Juanita appreciates these daily devotionals. Perhaps you would also.
By Carla Steward
2010, FaithWords, Hachette Book Group
Fiction (soft cover)
Set in the small community of Graham Camp, Texas in 1958, you would expect life for the main character, Sammie Tucker, to be happy and carefree. When her parents experience major problems Sammie’s world spins out of control. Learning to trust the other adults in her life and to accept the truth becomes a major challenge for her.
This story is full of unexpected twists. It is not your typical “feel good” novel. The characters are realistic and well developed, the story heart-wrenching and warm at the same time. For a first time novelist Carla Stewart has done an excellent job. An enjoyable read, even if the circumstances of the characters are, at times, difficult.
Your pastor has just brought you down a mailing of 140 letters that he wanted in the mail yesterday. Your Sunday school director has decided she wants the attendance records updated today. The nominating chair person wants an updated nominating committee report as soon as possible. The finance committee wants a detailed breakdown of a certain line item and they are meeting later today. Sound familiar? How should we respond?
According to God’s Word, we are to “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.” (Philippians 2:14) Wow! That was a reminder I needed, but did not necessarily like being reminded of. So much has been happening at work and I have been grumbling and disputing, even if it was just with myself.
This year as part of my contribution to the BSAM board, I was asked to do the devotions for the website. When I accepted, I thought this would be of no problem because I know just the right person who is a godly woman and who writes for a living. But God had other plans. He meant for me to do this on my own.
When Cyndee asked for updates for the website, I put this off. However, today God grabbed my attention and said, “Today is the day!”
As I sat, prayed, and thought about what to share with each of you, I did not know where God wanted me to start and what He wanted me to share. I finally recalled our theme for our conference this year is “Encouraging the Servant Heart.” I felt God leading me to a place to start, the word servant.
I felt being lead to focus on verses in my concordance that dealt with service as a ministry or work. After looking at several verses and beginning to become quite frustrated because nothing was jumping out at me saying, “That’s it!”, I came across Hebrews 12:28: “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.” We should offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe. What exactly was God trying to teach me?
He led me then to Hebrews 13:21: “equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” God sends His Holy Spirit to equip me to do what I am asked according to His will. How is this done?
Yep, you guessed it, Philippians 2:13-15: “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”
Today, God laid it on my heart to share with you that when you become overwhelmed with serving God’s church, remember (1) He is at work in you, (2) He will equip you, and (3) He wants us to do it without grumbling or disputing. If we remember this, we will appear as lights to the world.
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (3 1/2 – 4 pound) boneless pork loin 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup chopped sweet onions, like Vidalia 1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup cider vinegar 1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ketchup 1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup dark molasses Sandwich buns
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
Place olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork loin and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
Pour off remaining olive oil from pan. Add onions and saute’, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add vinegar, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix well. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minutes. Pour vinegar mixture over pork loin in slow cooker.
Cook pork on low for 10 hours or on high for 5 hours, until pork is fork-tender.
Transfer pork to cutting board and shred. Return shredded pork to sauce and stir to combine.
Serve on sandwich buns. (Or, you can keep pork warm in cooker on low to serve later.)
There are certain Excel or Word documents that we need to access several times for reference and for that purpose we want them to be retrieved as quickly as possible. Searching for such documents takes a few minutes. We need to keep the Office 2007 documents readily available which are frequently used. There are two ways to keep the Office 2007 documents readily available:
There is a feature of Recent Documents in all Office 2007 applications. You will notice a push pin icon in front of every item in the list called Recent Documents. This push pin button can be used to tack the important items in order to keep the Office 2007 documents readily available in this list.
1. Open Word.
2. Click on the Office button on the top left.
3. You will see the list named Recent Documents on the right side of the menu.
4. Click on the push pin button next to the items you want to be always available in that list.
These items will be tacked until you unpin them.
2. Number of Recent Documents:
You can change the number of items that are available in the Recent Documents list in order to keep the Office 2007 documents readily available. If you increase the number of items displayed in this list, you will be able to access the documents for a longer period of time. Here we are giving the example of Word 2007 but this method can be used for all the Office 2007 applications:
1. Open Word.
2. Click on the Office button on the top left.
3. Click on the Word Options button at the bottom.
4. The Word Options dialog box will appear. Click on Advanced on the right hand side.
5. Scroll down to the Display section.
6. Increase the number of Recent Documents to be displayed.
7. Click on the OK button.
You can also decrease the number of Recent Documents to be shown if that option suits you. You can even set it to 0 if you don’t want it to display any Recent Documents.
