Thursday, February 27, 2014

Home Schooling Fumble

From the beginning I knew I wanted to home school. I could teach my kids what I wanted them to learn, Christian values along with their core requirements, in a way that was catered to their individual learning style. But somewhere along the line I got so preoccupied with record keeping and lesson planning that I lost sight of the fun that was supposed to be involved. School was now boring and my son hated the thoughts of doing his work. And I hated that I had to make him do his work. But while researching ways to help my son to like reading I come across.......

Practical Christian Know How Part 3- Tabbing Your Bible

So here we are in week three of the Practical Christian Know How Series. Three weeks already! Man, how the time flies! I hope that you are learning things that can help you in your daily Christian walk.

I know this was supposed to be done yesterday but I had a CRAZY day! So better late than never huh!? Let's get busy.

What is tabbing your Bible and how do you do it?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What I Learned in February: Take Vacation Time.

Vacation time.
Now that got you daydreaming.
Where did you imagine? The beach? The mountains? A weekend of shopping? Time at home?

I know I said Take Some Vacation Time but I did not mean that kind of vacation. I meant a vacation you could take everyday! Well in February I have learned to do just that.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's All About Balance (Free Goal Sheet)

Have to get dressed.
Make the bed.
Make Breakfast.
Dress the kids.
Start the Laundry.
Empty the dishwasher.
Mail the bills.
Call the doctor.
Go to the bank. And this is just for the morning agenda!!!! We have so many things coming at us in life that we can get caught up spending our time in only one area. Truth is most of us have many different places, people or causes that call for our attention. It is easy to get so wrapped up in what we are doing right now, that we forget about the other areas that we are committed to as well. I found a way to focus on it all. It's all about balance!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Almost Gone Forever

Click. Click. Click.

Lowering my hand, I press play. Hum, not bad. Now that one, it is good. And that one, hum, I think I'll just do a way with it. I'll do it later.

And with that I slipped my camera in my pocketbook.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Random Act of Kindness To Honor

Do you ever have something that you hear about, read about or see that you can not forget about? Well that happened to me today. I started doing writers workshop prompts to challenge me to grow in my writing. So I pulled up the inspiration prompts and starting reading. I read them all, then made my choice. I started writing and before long done! But ever since I first read those prompts, there is one I can not quit thinking about. And that one is not the one I have already wrote about. Let me be a part of Conner's Honor!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Exchanging Blinders For Smiles

Blinders. You  know. Those things they put on horses eyes. The purpose of placing the blinders over the sides of the horses eyes is so that the horse does not see all of the things going on around it. With their eye's focused only on what is ahead, they will not get spooked by things going on around them. Blinders keep them focused. In some cases, being focused can be a good thing. It can help us get to our location safely- when we focus on our driving. It can help us with dinner or lack of focus may led to a smoking kitchen and burnt dinner! Not that I am speaking from experience here by any means. But today I discovered my blinders were causing me to miss out. Miss out on smiles.

"Practical Christian Know How Part 2- My Favorite Bible Study Method"

Can you believe it is Wednesday again already? Okay, so now it is really Thursday. I wrote this yesterday but I could not get the pictures to load up. So here it is now! I am glad it is here because I could not wait to share this with you! My favorite Bible study method. I have more than one but today I am only going to share the one that I use almost everyday.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Writers Workshop: Return to Work After Baby is Born or Stay Home?"

So when I first started this blog, (I say that like I have been doing this a while- its only been a week and a half, hahaha!) I HAD no clue what all I was going to write about. I just know I like to write. But now I am researching and trying to grow!!  I came across this Writers Workshop while I was reading one of my new favorite blogs- Jerralea's blog. This will expand my writing skills! So here is my writing prompt.

"Return to work after baby was born or stay home? How did you make your decision?"

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Time for Some Good News??!!

It drives me nuts! You turn on the local news channel and what do you hear? Bad news after bad news after bad news. Oh wait, there was one happy story, I remember there being one, but when was it?? And everyday we hear by word of mouth more bad news. Anyway, I REFUSE to make my mind susceptible to the gloom and doom! If you are in search of some good Christian reading that will encourage you, you are not alone! I am too. Here is some of my findings this week!

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Friends

So today has been a great day! I am slowly learning to stop dwelling on the negative and focus on the positive. I had a positive addition to my life today!One thing that I felt God imposed on me at the beginning of this year was to focus on one key thing. He gave me a one word theme: Relationships! I gained a new relationship in my life today!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It Doesn't Add up!!

Can you remember? You sat down in Math class, pencil in hand, paper in front of you and with a sheer grin you look up from your paper and think, "I did it!" Only to find out the math problem you just thought you had got right was wrong?! What!!?? It made sense! I was so confident that I had it right! When things didn't "add up" we felt discouraged and wondered where things went wrong. Well we can feel that in life, and just like in math class, we feel discouraged. So what now?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Did You Feel That?

