Over the river and through the woods …

… To Grandmother’s house we go! My (paternal) Grandmom has been on her own for what will be ten years this summer, and now that my Aaron found the initiative and leadership to gain ownership of his schedule and be home during the day (thank you Life!!), we were all able to go spend an afternoon with her. We showed up unannounced at her door and completely shocked the pants off her!! Even more so when we told her we were cooking lunch.

We had a delightful afternoon last week. Here are some pics.

She braided my and Jo’s hair. 😍 She is so cute–she ate the chili we made and said she liked it! (Food tastes better when you make it for others–am I right??)

We are blessed to be able to model servant leadership for our kids–we have learned from our families, and now from the Woodwards, Bradys, Freys, Harteis’, Johnson’s, etc.

Bottom line, folks, is nothing is more important in life than relationships. Not status, money, stuff, where you live, anything. You can’t take anything with you when you depart from this world, but what you leave behind, your legacy, will mean everything. Make it count (Matt. 5:16)!!

Lets make our corner of the world a bit brighter today. Heaven knows we need to; who else will??

Be blessed, all–until next time!

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Dec. 17th devo

I know I’m lagging way behind, but this is a good one!!

The Heart of A Servant

“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” ~Proverbs 11:25.

Mom, do you consider each day a glorious opportunity to improve your little corner of the world? Hopefully so, because your corner of the world, like so many other corners of the world, can use all the help it can get.

You can make a difference– a big difference– in the quality of your own life and the lives of your family, your neighbors, your friends, and your community. You make the world a better place whenever you find a need and fill it. And in these difficult days, the needs are great– but so is your ability to meet those needs.

So as you plan the day ahead, be sure to make time for service. And then expect good things to happen as God richly rewards your generosity.

“My heart’s desire is to find more opportunities to give myself away and teach my children the joy of service at the same time.” ~ Liz Curtis Higgs

~Be a blessing to someone today. You wont regret it, and they won’t forget it!! Scripture says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). All glory to God, amen??

Be blessed today!!!

Praising the Lord for essential oils and tea!

Oh, happy day for the anxiety sufferer! I made my way to the Christmas Tree Shoppes (our app works there) the other day and picked up a chamomile tea blend (Cuppa Creations: Dreams) and two essential oils. I’ll come back to them in a bit.

I am going through a spate of anxiety at the moment. Not to worry– I expect to get through it soon. My mind goes haywire over little things and I can’t get it to shut up. Part and parcel of both the INFJ and Melancholy personalities. You don’t want to be me!! Let’s just say that!!

~ This may become a staple in my pantry, even when I’m anxiety free. It is so smooth and subtle– I always add a touch of sugar/honey and lemon. Perfection . It serves the purpose of getting me settled for bed and sleep. Highly recommended!!

Oils in the “Calming” blend ( in the diffuser as I type): orange, tangerine, ylang ylang, patchouli, and chamomile.

“Good Nite”:

Lavender, tangerine, bergamot, geranium, cypress, frankincense, and chamomile blue. Serenity in the air !!

Essential oils are great for virtually any mental or even physical ailment. Young Living’s “Thieves” (cinnamon, clove, orange, eucalyptus) is awesome to fight colds. Of course, there are decent oils that don’t cost an arm and a leg. I believe I have found some!! Let me know in the comments what blends/brands you love!

Be blessed, one and all- until we meet again!!

More gems from Massachusetts

Posting the last of the gleanings from this past weekend.

Tony & Pat Teffel

  • “I’m working on it” translation: I’m not planning to do it. Only thinking about it.
  • When you can’t do it, that only means you’re human. You’ve reached the end of your pretty pitiful resources. Now, let God take control. Your Heavenly father says, “Finally. It’s time. Let’s do your life, the life I gave you, My way. I am a million percent capable of running the show. I run everything.”

Jerry & Polly Harteis

  • Faith can move mountains, but what creates those mountains? All of your negative tendencies: fear, indecision, procrastination, low self-esteem, etc.
  • Unanswered prayers only attest that you will get your answer in the future! Trust God and His timing.
  • Our true colors are revealed not when we face the inevitable, but when we exhibit courage of conviction.
  • Quit living as if death is all there is. Dream God sized dreams. Pursue God sized goals.
  • “Victory often comes late in the battle.” ~Atilla the Hun.

Orrin Woodward

  • Every human stands or falls based on how they view Jesus Christ.
  • Stupid times 1,000,000 does not equal smart.
  • Its not what you have that matters, but what has you.
  • A life lived for self is empty.
  • Money is a blessing from God to enable his servants to serve more effectively.

~ I love that last one. I was just talking about this yesterday. Money in itself is not evil. The love of money, greed, is evil . Sinning to gain money is wrong. But money in the hands of good people can only be used for good.

