Anchoring Yourself In An Active Lifestyle

In a society that’s so incredibly mobile, it’s easier to live your life on the go now more than ever. Your paycheck goes in via direct deposit, so no worries about where you are on payday. The bills you’ll pay with that income can be set up for automatic payment or paid via mobile. Even the job that provides that paycheck could permit you to be very flexible about where you are.

As a result, many people stay on the move a lot of the time. But just being at your home less than other people doesn’t mean you can escape all the necessities of a fixed residence.

Remember these basic things that will need to be in place to avoid an undue interruption to your enjoyable travels.

Maintain A Home

No matter how much you travel, there will still be someplace that you call home, and that means you’ll always have a few matters to attend to.

If you’re renting, make sure you have a means to get rent paid on time. An easy solution can be to leave post-dated checks with reliable friends and have them drop them with the property owner on the due date.

Another issue is the protection of your belongings. Make sure you have renters insurance to cover losses if your rented home experiences a fire, storm, or other destructive event.

Remember, the landlord’s insurance will replace the building, but that’s of no benefit to you if you’ve lost all your cool travel accessories. The items you keep inside your rental will need to be covered by your own insurance.

Balance Your Social Media

Your mom is probably pretty consistent about reminding you to call home every so often, and social media allow you to do even more than that. You can share photos and videos with not just Mom but thousands of friends and followers.

Of course, the magnitude of your ability to share can be overwhelming, so you need to keep your total exposure in check. The impact of your updates is less when they are too frequent. It can also endanger the security of your belongings back home if it’s too widely known that you are out of town, especially when you are far out of town.

Maintain Your Accessibility

If your wanderlust is matched by “movelust”–the desire to move into a new home frequently–think carefully about how you handle it. Remember that your credit score is partially based on your accessibility; if your address is changing frequently, it looks like you may be trying to hide from creditors. Frequent moves can hurt your credit in several other ways.

So while it may be tempting to bounce from one laid-back home to another, consider staying put a little longer. Or at least get a post office box to maintain a steady address.

Think About Security

That brings us to another important point. If you frequently spend long spells on the road, you need to make sure that your mail is taken care of. While you may receive and pay every bill you owe via electronic means, you’re still going to get mail of some kind–advertisements, cards from Grandma, or just plain junk.

It doesn’t necessarily matter that you didn’t receive these items the day they arrived, but if you receive your mail at home, potential burglars will note the lack of pickup on your deliveries and realize you’re out of town.

Before a prolonged trip, have a trusted friend agree to get your mail, or have the Postal Service hold everything at their office until you return.

Being a regular traveler can make for some amazing adventures that you will remember for a lifetime. As long as you take a few simple steps to keep things under control back home, the memories won’t have an accompanying dose of regret.

Moving Out: What To Do When You Get Your First Apartment

Living by yourself for the first time is one of the most exciting things you can do. Not only does it make you feel independent but the fact that you have your own space for the first time in your life feels incredibly cool. There are no more of the ‘my house, my rules!’ issues that you may have had with your parents, and you’ll probably feel extremely relieved to leave your old college roommates – and the dirty dishes they always used to leave in the sink – behind. But living by yourself for the first time definitely isn’t perfect. Here are some tips on how to cope with different aspects of it.

Your Décor

Now that you have your own place, you get to decide exactly what you want it to look like. If it’s rented then obviously there are limits to what exactly you can do when you want to change things up – you might not want to paint the walls and end up losing your security deposit, for example. But there are other things you can do to brighten it up, even if it’s a small space. If you can’t paint the walls, what about brightly colored wall hangings? You can also get cheap rag rugs to make the floors a little more colorful, and soft snuggly throws that you can put over your couch so you can snuggle up on there during the winter. If your bed isn’t quite comfortable enough and you’re getting a sore neck or back when you get up in the mornings, why not try out new pillows and a memory foam topper on your mattress? Finally, make sure that you open the curtains every morning and let the sunlight stream into your home. This will add some natural light and heat to your home, meaning that your energy bills might just go down. You could also add LED bulbs to your sockets for the same effect – they use less electricity and they last for longer.

