Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The days are absolutely lovely... sunny several days in a row.  That is just what I have been needing... and so have the kids.  We have been cooped up in our school room for ages now  - it seems.  So, we have been taking our home school to new sights... outside.  The winter kinda brings our home school to a grind. It begins to feel like we wake  - eat - school - eat - play - eat - sleep! But when those lovely days of spring hit - we take advantage.  A day out in the sunshine does so much good, and brings life back into the "grind" of homeschoooling.  I sometimes even change our pace - change up our subjects  - to help change our mindset about finishing up the year.

Take a minute today - and enjoy the outdoors - take your homeschool to a new place... enjoy God's beautiful creation!

"For the beauty of the earth - for the glory of the skies...this our hymn of grateful praise!"

Monday, March 29, 2010

PBC Ladies' Sunday School Lesson for March 28

Our third week in the study of Jude took us through the next 6 verses.  We have had a good time together studying this out... preparing ourselves to be better "contenders" for the faith.

I. vs. 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

  • Jude continues on with a few more historical examples of apostates.
  • gone in the way of Cain - he presented the fruit of His own works as a sacrifice to God - Reminds us of those who think they can "work" their way to heaven
  • Ran greedily after the error of Balaam - Balaam was on his way to curse Israel and get paid for it - but God stopped him in the road - using his donkey - God opened the donkeys mouth and allowed him to speak to Balaam... it finally got his attention!
  • Balaam was a hireling - this is a warning to those modern "Christianity" sellers who preach a HAPPY only gospel that has made them fortunes - they preach only what people WANT to hear.
  • "perished in the gainsaying of Core" - Core or Korah raised himself up in pride and despised Moses' authority (see Jude vs.8) - God judged him and his whole family... the earth opened and swallowed them up
II. False Teachers (apostates) compared in vs. 12,13
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
  • Spots in your pure feasts - a stain on a pure act of worship
  • clouds without water - EMPTY or DRY
  • carried by winds - EASILY CHANGEABLE, no foundation
  • trees whose fruit withereth - fruit of the spirit is evidence of the Holy Spirit within - but withered fruit is evidence of what within?
  • without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots - they have no depth - no fruit - THEY ARE DEAD WITHIN
  • Raging waves - PUSHING or CRASHING to do their own will
  • wandering stars - mariners guide their journey using the constancy of the stars - but WANDERING stars have no constancy no ability to guide
  • their judgement is clear - the blackness of darkness forever - God is not taking these "false Christians" lightly - this is serious!
III. Enoch's prophecy vs. 14-16
14. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 16. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words], having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
  • God has prophesied the judgement for these - and it is big... he will bring 10,000 of his saints to execute this judgement.
  • convincing them of their ungodliness - he uses this word 4 times in vs. 15 alone... they are UNGODLY
  • murmurers
  • complainers
  • walking after their own lusts  - seeking their own glory and not GOD's
  • They speak great words - they talk a good talk but have no spiritual life to back it up
  • people think well of them because they "look" so spiritual - people see only the outward show... that is why Jude is exhorting us on how to "pick them out of the crowd" - they have snuck in unawares, but it is our job to detect them and warn the saints against their "counterfeit Christianity"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Government Health Care Bill thoughts...
I know everyone has their own view of politics and government. Yet, I have to say that I am very dissapointed with what transpired this week in Washington. On Tuesday, I took part in the MSN online poll asking what people felt about the healthcare bill being signed into law by the president. I voted - "angry."  Guess what??  So, did 70% of all other voters.... WHAT?

This is what disspoints me.  Our representatives are elected to "represent" us in Washington.  It is obvious by polls like this one - that our representatives are not truly representing their people. How did we come to this place? I am dissapointed, sad, and concerned about what kind of America we will be leaving to our children...

History fails to record a single precendent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster. ~General D. McArthur

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16b

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to... clean up Baby powder SNOW

I am so thankful for each of my sweet children...
This is what I woke up to this morning! Innocence...

This is what I found this afternoon... somehow the girl's room
began to snow... baby powder??

This look tells it all... notice the powder flecks on the camera
It is still in the air...
I just thought it was safe to take a shower!

Good news... The vacuum cleaner wand and the little
flat attachment...

