When we first become engaged to the woman or man of our dreams, we envision a certain amount of perfection that will follow in our marriage. We see our life filled with smiles, laughter, passionate kisses, maybe some children. We don’t dare imagine life without a few little bumps in the road, because after all we are trying to be honest with ourselves.
What happens after we say “I Do” is where the rubber meets the road. All of our hopes and dreams we have separately, jointly and even unspoken ones… all join together. The brightness of a newly married life and romantic adventure wears off a bit. After years it may fade away completely.
Why would this happen? Why is it accepted as part of the way things are when you get married? As Christians, we should immediately reject that lie. We should understand that marriage is a life long romance that requires us to be vigilant to guard it and our hearts. The enemy of our souls is seeking to kill and destroy and our marriage. Christian Marriage, tops his list of things to destroy. There are a lot of reasons why he does this. Mainly because marriage is holy before God and he hates everything called holy. Another big reason is that when we are married before the Lord, we are blessed, strong and bonded in unity. Literally that must make the devil’s skin crawl.
When we remember all these things, we should stand a bit taller and be ever more committed to protect and strengthen our relationship with our husband or wife. We know that satan prowls about like a hungry lion and breaking a godly marriage is pretty delicious to him.
So, how can we strengthen and protect our marriage from that?
It takes a hard and focused stand on the issue. We must eliminate everything, yes every thing, that comes between the husband and wife relationship. If our marriage is full of bickering there is a struggle for power in the marriage. That will take some serious denying of your flesh and giving God control. If we are spending too much time or too much money on “things” or “hobbies” then cut that out too. Sensual movies, sensual books, victorias secret (soft porn!) have no place in your marriage. Ever. Don’t fool yourself if you think you are not affected by it. Your eyes & heart should only be for your sweetie. God’s word is clear on the matter.
Our children, according to scripture, are NOT ahead of our spouse or the Lord.
The Biblical order to your priorities is:
5. Other family, Friends, Serving in Church
6. Exterior world
When we are at worship practice 3 nights a week, playing cards or out with friends frequently, shopping for kicks, on the net chatting or facebooking, texting, at soccer practice & games, pta meetings, television, netflix and so on… we are spending way too much time NOT being married or a family. We have our priorities out of whack.
It then makes sense that we will have a cascading failure of our marriage and family!
If we take the time to prioritize our walk- God first, Our husband or wife second- then our life will shift back into proper focus. No longer will chaos, busyness, fighting, power struggles, passive aggressive remarks and behavior, sexual problems in the bedroom and our children’s behavior plague us. All of these things do straighten out if we genuinely turn all of this over to the Lord.
On the subject of our bedrooms, it is a taboo topic for some reason in the Church. Secret sin abounds in this area. It is not a place to manipulate, coerce or avoid and make excuses. The marriage bed is pure and holy and good and safe. A place of trust and intimacy. God says so in Song Of Solomon, “Drink deeply!” Passion and romance are very good and He wants us all to have it. When we begin to treat our husband or wife like they are a treasure to us, with honor, with adoration, we will see a change. Make an diligent effort and do it regularly. Progress may be slow at first, but keep praying and keep up the good work.
Your marriage is worth it. Every little step counts. If you need help, a fantastic book “The Love Dare” is available at the link below.
Keep your marriage spark ignited and protected from pornography by shopping at http://SPARKthismarriage.com where mannequins are used for modeling intimates and elegant romantic massage oils, flavored lotions and Marriage books can be found. Helping you to protect and strengthen your marriage is their passion!
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
What a wonderful thing to do- to meditate on His faithfulness, His goodness. And a wonderful thing to teach our children to do as well. Not only at night in our beds, but all the day long. (Deut 6:6) In our family we do not celebrate hallow33n or the controversial "harvest parties" that coincide with Oct 31st. If Christian families wanted to celebrate the harvest of the Lord or play dress-up, why on THAT night when there are 364 others? I am not really asking anyone that question, I know that if they really are honest with themselves and God, they will know the answer. But I digress...
However, we DO spend a great deal of time in October and November preparing our hearts for the coming King, which we celebrate in December (although not like you may presume). Much time is spent giving thanks, reflection and in praise before December.
This year in particular, we have a long list of thanks and praise. I personally just had a near miss with death and will be with my family here on earth longer. A couple months ago, my grandmother gave her life to Christ only 3 days before she died. My husband has had a major financial breakthrough at work last week and our list of praises goes on.
Two days ago, I was literally laying in my bed as King David did. I was alone and thinking in the dark and suddenly became overwhelmed at how thankful I am that the Lord has spared my life to stay and serve my immediate family longer. In that moment, I had no thought for myself whatsoever, after all I would have been in Heaven. Nothing bad about Heaven, folks! No loss for me to go- only gain. BUT... my only thoughts were of how my immediate family needed me and I was truly humbled right then and there. Humbled by the honor to be reserved here to continue to serve them.
It was a God moment.
A moment like that is hard to really convey to another person the depths... or rather how deep and wide the implications and understanding you had in that tiny instant. True revelation, I guess you could say. In any case and however you might say, I have been made keenly aware once again how
not even a day is guaranteed to us;
how good through and through the Lord is;
my conviction to press on toward the mark has been rekindled
and also, interestingly and unexpectedly, I saw myself in the mirror in this last couple weeks. I was disappointed in a few things, but I was surprised at how clear and unpolluted my motives were in the rest of my "closet" when the Lord shone His light in there. Maybe that was an additional gift from God. How could that be a gift? Reason why is that, honestly, I doubt myself and my personal walk a lot. I always wonder in the back of my mind somewhere, "Am I really desiring what the Lord wants? Am I selfish in these ambitions? Is my heart truly running after Him?" He has eased my fears of this, at least for now, and at the same time He gently showed me my weak areas to work on. What a good Father He is.
