Saturday, December 29, 2012

If I Had My Life To Live Over

If I Had My Life To Live Over

The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck 
sometime after she found out she had kidney disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

Image Credit
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.
© Erma Bombeck

Who was Erma Bombeck?

Erma was born on February 21, 1927, to a working family living in Ohio. Her father died when she was nine years old, and she, along with her mother, moved to her grandmother's home. Her mother remarried two years later. 

Erma entered school when she was five years old, and quickly became an avid reader and accomplished student. She especially enjoyed reading the popular humor writers at her time. When Erma entered Emerson Junior High School in 1940, she began writing a humorous column for its newspaper, The Owl.

In 1949, she converted to Catholicism, and married Bill Bombeck, a veteran of the World War II Korean front. The Bombecks were told by doctors that having children was improbable, and they adopted a little girl named Betsy in 1953. Erma decided to become a full-time housewife, and her writing mostly went by the wayside--besides writing a series of columns in the Dayton Shopping News. They later had two sons, one born in 1955, the other in 1958.

In 1964 Erma Bombeck resumed writing weekly columns in her small bedroom for the local Kettering-Oakwood Times. Her writing career grew, and her articles were featured in 36 major U.S. newspapers. By 1978, 900 U.S. newspapers were publishing Bombeck's columns.

Erma Bombeck had been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (a congenital defect) when she was 20 years old, but managed to live most of her life without any problems from it. She had a mastectomy in 1992 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and in 1996, she was brought to a San Francisco hospital for a kidney transplant, which was performed on April 3, 1996. However, complications developed and she died on April 22, 1996, aged 69.
Above information found on the article.

NOTE: We do not necissarily endorse Erma's articles. The above is an exception.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Source: on Pinterest

Source: on Pinterest

Source: on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Shale on Pinterest
Merry Christmas!
-Tiffany and Esther-

A Misuse of Imagination--Wisdom Wednesday

Worry is a misuse of imagination.” ― Dan Zadra

Matthew 6:25-27, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Luke 12:25, “And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?

Psalm 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

We really feel happier when things look bleak.
Hope is endurance. Hope is holding on and going on
and trusting in the Lord.
” ― Michael Novak
{Photo Credit}
Proverbs 12:25, “Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Isaiah 43:1-3, “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.

Don't worry when you are not recognized,
but strive to be worthy of recognition.
” ― Abraham Lincoln
{Photo Credit}

Some quotes about worrying:
I’ll give you some symptoms of a sign that your faith is deteriorating–whenever you face all of your problems and you trust only your plans to get you out–it is a sign that your faith is deteriorating.” ― T.D. Jakes

No one can pray and worry at the same time.” ― Max Lucado

Knowing that God is faithful, it really helps me to not be captivated by worry. But knowing that He will do what He has said, He will cause it to happen, whatever He has promised, and then it causes me to be less involved in worrying about a situation.” ― Josh McDowell

Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and providence of God, and yet it is a sin that Christians commit perhaps more frequently than any other.” ― John MacArthur

{Photo Credit}

The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You’ll feel more patient and less pressured.” ― Rick Warren

If you spent your life concentrating on what everyone else thought of you, would you forget who you really were?” ― Jodi Picoult

I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. ‘Never worry about your heart till it stops beating.’” ― E.B. White

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” ― Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, December 23, 2012



Yes, it's finally here!

All the people who get a print copy received theirs last Tuesday, but I haven't had time to post until now on here. I hope you will forgive me. :)

Read/download your free copy here!

Lord willing, I will be starting to put the next issue (#5) together this week, even though it won't be finished until February or March. Several things we will be needing yet:

  1. a short story from the Bible, retold (it can be first- or third-person. Doesn't matter either way.)
  2. a couple poems for the Encouragement Page
  3. several quotes for the Encouragement Page
  4. a recipe (or two!)--just make sure that they are fairly easy to make. Preferably ones you've made before.
  5. a short thought, something God's shown you, an answered prayer--doesn't have to be longer than one paragraph. We'd use them to fill up the gaps at the bottom of pages.
NOTE: If you send in any of the above that you haven't written, please give us the source--we'd like to see where you got it! ;)

Stay true to Him,

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Prayer For Help

Heavenly Father, help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

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Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dead Ducks Don't Flutter

Many years ago, a wealthy man went duck hunting with a hired hand named Sam. They took a horse and carriage, and along the way a rim came off one of the wheels. As Sam hammered it back on, he accidentally hit his finger. Instantly he let go with some bad words. He quickly fell to his knees, asking God’s forgiveness. “Lord, it’s difficult at times to live the Christian life”, he prayed. “Sam” said the man, “I know you’re a Christian, but tell me why you struggle so, I’m an atheist, and I don’t have problems like that.”