Your Finances

If you’ve only just moved out, then chances are you’ve never really had to think about your finances before. You’ve probably already realized that organization is absolutely key to staying on top of your money. Make a spreadsheet so you can list your incomings and outgoings each month. If you’re spending more than you’re bringing in, you might be in trouble, so you need to rein it in a little. If you really want to budget, take out the cash that you want to spend that week from the bank. Making sure you don’t put anything on your credit card will ensure that you don’t spend more than you want to. Finally, if you have any debts, make sure that you pay them back as quickly as you can so the interest doesn’t accrue. Not only will this ruin your credit rating but it’ll also mean that you have to pay a lot more money back in the long run. You’ll soon find that very few material possessions are worth being in debt for.

Your Utilities

If you’ve never lived by yourself before then chances are, you’ve never had to figure out all your own bills – so it might come as a huge shock to you when they start rolling in! The most important thing to do is to stay organized and to pay each bill as soon as you get it. You should also make sure that you know just about how much your bills will come to every month so you don’t end up accidentally using the money for something else. Remember that there are plenty of things you might be charged for that you didn’t think about before. Not only is there your cell phone bill but you’ll also have to pay for internet, TV (if you’re looking for a good deal, check out http://www.suddenlink.com/television), electricity, gas, water… And the list goes on. It might seem overwhelming, but that’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re as organized as possible.

Your Motivation

Without the watchful eyes of your parents on you, it might be difficult to get motivated every now and then – but believe me, after the third Saturday in a row you’ve spent watching Netflix in bed, the unmotivated life will get old fast. Make sure that you set yourself goals, whether that’s personally or professionally. If you’re living in a new city, you might be wondering how exactly you meet new friends. Look online for meet-up groups and people who share your interests. You might find a book club where you can talk about your favorite authors to your heart’s content, or maybe you want to join a rock climbing class and fulfill a lifelong ambition to finally get to the top of one of those huge climbing walls in the gym. Maybe you want to find a new group to game with – but no matter what your interests are, there will be others out there who share them. Make it your mission to find those people and to make plans with them, so you have a reason to get out of bed at the weekends. If you’re finding it hard to motivate yourself to do things like cleaning during the week, make sure you reward yourself at the end. You’ll probably also find that you feel much happier about taking care of your own space than you did about cleaning your room back at your parents’ house.

Your Love Life

When you move out for the first time, you might expect your love life to take off with a bang (not literally!). Now you’re no longer having your every move observed by your parents, but the truth is that real life doesn’t work that way. When you’ve left school and college, you have to work much harder to meet people and form friendships – and the same applies with relationships, particularly as you might start to realize that there are more people your age in long-term relationships than you’ve ever noticed before. If you don’t want to be in a relationship and you’d rather focus on your career for now, go for it! But if you do want to find a partner then you need to be aware that you should actively look for someone. Join dating websites and make sure that you’ve spoken to people thoroughly before you meet up with them – and tell a friend where you’re going and what time you’re expecting to be home by. If you’re out at a cafe with your friends and you get talking to someone, why not be brave and ask them if they’d like to go for coffee some time? You have nothing to lose. Just make sure that you feel safe with whoever you’re with and trust your instincts – if someone seems unsafe or creepy to you, make an excuse and go home. Make sure you never tell anyone your home address – keep your apartment your sanctuary and your escape until you fully trust whoever you’re dating.

Your Health

It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you’re living by yourself – after all there’s no one there to judge you as you finish off that family sized bag of potato chips instead of making yourself dinner. But you’ll soon find that it isn’t a great way to live. Not only will you feel bloated and you might gain weight, but your skin and hair will soon become greasy and lacklustre. It’s important to make sure that you’re cooking and eating healthy meals containing all of the food groups. You could try batch cooking if you’re spending a little too much on your lunch at work every day, or you could make salads to take in with you. If you don’t have much time to buy groceries then you could get them delivered, or get a fruit and vegetable box every week so that you can experience different foods and be inspired about new ways to cook. You also need to make sure that you exercise. One of the best things about living alone is that you can get sweaty and red-faced in your sports bra and shorts while you do a yoga or aerobics video in front of your laptop, without any fear at all of being judged!

