Saturday, July 31, 2010


One of the best ways to keep depression at bay is to get involved in a good exercise program. Get your body moving, keep your heart pumping, allow your brain to stay spiritually fit and above all, serve the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind. James 2:17-20: So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all – it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this and they tremble in terror!! Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?

It doesn’t matter what exercise you do, just do what your body allows. As you progress and your muscles get loosened up, stretch your exercise time a little longer. You might want to join a gym, walk with a friend, put on a video and exercise with it, or work out in your yard (pulling weeds is a great time to spend with the Lord and all the bending helps stretch your muscles).

I recently started an exercise program at my church for adults called “Fit In 10.” This is on DVD and is in 10 minute segments each: Tai Chi for Arthritis, Stretching, Balance, Endurance, and Strength. This is a University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture research-based video free exercise class that meets on Tuesday and Thursday each week for one hour. The fellowship of other Christian women is also encouraging!

Tai Chi for Arthritis – Warm up exercises are viewed as a simple way to help prevent injury during exercise. This warm-up was derived from Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Arthritis program and is endorsed by the Arthritis Foundation. It includes agile steps and movements that may improve mobility, breathing and relaxation while warming up the muscles.
Stretching Exercises – Stretching exercises keep your body flexible by stretching the muscles and tissues that hold our body structures together. Stretching is not only recommended to prevent injuries but also to recover from injuries.
Balance – Balance exercises build up your leg muscles and/or focus on your stability. These exercises help prevent falls, a major cause of broken hips and other injuries that often lead to disability and loss of independence.
Endurance – Endurance or aerobic exercise increases your breathing and heart rate which improves the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. Increased endurance keeps you healthier and improves stamina for daily activities.
Strength – Strength training or weight lifting makes you stronger by building muscle. This increased strength allows you to perform daily activities on your own. (hand weights are suggested)

Research studies recommend 20 – 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. Get your exercise in one of two ways: 10 minute chunks throughout the day or all at once. The research-based Fit In 10 video can be done for 50 minutes or you can pick and choose the segments to create your own exercise program.

As our body needs exercise to keep physically fit, so our soul needs exercise,
practicing being a better Christian, to keep fit spiritually.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Encouraging Young Adults

I have a scripture that really sums up how we are to be living our lives as a Christian and as an encourager. 1 Peter 4:8–11: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”

I truly believe we are living in the end times and we need to be an encourager to everyone we come in contact with, especially our young adults. Many of our young women are struggling spiritually and need to be encouraged by older, wiser and spiritually mature women. I know this personally because my 21 year old granddaughter is living with me and I’m learning from her what many young adults are going through. We need to get interested in a young person’s spiritual life. A lot of young women feel intimidated by older women because they are not secure in their walk with God and they think we have it all together.

• We need to go to them instead of thinking they will come to us.
• We need to be interested in their future, because they are the future.
• We need to get out of our comfort zone and go find out who we can encourage and help grow them to their best potential – God’s potential!
• We need to set a godly example for the young people to follow.

It’s great and we need to attend Church, Sunday School, Community Groups, Prayer Groups and Bible Studies, but what are you doing with all the knowledge you’re learning? Who are you sharing that knowledge with? When was the last time you talked to someone about their spiritual life? Job 29:24 – “When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them.” Sometimes just a smile is a great encouragement!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Taking Care of Business

When you’re alone to take care of your own affairs, you don’t have anyone to blame if it doesn’t get done. That’s why it is so important to keep a journal of things you need to do, things you have done and things you want done if you are incapacitated or pass away. Most importantly, make sure someone knows where that list is.

A family member or friend needs to know where all your important papers are kept, which include: insurance papers, deeds, loans, bank/savings accounts, will, living will, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, and funeral arrangements (plot, burial, etc.). It’s also a good idea to have someone else’s signature (someone you totally trust) on your accounts in case of emergency. If you have a lock box, make sure someone knows the code or at least where the code is kept. If you have a safe deposit box, make sure someone else is on the card and knows where the key is kept.

If you don’t want all your affairs to be tied up in court when you pass away, make sure you take care of business now and let someone know who, what, when and where you keep everything. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today!

Yes, we need to take care of our financial affairs here and now, but most importantly you need to take care of your spiritual affairs for your eternal future. Do you know Christ as your personal Savior? If you do, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, you have no security for your future. That’s a fact!

The Bible teaches that we can trust God as our source of lasting security, for He is changeless and His love endures forever. The most powerful security in the world is knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God. When we build our lives on God’s truth, we have a solid foundation that will not crack under the world’s pressure.

If your faith is in Christ, your eternal destiny is secured.  Message: 1 Peter 1:3-4 “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have Him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in Heaven – and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all – life healed and whole.”

Friday, October 2, 2009

Delicious Recipe

The Encouragers widow support group started a day time fellowship at our church last month in September. It was our first time to meet as a day group and we watched a fun movie, had refreshments and enjoyed fellowshipping with each other. I made Cake Balls to share that has gone over really good every time I make them. They’re so easy to make and thought you might want to make them the next time you meet with family or friends. Try ‘em, you might like ‘em!