Clearly I have a lot to be thankful for. I know you do too. Won't you make these two months special and tell God how much you love and appreciate Him? Sort of like a romantic anniversary you may have with your husband. Love on Him!
"Any objection to the carryings on of our present gold-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant reply,
'But we are winning them!'
And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To self-denial? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To a despising of the world´s treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ?
Of course the answer to all these questions is no." -A.W.Tozer
No joke. This is real.
Please prepare for your family now. Emergencies and disasters are commonplace now, no matter where you live.
Do you have a backpack with a flashlight, batteries, granola bars, water, rain jacket, whistle and prescription medications in it? FEMA recommends every person has their own backpack with some basic items to ensure that the person has what they need in an emergency. They also say every home should have a few days of easy to prepare food (nonperishable) on hand and 1 gallon of water per person per day. The RedCross may not be able to get to you for many days. Their websites have information and ideas of some things you may want to have in a closet ready to use just in case.
This is my project right now for my family. I've decided that I have procrastinated long enough. I am trying to collect things I have around the house and put them together in one box for an emergency. My main worry is an earthquake, but there are areas around the world where hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, snow & ice blizzards and floods are concerns.
Check out this short instructional video explaining the key steps to emergency preparedness, including: being informed, making a plan, building a kit, and getting involved.
Another neat thing - If you have a fancy phone, you can download these neat apps!
Red Cross - mobile apps
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
When you think of someone who does not keep the law, what do you see? Is it a stereotype you imagine, a rough looking individual? Does the phrase “cast off restraint” make you think of Mardi Gras in New Orleans? At its most basic definition, lawlessness means without law. That does not necessarily mean against the law. It is a very important distinction we must see.
The spirit of lawlessness has borders that might surprise the average believer and there are some very interesting ways this spirit affects people. In fact, it may shock you to hear that most people today have it. A spirit of lawlessness has paved the way in the hearts of men to think and do a myriad of appalling things.
The subject of lawlessness goes deep and has far reaching ramifications. The distance of which, we as the Church, underestimate.
To begin with, God makes the rules. He set the laws of nature, of what is love, what is holy and so on. He set them all, regardless if we accept them as true or not. We cannot rewrite the laws, the standard, that God set into motion. But that is exactly what we try to do. We are ridiculous and head strong.
Each of us has our own personal concepts and our personal defining of what is right and wrong, even in light of scripture we do this. We actually put our individual self on the scale of righteousness. Like a shade of gray on the spectrum from black to white. If Adam did that and shifted the awareness of his own sinfulness and need for the Lord and then next generation shifted that a notch down the ladder? Multiply that from generation to generation further on the scale away from holiness. Our “perceptions” are so far off the mark now that we are standing neck deep in sin and claim we are barely up to our ankles.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
This personal standard (pure invention) of right and wrong sets up an entire panorama of justification for sin and perception on who is in error. Yes, it means hating God’s law in many cases (some would argue “all cases”), but this lawless spirit goes farther. Some of it is along the lines of ‘what is right for you is not what is right for me’ but that is way over simplified. Really that is just the first layer. The foundation being- we as creatures are steeped in sin and we refuse to conform or obey ANY standard unless we ourselves judge it to be acceptable. By doing that- we are setting our own laws– not conforming, but instead copying portions of a premade set of standards. Creating our own new set, and because these new laws are our own, we can flex them and bend them to allow ourselves to still be “sinless” in our own eyes and therefore above judgment. What a set up! We are fooling ourselves. It is exactly as if we are plugging our ears and singing “Free To Be You And Me” as loudly as we can, all the while believing that butterflies and sunshine await us when we die. Denying truth and embracing the lie.
Jesus said, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
“Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
We cannot reject God’s law without consequence. We are not above judgment. We are not sinless. We do not set the standard. So then, what can we do? Can we correct this gross distortion our society (and the Church) is entrenched with? Perhaps. I believe we need to start within each of ourselves and teach our children as well. We must pull in the reigns on our ideologies. Correct our vision. We must get on our faces before the Most Holy and pray for revelation:
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
When we receive revelation FROM GOD, we see clearly. The false perceptions we have fall off like scales from our eyes. Restraint becomes very important suddenly… Righteous living, or rather living within the standard that God has set, has enormous significance as a result. Therefore, our personal relationship with the Lord will intensify and deepen. One by one, we raise the societal standard of righteousness and holy living… OR one by one we each lower that standard.
Today, the Church has a choice.
1 - 2 large onions roughly chopped
1 or 2 entire bulbs of garlic peeled and roughly chopped
1 lb kielbasa or sausage
2 lbs potatoes cubed
1 head kale, stems and leaves chopped up separately
2 cups milk or cream
2 Tb oregano or basil
1 cup powdered potatoes
sea salt, pepper, cayenne
This soup is similar to a chowder and very beautiful.
Saute garlic, onion and kielbasa in oil in your stockpot. Now chop up only the kale stems (half inch or smaller) and saute them a bit alongside. Add your cubed potatoes. If your potatoes are precooked this soup will cook faster. Add enough water to cover. Cook until potatoes are done. Time to add your chopped kale leaves, italian herbs and your cream or milk. I use raw cream. Boil 5 to 10 minutes and add enough powdered potatoes to thicken soup up to your liking. Salt, pepper, cayenne to taste.
Serve with crusty bread.
If the only dish for a meal, it feeds 8 people.
2 large onions $.65
1 bulb of garlic $.43
1 lb Kielbasa $1.35
2 lb potatoes $1.00
1 head kale $.98
2 cups milk $.34
1 cup powdered potatoes $.15
We ALL feel some days like we can't homeschool. But we do it... by God's grace. The character issues and trials in our lives are enough to cause us to doubt our abilities. We homeschool because we know the Lord has called us to do this and because He has, He will work it out when we trust Him to do so.
