10 Things that Impact Me about Easter

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

There are a lot more than 10 things that impact me about the Easter story, but here are ten of them.

10. I’m amazed at how quickly the people turned against their Messiah. In Luke 19:36-38, they were shouting Hosannas and waving palms. In Luke 23:18-25, they were shouting crucify Him. But it also amazes me how I so quickly turn away at times.

9. I’m amazed that the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest, and the greatest one of all, the Son of God, washes their feet. I’m also amazed at how much I try to promote myself when One greater than me lives inside of me. John 13:1-20

8. I’m amazed that Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet He still washed his feet and shared a meal with him. Jesus also died on the cross for me knowing how many times I would betray Him. John 21:21-30

7. I’m amazed that Jesus weeps over Jerusalem when He knows they will murder Him and reject Him as their Messiah. How many times do we weep over the lost? Luke 19:41-44

6. I’m amazed at how one moment Peter is willing to die for Jesus, but the next, he’s denying Him. The saddest part of this story is Luke 22: 61 “The Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Imagine being Peter and knowing the Lord saw you deny Him, that He was standing right there. He sees when we deny Him too. He’s standing right there. Luke 22:54-62

5. I’m amazed that the soldiers could bring themselves to arrest Jesus after He declared Himself I AM, and they fell down under His power. Then after Peter cuts off Malchus’ ear, Jesus heals it. How did they bring themselves to do it? John 18:1-11

4. I’m amazed that Jesus carried His own cross after being beaten to a pulp and that He was willing to do that for me. How can I refuse to carry my cross after knowing that? John 19:1-17

3. I’m amazed by what Jesus suffered to reconcile me to God. John 19:16-24. My only reasonable response to that is to surrender everything to Him. Romans 12: 1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

2. I’m amazed at how gently Jesus dealt with Peter’s denial. First He tell Mary at the tomb to go tell the disciples and Peter He’s alive. I believe He singles Peter out because Peter no longer feels like he’s worthy to be called Jesus’ disciple. Then Jesus cooks fish with Peter, deals with His sin with probing questions, and reinstates him. I’m also amazed at how gently and thoroughly Jesus deals with my sin. Mark 16:7, John 21:15-22

1. I’m amazed at Jesus’ Resurrection power. He took death captive when He rose from the grave and proved He is I AM. Matthew 28

I am amazed by one more thing. I’m amazed at how much He loves me.

10 Ways to Spring Clean and Still Keep your Sanity

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

Spring is almost here. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather enjoy the nice weather than be cooped up in the house doing heavy cleaning. But it’s something that needs to be done. Here’s some of the things I’ve tried to keep it from devouring my life and my time outdoors.

1. Make a plan. Spring cleaning goes better if you make a plan of attack. Write out a list of what you need to do and the order you’ll do it in. This link will take you to a site to help you make a plan for cleaning and organizing your home.

2. Start at the front door. The easiest way to Spring clean is to start at the front door where company sees and move from room to room until you’re finished.

3. Have three bins or boxes marked Put Away, Give Away, Store, and a trash can for throwing things away. It will be much easier than having to stop to put things where they belong.

4. Avoid distractions. Let family and friends know this is the time you’ll be Spring cleaning. Turn off your phone, and don’t answer the door. And don’t turn on the television or check FaceBook or you’ll whittle away the whole day.

5. Turn on some loud music. It’s much easier for me to clean when I’m jamming to my favorite music.

6. Get family to help. After all, they live there too. Decide on a week for your family to help you. Then give them each a list to complete in that week.

7. Have a yard sale. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something if you have a yard sale at the end of your project. It will empty the house of clutter and fill your pockets with spending money.

8. Make plans for meals. Use your crockpot or order pizza. You won’t feel like cooking after a day of cleaning.

9. Spread it out. There’s no law you have to do all your cleaning in the Spring. Decide on a room to clean every month. Or download the My Home Routines app or use the app online at this link.

10. Hire help. I’m serious. It costs an average of $25-$50 an hour for a housecleaner to come in and do your heavy cleaning. For $200, you could get everything done but the organizing and be free to enjoy your life. If you can afford it, isn’t it worth cutting your budget somewhere else and spending the $200?

