A Different Direction Christian Apparel and Jewelry Blog

Dec 04 2013

Christmas Traditions

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In our large family, gift giving has been pared down for the adults. Perhaps it is due to the fact that they now pay their own bills or simply what they would like would take a big bite of a budget!  So, we focus on grandchildren gifts and sweetie gifts.

However, we still all enjoy the tradition of stockings filled with orange chocolate and other surprises. Last year, I made personalized stockings for everyone. Some got their favorite team colors (Rock Chalk Jayhawk or KS Wildcats purple) with a touch of bling, or a fashion color they are known to love. Our newest son in law got green and gold being from the land of Chicago! Each had their name embroidered on the cuff. Needless to say it was a riot of multi-colors hanging in our livingroom. 

However, the one complaint was the stockings didn't have any stretch - for extra stuffing! 

What is your favorite tradition for the holiday? Is it stuffing stockings, giving gifts,  or even stuffing yourself with the wonderful dishes that are made only at this time of year? How about the joyous music and all the holiday movies. We have discovered UPtv this year. It is wonderful to watch movies with clear spiritual messages intertwined into the plot.  Or is it relaxing and catching up on all the Duck Dynasty episodes you recorded before you watch their latest holiday special on December 11.  Of course a plate of holiday cookies, eggnog, and hot cocoa will be needed for that adventure!

Whatever your favorite activity is, be sure and really focus on the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ our Savior! Share that blessing to those around and have a Happy Happy Happy New Year!

FREE GIFT GIVEAWAY 2013 CONTEST sign-up ends soon, so don't miss out. 

 

 

Oct 20 2013

Free Blessings

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As the last few months of 2013 arrive, one can't help but think about all that has transpired. For our family, it has been a year of elder care challenges, college graduations, weddings, career changes, financial hurdles, and a whole host of blessings sprinkled through out. Just this month, in midst of the government shutdown, I was marvelously surprised with a birthday visit from my oldest son and family from Denver. As a government attorney, he, his wife, and two boys were able to 'hide' at our daughter's house for my birthday dinner. Needless to say, it was the best birthday ever! I had not expected to see them for the holidays and had no idea of the plans afoot.

And aren't the unexpected blessings the one's you cherish the most?

In light of that fact, we want to thank you for shopping with us in 2013 and in appreciation, we wanted to alert you to THREE unexpected 'free blessings' that you could partake:

>>>>>> October 21, all orders of $35 or more will receive a free gift starting with the  

Quanities are limited -if you really want the above bracelet, shop NOW
a new item will be chosen for the $35 +up order offer when the above is gone

>>>>>>Beginning in November 2013    

FREE Holiday Christian Gift GIVEAWAY Contest 

7 lucky winners of one of the prizes
 >>>>>>> BLACK Friday Weekend Sale
+ special BLACK FRIDAY FREE Giveway
  1 LUCKY customer will win $25 gift card
valid through March 2014 

And remember, the greatest gift you will ever share is the love of 

Jesus, the Reason for the Season! 

            

Jun 27 2012

Travel again??????

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 As you may not know, we started our business exhibiting at the big Christian music events like Creation East, Creation West, Cornerstone, Spiritwest Coast, and the like. Our summers were spent on the road with our family of five children from the time our youngest was 3 or so. We were able to keep abreast of the happenings in the spiritual kingdom and could test new designs. While the pace was hectic, we were able to meet a lot of you and despite the occasional glitches, it was good for us. 

With our youngest a junior in college, our nest has become empty and our prior helpers unavailable as they begin their lives as adults. Thus, we decided to stay put and focus strictly on online sales except for our yearly Leadership Training for Christ family Easter gathering. Ever since the economy crashed, Ed has worked for a multiple of marketing companies and I have ran the business. Then his mom health failed and we had to take on her daily care. She is doing better, but still requires constant monitoring. So we assumed that was life for us.  However, as He often does, God has thrown us a curve ball!

Beginning in July, we will begin exhibiting at various events once again. Plus two well-known organizations, "Women of Faith" and "Promise Keepers" have asked us to join them at their gatherings. So, pray that God will bless us with energy and come see us!

Feb 29 2012

Come Enjoy the Good Life in Kansas.

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      Imagine my surprise when it was announced by the local media that our little town was on the Bloomberg's Business Week list of best places to raise a family. It ranked #1 in Kansas and #6 in the United States!

