Archive for April, 2015

Giving and Receiving Criticism

When a person gives us criticism, he usually wants to show us that we could have done or said things in a better way. Because of our pride, criticism is not easy for us to receive. There have been times in my life when I have been criticized, and…as hard as it was for me to take… I had to agree with my critic. I could have done things better, or I could have said something in a better way. There are times in all of our lives when we must give or receive criticism.

Here are a few guidelines to help you if you find yourself in one of those situations.

Guidelines for Giving Criticism

• Wait for your feelings and thoughts to be calm before speaking.
• Know your intent. Are you giving criticism because of your pride.
• Know your desired outcome.
• Don’t criticize the person, criticize his behavior. Behavior is something a person can change.
• Avoid sarcasm, and the words like “always”, “never” or “should.”
• Be prepared for a variety of responses.
• Remain open and flexible.
• Don’t apologize for confronting the person.
• Don’t forget to compliment the person that you are criticizing.

It is important for us to plan ways to receive criticism. If we do not prepare ourselves to receive criticism, we might allow our feelings to get out of control, distort our thinking, and say things we could regret.

Guidelines for Receiving Criticism

• Say, “I would like to think about this and discuss it with you later.” This will give you time to reorganize your thoughts and develop a godly response.
• Request more information by asking questions about the behavior you are being criticized.
• Agree with part or some of your critic. Just maybe… your critic could be right.
• Recognize that your critic has an opinion. Not everyone sees things the way you see them.
• Use a little humor.
• Take time to really listen and plan your responses before you speak..
• Establish and maintain eye contact.
• Encourage your critic to tell you exactly what they expect from you.

Meanings of Most Flowers

As every flower lover knows, flowers have a language of their own. Every sentiment is expressed in one form or another by these delicate blooms. Of course, even the experts disagree on the “true meaning” of many flowers and most have different meanings to different people. So, while all flowers convey thoughtfulness and love, here are some of the more traditional flower meanings.