...worked wonders! Now we just have a lingering smell
(which is rather pleasant) and a fine dust on everything.

I guess since our two's were not so terrible... we must be
playing make up during 3!

Just thought I'd share - in case you ever wonder how to clean up baby powder snow! Now you have the "How to."  (But I hope you never have to use it... I don't think I will ever get ALL the dust off the furniture.) Preschoolers...

Check out 30 minute blog challenge and Chatting at the sky for more interesting mom stories!

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 21 Ladies' Sunday School

This week we were able to cover 5 whole verses in our ladies Bible study.  We reviewed a bit of what we studied last week, and then covered the next few verses.

In these next few verses Jude is giving us examples of what these men are like that are creeping in.  He shows us things that they are capable of doing.  Gives us things to watch for in them, and to examine in ourselves!

vs. 5 - Jude is reminding us of some historical examples of the "creeps" that we read about in vs. 4.
        - FIRST EXAMPLE -The Israelites that were guilty of "unbelief" were not able to enter the promise land - they were destroyed in the wilderness

vs. 6 - SECOND EXAMPLE -The fallen angels - these also put someone else above God.  If fallen angels have such a judgement waiting for them - what about fallen man?

vs. 7 - THIRD EXAMPLE - Sodom and Gomorrah sensual sins and the judgment they received

vs. 8 - The counterfeit Christians - or the "creeps" do all of these examples and more:
  • filthy dreamers - wicked fantasies and imaginations - pornography - thinking about fantasies with men who are not your husband - leading to dreaming of this as well - pray and ask God to cleanse our minds to combat this - applied to today could be the viewing of wicked things on television or even internet
  • defile the flesh - this can be applied many ways - drinking, drugs - sexual sins, marking our bodies, abusing our bodies
  • Despise dominion - this person hates authority - anyone who has the rule over them, pastor, leader, boss, even scripture
  • Speak evil of dignitaries - shows they have no respect  - seek only what is right in their own eyes -
vs. 9 Michael the arch angel had a dispute with Satan over the body of Moses - we don't know the whole story - but Michael is one of the most important angels in heaven - ministering before the Lord - yet still he did not rely on his own word or strength but rebuked the devil in the Name of the Lord.  This is an example of how we should act toward wickedness.  Rebuke it in the name of the Lord.

vs. 10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
 This verse tells us that the "Counterfeit" Christians that are creeping in unawares do not understand why the true Christian wars against that which comes naturally (works of the flesh).  The Christian fights against the acts of the flesh - and the "creeps" don't understand this - they speak evil of this - all the while they are doing what comes naturally just like a beast.   A dog does something because he wants to or it pleases him - not because it is good or right.  These "creeps" do the same - they act in the flesh and the Bible tells us that they corrupt themselves in this.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tighten the Seatbelt...

I am pleased to share a guest post with you all today. This was written by my dear friend who is a missionary to Wales, UK.  She shares her struggle over the past few months, and it is so encouraging how she exhorts us to "tighten the seatbelt" during these discouraging times.