Staying Fit Can Improve Your Emotional Well-Being
Taking care of your body is so important when it comes to your emotional well-being. Your mind and the body are connected. When you start exercising, you will start to feel better physically and emotionally. Exercise not only strengthens our heart and lungs, but also releases endorphins, that energize and lift our mood.
Every choice you make will affect the way you feel. Ask yourself are you:
- Getting enough rest. It’s important to take care of your body. That includes getting enough sleep. Most of us need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to function.
- Learn about good nutrition and practice it. The subject of nutrition is not always easy to do. But the more you learn about what you eat and how it affects your body the better you will feel.
- Exercise to relieve stress and lift your spirits. Exercise is such a great way to relieve stress. Look for small ways to add exercise to your day, try going on a short walk. To get the best out of exercise try to exercise for at least 30 minutes or more.
- Get a dose of sunlight every day. Sunlight lifts your mood, so try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun per day.
Having the Support of others will have you feeling your best and help you succeed.
Having the company of others is a great way to improve how you feel. We are social creatures with the need for relationships with others. We crave companionship.
One key to reducing stress is to find a supportive companion who is a “good listener” and someone you can talk to without a pre-existing agenda. Develop a friendship with someone you can talk to regularly and then listen and support each other.
Ways to Connect With Others:
- Get out from behind your TV or computer screen. Technology is great but when you interact with people it has a way of making you feel better.
- Spend time daily, face-to-face, with people you like. Make spending time with people you enjoy a priority. Choose friends who are upbeat, positive, and interested in you. Take time to learn more about people you meet during the day that you enjoy being around.
- Volunteer. Doing something that helps others has a beneficial effect on how you feel about yourself. There are so many volunteer opportunities you can explore. Your church and local organizations of all sorts depend on volunteer support to get their work done.
- Become involved in a Bible Study. Getting active in a Bible study reconnects you to others with the same interests and improves your spirituality.
- Join an exercise class. Zumba is a great way to challenge yourself physically.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
-1 Peter 5:10
Not sure how many of you Blog but I thought the following tips would be useful to those of you that do are responsible for newsletters, Constant Contact or other electronic communication tools. Enjoy. Betty
19 Ridiculously Useful Tips Every Blogger Should Know
Whether you have a blog, have always wanted to start one, or are one of the greats, these tips will keep your content exciting, your design fresh, and your readers coming back hungry for more.
1. Give your blog a layout makeover every so often.
2. Make sure you have an about page that represents who you are and what you do.
3. Organize your blog labels so readers can find the content they are looking for more easily.
4. Don’t let footer space become dead space.
5. Create an editorial calendar to keep track of ideas and post dates.
6. Avoid blogger burnout.
7. Feel like you’re running out of material? Brainstorm some content-rich topics.
8. Make sure readers are commenting on your blog.
9. Commenting on other people’s blogs is a great way to engage with someone you respect, and for others to notice you.
10. Learn to use Photoshop actions to get that creamy ~blogger glow~ on all of your photos.
11. Be conscious of your blog photos’ names.
12. Know when it’s OK to use someone else’s photo on your blog or social media.
13. And also know how to handle when an image of yours gets stolen.
14. Effect15. Set up rich pins to ensure that when photos from your blog are pinned, all of the important information gets pinned with it.
15. Set up rich pins to ensure that when photos from your blog are pinned, all of the important information gets pinned with it.
16. Try offering an email newsletter to your readers to ensure active engagement.
17. Figure out how to turn your blogging hobby into a paid job.
18. If you make money from your blog in any way, figure out if you should be filing for self-employment taxes.
19. Take a class to improve your blogging skills.
More detailed information on each of these tips can be found at following link;
History of Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri
Thank God for those who have left footprints in the sands of life as they charted paths for secretaries to follow.
In the late fifties and in the sixties, leadership in the Church Administration Department began to include training for secretaries. State church administration departments were beginning to view church secretarial training as a real plus. At the same time, associational missionaries/directors of missions and associational educational directors were being encouraged by secretaries to offer training clinics.
In the sixties approximately fifteen thousand secretaries were serving in Southern Baptist churches. Groups with either denominational or religious orientation began to sponsor secretaries’ workshops.
One group to begin conferences for church secretaries was Baptist Religious Education Association chapters over the Convention. One of the first was the Missouri Baptist Religious Education Association at their 1967 “BREA Midyear Retreat” in Jefferson City. In a 1989 issue of Quarterly Review, Lucy Hoskins, noted “Out of this beginning has grown one of the strongest statewide secretaries associations. Structured with a constitution and officers. Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri has contributed much too Convention-wide plans for improving church secretarial training and moving secretaries closer to a more professional status.”
