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“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” — Ephesians 5:1 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Powered by BibleGateway.com.


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Grocery Shopping on a Budget

If you’re like me, you’re probably at the store right now buying food for dinner because you didn’t plan ahead. Well, that’s a budget killer! So, here’s a few helpful tips from the Kids Activity Blog to help you stick to your family’s food budget:

~To curb impulse buys, create a 30-day shopping list. So, plan your meals and list all the ingredients you’ll need.
~Research the prices at different stores – you can download Nikki’s spreadsheet to get started. Nikki’s Price Comparison Spreadsheet
~Then ONLY shop from the list. If it is not on the list DO NOT BUY IT.
~Shop at Discount Grocery Stores whenever possible.
~Go meatless 1-2 nights a week. Yay for dry beans! They are VERY cheap and filling.
~Eat out rarely if ever!
~If you are going to eat out, order water. And go on nights there’s a special or check your newspaper for discounts and grand openings.
~Eat before you go grocery shopping. It’s harder to resist a temptation buy when your stomach is growling.
~Buy generic. Many times this is considerably less than the alternative even if you have coupons.
~Use coupons if you prefer something name brand and only if you buy that item regularly. Also, ask if your grocery shop has “double days”.
~Rather than buy a newspaper for the coupons, go to your library and ask if they mind if you clip theirs.

And here’s a great, inexpensive recipe idea from Angela in Mount Pleasant:

Easy-Peasy Chicken Pot Pie

Boil chicken and cut up
Line deep dish pie pan with pie crust
Mix a can of Veg-All with Cream of Chicken soup and chicken pieces
Add salt and pepper to taste
Top the bottom layer with mixture
Add top pie crust
Bake at 350 degrees until pie crust golden brown

Cost: About $10

Extra Tip: Use leftover Rotisserie chicken, pot roast, or turkey for this quick, simple and inexpensive dinner!

Kids Activity Blog – Tips to Save Money

Helping Hands in Kilgore Feeds 1,700 a Month. Now THEY Need a “Helping Hand” to Keep Their Doors Open.


You Are Awesome!

Start Your Flooded Engine

My husband gave my daughter a lesson recently in starting the weed eater after it flooded. Apparently, when you flood the engine, there’s too much gas in the carburetor and it messes up the fuel/air mixture – so it won’t start. The remedy is to let it sit and drain for a bit. Makes sense. Well, you can apply that same remedy when your brain is flooded and you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you’re juggling – the stresses, the deadlines and workload of your day. Try being still and letting all the day’s “stuff” drain out of your mind and instead be filled with thoughts of God’s beauty, and mercy, and His power. You’ll be recharged and be able to rev up and get started!

“I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him.” ~ Ephesians 1:19

Shopping Tip that Could Save

You’ve been pulling your hair out after every grocery shopping trip. Not because you don’t enjoy grabbing the groceries. It’s mainly because the bill is almost NEVER in your budget, which means trying to figure out what needs to be cut-back from the rest of the month. I’ve felt this at times…until I changed a few things.


Okay, I’ll be honest, what I’m about to share with you may be hard to do, and could even be annoying if patience isn’t your strongest suit. But if you take these tips to heart, it could mean you being UNDER you initial grocery budget every month. Now, I’m not a hardcore expert on grocery shopping, but I am a fan of sales, discounts, free stuff, and trying to get the biggest bang for my buck. And yes, right now my family consists of only 2 people and a hamster, but I think some of what I’m about to share could help any size family if you really give it a go.


First off, before you go to the store, set-up an excel spreadsheet. Yep, I’m the crazy lady walking around Brookshire’s on Rice Rd. in Tyler with a spreadsheet in hand. Now, you could make a list on paper or do your own style of listing, but I prefer Excel because I don’t have to write everything by hand every time, just the prices. On the sheet, make columns for the different stores you plan on price comparing, and rows with the items you plan on buying. I personally even go one step further by listing the actual brands if there are multiple ones for a food (Frozen Pizzas could have Store Brand, Digiornos, Tostinos, etc). Here’s an example (and download HERE):

 Excell Sheet


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You are Beautiful!

Did you take a wrong turn in life that took you far from God? Have your mistakes – even if they are momentary lapses in your Christian walk – made you feel ugly and unlovable to God? Well, don’t believe that lie! A. W. Tozer said: “We please [God] most…by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that He…loves us still.”

Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

So, turn around and run into his arms because He says you are treasured, you are sacred, you are His, you are beautiful.

Letting them Soar!

Did your child leave for college recently? Or just strike out on their own; get married? Well, for most of us, being a parent is our identity. So when your child leaves home, it can feel like a part of us has gone with them. I know that’s how I’m feeling these days! The YouVersion Bible Study “Launching Your Kids into Adulthood” has some great truths from God’s word for us:

Some moms and dads cope with that empty nest by continuing to parent their child, in some cases for years afterward. But that mindset ignores a crucial truth. For a teenager to successfully transition into adulthood, the relationship must move from a parent-child dynamic to an adult-to-adult one.”

1 Corinthians 13:11: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

As hard as that is, Moms and Dads, we have to let them learn to do that! You guided their foundation. Now you have to let them spread their wings and fly! “Your role should shift from one of authority to subtle influence. It’s okay to offer advice if they ask for it, but they need the freedom to make their own decisions – and, yes, mistakes,” says the Bible study.

So, let them rely on God. They’re going to be OK!

YouVersion – Launching Your Kids Into Adulthood

Adventures Without a Cell Phone

It’s kind-of like camping without a sleeping bag.


nokia-3210Since Sunday, I’ve been without my cell phone (I know, right now you’re probably going through an anxiety attack for me). Right when I was heading home from a major conference a few of the staff had gone to, my phone’s battery decided it was finished with this life and entered battery heaven. And you can say all you want, “Well if only you had ________ smartphone, you wouldn’t have had that problem,” but the truth is, unless it’s one of those old-school Nokia phones you could throw off a 5 story building and it would still work, ALL smartphones lose battery fast! So, once I got home, Nathan ordered 2 new batteries online (because it’s cheaper than the ones at the store) and the waiting game began.

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Gregg County Fair Wraps Up This Weekend

Saturday should be a good day for the fair! Cloudy skies but pleasant temperatures in the upper 70s!


Shine on America!

TobyMac posted this picture of the new One World Trade Center rising above New York City.

Shine On America

Encouragement for today and a great reminder that we won’t be shaken!

“I may never know the answers that plagued me after 9/11. But I know if we lean on God and each other, we will be guided to a better, brighter future.” – Michael Hingson, 9/11 survivor.