Zach & Flora Frey

Our own leaders!! (Aside from Anthony and Monica Swede, who shepherd the Atown flock locally!! Zach ((who is from PA)) & Flora live in North Carolina.)

  • When you feel overwhelmed or down on yourself, you have to tell yourself why you’re doing this rather than focusing on your skill level. stay tuned into your purpose, your mission, why you’re in this business in the first place. You will complete your task and be able to PDCA if necessary. (*PDCA= Plan, Do, Check, and Adjust .)
  • If you don’t decide to rein yourself in and surrender control of your life, mind, and heart to Christ, someone or something else will.
  • Don’t focus on micromanaging. Focus on leading. Set the example for others.
  • Serve people more than they deserve.
  • Give without expecting any reward or accolade. The deed completed is reward in itself.
  • RLA (read, listen, and associate) every area of your life. Business, personal development, finances, marriage, parenting.
  • You can’t determine your destiny, but you can determine your habits. Your habits determine your destiny.
  • Don’t sell yourself short. The tiniest acts of service can be immensely impactful and influential.

~ I will close by telling you all a bit about RLA’ing. It really is the whole basis, the foundation of our system at LIFE. We are an educational company; we help people with their finances, personal and professional development, and leadership skills. And how do you learn anything? By reading, of course! We also sell scores of audios for additional teaching (in one monthly subscription), and we highly encourage associating within our community, both locally and with our larger LIFE family at seminars and conferences, to foster even more personal growth. We fully intend on creating world changers, starting with the individual and exploding through each team to reach millions of people with our much needed information. Its happening! Praise God. Change is coming. Lets do this!!

Be blessed this week, one and all!

Life Leadership January major- 1.18~1.20 2019

These quarterly conferences are always immensely impactful, but this one was heart rending for our team in particular. Heart rending, but deeply convicting and often mind blowing too.

I have to begin with Mike & Linette Parr, a set of local PA leaders (Not ours, but they serve our Allentown community often, along with the other PA leaders, on a rotating basis at our weekly Tuesday opens and monthly seminars as hosts). He has stepped up to the plate during this prelaunch, (now greenlit launch), season. He posesses a deeper sense of conviction and faith, because the good Lord seems to be pointing Life toward the fulfillment of its mission: changing a million people’s lives.

Gleanings from Mr. Parr:

  • We were made for greatness. We were created in the image of God!
  • So often, we don’t have the courage to dream. But God wants us to know that He’s in control and He wants us to capture the dreams, the life, that He envisioned for us from the foundations of the world. (Jer. 29:11.)

Mike also spoke of nailing your past, your sins, your regrets, your pain, to the cross of Christ, and then leaving them there, moving hopefully, joyously, gratefully, forward–grabbing expectantly and enthusisastically to the future He has planned. God knows what He’s doing, folks. Let go and trust Him. I have been, am, and am happier than I’ve been in a very long time. Years. He led us to these leaders, this beautiful community, this family. And I am ever grateful.

Dean Frey

Dean is the leader of Team Explosion, but technically we are under his son Zach’s direct leadership. Splitting hairs to me, really; few peoole in my life have captured my mind and convicted me, convinced me, to grow myself as he has. A true servant leader, intelligent as all get-out. Here’s some take aways from two amazing talks he gave.

  • The beginning, the impetus, of growing communities is growing yourself.
  • Stretch yourself for your team, or any person you love. The example he gave was going to sporting events where he didn’t necessarily enjoy the team(s). Well, why go? Because he loves the person who invited him. They can bond here.
  • If you want to impress people, tell them about your successes. If you want to impact people, tell them about your struggles.
  • Self image is self imagination–how you imagine yourself. How you see yourself.
  • Don’t fall prey to your own excuses.
  • Faith doesn’t make life easier; it makes you stronger!
  • I don’t want to be remembered for myself. I want to imbue self belief into people.

Why this weekend was so significant was because of this family, the Frey family. Dean’s lovely, hilarious, kind, and akin to her husband, a servant, wife, Teresa, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer about two weeks ago. They , the family and doctors, are optimistic . She is in CA presently, awaiting the beginning of an agresssive treatment regimen in a few days in Mexico. She will be receivimg these daily for a month. We were so grateful and honored that Dean remained in Massachusetts to deliver his talks as professionally and eloquently as ever. I daresay the last talk he gave, aptly titled No Surrender, was quite likely the best one I’ve ever heard him deliver. Talk about dedication to his profession, and our Explosion family!! Awe inspiring, to say the least.