No homeschooling family is going to tell you that it will all be easy or every day will be easy, but we are here to lift each other up during the hard times. This why homeschool support groups are essential.
There is a saying in homeschool circles and I do not know where it started or who said it first: The worst day home educating is better than than the best day in government school.
Your children are sure to have bad days whether they are in gov't school or private school or at home. That is just fact. It has nothing to do with where they are at physically. All people have bad days. You will and do have bad days! The character issues we each deal with within our families are worked out when we are together not separated- and on our bad days the heat gets turned up on those issues.
My family has grown so much in the Lord because of this type of testing and refining! Because of this process, we actually care about each other in deep ways and seek to keep our family unit serving the Lord in every area of our lives. We are far from perfect or harmonious! But we seek to truly love our neighbor by beginning within our own family. The opportunities (a.k.a. trials!!) for this to happen are abundant when you home educate (or as some say "family discipleship" )
Remember, that is one of the main reasons for a homeschool group! To encourage each other! Share! Support!
We may have success personally defined as anything from a strict schedule and well kept house- to boys with combed hair & girls wearing dresses and baking with your own ground wheat all day- or children all snuggled in bed with you reading books together- or going to BSF together as a family and spending your budget on your children’s latest passion. Success may be what you see in your friend at the support group who has her children practice piano, and goes to some homeschool academy classes and seems to have a million friends.
If you fail to meet that ideal you have in your mind, you
feel depressed and guilty. How can you ever measure up? You struggle with fears you have been told over and over not to have: What if your in-laws were right? What if your husband tells you that your time for trying out your new hobby “Homeschooling” is over? What if your homeschool friends figure out you are not all you pretend to be? And horror of horrors, what if your children do not test as well as government school kids typically do?
Was this ever fair to ask you or your family to try to attain? This perfect life, this ideal that does not exist? Home educating is not the answer to achieve a flawless family. There is no flawless family. There is no perfect homeschool.
We look through the proverbial window into another home educating family’s life and we see beautiful frosting- but we cannot see the cake underneath is probably burned.
Only your closest friends may reveal to you they have burnt cake. You stare in disbelief at them as they detail a morning of unruly children, school that did not start until after lunch, little Joey stole $2 from her purse and her husband is thinking of making her go back to work. She cries and says she keeps thinking of putting her children in public school, it would be better for them to have a “real” teacher.
-- Hold it. Wait a minute. Did she say she was just like you? Yes. She did.
Put your arm around her. Cry with her. Tell her it is not easy, but it is the best thing she could be doing with her life. Pray with her right then. Offer to take her kids tomorrow so she can regroup and pray.
When you go home, stop and take a fresh look around and say, “Gee, I guess I am not a failure. We all have life struggles and Homeschooling is hard, but worth every drop of sweat and every tear.”
Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ. [Phil 1:27]
What does it mean to have conduct that is worthy of the gospel?
Our conduct means our behavior, attitude, thoughts and actions- in short, our whole life. Therefore, our whole life has become a daily laying down of our own flesh, obeying and all that doing that entails. Understanding what our flesh is and learning how to put our flesh at the foot of the cross can be a long agonizing road. We must do so to the best of our ability as we ever increase in our understanding in how to do it.
When our conduct becomes worthy of the gospel, it is because it represents what Jesus did for us. He gave all. Jesus is the complete gospel. He is the Good News. Our whole life becomes worthy of the gospel of Christ when we endeavor to strip off the “old man”, to crucify our own ways and thoughts and become more like Jesus. We can only go through this ongoing process with His help.
The more we conduct ourselves worthy of the gospel, the more we will not look like the world around us. The changes that have been taking place cause us to say and do things that inevitably draw attention. We choose to embrace the cross rather than be ashamed of it. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. [Matthew 5:15-17]
This attention we invariably draw is usually either very negative or very positive. If we continue to lay our flesh down then we care less and less about what the world has to say about it. There certainly will be those excited about what God is doing in your life, but there will be plenty of people who will not “glorify the Father” when they see the light spoken of in this verse. As horrible as it may sound, they may even begin to hate you. That’s a good sign.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. [John 13:35]
Would the world have known the gospel, if Jesus lived as you do? Ouch. Let’s each diligently seek the Lord to gain better understanding, revelation, on what Love is. The lessons on Love never seem to end, but they are critical in every way when it comes to knowing the Lord and reflecting Him to others.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. [John 10:26-28]
Jesus is telling us volumes in such a short sentence here. Right now we are just going to touch on a bit. If we belong to Jesus, we have relationship with Him. He knows us and we know Him. If we love Jesus: we follow Him, we obey His commandments (John 14:21). Jesus makes an important statement first: He says that if we belong to Him, we hear His voice. We should hear His voice.
How will the world know that we are His? By conducting ourselves worthy of the gospel, by our obedience to Jesus’ commandments, by the brightness of our light shining, by the way we love Jesus and one another, and because we look and sound like Him. Let’s put our focus to become more like Him and let the world know who Jesus is.
-Our own faith may have taken a hit. Even those who have been tested many times and had our faith stretched and grown until we are very strong can stumble a step or two backward when a heavy hit lands squarely.
-Physical/chemical imbalances in our system. Many suffer occasional or constant battles with an overabundance or lack of integral chemicals in our body. The brain especially. The answer, sometimes elusive, could be a simple vitamin-mineral or amino acid supplement, exercise, or blood sugar correction.
-Outside negative influences. Constantly being inundated with the unkind or poisonous behavior of others is difficult to keep guard against if it is a family member or coworker. We may even open ourselves to negativity by the media we listen to or watch or the company we keep.
-General neglect to protect ourselves from the fiery darts of our enemy. We should put on our spiritual armor. We should be praying for protection.