Now that you’re done inside, enjoy the beautiful weather.

 

 

The Irish Tidbits

by Carole Brownireland-castle-free

I love Ireland. Beautiful country, interesting history, and remarkable people. I thought it would be fun to list a few blessings and thoughts from the Irish. Enjoy!

May the strength of three be in your journey.

ireland-national-park-free

A toast to your coffin. May it be made of a hundred-year-old oak, and may we plant the tree together, tomorrow. 

May the most you wish for be the least you get. 

May you have walls for the wind, and a roof for the rain, and drinks beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, and those you love near you, and all that ireland-sheep-freeyour heart may desire. 

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May your hand always be stretched out in friendship and not in want. 

And one more…

For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with years. And the smile that is worth the praises of earth, is the smile that shines through the tears. 

4-leaf-clover-2

The History of Saint Patrick

by Tamera Lynn Kraft

St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, is a day everyone loves to celebrate by wearing green and having parades, but most don’t know the spiritual significance of the man named Patrick. It is a story of adventure and mystery.

Patrick was born in Kilpatrick, Scotland in the year, 387. His parents were Romans living in Britain and named him Maewyn Succat. At the age of fourteen, Patrick was captured by a raiding party and taken to Ireland to herd sheep. Ireland, at that time, was populated by pagans and druids. Patrick, during his captivity, learned the language and culture of Ireland. He also used his captivity to grow closer to God.

Six years later, at the age of twenty, Patrick had a dream from God to leave Ireland. In the dream, he was told to escape to the coast. When he arrived at the coast, a ship from Britain was waiting for him. He returned home to his family.

Later Patrick studied for the priesthood, became a bishop. He had a vision of the people of Ireland begging him to return and tell them about Jesus. Patrick became a missionary to Ireland and preached the Gospel throughout the land. He lived there for the rest of his life, and many were converted. He died on March 17th, 461.

There are many legends surrounding Patrick. Because there are very few snakes in Ireland, one legend says Patrick banished the snakes. This legend has a grain of truth in it if you consider the snakes paganism that plagued Ireland. By the time Patrick died, Ireland was on its way to becoming a Christian nation. Another legend says an Ash tree would grow wherever Patrick poked his stick into the ground.

The reason the shamrock is used to represent St. Patrick is because he used the shamrock to illustrate the trinity. Since the shamrock is green, that color is also used to represent Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.

10 Life Hacks for When You are Overwhelmed

Hand Writing HELP on Whiteboardby Tamera Lynn Kraft

No matter how well organized we are or how well we plan, life sometimes throws us a curve ball. An illness, family emergency, or a million other things can steer us off course, and there is nothing we can do in those times but hold on tight and ride the wave through it. Here are ten life hacks to help you when those things happen.

lists-freeMake a list of things to do. Even when you don’t have time to do your to do list, it helps to write everything down. Then go through the list and cross off everything that doesn’t have to be done. Write an L for later beside everything on the list that has to be done but can wait until your past your emergency mode. For the rest, decide what you can delegate to others.

Hire help. Sometimes it is worth spending a little money to free up your time during emergencies. There are lots of companies that are willing to mow your lawn, run your errands, do your shopping, and clean your house. You can even take your laundry to the laundry mat and have them wash, dry, and fold your laundry. You may consider these services luxuries you can’t afford, but remember this is a temporary fix to get you through a tough time.

Say no. You are in emergency mode. You don’t have time to take on any new projects no matter how worthy they are.

24-1013tm-cart-professionalsGet your family on board. Explain to your husband and kids what’s going on. If you have close friends, get them involved too.Tell them you may not be there for them like you usually are and ask for their help. Also ask them to pray for you.

Give yourself permission to not be perfect. When you are in emergency mode, let your motto be “good enough is good enough.” Perfection is for people who have more time.

Use essential oils in a diffuser. This really works. I recommend Young Living Joy or Peace and Calming.

Have a cup of tea. While coffee might energize you temporarily, it will also make you nervous and on edge. Tea calms the nerves and makes everything better.

Exercise: Common sense says you don’t have time to go to the gym, but exercise helps stress levels come down and will keep your on task.

raising-handsWorship: Crank up the worship music and play it while you are doing what you need to do. Also take some time out to worship God. God will redeem the time you spend in His presence.

