Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gathering for Prayer

She's sniffling and I can't tell whether it's from the coldness in the air or the unseen tears streaming down her face.

She lets out a cry of anguish. It's the tears.

She continues praying and settles down.

She came in quietly and quite unexpectedly. She keeps her coat on because the chill. She is silent and yet I know her heart is full speaking to her Father.

She prays.

She listens and is convicted by the words she hears. She is choking and can't seem to get the words out fast enough. She confesses her sin and intercedes.

She too prays.

She sits silently almost unnoticed but not by her Father who set up the divine appointment for her to be there when no one else, including herself, had planned it. She is quiet and wants to remain unnoticed but not by her Father who she came to see.

She prays.

We pray because that's what we do when we gather together.

We pray and believe Gods Word for our lives, for the lives of our families, for the Church.

We talk, we cry, we laugh. We pray.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Romans 12

1.  offer your body as a living sacrifice
2.  be transformed by the renewing of your mind
3.  think of yourself with sober judgment
4.  love must be sincere
5.  hate evil
6.  cling to what is good
7.  be devoted to one another
8.  honor one another
9.  never lack zeal
10.  keep spiritual fervor, serving the Lord
11.  be joyful in hope
12.  be patient in affliction
13.  be faithful in prayer
14.  share
15.  practice hospitality
16.  bless those who curse
17.  rejoice with those who rejoice
18.  mourn with those who mourn
19.  live in harmony
20.  live at peace with everyone


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Facing the Facts

Can you face facts?

Can you face the fact that maybe right now you're fighting off discouragement, your marriage is under attack, or your children are rebelling?

Can you face facts?

Or when asked how you are doing does your preprogrammed response, "In Victory!" come out of your mouth as you reason that as a believer you are answering by faith?  

Can you face facts and answer, "The fact is that is was a struggle to make it to church today because right now my husband and I are facing some issues that need God's intervention and our children have been displaying rebellious behavior."  

But wait, it doesn't stop there.  Because you can face the facts and it doesn't make it truth.  You can face the facts and your faith doesn't have to weaken.  You can face facts and not waver through unbelief.

You can.  Abraham did.

18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”d 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18-21

Abraham faced the fact that his body was as good as dead and that Sara's womb was also dead.  But facing that fact didn't weaken his faith.

And facing facts doesn't have to weaken ours either.  

Let us stop the automatic responses and walk in truth.  

Facts aren't truth; Jesus is Truth.

So the next time you are asked, "How are you?" answer truthfully.

"The fact is ....... But I believe Jesus has the power to ..... will you pray with me so that I am not weakened in my faith, so that I don't waver through unbelief, so that I can be strengthened in my faith, give glory to God, and be fully persuaded that God has the power to do that which He promised?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review: Les Miserables

Focus on the Family's audio drama of Les Miserables promotes being true to Victor Hugo's original novel following the tale of Jean Valjean's encounter from savage injustice to the grace of God.   Having absolutely no knowledge whatsoever regarding the story line for Les Miserables, I can not say whether the production itself was true to the novel.  However, this production is well done infusing the heartaches of Jean Valjean as well as his triumph over bitterness to become the antithesis of his nemesis, Inspector Javert, a man so controlled by justice that mercy escapes him.

While this production gripped one's attention and provided various points of reflection and discussion, it did lack the essential factor of Jean Valjean's conversion--Jesus.  His conversion seems to be more of a response to mercy shown to him rather than an encounter with Jesus.  Where there is evidence of Jean Valjean's conversion through his life in overcoming evil with good, it would have been edifying to know the source--Jesus!

As a listener of Focus on the Family's Radio Theatre productions, I enjoyed listening and discussing the  production at home but think that a clear mention of Jesus' work in Jean Valjean would serve as an introduction to a greater audience of unbelievers.  

I received a complimentary copy of above mentioned title from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19
Week of 1/1/13-1/5/13

1.  Bringing in the New Year at church with my FIC!

2.  Beginning on a new prayer journal

3.  Playing Sara's Sweets:)

4.  Finished family read aloud

5.  Pedicure with girls.....oooohhhh.....ahhhh

6.  New year of teaching Sunday School:)

7.  Women's Prayer!!!!

8.  Praying with Maria in the Dominican Republic...thank You Lord for technology:)

9.  Randy made lasagna....yummy

10.  Went to bed at 8pm!

Week of 1/6/13-1/12/13

1.  Alicia taught Sunday School:)

2.  Enjoyed the changes the Lord is bringing to Sunday School and Tuesday class

3.  Randy's Godly counsel

4.  Received 3 packages!

5.  Late night talks with Alicia

6.  Late night workouts...PF...judgement free zone:)

7.  Praying with Sara

8.  Target & Costco shopping with girlies

9.  Morning tea with Mami

10.  Women's prayer!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review--Desperate

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe written by Sarah Mae & Sally Clarkson sets out to provide encouragement, help, and answers to questions.