They are devout Christ followers, so they have no fear right now, only trust and heaps of faith that God will perform a miracle. Join me in prayer for Dean and obviously, especially, Teresa Frey this week. Also their children, Zach, Lexi, Levi, and Haley. I will do my best to keep the page updated when the team hears news.

Now, some more snippets from the weekend.

Jean Belanger

  • Each year you don’t reach your goal is one less year you’ll have it.
  • If you’re not getting the results you want, you either aren’t doing the right thing(s), or perhaps not doing anything.
  • Everyone, everything, adheres to a system. Either you are the system, or you’re leveraging one.

Orrin & Laurie Woodward

  • If you don’t get what you want out of life, either you didn’t really want it, or you dickered over the price. You wouldn’t pay it.
  • If your daily activities are not changing your life, leading you to the life you’ve always wanted, it’s time to change your routine!
  • Servant leaders have disciplined emotions.
  • Pause. Pray. Ponder. Proceed. Follow these steps when someone wrongs you or says stupid.
  • The size of the leader is determined by the size of the battles they face without losing focus.

I will end with Greg & Lynn Johnson, also PA leaders. There are others I left out, but I may (quite likely) add them to my next post.

Greg & Lynn Johnson

  • Read, listen, and associate all the time. If you stop, your growth will stagnate. (I will talk more about this in my next post as well.)
  • Give me a lever and a stable place to stand and I can move the Earth. Leverage is everything.
  • Would God send Jesus to die to not answer our prayers? (Max Lucado)
  • Do not quit. The answer to your prayers, your new beginning, is right around the corner.
  • Our ability to dream, to behold a vision, is holy. God given.

Leverage is edification, promotion. In LIFE, we consistently leverage our system (RLA with our materials and rec. ones) to foster success. As I said, more on that next time.

In closing, dont forget to add Dean & Teresa Frey, their family, and her medical team to your prayers. They will appreciate it, and so will our team. Thanks so much– and thanks for stopping by! Be blessed, one and all!!

First Massachusetts- then, the world!

This particular LIFE conference will not only be life changing, but world changing. Why? Because Michael Dell (owner of Dell computers) held a conference when the Internet was still in its infancy way back (!! Way back . . . heaven help us, I’m getting old!!) in 1999 that two dreamer/innovators/vision casters attended. Their names were Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady.

At that conference, Mr. Dell said that three keys were necessary to catapult and drive change in any area of society: content, commerce, and community. Chris amd Orrin looked at each other and said, let’s do it. And they did. Today, 20 years later, they are successful millionaires known worldwide , and they have taken their company, Life Leadership (of which I am honored to be a part) and joined forces with a credit processing startup. They are bringing a revolutionary fourth C to Dell’s formula: cryptocurrency. We are launching an app this weekend that will change the way we do business locally, then nationwide, then globally. We cannot wait for this launch. Everything will change. If you want to learn more, contact me here and I will be more than happy to connect with you. Let’s change the world– one person, one household, at a time .

Dec. 9th devo

The Wisdom to be Humble

“Don’t be selfish. . . . Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself.” ~Philippians 2:3

Humility is not, in most cases, a naturally occurring human trait. Most of us seem more than willing to overestimate the importance of our own accomplishments. We’re tempted to say, “Look how wonderful I am!” hoping all the world will agree with our self appraisals. But those of us who fall prey to pride should beware– God is definitely not impressed by our boasting.

God honors humility . . . and He rewards those who humbly serve Him. So, Mom, if you’ve not yet overcome the tendency to overestimate your importance, God has some important lessons to teach you– lessons about humility that you still need to learn. And the sooner you learn those lessons, the happier you’ll be.

“We are never stronger than the moment we admit we are weak.” ~ Beth Moore

Every devotional has a good gem to cull. There’s a difference between boasting of your own accomplishments and edifying those of others around you. Edification builds others up, and usually builds your influence with those people and others who hear you speak well of them. But boasting of your own accomplishments only turns others off to you, makes you look arrogant and “bragadocious”.

Another word for edification is leverage. Leverage other folks’ strengths— doing so will likely lead them to work on their weaknesses!! They will want to improve even more when they recognize how prized they are already.

Lets vow to be world changers by learnimg to be expert edifiers in 2019!! The first step is the most important. Who’s with me??

Be blessed, one and all!!

Song share x 2!

Had a day of worship recently, and one song I came across was new (to me, anyway). The other I hadn’t heard in a long time- our church doesnt often play it.

Francesca Battistelli ~ Defender

One can basically sum up the last year or more of my life with this tune. God has carried me through some stuff. And I am here, better than ever, today. I am a product of divine redemption.

And, lastly:

Resurrecting ~Elevation Worship

The resurrected King is resurrecting me. Amen. Every day!! What grace- what love. What faithfulness. And I deserve none of it.