I feel impressed to share my struggles and growth in faith in this update, as I have recently run into several precious brothers and sisters struggling much the same as I have been in the past couple of months. I have to admit that it is INCREDIBLY hard to write an ‘upbeat, encouraging’ update when one feels like the fires of battle are beginning to consume every semblance of spiritual life. We have all heard that we should live by faith and not by feelings. While that is true, one cannot negate the fact that ‘feelings’ are very real and overwhelming at times! My latest battle has lasted for about two or three months. I’d best describe it as an emotional roller coaster with so many twists and turns it’s nauseating. Could it be the colder weather? Darker days? Could be...but I seriously doubt it. Even though the season could play a part in the game (feelings, remember?), it is usually pretty easy to ‘see’ that for what it truly is...seasonal. No, I have to say that this has been on a much deeper level. There are days when the battle seemed so ferocious that the strength to push back the covers escaped me before the thought of getting up had finished crossing my mind.
Emotionally, it is hard to ‘be strong’ when one feels as brittle as a pine needle. I understand that the commandment to Joshua should apply to us (’Be strong and of a good courage...’ Josh. 1:8), and I also read the exhortation not to be weary...faint not....BUT HOW?? It is easy to say, but hard to do, is it not? I believe that God has helped me to learn a lesson of how to ‘tighten my seatbelt’ and hold on!
This ‘emotional rollercoaster’ is about as fun as it sounds. Yet, God has helped me to use the ‘seatbelt’ of His Promises to keep me stable when the momentum of the ride becomes overwhelming. Regrettably, I can’t point you to one ‘Super’ passage that has helped to sustain me during the hardest times. I found strength in His PROMISES- to KNOW that He is a God that CAN NOT lie; He is faithful to listen to my EVERY ‘complaint’ and to give ‘a word in season’ through a friend, preaching, or His Word; He is a Comforter that soothes the pain; He is the One Who has called us to Wales, and will keep us here by His grace. (I could go on and on!)
At times, it seems that all I can do is close my eyes to the things around me and focus on Christ. That is our exhortation in Romans, yet when I look at man’s depravity displayed on every hand, and seek to find a way to point them to Christ; when I see the ‘church’ and its present state of apathy and coldness; even when I look at loved ones and ‘wish’ for more spiritual growth, I find it hard to access that ‘single vision’ on Christ alone. How can you see our present day surroundings and NOT be affected? I have found that even Christ was moved emotionally as He looked over Jerusalem...but His PURPOSE wasn’t swayed by His emotions!
We hurt just as you do, and struggle with the same weaknesses. Yet, through the struggles, God has been teaching me to ‘tighten the seatbelt’ and trust HIM through the twists and turns of life. He is growing my faith...and faith isn’t grown much in the easy times or mountain –top experiences. I trust Him that He will bring me through this season, as He has in times past, and in the end I will look more like Jesus than ever!
To God be the Glory!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday School - Beginning a study in Jude

19th century painting depicting early Chrisians.
Christian life is a journey that begins at the narrow gate...for there is one door...Jesus Christ.  Entering this narrow gate involves a breaking and a surrender - salvation and repentance. The journey begins with lessons in submission - and continues in strength - and not ours, of course!

A crude illustration of my thoughts here  - (adapted from the book "The Map") is a wild horse - the cowboy or trainer takes the horse and works with it till he has "broken" it and brings it into submission to his will. Once he sees the horse is surrenedered - he can use it. The surrender and submission continues throughout the horse's life -but the horse's strength can now be used to further the master's will.

We have been in the school of submission ever since we entered the narrow gate and it will continue to be required of us throughout our lives. Yet, it is time for us to surrender our strength to His will. It is time for us to stand, be strong, be faithful, and to defend.

It my prayer that our studies would encourage us to be bold, to preserve His Word, to protect true Christianity, and to be a witness for our precious Lord.

vs. 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called: This was written by Jude - the brother of James - BUT also the brother of Jesus.
This book was written during a time of great persecution against Christians - about 65-70 AD.  It was written to the sanctified or saved, preserved (kept), and the ones called (to a work).
vs. 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. Mercy is an upward look - peace is an inward look - and love is an outward look.
vs. 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. He had wanted to write about salvation - but felt pressed to exhort us regarding false teachers, apostates, and false Christians. The purpose of this book is to exhort us to contend ( to stand, to defend, to guard) the faith that was given to us.
vs. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. But men and women have snuck in  - counterfeiting the true Christians - so that they were unaware. These people are ordained or destined to condemnation because of what they do - they stand in judgement already. They turn the grace of God into a license to sin. Rom. 6:1,2 says What shall we say the? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? They also deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Note if they DENY the deity of Christ they ARE a false religion, false teacher, or a fasle christian.  You cannot DENY the deity of Christ and be a Christian!

Please comment with your thoughts...I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My glimpse of home...

I love being at home - being with my children and husband - just being together.  I guess that's why I love homeschooling so much. Here is a glimpse of our home.  I love cozy and warm colors... comfy pillows... and nice foot-squishy rugs... :) I hope you all stop by Chatting at the Sky's glimpses of home - I am linking up with her on this post!

Home Education

Home Education is more difficult than it looks at times... We have been working on research papers at our house now for about a month.  Going through the usual - gathering information and resources - making an outline - making note cards- and then  - of course - starting the dreaded writing.  My girls are both pretty creative - one of them used to write me fiction stories everyday. Do you think she would like writing this paper... NO WAY. They both are dragging their feet like I am taking them to the dentist. Anyway - I am having to take a HARDLINE approach with their final due dates - no more feet dragging - no more wasting time... I want those papers... and I want them now!  Alright  - I know, calm down...