Your Safety

Make sure that a friend or family member knows where you are all the time and that you stay in communication with people. As we said before, trust your instincts – if you’re in a situation that makes you remotely uncomfortable then it’s time to hightail it out of there and get yourself home. Download Uber or another taxi app to make sure you can always get back safely. If you’re worried about offending people then you can always use the stomach bug excuse – no one wants to question or get closer to that! Make sure that your windows and doors are tightly locked at night and when you go out and make sure you install an alarm. If you’re really worried about security and you have plenty of time at home, you could even use this as the perfect opportunity to get the dog you’ve always wanted.

 

The Lowdown On Healthy Living: It’s Not All About Avoiding Takeouts And Hitting The Gym

When you hear the words healthy living, what do you think? Do you conjure up images of sweating buckets in the gym or eating a salad? It’s great to keep an eye on your diet and to try and be active. But healthy living isn’t always about working out and eating well. It’s also about paying attention to your happiness and well-being and making sure your body is working properly. Here are some simple tips to help you stay healthy and happy.

Spotting the signs of stress

We all get stressed. But it’s important to be able to spot the signs of stress taking over your life. It’s possible for most of us deal with bouts of stress from time to time. But if you feel under pressure all the time, or stress is affecting you on a daily basis, it’s time to try and find solutions. We tend to think of exercise as a way of shedding weight these days, but it also has incredible benefits for battling stress and anxiety. Some people also find creative activities, such as painting or coloring in effective, and it’s also helpful to talk to others. You could confide in a friend, a partner or a parent. Or you may feel more comfortable seeing a therapist. Improving your time management skills can also make a positive difference, especially if you feel like you’re chasing your tail all the time. If you learn to organize your time, this will enable to gain greater control and prevent last-minute panics.

Having fun

Sometimes, when you’re busy, it can seem that life is all about work, meeting deadlines, and trying to obtain goals. It’s true that we have to work hard to succeed, but you need to find a balance. Life is about work and play. If you’ve been studying hard or you’ve started a new job, and you’re working all hours, take some time out. Make the most of your evenings and weekends. Connect with friends, make plans and ensure you always have dates in the diary to look forward to.

Paying attention to health matters

We tend to focus on our body weight when we think about being healthy, but there are many aspects of health that you need to bear in mind. Don’t forget to organize routine eye and dental checks. If you’ve been struggling with a toothache, or you’ve noticed that you’re straining to read the board in your classes, don’t wait, and hope for the best. Call up and book an appointment with your dentist or organize an eye test. It’s also important to see a doctor if you feel unwell and to seek advice if you think you’ve injured yourself. We’re all guilty of hoping that medical issues miraculously disappear, but the truth is that most get worse with time.

Health is something that concerns us all. If you’re young and fit, you may not be thinking about how you can boost your health, but it’s never too soon to start looking after yourself. Healthy living isn’t just about eating vegetables and lifting weights. It’s also about making sure you feel alright, connecting with others, and paying attention to your entire body, rather than just checking that you’re a healthy weight.

Living A Healthy And Active Life At University

Moving to University is a hard time in a young person’s life. They have to deal with a lot of change that can be quite daunting and lead to further challenges. Of course, this is simply part of growing up, but that doesn’t mean that things can be ignored. Health and fitness are two areas that are rarely considered by students at University. But, keeping fit and active on campus isn’t too hard. To help you out, this post will go through some of the easiest ways for college students to stay fit.

Diet

Of course, your diet plays the biggest part in your fitness journey. While at university, it can be very tempting to overindulge in cheap, unhealthy food. For some people, this isn’t outwardly a problem. But, internally, it will always be doing damage. It can be hard to eat healthily on a low budget. Organic and free range foods that are the healthiest tend to cost the most. So, you have to do some preparation. One of the easiest ways to eat healthy is to plan your food. Make sure that you choose meals that use similar ingredients, but provide enough of the required nutrients to survive. This will allow you to reap the savings of larger purchases, which can be used for multiple meals. It will also make it easier to avoid impulse food buys because you’ll already have meals prepared.

