Why Funerals Are Still So Important

I attended a beautiful funeral this week for my elementary school music teacher. She was one of the first people, in addition to my family, that instilled the love of music in my heart. That passion for music changed my life.

The funeral service was filled with people who knew her, loved her and treasured her love and wisdom. We were able to remember the good times we shared, deal with the heartache we carry and prepare our hearts and minds for a future without her until we meet in heaven one day.

In a society that now tries to distance itself from death as much as possible, the tradition of a funeral has been pushed aside. The most important thing to remember is that funerals are about the living, not the dead. There is nothing else that can be done for the deceased, but the living need a place to share their thoughts and feelings about the reality of death.

When someone you love dies, please remember these truths about the purpose of the funeral:

* Funerals help us acknowledge the …

Words For Wednesday


Mini Tags Wood-Burning Project

In an effort to put some old craft supplies to use, I spent an entire morning playing with these wood tags. The words are wood-burned, they're decorated with beautiful colors and tied up with baker's twine.

It's been at least two years since I found these wood tags at Dutchman's. They're designed to be embellishments for canning jars, when you give them as a gift. That's not what popped into my head when I saw them, though. I see them as gift tags and ornaments.

I started by measuring the center of each tag and printing off words to fit in them. Then I transferred the writing to the wood with carbon paper.'s pretty old school.

I'm not as talented with the wood burning tool as Danny is, but I was so pleased with the results.

And since I wasn't in the mood to paint, I decorated them with permanent markers. If you'd like to see them for yourself, or have some made just for you, Stuff From Trees will have five arts and crafts shows in five…

Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Squares

Why buy expensive boxes of granola bars that probably have ingredients you can't pronounce? Instead, try this three-ingredient recipe - which contains things you probably have on hand right now - and feel good about what you're putting in your body.

1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 1/2 cups oats

1. Pour honey into a large microwave-safe bowl, then scoop in the peanut butter.

2. Heat the mixture in the microwave for about 60 seconds. It should be smooth and creamy once you stir it.

3. While the microwave is going, line an 8x8-inch baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

4. Add oats to the large bowl and combine thoroughly.

5. Immediately pour into the prepared dish. Refrigerate for an hour or until completely cool. Cut into bars or squares.

Keeping Your Eye Gates Pure And Clean

Everything that comes through your eyes goes directly to your brain. Once there, you are able to think about it, meditate on it, bring it back up any time you want. So today I have two questions for you: What are your eyes sending to your brain every day, and what are you putting in front of them and allowing them to send?

We live in a society that is addicted to information - newspapers, television, magazines, books, the Internet - and it creates an overload to our system. It's like our brains are stalled in rush hour traffic all the time because there is so much going on around and inside of them.

What do you remember most from all the information you've absorbed this week? Can you name all the scandals in our government? Are you caught up on all the family news? Have you memorized the sports scores? Did you do lots of puzzles and games? Or can you remember the Scripture you read during your morning devotions? Whatever we spend the most careful time to soak up sticks in our m…

Prevent Heat Illness In Your Puppies

Whether you have indoor or outdoor dogs, they're going to spend some time in the heat this summer. But before you have puppies suffering from heat stress, here are a few ways to prevent a problem before it happens.

* Look for the early signs of heat exhaustion: excessive drooling, increased heart rate, even lack of coordination. Personality changes can also happen.

* Have water readily available. Dogs don't sweat, and panting can leave them parched. A small bowl of fresh water - or an extra large bowl if you have a Great Dane like we do - will really hit the spot.

* Never leave your puppies in the car during the summer months. You've probably seen all the videos of how quickly the inside of a vehicle reaches more than 100 degrees. Just don't do it.

* If you're too hot, they are too. If the pavement is too hot for your feet, it's too hot for theirs. If direct sun is too much for your skin, it's too much for them too. Use some common sense.

* Work in more re…

Saving Time, Energy And Money At The Grocery Store

One of my favorite times of the week is when I head to the grocery store. Some peoplefind it tedious and time-consuming, but I love being able to scan the aisles and find new and interesting food choices. Wouldn't it be fabulous if we could not only save time and energy when we go to the supermarket, but save some money, too?

The Bible says it is wise to be conscientious of your finances and take steps to be careful with all your earnings. This includes how you spend your money and what you spend it on.

Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? Proverbs 27:23-24

Here's one way I've found to tackle the grocery store that only takes a little pre-planning. Any little changes we can make in how we use our money will be honoring in God's eyes, so let's start with how we buy food for our families.

The next time you go to the grocery store, take a piece of paper wit…