Saturday, October 31, 2009

Monthly Round Up: October

Two months of does the time go???

Well, this month has has some new additions, like our new uniform!!!

All the way from Ecuador and custom made. We like very much (can you tell?) and each of us has one (yes, even me). Why uniforms? I like having that clean, I am ready to learn (and teach) look:)

I am also looking at new History curriculums for next year. Not that I don't like the Rod and Staff, but the teacher's manual isn't really helpful since it doesn't have a copy of the student's pages in the teacher's manual. Any ideas?

I am also looking in to a new Reading curriculum. Once again, not that I don't like the Rod and Staff, but I was thinking that maybe we would study books throughout the year as opposed to reading short stories. What do you prefer?

We've been enjoying the Health curriculum too! It's really laid out for a school setting, but we enjoy the topics and some of the activities as well.

The art curriculum is actually really good and I can tell it's helping to enhance my tween's (wow, this time next year, she'll be by teen) drawing. She likes it.

My tot is learning sooo much which makes me realize how fast she's growing too. She can "read" (recognizes words in paragraphs and can read short sentences). Playing a phonics game we got at Target for $1 has helped me to see how much she has grasped the sounds of letters. I also had gotten her this book from CBD and it's great for as a review and reinforcement since she knows most of it. It comes with a 30 minute lesson plan which is good.

She's also gaining a greater understanding of the Word. I must admit, I was thinking at the last minute of not doing DiscipleLand and starting something new, but I am so glad we stuck with it. Nothing against Discipleland, I was just thinking she required something more challenging. But I ordered the next set (E, F, G, H), and we're finishing with Revelation. She would've studied almost the entire New Testament!!!! God is so good.

We've also been using Joyful Heart Character Study and Scripture memorization. She's up to letter H. So she and I have memorized 8 Scriptures thus far.

This is actually answered prayer for me because I wanted to work on Bible memorization. Maybe we should start something over here, together? What do you think?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Count Your Blessings Challenge: My Co-Pastor

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The Lord has blessed me to know first-hand many wonderful pastors-first, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, my Hubby, my Pastor, and the men of my church that I see pastoring their families faithfully for God's glory.

My Co-Pastor will always have a special place in my family's heart, since we are fruit from his evangelization. By him having the boldness to preach to one person, Hubby, the kingdom of God now as an entire family serving Him. God is good!

My Co-Pastor is a lot of different "roles" for me, my Co-Pastor, brother in Christ, served as a witness when we got married, served as a witness in the dedication of both our girls, and also Hubby's cousin, thus mine too.

But I choose him because he will never know how much he has blessed our family, so I wanted to let him know just a little of how much we appreciate him. I'll try to sum it up as much as possible because otherwise it could be a long list.

1. Integrity
He exemplifies what a man of God should be. He not only preaches the Word (which he does well for God's glory), but most importantly he lives it. I have had the privilege to spend LOTS of time with him and what you see is what you get. Who you see preaching from the pulpit is the same man sitting in the pew and sitting in his living room.

2. Availability
Sleep is not a priority. I can't count how many hours he and his wife (which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) have spent counseling Hubby and I. I can't recall a time when he wasn't available for us at anytime of the night. He has prayed and fasted for us.

3. Bold
Preaches the Word. To anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances, and in Truth, not a watered down Gospel, but the full Gospel. Two important lessons he taught me which have really, really, stuck with me

(1)Don't serve as a stumbling block (Mark 9:42)
(2)Be a peacemaker and a peaceseeker. (Matthew 5:9) (Psalm 34:14)

4. Funny
He is just sooooooo funny. Rare is a time when I have left without laughing when I'm talking with him.

There is so much more I could write like humble, wise, discerning, talented, God-fearing, wonderful husband and father but I could be here for a while. Thank God that when we get to heaven I'll be able to tell him everything that's in my heart and he'll know the impact of his life on ours.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tradition Greater than Love?

Last night, before going to sleep I listened to a partial interview with Brannon Howse and Ron Carslon as they discussed freemasonry.

This morning Hubby and I began discussing the topic and he commented on how he couldn't understand how a Christian could take part in the freemasons. I responded, "Tradition is greater than love in this instance." (Although I said it in Spanish which sounds better "La costumbre es mas fuerte que el amor")

Now I don't profess to be an expert in this matter, but it did get me thinking about why we do the things we do, as Christians. Can we excuse our practices to tradition or even ignorance? Most certainly not!

Many Christians will be celebrating Halloween this weekend out of tradition or ignorance, but this is not an excuse before the Lord. Yes, I know many justify it as a harmless day in which kids dress up and eat candy and they're not celebrating Halloween but rather Harvest Festival.

