Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Overcoming Ministry Burnout

Do you ever feel like ministry has become a job instead of a joy?

Does the term "burnt out" ever slip across your lips when you are thinking about all the things you have to do, even if you are doing them for the glory of God?

Let's face it - sometimes serving in any ministry capacity can be stressful!  But there are things we can do to avoid reaching the point where we are ready to throw in the towel.

On Wednesday, September 19th, I will be featured over at WomensMinistry.net, sharing a One Minute video on How To Avoid Ministry Burnout, including a free handout with 10 Keys To Avoiding Ministry Burnout. 

There will also be 3 chances to win a copy of my new book Stressed-Less Living.

So hop over there and check it out!! 

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Stress Detox Day 10 Daily Giveaway

Wow - I cannot  believe how quickly time flies and that the first ever 10 Day Stress Detox is coming to a close.

I have been so immensely blessed by your participation, the vulnerability and transparency of your comments, and your willingness to share with others. But most of all, I have been blessed by your courage and faith to embark on this journey to becoming less-stressed. I have read every single comment, some of which made me laugh and some made me cry, but each one was special.

I am feeling revitalized by the excitement and encouragement from all of you,and I pray that you are feeling recharged in your faith, and re-energized in your heart!

But let's be honest. No matter how enthusiastic, peaceful, or less-stressed, we may feel right now - guess what? Life will happen. Stress will rage in out of nowhere, or bubble up gradually until it explodes like a volcano. IF we let that happen.

God is our only hope for keeping our heads afloat in this crazy, unpredictable sea called life. Yet, if we consciously make an effort to stay less stressed, by relying on the tips from this challenge and God's Word, then a stressed-less life can be a reality for us all.

I pray that you have been challenged to make God a priority in your life and that you now see more clearly that He is the answer to stress.

Our last giveaway is upon us, so I threw in an extra special goody just for fun (think Peppermint Mocha Latte, skim milk, no whip, extra hot ).

I am so excited about all of you entering to win today's giveaway, because the more you pass the news, the more people will know how to automatically receive seven great freebies, including you!

Thank you for joining me in this adventure, and for helping spread the less-stress message of hope!

Today's Giveaway: 

A signed copy of Stressed-Less Living
Mango Mandarin Triple Moisturizing Body Lotion
A Pillsbury Apple Turnover scented candle
A $5 Starbucks gift card

How to enter to win: 
Share this exciting news today!

During the week of October 2nd through October 7th, I will be offering a special promotion!!

For anyone who purchases a copy of Stressed-Less Living during that week, they will automatically receive 7 FREE GIFTS! All 7 Gifts are outlined on the Stressed-Less Living website 7 FREE GIFTS page, which include a video series, an MP3 session and a Stressed-Less Living Companion Journal.

So to enter today's giveaway -  just Tweet and Facebook about this fun promo announcement! Let's make this idea of being less-stressed through Christ go viral today! 

You can copy and paste the below tweets and posts, or write your own (but be sure to include my twitter address and #stressless, and my name in your Facebook post so I'll know you entered!)


@traciewmiles of P31 will send u 7 FREE GIFTS if you purchase her new book Stressed-Less Living! Details at http://tinyurl.com/9v4tgww #stressless

Want 7 FREE GIFTS to help overcome stress? Just purchase 1 copy of Stressed-Less Living! http://tinyurl.com/9v4tgww @traciewmiles #stressless

7 FREE GIFTS to tackle stress could be yours! Find out how to claim these great gifts at http://tinyurl.com/9v4tgww @traciewmiles  #stressless

Don't be the only one without @traciewmiles new book! And find out how to get her 7 FREE GIFTS! Details at http://tinyurl.com/9v4tgww #stressless


Who doesn't want 7 FREE GIFTS, especially if they help fight the battle of stress?! Check out Tracie Miles' site to learn how you can receive 7 great free gifts with one single purchase of her new book Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World!  Click here for all the details and act before October 7: http://www.stressedlessliving.com/#!7-free-gifts/c7qv  

Could you use some great tools and resources to help you deal with the stress in your life? Tracie Miles of Proverbs 31 Ministries is offering 7 FREE GIFTS to do just that! Check out the Stressed-Less Living FREE GIFTS page  before October 7 for all the details.

