Recipes for Success

Posted on: November 12th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Our theme for this month is “Recipes for Success.”

Our contributors will be sharing what they believe are the best ingredients for success in life, at the gym, in the kitchen, at work, and in your families.

Hang around, pick up a few tips, and share your own.

This is your home.  We’d love to learn from YOU too!  This is a great place to share your thoughts and your successes.

We’re  listening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways to Guarantee You Vote Correctly

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

God and Politics.  My two favorite topics – that I’m never afraid to bring up in public when I meet someone new.  These are great ice-breakers!  Don’t you think?  I get so excited every time God or politics comes up in conversation.  I’m like one of those wide eyed children in a candy store every time I open my Bible or when the mid-term and presidential elections come due.  I love to hear what other people think about our country, God, and life.

There is less than twenty four hours before the 2012 Presidential Election.  Every time the season comes around, I spend more time reading about our American history.  Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Mary Lincoln, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII.  I believe it is just amazing how far our country has come in the last five hundred years since the landing of the first European explorers, and how our Founding Fathers were able to establish a new country.  Amazing.

It’s hard enough starting a new business, a new program, or new family.  Can you imagine having the vision to pull together all peoples from one side of the ocean to the other and unify them?  It didn’t come without blood shed, sleepless nights, or tears.  I am not glorifying war or death at all; only the mere fact we have made it this far.  Our country has a very rich history and the fact that we stand here today as free Americans, able to work to provide for our families, attend the school of our choice, worship God without fear of imprisonment,  and vote to elect those we desire to represent us in government shows God is still blessing this country.

So in 2008, when I spent time preparing to make an informed decision as to whom I would vote for, I was stunned to find there are American citizens who could vote, but don’t vote.  Really?  People choose not to vote?

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5 Reliable Resources for Fact Finding

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

November 2008.  I was heavily researching McCain and Obama’s views on life and government, so I could make a well educated decision when voting.  What were their beliefs?  What did they stand for?  There were so many debates, so many arguments, so many false stories.  I was tired of all the negativity.  All I wanted was the facts.  What was the truth?  I wanted to find out.

I started doing research myself.  I hated relying solely on the media which tends to be biased.  FOX News must counter balance MSNBC.  ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and affiliates of each tend to steer their headlines to appease their viewers.   I couldn’t judge these organizations.  They were taught that if you want to be successful in your market, you have to know who your audience is, and feed them what they want.  It’s how they believe they must survive financially.  But that’s an unfortunate view, because for folks like you and me, we just want the truth.

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On War and Weariness by Molly Huggins

Posted on: October 30th, 2012 by Molly Huggins 7 Comments

I have a confession to make.

I am weary of war.

I feel vaguely traitorous to my fellow military wives in spilling my fatigue. But oh I am tired.

Our snapshot of Army life falls somewhere in the middle on the hardship scale.

Seven and a half years together. Three lived apart. Four pregnancies. Two miscarriages. The combat loss of a dear friend. Four deployments. One year apart from my sweet baby girl.  New deployments looming.

You can read more of the beginning of our story at

All The Grace Between

My great-great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. Recently, a stack of letters written by him to his family was found in a dusty attic in North Carolina.

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“Dear Merick, I’m Sorry,” by Dana Matas

Posted on: October 25th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk 3 Comments

Two of the central issues driving the discourse in this year’s Presidential election are our country’s $16 trillion debt and a need for a balanced budget. As a reminder of what is at stake for our children and grandchildren’s children, we wanted to share with you the following letter written by Dana Matas to her newborn son. Penned a few years ago, just after the housing market crash, Dana explains why her son’s generation may not inherit the greatest country in the world should we not learn from our mistakes.  Dana encourages people in their faith and family through her website “Confessions of a Busy Mama.”

Dear Merick,

When I was growing up, my parents taught me that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you would someday enjoy the fruits of your labor as you saw fit to do. We called it “the American Dream.” For some people, the American Dream meant providing financial security for his or her family. For others it meant buying the most outrageously expensive car. And still for others, the American Dream meant giving every last penny you’ve earned to charity. See back then, the American Dream wasn’t about equal outcome; it was about equal opportunity and having the freedom to live your dreams as you saw fit.

It breaks my heart to know that during your lifetime, the “American Dream” has truly become just that—a dream. I can still remember the day that I realized you would be born into a country that no longer resembled the America I grew up believing in, an America that rewarded hard work and dedication. And all I can say is, “I’m sorry.”

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God and the Economy: Trust and Plan by Lara Sadowski

Posted on: October 16th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

 

Lara O’Brien Sadowski is our guest writer today.  She is a southern gal who loves all things writing, speaking, her family, and Jesus.  Lara is a beautiful example of how the Lord has the power to bring purpose through our pain.  Through writing and speaking, Lara shares her experiences with others to help them through their trials and shows them how the Lord can break any stronghold in their life.  Visit her at The Journey of a Southern Gal.