Sam didn’t know what to say. Just then two ducks flew overhead. The man raised his gun and two shots rang out. “Leave the dead one and go after that wounded bird!” he shouted. Sam pointed at the duck that was fluttering desperately to escape and said, “I’ve got an answer for you now, Boss. You said my Christianity isn’t any good because I have to struggle so. Well, I’m the wounded duck, and struggle to get away from the devil. But you Boss, you’re the dead duck!”

That insight fits Paul’s description of his Christian experience in Romans 7:14-25. Struggle is one evidence of God’s work in our lives Forgiveness of sin is available, so don’t despair. Remember, dead ducks don’t flutter.

–Dennis De Hann

Struggle, yes, it’s part of living
Nothing’s gained on beds of ease;
But when our heart is set on Jesus,
Struggle drives us to our knees.

–D. De Hann

If Jesus lives within us,
Sin need not overwhelm us.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Will YOU Write For Us?

Well, I’ve just had a sudden inspiration. Tiffany and I would like to have more things from other people in our magazine (and I’m sure that anyone who has ever written a magazine, blog, or other such-like stuff could identify!). So, I was thinking…what about an article-writing day? Both Tiffany and I would write an article, and if you would like to participate (which I REALLY hope you want to!) that would be great. So, here’s what we would do:

You can write/send in anything.
Yup, anything—you could write:
Photo Courtesy
  1. a story 
  2. a poem 
  3. a recipe 
  4. a craft or sewing idea 
  5. a bibliography biography of someone in the past that has been an inspiration to you
  6. an answered prayer 
  7. something God has taught/shown you 
  8. an encouraging quote, and why it’s encouraging to you. 
  9. an embarrassing moment, and something God showed you through that 
  10. something you learned from a book of the Bible (such as Job) 
  11. an exceptionally frustrating situation, and how God helped you conquer your frustration 
  12. a devotional 
  13. a question (yes, we do have a question corner, but no-one’s ever asked anything!) 
  14. a book review 
  15. about a treasure from the Scriptures that you found 
  16. …let your imagination go wild! There are many other subjects I haven’t included! 

There are a few rules:
  1. You can write anything. If you have something you wrote another time, that’s okay. Just send it in. 
  2. The length doesn’t really matter. We can use whatever you send in. If it’s longer than 1 ½ – 2 pages, though, we’d have to break it up and put it in two magazines (which ISN’T a problem, believe me!
  3. When you submit your story (I’ll have a form for you to submit it with), please include a short “About Me”—there’ll be a space for it!It would also be nice to have a picture to put at the bottom, but that’s optional. Your “About Me” could include anything (a few ideas below). I prefer at the minimum three sentences, but if you really can’t think of anything to write about yourself, it’s okay to just give your name (age and location would be great, too, but that’s optional). Your “About Me” could include:
        ○ age
        ○ location
        ○ where they can find you on the internet (your blog, etc)
        ○ some of your interests (crafting, baking, reading, writing, etc)
        ○ how to contact you
         …all of the above are optional, but the “About Me” is designed to make the reader get to know you as an individual a little better—you aren’t just an anonymous writer that way. 
  4. You’re supposed to enjoy yourself while you’re writing—it won’t be just another “chore”. 
  5. If at all possible, what you write should be written in one day. But if you can’t manage, then I understand if it takes several days. The longest time I’ve ever taken to write something for JOJ has been about six months! 
  6. Remember this quote: “You must write for yourself, above all. That is [your] only hope of creating something beautiful.” ~Gustave Flaubert. It’s very true. 
  7. We may not put all of the submissions into one magazine, depending on how many there are. We will be sure, though, to put it in somewhere.
  8. Any questions? Comment below! 
So, what do you think? Do you think you’d like doing this with Tiffany and me? If you think you would, please fill out this short survey:
NOTE: We will write on one particular day, depending on what day you all select. I was originally thinking of Monday, but if you think another day of the week would be better, we'd be glad to hear which day you think is best.

Thank you for all your support; we really appreciate it!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A thought

Every two weeks I go to a speaking group called Tecorians and this is one of the Christmassy thoughts I had to do, I really like this one:

Blessed is
The season which
Engages the whole
World in a
Conspiracy of love.
-Hamilton Wright Mabie

-Blessings Tiffany

New button on the sidebar--finally! :)

Well, yes...I've been working on it on and off ever since we first got this blog up and going. Ahem, yes. That is a while. And I'm just slightly embarrassed about that fact. Anyway, here it is, in all it's glory:

The Magazines
Yup, very simple. Check the page out, though if you want to read the magazines! (you've probably read all of them, but they're there for reference, anyway!)
Excited to see where this magazine is going next,
P.S. Did you notice that we changed our pictures on the sidebar? :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Worry Box

This post came from The Pursuit. (you can read another one from that website here) It was originally posted on August 3, 2011. Used by permission--thanks, Ariel!