ACACIA – Concealed Love, Chaste Love
AMBROSIA – Your Love is Reciprocated
AMARYLLIS – Pride, Pastoral Poetry
ANEMONE – Forsaken
ARBUTUS – Thee Only Do I Love
ASTER – Symbol of Love, Daintiness
AZALEA – Chinese Symbol of Womanhood
BACHELOR BUTTON – Single Blessedness
BEGONIA – Beware
BELLS OF IRELAND – Good Luck
BITTERSWEET – Truth
BLUEBELL – Humility
CACTUS – Endurance
CAMELLIA (PINK) – Longing for you
CAMELLIA (RED) – You’re a Flame in My Heart
CAMELLIA (WHITE) – You’re Adorable
CARNATION (GENERAL) – Fascination
CARNATION (PINK) – I’ll Never Forget You
CARNATION (RED) – Admiration
CARNATION (PURPLE) – Capriciousness
CARNATION (SOLID COLOR) – Yes
CARNATION (STRIPED) – No, Sorry I Can’t Be With You, Wish I Could Be With You
CARNATION (WHITE) – Sweet and Lovely, Innocence, Pure Love
CARNATION (YELLOW) – You Have Disappointed Me, Rejection
CATTAIL – Peace, Prosperity
CHRYSANTHEMUM (GENERAL) – You’re a Wonderful Friend, Cheerfulness and Rest
CHRYSANTHEMUM (White) Truth
CHRYSANTHEMUM (YELLOW) – Slighted Love
CROCUS – Cheerfulness
CYCLAMEN – Resignation and Good-bye
DAFFODIL – Regard, You’re the Only One, The Sun is Always Shining when I’m with You
DAISY – Innocence, Loyal Love, I’ll Never Tell, Purity
DANDELION – Faithfulness, Happiness
FERN – Magic, Fascination, Confidence and Shelter
FIR – Time
FLAX – Domestic Symbol
FORGET-ME-NOT – True Love, Memories
FORSYTHIA – Anticipation
GARDENIA – You’re Lovely, Secret Love
GERANIUM – Stupidity, Folly
GLADIOLI – Give Me a Break, I’m Really Sincere
GLOXINIA – Love at First Sight
HEATHER (LAVENDER) – Admiration, Solitude
HEATHER (WHITE) – Protection, Wishes Will Come True
HOLLY – Defense, Domestic Happiness
HYACINTH (GENERAL) – Games and Sports
HYACINTH (BLUE) – Constancy
HYACINTH (PURPLE) – I am Sorry, Please Forgive Me, Sorrow
HYACINTH (RED OR PINK) – Play
HYACINTH (WHITE) – Loveliness, I’ll Pray for You
HYACINTH (YELLOW) – Jealousy
HYDRANGEA – Thank You for Understanding
IRIS – Fleur-de-lis, Emblem of France, Your Friendship Means so Much to Me, Faith, Hope, Wisdom and Valor, My Compliments
IVY – Wedded Love, Fidelity, Friendship, Affection
JONQUIL – Love Me, Affection Returned, Desire, Sympathy, Desire for Affection Returned
LARKSPUR (PINK) – Fickleness
LILY (WHITE) – Purity, Majesty
LILY (YELLOW) – I’m Walking on Air, False and Happy
LILY (CALLA) – Beauty
LILY (DAY) – Coquetry, Chinese Emblem for Mother
LILY (EUCHARIS) – Maiden Charms
LILY (TIGER) – Wealth, Pride
LILY OF THE VALLEY – Sweetness, Return to Happiness, Humility, You’ve Made My Life Complete
MAGNOLIA – Nobility
MARIGOLD – Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy
MISTLETOE – Kiss me, Affection, To Surmount Difficulties, Sacred Plant of India
MONKSHOOD – Beware, A Deadly Foe is Near
MOSS – Maternal Love, Charity
MYRTLE – Love, Hebrew Emblem of Marriage
NARCISSUS – Egotism, Formality, Stay as Sweet as You Are
NASTURTIUM – Conquest, Victory in Battle
OLEANDER – Caution
ORANGE BLOSSOM – Innocence, Eternal Love, Marriage and Fruitfulness
ORANGE MOCK – Deceit
ORCHID – Love, Beauty, Refinement, Beautiful Lady, Chinese Symbol for Many Children
ORCHID (CATTLEYA) – Mature Charm
PALM LEAVES – Victory and Success
PEONY – Happy Life, Happy Marriage
PETUNIA – Resentment, Anger, Your Presence Sooths Me
PINE – Hope, Pity
POPPY (GENERAL) – Eternal Sleep, Oblivion, Imagination
POPPY (RED) Pleasure
POPPY (WHITE) – Consolation
POPPY (YELLOW) – Wealth, Success
PRIMROSE – I Can’t Live Without You
PRIMROSE (EVENING) – Inconstancy
ROSE (BRIDAL) – Happy Love
ROSE (DARK CRIMSON) – Mourning
ROSE (HIBISCUS) – Delicate Beauty
ROSE (LEAF) – You May Hope
ROSE (PINK) – Perfect Happiness, Please Believe Me
ROSE (RED) – Love, I Love You
ROSE (TEA) – I’ll Remember Always
ROSE (THORNLESS) – Love at First Sight
ROSE (WHITE) – Innocence and Purity, I am Worthy of You, You’re Heavenly, Secrecy and Silence
ROSE (WHITE AND RED MIXED) – Unity, Flower Emblem of England
ROSE (WHITE-DRIED) – Death is Preferable to Loss of Virtue
ROSE (YELLOW) – Decrease of Love, Jealousy, Try to Care
ROSEBUD – Beauty and Youth, A Heart Innocent of Love
ROSEBUD (RED) – Pure and Lovely
ROSEBUD (WHITE) – Girlhood
ROSEBUD (MOSS) – Confessions of Love
ROSES (Bouquet of Mature Blooms) – Gratitude
ROSES (Single Full Bloom) – I Love You, I Still Love You
SMILAX – Loveliness
SNAPDRAGON – Gracious Lady
SPIDER FLOWER – Elope with Me
STEPHANOTIS – Happiness in Marriage, Desire to Travel
STOCK – Bonds of Affection, Promptness, You’ll Always Be Beautiful to Me
SWEETPEA – Good-bye, Departure, Blissful Pleasure, Thank You for a Lovely Time
TULIP (GENERAL) – Perfect Lover, Frame, Flower Emblem of Holland
TULIP (RED) – Believe Me, Declaration of Love
TULIP (VARIEGATED) – Beautiful Eyes
TULIP (YELLOW) – There’s Sunshine in Your Smile
VIOLET – Modesty
VIOLET (BLUE) – Watchfulness, Faithfulness, I’ll Always Be True
VIOLET (WHITE) – Let’s Take a Chance
ZINNIA (MAGENTA) – Lasting Affection
ZINNIA (MIXED) – Thinking (or In Memory) of an Absent Friend
ZINNIA (SCARLET) – Constancy
ZINNIA (WHITE) – Goodness
ZINNIA (YELLOW) – Daily Remembrance

Ways to Shepherd Students in Your Class

Dear Ladies,
My husband wrote these suggestions last summer when our pastor asked him to think of some ways that his Sunday school teachers could better communicate with their students. Because I thought they were such great suggestions, I wanted to share them with you.

