout with sickness, I think I need to include probiotic and prebiotic foods.  As I was leaving the hospital the Doctor recommended an over-the-counter supplement.
  2. Exercise.  We all know exercise is good for us.  It helps all of our systems operate better.  I don’t especially dislike exercise, but it is painful on my joints and that slow me down.  So, I’m going to find a way to break up the needed exercise into bite-sized segments.
  3. Drink water.  It is so important to keep ourselves hydrated.  It helps us to look younger and our bodies to operate more efficiently.  For me it is helpful to start the day with a couple of glasses of water.  It’s a great start and helps me from getting to the end of the day only to find that I need to drink a lot of water before bed.
  4. Rest.  Sleep is imperative for a healthy body and I rarely sleep enough.  So. It is my goal to schedule sleep on my phone.  Can you believe your smart phone can do that too?
  5. Breathe Fresh Air and Soak Up the Sun.  Something I sometimes take for granted is the need to get outside and enjoy fresh air, sunshine, and the beauty of God’s creation.  It is stifling hot in Florida, but today I did some stretching and walking in a swimming pool.  Late in the day, I sat outside in our swing and just took a break.
  6. Meditate and Think Positive Thoughts.  Just stopping for two to three minutes throughout the day to clear my mind and take a deep breath would help me to remember what is most important.  I’m going to add this to my calendar as a reminder.
  7. Take a Break from Electronics.  With an Apple Watch on my arm and an iphone or iPad in my hand most of the time, I need to give electronics a break for a period of time each day.  Today, God helped me with that when we had an unexpected loss of Internet service. I told my husband it was like the old days.

These are just a few ideas.  Please add yours and let’s take care of our bodies.  God bless you.

Spread the Love Friday – You Can Do It Everywhere!

And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.  Isaiah 65:24

Happy Friday!  I’m posting today from the hospital.  For my followers who struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases, you’ll understand when I explain that some of the medications we take actually hurt our immune systems and make it difficult to fight off illnesses, food poisoning and other things that don’t seem to bother others.  We are classified as immune system compromised.  It becomes a balancing act.  We can’t go through life in a bubble or with a mask on all the time.  At the same time we can’t stop our medication, if we want to function in the world.  It’s a little frustrating to watch others our age or older performing simple tasks so much better.  So, that’s what happened to me.  I don’t know if I had a bad case of food poisoning, a tummy virus, or a problem with the lack of good bacteria in my stomach, but I needed a little help after five days.

Asking for help may sometimes seem horrible, but it is not the worst thing in the world.  Being dependent on others gives them a chance to receive blessings from giving and allows us to understand what others are going through.  I can’t tell you how blessed I am.  First of all, my wonderful husband has waited on me for days.  Second, my staff are second to none.  Every opportunity available they are cheering me up.  They have texted or called me everyday.  Last night we had a wonderful visit in the hospital and I am enjoying the beautiful flowers they brought me. Today, we had a FaceTime chat and it was followed by a text with this photo.

Isn’t that awesome!  It touches my heart.  I also had a visit from three of my Crafty Ladies.  It’s always good to be cheered by our sisters in Christ.  Finally,  what a blessing the doctor and hospital staff has been to me!  Wow!  They have been responsive, caring and just all around wonderful.  Last night as the nurse was taking my blood pressure, I noticed a cross hanging around her neck.  It’s just nice to know that Christians are providing care for us when we are sick; people with the same love for God.  Oh, and now that I can keep food down, the food is out of this world delicious!  God is so good.

While I have been in the hospital, I have had worries about work, deadlines, meetings, and similar matters.  God worked all that out for me.  There is really no need for worry.  Just trust him.

While I’m in the hospital, I’m not going to waste a moment. I’m spreading the love to healthcare providers today!  I hope you wil also spread God’s good love everywhere you go.  God bless you!

Try Something New Tuesday – Respect

Refuse to let the world corrupt you.  James 1:27

It’s Try Something New Tuesday!

Something I learned from an early age was manners.  It’s interesting how lessons learned early in life are instilled for a lifetime.  My parents were consistently correcting me on how to address adults.  The words “yep”,  “yes”, “yeah”, “no” and “nope” were not acceptable.  The proper answer to a question was “yes ma’am”,  yes sir”, “no ma’am”,  or “no sir”.  Adults were not called by first names, but “Mrs. Smith” or “Mr.  Smith”.  Adults in the family were addressed by their relationship plus their given name, for example “Uncle Tony”.  My parents’ and grandparents’ closest friends were referred to the same as aunts and uncles.  Bad language and interrupting was not tolerated.  We washed up and combed our hair before dinner.  We placed our napkins in our laps and chewed with our mouths closed.  Smacking, slurping and other meal time noises were not allowed.  When we were finished eating, we asked to be excused.  After everyone finished a meal,  girls were expected to help with the cleanup regardless of whose house you were visiting.