Did it deliver?  

The authors provided a lot of tools.  Each chapter begins with a letter from the younger mom and the seasoned mother's response,  a written portion from each, Your Turn (Biblical verses and questions), Something to Do (an action plan) and finally a QR code to watch a video.  

Whereas all these tools show a desire from the authors to help mothers, it falls short in the actual content. The focus seemed more on 'civilizing' children and creating a home that 'pleases' one's heart.  Although Scripture references are contained in the Your Turn section, it seems to be limited to that section instead of the groundwork for providing hope for mothers.  The solution for desperate moms seemed to come from within and others as opposed to God.  

Great topics were brought up, but not solutions.  For example, the authors stated that depression is part of motherhood.  The 'it just comes with the territory' mentality is not Biblical.  Temporal remedies such as bringing flowers and meals, playing soft music, and lighting candles are  just that--temporal fixes.  I think the authors had a great opportunity of examining heart issues that can be healed by the Word of God and missed it.

This is not a book I would recommend.  

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Read Alouds

I haven't done a homeschool post in such a long time.  So I thought I would hop on here and share something we've been doing that has been such a blessing--read alouds and audio books.  

We usually do this during lunch hours or once homeschool is "done".  It has been a great way to start discussions with the girls.  We stop in the middle of the reading/listening and discuss how and what Bible verses apply to what's going on in the story.  

These are some of the resources you can look into for audio books/drama:
Adventures in Odyssey
Focus on the Family Radio Theatre

Titles we've enjoyed:
Number the Stars
Strawberry Girl
Amos Fortune, Free Man
The Sign of the Beaver

Definitely check out your library first and the www for free resources first.


Friday, January 4, 2013

The New

I am sitting here typing about to sip on some tea.  Trying to gather my thoughts on this the fourth day of the new year.

December felt like a whirlwind.  It is a different kind of month where schedules, routines, and disciplines go flying out the door.  And that is good.  

There are family gatherings, special church services, and shopping sprints.

But I have to admit, I get antsy during December just wanting it to be over to begin something new--a New Year.


Because there's something about new that's so appealing to me.  (Yeah, I am the one who actually likes Mondays.)  New means fresh starts, bright beginnings.  New brings with it connotations of shiny, excitement, and a clean slate.

But new does become old.

As I fall back into a routine, follow a schedule (of sorts), and fine tune discipline in areas of my life, I don't want to forget the newness I have in Christ.  That throughout the year, every single day really, I have an opportunity to experience Him anew, afresh.  I can receive His grace and mercy and LOVE to begin again and extend it to those around me to do the same.  

So, as I take a sip of my tea and savor its taste in my mouth, I want to savor the new of each day in Him.  I want to remember that in Christ, I am a new creature, the old has gone, the new has come!

I want to remember that at the wake of each new morning, He directs His love to me and that His mercies are new every single day.

I don't have to wait until the new year to do so.  I can start today, now.  

Because I am new.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Goals

1.  Read Proverbs to the girls during weekdays
2.  Memorize 2 verses this month (joining right here)
3.  Pray for a SIC for entire month
4.  Incorporate 4 meatless meals into menu
5.  Homeschool evaluations
6.  Write letters to Nthati & Abdi
7.  Finish 1 month of Project Life 2011 (yeah, I know:)
8.  Freezer cooking 2x
9.  Finish workout weeks
10.  Write 2 reviews

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December Goals Update

1.  Mail letters to Nthati & Abdi
2.  Homeschool Evaluations
3.  30 in 30
4.  Print family prayer planners
5.  Freezer cooking
6.  Complete final month in Bible Reading in 90 days
7.  Finish reading book
8.  Start getting tax papers ready
9.  Finish November pictures in family album
10.  Buy New Year's outfit

Overall, this month was pretty productive.  The most important thing was time spent with the Lord and our time together as a family.  It's a month when one can get caught up in traditions, festivities, and the like that the obvious is often overlooked--seek His kingdom and His righteousness FIRST!

With all the excitement and anticipation for the New Year, I pray that God may continue to help us to continually be forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus!

Count Your Blessings

Picture 19

December 23-31

1.  Church gave out gifts to the children

2.  Ali was surprised to receive a new Bible and plaque from Pastor

3.  Slumber Party!

4.  Church dinner with FIC is priceless:)

5.  Gift gift was having my oldest sister with us

6.  Went to the gym in the midst of a storm and finished another workout week:)

7.  Worked on planners, printed them, had them bound by my personal Staples copy & print specialist:)

8.  Visited my FIL and Papo...who made a delicious meal for us, he testified about God's goodness in bringing us at the right time!

9.  My BIL celebrated his Birthday!!!!

10.  Finished reading the Bible

Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds--his name is the LORD--and rejoice before him.
Psalm 68:4