Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Servitude Attitude

Have you given much thought to cultivating a servitude attitude? This attitude is essential if you plan to minister to others. I am not talking about dropping your household chores like the disciples did their fishing nets, and following Christ to the next town. You can minister to people in need within your reach. I’m talking about the people who live in your circle, the ones you rub shoulders with in the midst of your daily routines.  If you desire to MINISTER to them, you must have an attitude of servitude. You are at their disposal, waiting for an opportunity to make their lives easier, happier, and more fulfilled. If you will digest the servitude attitude concept and practice it, you will be a true “minister,” one who ministers to the needs of others.

Another interesting benefit of a servant’s attitude, is respect. It is impossible to gain respect from others by demanding it. I’m sure you have witnessed this attitude among your acquaintances, but when you begin serving others, and showing humility, respect will come. It will be earned by the simple act of serving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Auto Etiquette

Etiquette was invented to make life easier. These days there are hundreds of etiquette guidelines. We have telephone etiquette, wedding etiquette, e-mail etiquette, cell phone etiquette, we even have web etiquette called netiquette!

I was thinking if we really want to make life easier, we need some automobile etiquette, or driving etiquette. You know, like the way the semi’s blink their lights twice when they are saying “thank you” to pull over in front of you? Now, isn’t that nice? If we could just get some common communication between cars it would make life so much easier. We could honk twice for “please move over” or we could lean out the window and give a high five for someone who manages to get to the front of the line when traffic is merging because a lane is running out. 

Let’s be realistic! Auto etiquette is in dire need, but realistically, I don’t think people want to love each other when in their cars. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fathers Day Gift Giving

One of the most exhilarating things I can think of is finding the perfect gift and watching someone’s eyes dance when they open it. As I have gotten older, I would rather watch my children  and grand children open gifts on Christmas than open my own. I don’t want to miss their expressions. Why do I feel this way? Because I love them and I love making them happy. It is the same for anyone you love. Making them happy is the best gift you can give. 
Father’s day is coming up. If you are like me, I’m frequently in a quandary as to what gift would be the perfect gift for father. We kid about the “annual tie” or pair of socks (in various colors; black or brown) but this year, why not “WOW” father with a gift that is personal and endearing. A box of candy for the Dad with a sweet tooth, or who says men don’t like flowers? If your Dad is a green-thumb kind of guy, why not get him a plant or tree to add to his landscape? What about those special sunglasses he’s had his eye on but didn’t want to spring the $70 for them? Gift cards are always fun for the person that loves to shop. Your father may love to browse the local home improvement or computer store. Is your Dad an iTunes user? You can always get a nice gift card from his favorite restaurant. There are endless possibilities, but the most important thing is finding the perfect gift that personalizes your affection for him. 
Here are a few tips for giving gifts for any occasion: 
  1. Always remove the price tag from the gift you plan to give. If you feel they may need to exchange an item, keep the receipt and let the recipient know they are welcome to exchange it. Most stores will print a “gift receipt” upon request. This makes it very convenient to exchange an item. These receipts have a bar code so the cashier can tell how much the item was, but it is not printed on the receipt. This type of receipt can be included in the wrapping of the gift. I usually tape it on the outside of the box or put it in with the card.
  2. Either wrap the gift in wrapping paper or use a gift bag. Handing a gift still in the store’s merchandise bag shows a lack of planning and may come across insensitive to the occasion. To the recipient, the time put into the presentation of a gift can often be interpreted as care and affection.
  3. Unless you are attending a party where gifts are opened in public, or it is a group presentation (for a teacher, pastor, or boss), a private intimate choice is more endearing for gift giving. If you want your recipient to open the gift upon receipt, express that desire to them as you give them the gift. To some it may be a little embarrassing, but most people will accommodate the giver if they request it.
  4. As a token of care and concern, offer to remove the trash after giving a gift. This is, of course, not necessary, but when many gifts are included, it shows a little extra endearment for the person receiving the gifts. After all, this is their day. Make it extra special.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


When I was first asked to teach a course called Social Graces at Christian Life College, in Stockton, California, I began searching for resources. After searching many bookstores and libraries on the subject, I was dismayed to find there was no single source that would serve as a textbook for this class. As I compiled my material from the resources available, I stumbled upon another revelation. From the limited sources put out by Christian companies, many emphasized areas of concern that would not apply to conservative Christian ladies. When I approached the subject on appearance, I groped for material, refusing to put vain suggestions into the hands of students who were trying to be more Christ-like. The need for a Christian perspective on the subject of beauty and other areas of etiquette inspired this writing. If you're interested in ordering Christian Social Graces please go to

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Announcing the Engagement

On a crisp November evening, the stars were specks of twinkling diamonds in the clear sky. It was a dreamy night, the night I became engaged. Of course, it is much more romantic as I remember it now, a few decades later. The happiness that engulfed me made my feet feel as though they would never touch the ground again. I was engaged to be married! From that moment on, my world was a blur of excited planning mixed with even bouts of euphoria and stress.

Perhaps your day is almost here; the day you have dreamed of. You are engaged to Mr. Wonderful and it won’t be long before you will be a bride. This is your dream-come-true. You will be the beautiful princess in a long flowing white gown, ready to meet your prince, the man of your dreams.