When I was a Girl Scout, the lessons continued.  I learned how to set the table, personal grooming and how behave in formal situations. This came in handy when we visited the Governor’s Mansion for a formal tea when I was eleven.

When my friends and I were preteens, there was a class in our church on dating etiquette.  We were taught about the way young men and women were to behave.  Leaders in the church instructed young men how to treat the young ladies with respect by opening doors, pulling out chairs at dinner, helping girls with their coats, allowing women to order first in a restaurant, offering a handkerchief, greeting a young lady at the door and walking her back to the door after the date, and similar niceties.  Young ladies were taught to wait for and expect proper behavior from young men and how to respond.  My father would have punished me for running out the door, if a young man honked the car horn when arriving at our home.  We were taught proper dress and grooming, how to dance and appropriate social behavior for a young dating couple.  When the time for dating came, we were so caught up in behaving correctly in our dating roles, that we forgot about the romance element, at least for a while.

When I was in high school, I took business classes where I learned the appropriate way to write and fold correspondence, greet customers and other professionals, and to behave over the telephone.  While this sounds a little unnecessary, you would be surprised how much I’m complimented on behavior I learned in these classes.

The lessons of respect have continued in my life as an adult, as have my husbands.  He still opens the door for me .  I still refer to people in a position of authority or elders as “Mr.” or “Mrs.”, which has been a little contentious at work sometimes.

Many of the rules of etiquette have been tossed to the side over the years, and some would argue they are no longer needed.  However, I believe manners teach us how to treat others with respect and how we should be treated.  Etiquette teaches us how to behave and prevents uncomfortable awkwardness in social situations.  With the lack of respect for others in society today, I think it should be reintroduced and taught to future generations.

Join me in teaching children and young adults manners.  God bless you.

Tell Me Something Good Monday – Summer Memories

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.  His love endures forever.  Psalm 118:1

Happy Monday!  It was a great weekend here with my family celebrating the fathers in our life.  I hope you had a great weekend too.

Saturday I was watching my grandson play and I was reminded of the summers when I was growing up.  There was plenty of ice-cold sweet tea, and tomato sandwiches.  We spent most of our time in the summer at my grandmother’s farm, where there was work to be done in the field, but at least part of the day was spent playing house in the hay loft, and lying in the pasture watching the clouds.  There weren’t any cell phones, but my grandmother had a telephone on a party line with her neighbors.  It was always fun to listen in on the neighbors gossiping.  With no air conditioning, my grandmother propped her windows up with a stick and there were box fans in the living room, where peas were shelled while visiting with family.  She had a color television, but there were only three channels and no video games.  You would think that would have made us unhappy, but we had great fun.  We enjoyed cranking the handle to make homemade ice cream while listening to stories about when the old folks were young.  It was the best ice cream I’ve ever had.  Sometimes my grandmother would take us fishing.  Along the way she would break a twig off a live oak and show us how to make a toothbrush.  We always had a frog, lizard, or caterpillar in a mason jar, and we were forever trying to catch fireflies.

My grandmother was always making gifts (sewing, knitting, embroidering, crocheting and quilting).  I learned these skills growing up.  Now these are dying arts.  When she quilted, she would drop the frame down from the ceiling.  This was a great time to play under the quilt she was working on.  When we were blessed enough to spend the night, we were awakened to the smell of bacon and the sound of gospel music.  There were plenty of treasures from the old days in my grandmother’s house, which awakened our curiosity.  When all of her work was done, my grandmother would sit on the porch swing with us, sing and tell us stories.

It seems we are so busy with life today that we miss the simple memory making moments. Those are times to pass down stories and traditions, while teaching our children and grandchildren manners and life skills.  This summer I encourage you to make memories with your family that don’t require a lot of money or technology.  I promise the children will carry them in their hearts forever.  God bless you!

Praise the Lord Sunday – Thank God for Fathers

You are more precious than jewels.  Proverbs 31:10

Happy Father’s Day!  Praise the Lord today for being the best father ever.  Then, thank him for all the fathers in your life.

