Sunday, August 25, 2013

Military Coupon Donations

Did you know that you can send coupons to military bases for the families there?  Even if they are expired!  Because my brother is in the military, I am always looking for ways to help out.  So I am ALL over this!  Especially since we get a ton of coupons in the mail each week and I barely use any.

I'm asking all of YOU to join me!  You can either adopt your own base at the Overseas Coupon Program  OR you can send them to the base I have adopted in the name of the blog so that we can all do this together!

Of course, I adopted the base where my brother is stationed, Yakota Air Force Base in Japan.  I highly doubt that he will ever use a coupon in his life but since that base is close to my heart, it is what I chose.  ;)  Besides, I know he is friends with a few couples stationed over there and maybe they will get some use out of them!

If you would like to send your coupons to Yakota, here are the details:
  • Send as often as you like
  • Send as much or as little as you like (there is no minimum or maximum)
  • Do not send coupons older than 2 months expired on the date of shipment.  They can be used for up to 6 months after expiration but remember that volunteers have to process them, they have to be sent out to be used, and then the families have to sort through them.  It can definitely take some time. 
  • Separate coupons according to "food items" and "non-food items."
  • Along with your return address, please include "Learning to Be 31"  - this is the 'organization' I listed when adopting the base and it helps to keep track of the 'donations' and charity.
The address is:

Bldg 570 Yokota AB
APO AP 96328-6290 

(It is regular postage since it is an APO)

If you would rather me do the separating and sending, just send the coupons my way.  Send me a private message (see the 'Contact Me' tab at the top of the blog) and I will gladly give you my address.

I'm so excited for this simple opportunity to help out!  I hope you are too!

Bri Sherman

Independent Distributor, It Works! Global™

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Fun!

Thanks to Your World: Healthy and Natural for this weekly questionnaire!  I missed last week since we were packing to head to vacation (yay!) 

In my life this week... 
We have been in Emerald Isle, North Carolina all week!  I absolutely love the beach!  And I love spending time with my family.  My brother came home from Japan and Grandma joined us on this trip, making it extra special.

I am inspired by...
The history that is all around us.  The stories I hear, the artifacts I learn about - it just makes me want to change the world!

My favorite thing this week was...
Wow.  Tough one.  Probably walking on the beach with Hubby last night.  We were being super goofy AND romantic.  Great memories.  A close second would be riding in my brother's new jeep, wind in my hair, country music blaring, just enjoying the moment.  Or kayaking through the marshes with Hubby and brother today or.... Ah...So many other things I want to mention, but I'm going to stop typing

What's working/not working for me...       
     Working -  Relaxing.  It is impossible to not relax and be chill at the beach!  I love not having a schedule and not having to rush around. 

     Not working - Still having a hard time balancing everything.  Not sure how to fit in everything I want to do with the time Hubby wants with me.  Trying...

Questions/thoughts I have... 
This is a funny one but we went to the aquarium the other day and it got Hubby and I thinking - why did God create the fish and coral to be so unique/diverse and colorful? 
I'm reading...
I just finished Nights in Rodanthe last night - brought it along since we are SO close to Rodanthe and the home of Nicholas Sparks, New Bern.  I love reading a book that is centered in the area I am in.  This morning, I finally started The Help.  I wanted to read it before I saw the movie, but that didn't happen.  Glad I'm finally getting the chance!

I'm cooking...
Hmmm...I haven't really been cooking much - we've either been going out or the guys have been grilling.  Can't really complain.  I did make a tomato and egg sandwich for lunch today.  Flat bread, sliced tomato, 2 fried eggs, a few diced onions (I prefer green but we didn't have any) and a tiny bit of mayo - pretty yummy!

I'm grateful for... 
Time with family.  Making memories and experiencing new things.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share...
This is a sweet sand castle we came across on our walk last night - pretty intense!

Even if you aren't at the beach, I hope you have a great weekend!

By the way - why do you think that God put all of those colorful fish in the ocean?  Let us know in the comments below!

Bri Sherman
Independent Distributor, It Works! Global™
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Faith Is...

If I were to ask you to finish this sentence, what would you say?

Faith is....

Maybe you would say something like, 'belief in the unknown' or 'trust' or 'hope.'  Well, it is all these things and more.  So much more.

Psalm 27:13-14
13 I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

Faith is...

Our 'Unless'

The phrase "I would have despaired" is added in the NASB.  Other translations add different things including "I would have fainted," because it seems like the original text wouldn't make sense without some sort of addition.  Adam Clarke points out that "there is a remarkable elegance in the original" because "it makes an abrupt breaking off in the midst of a speech."  Have you ever heard someone give a testimony or talk about something that made them really emotional?  Sometimes sentences are left unfinished because the emotions are so strong.  But the thing is, we, as the audience, usually know what they were trying to say.  Or maybe they just go so lost in thought, in awe of what they are looking back on, that they forget they are talking to someone and become focused on something we just can't see.  I've been there, I've seen these things happen.  I'm sure you have too!  And I really think that that's what is happening this again with those thoughts in mind:

Unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living....