So if you live in the United States or perhaps been on social media you have heard about the earthquake that happened last night in South Carolina. While I have felt the tremble of earthquakes in the past, this time I did not feel it and neither did my boys. Maybe it is because the house trembles all the time from the two sets of running feet from my two wide open boys. :) In all seriousness, the earthquake happened on Valentine's Day at 10:23 pm. And I could not help but think of this verse in the Bible.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Who Should I Love?

With Valentines Day approaching us tomorrow I thought the timing of God showing this to me was impeccable. Since the holiday is to celebrate love, I think it is important to realize we ALL have people to love in our lives- regardless of if we are in a relationship or not. You see, we find it easy to love people who are good to us, are like us, do what we want when we want, etc. but we are commanded to love these other people as well. Who are these people you ask? Keep reading.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Practical Christian How To: Week 1- My Prayer Journal

So I thought it would be good to share some things I use to help me with in my relationship with the Lord. People ask me all the time how I do certain things so now I can refer them here. :) I am going to do a four week series with one post each Wednesday. This week I thought I would share something that I was hesitant to start in the beginning but SO glad I did!! My prayer journal! (This post is a bit lengthy so sorry in advance. If you are looking for motivation to pray more you will be encouraged by sticking around, if you could care less about praying, it will probably be too long for you.)

NOW I Get It !!!!!!

I just love when you have heard a Bible verse over and over and over again but then one day it speaks to you in a whole new way. It is almost like a huge light bulb goes off and you all but shout "I get it!!" I guess a better word is revelation! Well I had one of those last night. I was laying in bed reading Emotions by Charles Stanley, (This is on my must read list by the way) when I read this:
"....every person and trial the Lord allows into your life- including the one you're struggling with right now- presents an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His love, character, and faithfulness to you and to others through your testimony. If you hate someone because of what the Father is trying to teach you through him, then, in reality, you despise God and the purpose He has for your life."  ( "Emotions" Stanley, Charles F.: Howard Books (New York, NY: 2013) P. 196 )
WOW!!!! Did you just get that??? Perhaps you have heard this verse all of your life, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matt. 5:44)

Did you have an "ah ha" moment??? I sure did! In case you did not, let me bring another verse to your attention. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4)

Did you have the "ah ha" moment yet?? Okay, for real- one more verse- just to be sure you did! "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thess. 5:18)

ALL my life I have heard these verse and thought, "Okay, so you want me to be thankful for my enemies and in things- but WHY?"  25 3/4 years of being saved I have wondered these things!!! And there it was.........

"You give thanks Child because I have allowed it because I am growing YOU!"

We don't hate our enemies or situations or circumstances because they are there to teach us! If we hate our enemies, situations or circumstances we are hating God and His will for our life. (Lord forgive me for ever hating enemies, situations or circumstances. The last thing I wanted to do was communicate to you that I hated you or your plan for my life!)

AMEN!!!!! In this case, Praise His HOLY NAME-
Thank you God for all my enemies, failures, difficulties, trials, circumstances, situations and Lord BLESS them all!!! Thank you Lord for loving me enough to allow this person, circumstance, and/ or situation to work on my life!! I pray that I will learn what you want me to learn, stop doing what you want me to stop doing, or start doing what you want me to start doing so I do not have to keep going through this same kind of trial to figure out what you are telling me! I am ready and willing to submit to your plan God, whatever that plan may be!! It is in and through your son, Jesus Christ I pray, Amen!!!!!!

(P.S. I just feel that I should add this for clarification- nothing evil comes from God. That is not how God is: "Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed." (James 1:13-14) Rather God will allow us to fall into various situations. Instead of Him keeping us from the situation He allows us to deal with it so we learn. The book of Job in the Old Testament will clarify this more- read it if you have any questions. Or you can comment below and I will get back with you. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

You May Have Got Away With It Now But One Day.........

So yesterday I wrote a post on "Weeding Out Bitterness" and I had a good lesson on that today. Without going into more information than is necessary, some people got away with something they had done because they fell into a "gray" area. At first I was upset because of course what they had done was wrong. But then I had a thought, or rather several.

First thing that popped into my head is Romans 12:2, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord." Of course there is more behind that verse than just- God will take care of them- but it was nice to remember that God will be the one that makes things right in the end. Even though some people appear to get away with things now, one day all will have to answer for what they have done, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,..." (2 Corinthians 5:10a)

But then there was another thought. This thought kind of made me feel ashamed of myself for the thought I had just had. And there it was, "Why is it when someone else does wrong we automatically jump to demanding justice but when we fail we seek grace?" WHY did that thought have to come too!? But the more I pondered on it, it is absolutely true! Why is that? Unfortunately the Lord has revealed that answer to me too. You see for the last several days, EVERY and I mean EVERY, form of preaching I watch or read has been on self-righteousness. That is exactly what it is that has us demanding justice! We only want to remember the things we have done right and if we did indeed do wrong we try to blame it one someone else. Self-righteousness, such a nasty word!