A letter dated October 17, 1966, on file at the Missouri Baptist Convention office, states: “For the first time in our state, the Baptist Religious Education Association is sponsoring a Secretary’s Workshop which will be held in Jefferson City January 23-24, 1967. Miss Lucy Hoskins of the Church Administration Department will be leading several of the conferences, and a most capable staff of workers from our state has been enlisted to assist in this workshop.”
The letter was addressed to the pastor and encouraged him to lead the church to take care of the secretary’s expenses which would include a $1 registration fee, one night’s lodging of $6-$8, meals, and travel expense. The Secretary’s Workshop Committee included: Miss Bobbe Birdnow, Jefferson City; Mrs. Kay Bradley, First, Raytown; Mrs. Nita Mistler, Glenstone, Springfield; Miss Sandy McDonald, St. Johns, St. Louis.
Two Educational Directors were instrumental in encouraging the first workshop for Missouri Baptist secretaries: Bill Beshears (served in St. Joseph and Springfield) and Max Caldwell (served in Lee’s Summit and St. Charles). MBREA assisted the secretaries in planning annual workshops for 1967 and 1968.
The October 17, 1966 letter promoting that first secretary’s conference stated the purpose:
“Conferences have been planned and have been aimed at helping the church secretary improve her skills. These conferences have been designed to assist education, financial, pastor’s, and general secretaries, part-time, full-time, and volunteer, of both large and small churches.”
The purpose has not changed. Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri is dedicated to encouraging office professionals to set goals for personal and professional development. BSAM officers and advisors are committed to make training opportunities available to all secretaries who serve in churches and church related offices in Missouri.
Through the years BSAM’s leadership has reflected high personal and professional standards. Their supportive role has always included affirmation and encouragement.
Yes, I thank God for those who have left tracks in the sands of life and smoothed the way for others to follow. Take a closer look at that sand. . .looks like someone wearing high heels has been walking there.
In January, 1969 Baptist Secretaries Association of Missouri was organized.
Missouri was the second state organization in the Southern Baptist Convention (Alabama Association of Baptist Church Secretaries was organized at Judson College in 1963). BSAM continued to meet in conjunction with MBREA until 1971 when BSAM moved the workshop to Windermere. In the early seventies Harold Souther, from the Kansas City Baptist Association, worked closely with the newly formed organization. When he joined the Missouri Baptist Convention staff in 1976 he continued to serve as liaison and assisted BSAM officers in planning the annual workshop until his retirement in 1982.
Compiled by Evelyn Gustafson, Business/Communication Director, Greene County Baptist Association, Springfield, Missouri.
With special thanks to the following for their assistance:
Miss Lucy Hoskins, retired consultant to church secretaries. Sunday School Board
Rev. Bill Beshears, Pastor, Winder, Georgia
Mrs. Nita (Mistler) Hastings, Edmond, Oklahoma
Mrs. Freda Shiner, Kansas City, Missouri
Mrs. Nina Garnett, Missouri Baptist Convention
Ms. Gay Mayse, BSAM Historian
As the title might suggest, this Sullivan Crisp debut novel is about healing, but not in the physical sense. Through believable characters and an honest story line they speak candidly about pain, healing, forgiveness and a loving God who gives second chances. I found myself intrigued by the various plot twists and turns from cover to cover and look forward to their next Sullivan Crisp offering. The reading group guide at the end makes this an excellent selection for any book club or discussion group. If you have ever experienced the need to receive or give forgiveness, this book is a good read. Although a work of fiction, there is truth in its pages. I highly recommend it.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” -Matthew 6:33 NKJV
What if you were given over $80,000, everyday for the rest of your life? What do you think you would do with it? Quit your job? Buy a new house? Invest? What if you had to spend it all in a day, every day! How then would you spend it? Do you think you could spend it all in a day? I do not know how many seconds are in a day, without goggling it, but God gives us all of these seconds every day… and you spend every one of them! How are you using your time?
To many of us are so busy and rushed especially during the Holiday Season, we just can’t wait to get through another day. We need to take a step back and ask ourselves if what we are filling our days with really matters and if the activities we do choose reflect our priorities. Often we are so disconnected that we are to busy to recognize it.
However, the Bible says, ” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also ” -Matthew 6:21. I have written scripture above each of my children’s doors and this is one of my favorite verses I had placed above my oldest daughters door.
Have a wonderful and blessed time this Christmas with your loved ones as you remember the true miracle of that first Christmas.