Belle Plaine, Kansas
Population:                                            1600+
Median age:                                              35.2
Median household income            $ 48,387
Kansas median income:                   47,817
Median home value:                           78,054
KS median home value:                  125,500
Standard of living index:                        81.8
National average:                                  100.0

Having raised five strong willed disciples, I know its' true. It wasn't easy - after all they come from strong willed and opinionated lineage (dad too, lol)! Our decision to leave city life and live in a smaller but more family oriented community help make it a little easier. Ed and I were able to help his mom as his dad suffered with Alzheimer's and now are beginning elderly care as she is 83. Our kids spent lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa Burrows and have tons of funny memories to share. Constant face to face encounters with extended family was not possible living in the big cities of Anchorage, Boston, and Seattle. And even now, two girls see Grandma quite often. Each child had a chance to explore and discover their leadership skills and develop their talents in the local school and community activities. And as I have shared in a previous blog, Ed and I couldn't be prouder of the people they are.


In a scientific study they undertook to choose from 4169 cities that fit the follow profile: crime rates less than 10 percent above the national average, populations between 1,000 and 50,000 people, and median family income within 20 percent of the state median. From those communities, they did a scientific study to determination the BEST places to raise a family. Factors used in the calculations were: Bloomberg Rankings, real estate information from Onboard Informatics, school scores, air quality, crime rates, child-centered amenities, and income. Each state had one city selected and then the list was ranked nationwide. Our average school math score is 89.67 - the state's average is 85.95; and our reading score is 92.44 while the state's average is 88.88. Our town's median family income is $74,463.

Statistics don't tell the whole story. What really matters is every day life in Belle Plaine. With good school facilities, opportunities to participate in a wide array of sports, music, journalism, student government, service organizations, and the like parents and kids alike are kept quite busy.There is even a small city pool for summer enjoyment, a community swim team for those interested, and city parks with a skateboard course.The local Presbyterian church which closed recently is being sought as a future community center. So if you choose to live here, you will have small town living with easy access to the city life of Wichita, Kansas. Why you must not miss out on the Warren Theaters, there.These jewel features Art Deco design, state of the art sound, and dining in your seats as you watch first run movies. Choose from IMAX view @ 21st Warren or the wide screens of the 13th Warren or Old Town Warren. If you need some uninterrupted adult time, the Old Town Warren allows no children after 8:00 pm.


One of the jewels right here is Bartlett Arboretum. The beauty of God's creation is boldly seen in iris, tulips, and trees blooming each spring and summer. A gorgeous venue for weddings (see our daughter's wedding pics), the Arb also hosts the Tree House Concert series from April to late July each year. Bluegrass music fills the air as artists like Nitty Gritty Dirt Band play to those fortunate enough to purchase one the limited tickets. Your housing options may soon change. Jeff Lange Realty, small real estate brokerage from Wichita has recently purchased a large tract of land just outside the west city limits. (The same side of town as the Arboretum). Steps have begun to secure from Sumner County officials the necessary requirements for a development of custom homes on large lots. Or perhaps you dream of doing your own house rescue  like on television? With a little money, lots of desire, and sweat you can find a neglected older home and give it new life. And who knows, you could be the star of the next 'must watch' on  HGTV or DIY Networks!


But for us, the best part is the small church with which we worship and work.While we dream of someday returning to the joy of full time ministry for the 16+ years when our children were young the congregation is not able to support staff. Ed, our son Phil, and two Lawless brothers take turns preaching and teaching.Ed and I strive to use our talents and experience to build up the Body of Christ and lead others to Him, but there is so more we would like to do if there were time and funds to do so. 'A Different Direction' is the primary source of  income for our family. We were hit very hard by the recession and we are just now seeing the light at the end of tunnel. But it has come at a great cost of time and energy to get it back on solid ground. So thank for your business and ask for your continued patronage and prayers.Know that when you choose to shop from us, souls will be saved and lives changed forever. You are empowering us to do what we love -  mentoring the current younger disciples, reaching out to produce more disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything that God has commanded (Matt 28:18-20). God bless you!
  
 Currently the band of workers of this church is small with many having been recently call home to the Lord. But that only causes us to rely on even more for help. Just see what He has already done: Sept 2011only 1 teen was left and a handful of young children and their Christian parents worshiping together. But already the Body has seen prayers and hard work begin to open hearts. Here are just a few:

  • 25+ teens coming to activities - 6 of them High School
  • 5 - 8 elementary and early middle schoolers allow me to teach them about God and His word
  • Several seeking families are worshiping with us on Sunday. 
So why not plan a visit to what was called 'Paradise Valley' by the early settlers. Why not catch one of bluegrass concerts in the Tree House Series or,how about Tulip Time Festival and enjoy Art in the Arb in April? Better yet , come worship with us. You will hear God's word shared and you will meet people that care. Potluck is the 4th Sunday - the ladies and men are good cooks. And if you want, you can come to our house where we will feast on cupcakes and a cup of tea or coffee and continue our chat.
So what do you think?