Our own heart, thought life and prayer life go hand in hand with our personal relationship with the Lord. When we have made a choice, consciously or not, to withhold one of these areas from Him who created us then we are setting ourselves up for an attack or outright infestation of enemy.
What can we do to get back on top? It is simple really- but can be a very difficult door to open. We must humble ourselves and ask the Lord to show us where we need Him right now in our life. He is waiting for us with the answers. He wants to guide us step by step, He wants to show us. Then in our place of humility we can hear the answer and see the path. This is where we can finally stand up victorious again and return to our knowledge of who we are in Christ.
Every morning I make kefir for my family. Actually, the kefir grains have been making the kefir for the last 24 hours, but I strain out the kefir grains and start a new batch.
First you must start out with at least 1 cup of LIVE kefir grains. Not powder kefir starter like you can buy in a health food store. Kefir grains cannot be bought at your local healtfood store. These have got to be alive and happily will continue to reproduce forever. You can get live kefir grains for sale on Ebay or GemCultures. There are forums/boards online where you can get them free for just the cost of shipping. After learning of this, that is how I got mine. I did not pay $20 for my grains. Although, they are certainly worth it.
What is kefir?
Everything you could possibly imagine or ask is on this site here: Dom's Kefir Making & Information
One starting hint: it takes about 2 to 3 weeks for your kefir grains to fall in love with you once you get them. They need daily batches made until you get the process down (and tweak your ratios of milk to grains) and time for them to adjust to your schedule of adding new milk. You also MUST use a blender to make a beautiful smooth kefir to drink or use in cereal.
Today I am dividing my grains. I have too many. I have to add too much milk to get the right consistency now because my grains have multiplied. Which is great for someone because they are the blessed recipient of my extras! I will be mailing the extra to a gal in NC. Shipping from Oregon all the way there is no problem because you add some milk to the ziplock and then place a second ziplock over that one to be sure. Then you add extra padding around that packaging to protect them before they get put in a mailer.
Here is my kefir before doing anything to it. I have left it for 48 hours instead of the normal 24, but that is okay. You can see that there is a lot of whey present. That is the yellowish liquid. That is what should happen, but today there is more whey because I let the kefir sit for an extra day.
I gently stir the kefired milk and grains to loosen them from each other just a bit. It makes straining them easier. Straining them requires a slotted spoon. The larger the slots in the spoon, the faster this process is, but the catch is that you will lose more of the tiny grains that are growing. I am really careful to watch for the "babies".
Here are some kefir grains. The are about the size and shape of popcorn.
After sorting through the jar with my spoon for a couple minutes, I am sure I got the majority of the grains. I place them in a glass as I pull them out. Some of the liquid is still in with the grains and fills the bottom of the glass. This entire glass is full of grains! Definitely time to divide my grains!
Now I will pour the remaining kefired milk through my spoon and into my blender. This is to catch any grains or baby grains I missed. Some people just blend the babies in with the kefir for extra health benefits. We do not.
When I blend the kefir, I add 3 tablespoons of sugar and hit "mix" for about 10 seconds. Then the second highest setting for 20-30 seconds. Sometimes I blend for a little longer to get it a bit frothy. At this point in the process, some people add fruit or some extract. We sometimes add frozen blueberries because we have a lot of those on hand. Usually we just drink it with the sugar and love it that way.
After blending, someone is always waiting there by my side asking for some. If we do not drink it all, that is okay. I am putting it all (blender too) in the fridge. I just keep the blender in the fridge so I do not have to wash it so often (daily or more). Kefir keeps for a very long time.
Some people will wash their kefir making jar out that they make the kefir in every day. This is completely not necessary. Even a waste of time. I wash mine out about once a week or so.
When you do wash your jar, rinse it out several times with cold water to cool the jar down before adding the grains.
Now we will start a new batch. I put half of my grains back into the jar and hold back the other half to mail. Otherwise all of it would have gone back into the jar.
Then I pour regular store bought milk straight from the jug into the kefir jar. Whole milk or 2% tastes best, but some people like to use less fat in theirs. I pour to fill my jar to about half full. This is a half gallon jar. You can get these at Walmart. Some room in it is good, as it makes it easier to slosh around a bit once or twice while kefirring. The agitation allows more contact to the milk for the grains- but this is not a necessary step. When I have enough milk in it, I put a square of t-shirt fabric over the jar with a rubberband to keep out fruitflies and to allow the carbon gas to escape. This will sit on my counter or in my pantry until tomorrow morning when I start it all again.
Yay! This is so wonderful... and "free". No more paying $3-$4 for one quart of kefir!
Where would I be without the glorious Post-It? What words could adequately pay honor to such a humble, yet worthy hero? A fresh pad represents an infinite stack of possibilties. Clever scribbles, informative notations, don't-forgets, gee-there's-that-page and other endless multitasking. Quick in a pinch. My cup overfloweth.
Where would you, the SuperHomeschoolMom, be without the Post-It? Lost. Just lost.
While we anxiously wait for the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to return, we have found a nice soft place to sit and put our feet up. We see events that are signs of the times, even if we try to hide our head in the sand or plug our ears and sing. There are critical things going on all around us that, as much as we may try, still cannot be brushed away. Before you write me off as a wild-eyed ranting paranoid Christian, hear me out.
Have you ever heard the line, “The biggest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he did not exist”?
Perhaps now you might stop and consider why you feel the need to label me a wild-eyed ranting paranoid Christian? Does it make you feel more comfortable about yourself and allow you to be free to just “get by” until you are forced to change? When could that time possibly be? Is it when your world is completely destroyed and you are finally forced to admit that it just may be the end portion of the End Times… and not the beginning?
