Don’t Miss the Wonderfully Made Giveaway

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14) 

My kids love babies!  And they were so excited that we had the chance to review this book! You may recall last fall when we wrote about “When Lightning Struck: The Story of Martin Luther”; perhaps you know of and love, the Bible curriculum she designed for grades K-12, Bible Road Trip.  Wonderfully Made, is Danika’s latest and quite lovely, work. Written for ages 5-11, this is a beautiful way for our kids to journey through design and see that truly God has made them. From conception through birth this is very tastefully done, and full of the scriptures that confirm what a blessing children are! How amazing this is to be able to see and read about each stage of this beautiful gift called life. Since reading this, my children have such a new appreciation for one another and life itself; they are also all praying for a couple more blessings in our family too! 🙂  This truly is a wonderful book to help share how we are knit together by the hand of God!





To celebrate the release of Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley, I am hosting a wonderful giveaway with the rest of the launch team. The giveaway includes a hardcover copy of the book, along with several other books and products your family is sure to enjoy. The total value of the giveaway is nearly $600!
Wonderfully Made Giveaway
Here is what you could win:

Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth by Danika Cooley – hardcover $9.99 value

Wonderfully made is an excellent book that introduces a young child to the wonder of God’s creation – the wonder and miracle of birth. From conception in the womb through the nine months within the mother’s womb Danika Cooley takes us on a journey of discovery… the discovery of life.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

Touch of Life First Trimester Fetal Models $89.95 value

Sculpted from real-life photos, these four fetal models representing weeks 7, 8, 9, and 10 after conception have a personality of their own, and the life-like feel of the skin brings home the humanity of the preborn baby in its first trimester of life. Accurately portrayed thanks to medical descriptions and photos, these little samples of life are a great educational tool for helping to understand the wonder of the early stages of human development.

Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum (includes Lower and Upper Grammar Notebooking Journals $60 value

The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum is a 463-page digital PDF download of the full Bible Road Trip Year One curriculum for all five levels, preschool through high school. The Bible Road Trip Year One Curriculum includes the Parent / Teacher Guide and 32 weeks of curriculum schedules for all grades.

$100 Amazon Gift Card $100 value

Enjoy shopping with a gift of $100 + an adorable bookmark.

Big Bible Science: Experiment and Explore God’s World by Erin Lee Green (Ages 5-11) $12.99 value

Big Bible Science helps children and those who teach them to explore God’s World and God’s Word through real live science experiments. There are twenty-one different units taking students through scientific concepts such as Gravity, Friction, Animal Classification and the Nervous System.

My 1st Books and More by Carine MacKenzie and Philip Ross (ages 4-7) $15.99 value

Who is God? What does he do? Can I know Jesus? Why did he die? Children always have questions about God. They want to know what it means to be a Christian and who Jesus is. My 1st Books and More gives a year’s worth and more of bible readings, devotions and memory verses.

Living Water in the Desert: True Stories of God at Work in Iran by Rebecca Davis  $8.99 value

One man was overcome by the missionary’s kindness. Another was stopped by a vision of men in blue.  One became sick and tired of his own religion. Another saw a man named Jesus in a dream, coming to him on a donkey.  A girl found a strange book on the floor of the library and visited a secret prayer meeting. All of them eventually came to Jesus Christ for His full and free salvation, becoming missionaries to their own people. Seventeen chapters tell true stories of the Living Water pouring out on the country of Iran, even up to the present day.

Lights in a Dark Place: True Stories of God at Work in Colombia by Rebecca Davis (ages 7-12)  $8.99 value

Colombia has been known as a land of violence, but God is at work! Even though the Colombian people have reacted with violence to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God has delivered people from burning houses . . . God has healed ones who cursed . . . God has given people dreams and visions . . . God has rescued kidnapers . . . God has conquered demons of darkness. Read fourteen true stories of the Light of the World shining in the land of Colombia, South America.

