3 Things That Will Help You Sleep Better This Winter

Life is busy, and it goes fast. Sleep is the one time we have a break from it all. Studies show that sleeping more sharpens your brain, improves your mood, promotes heart health, and so much more. It’s important, so we have to make each hour we get count! I’m going to give you 3 things that will guarantee you a better, more restorative rest each night.

 

 

  • Don’t Drink Caffeinated Beverages Late in the Day

 

Caffeine energizes our bodies, stimulating our nervous systems and making us buzz with energy. While this is great when we’re getting our start to the day, it makes it much harder for us to fall asleep and then rest well once we are asleep. Limit your caffeine intake 6 to 8 hours before you go to bed.

 

 

  • Try to Go to Bed and Wake Up at the Same Time

 

Our bodies have circadian rhythms that function on a loop. If we stay consistent, we are much more likely to stay asleep longer and, therefore, wake up more refreshed.

 

 

  • Sleep on a Comfortable Mattress, Bed, and Comforter

 

Bed quality is such an important factor in our sleep that we often overlook. The right

mattress effects good quality sleep to make sure you wake up rejuvenated and ready to seize the day! You should change your mattress every 5 to 8 years. Some might think this is the hardest fix (mattresses are so expensive, after all), but there are so many cost efficient ways to buy mattresses and such online.

 

Change your habits to secure your sleep. Sweet Dreams, Reader!

3 Things That Will Help You Sleep Better

3 Things That Will Help You Sleep Better

Life is busy, and it goes fast. Sleep is the one time we have a break from it all. Studies show that sleeping more sharpens your brain, improves your mood, promotes heart health, and so much more. It’s important, so we have to make each hour we get count! I’m going to give you 3 things that will guarantee you a better, more restorative rest each night.

 

 

  • Don’t Drink Caffeinated Beverages Late in the Day

 

Caffeine energizes our bodies, stimulating our nervous systems and making us buzz with energy. While this is great when we’re getting our start to the day, it makes it much harder for us to fall asleep and then rest well once we are asleep. Limit your caffeine intake 6 to 8 hours before you go to bed.

 

 

  • Try to Go to Bed and Wake Up at the Same Time

 

Our bodies have circadian rhythms that function on a loop. If we stay consistent, we are much more likely to stay asleep longer and, therefore, wake up more refreshed.

 

 

  • Sleep on a Comfortable Mattress

 

Bed quality is such an important factor in our sleep that we often overlook. The right

mattress effects good quality sleep to make sure you wake up rejuvenated and ready to seize the day! You should change your mattress every 5 to 8 years. Some might think this is the hardest fix (mattresses are so expensive, after all), but there are so many cost efficient ways to buy mattresses online. 

 

Change your habits to secure your sleep. Sweet Dreams, Reader!

How to Choose the Right Church

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV)

With a lot of scandals happening in churches all over the world, it is becoming hard to find the right church.

Be very careful when looking for a local church because the kind of place you go to worship God will have a significant impact on your spiritual life.

Now some people think going to church is optional but that is not true. The church was purchased with the blood at the cross because God wants us to fellowship with other believers. So belonging to a local church is very important.

But how does one choose the right church?

Ask God for Guidance

Before going out to look for a church, ask God to order your steps. He knows the best churches around your area that can help you grow spiritually.

Praying seems to be an obvious step, but it is the most critical step because God knows what goes on in every church. You may get fooled easily by the excellent treatment you get when you visit particular churches, but God knows what goes on in the hearts of people who fellowship in that church.

A Word Based Church

Look for a church that is word-based that is one that does not stray from the word of God.

Today many people are flocking to churches with preachers who preach messages that make the congregants feel good. But the word of God is not meant to make us feel good about ourselves. It is supposed to correct, rebuke, and encourage people. (2 Timothy 4:2)

The preachers in the church you go to should preach about salvation, grace, holiness, and the coming judgment.

Some preachers only preach messages that bring fear in people’s heart so that they can instill fear and control the congregation. You need to be wary of that. The word of God is not meant to bring demonic fear in our hearts for God does not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind. 

Leadership

We are living in dangerous times where false preachers have crept into the church. They want to confuse innocent people by teaching them wrong doctrines so that Christians can fall away from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The good thing is we judge true believers by the fruits they bear.

Ask your heavenly Father to give you the gift of discernment so that you can be able to differentiate true church leaders from false ones.

Ministry

We do not just go to church to be ministered to and then leave.

The church you go to should be a place that helps you to develop your calling.  God has given us different gifts. A good church will encourage you to build and grow your gifts by creating opportunities where you can serve. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

The truth is there is no perfect church out there, but with God’s help, you will be able to find a place where you will learn more about God and grow spiritually. Go to a church where people worship God in spirit and truth.

