A Prayer for our Nation

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O God, you made us in your own image

and redeemed us through Jesus your Son.

Look with compassion on the whole human family,

take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts,

break down the walls that separate us,

unite us in bonds of love,

and, through our struggle and confusion,

work to accomplish your purposes on earth;

that, in your good time,

all nations and races may serve you in harmony

through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen

Book of Common Worship

$4 or Less Fall Centerpieces

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A centerpiece is the perfect accent for your table when you have company, including your small group. A beautiful Autumn centerpiece decorates your table & can be used on a sideboard or other tabletop in your home. The problem is the cost of a centerpiece. Not only can a lovely centerpiece cost a fortune but it might only last a few days. The answer is creating your own centerpiece. Unfortunately, this might take talents that you might not have.

BHG has the solution for you. They have put together a selection of simple to create centerpieces for your Autumn home. These pieces use colors & materials perfect for Fall. These are so wonderful, you may want to make one for every room! Enjoy!

Fall Centerpieces

Today’s Featured Book: Caregivers Devotions to Go

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Caregivers’ Devotions to Go is for young moms, grandmothers, adult children and many others given the charge of caring for another person. It offers encouragement for a difficult task and gives both professional and family caregivers a breath of fresh air to continue the assignment God has given them.

The Scriptures and stories in this book encourage the caregiver as they receive a blessing from the Lord for having a servant’s heart. It helps caregivers know they are not alone in the task set before them. It uses Scripture to help the caregiver see those in their care through the eyes of God – as fearfully and wonderfully made individuals.

Download for only $3

Today’s Featured Book: Busy Moms’ Devotions to Go

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Busy Moms’ DTG offers insights into God’s wisdom and faithfulness gleaned during practical experience in the trenches.

Download for only $3.

30 Sweet and Savory Pumpkin Recipes to Get You Pumped for Fall

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Nothing says Autumn like pumpkins. This time of year, there are dozens of pumpkin products in stores & restaurants for us to enjoy. I love the way my home smells when I make pumpkin bread. What a wonderful, welcoming fragrance for any home!

I always pick up a few pumpkin products to enjoy but I also like making my own pumpkin goodies. Therefore, I am ALWAYS looking for new recipes that use pumpkin. How wonderful that Good Housekeeping offers, not just a few but 30 pumpkin recipes for all of us to try!

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe? I invite you to share it with me & other women. It’s always fun to learn all the creative ways we use such a basic ingredient like pumpkin. Enjoy!

Sweet & Savory Pumpkin Recipes

Called to Lead Series: Delegation Part 5

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Never Criticize

 

I have a confession to make, well, actually 2 confessions: I am borderline OCD & I struggle with anxiety. Both conditions are mild & only cause me slight problems. My darling husband, the Infamous Mr. D is so wonderful about all this. I once apologized for being so fussy about something. He told me I wasn’t fussy. I simply like things a certain way. Why shouldn’t I insist they be that way if that’s what I want?

While this attitude of wanting things MY way may work well at home & with family, it doesn’t always fly when serving as a leader. An effective leader must surrender control to those assigned tasks & trust they will do an incredible job with their assignment. Easier said than done!

When we are given the responsibility for an event, project, etc., we often begin with a vision of the end result. After all, leaders tend to be visionaries so this is only natural. Then we do our best to share that vision with our team, allowing for them to adapt the vision to fit their gifts & talents. We must remember we took the time to do our research, selecting the right people for each task according to their skill set. We must accept the fact the end result may reflect our vision but from a different angle as each member of the team applies their perception of the vision. this is when trouble may begin.

Sometimes its tough to remember our vision did not come down a mountain craved in stone tablets. Our vision is a living idea that evolves as new people are added to the process. Each person brings their perspective of the vision, making it better, even stronger. However, as the source of origin for the vision, we may have a difficult time accepting any changes to the original. We may believe it was perfect to begin. How dare these charlatans trifle with perfection! Without thinking, it becomes easy to criticize the adaptation to the vision, pointing out perceived flaws & weaknesses. BIG MISTAKE!

Unless we want to do EVERYTHING ourselves, we must be able to surrender the vision to members of our team & allow them to adapt their portion as needed. Remember, NO MICROMANAGING! We must hand it over & trust our decision to add them to the team & trust their ability to do the job efficiently & creatively.

When someone has changed my vision, I have had to take a breath before speaking. I say something pleasant without committing myself until I have time to consider the changes. Once I take a step back, I usually find I like the things that have been changed, added, subtracted or whatever. The ideas brought to the vision by others have only strengthened the original, not weakened it. If I do find their changes just won’t work for whatever reason, I gently point this out & begin a discussion on ways to make the improvements that will work.