I like most every other mother - want the best for my children.  I want them to be able to write a unified and cohesive paper. To be able to achieve successfully when they go to college.  But, this month has really tried my resolve. OK - maybe it wasn't all their fault - since of course we always have a million interruptions by one of the little ones around here.  Since I have been a teacher for quite a while - I usually do most of the teaching with the exception of an online homeschool curriculum.  Whatever the subject - I am thankful to have the ability to teach my children...( it definitely saves money ;)  But this month has pushed my resolve - I believe that for next year's writing - we will consider Time4Writing.  I need an outside source to prod my dear girls along this path. And also to keep me from using drastic measures to get a rough draft! :)

Well, since this has been on my mind - I took a few moments to look for some good online writing resources. It turns out that there are LOTS of resources out there... Here's a sample of what I found:

High School Writing Course

One Year Adventure Novel - teaches story writing

Notebooking Pages - helps to motivate writing

Homeschool Writing Resources

A Homeschool Writing Blog

Homeschool Writing and Research

Do you have any favorite writing resources to share?? Please do..

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Strength in Weakness

Ps. 73:26                 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength  of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Kinda feel like this lately??

I must say that lately I have been struggling with many things, and feel the "weight of the world" on my shoulders.  Do you ever feel like at every turn - there is a large and difficult hill to climb?  I don't want to come across like I am whining... yet, I must admit that raising children, being a mom, a pastor's wife, etc. etc... is not easy.  Today, I am feeling the heaviness of it.  And can only turn to one place for the strength I need. Everyone these days is carrying a heavy load - no one can carry my burden as well as their own... but my Lord can.  He has the strength I need to face these things - a vast supply... enough for me and for you.

So, tonight - though I feel weak and weary of the requirements on my life - I am strong - I can be strengthened and renewed by casting my burden upon Him.

I Pt. 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Are you struggling these days with the cares of this world?  Would you share your thoughts?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tears are fallin...

Saying Goodbye

It is a sad day at our house... two girls had to say goodbye to their best buddies for 3 more months!! Yes, one of those was me. I have been saying goodbye to people I love for a long time now, you would think it would get easier. I went to college in Georgia, 800 miles from home when I was 17 - had to say goodbye to my family. I got married and stayed here in Georgia. ...goodbyes...Later, they all moved again -but now they are almost 900 miles away - in Texas. ...goodbyes... I lived near my best friend for 15 years, but 5 years ago she moved to U.K. as a missionary....goodbyes... SEE, I should really be a pro at this... but it still hurts each and every time you have to say goodbye to someone you love.

I am trying to remind myself today that God does everything for a purpose, and for His honor. God never promised us that this life would be easy. But, He did promise us the strength to be able to handle it. God has a purpose - and a grand one it is. My friend was needed at that little church in the country of Wales - because God had a plan. A whole family in their village has been saved since they went - what a beautiful thing. God is good - and I know that each and every time that I must say goodbye to my dear family or friends - it is for a purpose. This world is "temporal" or temporary - but the one to come - eternal - is permanent. The temporary "goodbyes" are just for a season - one day there will be no more goodbyes.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Now the God of hope fill you wiht all joy and peace in believeing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:4-5, 13

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My New Habit...

Ok - I know I am not the authority on "couponing", but I have started making it a habit.  It is pretty exciting to go to a store and have them tell you that you saved more than you spent.  Now that's exciting! A friend of mine recently wrote about her new habit as well!

This recession has us really spinning our wheels... so.... about six months ago I started buying the paper on Sunday, clipping the coupons and then checking the items in our local grocery stores.  We have three near us and I look through each ad to see what's on sale that WE CAN USE.  I have to disagree with the coupon divas who buy everything they find on sale ... just... because... it .... is... on... sale and they have a ..... coupon for it!  I look for only the items that I know I will use. I particularly enjoy the stores that use BOGO (buy one get one free) - and when you have a coupon for it as well... woohoo that is big savings!!

