It’s a New Year! Are You Willing to Be New Too?

It’s a new year, 2018!  With the new year comes the hope of new things: new opportunities, new adventures, and new blessings.  We often look at the coming new year with anticipation of newness coming our way from the world around us.  Are we, however, willing to be new within?

God’s word reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)  If you want it to be a new year with new opportunities, adventures, and blessings, it has to start with a new you.  Motivational speaker Les Brown says, “If you want to keep on getting what you’re getting, keep on doing what you’re doing.”  What he means by that is if you like what you are receiving in life then keep doing the same things to maintain those results.  However, if you do not like how life is going for you, if you want things to be different, then you have to be different.  You need to try new ideas, try new methods, and have a new mindset.

If you want this to truly be a new year, be a new you.

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Out With the Old and In With the New This Christmas!

There are Christmas traditions and then there is Christmas baggage.  When my husband and I were first married, like many young couples, we did not have a big budget for our first Christmas.  For decorations we had to be resourceful.  We made our own out of paper, beads, glue, ribbons, and some dollar store items.  They may not have been made with much money, but they were made with much love and we enjoyed them.  Over the next few years we inherited some “vintage” Christmas ornaments from my husband’s grandparents (a lot of them) and we added those to our homemade decorations.

As time went on, however, we found that we were putting out these decorations at Christmas simply out of habit.  It was what we did, right? That’s what we were supposed to do.  But we really didn’t have any connection to them anymore.  The old ornaments from my husband’s relatives meant something to him as a child and our homemade decorations we special to us at the time.  Though we have fond memories of Christmases past because of those old festive items, they no longer reflect who we are today and certainly don’t reflect our family as a whole.  Christmas is supposed to be an exciting time of new beginnings and salvation (“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11). In our house it was the same old same old.

So this year it is out with the old and in with the new! Embracing the spirit of our first Christmas together (and the spirit of Cornbread Wisdom), we kept the budget small and found bargains at stores like Ross and Daiso, as well as finding discount decorations a little closer to Christmas Day at Target and Kmart.  And because it wouldn’t feel like us if some items weren’t handcrafted, we made some new Christmas decorations from dollar store items, only kicking them up a few notches from where our very first Christmas was.  Doing this helped bring the family together, paid honor to the past, brought a breath of fresh air, and started new traditions.

If you’ve been doing the same thing year after year at Christmas time try changing it up with something new.  A fresh outlook on the festivities can help bring a fresh insight into the meaning of the season.

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What Are You Thankful For?

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving Day? No matter what we may be going through, if you dig deep enough you will find there is always something to be thankful for.  But being thankful isn’t an obligation or a duty, it is need.  We need a spirit of thankfulness just as we need a spirit of forgiveness.  Thankfulness conditions our hearts to receive the blessings that God gives us.  It opens the door for a two-way conversation with Him and builds it into a true relationship.

When we are thankful before God for life’s blessings we show Him that our hearts are worthy to receive more.  When we are thankful before others we show them what a loving God can do.  So what are you thankful for this day?  Have you thanked God, and have yet let others see that spirit of thankfulness that points toward Him?

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
– Psalm 9:1 (NIV)

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Constitution Day – The Forgotten Holiday

Have you ever heard of Constitution Day? Many Americans have not, and yet it is a very significant day in our nation’s history.

Constitution Day is the federal observance of the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America. It is a remembrance and celebration of the founding document that this country was built upon. The U.S. Constitution was officially adopted in 1787 by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For many years the day was known as “Citizenship Day” until in 2004 when congress officially renamed it Constitution Day.

Want to learn more? Follow the link to the Constitution Day website.

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It’s Labor Day!

“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 NIV

How much do you know about Labor Day (other than all the great sales)? Did you know that the first Labor Day was in New York City in 1882, but that it wouldn’t be until 1894 that it became a national holiday? Read this short, informative article from to get the full lowdown.

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Independence Day 2017

Stay safe, have fun, enjoy your liberties & freedoms, and give thanks to who made it all possible.

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Celebrating Father’s Day

There are many ways to celebrate Father’s Day.  Sometimes the best way is to simply let boys be boys.  So this year I sent my husband and our son out of the house to go spend time together.  Even if it was the hottest day of the year so far and even if all they did was run errands and grab a burger, they said they both had a great time (while our daughter and I stayed home where it was cooler).  Sometimes the best Father’s Day gift is spending time with your offspring just being a dad.

“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.” Psalm 127:3

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Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Served

Today is Memorial Day.  Ironically, on this day of remembrance far too many have forgotten or have never been told the reason behind this United States federal holiday. We all enjoy the sales at the stores, the barbecues in the backyard, and the day off from work (if you a fortunate).  These are all blessings and should be enjoyed.  While we are enjoying these freedoms, though, we should remember those who served our country and made these freedoms possible.

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor the people who died while in active military service.  It is through their service, their sense of duty, and their commitment that paves the way for the United States of America to be the amazing place we call home.

So go ahead and eat the charbroiled burger, shop ’til you drop, kick back and watch the game with your friends and loved ones, and while doing so say thank you to those who passed on in service to this nation.

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Celebrating Mothers

Happy Mothers Day 2017On this day we celebrate mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, step-mothers, foster mothers, and mother figures everywhere who loved us, nurtured us, taught us, and helped us to become who we are today.

As for my family, we all went out to dinner and had a nice time, with gifts and cards for me and my mother.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  –  Exodus 20:12

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Easter is Here!

Easter 2017Sometimes we can get so busy around a holiday.  We work hard to put together costumes for Halloween, cook dinner for Thanksgiving, search for just the right presents for Christmas, and so on.  Easter is no exception.  If you’ve got young kids in your life you might been working hard to set up an egg hunt for them or other activities.  Or you might be scrambling to make reservations for brunch plans or some sort of family outing.  Or shopping for the perfect new outfit to wear to Church on Easter morning.

Holidays can be wonderful occasions, however they can also be moments where we become focused on the wrong things.  Easter is a no exception.  Out of all the holidays on the calendar each year Easter is one that we should never over-complicate. While egg hunts and brunch and new clothes are fun, we should not be distracted from the very straightforward and simple truth of Easter, of Resurrection Sunday: that Jesus went to the cross to pay the ultimate price for all our sins, died, and rose again from the grave, forever defeating death and sin.  Through this one act He made it possible for us to have forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God.

So as you are busily planning your Easter activities stop for a moment, take a breath, and reflect on what the day is truly about.  We get to enjoy life because Jesus laid down His for us and took it up again in triumph.

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