It makes so much sense that way doesn't it?  Unless I had believed...

When we lose faith, when we lose our belief in the One True King, in His promises - it is then we lose hope.  Losing hope sometimes the final straw.  They tell you that when you are kidnapped, or when you are trapped, or hurt, etc., that you need to hold onto hope - it will keep you alive!  Faith and belief in the Lord's goodness and promises is our hope.  Faith is our unless.  Unless we believe....

Faith is Sight

I love that our church still sings hymns on a regular basis.  We even still have actual hymnals in the pews!  :)  One of my favorite hymns is 'It Is Well With My Soul.'  I remember the night my grandpa passed away just singing it over and over to myself as we watched him slowly, ever so slowly, go home to be with our Glorious Father.  The last verse starts with "And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight."  I believe that's what David is saying when he says, I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord... He knew that one day his faith would be his reality, his sight, or his eyes as Chris Tomlin puts it: "There's a day that's drawing near / When this darkness breaks to light / When the shadows disappear / And my faith shall be my eyes" (I Will Rise).  
You see, "those that walk by faith in the goodness of the Lord shall in due time walk in the sight of that goodness" (Henry).  After all, "Jesus has overcome / And the grave is overwhelmed / Victory is won..." (I Will Rise).
Faith is Expecting

This is along the same lines as the aforementioned 'Unless'.  Faith isn't just waiting, faith is expecting.  The word 'wait' in the Hebrew is qavah meaning "to wait, look for, hope, expect" (Strong's 6960).  The Gesenius' Lexicon specifically says that in this verse qavah should be translated as "to expect."  We are not just supposed to wait on the Lord we are supposed to expect the Lord.  A song by John Mayer comes to mind - Waiting on the World to Change.  If I'm just waiting on the world to change, my life will go on as normal.  I will continue to go about my usual day to day routine and wait.  But if I am expecting the world to change, I'm going to be preparing for it, making preparations in order for the change to go well.  You see, waiting is passive while expecting is active.  Our faith shouldn't just be waiting on the Lord, it should be expecting the Lord to fulfill His promises, to show His goodness.  What are you doing to make your faith active instead of passive?  Are you waiting on the Lord or are you expecting Him? 

Faith is Different

The Expositor's Commentary states it this way: "Faith does not faltar, though it is keenly conscious of difficulties.  It is not preserved by ignoring facts, but should be by them impelled to clasp God more firmly as its only safety."  Just because I have faith and believe in Jesus Christ does not mean that bad things will not come my way.  If that were the case, choosing Christ wouldn't actually be much of a choice now would it?  Anyways, faith also doesn't mean that I ignore the bad stuff.  Faith simply means that when faced with trials and troubles that we handle them differently than the world.  We don't give up, we don't crumble to pieces of nothing. Instead, we hold onto the Lord even tighter than we did before, we learn how to depend on Him instead of the things of this world, we grow.  Faith should infect every part of our lives in a visible manner!  As stated before, faith isn't passive, it is active...and different enough to be noticed.

Bri Sherman
Independent Distributor, It Works! Global™

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Respect Challenge: Week 15

Quick Recap - I am on a 25 week journey to becoming a more respectful wife.  I want to be the best wife my husband could ever ask for!  I found my inspiration over at Loving Life at HomePlease feel free to join me on this might even change your marriage...  ;)  For ALL of the 'Respect Challenge' posts check out the tabs at the top of the page!

Don't Complain.

Jennifer notes, "Nobody wants to be around a whiner or complainer. It is grating on the nerves...accept the things you can’t change, courageously change the things you can, seek wisdom to know the difference."

Philippians 2:14 -  Do all things without grumbling or disputing.

Would you like a little cheese with that wine?  I've heard that about a million times in my life.

If you didn't notice, it took me 2 weeks to get through this one.  I hate to admit it, but I whine and complain quite a bit.  This challenge definitely made me more aware of it.  If you aren't aware, we are going through quite a bit of change, plus vacation was coming up.  I realized last Monday that I was non-stop complaining the whole first week.  I was grumpy, miserable, and extremely stressed out.  And I definitely let it show.  I prayed this week that God would give me a couple of more seconds to think before I spewed out words without thinking.  And He did that.  I pray He continues to do so.  I don't sound as miserable and ungrateful if I don't open my mouth without thinking.  And my husband doesn't get so annoyed with me.  It's definitely a win-win situation.  I hope it doesn't take you all two weeks to overcome this challenge!  Good luck!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Fun!

I stumbled across this weekly questionnaire over at Your World: Healthy and Natural.  I thought it would be fun!  And it's a great way for my new readers to get to know me and for my usual readers to keep up with the happenings in my life!  I hope you enjoy!  Here we go...