Ask God for peace and joy. God can give you peace and joy in the most difficult times. Peace and joy are not based on your circumstances but on God’s mercy and grace.

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don’t Set Those Goals…

by Carole Brown

Whalists-freet, you say? And you have a right to ask. I wanted to grab your attention, so hence the partial statement. Here’s the sentence in its entirety:

Don’t set those goals TOO high!

Again, you might very well ask, why on earth not, especially coming from you who always advocates goals and lists?

Okay, I agree with that, but I want to throw out there some caution. Here are some reasons why I encourage you to be careful when setting your goals or making those lists:

  • When I make lists/goals I try not to make them unattainable FOR ME. I don’t include on my lists: “Paint room, wash windows, clean bathrooms, write 5000 words–today! Nope, I KNOW I can’t/won’t do all that. For one thing, I’m not much of a painter. Another thing, I hate washing windows, although I do get to it a few times a year–under pressure. I’m a slow writer, so 5000 words is pushing it for me. 

Now I mighcan-do-freet make a list like this: Clean bathrooms, write 1000 words, do one blog post, prepare supper, pay bills. 

 I know me. I know my limitations. I know I hate taking down the Christmas tree, so hubby begins right after Christmas encouraging me to work on it. I know I really don’t mind too much cleaning the bathrooms, so that’s a feasible goal. And if I attain more than a thousand words, than I’m flying high today!

So set reasonable goals.

 

  • Add some fun items along with the dreaded ones to make your list more appealing to your emotions and senses. Intermingle them. Try doing one hated chore right after or before a pleasant one. Reward yourself with a small piece of chocolate or some other read-on-vacationfavor when an unpleasant one is finished. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many unpleasant tasks.

It’s far better to finish five dreaded items a week, than end the week feeling depressed because none of the twenty got done.

 

So, Intermingle on your tasks lists with both pleasant and unpleasant tasks.

 

  • God’s Word encourages us to do our REASONABLE SERVICE–not outlandish tasksbible-free that are out of our reach. But he also wants us to be good stewards, faithful in our work, disciplined. So I would encourage you to find and use as your motto a scripture verse/passage that you can refer to as your guide to making your lists a habit, an influence in seeing the need to be profitable in our daily chores and chosen paths, and a blessing to you as you diligently do your work every day. 

No, we might not accomplish everything, every day. We’re human. Faulty. And life happens. Don’t let failures discourage you, but count them as lessons. Push ahead.

So, find a scripture that keeps you motivated.

 

RECAPPbaseball2-freeING:

  1. Set reasonable goals.
  2. Intermingle good and bad tasks together
  3. Find a scripture for encouragement.


I believe if you follow these three simple steps, you’ll find a greater satisfaction each week. Remember, reward yourself. Stay true to yourself and God. Allow time for fun. You’ll be batting a high score.                     I believe it!

Happy goal-setting!

10 Keys to a Happy Life

Joy Key Shows Fun Or Happinessby Tamera Lynn Kraft

The Bible talks a lot about joy. You can’t read the Bible very long without realizing God wants us find our happiness in Him. John Piper says, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. That’s the real key to a happy life, to be satisfied in God. Here are a couple of verses that show this.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Here are 10 keys to having a happy and fulfilled life. They are not the only ones. You can find the rest in the Bible.

10. Don’t worry so much. Most of what we worry about never happens.

9. Remember failure is an event, not a person.

8. Knowing Jesus is more important than knowing about Jesus.

Person Holding Sign Spreading Word of God7. Remember that the story of your life is not about you. It’s about God in you.

6. Our lives become significant by how we serve and bless others.

5. “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep and gain what he can not lose.” Jim Elliot. In other words, if we don’t have anything worth dying for, we don’t have anything worth living for.

4. Stay true to the Word of God while loving others liberally. That means you love others enough to tell them the truth. The truth is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

3. God’s opinion is the only one that counts.

2. We find our greatest joy by abiding in Christ and yielding to the will of God.

1. A life without God at the center is a miserable, wasted life.

So, can you think of any I missed. Leave a comment.