A lot of people overindulge in other ways, too. Drugs and alcohol are toxic chemicals which can do a lot of damage to your body if they’re mistreated. Binging on substances like this will do irreparable damage to internal organs like your liver. This means that you have to live a life of moderation. Of course, at university, you’ll always want to party. But, it’s not a good idea to drink heavily more than once a week. And, certain drugs should be taken in much stricter moderation, if at all.

Once you’ve made improvements to your diet, it won’t be long until you start to notice the benefits. Improving your diet will enable you to improve your education, as well. Eating well with give you more energy and increase your attention span. This added stamina and focus are perfect for when you have to study. Your body is a collection of pieces, that work as a whole. So, if one part is out of shape, other parts will feel the effects.

Exercise

Fitting in exercise amongst your studies and social activities can be hard, especially on campus. You have a lot of commitments, and a lot of your spare time is taken up. The time that you do have should be spent relaxing, right? Well, unfortunately, staying healthy isn’t easy. You have to make sacrifices. But, losing a bit of free time is certainly worth a healthier body.

Most universities have a gym. So, really, there’s no excuse not to be doing some exercise. Most universities will give their students reduced rates, which are very affordable. Having a gym so close to home makes it much easier to go for a quick exercise. When it comes to staying motivated to go to the gym, you can’t really on motivation. That sounds silly, right? Well, motivation is already there. You want to get fit. But, if you don’t want to go to the gym, obviously that motivation isn’t enough. So, you need to rely on something stronger; your will power.

If you prefer to exercise outside or as part of a daily routine, bicycles fit well into student life. Your daily errands can be made much shorter, while also getting exercise. And, because cycling isn’t an impact exercise, you don’t damage your joints in the process. Travelling on a bike is free. So, having it as your transport is a great way to save money by avoiding buses. They’re perfect inner city, too. In busy traffic, bikes will often be able to go faster than traffic. Saving time, money, and the world in the process. Of course, if you own a bike, you want to keep it protected. It’s worth fitting a tracker to your bike, as well as getting a good lock. If your bike is very valuable to you, it could also be worth getting bicycle insurance. It’s not too expensive and could save you from losing your transport, too.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to start living a healthier student life. Once you start, you’ll notice the benefits almost immediately. You’ll need less sleep, and you’ll feel more focused. This is one of the best ways to raise your grades and avoid sickness!

Looking for Light

by Veronica Williams

‘The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear?’ (Psalm 27:1)  

lightHave you ever been afraid?  I know some children won’t go to sleep at night if a light isn’t left on, the reason being their scared of the monsters in the dark.  Are you afraid of monsters and things which go bump in the night?  As little children before we go to sleep we are taught to say our prayers.  I remember in addition to asking the Lord to bless mommy and daddy that I was taught to say the following prayer:

‘Now I Lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray dear Lord my soul to take

I often wonder if saying those words are reassuring to a small child.  Essentially we’re asking that the Lord keeps us safe as we sleep, and if he is ready to take us home that our souls go to heaven.  In addition to those words a night light will ensure that most young children feel safe and are able to sleep in their own rooms by themselves.  Being able to see what’s in the room takes away the fear of unpleasant things lurking in the shadows.

I believe that Jesus Christ who proclaimed himself as the light of the world can be seen in a similar way.  He too shines in the darkness and makes us feel safe and secure able to face most of the threats in the world.  In John 8:12 Jesus tells us that he is ‘the light of the world.  He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’

We are very fortunate that we as Christians can rest in him and know that through him our salvation is assured.

 

Sometimes I Make Mistakes

by Evelyn Horan

face in handsThere are things in my life that cause me problems.  Sometimes, I make decisions that are not  right for me. It’s not always easy to say “no” to suggestions and activities others ask me to share with them, and  I make mistakes by giving in to their ideas without using the wisdom God has given me.

At times, I think I’m the only one who starts out with  good intentions, and then something goes wrong in the situation, possibly not according to God’s will.  That’s when I feel disappointed in myself. I wonder what I could have done differently? Why did things turn out badly for me?  Then just before I feel really discouraged, I remember God is my friend.  He cares when I make mistakes, and He’s always ready to help me straighten out the problems I’ve created.