How many sermons have we heard extolling the importance of faith? We groan, roll our eyes and hope we don’t fall asleep. What more could we honestly hear that would be different? The Bible has a lot to say about it and we never seem to really understand exactly what faith is, how to recognize it and how to measure it. Newer Christians, with zeal, pray for faith and may even look at Faith as the proverbial brass ring for Christians. They want it dearly. Many older Christians have patted these newbies on the back while politely smiling and nodding. Then, more mature Christians, bored, shrug off questions of their faith. Guess they figure “task accomplished”, they have enough.
Somewhere in our mind we have an intangible understanding of what faith is. Most simply, Faith is absence of doubt in the Lord. That translates into every area. We can have faith. We can show faith. We can be faithful. Be it noun or verb, the basic premise we all have is that faith is on a sliding scale. Measurable. The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. In response, Jesus said “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” [Luke 17] Jesus made a metaphorical reference to a very small seed in comparison to our faith and how such a small amount of faith could do amazing things. Jesus also similarly said “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” [Mark 11:23] Why does Jesus keep saying we can do tremendous things with our faith, even if it is small?
Further, why would we settle for a faith that is small? Didn’t Jesus also say that we would do these things that He had done and greater? “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” [John 14:12] The disciples understood that they needed greater faith and asked for Jesus to help them, and here Jesus says we are expected to do incredible things, even more incredible than He did. That calls for Faith! On the same note though, the disciples were amazed when demons came out when they were out ministering to the people. They did not get it. If we are to do greater works, how can we really expect to do them if we're amazed at demons obeying or if we still sit cowering in the boat afraid to walk on water?
This is where much of the breakdown happens for the maturing Christian. We know we can believe for the car payment or for Marie’s son to be healed of leukemia, but if we suddenly had no income or met Marie’s son sitting hooked up to tubes in his hospital bed… would we really believe? Would our faith evaporate? For a huge majority of Christians the answer is: Yes.
Our faith is a weak prayer we wave over this and that, like a mystic wand, to ease our mind and pat ourselves to sleep at night. We’ve lost the war on doubt. Complacency has taken over our garden.
Few will admit that this is where they now live. And few will wake up from the autopilot they have put themselves into. It’s a hard hitting realization. It means coming to terms with our deviation from what we have read in the Bible to be true. We either believe the Lord 100% or we don’t. The time for excusing ourselves for not doing the same works Jesus did and greater has come to an end.
Ask yourself this: Are you willing, brave enough, to petition the Lord to show you your lack of faith? Are you willing to have a wake up call? If you dare to ask God these things, hold on tight. Situations and relationships all around you will go upside down for a while. You may find out you are not even saved! It is in the place of crisis where we learn to depend on, believe in, trust in and completely belong to the Lord. And complete trust in Jesus is a very good place to be.
"If a word means everything, then it means nothing. Stretching words like 'marriage' and 'family' to include all sorts of things that they never meant before is reducing these words -- and the institutions they represent -- to nothing."
Does this speak to you? Check out Restore America
"Children need to know what Godly character looks like in practical terms. We love the character quality of honor, not just because God commands it, but also because it has so much rich meaning for parents and children. It can give direction in many of the frustrating moments we experience in family life. In fact, every form of selfishness has an honor-based solution.
Treating people as special,
Doing more than what's expected,
And having a good attitude.
Use our honor definition or make up your own. The point is that honor changes people. It changes the way that parents relate to their children, the way children relate to each other, and the way children relate to their parents. We all need it.
You can use the concept of honor in correction or when things are going well. You can use it when you teach your children about money, time, and other resources, and you can teach it when conflict comes around. One of the best ways to teach it is on special occasions when someone wins a contest or earns a certificate. You may show honor by giving that person a fancy place at the table or by decorating his or her bedroom door.
Honor is fun. It's like oil in a machine. It gets work done with less friction and less heat. Every family needs honor. It's great when things are going well and essential when family relationships are strained. You can work on honor whether your kids are preschoolers or teens. It will change the way your family relates."
For more practical ideas on developing honor in your family listen to the CD series with your kids or buy the book, "Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids," and read it with them. Learn more at www.biblicalparenting.org.
This is a new site that offers up a complete homeschool curriculum, "People of America".
This is a 37-week schedule of scripted American History lessons, geared to kids ages 6-8, and includes units focusing on Native Americans, European Americans, African Americans, Latin Americans & Asian American History. It's a very large site. These are interesting, easy-to-use lessons for primary students. Check it out and see if this is a resource you can use in your homeschool.
THE VICTORY GARDEN PROJECT
(from the National WWII Museum)
"In order to make The Classroom Victory Garden Project accessible to all teachers, it has been broken down into different time-frames. If you would just like to spend a class period introducing your students to life during WWII, you can use our “one class period” lesson plan. If you have more time to devote to gardening and community during crises, there are many lesson plans provided. From science to social studies, gardening and learning about the war years opens up all sorts of ways for your students to learn many subjects."
1/4 tsp peppermint oil
1/4 tsp spearmint
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup powdered orrisroot
1/4 cup water
1 tsp ground sage
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add water until paste is desired thickness / consistency. Store at room temperature in a tightly covered jar.
Substitute 1/2 tsp each of oil of cinnamon and oil of cloves for peppermint/spearmint if desired.
BEN FRANKLIN'S TOOTHPASTE
Mix into a paste and rub on teeth for whiteness.
(I can't imagine using this one myself!)
SIMPLE TOOTHPASTE MIXTURE
Bicarbonate of soda
Mix 3 parts bicarbonate of soda with one part salt. Add 3 tsp of glycerin for every 1/4 cup of this mixture, then add enough water to make a thick paste. Add a few drops of peppermint oil for better taste.
Want to print these recipes? Go HERE to print them.
In fact, even a very tranquil parent can feel overwhelmed with anger when a child gets angry. One of the most important things you can do if you’re trying to help your child deal with anger is to remain calm yourself. You want to keep the problem the child’s problem. When you get angry with the child then you need a whole different solution – a class on conflict management – because now you have two angry people frustrated with each other. Instead, you want to keep the problem the child’s problem. You do this by remaining calm but firm.
