#27 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

27. Play Smarter

You can zone out with another round of Angry Birds-or kill time with these apps that work your brain. Unblock Me A frustrating yet addictive puzzle game in which you manipulate rectangles to free one from its blockade. iTunes,free; full version 99 cents. Android,free. 7 Little Words Each puzzle consists of seven clues that lead to seven mystery words made from 20-letter groups-let the brain racking begin! iTunes; free. Simple Physics Design sturdy structures-a skyscraper buffeted by hurricanes,a roof bearing a mountain of snow-without breaking your project budget. iTunes; 99 cents. Trixel You have a limited number of moves to navigate this visual puzzle,flipping tiles to match a set pattern. iTunes; 99 cents.

#26 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

26. Send a Prettier Invite

Online invitations don’t have to be so cheesy-or cluttered by ads. Punchbowl.com: Customized invites and add-on perks like potluck checklists and a polling tool to help pick the date. Cocodot.com: Thousands of contemporary invitations to satisfy design snobs and typography geeks. Pingg.com: Artists upload images,creating a bank of more than four million themes you can personalize with photos or video. PaperlessPost.com: The virtual version of high-end stationery,these pack the luxe look of letterpress.

Daily Devotion for Wednesday November 30, 2011

Verse

“And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this.”

— 2ch 25:9

Thought

A very important question this seemed to be to the king of Judah, and possibly it is of even more weight with the tried and tempted O Christian. To lose money is at no times pleasant, and when principle involves it, the flesh is not always ready to make the sacrifice. “Why lose that which may be so usefully employed? May not the truth itself be bought too dear? What shall we do without it? Remember the children, and our small income!” All these things and a thousand more would tempt the Christian to put forth his hand to unrighteous gain, or stay himself from carrying out his conscientious convictions, when they involve serious loss. All men cannot view these matters in the light of faith; and even with the followers of Jesus, the doctrine of “we must live” has quite sufficient weight.

The Lord is able to give thee much more than this is a very satisfactory answer to the anxious question. Our Father holds the purse-strings, and what we lose for his sake he can repay a thousand-fold. It is ours to obey his will, and we may rest assured that he will provide for us. The Lord will be no man’s debtor at the last. Saints know that a grain of heart’s-ease is of more value than a ton of gold. He who wraps a threadbare coat about a good conscience has gained a spiritual wealth far more desirable than any he has lost. God’s smile and a dungeon are enough for a true heart; his frown and a palace would be hell to a gracious spirit. Let the worst come to the worst, let all the talents go, we have not lost our treasure, for that is above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Meanwhile, even now, the Lord maketh the meek to inherit the earth, and no good thing doth he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

#25 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

25. Give a Gift They’ll Remember

Wine and flowers are nice but not noteworthy. We asked frequent hosts to recall gifts that made an impact. “The Zoku Quick Pop Maker has become a permanent fixture on my kitchen counter. You’d be surprised by the endless flavor options!” -Ivanka Trump,jewelry designer See 4 more unforgettable hostess gifts.

#24 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

24. Score a Deal

Quit clipping coupons! Thanks to the popularity of sites like Groupon,flash sales (limited edition deals) are oh so of-the-moment. Four sites to suit any shopping style: Fashionistas At MyHabit,the new designer sale site from Amazon,shopaholics enjoy up to 60 percent off-and free shipping-from high-end and boutique brands like Alberta Ferretti and Dogeared jewelry. Techies Get an Android smartphone,iPod nano,or LCD monitor on the cheap with the daily deals at CowBoom,a Best Buy offshoot that offers new,used and refurbished electronics. Foodies Daily Gourmet dishes discounts on high-quality eats from around the world (think: cask-aged premium wine vinegar, small-batch gluten-free granola and hand-crafted coffees.) Social Butterflies LivingSocial secures savings of 50 percent or more on local products and getaways. Convince three of your friends to purchase the offer as well and you get the deal for free.

#23 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

Tired of gunking up your iPad screen with tomato sauce while trying to follow a recipe for spaghetti Bolognese? The Chef Sleeve is the splatterproof,smearproof and smudgeproof answer: The thin,food-safe film encases your tablet but doesn’t interfere with touchscreen functions. Reusable (but also recyclable when they get too gross),the sleeves are sold in packaging that doubles as a convenient countertop iPad stand. Available at ChefSleeve.com

Daily Devotion for Tuesday November 29, 2011

Verse

“Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people … Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.”

— le 19:16, 17

Thought

Tale-bearing emits a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning whom the tale is told. Whether the report be true or false, we are by this precept of God’s Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord. Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if thereby they raised themselves. Noah’s wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse. We may ourselves one of these dark days need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. Be this our family rule, and our personal bond-SPEAK EVIL OF NO MAN.

The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to censure sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back. This course is manly, brotherly, Christlike, and under God’s blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our friend we become ourselves partakers of it. Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in his warning given to Peter, the prayer with which he preceded it, and the gentle way in which he bore with Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.

Daily Devotion for Wednesday November 23, 2011

Verse

“Fellowship with him.”

— 1jo 1:6

Thought

When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with him, that we were made one with him, and his interests and ours became mutual and identical. We have fellowship with Christ in his love. What he loves we love. He loves the saints-so do we. He loves sinners-so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man, and pants to see earth’s deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord-so do we. We have fellowship with him in his desires. He desires the glory of God-we also labour for the same. He desires that the saints may be with him where he is-we desire to be with him there too. He desires to drive out sin-behold we fight under his banner. He desires that his Father’s name may be loved and adored by all his creatures-we pray daily, “Let thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven.” We have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when he is reproached, we are reproached; and a very sweet thing it is to be blamed for his sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us. The disciple should not be above his Lord. In our measure we commune with him in his labours, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love. Our meat and our drink, like his, is to do the will of him who hath sent us and to finish his work. We have also fellowship with Christ in his joys. We are happy in his happiness, we rejoice in his exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side heaven than that of having Christ’s joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for his Church shall sit with him upon his throne, as his well-beloved bride and queen.

#22 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

22. Find a (Sort of) Sequel

Some follow-up suggestions for couldn’t-put-it-down books you’ve already read. Follow Freedom,Jonathan Franzen’s stunner about life as we know it,with Julia Glass’s Three Junes,another great American novel. Or try A Small Hotel,Robert Olen Butler’s shorter but no less encompassing tale of love and loss. Get more follow-up suggestions for your favorite page-turners.

#21 of 30 Simple Ways To Upgrade Your Life

You and Improved: 30 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Life
What would it take to change your life for the better? It may be less than you think.

21. Do Good-Better

Figuring out where to put your philanthropic energy can be surprisingly daunting. Enter AllForGood,a service-based Web site that does the sifting for you. Inspired in part by Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and developed with the help of Google engineers, the smartly designed site is a centralized search engine for volunteer opportunities, culling more than 150,000 postings from matching sites like Idealist,Catchafire,Truist, AARP’s Create the Good,and United Way. Filter listings according to your interests, skills,neighborhood and time frame,whether you’re seeking a one-day project building a playground or a weekly soup kitchen gig. AllForGood.org

From Oprah.com