Tips to Quickly and Easily Polish Silver

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I wanted to share with you all my favorite polish for cleaning silver. I’ve tried a number of different products, but the one that works the quickest and requires the least amount of elbow grease from me (biggest bonus points, right there!) is Weiman Silver Polish. Pair the polish with a super soft cleaning cloth like these microfiber cloths from Amazon to prevent scratching the silver, and you’ll have a fantastic silver shine with very little effort!

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Are Christians Allowed to Judge Others?

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“Judge not lest ye be judged” is a Bible verse often thrown around these days – primarily, it seems, by non-Christians. Whenever a Christian dares to call sin, sin – even if it’s not directly pointing a finger at someone else – we’re treated to yet another reminder of this quote. But what does it really mean? Are we really never allowed to “judge” another? Are we supposed to go around afraid of speaking biblical truth to one another “lest we be judged”?

To begin, I think we should take a look at the entire passage in context:

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

Merely skimming over the verses, it does rather seem like we are told to never judge or we will be judged for doing so. But what does it really mean, when you dig into Jesus’ words? Are we really to stand aside and watch fellow believers wallow in sin and do nothing about it? Absolutely not! In fact, to do so would be in direct conflict with Jesus’ own commandments. If you continue reading, you will find that He goes on later in Matthew to say this:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (Emphasis mine.)

By Jesus’ own command, we are to go out into the world and teach others about His commandments, and this includes talking about sin, and making righteous judgements when necessary. There are many, many Bible passages that speak about righteous judgement. We can find clear instructions as to how to go about utilizing righteous judgement for the sake of restoration. Not only is righteous judgement acceptable, it is commanded and necessary.

Here are some dos and don’ts to follow when righteously judging others:

  • Don’t judge on appearances alone. (John 7:24)
  • Don’t judge before having all the facts. (1 Timothy 5:24-25)
  • Don’t judge hypocritically. (Matthew 7:5, Romans 2:1-3)
  • Don’t judge based solely on differences of opinion. (Romans 14:1-4)
  • Don’t be unjust or biased. (Leviticus 19:15)
  • Don’t condone wickedness by withholding judgement when it is necessary. (Proverbs 17:15, Revelation 2:20, Matthew 5:31-32, 2 Timothy 6:2-6)
  • Don’t withhold judgement when faced with clear, blatant evil. (Revelation 2:20, Matthew 5:31-32, 2 Timothy 6:2-6)
  • Do follow Paul’s command to use righteous judgement when fellow Christians persist in sin. (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
  • Do utilize judgement when there is conflict between brethren. (Corinthians 6:1-5)
  • Do judge with love and forgiveness. (Luke 6:37-38)
  • Do judge in a spirit of grace and mercy. (Matthew 12:7)
  • Do keep the Golden Rule in mind when you dole out righteous judgement. (Matt. 7:12)
  • Do remember that saving a man’s soul should be our primary concern. (James 5: 19-20)

Resources for a FREE Shel Silverstein Author Study

Our homeschool is gearing up for a new author study, so I thought I would share some free resources I have compiled. I hope you and your children enjoy this study as much as I know we will!

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Should Christians Watch or Read 50 Shades of Grey?

This movie has been a topic of much debate lately. There are those who love the movie and see nothing wrong with it. There are those who are indifferent and say, “To each, his (or, in this case, her) own. Live and let live!” Then there are those who are vehemently against it. I’m not going to lie to you – I am in the “vehemently against it” camp. It’s not because I think people should be persecuted for what they read. I’m not even suggesting that we ban the book, contrary to what some people may think. My views are solely that of a Christian with a biblical world view. What I have to say will probably be irrelevant to those who are not saved and do not care to be held accountable to God’s standards. If that is you, you might as well quit reading now. If, however, you are a follower of Christ then please read on.

First things first, let me start by saying that this isn’t just about 50 Shades of Grey. There is an entire genre of books and movies (and so much more) that caters to a similar mentality of promoting lust, perversion, adultery, pornography and…well, sexual sin of all sorts. It’s not an innocent book/movie when you are a Christian. God expects His followers to be above the world’s standards. We are told time and time again to rise above fleshly desires, including sexual sin.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Do you see what Paul is exhorting us to do there? We are not to be conformed to the patterns of this world. Our bodies are living sacrifices for the Lord. Think back to Old Testament times. Sacrifices and offerings were given for atonement of sin. The Hebrews would choose their firstfruits, spotless lambs, and the very best of their crops to give to the Lord. God deserves nothing but the best we can offer Him. Going even further, 1 Corinthians 6:19 tells us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the temple, or Tabernacle, was the Most High Place and the dwelling place of the Lord. Since Jesus’ death, our bodies have become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Knowing this, that our bodies are a sacrifice for the Lord and a temple for the Holy Spirit, how then can we ever justify partaking in such sexual sin? Should we fill the temple with thoughts of sexual immorality? Should pornography be the entertainment found within God’s temple? If those passages alone do not convict you, then I believe you will find the answer plain as day right here:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

