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Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”

Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

Decor Ideas:
1. Use a decorative wine bucket filled with flowers as your table centerpiece. This works if you have a separate table where you will place the food. If the wine tasting is conducted at one table where your guests are sitting, then you need lower height decorations where everyone can see over the arrangements. Use wine glasses randomly placed down the table with sprigs of flowers in them. 

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. Her son is in his 20s, and he made it to the final 3 for a job he is seeking. After a one-on-one interview with one of the executives, her son relayed an interesting conversation that had occurred. The executive told him, “You are smart, a go-getter and you know what you are doing, but the thing that has set you apart from the other two candidates is the way you dress."

“The hardest job kids have today is learning good manners…without seeing any.” Fred Astaire. 


Women have great influence in their family, and much of the work falls to us to provide each person with the tools they need to succeed. But how can we pass along knowledge that we do not possess? 

Having good manners is common sense. Learning to communicate those manners according to the rules of the road is what is known as etiquette. Put another way: etiquette is the language of manners. Etiquette and social skills are more than knowing which fork to use at dinner. It is understanding the words to speak and when to remain silent.

In Titus 2 God challenges women to mentor other ladies who are entering seasons of life those of us that are older have since passed through. We are to put our pride aside in the name of vulnerability so our friends can learn from our failures and successes. God calls us to teach and guide so “younger women will know how to love their husbands and children…keep a good house, be good wives.” 


WHAT??? You cannot be serious!

  • Alina Gersib

5 Tips for Self-Forgiveness

Lately, I have found myself ruminating on the concept of forgiveness. What it means to forgive, how to forgive well, and most pointedly how to forgive ourselves. For this blog I want to focus on self-forgiveness and how the process of forgiving ourselves is one of the most powerful habits we can incorporate into our day.

Growing up in the church I have heard countless verses on forgiveness and the power behind the practice. However, I wanted to find out the roots behind the word itself. After searching into the etymology, I found it comes from Germanic roots and the late old English meaning translates to, "to give up desire or power to punish.”

To give up desire or power to punish. When we forgive, we are literally giving up the power to punish. Wiping the slate clean. What a beautiful, restorative sentiment. Why then does it feel so difficult to forgive ourselves? Situations in the past nag in the back of our minds reminding us of times we have missed the mark, caused others pain, or failed. Feelings like anger, shame, and frustration build continuously behind the scenes when they are not dealt with. These feelings cause our nervous system to operate on high alert, which leads to anxiety and depression. And beating ourself up about situations in the past only perpetuates this vicious negative cycle. It is through addressing the issues head on and forgiving ourselves that we can find healing and freedom from these destructive thought patterns. As I have been thinking on this concept of self-forgiveness, I wanted to come up with a system to assist in my own healing. I thought it would be helpful to share my 5 tips on how to practice self-forgiveness.

1. Look at Your Feelings

It is difficult to genuinely forgive a situation that we refuse to look at. Take some time to dive in and see how you feel about a memory. Let there be no judgment or frustration as you do this. Look at yourself with eyes of grace and love. Let yourself experience each emotion as it bubbles to the surface. If you are struggling with letting yourself feel without judgment, pretend a loved one is going through the situation you are in. How would you treat their heart in this scenario? Treat yourself like someone you love.

2. Write to Release

After you have looked at your feelings and thoroughly experienced them grab a pen and paper and list out the emotions that seemed to really hit home. Let your thoughts flow and work through areas of tension or resistance. Again, give yourself lots of grace and love during this process as some intense realizations or emotions may come up.

3. Take Responsibility

Do not continuously bring up negative memories as a way of punishment for how you acted in the past. In doing this you are only reinforcing the negative over a situation that cannot be changed. Instead, look at what happened, identify how you messed up, and take responsibility.

4. Ask for Forgiveness

When we hurt someone else, it is important, and obvious, that we should ask them for forgiveness. However, we often forget to ask ourselves for forgiveness and in doing so the areas of hurt remain open and vulnerable. We need to ask for forgiveness and give that forgiveness in order to fully find healing.

5. Gently Move On

There is not an exact “works every time” solution for self-forgiveness. Sometimes things seem to heal easily while other times things continue to fester in the back of our minds. Each time a negative emotion comes up, remind yourself that you are forgiven. If a memory has been simmering for a long time it is safe to say a lot of encouragement will be needed to move past it. Coming up with a phrase you can say to yourself each time a specific memory or emotion pops up can be a helpful tool in moving past the hurt.

I have been noticing improvements in my thought life and overall mental state since I began actively putting these five tips into practice. I hope they can also help you on your path of self-forgiveness and healing.

Alina Gersib

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