I need to stop watching the news as much as I do. But sometimes I cannot help myself. I am a self-described “newshound,” and between the economy and the Middle East and that “little election” happening in November, I have had a non-stop deluge of important stories to fill my mind.

I would say that the economy is one of the single most important situations we are all facing today. Will I be laid off? Will my husband be laid off? What about our retirement? Will we have enough in his son’s college fund? Worrying has been a common denominator for me and my family, but one day I realized something I was leaving out of our economic equation. Or should I say someone? The Lord Jesus Christ. I was allowing worry to saturate me instead of taking my concerns to Him.

This down-turning economy affects everyone the same – including Christians. So I asked myself a very important question. As a Christian, how should I react to the economy? I knew that there had to be a better answer than worrying excessively over my family’s financial future. And there is. Trusting and planning.

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Faith, Politics, and the Real War on Women by David Fiorazo

Posted on: October 11th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Early in American history, men and women of faith understood the importance of Christians living as salt and light in our culture and they influenced every aspect of society. Today, however, this great nation is drifting further away from the God that blessed us and believers have fallen into the trap of conforming to the world. How do we reverse this trend?

Some say we shouldn’t mix our faith and politics, but as biblical Christians, we cannot separate the two. It’s impossible to leave Jesus Christ out of the voting booth, but that’s what some folks try to do. If we’re honest with ourselves we will acknowledge there has never been a clearer, starker contrast between the Democratic and Republican Party platforms than we see today.

We have an interesting choice ahead of us in the upcoming Presidential Election. Mitt Romney is pro-life and a Mormon who is a man of character and integrity, but according to the Bible, Mormonism is a cult. Barack Obama professes Christianity and seems to be a good father and husband however, his words and policies have been the most anti-Christian of any president America has ever seen. Continue Reading

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Where Freedom was Found

Posted on: October 4th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Freedom.  Promised, they did Lord, when we set sail from the tired shores of England.  Freedom from the monarchial ruling of King James, and his fractured beliefs tainted in part by the Roman church, and in part by his love of self rule.  It’ s a cold and brutal 1620 in November.  You are with us Lord.  You must be. We are still here.

While the seas ravaged our splintering cargo boat for days on end, my sickness fell not from the forceful swell of waves, but from the birth of my second child, Oceanus.  A son without country, a birthplace between two worlds: the Old and the New.  May the Lord grant you wisdom Oceanus, to lead a different life my child, one in which is not tainted of falsehoods conjured by men hungry for power and position, but by a life structured by the hands of God himself.

You know our greatest desire Lord was to separate from the Church of England and worship You in a pure and honest way.  The turbulent oppression by those in rank was stronger than this forceful gale that now beckons us to our death.  We would take these frigid winds and biting sleet if it meant living in your presence only.  Here we are, the only way out, this passageway aboard the Mayflower.  It is unfit for life, created for the rank and smell of wine and cargo. But cargo we must be if we are to see a new day.  Cargo we will be if that is your will. Continue Reading

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The Defining Substitution

Posted on: September 25th, 2012 by Lisa Van Wyk No Comments

Two men with baby bottles hate changeHave you ever had a defining moment in your life that changed you forever?  Maybe you connected with a person that rocked your world, and you were never the same again?  These special people were like substitutes. Substitutes are a person or thing acting or serving in place of another.

Substitutions happen all the time. During basketball games, athletes sub in for each other to give their teammate a rest. Replacement refs take the place of the regular NFL referees on strike.  Teachers use them when they are sick.  Colleagues cover your work when you are on vacation. There are also friendly substitutions who stepped into your life and replaced a bad emotion with good, gave you hope in place of hunger, and energy instead of despair.

But sooner or later, the effectiveness of a substitution fades.  Life “catches up” with you again. You run into another detour, roadblock, crisis, death, or divorce.  And you are left with that same feeling of hopelessness and unbearable burden, becoming the undesirable victim of a tumultuous circumstance. Continue Reading

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Transitioning with Power

Posted on: September 18th, 2012 by Heather Holterman No Comments

Transition: movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change.

Have you ever been in a transition period in your life and wondered “God, are you still there?”  Perhaps you have had to transition to a new job, a new city or a new church.  Maybe you’ve had to transition into a new way of thinking or maybe even into a new size of jeans!  I wonder if you’ve even prayed for a change or a transition only to be doubtful once God starts seeing it through?  Whatever the case, during times of transition, we may struggle from time to time to see God’s presence during it all.

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