You, my friend, are a child of the King. You are an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17). As such, your body is the dwelling place of the Lord here on earth. You are royalty! Your worth and value are defined not by the carnality and immorality of this world, but by God’s love for you, and Christ’s sacrifice to assure you a place in heaven. I encourage you to use Philippians 4:8 as the filter for everything in your life, from the books you read to the shows you watch to the conversations you have. Let’s strive to honor God in all we do!

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How to Restore Dry, Cracked Wood in Less Than 60 Seconds

My mother-in-law taught me this little trick and it’s worked wonderfully for me, so I thought I’d pass it along!

Here’s the before:

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And here’s the after:

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And here, my friends, is the magic weapon:

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Apply a liberal amount of Old English (you really can’t put on too much) and rub it in. That’s it! Quick, effective, and inexpensive. One little tip is to choose one rag and stick with it. Once you put the oil on a rag, it’s never coming out, so make that your permanent rag for this job. I keep the bottle of oil and rag together in a Ziplock bag, and that way I can grab and go when I need to polish my wood.

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Here are some more before and after pictures:

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Have a blessed day!

Tips for Growing Long, Healthy Hair

I have spent most of my life growing out my hair. In the last decade I’ve taken growing it out to cut it off and donating it to Locks of Love, then repeating. (My sweet eldest daughters have done it a combined total of 4 times!) I feel like I should preface this by saying that I am not a hair stylist or an expert by any means; however, I have learned a thing or two about growing long, healthy hair. 🙂 So, I thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve picked up over the years!

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Here’s my current hair length, just for reference. It’s nearly long enough to chop off and donate a fourth time!

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Tips for Growing Long, Healthy Hair

  1. You have to be healthy on the inside to be healthy on the outside, and that includes your hair! Drink plenty of water and take a good multivitamin. You’d be amazed at how quickly and effectively this can help make your hair healthier.
  2. Don’t wash your hair every single day. This thought may make some people cringe, but it’s true! Washing your hair every single day will wash out the natural oils that make your hair healthy and strong, and weaker hair is more susceptible to damage. Wash your hair every-other-day at the most. To avoid greasy-looking hair between washings, only use conditioner on the ends of your hair, not on the roots. You can also use some dry shampoo in between washings to keep your roots looking fresh. (This is my favorite brand.)
  3. Be sparing with the heat. Only use your blow dryer, curling iron and flat iron on special occasions. Let your hair dry naturally as often as possible to keep it healthy. When you simply must blow dry it, use the provided attachment to direct the air flow just where you need it, and pair it with a round brush with holes in it to let the air flow through as you dry it. Use warm air as opposed to hot, if your dryer has the option. If your hair is naturally curly or frizzy, I recommend using the diffuser attachment. I also recommend using a heat protectant, such as Nexus Heat Protexx Heat Protection Styling Spray.
  4. Be picky about the products you use. Try to avoid anything that has alcohol in it, as alcohol will dry out your hair and over time will damage it. Avoid perms and/or dyeing your hair, as the chemicals can be very damaging.
  5. Use a good brush. Natural bristle brushes are the best. Definitely avoid plastic bristles.
  6. Brush daily, but don’t over-brush. If you’re old enough, you may remember those movies and TV shows with women brushing their long locks 100 times a day. That’s a definite no-no! Only brush as many times as it takes to get out all the tangles, then call it good. Avoid brushing soaking wet hair, as that is when your hair is at its most vulnerable. Always brush hair from tips to root, to work out any tangles without ripping your hair.
  7. Trim often to avoid damaged ends. Talk with your stylist about how often you should trim your hair, as they will know best. (Personally, when I am actively growing out my hair I only trim it every 3-6 months, or when I start to notice split ends. I only trim it every 6-8 weeks when I am trying to maintain a certain length.) You can also cut your own hair at home, if you’re comfortable enough. (This is the tutorial I use.)
  8. Use safe hair accessories. Use hair ties and clips that won’t rip or damage your locks. Avoid rubber bands or metal snap clips as they can catch and tear your hair.
  9. Braid it before going to bed. (My personal favorite is a Dutch braid.) Not only will this provide you with some great loose waves if you don’t have time or don’t feel like styling your hair, but it will also keep your hair from getting messy and knotted as you toss and turn at night.

I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any other recommendations, feel free to share in the comment section below!