Highlights: Joyce Meyer Ministries Love Life Conference

Hello Beautiful people,

The 2017 Love Life Conference with Joyce Meyer was an awesome experience. A friend was attending the event and I thought that it would be good for me to go with her. After the three-day conference, I felt encouraged and uplifted by the powerful messages and praise and worship music. I always want to be better in every area of my life.

All that Glitters Michael W. Smith Opening Song

The conference brought together 26,000 women from all over the United States and across the world. The musical guests at the event were Chris Tomlin for the opening night, Michael W. Smith (pictured above with confetti in the air, singing his new song on an upcoming album on the second day), and CeCe Winans on the last day. It was like going to a concert.

Images of the conference

The doors opened at 8:00am for the morning sessions, so my friend and I had to get up extra early so we could be there in plenty of time. My handy backpack was ideal because I had everything I needed in one spot.

Love Life Joyce Meyer Conference

The speakers were Joyce Meyer, Dave Meyer, Joel Olsteen, John Gray and Ruth Graham.
This conference celebrated the enjoyment of living life to the fullest. I needed those words because sometimes I don’t feel I am special. I constantly remind myself that I am unique and God loves me.

Highlights of Speakers

The lines were long in downtown St. Louis getting into the conference. My friend and I waited in line to get into Sugarfire Restaurant between sessions. However, everyone was nice and cordial, so the wait was not bad at all. Somewhat hot and humid day; but it was not bad.

SugarFire Restaurant

After waiting in line for an hour and a half to get into Sugarfire Restaurant the smoked turkey breast and fries was worth the wait.

Highlights

One of my favorite highlights of the conference was the Dream Center Mens’ Choir. They sung, “I Am Redeemed,” by Big Daddy Weave. These men have dealt with various addictions, and they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior and singing how their lives have been changed. It was a moving moment.

Love Life Conference Haul

I have some reading to do after picking up some items from the conference. I even found an inspirational bracelet.

My Love Life Haul

I am glad I was able to attend the Love Life Conference because this is the last time it will be in St. Louis, MO. I didn’t know that initially going to the event.The conference next year will be in Tampa, Florida.

Life Lessons From The Garden: Finding Your Quiet Place

Hello Wonderful People!

Have you ever noticed that the world is so noisy today? Everywhere we turn, we are faced with fake news stories, television reality shows, and viral social media videos. The list goes on and on (and on). With so much happening, it is hard to get rid of the noise. Televisions are constantly on, smart phones are at the ready and the people around you are always saying something. Have you also noticed that most of the time what we are hearing is not positive and it does us no good?

With so much going on at one time, it is important that you find that quiet place where you can have some time devoted just to you and what is important to you. It could be time spent with your spouse talking about your relationship. We need that quiet time with the Lord each an everyday. Or it could be time thinking about self-improvement. Whatever you do in your quiet time, it is important that you make the time for it. For my wife and me, we believe that it is important that we turn off the television, the computer and the smart phones about an hour before going to bed. This is time when we talk, read or listen to the Bible. This is something that we try to do each night and are working on making that happen.

Finding Your Quiet Place

Ironically, for me the place where I find the quietest place is in the yard while I am cutting the grass. Oddly enough, the roar of the lawnmower’s engine drowns out the world’s distractions and I can focus my attention on me. I am talking to God about what is going on, mediating on decisions that I have to make or thinking about how I can make adjustments to my life to improve my life. For that hour when I am cutting the grass, the outside world is a million miles away and I am at peace.

The Quiet Place

Where is your quiet place? Do you even have one? What do you do when you there? Let me know in the comments section below.

The Verdict

Hello Beautiful People,

St. Louis, Missouri is experiencing some tough times; so all I can say is I continue to pray for this city and the world. Right now, I am listening to U2 on my Bose while I am writing this. My husband had surprised me with tickets to the U2 concert here in the Gateway City. It was meant to be a part of our 18th wedding anniversary celebration. The concert was suppose to be tonight; but was canceled this morning. On Friday, a local judge ruled a St. Louis Police Officer not guilty in a murder trial of a local man. Protests and unrest spread throughout the city, including the destruction of several buildings and the even the Mayor’s home. I am not bummed at all about the concert, considering the Police Force was not able to provide adequate security for the concert.

