Thursday, January 21, 2010

Miracles We Take for Granted

Isn't it amazing that we turn a knob and have hot, clean water? Isn't it wonderful that we flip a switch and have light? Isn't it terrific that we can go to store and find millions of choices? We are so blessed. We get so used to these fantastic gifts, that we take them for granted until an earthquake happens, a power line breaks or our favorite store closes.

By the same token, those of us brought up in church from Cradle Roll on, heard the Bible stories so early in our formative thoughts, that we sometimes do not realize the spectacular, awesome, amazing events that we take for granted. Specifically, I have been thinking about Jonah being swallowed by a big fish and being spit out without having any digestive juices tear up his skin, his eyes or limbs! I heard a great sermon Sunday from Mark--the story about the men who tore a hole in the roof to get their friend to Jesus. Some discount this, saying the roofs of that time were flimsy, thin and easy to tear. Maybe so, but it still wasn't that easy. There are so many other wonderful stories that only God could've orchestrated. We may rationalize by saying, "God can do anything."

That may be the point. When we need hope, when we need a miracle, when you are being swallowed by unemployment, illness, tragedy... remember that God can do anything. And you've got friends who will do anything to get you to Jesus.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Our church chooses a theme each year. We have a theme verse, and the sermons support the theme. Last year, the theme was so appropriate, and it was chosen months before the downfall in the economy! It was "Unshakeable."

This year, it is "Witness." The tagline is "Walk, Talk, Live the Light." The theme verse is "There came a man, sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man, was coming into the world." John 1:6-9

Yesterday, our preacher talked about what it means to be a witness. He says we have a passive and active witness. I'm eager to see how this challenge will unfold in 2010.

I have a girlfriend who chooses an inspirational theme for herself each year. Two years ago, it was "Be great in 2008!" What is your theme for this year? What is your theme scripture for this year?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Prayer for our Times

Dear God:

Help the jobless to find work, the homeless to find shelter, the sick to find a cure, the heartbroken to find love and the hopeless to find you.

In Jesus' name...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lose Your Temper?

A good friend of mine, who shall remain nameless to protect her reputation, confessed to me that she would like to control her temper better in the new year. This surprised me. In the years I've known her, she always seems calm and in control.

"Who do you lose your temper at?" I asked. (Not great grammar, but that's how it came out.)

"My husband and my kids," she admitted.

"You could get a goldfish to yell at."

"I wouldn't do that to a poor goldfish."

I started laughing at that response. Then she realized what she was saying and started giggling, too.

Goldfish don't have ears, memories, feelings or egos. And they cost a lot less than counseling.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Announcement for Atlanta-area Friends

If you're in the North Georgia area, please keep reading...

Have you always wanted to speak better or represent your organization better? If so, I can help. For the first time, I’m teaching classes open to the public. Please take a look at the courses and see if any are a good fit for you or friends you know. If you have questions about the class content, ask me. They will be held at The Etiquette School in Cumming. Space is limited, so please register as soon as you can. To see costs and enroll, click here.

Here are thumbnail descriptions:

1. Speak to Success—Basic Presentation Skills—This is hands-on, interactive and fun. I guarantee you will leave a better, more confident speaker. Each participant will leave with a DVD of his or her speeches and feedback. The class runs every Tuesday night from 6-8 pm.

2. Basic Video Production—My award-winning, film-making husband is helping teach this one. Never again be disappointed in your home movies. You will learn behind-the-scenes secrets for making your videos and YouTube posts look more professional. Offered Saturday, January 9 from 1-4 pm.

3. Screen Etiquette—Do you ever wonder why people don't respond to your emails or texts? Maybe it's because you're rude! Learn email, texting and social media manners. Offered from 6-8 pm Monday, January 11.

4. Be a Spokesperson—Do you represent your church, HOA, business or non-profit organization to the media or in public presentations? Learn how to sound smart and look your best on TV. We will also talk about how to get media coverage. This class will run from 6-7 pm on Thursdays, January 21 and 28.

5. Conversation Etiquette—Are you gracious and encouraging? Does your speech reflect who you really are, or do you come off sounding like a jerk? Are you ever at a loss for words? Do you wish you had a phrase for the person who ticks you off? If you are nodding your head, this class is for you! It will be held from 7-8 pm Thursdays, January 21 and 28.

6. Marketing on a Shoestring—This one-evening session features no-cost and low-cost ways to make big bucks without spending dramatic dollars. It’s ideal for small business owners, non-profit leaders and anyone who needs to get the word out about a good cause. Attend January 25 from 6-8 pm.

Thank you for enrolling and thanks for passing the news along to others who may benefit from these practical classes! If you're still reading and don't live in the Atlanta area, contact me to bring these courses to your neck of the woods!

Happy New Year!

2010 is going to be great!

Shirley from Kansas sent me this photo and said I could share it with you! I can't tell if Sunshine enjoys the costume, but she sure is cute in it, isn't she?
A couple of people have inspired me to do things differently this year so that I can expect different results. Linda Swindling asked what would I be disappointed about at the end of the year if I didn't get it done... that question really focuses me to my top priority.
And Sam Horn suggested that if you do something for the first 32 days of the year, it sets the tone for the whole year! What a great habit to get into. What can you start today that will change your year? Bible reading, journaling, acts of compassion? Notes of encouragement? Will you be healthier, smarter, kinder by the end of 2010?
Maybe you will be like Shirley, making others smile with photos of your pet come December!