Jungle Doctor’s Monkey Tales by Paul White $8.99 value

The wisdom of monkeys is proverbially small. They never could remember not to get too near to the hind feet of zebra, nor to throw coconuts at Chewi the leopard, nor to look into the eyes of snakes. Luckily for his little nephews, Uncle Nyani, the only survivor of a family of seven, is always near at hand to tell them how they can live to be as old as he is!

Jungle Doctor’s Tug-of-War by Paul White (ages 5-11) $8.99 value

Even by monkey standards, young Toto is pretty dim! Those baddies of the jungle, Crunch the Crocodile, Mbisi the Hyena, Slinki the Jackal, Vibi the Vulture and Gnark the crow look as though they are going to have an easy time finishing him off. However, Toto soon finds himself in the middle of a tug-of-war, for his real friends, Elephant, Giraffe, Parrot and Hornbill are determined to rescue him from the clutches of the jungle underworld.

The Bible’s Big Story: Salvation History for Kids by James M. Hamilton Jr. $4.99

With easily remembered rhymes and Bible verses take your child through the span of Salvation History from Creation to the Fall, the Flood to the Exodus, the Exile to the Crucifixion and beyond… James M. Hamilton writes about real history, God’s Salvation History, and our future.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership $97

1000s of topical pages, themes, and designs . . . Perfect for any subject or study A to Z!
Art Study ♦ Copywork ♦ Character Study ♦ Famous Men & Women ♦ Geography (state/country studies, continental, world maps) ♦ History of the Ancient World, Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation, and Modern Times ♦ Music Study ♦ Nature Study ♦ Science ♦ Timelines ♦ and more!

Mom’s Toolbelt Lifetime Membership $24.95

A customizable home management planner for every area of your life that craves order.

Hal and Melanie Young: Mom & Dad Special: Raising Real Men (book + audiobook) plus a free registration to both Boot Camp 9-12 AND Boyhood Boot Camp. $101 value

If this is God’s chosen gift to us, then why does it seem so hard? How can we prepare these boys to serve God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way? The answer is yes.

When You Lie Down: Lullabies and Scripture Songs CD $12.97 value

These twelve songs remind us that true rest, comfort and hope come from God alone. This music is an awesome way to experience God’s Word with your baby, kids and family. You will discover that this album will be a powerful addition to use in your personal time with God.

Seeds Onesie- Psalm 139:13-14  $14.97 value

Seeds Family Worship Onesie featuring Psalm 139:13-14 on the front with a small Seeds logo on the back.

Cultivating Responsibility: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 9-12 by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

The later elementary age years are among the greatest times to build responsibility in children. Heart transformation takes place when parents use other tools than behavior modification.

Elementary Foundations: Parenting Wisdom for Ages 5-8by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN $14.99 value

Many new things happen during the ages of 5-8. Children start school, develop significant friendships, learn to think abstractly instead of just concretely, and have a greater ability to draw close to God. Parenting during this stage produces a number of challenges and opportunities so you’ll want to be prepared.

To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, age 18 and older. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, April 20 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced at the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party (winner does not have to be present to win, but we hope you’ll be there!)

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You’re Invited!

Join us for the Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party on Thursday, April 21. We’ll have even more giveaways and freebies, too! The party begins at 9pm EST, and you can RSVP on the event page
Please RSVP!

Wonderfully Made Facebook Release Party, Thursday, April 21, 9pm EST

Simplify with Spirit

I’m freaking out lately. Lol


Maybe not really. But I am having a hard time accepting where my home is at right now.


Listening to the Homemakers  Online Conference, and reading Titus 2:3-5 I am inspired and encouraged to really live it out, showing in my life glory and honor to Him.  I am reminded, even in the mess, to thank Him for the blessing of my husband and four children, and my home.



Now I never had anyone to teach me how to love my husband and my children and my home. I never thought there was anything to keeping a home that needed to be taught. I mean this is so easy right? Super simple? ha-ha


I am surprised daily but how much is truly involved, Biblically, in keeping and managing our home if it is really showing Christ, within. I often think of what it means to have a Christ centered home. And truthfully when I imagine it, its not much like our home.


I have visions of this peaceful home where everyone always gets along, we are all happy, we all are gentle and kind and share…..If I make this my focal point, I will fail again and again at making my home a place that shows His love and light.