The Bible says,
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"
(2 Corinthians 6:14)

As Christians should not be yoked (something that binds, unites, or connects) with the world in celebrating Halloween.

Instead of dressing up as Christians, let's actually be true imitators of Jesus, who called us from darkness to light (1 Peter 2:9)

Can we ignore Halloween and pretend it does not exist? No, let us instead:

1. Speak truth.
They see the decorations and costumes, so let us educate our children on the origins of Halloween so as to not let the enemy fill in the gaps.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32

2. Pray and Fast.
As a family and church let us pray and fast for those children whose lives are exposed to the occult through the celebration of this demonic ritual. Let us come together against the enemy. Let's use the weapons of our warfare!

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tick Tock

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15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Ephesians 5:15-16

Last week seemed to be an unusual one for us in which we were beginning homeschooling later than usual and I had a to do list as well. When I would get up in the morning (late), I would begin to think of what had to get done during the day and then the enemy would say,

"Get started quickly, don't get backed up.
You'll be miserable and so will the girls.
You don't have to pray just begin the day and stay in communion."

But how many of you know the devil is a liar?!

I noticed this pattern throughout the entire week, but all the glory is God's, I prayed every single morning. I didn't realize why the enemy was especially attacking my prayer life last week until my husband would get home. Come to find out that while I would be praying specific things for him while he was at work, God was moving on these situations instantly. Now I know why the devil was trying his hardest to keep me from the presence of God.

Has he succeeded with you?

Yes, there are times when we wake up and have a lot to do, but nothing should keep us from His presence. Only when we are there will we receive the comfort, wisdom, and strength to tackle our day in the Spirit. Otherwise, we may get our to do list done, but at what cost? Did we get fleshly and grieve the Holy Spirit? Yes, we accomplished everything but ignored the most important person-Jesus. Is it worth it? Absolutely not.

Let's not let the devil steal a precious gift God has given us--time. Let's us use it to seek Him so that He can tell us how He wants us to spend it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Count Your Blessings Challenge

Picture 19
Yesterday, we had the privilege of honoring our Pastor for all his hard work and love in the ministry the Lord has called him to. So, for this week's Count Your Blessing, I thought we should honor our pastors as well, whether it's your husband, your church pastor, co-pastor, or a pastor you listen to. You can list their qualities or a specific instance in which God used them to bless you. Up for the challenge?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

Sorry for the late post...I've been busy, busy, but never too busy to stop and count my blessings!

1. Mami and sis are back from Ecuador...thank You Jesus!
2. I got an unexpected referral bonus...yipeeee:0)
3. Got to visit my FIL and enjoyed spending LOTS of time with them and tasting some GOOD food
4. Hubby's uncle made such a sweet comment to me that I know only the Lord can do
5. Mama-in-law also told us such an endearing comment that wow, I KNOW it was the Lord!!!
6. SIL has been coming to church which is always a blessing
7. Walked very long with sis and niece to snag a deal and we got it...
8. Homeschooling this week has been extra filled with blessings, in depth conversations, and revelations
9. Tuesday prayer continues to be a blessing...
10. Being under Hubby as my Pastor is amazing. I have seen him grow and continue to see God's glory in his life. We're seeing God answer prayers instantly and simultaneously...He's definitely doing new things in our lives...stay tuned!

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Than What?

pic- mountain climbing Pictures, Images and Photos
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Romans 8:37

As my tween and I were answering questions from her reader, one question stuck. Basically, the question asked what made the woman's cheerfulness especially remarkable? Answer: Because she was blind.

This began an interesting conversation of how this woman represents a "more than a conqueror."

What makes her more than a conqueror?

Well let's see. What makes us more than conquerors?

Is is that we are peace seekers and peace makers?

Or is that we can love our enemies?

NOPE. This makes us Spirit led children of God. We are not more than conquerors because we walk in the Spirit and not according to the flesh (although, we must conquer our flesh in Jesus' name).

What makes us more than conquerors is when we can face difficulties and tribulations, persecutions and insurmountable hardships and overcome through HIM-Jesus. When we can face death and sickness and loss and still shout, "I know my Redeemer LIVES!" because we have His Word, which is above death, sickness, and loss. We can walk out of it all (death, sickness, loss or whatever) and still proclaim His goodness and faithfulness. Because when we walk in the victory given to us at Calvary through HIM-Jesus, well then, we are more than conquerors!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Compassion International

Compassion International Pictures, Images and Photos

And speaking about international things (my mother and sister are in Ecuador), about two years ago my family was blessed to travel to Ecuador as well. We were privileged to preach Jesus and to bless expectant mothers as well as students. Traveling outside the USA opens your eyes to how MUCH the Lord has blessed us here. But what are we doing with these blessings?

