How to Help Your Loved Ones Return to God

return to God

Have you or your loved one fallen away from the Lord?

Your spiritual journey with God isn’t always plain sailing. Every person encounters challenges to their faith.

Many believers experience closeness to God until they allow sin into their lives. This is known in the Old Testament as “backsliding”.

The journey of faith ought to be one of increasing closeness towards Christ.

Keep reading to find out how you can help a loved one – or yourself – return to God.

Fallen Away From God

There are many reasons why believers backslide. Sins can take form in a variety of different ways.

Digressions from Christ may not seem significant. It may not be intended or major incidences.

Falling away from God can simply be due to neglect. It could be that you’ve failed to routinely pray, or go to Church for a few weeks.

However, sometimes believers intentionally move away from Christ and engage in Sin. This can lead to terrible things.

But there is always a way back to God’s love.

1. Don’t Forget Prayer

If you’ve moved away from Christ, this may be because you’ve not been praying to God. By returning to prayer, you will find your way back to God.

As God’s children, we all need to have a connection with Him. Prayer is the means by which you can communicate with our Lord.

If you felt distant from a friend, the best way would be to talk together and re-connect. It’s no different with God.

When we pray, we share our innermost feelings and thoughts with our Lord. By praying, we can be reminded of the power of God.

Don’t forget to pray. But also remember that prayer doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Just share with God what’s on your mind.

2. Read the Scriptures

Have you not been reading God’s Word. By reading the scriptures every day you can return to our Lord.

You don’t have to spend hours and hours of the day reading the Bible. But regularly reading for short periods of time can be an important part of returning to God.

As Jesus Christ states, “if you continue My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). You can become one of Jesus’ disciples too by reading God’s Word. This will definitely bring you closer to God.

3. Put Your Faith in God First

All believers live busy lives. It’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day. But the Bible says, “In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success” (Proverbs 3:6).

It’s important to put your faith first ahead of other things in your life. Your journey of faith involves you making God’s plan, your plan. God’s Will becomes your will.

By putting god ahead of everything, you’ll notice a strengthening of your faith in God.

4. Start a Blessing Book

It’s easy to forget how a great a role God plays in our lives. God influences everything and is present in everything we do.

By starting a blessing book in which you record your blessings, you’ll learn to appreciate how much God loves you.

You can also use the blessing book to give thanks to God in prayer. After all, as it says in the Bible, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Blessing books are also a great way family devotional act to teach your children about Christ.

5. Be Humble with God

Just because God asks that we be humble, doesn’t mean he wants to control everything we do. It is simply out of care and love for His children that he wants us to be open and share ourselves with Him.

If you are having any trouble. Don’t be too proud to share it with God. Through humility, God can help you find the strength to overcome challenges you face.

However, being humble is much easier to say than to do in practice. But you could try reading about the lives of humble people. You can learn from many figures in the Bible that display great humility in front of God.

6. Avoid Cynicism

Have you fallen into a state of cynicism? A cynical view is one that separates us from God. It shows a lack of trust in our faith and negative feelings about others.

To return to God, you need to overcome the urge to be cynical in your life. If someone is making jokes about other people, change the subject. If the TV show that represents a cynical view of the world, change the channel.

By focusing on your own feelings and thoughts, you can transform your attitude from cyclical to positive about your faith. This is another great way to return to God after a relapse of faith.

It’s Time to Return to God

While it’s perfectly normal to have doubts and question your faith. All believers encounter challenges to their faith that they have to overcome.

But there are ways to step back from the edge of the cliff and return to God or help a loved one do the same.

By making small commitments to changing your attitude to faith, you can rediscover your faith in Christ. Don’t allow other distractions in life and sin to turn you away from our Lord.

Interested in other tips and church-related advice? Check out our blog and join the conversation or get in touch with us.

10 Tips for Planning a Last-Minute Vacation

Last-Minute Vacation

Based on a recent study of when to get the cheapest flights, you should plan to buy your ticket exactly 54 days ahead of time. While this is ideal for the planners among us, it’s not exactly the most fun and spontaneous way to travel.