I also want to mention that my husband is an avid hunter - so we save a TON of money by eating venison, and other meats (not anything weird :) that he hunts.  But I am a white meat lover, so I do buy chicken when it is on sale! 

 Then I go through my coupon stash ( a pretty pink little coupon holder that my daughter got me for Christmas - defintely a necessity) and try to match coupons to all the sale items that I want. I will also check couponmom to see if there is anything there that I can use.  I like that site because it has all the different printable coupon pages. Again - one stop! :)

To save even more money, I plan my meals around the sale items that I find at the store - yes, so I don't get my absolute favorite -  spaghetti - - every week... but I am saving money! Let me tell you - it is a big sacrifice. Nothing beats garlic bread and spaghetti - I really could eat it every meal... but that's another story...

THEN... because I have six kids and can't won't!!  go to 3 different stores in a shot - I go to one on Friday and then a different one on Monday or Tuesday.  We usually need more milk in the middle of the week anyway so it works great for us!  Shopping mostly sale items has been saving me at least 50% (often more) each time I go to the store... That is REWARDING and exciting! AND...Here is my proof!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fruit Loops and Learning

Natural teaching moments are some of life's most precious treasures. Have you enjoyed reading with your little one only to have them call out a word before you get to it? Have you ever taught the colors to your toddler by using fruit loops? How about fractions and sharing cookies with brothers and sisters? Or my personal favorite - probability by using colored m&*m's.... yes, of course chocolate!!! But, I love the fact that homeschooling enables me to do so much of this with my children.  Granted as they get into Algebra and Biology there are not too many "natural" teaching moments... but the memories that we gain while they are little are so very precious.What greater joy could we ask for than to teach a child with love?

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 Jn. 1:4

Do you have some precious "natural teaching" moment you could share with us?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Best Friends, Quesadillas, and the Fruit of the Spirit...

Sure, I know what you are saying... WHAT? How in the world could those three things be linked... well, those three words sum up what I have been doing since my last post. 
My very dear friend ( a missionary to Wales, UK) was supposed to arrive this weekend, but suprised me Wednesday night at church. So, since then I have been trying my best to spend as much time as possible with her... which is soo great... but I have not checked my email or posted to my blogs in nearly a week... and let me tell you - my emails alone will take me all day to answer!  But I have to say today, I am just reflecting over the gift of fellowship that God gave us this past weekend.  I am so blessed to say that God brought this dear friend into my life when I was almost 9 and she was 8.  We have been great friends for three decades...(uggghhhh that makes me feel sooooo oooolllldddd)... and with each and every year it just gets sweeter.  God has never promised us this type of blessing, but I believe with all my heart He knows just how much it helps us.  Over the years, it seems that God has allowed us to be at similar "places in life" at the same time. What a blessing that is to be struggling with something and to talk and know that you are not alone in what you are feeling and praying about.  I really cannot express in words just how thankful I am that God has done this over and over again for both of us! 

Even more amazing that God gave me such a precious friend, is the fact that He has also allowed our daughters to be the best of friends as well.  When my dear girl comes with tears and heartache because her best friend lives thousands of miles away... at least I can empathize with her. BUT, We had the rare priveledge of being able to spend an entire day together this past Saturday - just the four of us.  It was so much fun - such a blessing - and sooo refreshing!  We ate several times together - of course chocolate was invovled - but had a great time eating quesadillas at a wonderful Mexican restaurant - at 8:30 at night - talk about indigestion! We giggled and laughed and cried and even took pictures of our craziness!  So much fun we didn't want it to end...

... Then this morning we had our Bible class with the children, and were reviewing the Life in the Spirit.  We had studied the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians as well as the qualities found in II Peter 1:3-9. As I reflected on this and the memories of this past weekend... I am made to be so thankful for the gifts of the Spirit.  I know that in and of ourselves we would be incapable of even having a selfless TRUE friendship.  But through the grace of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts we can have a TRUE friend that we are able to love.  Like a billboard I saw recently that said, "Pride is putting ourself first, love is putting someone else first."  I really don't know if I would be capable of having such a precious friendship without the grace of God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that enable me to show love, kindness, gentleness, goodness, meekness... and God knows that I still fail miserably at times.  Yet, I am so thankful that through Him and only Him I can have these fruits and reap such blessings in a sweet and precious friendship! 

Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.