Two U2 Tickets

Statement from U2
“Live Nation and U2 regrettably announce their St. Louis show scheduled for tonight, September 16, 2017 has been cancelled. 
“We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size. 
We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity. 
In light of this information, we cannot in good conscience risk our fans’ safety by proceeding with tonight’s concert. As much as we regret having to cancel, we feel it is the only acceptable course of action in the current environment.” – Live Nation and U2
Fans who purchased tickets online will receive a refund on the credit card tickets were ordered on.  Refunds for non-internet purchases will be available starting Monday at 10am at point of purchase.”  Statement from U2.com

I know there is anger over the recent decision; but breaking windows at the public library and spray painting the mayors’ home is not peaceful protests. I see images of protestors giving peaceful demonstrations. I see images of tear gas in the air and people running in the streets. I am saddened by this and the way for therapy is for me to pray and write.

The St. Louis I know is a big city with a down home feel and I know that is stained right now.
My head is all over the place but my pastor is so true that the way to defeat violence is on our knees in prayer.

There’s a lot of fear in the air. Psalm 91 keeps coming up in my head and it is a prayer that my husband and I stand on everyday.

Psalm 91Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB)

 1 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my hope and my fortress: my God; in him will I secure myself.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler and from the mortal pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings thou shalt be secure: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day,

nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Thousands shall fall at thy side and ten thousands at thy right hand, but it shall not come near thee.

Surely with thine eyes thou shalt behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the LORD, who is my hope, even the most High, thy habitation,

10 no evil shall befall thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands lest thy foot stumble against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he has set his will upon me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and glorify him.

16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my saving health.

Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB) Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010 by Life Sentence Publishing, Inc.

We can always show love and keep that flow going each day.
The Joyce Meyer Calendar quote for the day.
“Our heavenly Father wants us to know that we are his precious little ones – His children – and that when we come to Him as such, we show faith in Him which releases Him to care for us.”

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 1 John 3:1 KJV

Please stand in agreement with me for peace in St. Louis.

How To Make Your Family Funds Go Further

It’s not easy, or cheap, providing for a big family; they eat enough food to feed a small army, all the kids have different extracurricular activities you need to pay for, and you always try to set aside enough money so you can all enjoy a nice summer vacation together. While there is a lot of advice out there to help you improve your family’s finances, there are also a few things you can do to make your money go further. Some tips do involve a few budget cuts here and there, but overall they are just ways of spending your money wisely. If you impart a few of these money-saving tips to your children, you’ll also teach them to be financially responsible when they grow up.

Cut back on unnecessary luxuries
There are two different kinds of luxuries; there’s the necessary kind, which helps you to relax after work, provides you with an outlet for your stress, and which doesn’t cost too much money so cutting it out won’t make too much of a difference to your budget. Then there’s the unnecessary kind, which costs a lot of money, you barely use, and you might not even miss if you stopped doing it. For example, you might pay around $25 a month for your gym membership because you got a great deal, you wanted to get into shape, and it’s the only thing encouraging you to exercise. Unfortunately, if you don’t go to the gym at least three times a week, you’re usually not getting your money’s worth out of the membership. This is especially true when there are so many way to work out for free in the comfort of your home. Magazine subscriptions are another drain on your savings. Try cancelling all your subscriptions and only renew the ones you actually find yourself missing, or just buy the occasional issue when you see it in the stores.

Workout at home to save extra money

Look for bargains
Don’t assume that the first price you see is the best price you’re going to get. There are plenty of websites such as Groupon that will give you excellent discounts on family days out, occasional treats for yourself, or even bulk household items. Believe it or not, if you want to get free stuff there are websites that can make that happen. You can legally get free things on Amazon, such as music, Kindle eBooks, and even a way to get cash back. Finally, there are always thrift stores, Craigslist, or eBay, where you can find hundreds of items at a fraction of the retail price.