Last Sunday in church I heard a story about a rich man who had two sons.  His youngest son had many problems and destroyed his life badly. The youngest son asked his father to divide up his property and give him his share because he wanted to go out on his own and live life the way he wanted to.  His father knew his son’s plans weren’t the best, but he knew if his son were to learn how to use God’s wisdom for us, he would have to let him have his way.  So the father gave his son his share of the inheritance.

“Good! Now I’m free,” the young son told himself.  He left home and went away.  He began spending money on what he thought was a good time.  He made new friends who helped him spend his money.  They led him into many kinds of unwise behavior.

But as soon as his money was gone–so were his friends.  Then a famine spread over the land and food and jobs were scarce.  The young son finally found work–caring for pigs!

He began to think of home.  He remembered how much his father loved him.  Even his father’s servants had plenty of food, but he was now hungry and starving.  He decided he would go to his father and ask him to forgive his foolish behavior.

For many days the son walked home.  As he approached his home he saw someone running toward him.  Was it his father? Ignoring the dirty, smelly rags his son wore, the boy’s father threw his arms around his son.

The boy told his father he had made many unwise choices. But his father didn’t let him finish.  He took off his robe and wrapped it around his son.   He told his servants to prepare a banquet to celebrate the wonderful day!

Great love came into the runaway son’s heart.  He discovered his father still loved him and had forgiven him for his lack of intelligent use of God’s wisdom for him. This same thing happens, when I realize God loves me in spite of my lack of intelligence and wisdom in my activities.  He runs to meet me, when I decide to return to Him.  He throws his arms around me and gives me His understanding love. God is willing to love me in spite of my mistakes.  It’s so easy to love Him back, when I know He’s always there for me with His love,  encouraging and forgiving me, when I ask Him in my prayers.

From now on, I’m going to be more careful by asking myself, “Is this what God would want me to do?”  Then,  I’ll make wiser and better choices in planning activities in my daily life that would be pleasing to God.

Imperfect Sinner

by Veronica Williams

‘The integrity of the upright will guide them’ (Proverbs 11:3)

smiling girlAre you good at berating and generally beating yourself up? Or do you leave it to others to chastise and point out your failings?  As a young woman I was very confident and I believe fairly infallible.  It isn’t that I was arrogant, just that my parenting instilled a healthy and positive self-esteem, and I didn’t think I was particularly imperfect.  I was aware from going to Sunday school and church that man was born in sin, and that we needed to be aware of our sinful nature.  I learned about the seven deadly sins, which are lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy and pride, and was aware that I needed to avoid these things. Essentially however, I did not feel I needed to criticize my own behavior or that I regularly needed to identify my faults and punish myself accordingly.

As I grew to adulthood and had differing emotional experiences, such as losing my first job or being ignored by some young man who I liked, I learned emotional pain and how to deal with rejection. One of the main reasons someone will blame themselves or believe they are at fault is if they are emotionally scarred.  They may then beat themselves up in a variety of ways.  For instance they may do something extreme like becoming a lesbian or a nun if the object of their affection does not reciprocate their affections. Fortunately I took a more balanced approach and instead of beating myself up believed that it was his bad luck; and simply moved on to another young man who was expressing an interest in dating me.

Not everyone takes things on the chin in the same way, and some may look for reasons to chastise themselves or believe that they have done something for which they should be penalized or punished. Inevitably this is not the case and good thinking is the better way forward rather than finding fault with yourself.  This is a healthy way of looking at things however our life experiences are such that the attitude of siblings and partners, often encourage us to believe the worst of ourselves. For example you’re so lazy couldn’t you have done that for me or pointing out what they think is some other deficiency in your character.

I remember quite vividly the first time that someone indicated that they thought I was pretentious and not a very genuine person.  I was mildly shocked that I was presenting in this way and took a step back to re-check my personality.  It is, I believe always good to listen to fault finders; if only so that you can refute their views.  Fault finders come in all sizes, shapes and ages, and range from ordinary people through to prominent officials.  Sometimes you can be so caught up in your own importance that you fail to recognize your own imperfections.  Having assessed this implied deficiency in my character I am pleased to say that it was the observer’s perception that was at fault.

