Blogging Through the Alphabet ~ Letter D ~ Darkness

Ephesians 5:15-16 says:

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil



This makes me consider what God wants me to do with my time. When the days are evil what are we to do?





Its hard to see the darkness sometimes, that is all around us. Sometimes we are so busy we forget we are to make sure, in that darkness,that we shine bright. After all, if it wasn’t for the darkness, how could we see those stars shining in the sky?


We cannot fear the darkness. There is no faith in fear.




Remember this song?








We are shining. When we are in that darkness, let us rejoice at the opportunity e have to shine His light, to show others the way. After all no matter how dark it may be, that darkness has no power, it cannot overcome light.



Let us be a good steward of our time; let us give our seconds and minutes and hours and days to the Lord. What do we do with these times He has given to us? I know I could be a better steward of my time, for Him. May we use our time, to further His Kingdom, to be the light to those still in the world.




I consider this even more deeply as we prepare to travel, to visit family that does not know the Lord; family that is caught up in the darkness and desperately needs the light that He can shine in their lives. May the Lord bless our family’s time, and that time that so many others will be spending this week, in the darkness. Praying no matter how dark it may be, we will be strong and know that no weapon formed against us will prosper because He has already overcome!



Thank you Jesus for that darkness which allows us to shine your light! Glory! <3

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The Educents Black Friday Guide


For Black Friday & Cyber Monday, everyone gets an extra 10% off already discounted educational gifts PLUS free shipping on all orders.

Educational Toys & Games | Subscriptions

Curriculum | Musical Instruments Educents Black Friday

Educational Toys & Games


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Peel, Play & Learn – Buy one get one free!

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History lessons should be fun! Each monthly box comes with an interactive timeline, coloring comic strip, time capsule, and instructions on the lesson. By taking part in the activities, they’ll learn directly about the ancient world that they’re reading about. For ages 5-19 or 10-15. History Unboxed Educents

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Dr. Bonyfide Books

Dr. Bonyfide Books are colorful workbooks that make learning the names and functions of the bones easy. These stories bridge the gap between simplistic introductions to the body and dry textbooks. Young readers join Dr. Bonyfide and his friend Pinky Le Darpals on a whimsical, step-by-step journey through the bones of the hand, arm, shoulder, foot, leg, and pelvis. The workbooks include puzzles and quizzes! For ages 7 to 13.

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Violin Starter Kit

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Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Educents is offering an extra discount and free shipping on DOZENS of educational products on Black Friday!

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Be Still and Wait

Before I begin I want to say, yes I attend one of those churches. A Spirit filled, speaking in tongue’s, dancing and running the aisles, very active in the gifts of the Spirit kind of church.  And I love the presence of God that I feel there truly. It’s a place full of love and a place full of joy. There is a peace there which I have found nowhere else​ (and I have been to just about every denomination out there so trust me on this).  :-)


Anyway,  we had a message come in through tongues and interpretation the other day. The message basically, was that we need to wait. We need to be patient and just wait on the Lord. He knows our needs, He knows better than we do.  So we just need to stop and wait.



Being the season we are in I found this message to be a very beautiful one. After all for most people, this is the busiest time of the year. Even for churches, mine included. We have a Singspiration coming up, we have a Christmas play, a Cookie Walk….Its a time when everyone is so busy. And they are all turning their lives upside down, “for Jesus”.



Now I don’t want to seem unkind but can I just ask a sincere question, each of us really should ponder at least now and then….What does any of this have to do with the Lord? Where does He call us to any of it?  When we dread coming to church for fear of what the next thing is going to be….When new converts are being tasked with things not of the Word itself, when families don’t have the time to enjoy each other because they are busy mom here and dad there (kids with a sitter perhaps?), the church is too busy. Certainly there are those who have the time and resources, who minister in a variety of area and it is their passion. Perhaps they are single, or their kids are grown, they are retired and they truly enjoy being tasked with great things. But for most of us….Can I be honest? None of it is going to make or break our walk with God.