Now don't get me wrong, if there are not laws or rules this world would be chaos but my point here is that we should remember there is balance to apply when dealing with others. This particular situation I encountered today was an illegal act that someone got away with, again- there are times and reasons that laws are in place. I am not saying that this criminal should have got off free and not had to answer for what they did. But what I am saying is, when the situation we encounter is one of a personal offense we need to remember the grace we have received from the Father. We too have made mistakes in life that we had to be forgiven for. And if we have not had to ask for forgiveness yet, trust me, the time is coming when we will! We do not need to allow our "self-righteousness" to overcome us so that we forget we too do/have done wrong!

I think that God was trying to get something through to me today. I could sit and worry or be upset and angry that "justice" was not served today or I can give it over to Him and let Him handle it. Truth is, He is going to handle things whether I give them to Him or not. But the point I took away is this, JUST GIVE THINGS OVER TO GOD- GOOD OR BAD!! Do not let my "self-righteous" attitude to make me blind to the fact that I have done wrong too. I have no right to demand judgment for an offense when I am an offender myself. So now instead of worrying about what happened today and allowing it to consume me or cause me to become bitter- I say, "You may have got away with it now but one day......"- GOD WILL HANDLE IT!! (Wink) How about you? Do you have a situation where you need to do the same???

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weeding out Bitterness

I am currently reading a book by Charles Stanley called "Emotions". I have often thought and even said on occasion, "Why can we not just go through life without feeling anything- that would make things so much easier"? You know what I am talking about. There are times when emotions are not so great- a friend betrays us, someone talks about us behind our backs, we are not invited with all the others out to eat, etc.So being that Charles Stanley is one of my favorite pastors, once I seen this book I HAD to have it. Boy, have I learned so much about myself!

I never thought that I had a problem with bitterness but now I think it would be easy to not recognize. Allow me to quote a portion of Dr. Stanleys book and see what you think. I think that a lot of us deal with bitterness quite frequently but we do not realize it.

"Likewise, you will be tempted to assign responsibility for the hurt you experience. You may fault others because of the way they treated you and the heartache they caused you. You may condemn yourself for poor choices, past mistakes, or because of an inherent sense of unworthiness Or you may think that God is to blame for what's happened to you and question why He has allowed such painful circumstances in your life. Regardless of whom you hold accountable for the hurt in your soul, one thing is sure- if you don't let it go, you will continue to experience bondage." ("Emotions" by Dr. Charles Stanley;Howard Books, New York, NY 2013 p. 177)

OUCH! This description of bitterness really opened my eyes. Holding on to others hurting us, beating ourselves up for making mistakes and even getting upset with God are all signs of bitterness. I know we all hear about forgiveness and we can easily say we forgive someone but if we constantly dwell on the past hurt or outright avoid the person who offended us,  that does not qualify as forgiveness. Furthermore, if we do not forgive ourselves we open the door to bitterness. We have to be careful that bitterness does not set up.

God tells us, "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

"For if you forgive men their trespasses your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14-15

"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled." Hebrews 12:15

"Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32

It is easy for us to "justify" why we just can't let that one offense go. But we must question, where would we be if God picked and chose which sins He would forgive us for? Praise God, He does not do that to us! Although we deserve nothing but hell, He sacrificed His only Son for us as sinners. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

I do not know about you but this is something that I am going to have to constantly remind myself of and ask God for help with. I thank God that Jesus did not hold bitterness or unforgiveness against all of humanity while He was being betrayed by Judas or while He was being beaten or spit upon.(Matt. 27:30) Praise His Name, He even asked God to forgive man as He hung on the cross- "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

Friend, I can not tell you if you have bitterness in your heart or not but I encourage you to ask God to search your heart and reveal to you if something is there He wants you to weed out. As for me, I am going to be working on "Weeding out Bitterness!"

Becoming Blameless????

Becoming Blameless? Where did that come from? What is that all about? Becoming Blameless is what I am trying to work on in my life for 2014. I have always been confounded by the story of Job in the Bible. If you have never read the story I encourage you to do so. He went through incredible trials but God was there with Him all the time! What stands out to me is how God viewed Job...

"Then the Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?" Job 1:8

Now that is a scary thought! Or comforting depending on how you look at it. God was sitting in heaven looking down upon the earth and God was taking note of one person, Job. To me it is a very humbling thought that perhaps I am an object of discussion in heaven. I certainly hope He is proud of me and He is not disappointed with my life. So ultimately that is what "Becoming Blameless" is all about. I want to strive daily to draw close to God, lean on Him, listen to his direction, walk in His plan and please Him! I want to become blameless in the sight of God! Will you join me on this journey? I hope so!