A final thought is that we are all imperfect and may have several character traits which other people are less than pleased with.  If that is in fact the case some religious insight might prove useful in providing a basis or foundation for understanding our imperfections.  We ultimately have to gain some understanding of our own characters and often use our internal barometer to identify the right and wrong of a situation.  Additionally we are socialized into knowing the expectations of society; and have an understanding that we would be penalized if we did something wrong. I believe it’s better to roll with the punches rather than metaphorically give ourselves a severe thrashing.

Single and CONTENT!

by Sharon Keegan

MY STORY 2 – Sharon Keegan from Community Fellowship Church on Vimeo.

I had everything planned out. I was going to meet my husband in college, get married the weekend after graduation, and promptly begin serving in ministry alongside my husband. We would eventually buy a house and fill it with treasures I found at thrift stores and paint the inside with vibrant colors, carefully picked out after staring at paint swatches at Home Depot. I never wanted a career or ever dreamed about supporting myself financially. I was going to get a job of course, but I would be able to do anything I wanted because my husband was going to have a full time job with benefits.

I am now 32 and have never been kissed. I remember turning “sweet 16 and never been kissed.” It was cute then. “32 and never been kissed” sounds….pathetic?

I began to panic. I had no idea how I was going to support myself for the rest of my life with a degree that I randomly picked in the first place and never intended to have to use. But, with each year ticking by, my dreams slipped away and the plan imploded. I felt left behind. No one seemed to want to pick me, and I was devastated. I believed so many lies about married; I thought a wedding ring it would create the contentment and happiness that I longed for.

Year after year I crocheted countless afghans as wedding gifts. I kept thinking, when was it going to be my turn? At 32, I still live in an apartment with hand-me-down miss-matched silverware, and I have to watch 22-year-olds registering for Bed Bath and Beyond in preparation for their dream kitchen full of brand new free gadgets.

Eventually I got to the point where I was just plain jealous all the time. I was tired of being so miserable, but I didn’t really know what to do about it. I asked God for years to help me learn contentment, but all the asking didn’t seem to make much difference. I knew theoretically that my contentment had to be found in Christ, rather than my circumstances. But, that kind of maturity seemed impossible. After all, how do you stop wanting something that you want?

Growing up, one of my favorite books was The Hiding Place, which told the story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family.  They were sent to Nazi Concentration camps for hiding Jews in their home. Corrie’s bunk was infested with fleas, and when her sister suggested they thank God for the fleas, she thought it a crazy notion. How could you be thankful for something you hate? But, Corrie’s sister insisted, and they thanked God for the fleas. They came to realize that the officers wouldn’t enter their bunk houses because of the fleas, and as a result, Corrie and her sister had a safe place to share the Gospel with their fellow inmates. I was determined to use Corrie as an example, and committed one day to be thankful for being single at every chance I could, even if I didn’t really mean it, or see the rationale behind saying it.

For a few years I developed a habit of thankfulness; I was intentional about thanking God for being single, even though my heart wasn’t in it. It was a long time before I really felt any difference. Then, out of nowhere, I had a breakthrough. I was renting a room in a women’s house, and I couldn’t stand the way she organized her kitchen. First of all, she put the silverware in the “wrong” drawer. She insisted on cramming the cupboards full of dishes, and every time I opened a cupboard, I was afraid that glass cups would come crashing down on my head. As was my habit, one day I stopped to thank God for being single and needing to rent from this woman. Then, I had this thought. What if I got married someday, and my husband wanted to put the silverware in the “wrong” drawer? What a nightmare! I would have to live with him for the rest of my life! I was able to utter, with all my heart, “Thank you Lord that I’m single and after I move out of this women’s house can set up my kitchen correctly.” And for just a moment, I became truly grateful for being single. My heart had finally caught up with my head.

When I was a teenage in the mid-90’s, there was a popular trend in churches called “true love waits.” I, like most of my friends, pledged to wait for marriage. My parents bought me this ring as a symbol of that commitment, and I wore it for years. Eventually, however, the concept of “true love WAITS” began to irk me. While I fully support the concept of abstinence, the word “wait” drove me nuts. To me, it implied that my goal in life was to sit around and wait for my husband to show up. I realized that I could waste a lot of years with that attitude, and that I had a responsibly to serve God with my singleness. I eventually replaced the ring with the a wedding band I inherited when my grandma passed away. No matter if I ever got a diamond for this finger, I know that I am already married. Even if I get married on earth, I won’t be married in Heaven. However, I will always be the bride of Christ, and I have been a bride since I asked Him into my heart at age 5. He is my permanent redeemer and the love of my life. Contentment in Christ means is assurance that I’m not pathetic. In truth, I’m a cherished bride.