Hey Girls!

Ahh...the summer is counting down! Well, hopefully you're all enjoying it.

Anyway, I was on vacation with my family at a Christian family camp in NH. It's absolutely beautiful and refreshing. They have activities for the teens, and one day they split up the guys and girls and had devotions. Most of what they talked about was the same old stuff you hear all the time. But one thing struck me: our leader was talking about anxieties and worries and how they don't honor God. She said that she has something called a Worry Box. Let me explain.
Nope! You don't have to be fancy.

She keeps a small, decorated box on her desk with a particular Scripture that comforts her written on the outside (for instance Matt. 6:25-34). She keeps a pen and paper inside it. Whenever she becomes worried, anxious or stressed out, she writes the issue down and puts it inside the box. By doing so, she gives each concern to God and trusts Him with the result. After that, she doesn't allow herself to worry about that issue. Instead, she simply reminds herself that it is already in God's hands.

I love this idea! But what if I expanded that idea to something called My Thought Box. You see, I also struggle with worrying, but my bigger problem is my thought life. I am constantly fighting a battle to think pure thoughts and not let the Devil speak lies into my mind. So, for me, writing down anything I'm struggling with in my mind and putting that in a box (i.e., visually handing it to God), would be even better!

This is by no means a magic fix. And there is certainly nothing wrong with simply praying or journaling about your concerns...I do this as well. But for those like me who are very visual, this can be a great way to hand over worries and concerns to God. I can't wait to try it!


Megan Brainerd, from New York, is a busy nursing student who loves to hang out with her friends, read, and play the piano :) Her email is piano93+@+verizon.+net. (take out the "+'s" to email her)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


"God never said the road would be easy but he also said he would never leave you nor forsake you." ~Unknown

Today's story: Lessons From The Crypt, by Chris Jackman. Be sure to read all four pages--they're worth it!!! 

Have a blessed day, and trust in His Unfailing Love!
Pictures Source
Be watching for another post Sunday!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Only Way Things Will Get Better (Part 2 of 2)

This is continued. Read Part 1 here.

The Mule and the Horse

Once upon a time in a land far removed from here stood a mule and a horse in a meadow filled with luscious grasses and sparkling waters. Neither animal had much to do so they both ate and drank to their hearts content. The mule told the horse that this was the life to live. There could be nothing better. The horse just neighed and kept eating. Eventually the day came that the stream dried up and the grass turned brown and inedible.

The horse knew enough to trust that his owner would soon come to care for him. The mule, on the other hand said he knew of another pasture where the water always flowed and the grasses never withered. He was desirous to seek it on his own. The horse, being the wiser of the two tried to stop his companion. He ran ahead of his friend and blocked his path. But the mule, being stubborn and bull headed simply lowered his head and butted the horse out of his way.

In short order, the animals owner did arrive. He called his horse and his mule. Only the horse responded. The mule had set out on his own search. The farmer told his faithful horse that he would lead him to a pasture where the waters never stopped flowing and the grasses were always green. “But you must follow me closely. The trail is narrow and twisted. The mountain on one side is steep and the valley floor is far below. Follow in my steps and you will arrive safely,” said the farmer. The horse recognized that he would soon be in the place the mule had described.

As the path grew narrow and dangerous, the horse was careful to step exactly where his owner lead him. And indeed the way was treacherous. Only the careful leading of the wise master kept them safe from sure destruction. Often the horse wondered how the mule could possibly find his way—or arrive safely to the place they were headed. At long last, the path once again descended into a valley. Indeed it was flowing with a continuous stream of living waters. Indeed the grasses were the lushest, richest, greenest grasses the horse had ever seen. But there was no mule to be seen.

Days passed and the mule never arrived. Weeks went by and still no mule. One day the horse was munching his grass close to the foot of the mountain which the treacherous path had circumvented. He absentmindedly bumped into an old leather bag laying on its side. There lay the mule, in the green pasture where the water never stopped flowing and the grass was always green—but life was not in him. He was broken and torn and withered and dead for the path had not been kind to the feet of the unsuspecting fool of an animal.

Often we see what we think is the right path to take. We may attempt to venture that way. But the Lord always puts blocks before us if it is not His way. He will not allow us to wander in our own ways without first attempting to turn us from our error. We have a choice. We can go God's way and live, or we can go the way of the fool and risk certain death.

Are you a mule or a horse?
Will you follow your own paths or let God be your guide?
Is your total trust in Him?

{words credit}