Monday, January 19, 2015

What Is Sabotaging Our Goals?

by Sally Matheny

What is Sabotaging Our Goals>
January’s fresh start enthusiasm is fading. Goals are melting into a puddle of best intentions. 

What were you aiming to have accomplished by now?

Healthier Eating & More Exercise
Completing a Project
More Quality Time with Family
Better Organization
A Deeper Commitment to Bible Study & Prayer

Disheartened? It’s easy to become discouraged when we fall short.




“But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.” Romans 7:17-20 (MSG)

Sabotaging sin—it often glides smoothly beneath our radars, cleverly disguised as righteous justifications.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What Happened to the Sweetheart Bullies? (and a Children’s Book Giveaway)

by Sally Matheny

Bullies Are No Longer Sweethearts



What happened to the sweetheart bullies? No, they’re not a famous gang of outlaws from the wild, Wild West. Nor are they a rock band from the sixties.

While doing research about bullies, I ran across the origin and history of the word, bully.




Apparently, bully originated in the early 1500’s and was another term for sweetheart. Wow. Either pickings were slim back in the 1500’s or the meaning of the word depreciated.

Indeed, the word bully has traveled the rendition roller coaster from positive to negative on several occasions.

In the year 2015, Dictionary.com defines a bully as a "blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people."

According to the National Education Association:
90% of 4th - 8th graders report being victims of bullying.
1 in 7 students in grades K -12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people worked together to bring about a change of heart in those bullies?

Ministry-to-Children.com offers three great posts dealing with this topic from a Christian worldview:



and Ten Ways Your [Children’s] Ministry Can Help

Lists of children’s books addressing bullying is located at http://childrensbooksguide.com/bullying 
and at

Ethan Blecher Braves a Bully
by Chris Pedersen

One book that should be added to these lists is the recently published book, Ethan Blecher Braves a Bully, by Chris Pedersen. It is a charming book, written
with a Christian worldview. 


A young boy struggles through dilemmas with a bully at school. Throughout the story, opportunities arise for Ethan’s growth in wisdom, courage, and faith.


The author, Chris Pedersen, has kindly donated a book to give away to one of my blog readers. Enter the giveaway (begins 1/13/15) and Rafflecopter will randomly choose a winner next week.

Or you can find Ethan Blecher Braves a Bully at www.purplecarrotbooks.com and on Amazon.
Bully may never mean "sweetheart" again. 
But you can be a sweetheart by helping to put a stop to bullying.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, January 5, 2015

Top 2014 Blog Posts and What That Means for You (plus a giveaway!)

by Sally Matheny

Celebrating the Top 2014 Blog Posts
I pray you all have a joyful and blessed new year.
Have you spent time pondering on this past year?

It helps me to reflect on blog posts of the past year. I check out the stats to see what topics readers connected with the most.

Here is a countdown of the ten most popular blog posts written in 2014:



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date There’s One Thing You Need to Do

by Sally Matheny

Get Engaged? Before You Set the Date...



Apparently, many guys think Christmas and New Year’s Eve are great times to bend a knee and propose to their sweeties. Studies show December is the most popular month for engagements. 


Did you recently get engaged? 





Congratulations! But before you set the date, there’s one thing you need to do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Commemorating Christmas in Bastogne 1944--Book Review of No Greater Valor

     by Sally Matheny

     
No Greater Valor commemorates
Christmas at Bastogne
      Seventy years ago, German troops outnumbered and surrounded the US troops in Bastogne, Belgium. Hopes of a silent night diminished. However, not only did the U.S. troops hold fast to their faith and courage, they witnessed divine miracles that Christmas. They held Bastogne.

     
     Dr. Jerome Corsi, author of six New York Times best-selling books, extensively researched numerous WWII resources including military documents, personal diaries and letters. The result of his research is his latest book, No Greater Valor: The Siege of Bastogne and the Miracle That Sealed Allied Victory.”
     
     “Battles are won by military power, but wars are won by spiritual power,” said William Arnold, the WWII US Army chief of chaplains.
    
     Dr. Corsi, intrigued by how the Siege of Bastogne was “won by a small group of American soldiers who largely believed in God in accordance with the Judeo-Christian traditions,” wrote No Greater Valor for a number of reasons, which he shares in a lengthy but enlightening introduction. He asks, “Is it possible to make the case, even today that the faith of those who fought at Bastogne invited God to play a direct hand in how the battle turned out?” Then, Corsi sets out to make that case.