Also - if you have a great idea/suggestion for how to further spread the word about these free gifts in your sphere of influence outside of social media, feel free to send me an email!

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter, share the news on either one. 

If you have neither FB or Twitter, then leave a comment on my blog stating how you can share the news about the free gifts promo in your sphere of influence! If you want me to get in touch with you about your idea, just state that in your comment!

Thank you all so much for participating in the Stressed-Less Journey!!

Due to a website conversion which is scheduled for this week, the 10 daily giveaway winners will be announced on Monday, September 24th (instead of the 19th). So stay tuned!

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Stress Detox Day 9 Daily Giveaway

I once heard a preacher say:  "We cannot control if a bird flies over our head. But we can control whether or not we let that bird build a nest in our hair".

Kind of a funny quote, yet holds a profound meaning.

The world is harsh. The news is packed with daily negativity.  Bad stuff happens. And society teaches us to have an "it's all about me" mentality. To make matters worse, the devil constantly tries to fill our heads with the wrong kind of thoughts. Thoughts that make us feel discouraged, depressed, distressed, less-than, and distanced from God.

If we aren't careful, that tangled up mess of negativity and pessimism can gradually build a nest in our hearts.

If we desire to be an optimist, even in the face of pessimism, and want to avoid any nest building taking place, we must consciously choose to focus on the joy we have in Christ, even when everything in life is not falling into the joyful category.

The fact is, our world thrives on negativity and optimism. But just as God instructs us to remember in Romans 12:2, we do not have to conform to the world's patterns of thinking. We can live in the world, but not of it  - but we must consciously choose to set ourselves apart even when it comes to attitude. There is a lot of negativity flying around, but we don't have to let it settle within us.

God provides streams in the desert even when life seems dry and negative, just as the giveaway book today refers to. How amazing to know that we can swim in that stream of God's goodness and optimism any time we choose.

Today's Giveaway: 
A signed copy of Stressed-Less Living
A Spa Pouf
Streams In The Desert Daily Devotional, by L.B. Cowman
Apple Body Spray

How to enter to win: 

Visit my Facebook page and answer the questions posted on my Wall today, so that your friends can also have an opportunity to ponder the question when they see it on your wall.

Sometimes when we take time to think about what we can do to make changes in our life, change begins to happen.

For those of you who are not on Facebook,  leave a comment to answer this question below:

What one change (possibly based on the suggestions in the 10 Day Stress Detox or your own idea) can you implement right now in your life to take control of your stress, instead of letting your stress control you?

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Stress Detox Day 8 Daily Giveaway

When stress feels like it's casting a dark shadow over our entire life,  we can begin to feel hopeless, confused, and unsure if God's light can still reach us, as far down as we have sunk.  It is exactly that moment when we need to choose to stop focusing on our circumstances, and begin focusing on God.

In good times and bad, we have to choose to pay attention and focus on the message He wants to get through to us.

There have been so many Sunday worship services when I walked into the sanctuary feeling stressed and hopeless, but left the sanctuary with great vision and great hope. Sometimes I get so engrossed in taking notes from the sermons I listen to, that I have to study them afterwards to make sure that I didn't just write words, but that I let them sink into my heart and change me.

You might think that's strange, but I'm just an obsessive-note-taking kind of girl; my teachers used to love me.

But isn't it so easy to sit through a worship service, going through the motions, while letting the message of a sermon go in one ear and out the other, in less time than it takes to get into the car and head to lunch?  Today's giveaway includes a sermon notes journal, so you can make sure to pay attention to God's messages, focusing on the direction and peace found within, and tuck them into your heart to lean on when life gets stressfull.

Today's Giveaway: 
A signed copy of Stressed-Less Living

A pink Sermon Notes Journal

A Mini pedicure set and buffing block

How to enter to win: 

Do you have a special scripture verse about stress or peace that is meaningful to you?

