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Archive for May, 2010

Do you have memories of Memorial Day growing up?  Was it the long weekend that signaled summer had arrived and the beginning of vacation season?  Were there more somber moments when names of loved ones were read off a list, maybe a visit to the graveyard to visit the graves of family members?  Me too…all those things were part of that weekend growing up.  But what was Memorial Day’s original purpose?

Memorial Day has been observed since around 1868 specifically for the purpose of honoring fallen soldiers.  Before this date, various towns and women’s organizations honored fallen soldiers, but it is said the official observance was initiated by a man named General John Logan. Traditionally the celebration includes flags placed on the graves of fallen soldiers and local parades to honor our veterans.

In many ways Memorial Day is a serious holiday, a time to honor others who have served their country faithfully to the point of death.  But there are others who believe it is perfectly acceptable for Memorial Day to also be a time to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy because of the service of those soldiers and others.  We can honor those who served by remembering and by enjoying our liberty!

This week in our Daily Devotionals we are going to look at instances in the Bible where individuals are honored by God. The Daily Devotionals can be found under the category of Time to Honor at www.gttdaily.wordpress.com.  There are many men and women named specifically in the pages of Scripture who led lives worthy of recognition, but we will narrow it down and look at five unique women and the circumstances that brought them honor.  It should be a fun and inspiring week!

Note:  Starting June 6 we will begin posting in our new summer format.  An Our Story will be published each Sunday right here at Given the Time and daily Bible readings relating to that story will be posted on the Given the Time Daily Devotional site Monday through Friday.  Stories are powerful tools that God wants to use…please consider passing along this site’s address to your friends and neighbors this summer who might need to hear how God has shown Himself faithful in another woman’s life.

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Do you ever get to the point where you want to say enough already with the bad news!

If so, you are not alone.  I have a friend who on a regular basis takes a little break from watching The News on t.v. , avoids reading The Latest Updates on her computer, and turns the station when Breaking News comes on her radio.  She needs just a brief respite from the constant flow of negative.  It allows her extended time to focus on things that are good and positive and wonderful, and then she is able to re-engage with current events but with a healthy perspective.

So maybe a monthly Break from the News isn’t for everyone.  But as we rush and navigate our way through daily life, it is easy to ignore the wonderful things that surround us…and that is not good.   It is almost as if all those amazing things that surround us become invisible, we are so used to having them as a backdrop to our life.  The wonderful can be drowned out by the terrible if we allow negative things to speak louder into our lives.

It is Spring, creation is showing its beauty all around us, and so it seems like a good time to turn the volume up on a few of the things that are wonderful!  The Daily Devotionals can be found under the category of Wonderful at www.gttdaily.wordpress.com.

And congratulations to the winner of last week’s drawing for the Blockbuster gift card.  Enjoy!  And keep your eyes open for another drawing this summer.

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Spring Cleaning IQ test:

Mixture of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water…

A. will clean stains from plastic bowls.

B.  is an important ingredient for the cake you are making instead of cleaning out your pantry.

C.  is a “handy” spa treatment for softer hands after you have finished your spring cleaning.

Try using a dry paintbrush…

A.  for cleaning collectibles.

B.  when painting signs for the garage sale you don’t really want to have anyways.

C.  when you break a sweat from cleaning out the garage…it makes a great hand-held fan.

When the artificial plants and trees get dusty…

A.  cover the base with trash bags, spray with the garden hose outside, and let air dry in the sun.

B.   you sell them in the garage sale “dirt cheap” and buy new ones.

C.  just ignore the dust and pretend no one else see’s it either.

Answer A on all three?  You are Spring Cleaning Savvy.  If you answered B or C on any of these questions…well, bless your heart, you might need some help!

Daily devotionals (and practical cleaning hints) can be found under the category of Spring Cleaning at www.gttdaily.wordpress.com.  We will share practical Hints of the Day for spring cleaning, add a spiritual application for your heart,  and give you the chance to win a free $25.00 Blockbuster gift card.  It will be a week of good motivation to get things done!

(You can register to win the free prize by leaving a comment on each day’s posting at www.gttdaily.wordpress.com during the week starting May 17-21, 2010. One comment per day and per person, please.  And don’t worry…your email address can only be seen by blog administrators and you may use your initials if you like. You will be notified by email after Friday if you win and we will mail your prize to you next week!)

Have a great week and Happy Spring Cleaning!

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Mom’s across the world are celebrated and honored on this Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed, bouquet’s of flowers, and home-made cards.  But there are some national Mother’s Day traditions that look a bit different then what we are used to.

In Yugoslavia, kids run upstairs on Mother’s Day and tie her up in bed until she tells them where she has hidden gifts for them.  Sounds to me like mom’s in Yugoslavia have a healthy sense of humor…or maybe they are just buying extra sleep time! And then there is Sweden.  Swedish people sell little plastic flowers for the day and the proceeds are used to send mom’s with many children on a vacation.  Wow!  I wonder what number of children qualifies as “many”  and if I have to be present to claim my prize!

It has been said that there is no more powerful and influential role than motherhood.  The shaping, nurturing, and oversight of the minds and hearts of tomorrow is an important profession with deep God-given responsibility.  We personally have felt the great importance of motherhood.  From the things they did right to the times they failed us, when we look carefully we can see God’s hand at work in our lives through our mother. So it is fitting that this week in our daily Devotionals we will have daily tributes to various mothers, treating the topic with honesty and with honor.  Daily Devotionals can be found under the category of Motherhood at  www.gttdaily.wordpress.com.

By the way, we are so glad you are joining us in our “conversations” here at Given the Time.  We hope this site will be a bright and encouraging spot in your day and you are always welcome to leave comments!

Would your life be easier if this weekly blog came to your email?  Sign up in the box in the right margin and each week the updated blog will be automatically sent to your email address.  If you also want Daily Devotionals to come to your email each weekday, go to the devotional page and subscribe again in the box in the right margin.

*http://www.theholidayspot.com/mothersday/around_the_world.htm

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Prayer is a mysterious, spiritual exercise that almost everyone at least one time in their life has participated in.  Perhaps during a funeral a group prayer was spoken.  Maybe in a moment of desperation prayer was all that was left.  Or perhaps prayer is a discipline of personal religion.  We often aren’t sure how we should approach the subject of prayer.  And this Thursday prayer hits the front page of our nation with the National Day of Prayer.

Does the thought of participation in a Day of Prayer make you personally uncomfortable?  (What a nice idea… for other people!)

Does a focus on the Day of Prayer produce feelings of guilt?  (I already don’t pray enough as it is, so now there is a whole day set aside for me to fail?)

Does the Day of Prayer inspire you?  (Wow, an opportunity to be part of something huge on a national level!)

Or maybe you relate a little bit to each of these three responses!  The truth is God wants us to spend time in conversation with Him.  Prayer…whenever we feel like it, at specific times during the day, at designated days of the year, at special moments in our lives, in the hard and challenging times, when we are in need, when we have more then we could dream of.  He is a God of relationship, and prayer is one of the main avenues through which He strengthens our relationship with Him.

Our Daily Devotionals can be found under the category of Prayer at www.gttdaily.wordpress.com. This week, we will look at various prayers in Scripture and seek a greater understanding of what prayer really is.

If you find something you like on this site or on the devotionals, take a minute to pass our link along to a friend or a neighbor.  It might be just the encouragement they need for their day.  Want to automatically receive this blog on your email?  Just sign up in the side bar to the right.  

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