I remind myself this morning that its about our love for Him, its also about embracing the truth that is Him. Because He is the word and the word is Him. And we are His so we too are his word. He created the world with words; we create our world with our words.


So our home isn’t always what we imagine it to be but today (and my kids and I began our day this way) we will speak His words. We will speak of the Spirit.


M oldest wrote out a list of words that He has God speak to his life. He wrote of the joy God has given him, his love for worship and prayer and the word.  He wrote about him being enthusiastic, eager and loving of God. He wrote of how he was chosen by God. He was created by God in His image, to be His worker. These are precious words for a little man to write.  They are powerful too.


We must know who we are. Its so simple to organize our life by the very One who gave it to us. Who called us and inspired us. It is His Spirit that ought to guide everything every moment and every word. Its a new thing we are doing: To begin eat day speaking those words of life, God inspired, to ourselves, and to one another. To speak blessings just as those priests did, over their people, so shall we.



What can we do when bespeak and do in the Spirit instead of in the flesh? I had a to do list for this morning but instead I tore it up. I spent time in prayer and in worship and now I am writing this….In the Spirit. And my list has been written anew, in the Spirit, a list that encourages and only speaks what will be done.


We cannot complicate things; let us be done with making things so complex.


We are His masterpiece; we cannot fail for if He says we are mighty, we are mighty And He says so much about us. Let us embrace it and speak it ourselves!


Give Them Grace ~ Chapters 2-4

As you know I have been reading Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson in the Family Discipleship Facebook group. If you missed the discussion of the foreword, intro, and chapter one, you can find that here. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you are reading along. If you care to join us this is the schedule we’re following in the group. Although as you can see I am a bit behind. No pressure though; join in as you can and where you can~

We'll be discussing Give Them Grace May-July 2015. Here's the schedule!
In Chapter Two, these ladies talk about How to Raise Good Kids.. this was so very revealing, and difficult, for me.  Fitzpatrick and Thompson discuss here the difference between goodness and righteousness. And what a huge difference there is.  But how many times are we tempted to tell our kids they are “good” or that they need to be “good”? How often do we shower them with praise? Yet if we are honest with them and ourselves, apart from Christ, there is no good thing to be found in any one of us. Romans 3:9-13 (KJV) says:

 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

And then in Mark 10:18 Jesus says:

” Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.”


Jesus alone is good. Whatever we have, be it finances, home, family, peace, health or righteousness  – it comes from Christ alone. It is through Him alone that we have our salvation. If we praise our kids for being “good”, are we not then giving them a false sense of righteousness? —What can we do to encourage and inspire them to do well, without giving them the impression that it is them alone who can do “good”?

Every word we say to (our children) during the day will be shaped by our view of their ability to be good and how to get them there. Every responsible parent wants obedient children. But if we’re confused about their ability to be good, we’ll end up lying to them about their desperate lostness outside of Christ. We’ll tell them they are good and that they can obey God’s law. (Give Them Grace, page 47)

Certainly as I train up my children, I want them to see their need for a Savior.  I want them to know that we can not do any good thing without Him! The truth of the Gospel can be so powerful if we allow His Word to speak for itself. Let us not interpret it or water it down for our children. Let us trust that as He works in their lives they will gain an understanding and love of His Word.  The truth is what sets us free and it shall set them free as well if we trust in Him.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway — win an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes GC and #HeartParenting Books!

A few months ago, NCBP released an amazing  parenting book, Motivate Y our Child and they are now publishing a guide to use along with the book called Motivate Your Child Action Plan. This book can stand alone, but is an excellent companion to Motivate Your Child.  Trust me. When it comes to motivating my child (mostly my oldest son) I have a plethora of tools I have tried; none that have been as full of hope, and the Word, as this.  I count my blessings since having learned of the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) andam a huge fan of their parenting book, The Christian Parenting Handbook, as well.   There are so many gems that you can enjoy, from NCBP such as: their very encouraging and inspiring podcast episodes, blog, and books such as:

Each one of these books and every podcast I have heard, has been full of precious biblical advice and instruction to aid us in this task before us of training up our children for Him ❤


Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway


To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350!