How to Serve Others like Jesus

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV)

Every Christian is called to serve others.

But let’s be honest, it takes grace and a lot of patience for us to serve other people diligently.

In a world where people want others to help them get to the top, it is hard to commit yourself to help others without expecting anything in return. But biblically, we are supposed to do everything as unto the Lord, and that includes serving others. (Colossians 3:23)

The Bible does not ask us to help others when we feel like; it tells us to do it the way Jesus served us. Serve other people in your household, church, community, nation, and the world at large.

Here is how you can serve others like Jesus:

Add Value in other People’s Lives

Instead of serving others for personal gains, focus on adding value in their lives. Find out their needs and then help them out.

Jesus came on earth to serve us not to be served. Though he was fully God, he left heaven and came on earth to save humanity because he cared and loved us the same way his father did.

God has given you gifts so that you can use them to serve people that genuinely need your help.

Be Caring Towards Others

Jesus genuinely cared about people. While Christ had a lot on his plate, he did not focus on checking tasks off his to-do list. Jesus cared so much that he stopped and attended to the woman with the issue of blood even though he was headed to Jairus’ house. (Luke 8:40-48)

Have a genuine interest in people around you.

Listen to them when they talk and make inquiries about how they are faring on from time to time. Instead of putting other people down build their confidence with the word of God. Let care be part of your everyday life.

Follow God’s Leading

Ever wondered why Jesus was able to do so much in a short period?

Jesus did only what his father told him to do. (John 12:49)

But how did he know what his father wanted? He used to pray. Our Lord used to rise early or separate himself from people so that he could spend time with his father.

During prayer time, listen to your heavenly father so that he can lead you in the way you should go. He will show you who to help and how to help them best. As you carry out your tasks in the day, don’t let your busy schedule to overshadow your relationship with God. That way, you will be able to hear him when he prompts you to help.

We need to be imitators of Jesus Christ, and one of the ways that we can imitate him is by serving others. But let us always serve others to glorify God, not man. We will not do it correctly, but by God’s grace, we will be able to make a difference in the world.

Honor God by Living a Healthy, Christian Lifestyle

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31(NIV)

When people look at us, they should see Christ living in us.

Yes, we will fall many times, but that should not stop us from honoring God with our lives.

Our major goal as Christians should be to lead lifestyles that honor our heavenly Father. The way we live should match our faith.  Why? It makes other people who are not Christians to want to be like us, to be Christ-like.

Most of us like to quote scripture and speak about Jesus. It is not bad; it is the right thing to do. But the truth is people, especially worldly people judge us based on our lifestyle. When our lives don’t match our faith, they end up thinking that Christianity is for people who don’t practice what they preach.

So, how do we honor God through our lifestyles?

Take Good Care of yourself

Your body is a temple of God; you need to take good care of it.

Eat healthy food, drink enough water, and exercise so that you can be fit enough to carry out the assignments God has for you.

We see people changing their bad eating habits because of their loved ones. That’s great, but what if we went a step further and took care of our bodies as a way of honoring God?

Sounds great right?

We should not stop at eating right and exercising regularly. We need to also protect our minds by filtering what we watch and read. We should fill our minds with the word of God.  Some things may not see harmful now but will harm you later. Remember, the eyes are the lamp of the body.

Surround yourself with the right people

Are your close friends’ followers of Jesus Christ? What do they love doing in their free time?

The people you hang out with will influence you positively or negatively, so you have to be careful about your circle of friends (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Walking out of some relationships may be hard, but it is better to drop some friends than to allow them to lead us stray and cause us to stumble in our spiritual walk. Glorify God by being around people who love and worship him.

It is easy to get caught up with so many things that we may forget to honor God with our lifestyle. But there is more to Christianity than just reading the bible, praying and going to church. Our lifestyles need to be a reflection of our faith in the Lord.

Ask God to help you live a life that honors him. When you fall, don’t remain down, get up, and keep the good fight of faith. You’re not the only one that is going through challenges; every Christian is struggling with something. But remember, at the end of it all, we shall receive the crown of life.

It is not easy, but God is on our side; we shall make it.

Treat yourself and others right. Rest, eat right, read, and watch things that build you up spiritually, and surround yourself with the right people. Lay your life down for Christ, and God will lift you up.

4 Cheap, Fun Summer Activities You Can Do

If you’re like me, the first thing I think of when the summer comes is road trips, hotel stays, and a tight bank account. However, summer doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, summer activities shouldn’t put a strain on your finances at all. With a little creativity, one can have a fantastic summer without spending too much money.