Anger is a heart issue. You won’t get as far by just focusing on behavior. What you don’t want is a child who looks good on the outside but has unresolved anger in the heart. You may want to read the book Parenting is Heart Work as you work on this problem. You’ll learn more about what the heart is and how to deal with underlying issues. Rarely is anger the primary issue. Usually children have other heart issues that, when dealt with, relieve the anger.
We've also written an article about helping kids with anger. (http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip1.asp)
One of the important anger management tools you’ll want to develop and practice is what we call a Break. You might want to read an article about the Break or listen to a podcast about the Break. The Break is further developed in the book Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read To Your Kids. Most children who struggle with anger resist the Break because it requires that they pull back instead of push forward. Because anger produces energy, most children want to push forward when they’re angry and they do that with violent words or actions. One of the primary skills that a child needs is to pull back when upset. You’ll want to explain the Break to your child. It’s not a punishment, but a tool for settling down. You’ll also want to be prepared if your child refuses to go to the Break or has a tantrum when in the Break. All of these questions are addressed in chapter three of the Home Improvement book. Chapter five gives you a hands-on plan for helping children deal with anger.
In order for children to pull back instead of push forward they have to see their anger coming on. The Bible says in James 1:19, “…be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” One of the ways to help children “be slow to become angry” is to teach them to recognize early warning signs of their anger. Another way to help children slow down the anger in their own hearts is to do some teaching about what anger is. Both of these things are taught on the CD Helping Children Deal with Anger. Although the live session by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN is before an audience of parents, you can actually listen to that CD with children ages six and up. Listening together helps you maintain a coaching attitude with your child. The anger is the child’s problem, but you want to communicate your desire to help equip your child with the necessary tools to manage life.
Most of the time, when working on anger management with children we find that the underlying issues involve an unwillingness to follow instructions, an inability to transition from one thing to another, a lack of understanding about the value of correction, or some bad attitude issues that transfer from one situation to another. If you suspect those kinds of problems are the real issue, then we wouldn’t suggest that you work directly on anger at first. Instead work on those underlying issues by focusing more on following instructions, correction, attitude, and accepting no as an answer. The Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs go into depth about these issues and help you know how to build successful routines to force children out of their angry ways of thinking.
Be careful that you don’t cater to a child who uses anger to manipulate the situation or who uses tantrums to avoid confrontation. Don’t be afraid of a child’s anger, but don’t jump in and join the battle either. Sometimes it’s best to confront a child a couple hours after the angry episode when the emotions have settled. You’ll also want to transfer the responsibility for anger management to the child. After all, this is his or her problem and if not addressed will become a major life issue. If you’re not seeing progress, don’t assume the problem will get better. Get additional help. Having a child meet with a person from church or a counselor to talk about anger can often help process emotion in a more helpful way. To help you get started or to develop a plan you might want to set up a phone coaching session with Dr. Scott Turansky or you could discuss your particular issues in an online parenting support group.
Be sure to pray for your child regularly. Also, pray for yourself so that you are spiritually ready to address the challenges of the day. Often children ride the emotional waves of the parents so your calmness will likely produce more peace in family life in general.
If you sense that your own anger needs some work you might want to read the book Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids. This book addresses parental anger and helps you know how to better respond to your own frustrations and even use them wisely to point out problems that need to be addressed in your children. You might also want to read about resources in the section entitled Parental Anger, Yelling, and Nagging.
Remember that some anger is caused by hurt such as a divorce, physical pain, or the loss of a loved one. That kind of anger needs a different approach. The CD Helping Children Deal with Anger goes into hurt anger more in depth so if you suspect that there are underlying hurt issues, you might want to listen to that talk by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.
Of all the problems that happen in parenting, a child’s anger can be the most disruptive, so stay on it, continue to look for new approaches and solutions and ask God to guide you to strategic heart moments with your child. We believe that children who get angry a lot or feel their anger intensely have a gift, it just needs to be trained and managed. People who experience intense emotions also have the ability to understand the emotions of others and even connect with people on an emotional level. Your child may end up being a counselor someday. Now’s the time to teach important skills of anger management. "
Despite the arguments of its proponents, the charter school movement is not a panacea for the ills of the public school system. Studies on whether charter schools heighten academic performance are inconclusive; however, critics point out that accurate comparisons between charter and traditional public schools are difficult to make.9 Many virtual charters specifically contract with for-profit companies. Some critics also point out that charter schools accept government and tax payer dollars without promising adequate accountability.
In addition to the above concerns, many homeschoolers have an even broader slate of worries. Virtual charter schools have been aggressive in targeting homeschoolers, sending multiple mailings and marketing materials to persuade them that this form of public education qualifies as “homeschooling.” In reality, virtual charter school administrators are competing with traditional public schools for the thousands of dollars per student in state funds that they receive if they bring more homeschoolers into the public school system. Some new homeschoolers may lack the confidence to educate their children without professional supervision or government money, and the virtual charter school programs seem like a dream come true. However, children who are enrolled in virtual charter schools must follow all of the program’s policies and procedures, which include restrictions such as exclusion of religious educational materials as part of the formal curriculum. Parents who choose these programs must realize that in accepting virtual public schools into their homes, they are also accepting the bureaucracy and government supervision that is linked to accepting tax dollars.
What is HSLDA’s Position on Charter Schools?
HSLDA believes that a distinction between virtual charter schools and homeschooling is vital. While charter schools provide parents with another choice, we emphasize that they are still public schools in every sense of the word.
HSLDA also strongly cautions homeschoolers against enrolling in virtual charter schools. Many homeschoolers are seduced by attractive marketing and forget that virtual charter schools are actually controlled by the public school system. HSLDA does not represent students enrolled in full-time charter school programs.