Here’s what you could win:

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)

  • In the Box – iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.
  • iOS 6 features – Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

Because you’ll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.

The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God’s Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You’ll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you’ll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:

Seeing Is Believing 

Playing for Keeps 

Running the Race

Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law.

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Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party!

Action Plan Facebook Party

52 Little Lessons

     I love musicals.  I remember the very first time I saw this on stage; I was in love.  From that point on I read and studied the story, the history surrounding it all – I learned how to play the music, I learned every word to every song.  It was such a beautiful and powerful experience for me.  To this day I still remember, almost word for word, the songs within this musical.  🙂


So when I came across this book – how could I possibly pass it up? This, Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, has never grown old. I do not believe that this story will ever lose its value. At its core it speaks of sin, love and redemption. It shows sacrificial living; it is in many ways an excellent example for us as to how we ought to live.


Author Bob Welch, states he did not seek out to analyze this story but rather he sought to answer a question. Not just any question; it did not have anything to do with France and the time period in which Les Miserables historically occurs, but rather a most simple question:“What can it say to me where I am right now?”


These real such simple lessons. Short reads to ponder for our own life. For example: Lesson 6: “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit”; Lesson 26: “The Past Can Be a Springboard to the Future” and Lesson 40: “Self-Pity Morphs Into Selfishness”  and one of my favorites,  Lesson 38:  Perspective Changes Everything.  These are just a small sample of the lessons within this book. Certainly we all have much to learn as we grow in Christ. 🙂

Typically lessons begins with a short quote from the original story and then continues discussing a specific event or scene, then moving on to “real life” examples as well as scriptural references  Each lesson concludes with a thought provoking question, something that helps to show its application to our own life. They really encourage you to stop and take inventory, and reflect before moving forward.


A good example of this is seen in the character of Valjean; his story and even the characters of those like the Bishop and Enjolras. Fantine and Cosette.  There’s so much life within the pages of this book all full of lessons and ways we can grow ourselves in our own lives.  I love the depth in the one simple line: “even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”  Doesn’t that take on a greater meaning when you really stop to consider it?


Such a sweet, simple, valuable read. I do believe this would be wonderful to use as a devotional even.  I plan in the near future to space this out, one lesson to ponder over several days. To really seek His word and way in those pages; there is a greater depth that I do not want to miss!  Certainly this one is overflowing with the most precious of lessons if we only take the time to really allow the words to sit, just as our tea bag steeps in the cup. I definitely will be reading this one again, as a steeping teabag, that I may gain a greater and stronger understanding from every word.


So Why?

Children are a blessing from the Lord.

Lo, children are an heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

Psalm 127:3

Should we not always seek God’s blessings in our life? How much more should we desire children, God’s most precious of gifts?


Lately I struggle to bend over as I get closer to my due date; I am excited and tired. Eager to meet this precious baby that is growing inside of me, restless and frustrated with the ongoing feelings of sickness and weakness.  Being tired, needing to lay down and rest. It seems, all the time. I am weary of picking up clothes, toys, and other random things from underneath tables and chairs.  My senses are super sensitive; the kids screams and shouts (in joy) they are now painful and I do believe they could even shatter glass… whining and fighting….its almost impossible for me to bear.


I have to remind myself of this almost daily right now. As I push down the desire to groan and complain about my discomfort; the inconvenience of this pregnancy….I remember those I have met, friends known from long ago ,who struggled to have children and for some, that prayer, may never be answered. I am being blessed, abundantly, with another sweet babe – I need to remember how great a gift this truly is.


There will always be trials. We will always have struggles. As I tell my oldest son often, nothing that is truly worth having, comes easily. There is work to be done, there are sacrifices that we need to make ~ Sometimes we just need to lay down. ❤


It isn’t easy, I know. It’s not the popular thing to do. It’s a lack of peace, often times minimal sleep, short and quick sometimes lukewarm showers…. a hot meal, what’s that? There are times that we are simply bombarded with demands, needs, complaints, tears….Seemingly never-ending.