Let’s look at four awesome summer activities for all ages:

Budget-Friendly Summer Activities

  1. Drive-In Movies. The regular price for a drive-in movie is around seven dollars for adults, which already beats regular movie theater prices by half. Drive-in movies are great budget-friendly options because not only are the tickets cheaper, but you can bring your own snacks. Sometimes drive-in movie theaters even have free movie nights in the summer, and nothing is cheaper than free!
  2. Camping in your Backyard. Have you ever wanted to camp but also have your own certified-clean bathroom and easy access to all your favorite foods and drinks? Camping in the backyard is the way to go. It’s a perfect option for homebodies, people with young children, or people with pets. If you don’t have an outdoor tent, you can always get creative in the living room with pillows and blankets, instead.
  3. Picking fruit at an Orchard. Who doesn’t love fresh fruit in the summer? Picking fruit isn’t a completely free activity, but for a low admission cost and the cost of the fruit, you’ve got a rewarding summer afternoon activity. The best part is that you go home with pounds of fruit for eating, dessert-making, or canning.
  4. Free Museum Days. If you’re looking to get out of the hot, summer sun for a while, local museums could be the answer to your problems. Not only are they temperature controlled, but they’re educational and affordable. Most museums offer free admission days either weekly or once a month for people who are keeping budget in mind.

Having Budget-Friendly Fun

Whether you’re paying off debt, saving for a bigger trip, or simply have a lot of expenses, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your budget in mind when it comes to summer activities. What’s your favorite cheap summer activity?

4 Encouraging Bible Verses for Hard Times

Ever wish life could be peaceful, free from; fear, sickness, failures, trials and temptations?

Well, we all want that, but we live in a fallen world.

There will be times of increase, good health, and promotions. There will also be moments of frustration, failure and disappointment.

But God has given us his word to encourage and uplift us in difficult times, to correct us when we mess up and to build our faith. Focus on scriptures and believe that God will come through for you the way he has promised.

Here are four bible verses that will encourage you in hard times;

When Dealing With Anxiety

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6(NIV)

Are you feeling anxious?

Well, here is the thing, worrying won’t change your situation; it will only leave you depressed.

Paul encourages us to pray about every situation in this verse. 

Turn the big and small stuff you are worried about to God in prayer. Stop trying to fix everything on your own. Surrender them to God and thank God for handling your situation. He loves you and is always ready to help you.

Keep believing in Him, and he will never let you down. 

When You Are Afraid

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6(NIV)

We all deal with different kinds of fear.

The devil keeps bombarding us with thoughts of death, failure and shame. There are also different kinds of experiences, new ventures and responsibilities that leave us fearful. We wonder if we will measure up or if people will like us.

The truth is we will never get rid of fear, but we can face these challenges courageously because God is with us. Don’t be afraid of people, the devil or situations that seem impossible.

Be strong and do what is required of you. God is with you. He is helping you through it all.

No, you don’t see him, and you may not feel his presence, but he is there, and he will not abandon you.

When you are in Trouble

And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.

Psalms 50:15 (NIV)

Whom do you run to when in trouble?

Do you go to the experts, friends, family or God?

Well, it is not wrong to ask for help from people, but it is better to run to God first. Honestly, most of us see God as our last option when he should be the first.

Run to him in your day of trouble. He has promised to deliver you and not just that by the time he is done, you will know that God is almighty and he is who he says he is.

When Going Through Trials

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 (NIV)

The word of God doesn’t promise us an easy life.

We will go through different trials and temptations in this world.

Don’t give up in the middle of trial and even if things don’t change now; we are promised great things in eternity. Love God and persevere. At the end of it all, you will receive the crown of life.

The enemy would like to make you believe that you are the only one that is going through trials, but that is not true. Know that every believer is going through various kinds of trials, but it is only those who endure to the end that will be crowned.

Don’t give up stand firm in God’s word. He loves you and is with you through it all.

3 Reasons Why You Need to Build Godly Friendships

3 Reasons Why You Need to Build Godly Friendships

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)

Can you honestly say you have genuine friends? Or are the people you chat with on social media the only friends you have in real life?

Well, relationships are very important, and all through the Bible, we are encouraged to build healthy relationships.

If you don’t have any godly friends know that is never too late to start building such relationships.

Will it be easy?

No, creating new friendships is very challenging, especially for adults. Friendships are built with time, and they need commitment. Care needs to be taken because some people pretend to be believers, but they are wolves in sheep clothing.

Ask God to help you choose the right friends. He is the only one who knows people’s hearts. (Proverbs 22:24-25)

If you are a Christian loner that is struggling with the idea of having friends, here are three reasons why you need to build godly relationships;

Source of Encouragement

Look, the Christian life is not easy.

There will good and bad times. We are in a war with a real enemy who wants to destroy us.

The right friends will build you up when you are down. Since they are going through the same struggles, they will be there to help you.