Please know I love my church and I love those who have such a desire and a joy to give when it comes to the Lord. I think of one lovely mom from our church who is always doing so much. She is an inspiration because there is nothing she won’t do and she does it all with such joy!  Not all of us are there though. And if we are not careful, can we get so busy, drag new converts into our busy, and turn them off? I mean, someone said recently that no one backslides from being in church too much. And I absolutely agree. But I do think some can backslide from being too busy in the wrong things in church. Ministries can be beautiful,  but they can also be a terrible pressure, especially for some of us with those larger families.




There is so much pressure on everyone this time of the year. People are pulled in so many directions and it makes me so sad when I see it within the church too. In all of this there’s people shouting from the rooftops that Jesus is the reason for the season. And I wish I could say amen to that. But I can’t.  Because Jesus calls us to wait. He calls us to be still.  He doesn’t call us to bake dozens of goodies, He doesn’t call us to hours of “worship practice”  and He doesn’t call us to shows. He calls us to truth and to loving and worshipping Him in Spirit and in truth. What are we doing? Are we showing the world what it means to be His or are we showing off for the world?





I will not be busy. I will not drive myself out of my mind decorating and baking and buying gifts for people that they do not need. I will be sure to share the Word of God as I do throughout the year. I will be sure to rejoice in my Lord and Savior, not just now but every day of every year.  I will be sure to continue to pray and seek His face; I will invite those I know to church, to Bible study.  I will encourage others, in the Lord. But I cannot and will not encourage things that I feel only divide. No matter how our heart feels, let us celebrate in a way that would be pleasing to Him. A way that shows that we are not of this world.





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Embrace It

I have been pondering a lot lately what it means, what it really means to be a wife. To be the help of meat, a gift to my husband from the Lord.

I did not grow up in a Christian home, in fact my mother and father divorced when I was very young and I really saw my dad. Sadly to this very day he and I are more strangers than father and daughter. 

But I remember growing up and seeing how unhappy everyone wants but I knew who is marrying. My mother even spoke against cautioning me to be smart and never get married. It seems like good sensible advice.  Then I met Jesus.

My husband and I were not married when we had our first son. To give you the short story, my oldest was unplanned. In fact he and I had both agreed we never wanted children. We were content living our own separate lives and coming together now and again as a couple. My dad’s things change fast when he was born. We still did not get married though. My husband found himself in a Bible study which led him to a most amazing and wonderful God that he is never known before. I wasn’t there yet. In fact I was adamantly against it.

Fast forward a few years and they were miscarriages, there was a period of time I was determined to pack up and leave, and then there was the birth of our son who is now six. The Lord led me to a little church not far from our current church, where the sweetest man and his wife showed me patience and love as I learned and chose to begin my journey with the Lord. We got married, this past Friday was the anniversary of six years of marriage in fact, who would’ve thought? Thank you Jesus!

In all of this I knew but it was important for us to raise our children as husband-and-wife. I knew that it was the way God created things to be, one man and one woman. Can I still wasn’t sure of the depth of the value of this relationship, for myself or for my husband. Get as I read the other day I saw how our relationship with her husband ought to reflect a relationship with the Lord. How much we serve and submit to her husband kind of shows others how much of ourselves we have given to Jesus. That’s pretty powerful to me. And it’s an excellent reminder on those days, and we all have them if we’re honest, when we just don’t feel like serving someone else. I can admit there are days that I say he doesn’t deserve it and there are days that I have pretty lame excuses for not doing those things that he asks of me.   And then I realize that when I ignore my husband’s request or choose to do something else I am disrespecting and disobeying the Lord. It’s not just about my husband.

I read once that a wise woman doesn’t take anything for granted. She is thankful to be loved and seeks to make herself more lovely. Isn’t that what we all want to do? Especially for husbands. I’m in according to God’s word we women were created, perfectly suited, for our husband.  To be his helper. And when we are a helper to her husband we are also a helper to Christ.

I know I catch myself now and again kicking off the reasons why I can’t possibly be that perfect woman for my husband.  Truthfully he and I are as different as night and day. He loves television and video games, I love opera and books. He loves sports and I love the arts. And then God speaks to my heart and reminds me that those are all the things of this world. Those are all things that will pass away. What matters most is the eternal. God reminds me that my husband and I were perfectly fitted together because of how different we are from one another. And it reminds me of those beautiful tapestry is that hang in castles far away. So many different colors and Materials that if you look at them all separately, you don’t see it, but when they are all woven together, it’s a masterpiece.