Shop smart
Buying groceries on a budget is a struggle for a lot of people for various reasons. The best thing you can do to keep your food bills low is to find ways to reduce the amount of waste you throw away each week. Fortunately, there are several more ways to reduce your food bill each week, including shopping for cheaper store brands, buying non-perishables items in bulk, or sticking to a shopping list. You can also save money on food by avoiding takeaways, packing a lunch to take to work, or freezing your leftovers to eat them later.

Shop wisely

Cut down your energy bills
If your energy bills are the biggest expense in your household, the easiest way to start saving on this is to make your home environmentally friendly.  Start by switching to energy efficient LED bulbs, unplugging all appliances you’re not using, and insulating your home so you don’t need to turn up your thermostat as much. Doing these small things can reduce your energy consumption, saving you money on your bills each month and helping the environment. If you want to do a little more to help your energy bills, you can improve the insulation in your building, and upgrade to double-glazed windows; doing this will reduce the amount of heat that escapes your house by at least 25 percent, which will cut down on your use of the thermostat each winter. Finally, if you have enough in your budget for new appliances, you could shop around for an energy-efficient fridge. Refrigerator technology has made dramatic strides since the 1970s, so you’re actually wasting more money by not buying a new fridge. Any other eco-friendly appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, may seem expensive initially, but it is estimated that you will use a significantly less amount of energy with a green appliance than you will with its predecessor.

Learn to repair clothes

There was a time when people knew how fix tears in dresses, holes in socks, and prolong the life of pantyhose. Clothes nowadays are made from very cheap material, therefore are more prone to tearing and wearing out. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to fix these clothes, so they end up throwing them out and buying new items merely two months after they just went clothes shopping. Save your wallet the hassle of another shopping spree by learning how to repair the holes in your jeans; the cost of a sewing machine will certainly pay for itself with the money you save on new dresses. Once you’ve learned how to sew up the rips in your clothes, you can put off clothes shopping with a few more tricks. If you dresses are a little shorter than you would like, or your shirts pinch a little too much around the waist, you can lengthen them using lace, or use fabric inserts to add some length to shirts and sweaters. Oversized dresses can be hemmed slightly, or turned into a comfortable, baggy shirt.

DIY
Sometimes the best way to save money is by doing little things by yourself. When things break around the house, try doing your own home repairs instead of calling a professional (as long as it’s nothing too serious). Blocked pipes can be easily sorted with a solution of baking soda and vinegar, and then using a plunger to push out the blockage.

DIY is not just limited to fixing things that are broken. There are plenty of home remedies online for face masks, or hair products, which only require things you’d put on your grocery list. You could even set aside a Saturday and do a spa day in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price.

Caffeine lovers can save dollars every week by brewing their own coffee at home instead of getting a takeaway from a cafe. A really good coffee machine will soon pay for itself with the savings you make from skipping the visit to your local Starbucks. If you also go to cafes for the delicious pastries, then learn to bake your own treats at home.

Transportation
With the price of gas constantly changing, your car is an unpredictable money pit, and that’s before you even factor in the monthly payments, insurance, and unexpected repairs. You can save money and still keep your car by only using it for long trips, such as family vacations. In the meantime, there are plenty of public transport options to suit your lifestyle. Monthly bus passes are more than worth their value if you take the bus to work every day. Carpooling with a colleague splits the cost of gas, and can reduce traffic if enough people get in on the scheme. Finally, if you’re going out for the night and don’t have a volunteer for designated driver, Uber can save you the trouble of standing out in the cold to call a cab.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Fund Your Dreams With These Money-Saving Tips

We all have goals and dreams. For our family, for us, for our friends. The problem is, it’s all good and well having the intention to do good things with your time, but the truth is: there is a price tag associated with making our dreams come true. Whether it’s finally getting the house you’ve always dreamed about, or traveling to some of the world’s best destinations, it’ll be an uphill battle to get the level of money we need. It’s not, however, impossible. Far from it, in fact. Below we offer 5 tips for putting more money in your pocket.

Fund Your Dreams With These Money-Saving Tips / Photo By JTwisdom

Money Out, Money In
There’s one very simple way to have more money. And that is: spend less of it. Easier said than done, of course. Instead of having a general ambition of spending less money, make it specific. For instance, if you’re going out for dinner or drinks once a week, think about making it once a month and then put the difference into a savings account. We’re all guilty of spending more money than we realize on the non-essentials. If we can take control of it, then we’ll be on the right path.