There will be moments when you will feel like giving up, but your godly friend will hold your hand and help you to stand firm in the word. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

With a lot of negative stuff being shared in the media and online, one can become discouraged easily, especially when going through hard times. Friends will hold you and help you to pull through the bad times.

They will encourage you to stand firm in the word and continue in it.

Godly Counsel

There are times we don’t know what to do in certain situations. Other times we may know what to do but, we don’t know how to go about it, or we may need a push from people who love us. That is where good friends come in.

Good friends will give us godly counsel. (Proverbs 27:17)

They will not tell you things that you want to hear. Instead, they will ensure to give advice that is backed up by scripture.

Accountability

A godly friend will not be afraid of asking you tough questions. Since they care about you, they will want to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

They will not judge you for making mistakes but will help you to remain true to your faith because they also care about where you will spend eternity. (Galatians 2:11-14)

The right friends will help you to grow in your spiritual walk. You will have people that will help you pray, and when you mess up, they will be there to build you up and help you see that you are in the wrong path through scripture.

Finding the right friends that love God is not an easy thing but will God’s help and guidance from the Holy Spirit you will connect with the right people that will help you, and you will also help them.

Four Ways Routines Help with Stress

Anxiety and stress love chaos. When you’re already feeling overwhelmed, anxious thoughts can sneak in and make everything so much worse. The best way to combat those feelings is to set up routines. A routine can be as simple as the order you do things in the morning before work or as complex as laying out a monthly production schedule. Whichever one you do, once it’s finished, you’ll feel loads better.

Let’s talk about the benefits of developing a routine:

Four Ways Routines Help with Stress

  1. It gives you a system. When your life is chaotic, your mind is chaotic. This can lead to decision fatigue. Should you shower before breakfast? When should you take the dogs out in the morning? If you write out a morning routine, those little, exhausting questions are answered, and your brain is freed from juggling all your responsibilities at the same time.
  2. It puts you on autopilot. Have you ever left work and spaced out the whole drive back to your house? It’s okay if you have, because this is an example of autopilot. Autopilot’s major benefit is allowing you to multitask, but it is also a routine that lowers your stress levels. If you think of your brain as a computer and yourself as a programmer, the more daily tasks you can program into autopilot, the less you have to stress about.
  3. Frees your mind. Once you have routines in place, your mind is free to work on other projects. If you want to not only be less stressed but also more productive, developing functional routines is the key. When we turn tasks into autopilot routines, we complete them faster and more efficiently than we would have by using our active brain.
  4. Helps you feel in control. Last, routines and rituals help you feel in control, which is the direct opposite of how anxiety makes you feel. There are so many things we can’t control in this life that being able to know where our keys are in the morning can go a long way in reducing stress levels.

Moving Forward with Routines

If you’re looking to establish new routines, the best way to get started is by listing all your morning tasks and arranging them into your first routine. It can feel strange at first, but after a week of having an established routine, you will be able to feel a difference in your stress levels.

4 Ways To Reduce Your Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point. For some people, anxiety is a temporary, passing feeling. For others, anxiety can be a daily struggle. Seventy percent of adults in the United States have reported feeling stressed or anxious every single day.

Let’s talk about four ways to lessen your anxiety right now:

4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Right Now

  1. Accept your Anxiety. The truth is, you can’t avoid the feeling of anxiety. Anxiety is natural, and accepting that you’re going to feel anxious sometimes is the first step to moving forward.
  2. Take some DEEP breaths. Make sure you’re breathing. When we get anxious, we tend to take short, quick breaths which can worsen our anxiety. Instead, when you feel  your heart racing, take deep breaths to activate your body’s relaxation response.
  3. Burn Essential Oils. When it comes to anxiety, nature’s got your back. There are plenty of essential oils that are soothing to our bodies, and burning them or rubbing them on your wrists can reduce the feelings of anxiety. Some of these essential oils are lavender, rose, and bergamot.
  4. Exercise. I know this one seems contradictory, but adding physical stress can lower mental stress. Taking a walk when you feel anxiety coming on is great, but adding regular exercise is even better. Exercise naturally lowers your stress hormones and releases endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers.

Bonus: Observe Your Surroundings

If you’re all the way in an anxiety attack, take a moment to observe your surroundings using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Observe:

  • 5 things you can see (your feet, the door, your puppy)
  • 4 things you can physically feel (the ground, a breeze)
  • 3 things you can hear (the television, birds chirping)
  • 2 things you can smell (lavender candle, coffee)
  • 1 thing you can taste (a mint, gum, the fresh air)

The Bottom Line

Even though anxiety can be a daily struggle, there are plenty of ways to reduce anxiety in the short term and in the long term. The best way to combat anxiety is to take yourself away from the source of stress. Acceptance, deep breathing, and essential oils can relieve your stress in the moment, and an exercise routine can reduce your stress overall.