Below are a few suggestions that I thought might help your Sunday school teachers to more effectively “shepherd” their flocks.

1. Send them cards; birthday; friendship, encouragement, etc.

2. Visit THEIR school programs.

3. Take their pictures and post them in classroom.

4. Have students go on visitation with teachers to visit other students.

5. Have a birthday party once a month and celebrate the ones who had a birthday that month. Parties could be at church, at home, or at pizza parlor.

6. Get Treasure Path to Soul Winning or take portions from Proverbs and encourage students to MEMORIZE the Scriptures. You could then allow the students to quote the Scriptures in services and reward them for their achievements.

8. Call them each week just to keep in touch with them.

9. Ask them to help straighten up your class area before and/or after class; reward them for their efforts.

10. Remember Time = LOVE.

11. Take them to the park for a picnic.

12. Let the achievers decorate your class room as a reward/incentive.

Sunday School teachers have the opportunity to be the GREATEST INFLUENCE in a child’s life outside of their own parents. Remember you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.

I hope this helps!

Robert Lewis

Ten Commandments for a Sunday School Teacher

1. Thou hast a Sunday School Class and thou shalt not be untrue to thy calling by giving thyself to frivolous tasks before thy class.

2. Thou shalt not give place to any idols in thy life; neither shalt thou bow down before them nor serve them.

3. Thou must give first place to the Lord thy God if thou are to lead His little ones.

4. Thou shalt not take the name “Sunday School Teacher” lightly; for the Lord will not hold that teacher guiltless who does not serve Him with dedication.

5. Remember thy class hour and keep it holy. Six days shalt thou study and do all thy work, but the seventh is the Lord’s day. When thy study is completed, thou shalt come before the class prepared to impart the Word of God.

6. Honor thy boys and girls with thy interest, thy counsel, and thy prayers that the effect of the Lord’s work through thee may be felt long within their lives.

7. Thou shalt not kill thy students interests with inadequate preparation and prayerlessness.

8. Thou shalt not steal time from thy class by being late on Sunday morning or by neglecting those who have been absent for even one Sunday.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness by teaching more or less than the Word of God.

10. Thou shalt not covet the praise of men, for the Lord Himself shall reward thee and will repay thee 100-fold.

What Is a Sunday School Teacher?

Sunday school teachers are women or men who are kind and love to teach. They love children and understand what their students are trying to say even if their students don’t know quite how to say things.

Sunday school teachers know each of their students’ names when they see them. They enjoy spending time helping their students discover what God wants them to do with their gifts and abilities.

Sunday school teachers are the people who are always in class before their students arrive…no matter how early. They are the ones who love to show students who arrive early what a joy it is to serve the Lord by allowing their student to put song books on the chairs or pass out activity papers.

Sunday school teachers show their students how much they love God and the Bible. Their honesty about their own faults make their students sure that they can overcome their faults.

Sunday school teachers let their students find out things about God by playing games and researching things together. They also show their students how to make right choices in life by helping them find answers from the Bible. When students have questions, Sunday school teachers help their students find answers quickly.

Sunday school teachers go to the homes of their students and bring them books or pictures. They look at their students’ rooms and appreciate the cowboy pictures on their walls, their rock collections, or their doll collections.

Sunday school teachers know small details about their students…such as their dogs’ names.

Sunday school teachers are the people who stand beside the graves of children who had once been in their classes and, though their eyes are full of tears, they are glad that those students had accepted Jesus.

Sunday school teachers make their students’ parents happy because they let their children go to Sunday School.

Sunday school teachers are the ones students remember long after they have forgotten the aims of the lessons.

Sunday school teachers are part of their students lives. When students say, “That’s my teacher!” Those teachers are happy and smile.

Quotes About Tea

There’s no trouble so great that it cannot be diminished by a cup of tea.

If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.

It is strange how a teapot can represent (at the same time) the comforts of quietness, yet the pleasures of company.