And this is when we have to remember how Christ came, for us, how He died for us ~ He laid down His life for ours.  It’s a powerful reminder of what it means to be a momma.


We certainly had our fair share of tantrums; we struggled and grumbled; how I fought to have my way (and now and then I admit I still have those moments), yet we have been shown such grace.  We were ugly, unkind, unloving, so undeserving and yet still, He laid down for us. He continued to love and sacrifice for us.


Paul says, “Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us” (Phil. 3:17).


I desperately need Christ in my life.  Every moment, every day.  Paul says in Romans 7:15 saying: “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.”


And then he says when writing to the church at Philippi, he knew himself to be the “chief of sinners”. He remembers with shame how he persecuted the Lord’s church and thus, the Lord Himself (Phil. 3:6; Acts 9:4).


I strive to remain as humble as he; to praise God even in my storms. To thank Him for the trials He brings my way, that can only make my walk that much greater going Him that much more glory.  He laid down His life and I was so undeserving. He gave up everything for me.  For you too.


When we are born again, Christ, He lives in us. He gives us power to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. Our children, they need to see the love of Christ through our life.  They need to see that love and grace that He showed us because even when they are “undeserving” we once (maybe today we are) were too.



Hebrews 13:2(KJV) Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby * some have entertained angels unawares . *


Did you know, the word entertain has several meanings: to have people as guests in your home or in a public place, to perform, to provide amusement for another by singing, acting, etc, to show hospitality to, to keep, hold, or maintain in the mind. 


This verse shows us so clearly how important it is that our relationsahip with God is one that also impacts all of our other relationships (ripple effect?) -—even those interactions with strangers (maybe even moreso those)!   Just as a rock dropped into the center of a lake creates ripples that can be seen in ever-widening circles, my relationship with God must have an effect on every person I come in contact with each day.  My relationship with God was never meant for me alone. My relationship was meant to be so much a part of me that every interaction with others is touched by God’s love and grace as it is at work in my life. 🙂 


As we read this passage we are told that we are to view other Christians as our “brothers,” even if they are technically complete strangers. We are to welcome them and extend hospitality to them as members of the body of Christ. Just as Abraham and Lot welcomed those “angelic” strangers in Genesis, we can never know when that stranger may be a “divine appointment” perhaps an angel. — Angel or not, we should view every meeting as an opportunity to show the love of Christ to others and minister to them. (Honestly) I try to pray each morning that God will give me His eyes and help me to remember that I am not too busy to miss out on any potential “divine appointments” He may have for me. 


Certainly I know there been opportunities for me to entertain Angels and yet I have been too busy, or perhaps too selfish to see them.  Perhaps my heart was unwilling even. I need to SLOW down and take the time to really look and see and feel His Spirit always working about me, that I may recognize those opportunities when they are put before me.

How I pray that Jesus will continue to open my eyes and give me His vision to see as he sees. Lord I need to slow down and pay attention to what you are calling me to do. To be more aware of your presence Lord, to be constantly seeing your will and your way in all things, all places and all times. 


All that I have been reading, and blogging here as of late, all of it speaks to the need for action, in our walk. It all shows again and again how grace and faith must be something that can be seen and experienced. We need to be doers of the Word… without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).

It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of this world, to focus on ‘self’ instead of on others. We need to extend genuine kindness. We need to be intentional in seeing others and their needs as a blessing from God. An opportunity for us to be a blessing to another.  Is it not true that how we give is how we shall recieve? 



On a sidenote, I have got to make the time to watch “Entertaining Angels” I am told it is an interesting and moving story about the 1920’s and 30’s social activist, Dorothy Day, for it can be regarded that what this woman did, sometimes single-handedly, always controversially, in her fight against social injustice would, indeed, be wonderful entertainment for angels… or it could mean that her work was for the benefit of the ‘angels’ at the bottom of the social ladder for whom she fought daily against those who would hold them down… this included her work as a suffregette. However it is meant, this film captures much of the real-life drama that took place on big city streets, and of the very personal trials which eventually led her to convert to roman Catholicism, and a dedication to helping the poor.

