New Book by blogger Josh Hood

3d_j_250x400I am introducing a new book by my good friend, Josh Hood.
 
What circumstances in your life right now would you call “bad”?
 
Maybe it’s a health condition. The doctor walked in and rocked your world with three little words: “You have cancer.” Or maybe a heart attack left you flat on your back saying, “Oh, that’s not good.”
 
Maybe it’s a financial need. You lost your job and you sit at a kitchen table littered with bills and invoices, running your fingers through your hair, and thinking, “Oh, that’s not good.”
Maybe it’s a strained relationship. A friendship you never thought would fall apart did. A marriage you thought was strong wasn’t. Your heart is broken, your cheeks are tear stained, and you’re crying out, “Oh, that’s not good!”
 
But maybe it’s not health, finances, or relational issues that are making you unhappy.
 
Maybe it’s something else. Whatever it is, it’s the part of your life that would not have been written this way if you were writing the story.
 
We look at these parts of our lives and label them “bad.” But I’ve discovered you and I are terrible at evaluating what is good or bad.
 
Some of God’s greatest blessings in your life are the times He has messed up your plans. Maybe you should write that down and stick it on your refrigerator, on your desk, or in your car.
 
That way, when things don’t go the way you planned and you’re tempted to label something bad, you can remember this truth.
 
God doesn’t mess up your plans out of vengeance or spite. He does it out of mercy.
Sometimes the worst things that happen to you are the best things that happen to you.
 
Blessings in Disguise is a reminder of God’s infinite sovereignty, even in the midst of pain, problems, and unwanted circumstances.
I hope you laugh. I hope you cry. But most of all, I hope you never see your problems the same way again.
 
Read his blogs here www.joshuamhood.com
 
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Four IPad tricks to use today!

imagesSo you may be getting a new IPad for Christmas but you aren’t for sure about the features to utilize or maybe, to discover, I picked up my IPad in March 2012 and use it everyday for pleasure and for business. You will want to load the Adobe Reader, Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter, Smart Office 2, Kindle reader and LinkedIn from the ITunes Store on your first day of ownership. These items are the basic tools I use nearly everyday.

Transferring Your Desktop Files I Use Dropbox for my backup storage of important files on my desktop. Once Dropbox is loaded on your IPad (again, go to the ITunes store and download the app), also, go to the Dropbox website (Dropbox.com) and download the desktop version. Copy and paste the files you want in Dropbox. Now, go to your IPad and click on the Dropbox app – there are your files ready to open, view, and read. (I am assuming your IPad has a WiFi connection).

Creating an App Find a website you like to visit often but there isn’t an app available? Simply go to the website in your Safari browser. Once you have located the Home page of the website then go to the top left of your browser, there will be a small box with an arrow proceeding to the right of the box. Click on it and it will bring up a Mail selection you can email the link to someone) or send the page to Twitter, Facebook or other selections. Go to Add to Home Screen (the App is illustrated for you), click it and it will add the App to your Home screen.

ICloud I personally like to backup my information on the cloud (a remote server) so I have went to the settings app, scrolled down till I found ICloud, selected Storage and Backup and made sure ICloud was turned on. On the previous page select the programs you wish to backup, use sparingly, you only receive 5.0 GB free (you can purchase more later if you choose). I definitely wanted my Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Find my IPad, Photo Stream and Documents and Date in the ON position. Lose your IPad or upgrade later and you will be able to go to the ICloud for your information.

One more trick, get a protective cover. A friend of mine put his IPad on the top of his car, he forgot about it, until his wife called later after she had driven off, the IPad had slid down the back of the car onto the pavement, however, upon recovery, nothing was broken. Get a cover, today!

Comment: What is an IPad trick you use regularly?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Facebooks Changes to Make Today

Qq6L1haQrYrFacebook  should have been named, “New Face Look” with the multiple changes and upgrades made over the last year. Some have been incremental others detrimental and others, just plain “mental!” Before you throw in the towel and give up on Facebook remember it is a unique contact book for finding your friends and sending them a quick message or seeing the 20 millionth picture of their grandkids, (ok, I plead, “guilty”).

Very quickly, let’s make three basic changes to your Facebook to help you feel a little more secure, have a little more sanity and have a little more ease when using Facebook.