Whether it’s stress-driven or just the need for excitement, passing up a last-minute vacation can make you feel all sorts of regret.

Even if you get to travel for work, you’re still jetting around in the context of your obligations. To truly relax your mind and body, you need to be able to book a couple of days every few months where you can shake loose your responsibilities.

A little planning could make the experience all the better.

If you’re a serious schedule who is trying to break free of your habits, follow these 10 tips for planning your last-minute vacation.

1. You’ll Have to be Flexible

If you want to save a few hundred dollars, avoid flying on Friday and Sunday. If you have a flexible work schedule, work through a weekend and plan your trip for a Monday through Thursday for better prices.

Several ticketing websites will allow you to see a side-by-side comparison of different prices.

Change the length of your stay by a few days and you could save even more. Places with big tourism industries and daily flights in and out of their airports will have lots of last minute deals. You’ll see more last-minute vacation deals for someplace like Bermuda than for Omaha.

2. Choose Your Flight First

One of the biggest showstoppers for a last-minute vacation is prohibitively expensive airfare. If you happen to live someplace where you can be on a vacation in a couple of hours by tossing your bag into the car, then take advantage of that when you can.

Otherwise, you’ll be at the mercy of the price of a flight.

Lots of deals are found at 14 to 21 days before you plan to leave. Typically flights get more expansive as you get closer to the departure date.

If you’re looking to get to a beach, any beach at all, you could stumble upon a great deal if you keep hitting that refresh button during your lunch break at work.

3. Check Your Passport

Depending on where you’re headed, you might need to bring a passport. If you haven’t updated yours in a while, double check that it’s still valid. You might be surprised to find out that it expired since the last time you traveled with it.

While getting a new passport at the last minute is a serious headache, expedited passport renewal exists for people in that situation. Hopefully, you’re in luck and you don’t have to renew your passport before your last-minute vacation.

You should double check just to be on the safe side. Planning in advance is nice but it’s not always an option.

4. Update Your Medical Details

If you’ve started taking a new medication since the last time you traveled, make sure you’ve got plenty of back-ups before you leave. Even just a few days without your medication could be ruined without it.

Make sure any documentation you need for your meds is handy. Having things confiscated at the airport is no way to start your vacation. Prepare a little bag with just the health and wellness essentials so that you can just toss it into your bag as you’re packing.

If you have a prescription, take a photo of it on your phone so that in the worst case, you might be able to get a small dosage while you’re out of town.

5. Go For The Off Season

If you’re looking to get to a popular vacation spot like Orlando or Martha’s Vineyard over the holidays or on the Fourth of July, you’ll be paying top dollar. You’ll have to book months in advance, pay the highest price for hotels, and struggle to rent a car.

If you go in October instead, you could get a much better deal and end up having no trouble booking any amenities. You’ll also be avoiding all the loud and sweaty crowds of people.

Do something local on the popular end of the season and then enjoy the best vacation spots during the off-season.

6. Ask A Travel Expert

If you’ can’t decide where to go and money really isn’t an issue, contact an agent or a travel expert to help you out.

If you don’t know the difference between the islands of Hawaii or whether you should go to Albany, Georgia over Albany, New York, ask an expert. You’ll get tips on where to stay, places to eat, and things to see. They might even use their personal contacts to get you a good deal or some nice upgrades to your hotel.

7. Non-Refundable Means Non-Refundable

Have you ever tried to get a refund for something that was labeled “non-refundable?” You’re basically up against a brick wall.

While some hotels and flights will give you as much as a 24-hour window to decide last minute you don’t want to stay, others will charge you anyway. Make sure that if there’s a possibility you’ll get a cold before your last-minute vacation that you’ve purchased some kind of insurance or refundable policy.

8. If It’s Too Good to be True, Run

Any deal that seems too good to be true probably is just that. Avoid getting ripped off if you don’t think you’re going to get what you’re being promised. Look for online reviews if possible.

9. Waitlists Work

Getting on a waitlist could get you put on a flight for a super low price. If you can’t afford the going price of a ticket for the Bahamas, make a call to the airline and see if they can offer you a waitlist deal if your schedule is flexibl\e.