Are you Misusing God’s Name? Why Is the Third Commandment Important?

by Evelyn Horan

girl seriousSometimes I find myself so involved in an exciting conversation with others that I make a slip and use the Lord’s name in vain. When I’m chatting with my friends about an exciting event or situation, I’ve been guilty of using God’s name in a disrespectful way.

After I’ve said those words, I know I shouldn’t have done it,  because I remember that the third of the Ten Commandment tells me, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” And, that is just what I have been doing, taking God’s name in vain.

Recently, we’ve been discussing the “Ten Commandments” in the Bible study I attend.  We learned that in Bible times, a person’s name represented something of his character or personality.  God cares deeply about His own name. So we discussed the meaning of “in vain” as it applies to followers of the Lord. We should not say His name in a careless or profane way as I had been doing, because we have a responsibility to uphold God’s reputation to the world. We should always keep in mind that God is holy and we should treat Him that way by showing reverence for His name in our speech.

God is the creator of heaven and earth. We need to approach Him with adoration and love as we live our daily lives.  He is our refuge and our strength. He cares for our needs.  We must  remind ourselves us to think of  creation and the many miracles God has performed for mankind.  Above all else, He gave us His son Jesus, who died for our sins.

At Bible study, our pastor said this, “Believing and knowing all this, it is easy to agree that God trusts us to avoid using His name in a thoughtless way.  Instead, we should continue to  worship and honor Him by only using His name with words of adoration, love, and praise.”

These thoughts have really stuck with me.   I resolved  that from now on, I’m going be more aware of my language when I become too excited in my conversations. I’m going to make a true effort to be more careful in my speech, and I’m going to remember the third commandment.

Finding God Every Day

by Evelyn Horan

girl looking at treeHow do I know God is a part of my daily life?  Every time I begin to think God is too busy in His Heaven to remember my needs and wishes that might seem trivial, I try looking for Him in my routine activities.

I remember one busy morning I had to shop in a short time. I needed an indoor basket plant for my friend, Helen, whose birthday party was in a few days.  I wanted her to have a dish garden plant to put in her room. Knowing that florists expect a “good price” for the sort of dish garden I wanted, I thought of a large discount store outside my neighborhood.

But I don’t enjoy visiting this store because it’s always crowded.  Still, I felt an inner urge to shop for other items there as well.  Just as I expected, when I arrived, the store was filled with shoppers.

Then I prayed, “Dear God, please help me find a lovely floral arrangement for Helen.”

Inside the store, with shopping list in hand, I came upon a temporary table of assorted,  dish garden plants. I couldn’t believe it!  They were exactly the kind I wanted, but much more beautiful than I’d even imagined.

“I must have one of those basket plants,” I told myself.  I knew Helen would enjoy the plants.  Cautiously,  I read the sign and then looked again.  It was true, these large, healthy dish gardens were moderately priced.

“Thank you, God,” I whispered.

Then further down, on the right, there was  a display table of children’s books.  As I browsed through them,  I found a beautiful picture book showing the life of Jesus.  It too was moderately priced. The book would be the perfect gift for my young sister, Emily, who had been wanting a book about Jesus.

“Thank you, God, for sending me here,” I murmured happily, reaching for the picture book.   Through my prayers, God had helped me find the things I needed today.

At home, relaxing after shopping, I thought about my morning.  And I had to remind myself once again–when I take the time to look for Him, it’s easy to find God doing wonderfully, unexpected things in my ordinary life.  I just have to stay alert and recognize them.

When I do, I find the reassurance that these little “special favors” are God’s way of showing me that I am not alone to meet the challenges in my life.  They reveal that God is here with me, helping me, and smoothing out my way in my day to day needs.

Isn’t it wonderful how God makes His presence known to us in ordinary ways all the time!  What a joy to know God is here in our lives, helping us, and blessing us every day with His faithful love.