Saturday, June 30, 2012

Reboot & Regroup

Do you ever need to reboot and regroup yourSELF spiritually so you are ready to continue serving your family?? When my children were little we drove an hour to go to one fun place or another. Gas was cheap. We would bring a picnic lunch and while the children were playing, I had time to think and pray. 

Now that they are older and all but two are fledged the nest, driving an hour to a fun spot isn't always an option in their busy schedule. We drive 45 minutes to church. Gas isn't cheap. Now, if I need to think and pray, I only need to drive down our mountain, three miles to this beautiful spot. Before we moved five years ago, we used to drive an hour about once a year to visit this unique and beautiful bridge.

Rivers remind me of God's unending love. They are glorious. Ever flowing. Even when they are lower at summer's end, they still are flowing. Where does all that water come from?! Where does God's never-ending love come from?!

I want to love like God loves. It took me my whole life to get where I am. Do I have enough time left to get where I want to go with God?? Each day counts like there is no tomorrow. Love those around you like there is no tomorrow!!

This is a tow path along the river

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," ~Galatians 5:22~

In Christ Alone,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Joseph's Jealous Brothers (Teaching Children Bible)

Whether you are teaching your own children or need a bible lesson for a class at your church, it is a blessing which requires preparation and ingenuity. Recently, I taught a Bible lesson for children who ranged from three to twelve year-olds. There were eleven active children and in case you are wondering if the age range is too broad, keep in mind that these children are homeschooled and live daily with varying ages. 
They all knew the lesson better than I did, or so they thought, LOL!! We had a load of fun as I tried to be creative in getting the spiritual lesson across and embedded in their young minds. 

Here is a sampling of what I taught, just in case you can glean some ideas from my time with the children.

Joseph's Jealous Brothers

Scripture: Genesis 37:1-4, 18-28

My children don't have a very long attention span. It seems that attention spans get shorter and shorter, so I kept things moving. Their minds and bodies were active so there were lots of comments and questions.

I first read the verses right out of the King James Bible. I know, you would say they are too young for this, but it worked to keep the lesson on track and my wavering mind on track too!!

We (yes we) used flannel graph to tell the story. I have a set of Betty Lukens which I have had for almost twenty years. I used it in an interactive manner; with the children helping to place the figures on the background. This gets them involved in the lesson and engages their active minds which aids retention. Hopefully their hearts are engaged also and receptive to the Word of God.

I also let them act out the story. This REALLY brings the story alive as every faculty of their minds and body participates. The lesson won't go exactly like you planned as they can get rather rambunctious. It is better than children sitting absolutely still; giving the impression of attentiveness while their mind wanders in never-never-land!!

I emphasized the colors in Joseph's coat and told the redemptive story of Jesus using colors. I emphasized the blood of Jesus, shed to wash our sins away. When I gave them the coloring page, I asked them to color a stripe: 
  • gold (heaven), 
  • black (sin), 
  • red (blood), 
  • white (cleansed from sin), 
  • and green (for growth.)
Here are some of the resources that I used to teach the story. I used them loosely as nothing goes as planned when teaching little children!!
This week, I didn't include a craft. Instead I provided several coloring pages, a maze, and plenty of construction paper, crayons, scissors, and glue sticks. I found that the children would come up with their own 'craft.' As a child, I always remember being so embarrassed because I couldn't understand how to do the craft. As an adult, often helping children by practically doing the craft because the child doesn't follow your directions!! 
The internet is alive with creativity for children's bible stories. 

Do you start your day off with a bible lesson in homeschool?? Do you teach a bible class for your church, or club?? What have you found that works to direct young hearts to Jesus??

In Christ Alone,

Other posts on Bible stories for children: Wordless Book, Jonah, Gideon, David & Goliath coming soon!!

Visit me in my 'Haven' on Facebook as company is refreshing!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quills in the Mouth!!

Our Saint Bernard loves to guard our house from predators. To her, the predator can be the postman, a deer, bear, cat, a leaf falling, or who knows what!! Last fall, she treed a bear!! This year her determination to keep the yard predator-free got the best of her!!

Sometimes in our desire to ward off the enemy we can be overzealous to fight what we think might harm us, draining our reserves of energy, or simply letting down our guard. We don't see the danger before us though it is right in front of our eyes. We find ourselves snared by the fiery darts of the enemy when if we stayed within the limits God gave us, we would not have been hurt.