Just Give!

Matthew 25:35 (KJV):  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

“Are good works necessary for eternal life?” (25:35-36)

“Jesus did not teach that good deeds form the basis of our salvation. The Bible shows clearly that eternal life results from what God does, not what we do (Titus 3:4-5). We are saved by God’s grace, not by our works. Yet, God intends that those who receive his grace will also do good works (Eph. 2:8-10). True faith is more than just claiming to have faith; there is fruit that can be seen when we have true faith. Others shall know us by what we do. Genuine love for God will be expressed through service to others (1 John 3:16-18)–simply because a heart that truly loves God will be so filled with compassion for others, we will not be able to do anything but what He would do Himself. Jesus set the example for us to follow; he came to heal those in need. Good works that come from people grateful for God’s grace are at the heart of true religion (James 1:27).”


These are some truly challenging verses to pray over and meditate upon.  These actions, they are what show the true state of our hearts.  These are meant to challenge that we would reach out, show mercy, love, seek opportunities to preach His word, to those in need, more and more. Again we are shown how important it is to serve, for just as He came not to be served but to serve, so have we been called to serve.  It’s not about us but about the body of Christ; the community where He has placed us.  We are missionaries in our own homes and neighborhoods.  We must reach out; we must be still that we can hear and see where God is calling us to go, and to speak, to love and to heal. In His name and for His glory. 


We must be willing to step outside of our comfort zone and be “welcoming” to “strangers”.  We are here to meet the needs of those who are “the least of these” — the undesireables (when I was still a social worker my caseload was always jokingly referred to by that name – the ones no one else really wanted or hoped for).   We cannot turn a blind eye; we are called to love as Christ would love them. He never tells us to “play it safe” or  simply “take care of your own.” Rather again and again, He says, “When you love the outcast, you are are loving me.”  


When we are still, we are so much more aware of our surroundings. One lady wrote how this brought to mind the title of a book – The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died, but Teacher You Went Right On.  In other words, we can be so busy we don’t notice other things around us. Are we too focused on the flowers that have died? Do we see those opportunities and needs which cross our path? 

What could happen if we really could “be still”? It makes me think of snipers – in order to make an accurate shot, they must shoot in between their own heartbeats. To do that, they have to be able to hear their heartbeat.  A study was done to show what happens when people are placed in a completely sound-proof, darkened room. When placed in complete stillness, people can hear their heartbeats, and air passing through their lungs. Can you imagine that? I can barely hear myeslf think some days. 

Imagine if we could be that still with God, what could we, would we, accomplish? Would we miss those dried up, dead flowers? What “urgent” thing could fade away as we focus on Him and His kingdom ~  What would we see that REALLY matters? 

Posted in Un School Home School

Does He Reign?

I woke at about 5am this morning; this song running through my head. It’s beautiful isn’t it?

But I got to thinking as I lay in bed…what does rule in my heart?

Long ago when I was small it was ponies, bunnies, stories and songs from long ago … as I got older that changed to things that were not so harmless, like rock concerts, the occult, mind altering substances, life or death experiences….my heart was a mess….today it’s my Jesus. My family and home, training my children for the Lord, baking and learning to be a stronger and brighter light in the darkness.

Ezekiel 36:26 – A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

“I stand in awe of you … ”

I am today, still, so in awe of His power and love. I am so in awe of all He has created; from the sleeping ones upstairs, to the little life being so perfectly and miraculously formed within my belly. I can feel her kicks as I write.

Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.

We are told to keep our heart; we are commanded to guard our heart.