I am using my IPad and on the top left of the News Feed on Facebook are three short horizontal bars. Click on it and you will find a long list of Favorites, Pages, Friends, Groups, Apps, and a few Account choices. Go to Account Settings and click to open. A new page will open with a list containing General, Notifications, Privacy etc., go to Privacy. Now, you will make three important choices:

Control Privacy When You Post You have three selections to choose to who you wish to post to; Public, Friends or Custom. I chose Friends; only the friends I have accepted to my Facebook account will see what I post.

Timeline and Tagging Who can post on your timeline? Here you can choose who can read your Timeline and who can Post on your Timeline. The one selection I made here I believe is worth repeating is the third question down, Review posts friends tag you in on your timeline. I selected ON. I want to be able to select the pictures and tags before they are posted on my Timeline.

Blocked People and Apps Click on Manage blocking and a new page should appear. This is a permanent block that keeps hackers, spammers or “just plain rude” people from coming to your Facebook page.

Comment: Have you found this post helpful? Are there changes you have made to your Facebook account that you would like to share?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author

Five Free Fun Apps

Ipads are a unique breed allowing for business, video, social media and reading. It isn’t just a book – it is a tool. It isn’t just a video player – it is a machine. While it is a productive piece of computer genius it includes the “lazy Saturday afternoon” ability to be a fun destination.

You can plan a trip to Colorado, watch the mountain webcams, choose your destination and make reservations and you can  watch videos of snow boarders while sitting at a coffee shop. All the while holding a computer the size of a small book. While the Ipad can be a serious productive tool, showing up where orders can be taken, pulpits and speaker stands, and classrooms. You can watch an Ipad, listen to an Ipad, search with an Ipad, play games with your Ipad, research with your Ipad, draw with your Ipad and the list goes on.

I have found five free fun apps that connect the Ipad to the recreational side when your waiting, sitting, doodling or taking a break. Here you go…

Flipboard I know you will want Facebook and Twitter but what if you could get both plus, USA Today, New York Times, Instagram and Technology News in one package. You can on Flipboard. It combines these and more into a magazine style app that you flip from page to page. You can LIKE, comment and Tweet articles and email from Flipboard. It has been advertised as a “social magazine.” It comes in an attractive format and can be downloaded from Itunes. It is free and it is fun but it also, complete.

YouVersion If you enjoy reading while you wait or relax then download YouVersion, the Bible app that allows for groups, bookmarks, notes and limited video lessons. You can use it as a social connector to find Bible groups in your area and you can share your favorite verse on Twitter and Facebook. It comes with different versions and allows for audio listening. It is also available for the IPhone.

TuneIn Radio If you would rather listen than read follow this link to this most comprehensive radio app. Allows for you to choose your favorite genre, station or location. Plays your favorites and gives you the opportunity to share on Twitter, Facebook or email the link. Here is the cool part. You can set your alarm to the station you choose and wake up to music or the news. Available for Iphone and Ipad.

Golfplan There may be several golf apps but this one includes instructional videos to help improve your game. Record your progress, analyze your strengths and weaknesses, plus sync with your calendar for upcoming tee times. Sign in and record your progress and sync between the Ipad and Iphone app. I downloaded for free but I just checked Itunes and the app now has a $4.99 charge.

TripAdvisor Either plan your next trip or dream of far off places with Tripadvisor, the leading authority on travel information. Find motels, restaurants and nearby things to do with ratings, price s and reviews. You can search flights but there are other apps that serve this purpose more adequately. Tripadvisor is one of the finest and most read advice reviews for travel. There is a forum you can join for conversations and information about your choice travel destinations.

Comment: What are some of your favorite fun apps??

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

Three Changes to Make Today

People talk about change, they even talk about changing. If we are to see change, we must change. To change others we must change ourself. But where do I begin? Step into these three changes to make today.

Change usually begins with me and usually begins with small things rather than large. To begin change I must begin today and I must be clear about the changes I am going to make. Here are three changes to make today.

Give without Return Oftentimes we invest for return but when it comes to giving of money, life, or service when was the last time you freely gave without expecting something in return? The ability to give a ten-dollar bill without payback? To serve someone who can’t repay you? To be there for them knowing they won’t return the favor? Giving without return doesn’t make sense financially but it makes great sense emotionally because the joy of giving is the joy of not expecting a return – you gave a whole-hearted gift – without the expectation of feeling someone owes you now.