HSLDA is also concerned that virtual charter schools will negatively impact the public and American lawmakers’ understanding of what it means to homeschool. For nearly three decades, we have worked to define homeschooling as privately led and parent-directed education within the home. If virtual charter schools are accepted as “homeschools,” it will be much more difficult for traditional homeschoolers to separate the two in the minds of lawmakers and to obtain legal protections for their “class” of homeschooling. We thus advocate strict adherence to a narrow definition of the word “homeschooling.”
In addition, virtual charter schools still suffer from multiple accountability challenges. Having that group of schools lumped with homeschools can lower the homeschool “average” academic scores and undo much of our effort to demonstrate homeschoolers’ academic excellence.
Finally, we caution homeschoolers that participation in virtual charter schools counts as participation in public schools, and invites increased government regulation over the inner workings of their homes.
FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE: click here
I was forced to move my blog and learn some CSS code in order to bring all my kitschy vintage 50's housewife stuff with me.
Not everything is in place yet, but I am workin on it. Please be patient while it is being fixed, restored and reworked.
I start looking and researching in February for my children's curricula, usually. Praying all year round on and off. I had a real wake up call on what my 10 year old son needs for education when I went to the last support group meeting and heard about right brain-left brain learning (Diane Craft was the speaker). I was pretty skeptical and did not plan on really listening, know what I mean? However, after 10 minutes or so there was this little part that grabbed my attention and I was amazed and I wished I had been really listening the whole entire time. I went home and read the handouts and KNEW the Lord was trying to show me a key. I have been praying for years for my son. It is a struggle. He is not learning disabled. He is left brained and my oldest & I are right brained learners and thinkers. My whole method MUST change if I want my son to succeed. Which, of course, I do!!! This is a major breakthrough for us.
That brings me to say, that my son will begin using more textbook style education now. This is a method I do -not- like and have done my best to stay away from... because - I - am right brained. And my preference works great for my 15 year old, so it is hard to see that all my efforts to research the coolest subjects and materials has been somewhat in vain in regard to my son. He likes them, they just aren't the best fit, you know? I am so glad to find this out now instead of when we are beginning highschool with him. (And to add to that, last week we planned out for him through high school to graduate at a certain level of math and science instead of going the traditional plan.)
Then with my highschooler, she is 15, that is another blog post altogether, because praying, planning, researching and choosing for highschool is very specific and involved.
It's all a process. Hopefully, as parents, we are teachable and will bend an ear toward what the Lord wants for our children, which is more important than what we want for them. He loves them even more than we do and knows the plans He has for them!
Winter Scene Shoebox Craft and writer's workshop
Students will love creating their own winter scenes and stories.
First, they make a winter scene in a shoebox. Then, they can use the free templates (under “To Create a Book”) for a story web, draft, and finished book explaining their winter scene.
"It is really just a mindset. It’s the idea that you are a family, not a school. You’re a mom, not a teacher. You don’t have a classroom. You have individual relationships with your children. Your husband isn’t a principal, because there isn’t really a school. He is the head of your household, a dad, and your number one supporter. God didn’t create schools. He created families, because that was his plan for the training and nurture of children."
Dr. Mary Hood
My day begins at exactly 5am each day.
I wake already wearing a smile and ready to face my day! My hair is perfect with no gray stragglers in sight and I barely need to run a brush through it before I splash a little water on my wrinkle free face. No make up needed, of course.
After I iron a blouse and skirt to wear, I put on nylons and heels and make my way to my Bible and read uninterrupted for at least 30 minutes.
I go downstairs at 6am to find my joyful children up, dressed and reading the Bibles or praying. We exchange good morning kisses and I go to get the little ones up and change diapers. I throw a load of laundry in and starch my husband's shirt before packing his lunch.
My cheerful husband enters the kitchen as I am just finishing cooking him a heart healthy and tasty breakfast. He sits at the table with the children discussing today's Proverb and asking about yesterday's history lessons. After breakfast, everyone waits at the door with Daddy's coat and briefcase to kiss him before he leaves for work.
The rest of us gather our school books promptly and sit at the table to pray before beginning our homeschool portion of the day, which is sure to be peaceful, godly, interesting, motivating and memorable.
Yeah right. :)
We are far from anything like that!
Hold onto your socks!
Now Spam fans can get their fix in single serve 3oz packets in Classic or Lite versions! (LOL!)
The package of Spam Single Classic reads along the tear-to-open-here line: "This dotted line is like a freeway, the freeway to a delicious explosion in your mouth."
Spam Lite Single packet: "It's time to enjoy. Take another bite and throw your head back and think wonderful thoughts of faraway places while you chew. Like a magical Spam Lite castle in the sky ..."
What more do we need? Toss away those Twinkies and Easy Cheeses. Now your world is complete. Order has been restored to the universe!
David Burn answers the questions that are first and foremost on everyone's mind that is giddy with delight and quivering with excitement...
Q. Where can I keep my SPAM Singles when I'm not eating them?
A. There is no right answer here. SPAM Singles are like snowflakes, and each will have it's own special place in our hearts. Try a bookshelf, or in your pocket, or behind the TV, or even under your pillow. If you are not sure, stare intently at your SPAM Single. Eventually, through positive mind actualization properties, you will know where to put it.
Q. I didn't know that SPAM came in single slices. What should I do now?
A. Remain calm. That's the most important thing. Secondly, use the power of your brain and imagine how your life will be changed. Go easy at first, because this is a delicate matter that could easily blow your mind. If you need to relax, make a sandwich. A SPAM sandwich!
It seems that everyone loves this time of year. The songs, the decorations, the food, the fellowship. I always imagine a family around a fireplace next to a decorated tree when I think of Christmas time. In our household, the whole time from Thanksgiving to the end of December is a wonderful period of celebration of Jesus and focus on family. A joyful time, where we enjoy the company of each other a bit more and our family traditions. Traditions, in moderation, can be a joy to look forward to each year and treasured for years to come as we look back at days gone by. A tradition can be as simple as decorating your tree the second Saturday of every December or as elaborate as an entire succession of events. Whatever you decide is right for your family will be perfect.