What are some of your favorite worship songs? Share them with us!

Be blessed, one and all!!

A devo and another personal prayer to pair with it

Sharing the Dec. 6 devotional today, along with another prayer card from Ruth Graham, and the Holy Spirit inspired petition of my own that followed.

Gentleness of Spirit

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” ~ 1 Peter 3:3-4.

At times it’s difficult to be gentle. As frail human beings, we’re subject to the normal frustrations of daily life, and when they overwhelm us, we’re tempted to strike out in anger.

As long as you live, Mom, you will face countless opportunities to lose your temper over relatively little things: a traffic jam, a spilled cup of coffee, an inconsiderate comment, a broken promise. But don’t do it. Turn away from anger, and turn instead to your heavenly Father. When you do, you’ll discover that God can restore your sense of peace and perspective, and He can fill you with a loving spirit that will help you deal gently and generously with others.

“This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself is the very place in which God is giving you an opportunity to look only to Him, to spend time in prayer, and to learn long-suffering, gentleness, meekness– in short, to learn the depths of the love that Christ Himself has poured out on all of us.” ~ Elisabeth Elliot.

A gentle and quiet spirit. Oh, Lord, how I need to acquire one!!! The goal of my life. And I am most certainly not exaggerating. I am all too eager to criticize and complain, shout at my kids, my husband . . . and the list goes on. Here is the prayer from Ruth Graham:

A Mother’s Prayer

For all these smallnesses I thank you, Lord: small children and small needs; small meals to cook, small talk to heed, and a small book from which to read small stories; small hurts to heal, small disappointments, too, as real as ours; small glories to discover in bugs, pebbles, flowers.

When day is through my mind is small, my strength is gone; and as I gather each dear one I pray, “Bless each child for Jesus’ sake–such angels sleeping, imps awake!”

What wears me out are little things: angels minus shining wings.

Forgive me, Lord, if I have whined; it takes so much to keep them shined; yet each small rub has its reward, for they have blessed me.

Thank you, Lord.

~ I cry each time I read this. I don’t deserve my babies. I fully adnit that they deserve a mother with more patience and compassion. Yet the good Lord saw fit to bless me beyond words by bestowing them to me. How awesome!!

Lastly, my own prayer.

“Such angels sleeping, imps awake! What wears me out are little things; angels minus shining wings.” Forgive me, Lord, for my short temper and still too strident voice. They deserve better. Help me, strengthen me, change me! Give me wisdom and compassion to meet their needs and be the best Mom I can be. Thank You, thank You for the miracle of children. My children. There is no more precious gift. Help me to be worthy of it. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

The bathrobe brigade. ❄💚❄

Be blessed this week!! Until next time!

A prayer of fervent gratitude to begin 2019

For Christmas, my sister and BIL got us a beautiful metal box of prayer cards with space to compose our own petitions on the back of each one. The sources are both Biblical and outside Scripture. One of my favorite gifts this year!!

I want to share a personal prayer inspired by one of the cards . Forgive me, though- I cant remember which one it was!! (Perhaps the restoration prayer.) It is a robust prayer of gratitude that is from the depths of my redeemed soul. Here it is:

“Lord, thank you for the slow but steady restoration, redemption, of my soul, heart, and mind to You and Your will all through my trials. My sins are ever before me, but ‘Your mercies are new every morning’ indeed! I can finally see the light at the end of this dark tunnel. Because of Your grace and love I’m slowly able to forgive myself–for I am truly, finally, beginning to see myself as You see me.

I’m spotlessly beautiful. Forgiven. Covered, dripping, with Grace. And I know better than anyone just how undeserving I am. Like the Psalmist says, ‘I was a brute beast before You’– but You have redeemed my soul and my very life. I will gladly sing praises to You, worship You, for this feat all the remaining days of my life. Thank You, dearest Father, for Your redemptive, restorative work. I will praise You always. Amen.”

❄ The difference between redemption and restoration? When our Redeemer does His sacred work, He changes us. We become not just “fixed”, but better. New. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “In Christ, you are a new creation!” Christ makes us over to be more like Him. I want nothing more than to be as much like my Lord as possible.

Nothing means more to me than to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!” when I stand before His throne in Paradise. I will be deeply humbled just to stand there– for no one deserves it less. But to hear that, as well?! Almost too much to fathom.

I will share a song as I close this post. Listen as many times as you like. I pray you will be moved to seek a closer relationship with Jesus as a result!!

Boldly I Approach ~ moves me to tears every time I listen. Praise be to Jesus for His fulfilled mission, to make us all heirs to the Kingdom of God. Thank You, Jesus! You are worthy to be praised.

Be blessed , one and all!!!