I think sometimes the importance of fathers is overlooked.  In our family the fathers are the ones who provide financial stability.  When mom is on maternity leave, dad is doing everything he can to make sure the bills are paid.  My sweet husband worked two jobs for more than twenty years to make sure our children had everything they needed.  Dad is the one who teaches his sons how to treat their future wives and his daughters how they deserve to be treated, by giving mom the best treatment.  When mom is a little over protective because she worries about her children, dad is the one who says “it will be okay, let them . . .”  I saw this with my father, my father-in-law, and my husband.  Now, I see it with my son-in-law.  They teach children to take risks and go a little farther.  Fathers are the protectors of the family, especially during their daughters dating years.  Later, they are the ones who give their daughter’s hand in marriage.  Fathers are the ones who teach their children about God by leading prayers at home and by taking time away from what they want to do to take their family to church.  The dads in our family are wonderful caregivers but also firm disciplinarians, which is what teaches children values, and right from wrong.  They are the ones who teach consequences when mom has a tendency to give in.  Fathers are also the ones who introduce rough play.  While Moms often cuddle, dads roll on the floor and tickle.

Our family is very traditional and I’m so thankful.  There seems to be a lack of value placed on families today.  Sometimes it is unexpected and single parents are forced to be in both roles.  However, whenever possible, I encourage the traditional family, because the roles of father and mother are different and important.

Happy Fathers Day Daddy, Dad, Honey and Tim!  I love you all.

Happy Fathers Day to all fathers everywhere!  God bless you.

Refresh Your Soul

The grass withers and flowers fade, but the Word of the Lord stands forever.  Isaiah 40:8

Whenever I am writing, the Holy Spirit fills me with a message to share with you.  However, there are times I sit with my tablet searching for something new.  On days like these I know I need to stop what I’m doing and study God’s word.

Some consider the Bible as only a history book.  Some think of it as fairy tales to teach children how to behave.  I have heard it said there is no way the Bible could be true, because of the age of the stories and the way it was passed down by word of mouth through time.  Others believe the Bible is God’s word.  So, which one could it be?

We know the Jewish leaders kept good records.  In 1946, the Essenes discovered what we refer to today as the Dead Sea Scrolls.  With my family I was able to see some the  Dead Sea Scroll remains in a museum exhibition in Alabama several ago.  It was amazing!  Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls date back to 300 BCE.  Many believe the Essenes living in ancient times were responsible for recording at least some of the events in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which makes the Bible a historic document.

There are stories in the Bible that seem unbelievable and cause many to doubt.  How can a man be inside a big fish for three days and nights?  How could Noah load up all the animals in the ark?  How could a virgin be pregnant?  Well, I certainly do not have all the answers and I’m sure everything can be explained logically with science.  In turn, I ask doubters, how were the great pyramids constructed so perfectly without modern technology and tools?  How did the ancient people carve buildings into stone in Petra, including a 4000-seat amphitheater and the El-Deir monastery?  We know they used water, but could modern engineers and architects recreate these structures with modern tools?  My point is our minds cannot understand everything that is and has taken place around us.  Therefore, we need to have faith.  If these stories were not true, why would ancient people have gone to so much trouble to preserve them for future generations?  Stories and tales can be shared and remembered.  It would not require hiding documents for the future.  Also, miracles happen every day around us.  It was no different in ancient times.  How many times have we seen someone recover from a horrible medical condition that shouldn’t have been survived?  Finally, archeological remains have proven Biblical stories to be true.

So, then the question becomes, is the Bible God’s word?   Many say no.  I say yes.  If you believe the Bible is a history book, then you should understand the history recorded in the Bible is claimed to have come from the living God.  “Thus says the Lord” and “God said” are written throughout the Bible.  In Exodus 4:30 we find that Aaron spoke the words God had given to Moses.  The prophet Isaiah testified regarding a warning given by the Lord for the ancient people to follow his commandments (2 Kings 17:13).  In John 16:12, Jesus explained that he had much to tell, more than we could understand. Paul explained in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, that the ancient Thessalonians should constantly give thanks for God’s word.  We also know that Jesus used God’s word in Matthew 4:10 in battling Satan. Therefore, the Bible has divine origin making it a divine book.

Finally, when I read a novel repeatedly, I always read the same story. When I read my Bible, I always learn something new that pertains to struggles I am encountering.  It is also interesting that often I’m sharing something I learned and others are moved.  I have read thousands of books, and I have never read another book that does this.  I have never followed the instructions in the Bible and hurt someone.  I have never seen where the Bible instructed me to do wrong things.  I believe that the Holy Spirit shows me the answers I need, making the Bible a living historical document and the Word of God.

I’m blessed beyond belief  when I study God’s word and listen to what he is saying.  I pray that you will have the same experience.  I challenge you to take time to study God’s Word.  God bless you.