Love without Justification Giving a hug to someone who doesn’t deserve it may mean more to you than to them but do it anyway. Love is not always a two-way street – loving someone who doesn’t care for you – is the utmost height of love. Love is unselfish, is not demanding and expects the best. Love doesn’t qualify the other but it gives a hint of worth and builds value. To love the unlovely, to love the undeserving and to love the spiteful is in itself the greatest gift. Love is kind, love is mature and love reaches out.

Pray without Demands Praying with a bitter spirit, “Why don’t you…” or “Why did you…” doesn’t hurt God as much as it hurts us. There are answers but sometimes we aren’t  ready for answers. Let’s approach God with thankfulness and gratitude. Thank Him for what you do have. Thank Him for what He has saved you from. Thank Him for His life changing love. Pray without a list today and keep your list for tomorrow. But today, I will thank God for love, freedom, mercy, and more.

Three simple steps that could change today and tomorrow.

Comment Below:What would you change today?

Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

Quiet Time

Quiet time is an essential part of my day but I don’t do it like most. This quiet time pattern has helped me to accomplish more in the first two hours of the day so I can be fresh. alert and prepared for the rest of the day. This is how my morning is orchestrated.

Breakfast My wife and I enjoy oatmeal and coffee in the morning, sometimes with a piece of toast and juice. It gives us time to communicate and be together before she scurries off to her job each morning.

Bible My Bible, highlighter, coffee cup and I go to the back porch for a time of reading, reflection and alignment. Readjustment each morning into God’s perfect will is necessary to get the right perspective on the day.

Breathing Prayer is breathing. Prayer is the ability to breathe in the presence of God and exhale my stress, anxieties and concerns. There are things to exhale and there are things to inhale. I inhale His righteousness, His magnificence and His awesome greatness. As a mountain climber on a Highpoint of the mountain takes in the beautiful scenery and breathes in the cool crisp air, so do I.

Bending This is my exercise routine, jogging, walking, doing setups or a mixture of the three. My physical routine is to make the beds, straighten up the house, wash dishes and wash a load of clothes. Getting this down to an hours time has been difficult but I blend each chore in with another making each go simpler and quicker.

Balance  I write. Usually throughout the night and the early morning has already given me an aura of thought for my morning blog.  Usually an outline has been posted in my mind or in a short note to myself. Reaching out to the online community with inspiration and knowledge is a passion of mine so most mornings I am fresh with ideas to post. Most of the time I post a day or two ahead of time. I balance this with checking my Twitter posts @jlaudell and Facebook posts. Writing additional blogs, material or columns may come throughout the day.

Banking Balancing my personal and business accounts isn’t a daily routine but this is the time I would do it. Being an organizer – I need to know where I am financially on a weekly basis. It only takes a few minutes to check my accounts online.

Basics This is essential – scheduling your day makes for a better day. Planning for the day, checking and returning emails, and creating a list of phone calls to be made or to return.

This entire morning quiet time takes me about two hours but saves me many hours throughout the day. I feel fresh and prepared for the rest of the day.

Comment Below:How do you celebrate your mornings?

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Copyright by Jim Laudell.  Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

Stepping Towards Your Dream

Yesterday two people expressed their dream and both were frustrated as to how to get to their dream. Both had strong passion for their dream and had even taken baby steps towards it but both felt they weren’t making much progress towards fulfilling their dream.

There are several types of dreams, the first being what I call, a term dream, I would like to buy a house to fix up, I would like to begin college classes for nursing, I would like to start jogging. Each of these have term limits, they can begin and end today without much preparation.

The second type of dream is the passion dream. The passion dream rises and falls with events, people and places. It can only be accomplished within a certain dynamic, it is confined to where I am, who I am with and the event of circumstances around me. I want to be a foster parent, I want to direct the Annual Kids Day Event, or I want to be the Assistant Pastor at this church.

Thirdly, is the life dream. The life dream is best described as “I was created for this.” This is your life purpose. It may come now or later, it may be huge or small but it is definitely filled with contentment, peace and inner joy in finding the perfect place in God’s will for your life. It may be a mission endeavor, a project or a ministry but when you find it – there is no question that you found it.

Here are a few steps in reaching for your dream.