In my life this week...
I became an It Works! Independent Distributor!  From the moment I've joined I keep learning more and more about how truly amazing the company is!  They are changing lives for the better in SO many ways!  And my favorite part?  Corporate prays for us every day!  How many companies do that?  I doubt even every "Christian" company out there does that...  We're also getting ready to go on vacation - 1 week from tomorrow!  It has been a crazy week - but I've grown so much already!

I am inspired by...
My team at It Works!  It is amazing the community that I already have in just one short week.  They are doing amazing things and I hope I can achieve what they have!

My favorite thing this week was...
Hearing my husband admit that he wasn't trusting God and what he is going to change that.  I love seeing him grow, especially when he is growing closer to our Heavenly Father!  :D

What's working/not working for me...      WorkingGetting out of my comfort zone!  I've been praying that God would open doors for me in two areas: 1. To use me for His purpose.  2. To grow my new business.  Yesterday both happened and I was able to take advantage of the open doors!  I wore my "National Back to Church Sunday" shirt to the zoo and as we were walking in Charlie struck up a conversation with a little boy.  His mom asked me about my shirt and seemed really interested.  Though I know she won't be able to come to our church (too far away), I'm hoping she will go somewhere!  It's September 15th by the case you want to go back to church!  Then when I was in the waiting room at the doctors I struck up a conversation with an expecting mom due today!  She was worried about getting rid of her baby weight gain and I was able to give her a coupon for "That Crazy Wrap Thing!"  I hate talking to strangers...but this week has been different!  

     Not workingJuggling all of these changes.  I'm constantly busy - thinking, planning, figuring things out... I have to remember to prioritize and put time with Hubby first!

Questions/thoughts I have...
How is my life going to look in just one month?  I have no clue and it is driving me insane.

I'm reading...
The Judgment Stone by +Robert Liparulo, Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman and Praying God's Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds by Beth Moore.  I highly, and I mean highly recommend all three of these!  The Judgment Stone, though fiction, is opening my eyes, in a big way, to the Spiritual realm and the literal war for our souls.  I don't know how many times I've referenced it in conversation!  Really, you should get your hands on anything by Robert Liparulo - I've read all of his books and always preorder the new ones!  ;)  Not a Fan is challenging my faith - I want to follow Christ instead of sitting on the sidelines.  And finally, Praying God's Word is really a reference book everyone should have on hand!  I go back to it constantly...even though I still haven't finished it!

I'm cooking...
English Dips.  Mmmmmm.  This is one of my favorites!  Basically french dips on english muffins - SO good!

I'm grateful for... 
A loving husband - who supports me even when he isn't very happy with me
God and His provision - He will take care of us no matter what tomorrow holds
Facebook and the World Wide Web - for making the world a smaller place
A photo, video, link, or quote to share...
Shameless plug!

But seriously, if you are interested, check out the tab at the top of this page and let me know!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Leave a comment and let me know what books you are reading these days!

Bri Sherman 
Independent Distributor, It Works! Global™

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What is a Lamp without Light?

Confidence and light - you didn't know they had anything in common did you?  David's confidence came from the Light, as should ours.

Psalm 27:1-3
1The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.

This is one of my very favorite passages of Scripture. It reminds me that I have nothing to fear, nothing to worry about for God is my light and my salvation, He is with me always.

There are two things that really jump out here, two things I would have missed if I had not been studying His word (for more on this subject, check out this blog post).  

First of all, the literal translation of the last line is much different than how the NASB (and many others) translate it.  The KJV and a few others are close, but still not literal.  The NASB added 'spite of' - they noted this by putting the words in italics.  Without the added words, it reads, "In this I shall be confident" - a little closer but still.  'Ithiy'el is the Hebrew word used in this line.  While most translations use 'in this' (probably to be less repetitive), the literal translation is: "God is with me" (Strong's H384).  I like that reading SO much better, I think instead of being repetitive, it adds even more: "God is with me, I shall be confident."  Go ahead and reread those few verses and make the changes.  It sounds nice doesn't it?

In 2 Samuel 21:17, David is referred to as the lamp of Israel. Here we hear him saying, "The Lord is my light and my salvation" - what is a lamp without light?  Just decoration, it doesn't do anything.  David knew he was nothing without the Lord - so he gave credit where credit was due.  He knew that his glory, his safety, his very life were all because of the Lord.  This is where his confidence stems from!  David's confidence in the Lord is tremendously evident in these few verses.  It is incredible!

The Expositor's Commentary notes, "There is much to fear unless He is our light, and they who will not begin with the Psalmist's confidence have no right to repeat His courage" (emphasis added).  We have nothing to fear!  We have nothing to dread!  We have nothing to worry about!  God is with me.

As David knew and did: "Tough times comes...they happen.  Let those moments become moments to reflect Light" (Henry Scoff).  When tough times come, I pray that our confidence in the Lord is a witness to the world.

I challenge you to be confident in Him today.  He is with you!  Don't just be a lamp, make sure you have the Light! 

Bri Sherman 
Independent Distributor, It Works! Global™

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