Thursday, December 31, 2009
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
Mom in her rock with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray,
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY.
The light of His face made me cover my head.
It was Jesus. Returning just like He had said.
Though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name.
When He said, "It's not here," my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound
While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late.
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight.
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear...
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!
~~ Dianne Donenfeld, 1988 ~~
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We’ve all heard that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I know for sure that it’s also a lot more fun. Nothing makes me happier than a gift well given and joyfully received.
~~ Oprah Winfrey ~~
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas and lots of love to you and yours!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
The holidays can represent the best time of year for healthy living, as it is a time when many people can focus on a mind-body-soul connection. However, stress, heavy traffic, sold-out store items, and bad weather can interrupt that healthy and wholesome way of life for many. How can you maintain that holiday season joy and love for both yourself and those around you? The following easy, healthy living tips may help you keep your focus during the upcoming holiday season.
Mind (Stress Management)
- Spend some time alone. Use this time to meditate, read, or relax. Regain your equilibrium and remember that this time of year is a special time for friends and family.
- Avoid unnecessary travel. One way to keep your peace of mind is to stay home. If you need to travel, plan your trips to combine errands or — on longer trips — plan to drive at night and to avoid large cities during rush hours. If you’re caught in rush hour, make sure you have some music or a book on tape to help pass time.
- Watch the anger. Stress can lead to anger which can often lead to more stress (and may be linked to heart problems). Help yourself during bouts of anger by counting to ten and visualizing a relaxing experience.
- Don’t overspend. Your daughter/son/husband/wife or friends may prefer spending more time with a cheerful you than with whatever you got on sale during Black Friday. Avoid the temptation to overspend and you can avoid stress as well.
- Allow someone to help you. Why do you want to do everything yourself? Allow a friend to help you with chores, managing kids, or cooking (try a potluck for the holidays, rather than take on all the cooking yourself). You might enjoy the company and you can avoid stress at the same time.
- Balance work, play, and family life. What better time to learn how to balance your life than during the holidays? Parties, family events, and other social activities basically demand that you stop working for at least a few hours. You can continue this practice long after the holiday season.
- Be creative. Think outside the box when problems arise. Use humor, rather than anger, to find resolutions. Open your mind to the new and unusual and think about how you might incorporate those new ideas into your life.
- Smile. Smiling can make you feel relaxed and happy, even when you don’t mean it. You can tilt your neurochemical balance toward calm by smiling, as smiling transmits nerve impulses from the facial muscles to the limbic system, a key emotional center in the brain.
- Watch your weight. Those candies are tempting and you don’t want to hurt Aunt Cookie's feelings by passing them up. Eat before you attend parties so you’re not so hungry when you arrive.
- Drop caffeine and soda. Get a jump start on a possible New Year’s resolution by weaning yourself off caffeine and sodas. Wean yourself away from caffeine slowly, otherwise you might end up with a caffeine-withdrawal headache that could last for a few days. Substitute herbal teas for hot and cold drinks. After a few days without sodas, you might wonder why you thought they tasted so good.
- Use locally-grown ingredients. While you may stick with traditional recipes, try to use locally-grown ingredients. Using local ingredients is environmentally sound as well as healthy.
- Drink plenty of water. Water can help to keep hunger at bay as well as to help hydrate you when you are subjected to dry air in heated environments. Water also helps your body eliminate toxins, such as those martinis you had the night before.
- Keep your body moving. It’s a given that most people eat more during the holidays. If you move more as well, you can keep your metabolism running and help burn those extra calories. Take stairs when possible, stand rather than sit, and offer to clean the table after dinner — not really exercise, but it all counts.
- Wash your hands often. Washing your hands often is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer if you can’t get to a sink and soap.
- Stay warm. If it’s cold, then dress warmly in layers of loose-fitting tightly-woven clothing. This way you can shed some layers if the day warms up or if you spend some time visiting indoors.
- Travel safely. Don’t drink and drive (and don’t allow others to drink and drive), wear a seat belt, and don’t speed. You also can put a kit in the trunk for emergencies that includes blankets, band-aids, aspirin, and other first-aid items.
- Treat yourself to a massage. Not only can a massage help release toxins physically, it can help you release negative and stressful energy. Think of the massage as a gift to yourself for the holiday season (but you might think about doing this several times per year. You, after all, deserve it.)
- Volunteer. You might gain a grasp on your own fortune when you offer to help others. Work in a soup kitchen, take a meal to an elderly neighbor, or look for local events that need volunteers.
- Count your blessings. What better time to be grateful than when you’re stuck in a traffic jam? You can begin by understanding that you’re not alone in that traffic jam and then work up from there. You can end by understanding that you are the only person in this universe who is exactly like you – a unique and amazing creation.
- Forget comparisons. One way to spoil your holiday is to compare yourself to who you see as the most beautiful/talented/charming, etc. person in the room. Stop those comparisons and you may begin to feel the love — from yourself and from others.
- Let go of expectations. The holidays often provide a time for expectations, especially in the gift-giving department. If you can let go of the material and remember the spirit of the season (better to give than receive), then you might enjoy whatever you do receive with a bigger heart.
- Make your heart bigger. This is an exercise in appreciating beauty in all forms and the elimination of a need to nit pick and point out flaws. Everyone is a unique soul, different than you. This does not make them better than you, nor does it make them less than you. Insults and judgments, even if they are not voiced, might only serve to increase your own insecurities. This process may begin with self acceptance.
