Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Clearing the Shelves

As a homeschooler, if there is one thing you will accumulate, it is books.  Since we are about four months away from our school year to be over, I have been considering next year's curriculum and where I am going to store it.

I look at my shelves and see them overflowing with good books.  Lining  the shelves are books my girls have enjoyed and curriculum they have learned from.  But the reality is:  I can't keep it all.  We have to let go of some of it to make room for the new.  

So as one of my weekly goals, I will go through our past curriculums and decide what stays and what goes.  Some books are great resources and will no doubt remain as part of our collection. Whereas, other books will be sold or donated not because they are not good books but more because our girls have outgrown them.

That's the beauty of homeschooling.  You change.  What worked last year for one child won't necessarily work with the next child.  And that's ok.  In fact, it's great.  Each child is different.  Some will be handed down but maybe used differently with the next child.

One thing is sure though--I can't keep it all.  It's time to clear the shelves.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Series: Be

There are so many thoughts swirling about in our minds of who we are and who we ought to be.

Where are we looking for that identity?  Online?  Magazines? Media?

We need to look to the Word of God to know who and how we are to be.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Everything in this world contradicts God's plan for us and attempts ruthlessly to deviate and distort us from pursuing His Truth.  We must make a constant commitment to Him, His Word, prayer and fasting to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

I hope to share with you on Mondays just some of the "Be" verses in the Bible.  I pray you soak up God's Word and meditate on it, allow it to change and transform you in Jesus' Name.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Spiritual Warfare

In Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical & Balanced Perspective, Brian Borgman & Rob Ventura 'provide a balanced approach that exposes the fictions and superstitions surrounding this vital doctrine and at the same time reveal the unseen realities of this struggle.'

This book provides such great insight into the often neglected aspect of our Christian walk--spiritual warfare.  The authors begin by demonstrating the seriousness and fatality of ignorance in order to establish its necessity in every believer's life.  Once this foundation has been laid, the authors take us into a step by step meaning and use of each piece of spiritual weaponry we have according to Ephesians. 

Whereas many authors leave prayer out of the armor, Borgman & Ventura included it making this read refreshing and encouraging.  They go into great detail concerning the need for prayer, petition, supplication, and thanksgiving. 

Having read others works on this subject, I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  It provided clear and concise information with many  Biblical citations.  The quotes from other authors on the subject were relevant instead of mere fluff.  They presented the subject manner in such an engaging matter that piques the reader's interest for further study of the Scriptures.

 This is not your standard book on spiritual warfare.  I highly recommend this book as a great resource for further study on the subject and should definitely be included in your library.  

I received complimentary copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Review: The Power of a Half Hour

Tommy Barnett's The Power of a Half Hour: Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes at a Time shares the  'the key to maximizing your productivity is to make use of small, manageable moments in your day--just thirty minutes at a time.'

The book's description, or my interpretation of it, left me thinking this book was going to be more about time management than anything else.  However, this book is a list of thirty things you can do in thirty minutes to 'begin a whole new life of fruitfulness.'  

While that did not deter me from reading the book in itself, the repetition of this and that happening in thirty minutes became a bit too much.  How do I know that a conversation I had twenty years ago took thirty minutes?  While I know the book description states that 'through inspiring stories and biblical principles' I will discover how my downtime can have a major upside, I really do not recall the author even using Bible verses.  If he did they were too sparse to be remembered.  Some of the stories are truly  inspiring but the overall feel of the book was more of the author's life resume.  

If you are looking for suggestions for what to do in 30 minutes, you can certainly find some useful suggestions.  If you are looking for a book on time management with Scripture look elsewhere.  

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Empties: Update

These last few months have been so eye-opening.  Realizing that I had way too much stuff around the house, especially in the toiletries department led to my halt on buying any more products until I had used up what I had on hand.

The result?

this was approximately from the months of November-January although not all items made it into the picture

Over 60 items no longer taking up residence in my home!  As I mentioned here, this little project has taught me lots of lessons.  I am now off to see what other area in our home I can apply this:)


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Word

As we were doing our family Bible study, we came across this question:

Name a few weapons you believe to be in Satan's arsenal.

The only answer I could come up with was LIES.  I kept attempting to think of more but it boiled down to LIES.  

If there is doubt,  he's lying to us about who God is.
If there is shame, he's lying to us about what Jesus has done in us.
If there is discouragement, he's lying to us about what Jesus can do in/through us.


This made me think of how important it is to read the Word, but also to study it, memorize it, meditate on it (day and night). 

I don't want to ever grow tired of reading His Word because He is Truth.  I don't want to ever feel like I've read it so many times, I know what it says. 

I want to approach His Word with hunger, thirst, and expectancy.  

I want Him to open my understanding and give me insight.
I want Him to renew my mind, change my heart, and transform me.

Since our warfare is not against flesh and blood, our weapons are not carnal either.  They are mighty through God and one of them is the Word.  So we have to dig more and deeper to remain standing, to avoid conformity, and show ourselves approved.  May God help us in Jesus' Name.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be ale to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:13 
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2 
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15