10. Pack Today

Don’t save your packing until the last minute. You’ll forget something important like your bathing suit for the beach or your binoculars for a birdwatching tour. Do it with plenty of time so you can think through your baggage carefully.

A Last-Minute Vacation Will Be Memorable

Doing something spontaneously is a great way to make a permanent memory. You’ll have fun doing things you never thought you’d be doing a week before with people you might never see again. Stay loose and let the world show you how to have fun.

If you’re ready to book your next vacation, contact us for more tips on how to save money.

5 Must-Know Tips to Get Rid of Calluses

Get Rid of Calluses

Did you know one in twenty Americans deal with calluses every year?

While calluses are just your body’s way of defending your feet against friction, they’re far from visually pleasing. Plus, if you leave them untreated, they tend to stick around a lot longer than you’d like.

Are you tired of hiding your feet? Let’s look at a few steps you can take to get rid of calluses quickly and effectively!

1. Soak Your Feet in Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a mildly alkaline herbal tea. Therefore, a chamomile foot soak can temporarily raise the pH of your skin. It’s a soothing way to dry out the outer layer of your skin and get rid of calluses faster.

Boil 4 chamomile tea bags in a quart of water. Then pour the tea into a small tub, and let it cool off for 15 minutes or so.

Once the water is safe to the touch, place your feet in the tub for about 20 minutes. After you pull your feet out, wash them with soap to remove any staining from the tea.

2. Mix Lemon Juice and Aspirin

Aspirin contains salicylic acid, a commonly used peeling agent. As a result, the pain medication a key ingredient in many effective foot peels.

Start by crushing five aspirin tablets with the back of a spoon. Mix the aspirin with 1/4 teaspoon of water and 3/4 teaspoon of lemon juice, creating a paste.

Apply the paste to the problem area, and cover the area with cellophane. Then run warm water over a small towel, and place it on top of the plastic wrap.

After 15 minutes, remove the plastic and towel. Use a pumice stone or callus file to exfoliate your feet.

3. Try Pineapple Peels Before Bed

Bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein, is abundant in pineapples. By dissolving calluses, bromelain can help you maintain beautiful feet.

To take advantage of its benefits, begin by removing the skin from the pineapple. Since you’re only going to need the pineapple peel for this treatment, you can still enjoy the rest of the fruit.

Before you go to sleep, place the inside of the pineapple peel directly against your calluses. Use a cloth or tape to keep it from falling off.

4. Moisturize Daily

The skin on the bottom of your foot is prone to moisture loss. If you want soft and smooth feet, you need to start using a moisturizer.

Many of the best foot creams for calluses contain shea butter. Also, look for foot moisturizing creams that have Vitamin E and cocoa butter.

Moisturizing daily will not only treat your current calluses, but it can also help prevent more from developing.

5. Use a Sugar Scrub

Exfoliating 3-4 times per week can help you get rid of calluses. But if you need to soften up your skin, try an effective foot scrub recipe.

Pour half a cup of sugar into a small bowl or container. Add a bit of mineral oil, and mix the two ingredients together to create a paste.

Dip your fingers into the mixture. Using a circular motion, rub the paste on your calluses for 20 minutes.

Once you’re finished, wash your feet off with warm water.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Calluses

The five tips outlined above will help keep your feet smooth and healthy.

Keep in mind that ill-fitting shoes often lead to calluses. If you continue having issues, consider visiting a podiatrist for custom orthotics and inserts.

Looking for more surprising health remedies? If so, feel free to check out our health and fitness blog today!

Top 5 Cool Fashion Trends That Don’t Break the Wallet

cool fashion trends

Spring is just around the corner. The world will soon be full of fresh vegetation, baby animals, and cool fashion trends for spring.

Women get a bad reputation when it comes to clothes and shopping. There’s a stereotype that women spend far too much on clothes that they’ll wear once.

To some extent this is true. About 50% of women say that they don’t use 25% of their wardrobe. Seventy-three percent of women say they update 25% of their closets every three months.