- Let go of the need to control. While you can continue to make that dinner for friends and family, you can stop worrying about whether the gravy is just right or if the meat is overcooked. Relax, enjoy, and understand that the world will go on despite small flaws and even despite the huge mistakes. Go with the flow.
- Think of others first. This does not mean that you need to neglect your own needs; however, when you think about others and their needs you might be able to crowd out all those negative thoughts that might creep in over the holidays. Think altruism.
- Forgive and forget. Why not start out a new year with a clean slate? If you can forgive someone and forget the slight (real or imagined), perhaps you can enter 2010 with a real smile on your face.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
With the holiday season in full swing, I thought it’d be a great time to introduce you to a brand new FREE eCard service called YourCards.
YourCards lets you fully customize your holiday greetings to support your favorite cause or charity while spreading holiday joy to individuals or your entire social network on Facebook or Twitter.
With every card, senders can include a linkable and brandable logo — presenting virtually limitless opportunities for self-expression, networking, and charitable support. Users can point their recipients to check out their favorite foundation to support the animals or charity to raise awareness for diseases in every eCard they send out. By including the logo and URL of a favorite cause or charity, people can spread the important message of giving over the holidays.
YourCards has an array of holiday themed eCards that we would love to have you check out.
Lifetime Movie Network
RINGS IN THE HOLIDAYS ON
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13
WITH THREE CHRISTMAS MOVIES Based on
Donna VanLiere’s Best-Selling Novels
The Christmas Shoes – Starring Rob Lowe and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (According to Jim)
Airs 4 pm ET/7 pm PT on Sunday, December 13. The Christmas Shoes follows a young boy, Nathan Andrews, whose Christmas wish is to buy a pair of shoes for his dying mother (Williams-Paisley). On Christmas Eve, his path crosses with a stranger, Robert Layton (Lowe), an attorney who had been drifting away from his family until the recent death of his own mother. With the help of the generous stranger, Nathan is able to give his mother one last precious gift.
The premise of the story originated came from e-mail legend in 1999 and inspired the song by Eddie Carswell, a singer-songwriter from the Contemporary Christian Music group NewSong. The ballad eventually hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Charts. Soon after, author Donna VanLiere wrote The New York Times Best-Selling novel, and, in 2002, the television movie based on the book debuted on CBS to rave reviews.
The Christmas Blessing – Starring Neil Patrick Harris and Rebecca Gayheart
Airs 6 pm ET/3 pm PT*on Sunday, December 13. In The Christmas Blessing, Nathan Andrews (Harris) has grown up and is a medical resident. After losing a teenage boy on the operating table, he returns home and faces the memories of his mother’s passing. Nathan takes a position as a local coach and becomes taken with a beautiful teacher, Megan Sullivan (Gayheart). He forms a special bond with her student Charlie, who has also lost his mother, and together they both hope for a Christmas miracle.
The Christmas Blessing debuted in 2005 on CBS. Rob Lowe makes a special appearance, reprising the role as Robert Layton.
The Christmas Hope – Starring Madeleine Stowe, James Remar, and Ian Ziering
Airs 8 pm ET/9 pm PT* on Sunday, December 13. The third film in the trilogy follows Patricia (Stowe) and Mark Addison (Remar), a couple in a troubled marriage. When Patricia, a social worker, brings home a foster child who has no place to go on Christmas, they set aside their differences to give the young girl a special holiday. Beloved character Nathan Andrews (Ziering) returns in The Christmas Hope, bringing the stories full circle.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Making personalized Christmas tree ornaments is an experience to treasure. Make a Christmas angel to grace your tree. Use a hot glue gun to combine cotton balls together for the angel's body. Add broken sea shells to decorate your Christmas angel. Other easy homemade ornaments can be crafted from simple materials like shells and paper. To make the head of the angel ornament, take a medium-sized wooden bead and decorate it, using a small tinsel for the halo. To hang one of these homemade ornaments, use a small ribbon. Such simple yet dashing kids’ homemade ornaments bring life to the holiday spirit.
If you're still craving more Christmas ornaments, how to make them depends on what materials you have around. Got unused cinnamon sticks? With some experimentation, you can figure out how to make Christmas ornaments with such simple, common household items like cinnamon sticks. Ribbons, small figurines, and even rubber bands can make your homemade Christmas ornaments extra special. These ornaments can hang alongside glass Christmas tree ornaments, adding personal touches to your tree. Your Christmas ornament tree will also look dazzling once you jazz it up with other homemade Christmas tree ornaments such as a small family photo in a personalized frame.
In spending quality time with your family and loved ones this holiday season, make personalized Christmas tree ornaments part of the celebrations. Not only will you have a fabulous time, the memory of the precious experience experience will also be forever captured by your Christmas tree ornaments. And that would be just another thing to celebrate with everyone you love, year after year.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Each day leading up to December 25th, visitors open a virtual door to reveal a way to give back to their community or contribute to global programs. In addition to charitable tips, behind each door visitors can find festive surprises including tracks from Peter Buffett’s beautiful holiday album, Star of Wonder, behind-the-scenes vlogs, and a first look at excerpts from Peter's upcoming book, Life is What You Make It.
The calendar can be viewed here: www.peterbuffett.com/advent.