So does the Lord we’ve husband-and-wife together. No matter how imperfect we may be, when we focus on serving Him, truly there is something beautiful made.  


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His Hands Are Full

The other day I was at my kids speech and debate class. We’ve done this for three years now and my kids just love it! I love all that they learn and the way they are encouraged by so many wonderful women​  and even other kids their own age. Haley is an amazing group of families. I consider it a blessing that we are able to be a part of it too.  

Have been a part of this group for about three years now I have to admit I have not really taken the time to get to know any of these families. Aside from one or two let me know outside of the group,  I admit I tend to keep to myself.more often than not I admit I am just too busy with my four little ones to pay attention to everyone around me. And while I know but my family needs to be my main priority at the same time I also acknowledge that I can’t really reach out and show others God’s goodness when I am not really taking the time to see them.

 Fuck the other day I had that time. And I think Jesus because I so enjoyed listening to the testimony of the woman sitting across from me. As we talked about our life and our family, our studies (she is a nurse myself as a social worker) and how they are blessings from God showing how his day was even before we could see it.  Always,  His hand is upon us and our steps are ordered according to his plans for our life.

It’s amazing how sometimes we forget it or perhaps we just don’t see it, how gracious and good got it. I can certainly attest to the fact that there is money in my past that looking back, I clearly see as steps preparing the way for me. Even longer for the Lord mattered to me, it’s so clear how deeply he cared for me. Experiences and details, people I met him and shared life with. I look back and I think anything I learned from them even if I didn’t know I was learning anything at all at the time. 

As  this new friend and I spoke, we shared stories of miraculous things that clearly can only be explained by God. Individuals healed of cancer, A man who lost his job only to gain the wisdom only God could give and now shares the gospel with everyone everywhere he goes. So many who have needs, impossible finances, Lost family and friends, addictions and depression. There are so many people whose lives he got his chains, I got to thinking that perhaps we do not share enough all of these amazing testimonies. And people need to know, they need to hear God is alive and working in all of our lives for our good every day.

I love to share the word of God. I love to talk about the Scriptures and what they mean for us right now. But when I i’m totally honest with myself, that lady in the grocery store doesn’t want to hear a bunch of scriptures. But isn’t going to help convince her that God is waiting for her to come to him, our neighbor may number except an invitation to church when all we do is tell him what the Bible says. But if we can show people how the Bible lives and breathes today, I don’t think any would not seek Him more. When we share with others how good God is, how amazingly our needs are always provided for even when it seems impossible, these are experiences that cannot be denied. Miracles, signs and wonders. These are things that follow God’s people. And these are things that need to be shared.

  So today I tell you what God has blessed me with a wonderful little home, he has blessed me with four children who are full of joy and love, he has blessed me with a husband who spoils me more than he should, he has blessed me with another day. 

Count your blessings one by one with my friend!! 



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When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther

We love history around here! We are always looking for great new ways to learn about all of those “important dead people” as my oldest likes to call them. We came across Danika Cooley’s Bible Road Trip earlier this year and have really loved it, so when we saw that there was a chance for us to be a part of the review team for her new book, we were SO excited!  When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley is exactly the type of living history book that we like to read.  When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley is an amazing story that brings the story of Martin Luther to life making you feel as if you were there for every experience!





Unfortunately I have to admit, I did not know much about Martin Luther prior to reading, When the Lightening Struck. As most do, I knew he was considered to be the Father of the Reformation, but that was about it.  One fateful afternoon while he was caught in a storm, Martin Luther was nearly struck by lightning. This experience, he felt, was a sign that he needed to give up on law school and become a monk.  Written in a way that shows the experiences of Luther, both good and bad, this is a very well written historical account of his willingness to give it all for the Lord, no matter the cost.