Slash the Household Bills
It’s our homes that end up costing us the biggest percentage of our monthly income. You won’t be able to eradicate these bills entirely, of course, but you can reduce that percentage. The key is to look at where the money is going. If you have an expensive cable bill or are using too much energy, then your bills will naturally be higher than if you lived without them. See where you can trim the fat and your savings account will grow faster than you realize.

Avoid Paying Top Dollar
Some things we simply have to buy, like new clothes, certain electrical items, and food. While you can’t avoid buying these things, you can help yourself by buying them in a smart way. Take a read of the 7 most important tips for couponing, and you’ll soon find that you’re spending much less on your groceries if you incorporate the tips into your shopping habits. If you need to buy clothes, wait until the end of season sales – the clothes are brand new, still in fashion, but will be a fraction of the cost. The same goes for electricals and the Thanksgiving/Christmas sales.

Fundraising
If you want to speed up having the money you need to reach your goal, then you might have to sell some of the stuff you already own. Have a walk through your home and see how many items you have that you no longer use. Once you’ve gathered up all the items, it’s time to start listing them on eBay and other online stores. You might have hundreds of dollars worth of goods just sitting there in your home!

Golden Rule: Think!
Finally, a key rule – think before you buy. If you’re conscious of the money you’re spending, you’ll be in a better position to say no and keep that money in your bank account.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Life Lessons From The Garden: Find What Brings You Joy

Hello Wonderful People!

I hope you having an awesome day!
Summertime is in full force with temperatures soaring into the mid-90s this weekend. Coupled with high humidity levels and it definitely is a good idea to be inside where it is cool. While my hubby and I have been staying inside whenever possible, we have also been heading outside to take care of our backyard tranquility. Owning your house means it’s good to keep the grass cut, the trees trimmed and we like to plant flowers. In the last couple of weeks while working outside, we have learned several valuable lessons. Not just about yard work and gardening; but about life in general. We wanted to share with you what we have learned about life, through our time working in the garden. We call it Life Lessons From The Garden. This is the first in those series of articles.

Flowers from the Garden / Photos by JTwisdom

I know what you are thinking. Why would I be working in the garden when it’s so hot and humid?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have spent many hours outside with my daddy, and now my hubby, taking care of our yard and the flowers. My mother would often have me outside trimming weeds, watering the plants or doing whatever she thought needed to be done. Through the years, what began as a chore has now blossomed into one of my passions, and brings me some of my greatest joys. I have grown to enjoy the time outside and I can truly say that it brings me peace. After a long day or week and needing some time to unwind and destress, I head outside to see what needs to be done. It lowers the blood pressure and the stress just melts away. Spending hours planting, watering, weeding and tending to the garden, and then seeing that flower show off its vibrant color or aromatic scent, the joy just builds up inside of me. I take breaks and drink plenty of water; but I still sweat. Coming inside to eat some delicious watermelon is always nice.

Getting my hands dirty in the garden.

The first lesson learned from our time in the garden — Find What Brings You Fun times.
For me, my number one Joy is Jesus, my LORD and SAVIOR! I can’t put anything before him, He makes it possible for me to enjoy my everyday life.
God gave me this passion for gardening.
It’s a lot of fun going to the gardening center with the hubby to purchase the flowers and plants.
For me, fun is deciding how to arrange them in the yard for the greatest display of color.
For me, fun is making sure to water, to weed an to manicure each day.
For me, fun is cutting a flower and bringing it in our home.
For me, fun is the flower’s aroma tickling my nose each time I get close it.

For you, what brings your fun times?
Maybe it is a walk in the park with your dog.
Maybe it is spending time with your family.
May it is reading a good book with a hot cup of tea.

It does not matter what it is. Once you experience that joy, you know you will want to keep it going. Take the time to find out where your joy comes from and be sure to do it as often as possible. When you have more joy in your heart, you become a happier person and being a happier person means you can enjoy more of what life has to offer.

Check back for more lessons learned from the garden. Until then, happy gardening! And be Joyful!

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