Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Resolve

I've never made a New Year's resolution--and kept it. This year I want to change that. I decided to read the Bible through in a year.

When you start looking at this goal there are numerous options. Sometimes I take so long making the decision, I miss the New Years deadline. Besides choosing your translation, you can chose to read it chronologically from Genesis to Revelation. Or, you can read preselected portions that include Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. That's my choice this year.

I chose the One Year Bible. In the past when I had this goal I printed off a schedule and used my own Bible. This had me flipping around and I usually gave up.

I actually bought a new Bible that has daily portions printed from the OT, NT, Psalms and Proverbs. I like variety so I even downloaded the audible mobile format for my iPhone. But, you don't have to buy anything. You can do it all on line - for free.

My new goal, besides reading the Bible through is not to give up. After all, I started already back in November so I wouldn't get behind. How am I doing? I'm on day 20. But this year I don't want to quit, even if I finish the Bible in 2011.

Have you done a one year Bible? How was it?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Book Review - When I Accepted Me by Sonja Samuel

When I Accepted Me: 52 Affirmations to Boost Your Self-Esteem! by Sonja Samuel (Hewell Publishing)
Guest blogger, Sonja, shares about her book:

How we feel about ourselves, how we see ourselves influences how we live our lives. It is a direct result to the level of our self-esteem. For most people self-esteem is about how much we feel valued, loved, accepted and thought well of by others; but it is really about how much we love, value and except ourselves. It is in accepting ourselves that allows us to do well in the things that matter most. It is what leads us to fulfill our destiny and make a divine difference.

However, since we all experience problems with our self-esteem, self worth and self-acceptance at various times in our lives, When I Accepted Me is a collection of personal affirmations to help build, boost and maintain good self-esteem.

Sonja Samuel

You may have seen her on the sidelines cheering for one of the most winningst football teams in the NFL or on a commerical or a magazine. A former print model, TV spokesperson, internet radio and talk show host, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and NFL Players Cheerleader. SONJA SAMUEL currently travels the world as an international speaker, leadership consultant, and life empowerment strategist to Fortune 500 companies and their workforce; as well as traveling the globe as a performing arts director and short-term missionary.

Her inspiring and empowering influence as been experienced throughout North America, South and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Her book can be ordered from It would be a great way to start the year and to recharge for the coming year. They are extending a special introduction offer of $14.95 because they want to get the book out into as many hands as possible. It is a powerful tool for empowering others.

It makes a great gift book for your friends, family and coworkers. It will make a wonderful way to offer love and affirmation for Valentine’s Day.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Star of Bethlehem - the movie

Imagine the sky the night Jesus arrived on planet Earth. What would we see if we could turn back the clock and view the stars that shone over the stable? One shiny light in particular interests me - the Star of Bethlehem.

Many theories surround the star. Was it a legend, a comet or just an unexplainable miracle? Historians of that time period confirm that something incredible occurred in the heavens that night. The film, Star of Bethlehem, brings together faith, science and logic for a beautiful and compelling explanation of this brightest of all stars.

This movie, produced by the makers of of the movie, The Passion of Christ, has become a family tradition in our home each Christmas. It chronicles the search of Frederick Larson, a lawyer, to find the truth about the heavenly sign.

In true lawyer fashion, Larson studies the clues and characteristics of the star as outlined in the gospel of Matthew. Using these clues to pinpoint the timeline and location of the star, Larson then employs a computer program, Starry Night. This program, used by astronomers at NASA, displays the heavenly stars for anytime in history from anywhere in the universe.

Starry Night makes turning back the night skies possible. Using the discoveries of Johann Keppler of the 17Th century and Isaac Newton, the program uses the three laws of planetary motions to actually pinpoint the position of each body in the heavens throughout time.

Personally, when I watch this film, I am amazed by the absolute order of the universe. Each time, I experience a spiritual revival and wonder why I ever doubt God's ability to order every detail of my life, my family and my world. We can truly concur:

The Heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
Night after night they display knowledge.
Psalm 19:1-2

The research behind this movie is sound and the ideas clearly presented. This film makes a great choices for an outreach evening of fellowship in your home. Invite your neighbors, co-workers or family members over for sweet Christmas treats, some cocoa and a discussion that is sure to be lively. The surprise ending reveals the complete purpose of Christ's visit to Earth and the message is scrawled across the canopy of the heavens.