My oldest son is 10; my others are 6, 4 and 6 months old. All love to be read to. My oldest especially loves to read about those men from long ago, especially when its a story full of truth and adventure (exactly what this one is).  Its obvious there was a great deal of meticulous research put into the creation of this story. Its the good, the bad, and the ugly. An inspiring story (my oldest struggles with his own temper) that shows such a true, sincere man, who like all of us, still needs Jesus desperately. So often we see these historical figures as greater than we could ever be, forgetting that they too are human, with needs, and struggles between the spirit and the flesh just as we do. This is a book that inspires us to lean on God, reminds us of the value of endurance and faithfulness as we strive to live and walk in His way. This is a fabulous way to experience sixteenth century Germany for yourself!


Martin Luther quote



Danika Cooley has some great, free resources to use alongside When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther. The Discussion Guide is a colorful 34 page book with lots of great questions to encourage further learning and help you experience Martin Luther’s life in a deeper way.  We really liked the timeline and Scriptures to Consider, within. There is also a 200+ page unit study guide: The Cobblestone Path is based on When Lightning Struck!, and contains further tools for study ranging from art history, to geography, copywork, additional biographies and vocabulary ~ you definitely want to get a copy of  Martin Luther Unit Study guide, about 12 weeks long, as you study.





Visit her blog Thinking Kids to get your copy of these downloads!  These are such wonderful materials to help you as you study the Reformation and Martin Luther. I promise they will greatly enhance your experience in this era.



About the Author

Danika Cooley is married mother of four, a grandmother, a writer, and a home educator herself, creating material to help point our children to Jesus. She homeschools her two youngest children in Oregon.  Check out her Bible Road Trip ~ A 3 Year Bible Survey program. This is a free, printable material, aimed at grades 1-12, just print and go! Danika’s three year Scripture survey for preschool to high school, Bible Road Trip, is used across the globe.


Get your Copy!


Amazon – Hardcover & Kindle Editions

Christian Book

Grace & Truth Books




luther disclosure




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Mercy Me- It’s Christmas! – CD Review

I am a big fan of Mercy Me. My family is a big fan of Pizza Ranch (although there isn’t one local to us so its a special treat now and again for us)  so I jumped at the chance to review a new CD, even if it was filled with Christmas tunes :-)
We were super blessed to review another CD from Pizza Ranch a few months ago and it was so good it still has not left its spot in our van. What can I say, my kids love good worship!   So what can I say? We knew this one would be a winner too!
A Few of the Songs Included on this CD:

1. Newborn
2. Christmastime Again
3. Sleigh Ride
4. A Holly Jolly Christmas
5. Go Tell It On The Mountain
6. Do You Hear What I Hear
(I won’t list them all so I don’t spoil all the fun for you! if you want to know about the rest you will have to grab a copy for yourself!)
MercyMe’s It’s Christmas! also contains four songs that are exclusive to Pizza Ranch; these  CDs are available to purchase  at any of their locations.  MercyMe It’s Christmas​ CD will be available in Pizza Ranch locations from  November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.  CDs are being sold for $5.00 (plus tax).  Pizza Ranch is also going to give away the CD as well as a $25 gift card purchase too!
If cannot say we have a favorite song though because they are all just that good! But y boys by far say their favorites are, “Go Tell it on the Mountain” and  “A Holly Jolly Christmas”.  I wish I could pick one, but I can’t.  These are just so well done, every one of them. My kids were singing along to just about every song (what they don’t know the words to, they just sing along as they think it ought to go LOL).  This is energetic, sentimental, emotionally charged worship music for a season in which there is much to be joyful and praising about!
If you have never heard of Pizza Ranch consider finding one! You will surely enjoy your experience there! 
We love that its mission is: “To give every guest a legendary experience.”  Born in 1981, Pizza Ranch connects with its communities in a way that provides bridges for friends, family and colleagues to come together.  Pizza Ranch is based in Orange City, Iowa and owns, operates and franchises over 190 locations in 13 states. Consistent growth has been a Pizza Ranch staple, as the brand has become a beacon of community involvement and exceptional food. The Pizza Ranch buffet features legendary pizzas, salads and desserts, and is delivered with an unmatched service quality.  “We are extremely blessed to have a very close connection with our guests,” said Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder and president of Pizza Ranch. “This project extends the brand’s essence to a new dimension beyond our four walls and into their lives. It’s a new kind of way for us to relate to our loyal fans.”
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