Sep 23 2009

"See You at the Pole"

Students in Clinton KY (thanks to Facebook friend Kristia Peery Reynolds for the picture.)

A young man named Josiah began one of the greatest revivals and awakenings in the Old Testament. Josiah had become king of Israel at the age of 8. Scripture tells us that at the age of 16, he began to pursue God passionately. Like his forefather, David, he began to show signs of godliness early on and gained the respect of the people. 2 Kings 22:2 states, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in all the ways of his father, David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.”

This resulted in
radical obedience getting rid of everything that did not honor God and challenging everyone around him to do likewise. These actions resulted in a mighty move of God in his day — actually, one of the greatest ever!

Our theme verse for See you at the Pole™ comes from the heart of this story. Right after the newly discovered scriptures were read to Josiah, the Bible says, “When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes.” In other words, his heart was pierced with conviction. (
Read the full story.)
King Josiah heard the words of God and proclaimed:

“Go and pray to God for me and for the people . . .“ —2 KINGS 22:13a (The Message)

syatp.org

Sep 22 2009

De-Stress Your Weeknights

If your evenings are a blur of stress and activity, here are 3 myths you may want to smash...

  • "I've got to get my evening chores done." Sure, there are times when there isn't a single clean sock in your house and you must do the laundry. But Debbie Mandel (author of Addicted to Stress) says many women pile on the tasks unnecessarily, just for the sake of checking off items on their to-do list. Instead, focus on connecting at the end of the day with family — and yourself. "Each night, move one of your usual tasks (paying bills, Swiffering the kitchen floor) to the A.M., when you're clearheaded — even if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier," advises Mandel. Or reslate them for the weekend, lunch hour...whenever you can nab five minutes.
  • "I must multitask to survive." The human brain literally cannot do two things at once, says Sandra Bod Chapman, Ph.D., chief director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Health. "It quickly toggles back and forth from one task to the other, taking its toll on our efficiency," she notes. Some multitasking is fine — chatting with the kids while chopping onions, for instance — but for more involved tasks, Chapman recommends asking yourself, "Does this require my full attention?" If the answer is yes, either focus on that job or save it for later. You'll actually conserve time, she adds, because doing chores sequentially is proven to be faster than running back and forth between them.
  • "Electronics ease my stress." Actually, the opposite is true: Paying too much attention to the TV, computer, or BlackBerry adds to your anxiety levels and distracts you from family, says Chapman. To remind yourself to unplug, write out a "Stop!" list for the hectic pre-dinner hours, she suggests. "It might include 'Stop answering e-mail after 5:15 p.m.' or 'Stop talking on the cell phone when picking up the kids,' or 'Stop playing Bejeweled once everyone gets home.'" Enforce these policies family-wide, as Janet Schofield did recently after she noticed her 15-year-old son, Zack, texting under the table. "That's when dinner became an electronics-free zone," says the Beaver Falls, PA, mom. "We actually have conversations at dinner now — and the evenings feel a lot more peaceful."

All these tips are from Good Houskeeping.  Click here to read the whole article, then say a little prayer and dive in to restructuring your evening so you can enjoy the sweet spot of your day with the people you love the most.  ~blessings and k-love, Lisa

Sep 21 2009

Gone Fishing

This past weekend I did something I had not done in years - I went fishing.  It was part of a kid's fishing derby our local town was doing.  I'll admit that even though I have a father who loves to fish, I have never been too fond of it.  But this was an opportunity to do something with my son Evan - especially since he has never been fishing.  So there I was baiting hooks and casting with limited success with my son.  After about 10 minutes we caught a tiny little fish (see picture below).  Unfortunately, that was the only fish we caught Saturday morning, although the fish were very well fed by the amount of worms I kept passing their way.  Alas, my son seemed to take more after his dad than grandpa - after an hour and a half he was asking if we could go home to play Legos.  

Sep 21 2009

Christmas shopping! Ideas to keep you from overspending...

Christmas trees, wrapping paper, bows...all the trimmings are ALREADY starting to fill the stores!  If you're ready to get started on your Christmas shopping, here are some tips to help you control your spending.

1. Set a budget.

No matter when you shop, set a budget, make a list and stick to it. Don't allow yourself second thoughts about whether you're being generous enough. Gerri Detweiler, a personal finance adviser at Credit.com, says one of the greatest gifts anyone can give their family is "saving for emergencies and the future."

2. Pace yourself.

If you do all your shopping in December and use credit cards, you'll get a doozy of a bill in January. Detweiler says credit agencies' "phones start ringing off the hooks" in mid-January from people who overextended themselves during last-minute shopping. By pacing yourself throughout the fall, you're less likely to break the budget.

3. Avoid deadline shopping.

Shopping while under deadline pressure can lead to bad (read: costly) buying decisions. Even if you stick to a well-thought-out and on-budget shopping list, stores may well be out of whatever's on your list, and the alternatives may not be as appreciated or affordable.

4. Be organized.

If you start shopping early, keep a careful accounting of what you've spent and what you bought. It can be as easy to forget how much you've already gotten the kids as it is to forget you've almost broken the budget. Detweiler recommends putting all receipts in an envelope beginning with the first holiday purchase and keeping a careful accounting of spending on the outside.

5. Get plugged in.

So you don't have to wait for — or hope for — big sales to be announced, sign up for e-mail or even text-message promotions from the retailers you are most likely to buy from this season. And sign up for or check balances on rewards programs offered by debit and credit cards. There might be a free gift or deep discount available.

For the full article from USA Today, click here!

Peace and k-love, Lisa