Monday, March 4, 2013

Mason Jar Challenge

Mason jars aren't just for canning anymore!  They are truly versatile and the possibilities of their use are endless so why not host a mason jar challenge at your next ladies meeting.  

If you are in the mood for a ladies meeting that is fun and full of laughter and even full of creative inspiration, try this...

Set the date and time for your get together.  

Sometime before the meeting give each lady a mason jar (or you can have them supply their own), you choose, and ask each lady to try and come up with the most unique or creative use for their jar.  Here are just a few ideas I found on Pinterest and other places.

Snow globe in a jar

DIY lantern garland

DIY Terrarium

Table place setting in a jar
a cute and clever idea for picnics and get togethers

Hot cocoa mix in a jar
great gift idea

Salad in a jar
There are a number of foods you can serve in a jar.
It's a great and convenient way to serve foods in individual serving sizes

And who doesn't want desert?  

Bet you didn't know that you could actually bake in these sweet little jars.
Yes, they are oven safe up to 425 degrees.

Could you imagine these warm individually sized cobblers topped with vanilla ice cream?  To die for!

Now you might want to keep all of these ideas as a secret for yourself, but do tell the other ladies to get their creative juices flowing because this is a contest to see who can come up with the most clever use for their jar!  

Set up a judges panel and give prizes to first, second and third place winners.   This is a super fun idea and get ready to have a time of laughter and perhaps even be inspired by some truly clever ideas.

Suggestion:  Do a mason jar gift exchange.  Have the ladies get into a circle holding the jar they brought to the challenge.  Play some music or tell a cute mason jar story while the ladies are passing the jars to the left or right.  When the song or story is done the ladies get to keep the jar they are holding.

Suggestion:  Bring a mason jar dessert or snack for each lady.  You can also serve the drinks in mason jars.  

Suggestion:  Decorate the tables using mason jars as vases or candle holders (or both as mason jars come in a variety of sizes).

This is sure to be a fun time for all.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 1, 2013


Have you ever bit into an apple that was simply beautiful on the outside only to find out that the closer you got to the core the more rotten it became?  You were craving a juicy, sweet fruit but what you got was nothing but a bite of raw bitterness that left a bad taste in your mouth.

Similarly, have you ever met someone who appeared to be the epitome of Christianity only to find out that their inner attitude betrayed their appearance?  Leaves that same bad taste in your mouth, doesn't it?

There was a group of folks in Jesus' day, the Pharisees, who were very much like the person I just described.  Apparently their hypocrisy left a bitter taste in Jesus' mouth and he called them on it...

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and of all uncleanness.
                                    Matthew 23:27

Whoa, talk about a rebuke!  If Jesus were speaking today he might say something like this (replacing the name Pharisee for Christian)...You Christians think you're all that.  You look like Christians on the outside.  You dress just so but your attitude stinks.  You have some issues of the heart that you need to take care of.  Hypocrites!!

Though the term Pharisee is no longer used in today's society, there is no shortage of pharisees in Christianity today.  By that I mean that there are still those who are committed to looking like the perfect Christian specimen but their Christianity is only skin deep.  Their hearts are full of vanity, pride, hatred, judgmentalism, disdain and self-righteousness.  Furthermore, Jesus still hates it!  

Why?  Because this attitude is so very damaging to the innocent bystander, to the person who is truly seeking to be holy.

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men:
for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
                                      Matthew 23:13

There is an old adage that says..."One bad apple spoils the whole bunch".  Oh how true that is!  Likewise, one person (or one group of people) with this Pharisaical attitude can damage many souls.  I know this from personal experience.  I was once affiliated with a group of modern day Pharisees.  Apparently they had not been taught that true holiness resonates from the inside and that making the outside shine doesn't get rid of the dirt that lurks around inside their stinky little hearts.  It merely hides it away from unsuspecting souls.  Their Pharisaical attitude at times rubbed off on myself, my husband and my children but for the most part it ate away at our spirit and damaged, even crippled our walk with God.  I am assured that this is the very reason that Jesus was (and still is) so against it.  Truthfully God is repulsed by it and I am too.

