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Encouragement

Welcome July

July 1, 2019

As we welcome July, we feel that all God wants is for us to keep it very simple and bring it to ground zero by praying for our nation… will you join us?

Dear Father, thank you for our nation’s freedom and for those who gave their lives for this country. We confess our nation’s sins and beg your forgiveness and mercy. Turn our hearts to you and to the truth of your word so you can bless our country. We praise you for the freedom you grant us through the death of your Son. Help us to live as free men, pleasing you rather than pleasing our fellow men. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

As we continue to be intentional with our mission to “bloom” for Jesus, may the below Others Centered Calendar Challenge be an encouragement to you and those around you. My team and I pray these prompts get you one step closer toward our God, the Ultimate Father.

Fatherless-Child

A Fatherless Child Healed and You Can Heal Too

June 28, 2019
Fatherless-Child

I had a very involved father who was also very flawed. To my mother’s dismay, he saved every paper cup he ever got at Starkbucks so he could shoot at them. When I emptied his house, I discovered he kept every scrap he ever wrote on too. He always kept filling his gas tank until the dollars and cents ended on a even number. He tore up Momma’s washcloths so he could get his finger in the hem to wash every spot on his body.

But he loved me. Just before he died he told me how much he adored me and let me know he was ready to go to glory. I miss those expressions of love more than I expected.

However, what about those who didn’t have a father? Today I have Author Fay Lamb. Her latest novel centers on recovering from a father wound, just like she had to do. She shares how she recovered.


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Stress-Free-Wedding

Tips on Having a Stress-Free Wedding

June 21, 2019

We ladies tend to dream about our wedding day all our lives. A beautiful white dress, flowers, an adoring groom, and happy guests make that picture complete. So we want everything to be perfect, but pulling all the details together presents a challenge. With all the people and working parts things can go wrong and family members can cause problems. Everybody prefers to have fun, stress-free wedding

Peggy Sue Wells, author and mother of seven, shares a list of tips on helping the bride decide what she wants and knowing what the guests care about so families can create great memories. 


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Uncategorized

Secrets to Loving Your Husband

June 14, 2019
Love Your Husband

Father’s day has arrived again, and sometimes I wonder if merchants and card companies created these events so in order to promote sales.  My family already celebrates each person’s birthday, and Christmas, so another occasion seems excessive. 

However, the Bible does tell children to honor their parents.  So early in our marriage, my husband and I decided the children would remember him on Father’s Day and me on Mother’s Day. That allowed them to learn creativity and thankfulness. The idea worked well.

However, the Bible tells wives to “respect their husbands” and in Titus it commands older ladies to”…encourage the younger women to love their husbands…” If we respect our husband, we love him.

We all know men think differently. When I get upset, I want my husband to help me process my emotions rather than fix the problem. So, what’s the secret to love our husbands as God commands? I’ve asked my husband to answer that. Ray Simmons is a teaching elder at Grace Community Church. 


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Raising Boys

Raising Boys in a Digital World

June 7, 2019
Raising Boys

Raising boys. Despite what you hear in the media, boys and girls act differently from birth.

My oldest daughter had imaginary friends who lived in the vents, and she talked over her adventures with them. She also lined up her dolls and scolded them or taught them. Pretend cooking also fascinated her and she often offered me her concoctions.

My two girls came first, then I had a son. The noises he made amazed me. He loved to tell me his imaginary adventures where he overcame lions or bears. Once he had a couple brothers, they scuffled in the living room, sometimes knocking things over. 

My guest today is Jonathan McKee, and he writes and speaks honestly to young people about the consequences of their choices. Jonathan offers invaluable clues to parenting boys. 


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Make Friends

How to Make Friends and Keep Them

May 31, 2019
Make Friends

As a girl, I can remember wanting to connect with other children, but I didn’t know how. Once I sat down by a girl my age and told her my name. She told me hers, and we began to play. I thought that was easy, just exchange names and then you’re friends. However, as you get older the process gets more complex, and keeping friends presents a challenge in our busy world too.

When I make a friend, I want to stay in touch forever, but time and circumstances change. A friend in high school stopped writing me, and I tried so hard to faithfully send her letters anyhow. At one point, I mailed her a pretty card with an empty mail box to let her know I was sad not to hear from her, but she never responded. That broke my heart.