Debby

Nov 30 2011

Mary and Joseph

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 Have you ever considered what Jesus' earth parents had to go through to participate in the Eternal one's plan? After all, God could have chosen a different way to bring him into the world, but instead he chose normal human beings who had faith. But their faith was tested! Just contemplate the ridicule and disdain Mary must have endured as others came to know of her 'condition'. Even her betrothed, Joseph, had to question her virtue and commitment to purity! After all, who ever heard of a woman becoming pregnant by God, that sounds like an incredible 'excuse' then and now. But when Joseph was spoken to in a dream by God, he accepted the truth. But to top it off, scripture tells us that he honored God and Mary in delaying the consummation of their marriage until after Christ's birth. Their faith under trial is inspiring because they were everyday people just as you and I walking by faith, not by sight. God chose well! This clip got me to thinking about this: 


Oct 26 2011

More of the story

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Since college, we felt called to open the door to the Light. We were able to serve Him in bus ministry, youth ministry, and finally family ministry full time from one coast (Alaska) to the other (Boston) and many points in between. Despite our imperfections, God used us and the harvest was sweet. Seeing the transforming power of the Gospel remove the chains of sin and free people to walk with the Lord is truly one the greatest blessings we have received.

When we first arrived in our final full time ministry, we were just a young family of 3. With one other couple, we began a weekly Bible study in our home. In a little over 5 years, it multiplied to a house church of 75+ with 6 weekly small groups.There were days that each of us had 7 disciples we mentored. In addition, we were privileged studying the good news bi-weekly with just as many men and women that God had put in our path. Hectic but joyful, our physical and spiritual family had grown. we were now a family of seven and like their parents, our kids were strong willed and needed shaping. Our lives were full and happy, but there was a constant struggle to find time to do it all well. Believing a Godly leader's first test is raising his offspring to have personal faith and passion for God, our hearts were torn. Believing we were 'called' into ministry, what would He have us do? The kids were little and available any time they were awake but we knew that time was short. Could we 'be all things to all people' without sacrificing their spiritual well being? Thus we began to wrestle in prayer for an answer.

Ed clearly remembers the day he asked God to do whatever to get all our children to Heaven---even give up full time fishing for men. And as usual, He answered that petition completely out of left field! The congregation thought they were cutting staff for budget reasons, but God was just using them for His new course for us.  After an insurance job fell through, working a multiple of part time jobs late into the night, we interviewed for new ministry position in Houston..Assured that it was only a matter of details to have the position, we packed up our belongings, put them in storage and moved to Kansas.There we lived with Ed's parents to wait for the call which never came. Now if any of you have ever had to move back home, you know it was not an easy road. Put five active kids in a small three bedroom home with two retired people, and no more savings,and no job, you have a house full of stress even on a good day.  Ed polished up his resume and went on endless job interviews for jobs, but who wanted to hire a 'Preacher'? Who knows what experience colored their view, but the doors did not open. Meanwhile I was pleading with God and Ed to get us out of his parents place. Looking back, it is a wonder someone didn't have a heart attack! But here is the first of God's blessings through that, our kids got to know their grandfather well before he was struck with Alzheimer's and they took care of them as need be.

Doors began to open by God's providence.A person who knew Ed's family had just finished renovating a three bedroom house there in town. It was 2 blocks from the school so the kids could walk to school and he offered to sell it to us.Though Ed didn't have a job and little credit left, he carried the loan simply on the family's reputation. Ed's folks helped with the down payment, and we moved in with no furniture.We used what little room on our credit cards to rent a U-Haul and Ed headed out to the East Coast to get our things. On Halloween weekend, we moved in the stuff not knowing how we would pay the bills

.Ed began placing candy boxes in businesses and donating a portion of the money to Carpenter's House, a children's home. My parents got us a second car and I too began to help with the candy route. We called our business  'A DIFFERENT DIRECTION'. Money was still tight so Ed and I decided to try supplement our income.  With our love of Christian books, we used that experience to create a mobile Christian bookstore that exhibited at various religious venues within driving distance.  Then while worshiping in Wichita, someone asked if we could get some Christian tee shirts for the teens which Ed tracked down Living Epistles. They were 'the' manufacturer of early years of Christian apparel design. We had already decided to exhibit the next month at a large Christian workshop the books and music we had. So I suggested we add shirts. But Ed said we didn't have room, so we decided to step out and purchase another booth space in the cheap section of the exhibit hall for shirts. We paid cash for one box of shirts and headed out. The first morning of the event, the whole box sold so we rushed to a pay phone and ordered 2 boxes shipped over night and the rest is history!