Luckily, there’s no need to spend tons of money on fashion if you know how to shop thriftily. These cool fashion trends will help you stay up-to-date without breaking the bank.

Original Denim

This spring, original denim will be in. Clothes hoarders and thrift shopper rejoice.

The original denim trend means we’ll see more jean jackets and original cut denim pants out and about. These pieces pair perfectly with other trendy spring items like floral blouses and romantic, flowy dresses.

If you’ve held onto your clothes from the 90s, see if you have any old denim pieces in there. You can also ask friends and family if they have any old pieces you could take off their hands.

Trenches

Trench coats will always be a spring trend as the temperatures rise and the rainy season starts.

This season, you’ll notice updated silhouettes as well as traditional cuts. One new take on a trench that we love is one with bell sleeves from Mango.

Outerwear is something we recommend splurging on for a better quality coat that will last you a bit longer. This is especially the case for a piece that will continuously come back into style each year.

Florals

Florals will pretty much always be a spring trend. After wearing blacks and greys all winter, we can’t wait to don pretty pastels that reflect the new flowers blooming around us.

You don’t have to buy these pieces new. Check out which floral pieces you have from last season that are still in good shape.

Consignment shops are also a great place to check at the beginning of spring. In many cases, you can get items from your favorite labels at a deep discount.

Sheer Details

This spring, you’ll notice many tops with sheer top layers and sheer sleeves. Designers love the chance to play with delicate details, light, and transparency.

This trend has filtered its way down to the fast fashion houses where you can sheer pieces for little money. The drawback is that these pieces won’t last for a long time.

From fast fashion to plus size clothing, you’ll love the chance to play with different sheer pieces this spring.

Lavender

Lavender is an underrated pastel. Thank goodness you’ll see tons of it this spring.

You’ll notice lavender sweaters, dresses, accessories, and shoes all featuring lavender. We recommend sticking with one apparel piece and one accessory to prevent you from ending up with a closet full of lavender.

More Cool Fashion Trends for 2018

There are plenty more cool fashion trends to keep an eye out for this year. You’ll also see lots of red, sequins, fringe, lace detail, and updated suit pieces.

As you shop for older pieces like denim and trench coats, remember you can easily repair or patch up anything that looks a bit worn. Check out our sewing guide to help you get started on fixing your thrift store finds.

Top 5 DIY Pest Control Tips

diy pest control

Spring is around the corner, which means the battle of the bugs will soon ensue. Not sure what weapons you need in your arsenal? Don’t worry — a little DIY pest control knowledge will prepare you for battle in no time.

Pests can be a nuisance for your home and family. Fortunately, you don’t always have to call a professional for help. Here’s a rundown of the top five DIY pest control tips to help you to get ready for the spring.

Let’s jump in!

1. DIY Pest Control for Ants

These little insects can be kept at bay in a couple of simple ways.

First, we know you love your cup of joe. But if you can spare some coffee grounds, sprinkle them on your doors and windows to keep ants from invading your home.

Another option? Mix a cup of borax with a cup of sugar water. Then, pour this mixture into tiny jars, and poke some holes in the lids.

The sweet smell will lure ants in and encourage them to feast. They’ll then take their newfound meal back to their nest. You’ll start seeing the ant population grow smaller and smaller in no time.

2. Fruit Flies

These annoying little flies can’t resist a sweet smell, either, just like ants.

To get rid of them, simply fill a glass with two inches of apple cider vinegar. Then, add a couple of drops of dishwashing detergent. And voila!

You have the perfect trap for eradicating fruit flies from your kitchen.

3. Spiders

Like fruit flies, spiders are no match for vinegar.

To get rid of them, simply mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Then, coat common spider entrances, such as openings or cracks, with this acidic mixture.

Although this DIY concoction is certainly safe for you and your family members, it will effectively repel spiders.

4. Termites

This provider of pest control Port St. Lucie, points out that termites cause $5 billion worth of damage to homeowners in the United States each year. Ouch.

Fortunately, you can take some steps to keep your home from falling victim to termites.