Kathy Collard Miller has just completed a Bible study on friendship and she offers guidance on making and keeping friends.


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Encouragement

Welcome June

May 31, 2019

Summer always reminds me of pool parties, pineapple smoothies. and memories! This month, let’s take the time to sit down and list major events in the lives of your children, including the good stuff, such as parties, graduations, awards, and even the not-so-good, such as illnesses and surgeries. Keep narratives of family events and highlight the occasions with photos of everyone present. In a few years, your children will find it much easier to construct their family’s history.

Today the internet presents us with many valuable resources for accessing family history. After using several new sites, I uncovered relatives several generations back, and I love adding photos and personal information that family members penned. I’ve learned I’m related to several patriots of the Revolutionary War, and I’ve found women named Cynthia on both sides of the family. 

Here are some sites to get you started:
Free sites: FamilySearch.org, Family Quest
Not free: Ancestry.com
Now, let’s kick off June with prayer. Ready?

Dear Father,  As summer approaches, hot weather, and vacations, keep us from taking a break from our faith. Keep us focused on others as we congratulate graduates and their parents who finished the job well. Help us to demonstrate godly respect for our spouses and others in authority. As the roses bloom, may your Spirit draw us ever closer to you. In the name of Jesus, the exalted name, Amen.

Lastly, let’s bloom in June. May the below Others Centered Calendar Challenge be an encouragement to you and those around you. My team and I pray these prompts get you one step closer toward our God, the Ultimate Father.

The Art of Living is #OthersCentered Calendar-June 2019-Cynthia L. Simmons

To download the calendar, click here.

Prayer

Understanding the Mystery of Prayer and God’s Promises

May 24, 2019
Mystery of Prayer

We know God answers prayer.

Hannah prayed so tearfully in the tabernacle that the high priest thought she was drunk. But she longed for a child because she couldn’t conceive. When she gave birth to Samuel, she dedicated him to God.

That happened before all the commands and prayer promises, yet because the patriarchs had sought out God with their concerns, she went to God.

I’ve seen answers to prayer too.

Mother mentioned she’d love to have carpet when I was young. So I prayed God would give us carpet. I didn’t expect to get carpet.

Later, my parents won a contest and received wall to wall carpet in their living room and dining room. Mom and Dad dubbed me their little prayer warrior.

Now I believe God was encouraging me to pray.

However, sometimes we pray  and long for an answer. A lot. And we pray for years. Nothing happens. At least, we can’t see anything. Discouragement can take over.

I’ve met people who say, “Prayer doesn’t change things, it changes you.”

Or “God answers. But it might be no.”

Let’s consider prayer promises in the New Testament:

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

 Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

 Matthew 7:9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?

 Matthew 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

Matthew 7: 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

My husband, Ray Simmons, a teaching elder at our church, offers answers.

The photo: Olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemene


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Adult Children

Developing Friendship with Your Adult Children

May 17, 2019
Adult Children

After spending a life time teaching them and guarding them from harm, moms must step aside and allow our adult children to make choices.

Moms of all ages should consider the future and plan for it. God gives incredible authority to parents, but only for a short time because kids can’t be held responsible.

We have to release them.

If I eat that extra cookie, I can forgive myself, but if my adult child does that, oh dear. Moms think of all the consequences.

He or she shouldn’t eat chocolate. Vegetables are better for you. Processed food!

But, with adult children, moms can’t say that anymore.

That’s so hard because we care, deeply. We gave up our life for that child, and we can’t forget that.

Once a mom, always a mom. We love our babies. (except they aren’t!)

Terri Gillespie, mother, author, and speaker, shares how she built a friendship with her former prodigal.


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mother

Tips on Being a Great Mother

May 10, 2019
Mother

All of us want to be a great mother.

I can remember watching John Boy and his family on TV. How I loved it when everyone said goodnight as the program ended.

And I wanted to be a wonderful mother, like John Boy’s.

However, when my first child was really small, she climbed into my lap and bit me. My first reaction was to slap her fact.

Then I felt terrible. I should have pushed her away and said something amazing like the TV program. I failed and felt terrible.

We need good advice and direction from others who had experience.

Peggy Sue Wells  is my guest today. She offers tips from experience and research.


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