Friday, October 27, 2006

I Flunked the Third Grade

Not really, but I didn't do too well my first try on this Geography Game, link courtesy of Mary.

I'm off to try again!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Youniquely Woman at Precept Ministries in Chattanooga TN

Thank you to Kris for taking the time to recommend "Youniquely Woman", featuring Kay Arthur, Emilie Barnes and Donna Otto of Homemakers by Choice.

Oct 17 - 21 ................ Youniquely Woman Finishing School

For women ages 20-45. For more information about how you can receive an invitation for yourself or others or to register,
please call 888.678.5660 Ext 8635.

Does anyone have the details on ordering the CDs? I was unable to find those.

And this looks intriguing as well. It seems everyone is jumping on the youth ministries bandwagon these days.

Small confession here: having never been involved in anything Precept, I feel a little bit like an outsider looking in. Somehow I've been having that feeling alot lately. Perhaps it's an autumn thing; whether autumn of the year or autumn of my life, I'm not certain.

Anyway, thanks again, Kris, for stopping by with a friendly and helpful comment!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Parenting Tip: Positive Conclusion

Today in our MOPS group, it fell to me to present the "Mentor Moment", a parenting tip from the National Center for Biblical Parenting.

What mom hasn't had the experience of disciplining the same kid for the same offense over and over again? (Okay, I know there are some. Actually, if that's you, leave a comment. If you have a blog, I'd love to visit.)

The technique:
Each time the negative behavior takes place, have the child take a short break and then come back to you for a debriefing. During that conversation, one of the questions should be, "What are you going to do differently next time?"

When you ask this question your child has to state the right response back to you.

As the child hears himself verbalize the right response, he learns to catch himself earlier.

If you, the parent, are so accustomed to telling your child what not to do that you aren't sure what the right response would be, use the opportunity to brainstorm and problem-solve with your child.

Every opportunity for correction can have a positive conclusion.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Titus 2 Committee

Something, from Shannon at IDYLWILD, that's been knocking around in my head trying to get out:

But how do we go from knowing so little about running a home to doing it with grace and style and love? I really liked what she said about having a committee. I think we often feel like we need A Titus 2 woman to show us how to do everything, but that doesn't work. We aren't supposed to be carbon copies of one another. And no single older woman is going to know everything we need to know. We have to be *picky* - picking a little from this woman about scheduling, a little from this woman about cleaning, a little from this woman about cooking and a little from this woman about doing it all with joy:)

Who's on your committee?

I told a lady this last weekend that she was on mine. It was quite rewarding! She just smiled, said she liked me, and gave me a hug.

The only thing better than that is knowing that she feels that way about my daughters too.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bible Reading Plan

This, I think, is the best through-the-Bible-in-a-year reading plan I've ever seen. Thank you to my daughter's former Awana leader for sharing it.

What makes it great?
  • Variety without being choppy.
  • Weekly format can be easily adapted from 7 days to fewer, depending on your needs.
  • Covers the entire Word of God without long stretches in the difficult parts (for me that's PSALMS).

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jeep Drives Across Water

Here's something for you moms of BOYS (yes, it's educational):
jeep and snowmobile race across a pond in iceland

Hey guys, don't try this at home!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Here's What Else

These suggestions from Jennifer, concerning what non-readers can do to keep fresh in their relationship with the Lord, are ideas I would have jumped on when my kids were little; so of course, I wanted to share them:

We have an Audio dramatized Bible from Zondervan... straight text, with calm music in the background, different voices for characters in the narrative parts, some very light sound effects. NIV translation. We use it a lot. The kids fall asleep to it. I've played Proverbs on the computer while we eat, so I can eat too (instead of reading aloud myself).

On another note: my workshop is over, and it didn't go so especially well (more on that later). At the encouragement of a couple of friends, however, I will probably keep this blog going. But only if He gives me something to say.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What Else?