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, 
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
~Ephesians 6:16~

The other day, Malka, our huge Saint Bernard came nuzzling up against my skirt. I glanced down, pulled back, and gasped as I glanced down at her nose and mouth!!!!! She was COVERED in QUILLS!!!!!!!! Her face looked like the porcupine she had encountered!! They had pierced her tongue as well...the poor dog!!


I had always wanted to see a porcupine. Alive not dead!! We often see one crumpled up along the side of our winding country roads. I suppose our dog wanted to see one dead too but found that this little predator was one she would rather have evaded!!

"He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: 
but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction."
~Proverbs 13:3~

A porcupine is a docile little nocturnal rodent that roams at night hunting for leaves, herbs, twigs (fancy eating a twig!!),  and green plants such as skunk cabbage. They might push their strong tail into their 'enemy' and release their quills; but never project them into the predator. That is a myth!!

This is the culprit; missing LOTS of quills!!

I am learning to look at animals and see what God teaches us through their character, or the situations we encounter with animals. Our dog is always overzealous!! She never thinks before acting!! Been there, done that!! How 'bout you?!

How many times have you said something to your child, not realizing how they will perceive what you are saying?? Your words and motives are taken in a way you never intended. How we need the love and mercy of the Lord in these situations.

Words!! Words can tumble out of our mouth faster than we can think to say them. Did you ever listen to yourself talking with a friend and wonder how you thought to say those things so quickly?? How important it is to 'give our tongue to the Lord' as He is able to control what we say when we might not. 

In guarding our family from the evils prevalent in our society, I have been known to over-guard our home. It is good to remove evil and those items that resemble evil. BUT, do you remove the chainsaw because you might injure yourself, instead of using it correctly to cut wood to heat your home during the winter?! 

The porcupine is not aggressive towards other animals or people. It has no natural enemies. It is docile. If an animal comes looking for trouble, trying to take the porcupine in its mouth, it will get a mouth full of quills!!

If I gossip with other ladies, or say sharp things to my children, or my words are misunderstood, if I meddle in someone else's business, I will get a mouth full of quills!!

Instead, I can choose to edify those same women, have kindness on my lips towards my children, with a quiet spirit clarify my misunderstood words, give a hand to others instead of meddling, blessing those around me.

"Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."
~Proverbs 21:23~

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
~Proverbs 31:26~

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, 
but that which is good to the use of edifying, 
that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
~Ephesians 4:29~

In Christ Alone,

Visit me over at my 'Haven' on Facebook!!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

One Step Forward: Two Steps Backward!!

One step forward, two steps backward!! That is what I have been doing as I tried to keep up with blogging the past week!! Family is so important that there are times, like last week, when blogging must take a backseat!! 

I missed all my bloggie-friends as I dropped out of the bloggisphere. 

Photo Credit: Haven of Rest

Last week was a wonderful action-packed week for my 17 and 19 year old children as we rushed out the door every morning just after 8 am for church. At our church, our young people play instruments in a brass band, and also sing in a choir.  

Last week we had intensive band and choir lessons. There also were classes in music theory, devotions, instruction for the girls and boys to prepare them to be godly men and women. Then in the evenings we had a speaker from South Africa, Roy Daniel, who challenged us in many areas. We got home around 10 pm after a rousing game of soccer (well, I didn't play, my children did.) 

Have you ever considered the possibilities of music ministry?? We play in concerts in various churches and a nursing home once a month. We are able to cross the generational lines and bring the gospel to those who do not know the Lord, and encourage the household of faith. It gives purpose to your children's practice time when they have a place to play several times each month. It is a good example when a few of the parents play along with the band, demonstrating that adults can serve the Lord too.

Today, as I cleaned my living room, did laundry, and blessed my home and family, I would sit down and read one post every few hours. Alas!! I was slowly trying to catch up with my 'blogged' inbox!! Every time I would sit down again...I had one or two more posts arrive!! One step forward, and two steps backward!! 

Taking one step forward, and two steps backward, is much like our progress spiritually. Too often we grow in the Lord, making 'forward' progress only to slip backwards soon afterwards. Growing closer to the Lord is much like learning to play the trombone. I learn a new song and learn to play it fairly well, only to slip backwards in skill once I miss practicing for a few days. 

Being a Believer means abiding in Christ moment by moment. It is talking to Him as we go through our day. Praying without ceasing over the little things we face and the big things. Interceding for others both those of the faith and those who do not know Him.