We have since disaffiliated with that group and our walk with God is improving, but the whole experience left a bitter taste in our mouths.

As true Christians we owe it to ourselves and to those around us to examine ourselves daily and make sure that our attitudes stay fresh and pure and that the core of our heart stays sweet.  We mustn't take any chances of allowing any root of bitterness to spring up within us that would trouble ourselves or defile any one else.

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you],
and thereby many be defiled.
                                      Hebrews 12:15

We must make sure that the inside of our hearts are as nice and holy as we appear to be outwardly.

We must mindfully

Who's Your Pastor?

Have you ever known someone who is easily swayed by fads and trends or who believes just about anything and everything they hear?  Yeah, me too!  

They are people who can't seem to make up their minds of what they want to do, what they want to be, how they want to live.  The bible calls this type of person double-minded and it says that a double-minded man is unstable in ALL his ways (James 1:8).  UNSTABLE!


In view of our walk with God, this double-mindedness is very dangerous.  A person who believes anything and everything, or does anything and everything simply because the pastor is a nice guy or because "everyone else is doing it" could very possibly be in danger of hell.  Yes, that's right, hell, for who knows when they might believe a lie!

These are people who are carried about by every wind of doctrine.  The bible wouldn't have spoken of them if it wasn't true.

And he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets;and some, evangelists;
and some, pastors and teachers;

For the perfecting of the saints,
for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
unto a perfect man,unto the measure of the
stature of the fullness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro,
and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

But speaking the truth in love,
may grow up into him in all things,
which is the head, even Christ

                             Ephesians 4:11-15

I was recently affiliated with some folks who were like this, only I didn't know they were like this until the end of this past year when the former pastor of our church resigned and a new one took his place.  These people seemed to have had it all together.  They believed and followed the former pastors teachings with diligence, but immediately upon his resignation began to do things that he had distinctly preached against simply because the new pastor did not hold the same set of standards as the former pastor held.  At first I didn't understand how they could do this, how they could be so flippant, but later I realized it was because they had not had the "right" pastor all along.  Huh?  Yes, they were simply following the man, the pastor, instead of the God of the man.  Instead of their true pastor being God, they were only being pastored by the man in the pulpit.  Sadly, it is no different with their new pastor.  They are still only following the man, his rules and beliefs instead of Gods.

I do thank God for their sake that the former pastor was a good man who preached the truth directly from the word of God, but what about this new pastor, will he do the same?  I believe he will, but I question, what happens if he should allow the holiness standards to slip as is thought to be happening?  What will happen to the people who are not strong or who are swayed by every trend that comes along?  Will they remain holy?  Will they be saved?  One can only hope but unstable, unrooted people are at risk of falling by the wayside in their spiritual walk. 

I exhort you today to listen to what the Apostle Paul had to say about who you follow.  He said,

Be ye followers of me,
even as I also am of Christ.
                         (1 Corin 11:1) 

Pastor Paul, if you will, said you are only to follow me so long as I follow Christ.  The day I decide that Christ is no longer my pastor, then you are to no longer follow me.  By implication Paul is stating that Christ is ultimately pastor over everyone.  He is the head.  He is the leader...for all of us to follow, or at least He should be.  The problem with people today, including some of the folks in my former church, is that they have not had Christ as their true pastor, but a mortal man such as Paul, instead.  Not a good idea!  Men fail and make mistakes and if we are following a man too closely when or if he trips and falls, we will trip and fall also.  We must be following Christ and Christ alone, for He NEVER fails!

I am not saying that you shouldn't listen to your humanly pastor.  God gave us pastors to lead us and guide us in our spiritual walk.  They are His humanly shepherds to keep watch over His flock but God ultimately is the great shepherd.  We are to listen to Him above all.  As far as our humanly pastor, we are only to listen to him so long as he follows Christ.  Plain and simple.

So today, I ask you...WHO'S YOUR PASTOR?  Are you following Christ or just a mere mortal man?




This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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