Recently a very dear friend of mine was in a serious car accident, the result being that she can no longer hold her Bible or tip her head down to read it for any length of time. Others have dyslexia or, well I don't know everything, whatever reasons. What else can be done?

  1. listen to radio sermons -- all day

  2. pray while nursing

  3. listen to music which makes you feel worshipful

  4. pray while doing the dishes

  5. keep a verse you are working on a 3x5 card in your back pocket

  6. or tape it up somewhere you will have opportunity to see it alot

  7. listen to Adventures in Odyssey with your kids

  8. how about iron sharpening iron?

A very incomplete list. What would you add?

Making Application

And then there is the AHA! moment, when the Holy Spirit highlights a verse on the page and you KNOW it's for you. Write it down!

Previously I mentioned a Navigator's discipleship I was in as a new Christian. We were challenged to apply the Word to life and we were accountable to a discipler, to whom we turned in our Bible reading record weekly. Finding the "so what?" in a passage, what a thrill!

Other thoughts:

  • Sometimes your Bible reading will necessarily be colored by the circumstances around you. For example, recently I have been troubled by some events around me. Yesterday, Romans 8:5&6 seemed to speak right to this situation (but then about every other day something has):
    For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
    For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,

    And it made a difference to me in how I choose to think in areas that I recognize my own weakness.

  • Sometimes you will run across a verse that just is interesting, or maybe you don't really get it. Pick that verse to carry around with you and let it be your meditation. See what God shows you.

We really are rich. Let's live in the riches of His word.

How Much?

How much of the Bible do you think you should read each day? People have proposed lots of different ideas; the Holy Spirit will have to be your ultimate authority.

But just in case He wants to use me to give you an idea, I will mention a few:

  • A specified length of time. Anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.
  • An amount of time as compared to that which you spend on some other activity. Like primping, reading the newspaper, or surfing the internet.
  • A single chapter. Or several. One retired man I know challenges himself to read 10 chapters a day!
  • One New Testament, one Old Testament, one Psalms, and one Proverbs each day.
  • A formal reading plan. Like reading the Bible in 90 days or a year.
  • An informal reading plan. Using a Bible reading log, just read what you want.

Right now, I am doing kind of a hybrid thing: I have a bookmark in the Old Testament and one in the New. I read 2 to 4 chapters per day; from one portion, the other, or a combination.

What I would never recommend is to allow a packaged devotional, no matter how good, or even a Bible study, to substitute for reading the Word for yourself. That would be kind of like consuming Slim Fast instead of steak for dinner.

Which Translation?

I am not an expert on this.

When I trusted Christ as Savior, I was reading a Good News Bible. I would not recommend that version, but certainly the power of the gospel was present.

Even the cult bibles have enough of God's word left in them that if they read them, rather than all their add-ons, they could get it.

So, I read the Good News Bible. Then, the church we were in used the NIV, so I read that. Now I use the NASB.

A couple of good options, if you don't have a favorite already:
  • The New Living Translation, which is also a good option to give away. Our church offers a New Testament in this translation for evangelism.
  • The New King James. It's the only one my daughters will use, because it's the same as their Awana verses.

Don't allow yourself to be de-railed by any subtle fears that you will choose the wrong one.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

How to Make Friends (A Frugal Priority)

In light of having depression and loneliness on my mind, I would like to propose godly friends as a frugal alternative to many things: therapy, herbal supplements, vacations, and divorce, to name a few.

Over the past few years, though, I have been pondering how we make friends. We are often told, "if you want to have friends, you have to be one", and certainly that is true, but I have also made the following observations:

  • As you spend time with a person, you become more comfortable with them. Especially powerful is the potential of frequent, regular communication.

During three separate summers when my kids were little, I baby-sat (no charge) for friends who were single mothers. Every morning they would drop off, every afternoon they would pick up. Sometimes they'd stay and visit, other times it was very brief. Effortlessly, our relationship grew.

  • Sometimes God will move you to make a commitment to a certain person, a commitment to be their friend.