Missing your Quiet Time with the Lord is taking 'two steps backward!! Don't neglect your time with your precious Lord Jesus because you put your online communication before your intimate relationship with Christ. That is two steps backwards. Two steps backward everyday instead of taking one step forward everyday eventually results in spiritual dryness and decay.

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. 
~Psalm 119:133~

Suffice it to say, I love all you ladies, and hope you know that I missed you!! You have all been a blessing in my life and I hope to bless you all this week by taking the time to bless you with a visit. 

In Christ Alone,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

He Knoweth Best

By Jennifer Rene Daniel

Storms gather, skies darken
Hopes light grows dim
Timid, I step ahead
Leaning on Him

Tender His voice whispers
Sweet in my ear
'Dear sinking child of mine
Hark I am here'

Weary and woe begone
Everything lost
Resting, refreshed in Him
He bears the cost

Weak, fragile, spent-serene
When storms at rest
Slowly I comprehend
He knoweth best

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gone Are the Days!!

Who would have thought time would really fly by!!
I know everyone says it does. 
Even the bible says it does!!

The other day, I will turned in the last thing 
I will ever turn in to the public school district. 
I know, I know, we don't like to talk about that...
we'd would all rather homeschool without rendering to Ceasser.  
It is a reality. 
One that I had to accept.
 I didn't like the tediousness of the paperwork 
but it did serve to always keep me on track and diligent.

I homeschooled seven children from start to finish.
Days streamed into days, 
which flew into months as the years slipped away.
Every year I couldn't believe 
how fast the previous year had vanished!!

Those years were a blessing.
Years that I do not regret
I hope that my children appreciated it.
They knew it no other way.
I am thankful for those years.

Everything wasn't always perfect.
I wasn't always patient and kind.
They weren't always perfect.
They weren't always kind.


Together we learned to count.
Together we learned to read.
Mom didn't know fractions!!
Mom didn't know all the verbs!!

I hope my children will ALWAYS walk with Jesus
I pray that they will NOT slip!!
I pray that if they fall...
That they are righteous and will get up seven times!!
Actually as often as necessary!!

Whereas I was homeschooling seven
Now, only one is left.
He would be the only lonely,
except for the blessing of his sister doing College Plus!!

So, gone are the days of perusing curriculum companies,
and looking for what I will teach.
I am thankful for all of the blessings,
Of teaching my blessings to fly!!

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith
ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness,
with longsuffering, forbearing on another in love,
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit 
in the bond of peace.
~Ephesians 4:1-3~

In Christ Alone,

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday's Random Thoughts, 3

Good Morning Ladies!!

It is late Friday evening but you likely won't get this until morning, unless you are being a night owl like me tonight!! How are you this evening?? Did you have a blessed day?? Were you most of all a blessing to others?? You may not be able to answer that any more than I can because much of the time we don't realize if we are blessing others or not. We will know in eternity.

For me, there were things about today that were special beyond measure. Memories placed in my mind to last the rest of my life. Memories with my children. Then, there were a couple things that sadden my mother's heart...but then, I was so uplifted by the thoughts that were shared in this post from Lady Lydia over at Lady Lydia Speaks. She has such a sweet blog and I would just encourage you ladies to drop over and spend some time over at her place. You may click on the picture or title to read her special post.

Here is a hymn I found over at Hymns with a Message
It spoke to my heart and I just wanted to share it with you!!
You may listen to it by clicking on the title, if you'd like.

(1)   The Saviour has come in His mighty Power 
And spoken peace to my soul 
And all of my life from that very hour 
I've yielded to his control {x2} 
Wonderful oh it is wonderful 
It is marvelous and wonderful 
What Jesus has done for this soul of mine 
The half has never been told 

(2)   From Glory to Glory he leads me on 
From Grace to Grace every day 
And brighter and brighter the Glory dawns 
While pressing my home ward way {x2} 
Wonderful oh it is wonderful 
It is marvelous and wonderful 
What Jesus has done for this soul of mine 
The half has never been told 

(3)    If fellowship here with my Lord can be 
So inexpressibly sweet 
Oh what will it be when his face we see 
When round the bright throne we meet (x2) 
Wonderful oh it is wonderful 
It is marvelous and wonderful 
What Jesus has done for this soul of mine 
The half has never been told  

It is time for me to go back to burning the midnight oil. I am typing a diary written by my father-in-law (whom I never met because he passed away when I was 17.) He wrote it back in the 1930s when he was 19 years old as a pioneer missionary in China. What a legacy!!

In Christ Alone,

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