Do you have a notable quote about stress that helps you keep life in perspective, or brings you a chuckle when life gets crazy?

Post either a peace-full verse, or a notable quote about peace and stress (with the author's name if you know it) and you'll be all entered to win!

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stress Detox Day 7 Daily Giveaway

Forgiveness.  Yuck.

They don't deserve forgiveness. They hurt me.  I tried to forgive, but I can't get past it.

If we can't get past it, we haven't really forgiven. That's a hard truth to swallow, but a truth nonetheless.

I've often said that unforgiveness is like ingesting a toxic poison, then waiting for someone else (the person whom you are not forgiving) to die.

But instead, that poison courses through our veins, not theirs, and keeps us from really experiencing God's grace, goodness, joy... and peace. Unforgiveness ushers in an onslaught of its own stress.

Sometimes it helps to write out our feelings - a letter to our transgressor - just to get those emotions off our chest and release them from our mind.  In private writing, we can vent all of our feelings and pent up emotions, and say everything we want to say, without causing damage to someone else's heart.

But instead of giving the letter to our transgressor, we give it to God, and surrender those hurts over to Him.

Then we crumple up those words into a paper ball, and toss them into the trash where they belong, so that God can replace them with love and the divine ability to forgive. 

Just a simple exercise, which can often bring release, freedom and peace.

So today's giveaway offers a tool for letting go of the hurt, and letting God fill the gaps, so that your heart can be cleansed of the poison that might be taking more of a toll on you than you realize.

Of course, these notecards can be used for sweet love letters and notes of encouragement too. And you can definitely put those in the mail.

Today's Giveaway: 

A signed copy of Stressed-Less Living

A green and pink Paisley set of 20 notecards and envelopes, tied up with a pretty pink ribbon

A spa Pouf

How to enter to win: 

Isn't it always a great feeling to share one of God's truths that could change a life?  :)

Forward the Day 7 Stress Detox article, that you received in email today, to a friend or group of friends in your contacts list.

For me to know who has entered:   You can either copy me on your forwarded email, or come back and leave a blog comment stating how many people you forwarded the email to.

My email: traciewmiles@carolina.rr.com

(I will NEVER reply or send to any emails, this is only to keep track of giveaway entries!)

* If you are not receiving the stress detox emails this go round, then feel free to forward your friend(s) today's blog post, or the below link to one of my past blog post which focuses on this hard subject of forgiveness. Then copy me, or hop back over and leave your comment about who you shared with!


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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stress Detox Day 6 Daily Giveaway

Years ago when I was a church pew dweller, but not a true Jesus lover, I didn't understand the term "experiencing God". I thought God was Someone to worship, and out of reach, not Someone to have a relationship with, who could reach out and touch me in divine ways.

And then my husband and I went through a bible study called Experiencing God, and my view of this term was changed. I realized that going to church does not make us experience God. Although it does provide a tool for opening our hearts so that we can learn how to experience Him,  ultimately it's up to us to make that relationship happen. 

Encounters with God are the biggest privilege we can experience in our Christian lives, and today's giveaway will hopefully help someone who needs to know God loves them and wants to get to know them personally, have an experience of His love that they cannot deny.

Today's Giveaway: 
A signed copy of Stressed-Less living
Experiencing God Day by Day Devotional, by Henry T. and Richard Blackaby
A Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll scented candle

How to enter to win: 
My prayer is that for those of you who are going through this stress detox with me have experienced God in a special way over the past week, and that the daily Detox Challenges have really given you something to think about.

For those of you who are not signed up for the detox, I pray God has spoken to your heart through the snippets I am posting on these giveaway days.  If so, be sure to watch for when signups begin in mid-September for the next Stress Detox so you can read the full posts and implement the daily challenges into your life.

Friends, to enter today's giveaway, I just want to hear from your heart. Leave a comment telling me which of the 6 Stress Detox posts so far have been your favorite, and how God may have used it to create an experience with you.

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