No one likes to admit their idea wasn’t just brilliant but also perfect the way it began. Let’s face it, though, even a genius idea like the incandescent lightbulb took thousands & thousands of tries before Edison arrived at the perfect combination of materials that worked. Be open to improvement & never give up!

Today’s Featured Book: Brides’ Devotions to Go

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Sarah James tells every bride she works with that planning a wedding is like having a part-time job. It’s fun but it’s also a lot of work! Brides’ Devotions to Go is an upbeat devotional that brides rely on for girlfriend advice and a good laugh.

Every day, brides are given a spiritual boost and a break from endless decision making. Each devotion contains pertinent Scripture and sanity-saving advice told through stores from Sarah’s own wedding and from her experience in the wedding industry. Planning ideas and tips are included.

Download Digital edition of Brides’ DTG for only $3!

The Simple Joy of Autumn

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Autumn is my favorite time of year. I always feel a sense of renewal when the leaves begin to change, the days grow shorter & the weather becomes cooler. Even living in SoCal has not lessened my love of Autumn. The change of seasons may be more subtle but they are apparent. I find myself energized, preparing our home for winter, pulling out my sweaters &, best of all, BAKING!

I decorate our home for Autumn, adding touches of Halloween when October arrives. I begin thinking about Thanksgiving & the, GASP, Christmas! Yes, this time of year not only increases my energy but my creativity as well!

To help you enjoy Autumn, to relieve the stress it brings with a return of school & busy schedules after a relaxing, slow paced summer, my friend, Shaunna Privratsky & I have put together a collection of articles & recipes for you & your family. Just click the link below to download your FREE copy! And keep an eye out for our FREE Thanksgiving & Christmas e-books! Enjoy!

The Simple Joy of Autumn

Called to Lead Series: Delegation Part 4

You’ve chosen the right people for the job, asked them to help you in your organization or on your event & made a vow not to micromanage the very competent people under your leadership.  Now, nothing to do but sit back & relax while things happen flawlessly around you, right? Uh, not so fast!

 

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Never Make Assumptions

 

In the last post in this series, I warned you about the problems with micromanaging the people helping you in your organization or with your event. If an individual has never been responsible for anything before, you may intimidate or discourage them if you watch them too closely. If they are experienced, they may be insulted by you questioning them. You may think you’re helping but you might cause more problems than you prevent.

Now I am going to appear to contradict myself. While you never want to constantly question the people helping you, you must ALWAYS check in with them on a regular basis. There is a very broad line between micromanaging people & abandoning them!

Unfortunately, too many “leaders” go to one extreme or another. I’ve already discussed micromanagement. Let’s talk about abandonment. You must never assume everything flows smoothly even if you have the most experienced people helping you. Things happen. Obstacles pop up. And if you are an effective leader, not all your workers are going to be experienced. For some, this may be their first time running ANYTHING. It is important to give new people an opportunity to learn ways to serve but you can’t simply throw them in the water & encourage them to swim. While some people will call for help, others, out of embarrassment will drown quietly in the overwhelming tasks. Rather than working to create a new worker & potential leader, you might create a FORMER member of your group!

While you never want to stare over someone’s shoulder, regardless of their experience level, you do need to check in with everyone on a regular basis. Ask them how things are going. Ask if they need anything. Ask if there is anything you can do to help them. Assure them you are a,ways available if they need anything, anything at all.

It is vitally important you never assume all is well just because you aren’t hearing any complaints. Every mom knows when things are too quiet, she needs to check on the kids to see what is happening… & it usually isn’t good! Let your people do things their way without you hovering while giving them the support they need to succeed. THAT is something the entire team should be able to assume!

10 Cozy Ways to Make Your Home Smell Like Fall

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Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I enjoy preparing my home for the Holiday season & the cool weather ahead. I also begin entertaining more in the Autumn. Yes, I entertain in warm weather but my entertaining tends to be outside in the Spring & Summer while Autumn & Winter bring my guests inside.

A home closed up for winter can begin to smell a bit stale.  Of course, when I bake, our home smells like chocolate or cinnamon. Unfortunately, I don’t always bake. Yet I still want my home to have that warm welcoming fragrance whenever someones enters. Hmmm, what to do?

Good Housekeeping offers a solution with these 10 ways to make home smell like Fall. What a wonderful cozy idea! Enjoy!

Autumn Scents