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage back in time.
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

                                      Let’s Be Friends Forever

Come, let’s have some tea and talk about pleasant things. Let’s make our friendships stronger and invent ways to make our friendships grow. Let’s love each other more and continue to overlook each other’s mistakes. Let’s determine to help each other succeed. Let’s be friends forever.

A friend loveth at all times Proverbs 17:17

Parable of the Teacup

                                 Parable of the Teacup

A young couple was in a unique gift shop looking for the perfect gift to celebrate their engagement anniversary. Their eyes caught a perfectly beautiful teacup. As they talked about its fantastic beauty, they reached for the cup. Just then the teacup spoke and said, “You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was a lump of red clay. My master took me and molded me. He patted me over and over.”

“Let me alone!!” yelled the teacup. “Not yet,” said the master. He then placed me on a spinning wheel. I spun around and around and around. “Stop it! I’m getting dizzy! I cried.

Then the master nodded, “Not yet!” Finally the door opened. Wheeee! He put me on a shelf, and I began to cool. “There, that’s better,” I said. Suddenly he brushed me with paint all over. The fumes were so awful that I began to gag. “Stop it! Stop it!” I cried. He only nodded, “Not yet.” He then put me back in the oven. This oven was twice as hot as the first one. I just knew that I would suffocate. I begged and pleaded and screamed and cried. I could see through the opening that he was saying, “Not yet.” It was then that I gave up all hope. Suddenly the door opened, and he took me out of the oven and placed me on the shelf. About an hour later, he handed me a mirror and said, “Look at yourself.” I took the mirror and looked in it and said, “That’s not me. That couldn’t be me. Why, that’s beautiful.”

The master softly spoke these words to me, “I want you to always remember that I knew it would hurt you when I rolled and patted you, but if I had left you as you were, you would have dried up. I knew it made you dizzy to spin around the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew when I put you in the oven; it would be hot and uncomfortable. But you see, if I had not put you there, you would have cracked. I knew the fumes were horrible when I painted you, but if I had not painted you, you would have never hardened, and you would not have any color to your life. If I had not put you back in the second oven, you would not have survived very long, because your hardness would not have held together. Now you are a finished product. You are exactly what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

Ladies, we must remember that God might send difficult times into our lives, but He doesn’t do it because He hates us; He loves us very much. It may be during those times that you feel like screaming out, “Let me alone.” But, oh, think of His finished products. Your (products) lives will not only be beautiful, but they will be glorifying to Him.

The Parable of the Young Mother

The young mother placed her foot upon the path of life. “Is the way long?” she asked. And her guide said, “Yes, and the way is hard. You’ll be old before you reach the end of it, but the end will be better than the beginning.”

The young mother was happy, and she just couldn’t believe that anything would ever be better than these years. Along the way, she played with her children, gathered flowers with them, and bathed them in the clear streams. The sun shone down upon them and life was good. The young mother said, “Nothing will ever be better than this.”

But the night came, and the storm. The children shook with fear and were cold. But the mother drew them to her, and placed her arms around and covered them with her coat. The children said, “Mother, we’re not afraid for you’re here and no harm can come to us.”

That night the mother looked up at the stars and said, “This is better than the brightness of the day; for I have taught my children courage.”

The next day came and there was a hill ahead. The children climbed and grew weary, and the mother became tired and weary, but she smiled and said, “A little further and we’re there.”

That night the mother said, “This day has been better than the last. My children have learned fortitude in the face of hardship. Yesterday I gave them courage. Today I have given them strength.”

The third day came and there were storm clouds that overshadowed the earth. Clouds of war, and hate, and evil. The children stumbled and groped along the way, but the mother said. “Look up. Lift your eyes to the Light.” The children looked and saw beyond the clouds to an Everlasting Glory that guided them and brought them beyond the darkness.

That night the mother said, “This has been the best day of all for I have shown my children God.”

The days passed, and the weeks, and the months, and the years. The mother was old and she was little and bent, but the children were tall and strong and they walked with courage. When the way was hard they helped their mother, and when the way was rough, they lifted her.

As last, they came to the top of the hill and in the distance they could see a shining road with Golden Gates flung wide. The mother said, “I have come to the end of my journey, and now I know that the end is better than the beginning. For now my children can walk alone and their children after them.”

But the children said, “Mother, you will always walk with us, even when you have passed through the gates.” And they stood and watched as she went on alone and the gates closed after her.

But the children said, “Mother is with us still…for a mother like ours is more than a memory—she is a Living Presence.”

—Author Unknown