Beautiful weddings don’t guarantee beautiful marriages. But every bride wants a wedding that will be forever etched in her memory. As is your marriage, your wedding will be as beautiful as the time invested planning. When you think about all the details that planning a wedding involves, it can be very overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. If you plan ahead you may find that planning your wedding can be actually fun!

Your Prince Charming has popped the question and you have agreed to marry your One and Only. Now you want the world to know. I would not suggest climbing to the roof and shouting your engagement announcement from there, although that is probably how you feel. Your family should be the first in line to hear the announcement. Get together and tell both of your parents first (unless of course, your beloved got their permission before asking you!) Even so, it is a great idea to share the news personally with them. The best way to let your friends and family know the good news is to make a formal announcement. This can be done by having an engagement party, publishing it in the local newspaper, or sending our formal announcements. Whatever the choice, have fun sharing the news! And by the way, congratulations!

Monday, April 05, 2010

The Wedding Coordinator

Many brides are well capable of planning and organizing every aspect of their weddings. Purchasing a wedding planner and following the organized suggestions is all the direction many brides need.

A wedding coordinator is either someone of your choice, or someone the church provides. If the church has a wedding coordinator, she will help you with the pastor’s schedule and coordinate your plans with his. She can clear up many questions regarding church regulations, give you suggestions on music, reception, decorations, and help you walk through the rehearsal and ceremony. The coordinator will work closely with the clergy or pastor during the rehearsal. The pastor often knows ceremony etiquette and will be the primary spokesman, but it is nice to have a liaison between you and well-meaning family or friends especially if things start to get out of hand. Having someone else there with knowledge about weddings, will help preserve your wishes.

Even if the church has a wedding coordinator, you may want to use a personal coordinator, someone of your choice, for the rehearsal and ceremony. When looking for someone to be a personal wedding coordinator, find one who is not afraid to take charge with initiative to follow through. This person can help the pastor during the rehearsal by seeing that it starts on time, goes smoothly, and reflects your wishes. When it is time for the ceremony, she will help pin corsages, keep mom calm, tell the attendants when to enter the procession and help you with last minute touches just before you enter the sanctuary.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Wedding Time Line

12 Months before:

  • Announce your engagement.
  • Arrange for your parents to get together if they haven’t already met.
  • Select a date.
  • Choose the kind of wedding you want.
  • Go over the budget. (Include both sets of parents if they will be paying for any portion of the event.)
  • Work on guest list to get a rough guest count.
  • Reserve the ceremony site and talk to the pastor.
  • Reserve a reception site.

6-9 Months before:

  • Purchase a wedding planner.
  • Choose your wedding party.
  • Decide on a caterer.
  • Enroll in bridal gift registry.
  • Shop for a gown.
  • Shop for attendants’ dresses.
  • Choose a photographer and, if desired, a videographer.
  • Hire a florist.
  • Book musicians and/or DJ.

4-6 Months before:

  • Order wedding invitations, envelopes, and thank-you cards.
  • Order your wedding gown.
  • Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen.
  • Shop for cake.
  • Scout accommodations so you can send guests a list of nearby hotels in various priceranges. (Most hotels offer lower rates when you tell them a group is coming.)
  • Meet with the caterer or banquet manager to discuss menus, service style, etc.
  • Complete the guest list.
  • Arrange the rehearsal dinner.

2-4 Months before:

  • Call county clerk’s office to find out about requirements for the marriage license.
  • Check state requirements for blood tests.
  • Make honeymoon reservations, and compile all necessary travel documents.
  • Pick ceremony and reception music. (Check with ceremony site about any restrictions.
  • Order wedding cake.
  • Complete honeymoon plans.
  • Meet with party-rental companies if special supplies, such as candelabras, tables and chairs are being used for the ceremony or reception.

4-8 Weeks before:

  • Mail invitations eight weeks ahead of the date.
  • Have final dress fitting and select headpiece.
  • Buy your fiancé’s wedding gift.
  • Buy thank-you gifts for the attendants.
  • Look over insurance papers with your fiancé (car, life, medical, home) – You may need to make changes in the policies when you go from single to married.

2-3 Weeks before:

  • Arrange seating for the reception.
  • Confirm details with caterer, florist, etc.
  • Give caterer the final head count.
  • Send an engagement photograph with a wedding announcement to the newspapers.

1 Week before:

  • Place fees in envelopes to be given to the organist, soloist, minister, etc., on the big day.
  • Appoint a reliable pal to bring a cake knife, toasting glasses or other heirlooms to the wedding site before hand (and to be responsible for getting them home again).
  • Get a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage or other beauty treatment of your choice.
  • Pack for the honeymoon. (Arrange for someone to bring your luggage and going-away clothes to the reception site if you are leaving from the reception.)

The day before:

  • Greet out-of-town guests.
  • Go to the gym, take a long walk, or do some other stress-reducing activity.
  • Schedule time for a bubble bath, facial or a hair-styling appointment before the rehearsal dinner.
  • Attend the wedding rehearsal and dinner.