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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!

  • Patti Hatton

Love Your Enemy

Fear serves a healthy purpose when the clouds become dark and a dangerous storm is approaching, and animosity is a normal reaction to an armed robbery, but these emotions become toxic when they linger past the purpose they were intended to serve. How do we overcome these emotions? Scripture tells us to bring every thought captive, to praise God in all circumstances and to love our enemies, which feels very unnatural when we are in pain. But if we want to gain control over our mind and emotions, we will consider the wisdom behind these commands. Many times, the offenses we ruminate over have to do with petty circumstances such as a friend saying the wrong thing or a mother-in-law overstepping her boundaries. (Be on the lookout for a vlog with Lisa Lou and Cecelia on healthy Mother/Daughter-in-law relationships!) Our quality of life will be a direct reflection of our state of mind. Protective boundaries against harm are imperative but obsessing over offenses does not serve us well. Here is an exercise used by psychologists to help break fixated thought patterns: 1. Go to a place in your mind where you feel calm, peaceful, and loved. Some may see themselves by a stream or in the mountains, and others on a beach watching a sunset. All is well in your safe place and you feel relaxed and at one with yourself. 2. Picture your enemy, or the person that caused an offense in your mind and allow the same feelings of love and beauty you are experiencing to enter them. Stay in this place until you see this person receiving the same good that you are receiving. 3. The next time this person comes to mind or you interact with them, go to that place of refuge and safety and see them through the lens of love. For the believer, we can do the same exercise, but we internalize God’s love in the midst of visiting our place of refuge. His love is greater and more powerful than anything we can provide. When we allow and offer that love to another, even our enemy, it changes our disposition. It breaks the stronghold of allowing our damaged emotions to rule our thought processes. It sets us free as we see the enemy as someone who is also in need of the Father’s love. This exercise does not require our protective boundaries to change, but our minds will shift to willing good into the life of the person we once thought had hurt us. The same applies to praising God in all circumstances. Love overcomes evil. And when we shift our thinking from our pain to a God who sees and knows our circumstances, we can put our faith in a power greater than ourselves to care and act on our behalf. God’s got you! Patti Hatton, MA, LPC

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