These include having leaky faucets repaired and keeping your downpipes and gutters clean. Also, avoid having too many plants inside your home.

With termites, the best method for controlling these insects is prevention.

5. Cockroaches

If you like beer, you’re about to learn something that will make you love this fizzy beverage even more.

Cockroaches are another major offender when it comes to breaking into homes across the United States. But you can repel them with an old-fashioned can of brewski.

Just pour half of a cup of beer onto a saucer, and place the saucer on the floor near a cockroach entry point.

A sneaky cockroach may end up partying all night with your complimentary beer, and it’ll be good and drunk by the morning. That’s perfect for you, as it’ll have a hard time scurrying away when you’re ready to remove it. #partytimeisover

How We Can Help

I offer a wide range of tips and even coupons to help you to save money and live a more fulfilling life with your family.

Contact me to learn more about how the information and deals I offer can add value to your life this year.

5 Reasons Your Home Needs a Regular Pest Inspection

home pest inspection

You keep your home squeaky clean and spotless, so you might expect that pests wouldn’t be an issue.

What you may not realize is that pests in the home can be a problem even for a well-kept house. Because pests can find their way into your home for all sorts of reasons, you need a home pest inspection to assess your home and address any possible pest problems.

Pest infestations may not be obvious, but this doesn’t mean they’re not there. Read on to learn five reasons you should have your home inspected for pests regularly.

1. Home Treatments May Not Cut It

Though it’s tempting to buy pest control treatments and equipment and try to tackle the job on your own, you could be missing more than you’re hitting. Most of the time, treatments purchased from the store or home remedies can only treat what you can see. This can lead you to believe you have eliminated the problem when the source and bulk of the pest infestation is hidden.

Because many pests have vast colonies or extensive nests in places you can’t easily see, it’s necessary to have a home pest inspection done by a professional. They’ll know where to look and what signs indicate pest invasion.

2. Pests Can Damage Your Property

Most pests end up in your home because they are seeking a food source. When their food source happens to be your belongings and property, massive amounts of damage can be done.

Various termites and carpenter ants are notorious for damaging a home’s structure, as they love wood and sheetrock paper. These pests hide inside walls, causing a lot of costly damage well before you ever know they’re there.

Other bugs, such as silverfish and carpet beetles, are drawn to organic fibers. This makes them especially attracted to upholstered furniture, clothing items, towels, blankets, and sheets.

These are only a few pests that can move in and destroy your home and belongings.

3. Health Risks from Pest Exposure

The general population enjoys a clean, healthy life because of improved healthcare, sanitary conditions, and good pest control.

Many pests are capable of carrying detrimental diseases. A few examples of these diseases are:

  • Lyme disease carried by ticks
  • West Nile Virus and Zika by mosquitoes
  • Hantavirus by rodents

A home pest inspection can ensure that you’re not living with pests that could spread a serious disease to you.

4. Food Safety

Food can make your home very attractive for pests such as:

Even if your kitchen is clean, these pests can make their way in, spoiling your food. Home gardens are affected also. Garden pests such as aphids can hinder the growth of fruit and vegetables.

5. Prevention is Key

Pest inspections are all about finding pests before they become a problem. If there aren’t visible pests, an inspector will be able to tell if you’ve got unwanted guests hiding out in your house.

Pest control is a must, no matter where you live. For a pest free home, look for:

  • Local pest control businesses
  • Pest control Tampa for the Tampa area
  • Pest control with many years of experience
  • Pest control that offers an inspection

Prevent damage and infestation before they become an expensive problem.

Get a Home Pest Inspection Regularly

Having your home checked on a regular basis could mean the difference between a well-maintained, damage-free home and one that is falling apart and crawling with pests.

For more great information and helpful tips, please explore our other posts.

8 Essential Tips for Planning a Family Cruise

family cruise

A cruise with your loved ones is a once in a lifetime experience for many that they will cherish forever. But if you’ve traveled with your family before, you know how hectic that experience can be.

It’s important to have a plan in place so your family cruise sails as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when planning your cruise.