Satan kept attacking through the years, but God has been faithful. (read the BLESSINGS post on company blog for specifics) He enabled us to raise five wonderful strong disciples of Jesus to adulthood. Each of them created our 'A DIFFERENT DIRECTION ORIGINALS' and worked hard along side Mom and Dad.They strove to do their best in whatever they did. Each of them got a college education through scholarship and their hard word. God blessed each of them with talents and opportunities to be lights wherever they go. 

Fishing for men full time was our heart, and as we watched others' abuse their positions and waste their talents in world pursuits, we wondered "Why God?"  It was like a seasoned successful basketball player who just loved the game, being benched, and watching the team lose.  A deaf ear was turned to any suggestion to try things that worked from your past. And we turned that pain inward and took it out on one another. Our marriage took the brunt of our grief and we separated for three years. You see, we didn't know what to do.  We were Christians, we loved God but there was too much anger between us. Many thought it was hopeless and there seem to be no other path but life apart.

Praise God worked through Dr. Steven Scheufler, MD, a man of faith to diagnose our depression  triggered death of a dream and changes in the body due to age and genetics. We had always believed that a Christian just 'pulls themself together with prayer' and depression was an excuse. Fortunately we have learned that just as we wouldn't expect a person with diabetes to just 'pull it together' without treatment, depression is a real medical problem.  And with proper medication and behavior modification, it can be managed. and Love and Respect Ministries. That fire refined us and our marriage. We have learned what does and doesn't promote healing in relationships.  We would love to aid others to  move from hurt to strength especially those can't afford marriage counseling or fearful that revealing problems will cost them their ministry. If we can aid you by walking along aside you, do not hesitate to contact us.

 Dan, Emily, and Nathan have added wonderful Godly mates to their lives and we rejoice in that answered prayer for them. The family continues to grow with our first grandchild and them scattering across the country in their vocations. Though not all now actively involved in A DIFFERENT DIRECTION, they occasionally use their gifts for its growth. In fact, Phil, a web designer for Ingram, has donated his skills to create this new site.  And they all still come to help Mom and Dad to continue to exhibit at Leadership Training for Christ in Dallas/Fort Worth each year. You may have seen them grow up if you attended.

Due to the economy and life changes, our years of traveling to the many Christian music festivals, home school conventions, and youth conferences like Creation East +West, Cornerstone, Spiritwest Coast, Lifefest, and so many more have probably passed. 

So thank you for being fellow workers in the kingdom of God, and if we can be an aid to you, please let us know!

Oct 21 2011

Don't Swallow Satan's Lie about Forgiveness

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 This is a response to a blog I read this morning that I wanted to share with you:

As Christians, we can walk with Him and still have deep wounds within. Childhood hurts had been buried in my heart which affected my marriage and my relationships with my parents. I had always thought ‘if they don’t ask for forgiveness, God did not expect me to forgive”. You see, I treated them with kindness what more did God want? After all, only Jesus forgave them because they didn’t know what they were doing, right? WRONG!

I think one of the hardest and yet most shaping path Jesus takes us on is forgiveness of others. We definitely embrace forgiveness from Him, but giving it to others was even something the apostles’ struggled with (Peter – 7 times, Lord?). Childhood hurts had been buried in my heart which affected my marriage and my relationships with my parents. I had always thought ‘if they don’t ask for forgiveness, God did not expect me to forgive”. But that is one of ‘lies’ Satan feeds us,  http://goo.gl/JuPNp , to keep us from the POWER of joy and freedom of forgiving others.

Praise Him, that God showed me the truth and gave me the strength to lay it at His feet. I firmly believe that obedience opened 4 of the sweetest years with my Dad and the healing of the Mother/daughter relationship.Mom’s support of my marriage has been amazing after years of feeling pulled between her and my husband. My husband laughs when I come back from a visit when I share her encouragement to be a better helpmate to him.

Daddy came to Christ and when he died earlier this year, I knew all was well between us. So my tears are not for what should of been, but joy of being together again in eternity. I dream of heavenly hugs!

Truly, by His stripes we can be healed!

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