Well, maybe you are not going internationally (yet), but you can start somewhere. Send your dollars where you are not going (for now).

Compassion International is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping children throughout the world. So, if you don't yet sponsor a child, prayerfully consider it or make a donation to this ministry.

Not only are they interested in helping children abroad, but they want to help your children and mine too! How?

Through a gaining awareness of the effects of poverty on children throughout the world. They have developed Quest for Compassion, an interactive journey into four distant villages, with the purpose of planting the seed of compassion in our children's hearts. They are also working on a Compassion Magazine for Kids. To sign up click here.

God has abundantly blessed us so that in turn we may be, how Hubby puts it, "A blessing factory!"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
This week has been tremendously blessed, more than I could possibly count...

1. Got to spend LOTS of time with my nieces (including sleep-overs)...God is so good that kiki slept through the night every night...Your mercy, O Lord!
2. The growth I have seen in my BIL is wonderful. I met him when he was a teen and have seen God's hands transform and mold him into a man of God who fearfully walks in obedience...he's a great husband and father and BIL
3. Tuesday's prayer service was a blessing ALL AROUND. God spoke to each of our lives and His Word always brings life...He never forgets...
4. I was so encouraged by the little brother & sisters (4-5 yr olds). Their faith increases mine. Looking into their little faces as they proclaim their desire to do God's is inspiring...With God there are no limits!
5. Since Sunday, hubby wanted plantains but we didn't find them @ BJ's, so God being God, touched a brother and sister to bless us with some plantains, sweet plantains, and yuca...Father, bless them for blessing us and for walking in obedience
6. Was able to write to a brother in Christ who is facing a challenge but God remains faithful
7. Enjoyed mami monday (daddy was working @ the church) with the girls playing a phonics game
8. Hubby has been such an instrument in the Lord's hands in our lives...Father, thank you for giving me more than I can think, ask, or imagine in my husband
9. Homeschooling this week has been GREAT...surrendering and seeking WORK...the glory is God's!!!!!
10. My SIL pleasantly surprised us in church tonight...Thank You Father for drawing her to You!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Power of an Invitation

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

Hubby had been encouraging me to listen to a testimony on Brannon Howse's show. It was the story of Joseph, a once Muslim son of a Hamas leader and now the son of God the Father...Aleluya!

On his show, Brannon interviewed Joseph's Pastor, Matt Smith, who also has an incredible testimony.

What wows me about this story, is not that the Lord revealed Himself to Joseph, it was how He did so. Joseph was invited by a Christian to attend a Bible study and given a Bible. That was it! Joseph later began reading it alongside the Quran and was convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Had it not been for the courage of this nameless (to us, but not to God) Christian who invited Joseph in Middle East (of all places) to a Bible study, we would not know Joseph's story for he would have none worthy of praise.

I too, along with hubby, came to know the Lord because of a simple invitation from our now Co-Pastor.

So don't be discouraged in your work for the Lord. Continue to preach the Gospel. It doesn't have to be from a pulpit, it can be in the streets or in a funeral home, which is where God invited me.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pleasant Words

As a homeschooling mother, having a good curriculum is important. However, it does not replace the Holy Spirit's instruction and my disposition to be a useful instrument in the Lord's hands.

How can you be a good teacher to your children?

Well, the Holy Spirit has taught me:

(1) to be a good teacher, I must be a great student first. It is so important not to have power trips with our kids and teach them in a dictatorship manner. We have to be flexible, moldable, and humble. They must see eager students reflected in us who sit at the Master's feet listening to His teachings rather than seeing "I know it all because I'm mommy" attitude.

(2)The Holy Spirit has been ministering me on Proverbs 16:21,

"The wise in heart are called discerning,
and pleasant words promote instruction."

Wow, what a revelation! At times, when we talk and talk and talk (and our children don't seem to get it), we end up sinning through frustrations and impatience. A sister in Christ once told me that going on and on is pointless because it's not God's way. God doesn't keep on drilling corrections or hammering interrogations at us, so neither should we.

If our desired effect is to promote instruction in the home, Godly instruction, let's begin doing it's God's way and use pleasant words. Let us speak as our Father speaks and we will get His results, which are always good and pleasant!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Count Your Blessings

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1. Got to participate in church cleaning on Saturday...thank you Lord for the privilege
2. Was able to speak to Mami, whose overseas doing the Lord's work, and to my brother as well
3. Encouraged by Gospel for Asia, we started sponsoring a native missionary in Nepal...You are the Lord of the harvest, strengthen, protect, and use her for Your glory in Jesus' name (Luke 10:2)!
4. Have a new sister in Christ...there is rejoicing in heaven (Luke 15:7)!!!
5. I got to enjoy some alone time with my tween eating zeppole

Can you tell she enjoys them?