Some of my favorite friends are this kind. They do take time and effort, and sometimes the relationship seems to grow slowly.

  • Last, not least, are the instant friends. Those people you just connect with.

In His word, Jesus calls His disciples friends. We can grow that relationship by spending regular time together and by being committed to Him, after being instantly connected.

More Frugal Friday tips at Biblical Womanhood.

Hey Frugal People, and other readers, would you please leave a comment if you think I should continue this blog? You see, my workshop that I have been preparing will be over tomorrow. But I think I still have more words.

The Myth of More Time

Somehow we always think, "when the kids are older and more independent, I'll have more time". Time to spend with the Lord and time to serve Him.

Sorry to burst your bubble. When the kids are older and more independent, they also have more words to share. You'll only have more time if you choose not to listen to them. (Ask any sleep-deprived mother of college aged kids. They come home late, you want to be there, and then they want to talk.)

Other common myths:

  • Work should be done by those whose kids are all grown up.
    If that's the case, how are we to understand the qualifications for elder, as stated in 1 Timothy 3:4?
    He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.

  • Totally alone is the only way to have a satisfying time alone with the Lord. See what some other young moms had to say.

Don't put off your relationship with the Lord until some pie-in-the-sky future time. You don't know what's going to happen. Do it now.

Consider what Kili @ Live Each Moment, another young mom, is doing:

I'm doing the Bible in 90 days plan. I am on Day 40 and have been reading for 60 days. yes I am 20 days behind but it's awesome. I started July 7 with Genesis and I am now in Psalms.....

Sunday, October 01, 2006

You COULD Read the Entire New Testament Yet This Year

As I was considering this workshop, someone made the comment to me that I couldn't just hand someone a Bible and tell them to read it. She was right.

I'd just hand them a New Testament. *snicker*

Realistically, though, while it is true that it is absolutely possible to read through the New Testament yet this year, I didn't share that story to make anyone feel they HAD to. When I did it, it was about beginning a personal relationship with Jesus. This CAN-DO message is to encourage those who already have that relationship.

Hey, I really don't want to be mean, but there are so many voices out there telling you it can't be done, or that it isn't important. pssst ... they're lying.

Just start. Somewhere. Because wherever you are, there you are. (That's what my daughter says anyway.:)

Why I Read the Whole Bible in a Little Over a Year

Leave it to your kids to keep you honest. When my son (from my brief first marriage) and step-son (from his brief first marriage) were in early elementary school, and our daughters were babies, those little guys were very interested in going to church (little people usually are). So, of course, as good parents, we needed to look into that. Around this time of year, I set myself a goal to settle into a church before Christmas.

But that was going to be harder than it sounds. My husband and I came from different religious traditions, and it appeared irreconcilable. Until I found our Bibles. Having both been brought up in traditions that teach the Bible, we agreed that we would look for a church that taught it as authority. The Bible was to be our standard. But neither of us had actually READ it. It appeared that the only way we would know if a church was "worthy" would be to read the Bible. Coincidentally, about that time I unpacked the box which contained Bibles we both were given as a kid.

Now, I had tried previously to read the Bible, but always gave up before the end of Exodus. This time, however, one of the Bibles I found was a New Testament only. (This is my best tip if you've never read the Bible: start with the New Testament!) I began sometime in October; by November, I was a new creation. By the end of the following year, I had read the entire Bible. (Did I mention that I was also working full-time?)

Here's what I found:

  • John 14:6~ Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Frankly, that was a relief to me. I had never quite been successful at getting my brain around how all sorts of various things could be true at the same time.

  • Romans 10:9~ that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

And, you know, I had always believed that Jesus had died for my sins, been buried, and resurrected from the dead; what I never understood until that moment was that it was ALL of my sins. Not just those that I confessed. (How could I ever remember them all?)

Well, folks, it's not up to me. All my sins were in the future when Jesus died on the cross, and He, being God, knew about them all.

And He did it anyway.

For more stories about how people were born again, see this post at Created For His Glory.