Have a Discussion

Even if you are the primary vacation planner in your family, it’s important to involve everyone in your cruise decision. You don’t want anyone to be unhappy while you’re trying to have the time of your lives.

Talk to your family about where you want to set sail. Do you want to cruise around the Caribbean or Central America? Maybe you prefer a cruise through the Mediterranean? Or perhaps you want an Alaskan adventure.

You might even want to take a river or lake cruise, like what Wayzata Bay Charters offer.

Keep in mind that the destination you are cruising to will heavily influence the duration of your cruise. Make sure that everyone is available for the dates that you end up choosing.

Choose When and Where Wisely

Deciding on where to cruise can be relatively easy, because a lot of people have dream destinations in mind. But figuring out when to go might be more tricky.

It may make sense for you and your family to set sail in the summertime when the kids are off at school and things may be relatively slow at your job. But this is when cruise costs are at their highest.

Depending on the cruise line you book, you may end up saving half the cost if you decide to go in the offseason. But this offseason does depend on where your destination is.

If you’re sailing to a place like Alaska, you may not be able to book a cruise for certain times of the year. Make sure you do your research so you’re not paying an exorbitant amount of money unnecessarily.

Watch Out For Deals

There are always deals and discounts available through cruise lines and travel agents, especially for a family cruise. If you’re traveling with children, you may be able to receive a hefty discount or possibly free travel on certain dates.

You will likely be able to save a lot of money if you’re able to book the cruise far ahead of time. Your flight to the port you will be leaving from will also probably be much cheaper.

This is not always possible, especially for large families, but the earlier you plan your trip, the less it will cost you in the long run. This is a great way to ensure that your vacation stays under budget.

Focus on a Family-Friendly Atmosphere

The important thing to take note of is not all cruise lines are exclusively family-friendly. The reality is that if you attempt to book a lower cost cruise line during Spring Break season, you’re going to run into some partiers.

Do some research into cruise lines that tout a family-friendly atmosphere so everyone in your family feels comfortable. Some of these lines will have special themes or experiences that will keep kids and adults entertained.

The idea behind a family-friendly cruise experience is that everyone has something to do. If your kids get bored while on the boat or at port, it’s going to be hard for anybody to have a good time.

Plan Your Excursions

Excursions are an essential part of the cruise experience, and one that not enough families plan for ahead of time. Did you know that in most cases, you can start booking excursions as soon as your reserve your cruise?

This way you will be able to choose from the wide range of options that your cruise line offers. If you wait until the last minute, you won’t have that luxury.

Common excursion offerings include snorkeling, scuba diving, tours, and more. Choose an excursion that highlights the unique appeal of the locale you will be visiting.

If your cruise line allows it, you may be able to book excursions through a third-party service. This can be a great way to save money. Just make sure that you research the company ahead of time to make sure they are reputable.

Furthermore, you’ll likely need to keep track of time yourself while on a third-party excursion, so make sure you get back to your boat in time. You don’t want to be stuck in port!

Spend Time Together and Apart

The best thing about a cruise is that you’ll have ample time to spend quality time with your loved ones. You should take advantage of that time as much as possible. But being together in close quarters can start to get trying after a couple days.

That’s why most cruise lines offer kid-friendly and adults-only areas of the ship, so every member of your family can get some time to do things for themselves. Give your kids some time to socialize while you relax at a private pool.

Then, meet up later for dinner and catch an evening show. You can be as flexible with your schedule as you want!

Talk About Safety

Cruises are generally very safe, but it’s still important to have a conversation with your family about making smart decisions. Pay attention to the safety debriefing before you set sail.

You may not have cell phone access, so make sure you designate a meeting spot on the boat in case one of you gets lost. Keep track of your family and your belongings when you’re at port.

In some area, tourists are targeted for petty crimes, so you should make sure you stick together when you’re off the boat.

Stay Organized on Your Family Cruise

The key to having a fantastic family cruise is to stay as organized as possible. It’s okay to be flexible, but make sure you have a plan in place so you don’t waste any time!

Do you have any stories about your family cruise? Share it with us in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for more money-saving tips.