Pray about the dream. If the dream really burns in your heart then the dream should burn in your prayers. Talk to God about it and bring Him on board with the accomplishment of it.He may refine the dream, redo the dream or revive the dream but God is necessary to bringing your dream to pass.

Save towards the dream. Let’s face it – most dreams take money. Begin to set aside an amount of money that you need to see the dream accomplished. It may be a small amount but miracles happen – don’t be surprised at the multiplication of your savings. Once while saving for a mission trip a lady matched my initial deposit. God doubled my effort in one day.

Step toward the dream. What are the baby steps you need to take to begin your dream. Going to college? ask for an application, talk to the registrar, ask about available grants, etc. Writing a book? write down a synopsis of your book, collect your information, write an outline, today. Make a few calls, write a few letters, go to the right places, step toward your dream.

Research your dream. Don’t come to the end and end up being surprised. Study, read, Google and collect information about your project, book, trip, or mission. Everything you need to know about your dream – you need to know about your dream, research it.

Do the dream. Don’t be afraid to stair step to your dream. If the dream can be further developed by being in a certain position – stair step towards the dream. Take little steps towards your dream and the big steps.

Develop your dream. Begin taking the necessary steps to make it happen. Be careful who you tell your dream to – some are dream stealers, some are dream duplicators, and others are dream destroyers. Stand behind your dream, no matter how many people tell you they may never come into your life. Share it with someone you trust exclusively. Seek counsel from those who have done it or something like it.

Visualize your dream. See yourself doing your dream. Put up a picture of your dream. Write it down so you can see your dream everyday. “I would like to lead a __________________.”  Putting before your eyes causing the dream to become foremost in your thoughts.

Comment Below: What are you doing today that will move you towards your dream?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. This blog post should not be considered as counseling or mental advice. Please, seek the help of a professional. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

Ten Commandments for Facebook

If you wouldn’t want it shared about you then don’t share about them

Expressions of curses words and sexual connotations are not acceptable

A discussion is not a debate

If you forgive others misspellings – they will forgive you

Logout or be hacked

Share and LIKE and you will be shared and LIKED

Vent only if you don’t regret it in the morning

Facebook is for friends – the unfriendly will be deleted

Some friends need a phone call or a sit down visit rather than a comment

Don’t check up on your friends without a prayer for them

Comment Below: Can you add one more?

Copyright by Jim Laudell. Materials may not be copied, reproduced or distributed without the written permission from the author. You may share on Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media while giving credit to the author.

IPad Creations

Ever looked for an app of one of your favorite online sites only to be disappointed because it is not created yet? It is a hassle to go to the browser, type in the location, then wait for it to download. Seems to me there should be a quicker or easier way – now there is on the IPad 3.

This happened to me. I was frequently going to the same site, I bookmarked it but would have rather went to my home screen to click on the app and bring up the site. Now I found what I was looking for and it was right under my nose.

Go to your Safari browser on your IPad3 and go to the site that you frequently go to by typing in the address or clicking your bookmark. Once you are there; go to the symbol of a little box with the arrow proceeding out of the top, you will notice under Add a Bookmark, the words, Add to Home Screen. Click and it will add an app to your home screen – now, when you click on the app it will quickly go to your favorite site.

Comment below: Are there other creative ways to use this Add to Home Screen button?

Copyrighted by Jim Laudell. Material contained in this post cannot be reproduced or copied without permission from the author.

Family Fun

The most bonding of all family events is having fun together. Laughing, throwing a ball, a picnic, vacation, surprise visit, birthday parties, and a long list of a lot more. We all stake our claim to busyness but we need some funny business going on in our family life.

Taking the children for a walk, a trip to the zoo, a children’s event, pizza or camping out in the living room are once in a lifetime events  children and families will remember forever. Take the camera or a video camera and get double the fun by doing popcorn and a video the following weekend. Turn off the TV, set your voicemail to pick up business after your trip out and have fun. One of the greatest investments we made was a condo on the lake that we frequent with our family. Skype the relatives that live a far distance from you and let the children visit with relatives you wouldn’t normally see very often.

Fun is spelled Forever – the time you will have will indelibly be etched in a child’s memory forever. Unique – the different, outlandish and sometimes, odd will make the most impact. Not expensive –  fun doesn’t have to cost very much. Look for the free or inexpensive family oriented events in your area. Make a list that can be referred to from time to time.

Let’s get started this weekend.