Every year, I try to do some baking with my children. I will make one or two of my husband’s childhood favorites and then some others. These recipes are the same ones I use every year. It has become a tradition and my children associate these treats with Christmas. When they grow and leave home some day, these treats will be etched in their memories. Here is a recipe that I bake every year for my family.
Christmas Streusel Bars
2 c Flour
1 c Sugar
¾ c Pecans (coarsely chopped)
1 c (two sticks) butter or margarine softened
1 jar (10 oz) apricot or currant preserves
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. For crumb mixture, in large bowl combine all crumb mixture ingredients. Beat at low speed scraping bowl often, 2-3 minutes or until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 c of crumb mixture. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of greased 9 in square baking pan. For filling, spread preserves to within half inch of edge. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over preserves. Bake 42-50 min or until lightly browned. Cool Completely. Cut into bars.
Homemade Caramel without the mess
Lightly boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours, then chill. When you open it, it is supposed to be like caramel. You may have to add water to the pot when boiling to make sure the pot does not go dry or your can could blow. The longer it boils the thicker the caramels.
Good for a lonnng time in the pantry!
Another good post from Flylady.
Sometimes there is a learning curve [on learning a new habit] and it doesn't just snap into place. Even more so with menu planning, sometimes your Plan A menu plan hits the skids for whatever reason and now you're in a bind. What to do?
Plan B. And Plan C even. Don't get trapped in perfectionism and believe that you can never ever deviate from the menu plan! Stuff happens, we are all susceptible. So when that stuff is hitting the fan, you need the insurance protection of Plan B and Plan C. Here's what that looks like.
Plan B - I think everyone should have a stash of frozen meals in their freezer. We've even got frozen crockpot meals it's by far the easiest, cinchy-iest way to dinner and great in a pinch!
Plan C is what I call an emergency meal. This is where your well-stocked pantry saves your biscuitsâwhat you need to make a quick and dirty dinner is right there, in the pantry and you can get it cooked and on the table as quick as lightning because you have to. I've got a recipe here for you to try the next time you're slammed busy and suddenly don't have the time you need to make it.
The goal of course is Plan A. But be ready just in case for Plan B and even Plan C scenarios. That's just the way life is sometimes!
Here's that recipe I told you about. Get your pantry stocked with these ingredients this week! You'll be glad you did!
The Original 911 Emergency Dinner
3 cups instant brown rice, cooked
2 (15 ounce) cans of black beans, not drained
Jarred salsa (your favorite)
Shredded Cheddar cheese
In a saucepan, heat the beans till nice and hot. In a bowl, place your cooked rice, top with beans and salsa.
Add the condiments of your choice to the top and heat the tortillas to be used as either a bread-type side dish or to allow your family to make soft tacos from their meal.
I got this in an email from Flylady (a cleaning help enewsletter) and I thought it was pretty neat.
You know who you are! Many of us are Fabric hoarders! Here is a great idea that was posted on our BigTent message page. All you have to do is click the link at the bottom.
Here is the message that was posted.
About 2 years ago we joined the "Go Green" bandwagon. My mom made simple cloth bags in various sizes for wrapping presents. Now we have no paper to worry about buying, tossing and buying again. I think I may make some to give as gifts this year for all occasions...
FlyLady here again
Any kind of fabric will work for these gift bags. I did a Google search and here is what I came up with.
Not only can you use your Fabric stash but you can use those old clothes you can't get rid of! Maybe even some of those goofy holiday sweaters that MissusSmartyPants has been ragging us about!
Have fun but don't get sidetracked! Do your routine first! Get dressed to lace up shoes and then take a few minutes to have some fun being creative. I want to see pictures. Don't pull out more than you can put back in an hour and pick up after yourself!
We may never have to buy gift wrap again. LOL I can see it now! Everyone giving gift bags as presents and have Gift Bag Making Parties and Gift Bag Swaps like cookie swaps!
Pick up a simple spiral notebook in late August during the school supply sales. Usually you can get one for 10/$1.00! This will be your student’s spelling notebook.
You can choose to use this as the place to keep/record the spelling lists or to also complete spelling practice in. If you choose to do the spelling practice in another spiral notebook, try to pick one that is the same color as the first.
Open the spiral notebook and on the first page, or inside the cover, write the basic instructions down for your student.
Your student will be forming a list of words that they misspell throughout the week or over a specified period of time, say two weeks. These words will be recorded in list form on this spelling practice list’s page. Continue until you have 10 or 20 words – depending on the age and ability of the child- then stop the list. You may choose to carry over words that did not make the list because of quantity and any words that were incorrect on their test from last week. If you have trouble coming up with 10 words, choose words that are from lists you can find online or in books of most misspelled words. (200 Most Misspelled Words, AskOxford, Etme, 3 more links here) To buy something, you can get 1001 Most Misspelled Words at a thrift store or new for $10.
Have the student turn to the next page or work in the second spiral notebook to practice spelling each word 20 times. It also works to only spell 10 times and then require a sentence be made for each word. This is also good penmanship and grammar practice.
A test must be given by another student or yourself. If you required sentences to be written, you may decide to say the word and then say the sentence that they wrote for it. It is association and cements the learning process! Any words missed should be recycled onto next weeks list. Be careful to praise the words all spelled correctly. Remember, these are all words that were difficult to that person. These are not the spelling lists we were given as students and we knew how to spell most of them already. Try not to focus on errors made on the test and give plenty of praise where praise is due! So, there you go- an extremely effective spelling program that is tailored to the specific needs of your student and only cost you 10 cents.