1 box of cake mix, your preferance
1 tub of frosting, your preferance
1 pkg. almond bark, chocolate or vanilla


1. Make whatever flavor box cake according to directions, in a 9X13 pan.
2. Tear up cake and put in a BIG bowl. Now you add a tub of store bought frosting, choose flavor accordingly. Of course, chocolate with chocolate, white with white, cream cheese with yellow, etc. Let your imagination and your taste be your guide!
3. Squish your frosting into your torn up cake until it's like a play-dough consistency, & cake & frosting are evenly mixed.
4. You can either make balls with your hands, or whatever size scoop you want & let them dry for a bit on wax paper, some folks leave overnight; I put in freezer for at least 2 hours.
5. Melt almond bark in medium sized bowl in the microwave .
6. Dip cakeballs into melted bark & set on wax paper to dry.
7. Store loosely covered, they will keep a few days. I put in plastic bag in refrigerator and it will keep a week or so.

Fun fall color combinations
You will need three things for cake balls: cake, frosting and coating. Here are some ideas:

•Devil's food cake with fudge icing and dark- chocolate coating
•Yellow cake with buttercream frosting and orange-colored vanilla coating with green or black accents
•White cake with white frosting mixed with orange and yellow sprinkles and chocolate coating
•German chocolate cake with coconut- pecan icing and milk chocolate or light cocoa flavored coating
•Spice or carrot cake with cream-cheese frosting and vanilla coating
•Lemon cake with lemon frosting and vanilla coating

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aging Parents

About this time 22 years ago, my mother unexpectedly passed away with an aneurism. We were all in shock, to say the least because she seemed to be in very good health. My parents had recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary and she was a stay-at-home wife, mother and grandmother. She always doted on her children and grandchildren, and of course we were all devastated over losing her so quickly at the age of 62. I can only now sympathize with my dad over his feelings of loneliness and frustration as he tried to go about his daily life without his one and only sweetheart.

After a few months of fighting loneliness, his need to have someone to do things with grew stronger. He then asked a lady from his church to go out to eat and from then on their friendship blossomed. They married a year later and they have been married for 21 years. They are both now in their 80’s.

I have been so blessed to still have my dad who is 88 years young, still mows his lawn, fishes in tournaments with his bass club, works out three days a week at the fitness center, does chores around the house and much, much more.

Even though he is in good shape and is still very active, I know it won’t be long until my brother and I will have to be making some important decisions regarding his welfare. This came to my attention just this week when he fell outside in the yard and bruised his chest and had to have his hand bandaged from falling in the gravel.

This is where the Serenity prayer comes in: God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change; COURAGE to change the things I can; and WISDOM to know the difference. Life is always about change and I need to be ready to make those life changing decisions with the help of God. James 1:5, “If you need wisdom- if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him, and He will gladly tell you.” Also, Phillipians 4:19, “ This same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day Retreat for Widows

What a blessing it has been to meet other women going through the same things as me and helping each other through this earthly process called "life." We have enjoyed monthly gatherings with good food, lots of fun and laughter and sweet fellowship, which has been wonderful therapy for all of us. There are over 50 women in our church who have lost a spouse and the need is great to minister to them on a personal level.

We are now defining widow as, "a woman who has lost her spouse through either death, divorce or abandonment." Our goal is to love, support, accept and encourage anyone who has a need and we want to be there to meet that need. Ephesians 4:29, "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them."

A Day Retreat of spiritual refreshment is now being planned called, "It's Not Over...Til It's Over" to be held on Saturday, October 24, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. God has orchestrated and put into place two guest speakers, two worship leaders, pianist, lunch, refreshments, a time to laugh, door prizes, and lots of sweet fellowhip. This retreat is being extended to all widows that want to be blessed and encouraged. It doesn't matter if they are a Christian or not, we want them to know that they are loved. The topics of our guest speakers are, "Moving Forward in Love and Freedom" and "Great Expectations."

Please keep us in prayer so that many women will come and be refreshed in spirit and truth! 1 John 5: 14, "And we can be confident that He will listen to us whenever we ask Him for anything in line with His will."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Comfort Zone

One of the best ways to move forward after the loss of your spouse is to stay busy helping others. God left us here for a purpose and we should seek His wisdom in what we are to be doing while left here on earth. Philipians 2:4 - "Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing."

A few months after I became a widow I knew that God was calling me to get out of my comfort zone. I had been a preschool Sunday School teacher for over 30 years and I always thought that was my life's ministry. My desire for teaching 4 and 5 year olds soon left and I decided to attend a women's Sunday School class instead (I really needed to develop friendships and have fellowship with other women). The Sunday School lessons were just what I needed at that time in my life and I soon felt God calling me into another kind of ministry; I just wasn't sure what kind.

I met another lady at church who lost her husband about 2 months after my loss and our friendship grew. After going out to eat and visiting a few times, we knew we were on the same page and that God was calling us both to get out of our comfort zones. We decided not to dwell on the negatives of life, but to find a way to help others in our church who needed to be encouraged.

One of our pastors and secretary helped us by inviting widows from our church to a meeting, and thus a support group was started. We have been meeting together for one year as of August 2009 and we enjoy food, fun and fellowship on a monthly basis. We also have a monthly newsletter giving helpful tips, up-coming activities and uplifting devotionals. What a fitting name to be called the "Encouragers."

This ministry has blessed me in so many ways and I feel privileged to be a part of God's plan as we encourage each other.