Obtain your movie copy at you local Christian bookstore or from

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Fifth Dimension Portal

"Mom, there is something that you never explained to me."

I called my mom one Saturday morning for this all important question. She had an edge of concern in her voice as she responded, "Oh, what is that?"

"Where do all of the socks go? I have a basket of spare socks and none go together."

I noticed this phenomenon shortly after I was married. With children added every three to five years until there are now four of them, the sock spares are out of control.

I decided that there is a conspiracy among sock sellers. Usually packages of socks come in three pairs but each is slightly different. Therefore, if you lose one sock from each pair, you have just single unmatched socks.

There are a few solutions: 1) Buy only solid, boring socks all of one color so that no matter how many you lose, you still have pairs of socks 2) Buy 2 packages of three sets of socks so you have two of each pair OR 3) Lobby congress to pass a law that all socks come in sets of three so that there is a spare for that inevitable day when one of the socks enters the fifth dimension portal which is located at the back of the dryer.

It happens with gloves and mittens, too. I don't even need gloves very often due to living in the south. That is part of the problem, they are put away in storage and when you need them you have to go digging for them and -- you guessed it -- there is usually a pile of single gloves.

I'm travelling north this week so I pulled out all of the gloves I could find. I have four single gloves, one gray, one black knit and two Isotoner driving gloves that are similar enough that I thought they could be a pair. Unfortunately, they are both for the same hand.

Alas, I have discovered another portal into the fifth dimension -- the back of my closet. Now if the extra calories from the Christmas goodies could just find the portal and disappear, I would be very happy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Saved from a Life of Crime

The holiday checkout line moved slowly and my three-year-old daughter was antsy. She had trouble keeping her hands off the toy displays strategically placed on the lower shelves. I glanced down just in time to see my youngster jerk her hand back from an unsealed doll package.

"Did you rip that package open?"

My daughter's wide eyes told everything. She nodded her head.

I explained that destroying the package was the same as stealing. The store could no longer sell the toy therefore they could not make money. My daughter's lower lip stuck out as she hung her head.

"Do you know what you have to do? You need to tell the clerk and apologize. Then you will have to pay for the doll."

When we reached the cashier I told him that my daughter had something that she needed to tell him. My precocious three-year-old was quite verbal and made the apology clearly. The checker waved it off and said it was fine.

"No," I insisted. "She needs to pay for the doll."

The shoppers behind me shifted their weight and coughed. They just wanted to get out of the store. The cashier looked uncomfortable but finally took the money from my daughter.

"You know, kids do that stuff all of the time." The young man behind the cash register obviously felt I had just committed child abuse.

I didn't see it that way. I felt it was time to teach an important lesson. My daughter knew she had done something wrong and she needed to make restitution . She got the lesson and the local toy charity received the doll for a needy child in the area.
My mom tells a similar store about me at the grocery store. I was probably three when I asked for some candy and my mother said, "No!" A few aisles later and my mom looked down to see a tell-tale candy dribble down my chin and a pinafore pocket full of wrappers.

I was a very shy child so telling the checker that I was sorry was an experience that is permanently emblazoned on my conscience. This cashier understood what my mother was trying to teach me and fixed a firm eye on me until I stammered out my confession. She took my money and told me to never steal again.

I don't remember the incident but I've never stolen another item again-- not even a paper clip from my workplace.

It is interesting-or sad-to see the responses by the two different checkers in two different generations. It could be a sign of the times however accountability for wrong doing is a timeless lesson that never goes out of style.

Thanks, Mom, for taking the time to teach me a lesson that would have been easier to ignore and a whole lot less embarrassing. Who knows, you may have saved me from a life of crime!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blessed Disabilities

What do you do when your child's best academic efforts land him or her in the bottom quarter of the standardized test chart? My daughter started her sophomore year of homeschooling before we finally learned why school was so difficult for her.

Follow this link: Heart of the Matter Online to read my article about my daughter's journey through dyslexia, Blessed Disabilities.