6. Got to tell my SIL alot of things that were in my heart especially how much I love her:)
7. Got to stay with my nieces twice this week...I enjoy them soooo much
8. A BIC came to church...thank you Holy Spirit for drawing him to the Father
9. God ALWAYS manages to surprise me year after year on how He celebrates my earthday...Thank you Father for another year, Thank you for YOU!
10. My whole being will exclaim,
"Who is like you, O LORD ?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
the poor and needy from those who rob them."
Psalm 35:10

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Paid in Full

Equity Line of Credit Pictures, Images and Photos
As my husband and I joked about me turning 30, I reminded him that I am not thirty. In reality, the house I am in is thirty, since my soul is eternal.

I also told him that it's great to be 30, because like a 30 year mortgage, I've been paid in full by the blood of Jesus!!!!!

13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:13-15

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Let's Talk About It

bullhorn Pictures, Images and Photos
Are you sincere?
Are you transparent?
Could you openly express your thoughts, concerns, failures?
Can you admit your mistakes?
Or confess your sin?

Do you have the attitude of "what happens between us, stays between us"?
It's no body's business?
I can talk to God about this by myself, I don't need anyone else?

Is that you?

I am convinced that had my husband and I not sought counseling on SEVERAL occasions, we would have been separated or more likely divorced. Or worse, we could have been living a hypocritical, conformed life which is not what Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). In either of these scenarios, we would have been outside of God's will for our lives.

Why can't we speak openly? Why do we answer robotically, "In Victory!" when asked how we are doing?

Simple. Pride and fear.

We're prideful when we can't admit our weaknesses and struggles. We're fearful when we think about the possible judgement or criticism of others. But shouldn't we value His opinion of us more than man's (Matthew 10:28)?

Let's loosen our tongues and take off the masks in the name of Jesus! I pray that we (hubby and I) would remain teachable and continue to learn to be humble and meek like Jesus (Matthew 11:29). That we would seek godly counsel and prayer. We don't want to ever feel or think that we have it all figured out or worse that we're good just like we are. If we're good, we want better. If we're better, then we aim for great, then excellent...until attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

Are you willing to expose your heart to someone else and let them know what's going on?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Spring Cleaning in the Fall

cleaning Pictures, Images and Photos

Today, the family in Christ was busy, busy, the church and learning. Every time we get together to clean the temple, it's different.

And today, was not the exception. The Lord began ministering us since we left the house until our return home. I find it a blessing to see how the body of Christ works. Some helped by staying home taking care of the kids so that we could work. Some came to work. And one sister in particular worked and brought us homemade chicken sandwiches (which hopefully I will be able to duplicate). But we are the body and were working together for God's glory.

The Lord had ministered me early in the morning with Ecclesiastes 9:10,

"Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom."

Before getting to work, we read the verse and prayed. And I truly know I am blessed to be a part of an assembly of people who work for the Lord, and not for man. They did an excellent job!

But I must also admit that one of my favorite parts about cleaning is the fellowship. You learn so many things about your brothers in this setting. You not only laugh (which we did...ALOT), but you learn as well (which we did...ALOT). I got to see so much of Jesus in my brothers, it truly encourages me to die to self and live for Christ. They love the Lord so much and want ALL of Him and nothing of themselves.

So although we had some spring cleaning in the fall, we desire continual cleansing all year around!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Count Your Blessings

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1. Got to do some decorating touches on the house (no more return trips:)

2. Ate dinner with my sister and her family...good food with my blessed family
3. Started on our Spanish and Health curriculum and enjoying it LOTS
4. Enjoyed prayer time with Hubby...truly times of refreshing
5. God ministered us beautifully on Tuesday Prayer @ church...Holy Spirit, You are real to us!
6. Hubby and I celebrated 7 years in Christ...You, O Lord, take us from glory to glory!!!!!!
7. Hubby's co-worker (our new sister in God be the Glory) sent me an ENTIRE Junior's cheesecake (my favorite)...I love it the way the Lord surprises us...very nice way to celebrate our 7th anniversary in Christ!

8. Enjoyed time with sister sans hubbies or girls and this time with coffee:)) We laughed so much and stayed until they actually turned off the lights with us still inside!
9. Worshipped and was ministered by God's Word in the upper room...YOU are faithful
10. I saw a lil' sister in Christ take off her shoes to praise God...a true worshipper @ 3yrs old!!
11.Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
Psalm 73:25