Matthew Henry says: We must keep a watchful eye and a strict hand upon all the motions of our inward man, Prov. 4:23. Here is, 1. A great duty required by the laws of wisdom, and in order to our getting and preserving wisdom: Keep thy heart with all diligence. God, who gave us these souls, gave us a strict charge with them: Man, woman, keep thy heart; take heed to thy spirit, Deut. 4:9. We must maintain a holy jealousy of ourselves, and set a strict guard, accordingly, upon all the avenues of the soul; keep our hearts from doing hurt and getting hurt, from being defiled by sin and disturbed by trouble; keep them as our jewel, as our vineyard; keep a conscience void of offence; keep out bad thoughts; keep up good thoughts; keep the affections upon right objects and in due bounds. Keep them with all keepings (so the word is); there are many ways of keeping things—by care, by strength, by calling in help, and we must use them all in keeping our hearts; and all little enough, so deceitful are they, Jer. 17:9. Or above all keepings; we must keep our hearts with more care and diligence than we keep any thing else. We must keep our eyes (Job 31:1), keep our tongues (Ps. 34:13), keep our feet (Eccl. 5:1), but, above all, keep our hearts. 2. A good reason given for this care, because out of it are the issues of life. Out of a heart well kept will flow living issues, good products, to the glory of God and the edification of others. Or, in general, all the actions of the life flow from the heart, and therefore keeping that is making the tree good and healing the springs. Our lives will be regular or irregular, comfortable or uncomfortable, according as our hearts are kept or neglected.”


We must choose to guard our hearts. Each day. Every moment.

Everyday, we are faced with choices…we are bombarded with stuff. Some nutritious, others nothing but junk. And we must choose life or death. Whom shall you serve?

Do not let down your guard and, let the devil in. So be watchful, sober and obedient to Him. Guard your heart !

When It’s Just Hard

I remember hearing a message some time ago about how important it is for us to be ready to love and share His truth with people we don’t like. People we don’t think are “possible” Since I was once considered “impossible” myself, I guess this one was that much more powerful to me.


And today, we are about three months into a nine month exchange program; hosting a young lady from China who is anything but a good fit, for our home and family. I see it as impossible; I admit I count the days until she returns home. My son, who is five, asks often when she will be gone. We try to talk about the differences in her world and ours but for kids, its always simpler than its really made out to be. This is a quiet girl who keeps to herself; in our loud and crazy home, its always been refreshing to see these kids jump right in. But not this one; this one hides. All the time. So far removed from all of us. Not really a part of anything. Makes it hard to love her.


A stranger in a strange land. Unable to understand so much; very separate from the rest of us and so very far away from home. I can not imagine being so fearful, so surrounded by things unknown and at the same time  so afraid to step outside of myself and ask.  How do you encourage one to seek out understanding?


I admit I have sought the Lord much on this. I know He sends these kids our way; we have never once hosted one that we chose. They have all been different of course; unique and spirited youth that were eager and excited to experience everything they could here. Well, not all of them were that spirited. The two from China we have found were both so very reserved it hindered their progress here. Yet looking back every one of them (this new one only God knows of course) gave their life over; they were born again of the water and of the spirit in their time with us. Glorious!


God is in control. I want be used, I want to be His vessel. And I have to be ready and willing to do this. The hard stuff. The things that don’t look like any fruit is going to come. I have to weather the storm, keep my eyes on Him. I have to know too that this is not about myself or my family; it’s all about Him. He calls them here; we give them a place to learn and get to know our Lord and Saviour. I mean what is more important than eternity for our souls? I am a control freak – I think I need to see something happening – I need to trust. Step out more and more in faith; obey Him. Listen to Him. Know that He has got this however the story ends.


We cannot like everyone that comes our way. And it is so true, that He will send us people who will be a test to us and our faith. It would be so easy for us to ask them to send her away; to another family for the rest of the year. I have thought about it, prayed for Him to let me let go. Silence. No response because He knows, that I know His answer. We need to be strong and we need to just keep living the truth in the hopes that something she sees will move her closer. Cause her to seek Him more. And when we seek Him, truly, all else will follow.  I am beginning my days seeking His will in my day, as always, but more, seeking His voice for this young one who is so lost.


Time is short. There are without a doubt signs all over the world; He is coming back very soon. And we need to be ready. We need to gather people together; we need to speak boldly, His truth, the words that give life eternal. The way is narrow, and few there will be that find it but we should not, we cannot, ever let that stop us from sharing the gospel with everyone we know who does not know. Let us preach the word and strive to: