Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Past Christmas Postings


I thought I would post my articles from Christmas past.  Most are my own, a few may be from others that I just had to share with you.

O Come Let Us Adore Him (12/08)

How Does the Messianic Community Celebrate Christmas (12/09)

Understanding His Birth (12/09)

12 Days of Christmas, Bailey Style (12/09)

A Letter From Jesus about Christmas  (11/09)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook ~ 12.20.10

Outside my window...kids.  It is absolutley beautiful today, temps are in the 70's.  Really weird for December, but I'm not complaining.  I'm sure it will be frigid in a few days.

I am thinking...about who we need to finish shopping for today.  Scott is already home from work  & resting before we hit the stores again.

I am thankful for...those unnamed saints who gave us money so we could buy our kids Christmas gifts & pay bills.  Amazing!


From the Learning Room... we are on break until after the year, but the learning continues.  Gracie is writing notes, Ben is learning new songs on the piano, Zach is reading everything he can get his hands on.  Learning never stops.

From the kitchen... sarah is making icing so the little ones can decorate the gingerbread village I bought last night.
I am wearing... complete comfy clothes.  blue sweat pants & Scott's grey tee.
I am creating... nothing. I'm not very creative.
I am going... Christmas shopping in a little while with my man.  We have fun together.


I am currently reading...Sacred Rhythms (Ruth Haley Barton) & How to Live what You Believe (Ray Stedman)
I am hoping...to get finished with the shopping tonight.
I am hearing...Scott snore. :o)  he works so hard, I'm glad he can get a little bit of rest.
On my mind...Preparing to spend 4 days at my parents house.  In their little house will be we 12, brother, sister, brother-in-law plus my parents.  2000 sq feet, 2 bathrooms.  ((sigh))
Noticing...that NCIS has been playing on my TV all day!  What is this a NCIS marathon?
Around the house...a mess!  Really need to do something about that, but am just not motivated today.
Favorite things...homemade hot cocoa...I'll make it as soon as the temps go back down.
Plans for the rest of the week...since this is Christmas week it is a busy one. Finishing up shopping, laundry, wrap gifts, clean up house before leaving town. Christmas Eve with Scott's parents, Christmas Day with my family.



Sarah, Ashey & Morgan with their friend Malory (who is getting married soon) at the Sweet Celebration. 
An evening of special fellowship with friends & lot's of chocolate.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Celebrating & Mourning...all at the same time




Tonight, my Pop went to be with Jesus.  We knew it was coming, but are never completely ready.  Today is also Ben's birthday.  Ben & Pop had many great talks & a special bond.  Ben was always one of the first kids to hug Pop when we visited him.
We will miss Pop greatly!  We are celebrating that finally he has a complete mind & body now.  He struggled so long.  But while we celebrate that he is with Jesus, we are so sad to not have him in our lives anymore.  But our God is so good in that he allowed us several years recently to make many memories with Pop.  We will hold on to those tightly.

The Story of Ben

Today is my 7th child’s birthday.  He is the 2nd of the lower five.  Somehow our kids gained the nicknames “upper five” & “lower five” and Ben is in the “lower five” meaning the 5 youngest children.

I have a lot of memories & life milestones that I associate with Ben.  It truly is a miracle that he is here today.  We knew before Ben was born God had a specific purpose for him.  He didn’t get the easiest start on life.

God told Scott Ben was coming before I was even pregnant with him.  Scott walked in the kitchen one night & said, “God told me that our next child will be named Benjamin.”  Honestly, I was a little disappointed because my last baby was a boy & I wanted a girl.  And of course a few months later we find out we are pregnant.

When I was 10 weeks pregnant with Ben, the kids & I were in a very serious car accident.  I rolled our Suburban, landing upside down in a wheat field after I lost control on a slick rock road. In the ER, they prepared me for the upcoming miscarriage of my baby.  They told me there was no way I wouldn’t lose the baby, the accident was too bad. My little girl was in the next ER room screaming as the nurses dug glass out of her broken leg.  We would soon go to a bigger hospital where she would have surgery on her leg. Amazingly, she was the only child seriously injured.

They did a sonogram to confirm the baby was gone, but what it confirmed is that the baby was not only alive, but had a very strong heart beat.  The placenta did have a small tear, but healed quickly.  My pregnancy was physically fine.  I never had any problems, but emotionally I was a mess.  As a result of Post Traumatic Stress I was very depressed.


When Ben was born he was the biggest baby I had ever had, weighing in at 9lb 11oz.  He was my second baby to be born at home.  We were all so excited he was finally there.



Benjamin Aaron Bailey would be his name.

After he was born, as the midwife was checking him over, she felt a clicking in his hips.  We had 2 babies prior who had done this, but their hips grew & formed o’k without treatment.  Hip Dysplasia is what it is called, common with my babies for some reason.  But when I took him in for his 2 month check up, the doctor knew there was something terribly wrong when he went to check his hips & the left one totally dislocated.  We were quickly sent to Scottish Rite Hospital for Children where they specialize in birth defects.  The treatment was totally free!  They confirmed what the pediatrician suspected, Bens’ hip socket had not formed correctly & would not hold the ball joint in the socket.  The first treatment was a special brace, but it didn’t work.  So the next option was surgery & body cast.

First they had to loosen up his leg muscles & to do that, he would need to spend 4 weeks in traction. I had never heard of this before, but knew more than I wanted to know really soon.

Here is Ben in his traction device.  He had to spend at least 8 hours a day in traction.



Believe it or not, he was really good for this.  He laid there playing with toys or watching TV.  Rarely cried or fussed.  We would soon find out just how good of a baby he was.

At the end of the 4 weeks, we went back to the hospital for the surgery, praying all the while that God had miraculously healed his hip & no surgery or cast would be needed.





His hips had not healed, but he didn’t need surgery, but he still needed the cast.  This is the blue cast.  It went from his ankles up to a few inches below his arm pits.  There was a nice cut out in the crotch so that we could still change diapers.  I won’t go into that here, but it was quite an ordeal to change a diaper.  Only me & my sitter ever did it.

Ben was such a good baby!  He rarely cried or fussed, in spite of not being move his legs around or sit up.  He sat in a bouncy seat when I wasn’t holding him.

Ben wore the cast for over 4 months.  When he was about 7 months old we finally got to take off the cast & not get another one.  He had 2 casts that he wore. 


Today, Ben is an extremely active 11 year old.  He has never been slowed down, his development was not hindered at all.


He still goes back for check ups on his hips, but finally after 8 years out of the cast, the doctor said the hip is completely normal & Ben should never have any trouble.




Ben is my reminder of God’s amazing protection & grace.  He reminds me to slow down & look you in the eye & listen.

  Ben reminds me how important hugs are, he gives me several everyday.

Ben reminds me how important it is to stop & remember the amazing things that God has taught me since the accident and how far he has brought me.

I can’t wait to see what Ben becomes when he grows up!  God is at work in his life now & as a mom, it is so exciting to watch.

I love you Ben!  Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ungraceful Home School Community

This is an article that I wrote for another site 2 years ago. I also posted it on an old blog that I don't write anymore.  As I reread what I wrote, I felt even more strongly about it than I did 2 years ago.



I've been at the home school thing for a long time now (12 years) so I tend to forget what it is like for new homeschool moms coming into an established support group or co-op. We veterans are grounded in our method of homeschooling(at least we hope). We know what works for our kids and what doesn't. New moms come in and ask how we do things. They want to know how we do it.

I am yet to meet a veteran homeschool mom who is not willing to tell a new HS mom how she should HS her kids. I enjoyed doing it so much that I help write a curriculum for new Hs moms and then taught it for 3 years. I still get to speak every now & then. It is fun! But you know what? How I HS my kids is not the way that works for everyone. There is no exact formula to homeschooling your kids successfully! what works for me, may not work for you. That is the evidence of a great and mighty God in our lives. He created each of us so unique and our children are a perfect fit for us and our schooling methods.

I had an interesting conversation with a new homeschool mom this afternoon. She had joined a group that was a product of the larger homeschool group. She joined this group because it brought together moms with children the same age. She wanted her son to get to know other kids who were homeschooled and she wanted to get to know more moms. Sounds good huh? She quit the group.

She told me that there was so much judgement in that group because she didn't do things just like the rest of the moms. She didn't use "the curriculum" they thought she should use and the worst part is that she let her boys watch TV. Not just any TV, she let them watch shows that have been branded inappropriate by many homeschool moms. Her boys loved running around pretending to be super heroes. She felt no freedom to let her boys be themselves at these play dates. She spent her drive to the events lecturing her boys. "Don't say "batman", "superman", and please do not tell anyone that we eat froot loops for breakfast!"

Finally she had enough & they quit the group. Soon she was contacted by 3 other moms who also quit because of the same reasons.

How many times has the Unit Study Mom secretly cast judgement on the Text Book Mom, because we all know that the text book kids don't have near as much fun? How many times have we decided that a mom is just not raising her daughters right because her girls are allowed to wear makeup at 13 years old? What about the mom who BUYS her bread? Oh my gosh! Doesn't she know that making it is way more healthy? And did she just give her kid a suger soaked drink box? Surely this mom is not serious about homeschooling. Afterall, she uses the NIV Bible, not the KJV! I have been there so many times it is embarrassing to admit to. I just wrote out actual things I have either said to thought about other moms.

The Lord really grabbed my heart and made me to realize that he loves me even when I don't do what he wants me to, so I need to love and accept that homeschool mom who not only uses text books, but let's her kids watch Pokemon on TV. Do I agree with watching Pokemon? No, but that is o'k, I can still learn from this mom and be her friend. And our kids can even play together. I have learned since moving back into a neighborhood that my kids will encounter difficult circumstances, but it only opens up more opportunities for us to talk about how the Lord expects us to act. I have learned that there are a lot of really awesome families out there who have made really great friends for my kids and ...get ready... you won't believe this...but the kids go to public school. Yes, that is right I let my kids play with public school kids. I know that is a big huge "no no" in the homeschool community, but if I had continued to judge these families because they do things differently than we do I would have missed out on some extremely great friendships with really fabulous christian women who are raising great christian kids. Is that hard to believe?

We have got to show grace as homeschool moms to other moms, whether they homeschool or not. We have got to stop judging each other and accept each other the way we are. We should encourage each other with the love of Christ. We already get plenty of discouragement and persecution from society who don't think we should homeschool. Why do we create more tension by judging each other? We have become a very ungraceful homeschool community and we now have a reputation for being snobs and judgemental. I may be a bit contraversial here and maybe I even stepped on some toes. Maybe you don't agree with me at all. That is just fine! I don't have my act totally together, I'm still learning how to put grace into action myself. But I can tell you that it is a lot more fun when I can accept a mom the way she is instead of trying to change her.

Colossians 4:5, "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity."

Romans 12:10, "Honor one another above yourselves."

Romans 14:13,14, "Therefore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. Qs one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something unclean then for him it is unclean."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook 12-07-10

This is something I have wanted to do on my blog for a while, but just never started it.  It is very easy to do & let's you have a little glimpse into my day.

Outside my window...our backyard.  Still a few leaves hanging on to the tree limbs & occassionally the squirrels are running on the fence with a mouthful of nuts.

I am thinking...about how long it will take Scott to get home from work.  The drive from Dallas was a long one today.

I am thankful for...my husband, Scott.  He works so hard to provide for our family! So proud of him!

From the Learning Room... not much today.  I took the little kids to our church today to help get ready for a special Christmas event tomorrow night. So our learning was how to serve without complaining.

From the kitchen... Dinner is over.  Made Stovetop Meatballs & buttered corn for dinner.

I am wearing... my favorite black comfy sweat pants & jacket with a purple shirt & my hot pink crocs!

I am creating... nothing.  I'm not very creative.

I am going... to bed some time tonight...hopefully!

I am currently reading...Sacred Rhythms (Ruth Haley Barton) & How to Live what You Believe (Ray Stedman)

I am hoping...to get the Christmas tree & rest of decorations up by tomorrow at least.

I am hearing...Sam & Gracie play on my bed.  I think Sam is pretending to be a puppy.

On my mind...Ben's birthday,Christmas, bills, groceries...God knows it all.

Noticing...that my chocolate stash is empty!

Around the house...Christmas decoration tubs, waiting for me to open & unload.

Favorite things...making Christmas ornaments with the kids this week.

Plans for the rest of the week...we are kinda planless this week & it feels good.  Reading some Christmas books to the little kids & making ornaments for our little bitty tree.  Really need to start cleaning out the game room.  Maybe next week. :o)

Picture to share...Here is Gracie, helping us place pencils in the Worship Center this morning.  We thought we had to do all 3,000 seats, but realized a blessed soul had already come in  & done most of the room.  Gracie was a great help though!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Answered Prayer

Do you have a prayer request that you have been praying for a long time?

I have many.  When a requests goes unanswered for a long time it is so easy to begin to fall into a crisis of belief.  I begin to think, "Well, obviously I'm praying for the wrong thing." or "God must not want that for us"

I prayed for a long time that God would provide Scott with work & he did that.  Now that work has the potential of becoming a full time job.  Hopefully soon we will know for sure.

For at least a year now I have prayed that God would somehow provide us with another vehicle.  For a year all we had was our 15 passenger van. Our little car had died & wasn't worth resurrecting.  There never was enough money to put away to save to buy another car.  What money we did have was stretched beyond reason to pay rent, bills, gas & groceries.

But, I still kept praying.  I prayed, but I didn't always believe it would happen.  I was just airing my woe's.

This morning, God answered.  I had prayed earlier this week for a glimpse of hope to help me endure this difficult season. 

A friend gathered other friends together.  They put their money together & bought us a car & delivered it to our house this morning.  Words cannot appropriately express how we feel.  We are blown away by their generosity, by their thoughtfulness & desire to help us.  We don't know who all of the "friends" are.  And we don't need to know.  We are adding them to our blessing prayer list. We take great honor in praying for those who the Lord has used to answer our prayers.




1 John 5:13-15 13I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.


Do you have prayer requests that you doubt will ever be answered?  Believe!  If you are asking according to His will, he hears, but God has his own timing.  He just asks us to be patient & trust in His timing.

So I guess we haven't needed another car until now.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lessons from Daddy

Today is my daddy’s birthday.  I have a great dad & I am so thankful God chose to make me his daughter.

I have great memories with my dad when I was younger.  From fishing to taking me out on my first date.  I challenged my dad’s patience on many occasions & rarely remember him raising his voice in anger to me.

I learned many lessons from my dad that continue to help me even today.

Self-Sacrifice

As a pastor, my dad was “on-call” all the time, even on his day’s off.  There were many times I remember him getting up in the middle of the night to go to the hospital or to meet with a church member in trouble or having to leave in the middle of a meal.  Dad loved to work on projects at home, but often those projects would have to wait until someone was out of surgery or a conflict was resolved.

More than giving of his time to others, my dad gave of his possessions.  If my parents found out about someone in need, they would always give what they could to help.  I remember a few years ago during a visit to their house, I noticed that the sleeper sofa I grew up with was missing.  When I asked where it was Dad told me they gave it to a family who had no furniture.  It was normal for people  of the community to show up at my parents home needing help.  Mom & Dad, without hesitation would give what food, blankets or other things they could.

I hope that I am passing this on to my children.  Stuff isn’t important, but our relationship with others is.

Speaking the Truth

As a pastor, my dad taught the Bible, not his own philosophy or idea’s.  I grew up knowing that the Word of God is the foundation for my belief’s & not to trust the teachings of others, but line them up with the Word.  This is how my dad taught.

He also mentored & counseled many over the years & they didn’t always hear what they wanted to hear from my dad.  He spoke the truth to them, he didn’t tickle their ears with fluffy encouragement.  He encouraged them in the Word to be who God created them to be.

As a speaker, I pray often that God would give me the boldness to teach His truth and not waiver in the philosophies of the world.  It is easy to tell your audience what they want to hear, make them feel more comfortable where they are.  I want to be the kind of speaker, like my Dad, who teaches the truth, knowing it is up to the listeners if they will hear and obey.

Go into all the world

Evangelism has always been a passion for my dad (& mom).  they have been to several countries sharing the gospel and helping others.  My dad spent countless hours in living rooms sharing with people about the love of God and their need for his salvation.  My dad loves people.  He will talk to anyone about almost anything and the conversation almost always will end with “Do you love Jesus?”.  He always wants to make sure they have had an opportunity to know Jesus.

A passion has been evolving in my heart over the past few years for people, specifically moms raising young children.  My desire is to share with moms the importance of knowing Jesus, not just about him, but knowing him personally.  I want moms to know my Jesus the way I know him.  My dad never feared confronting someone with the gospel & my prayer is that God will give me the same confidence.

Faith

Above all else my dad has taught me through his life, I think his faith has taught me more about God than any other lesson.  God allowed our family to experience some difficult times when I was a pre-teen.  I was old enough to recognize my dad’s unwavering faith that in spite of what was going on, God would take care of us.  Little did I know how my dad’s faith would be the example I needed to develop my own faith in God.  The past several years have been the most difficult ever for our family as God has continued to allow our family to struggle financially.  I learned from my dad what it looks like to look at an impossible situation & know that because of God anything is possible.

I know I am blessed to have a daddy who loves the Lord and loves my mom more now than ever. I just hope he knows how much he is loved.

 

Psalm 1:2 & 2

1Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2but his delight is in the law of the LORD,

   and on his law he meditates day and night.

Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Stays of Christmas

My fantastic friend Laura has written an extra special devotional just for Christmas.  This book has been a long time coming as Laura poured her heart into the words that are now in print.
  The 12 Stays of Christmas will bring you back to where our focus should be this Christmas, completely on Christ!


It is only $5.95 so you can use it as a wonderful gift for teachers & friends.



Go to Lauraleeshaw.com to learn more about her book & how to get your own copy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Don’t forget the Source

Just coming off of the Thanksgiving holiday, it is easy to be in a spirit of thankfulness.  And this year, I really had much to be thankful for & I hope you did too.

I just finished up a Thanksgiving project with my kids for their school work.  We made Thanksgiving books. (pics are coming).   They did a variety of activities that helped them to remember the many blessings God has given us.  While glueing pictures to a page, my little girl says to me,

“I’m always thankful for this because I know it is from God.”

What a sweet statement, but my mind took it farther.  How many blessings do I receive that I try to take credit for?

One of the things my little kids did was copy the Doxology & learn to sing it.  I find myself singing this when I’m in the car by myself or at the sink doing dishes.  It is a beautiful song & the words are powerful.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

Praise Him all creatures here below

Praise Him above ye heavenly host

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

The first line is so important…”from whom all blessings flow”.  This is what Gracie was saying to me in her 6 yr old way, it is all from God.  We don’t create our blessings, nor do we deserve them.  Out of his deep love for us, he continues to pour blessings into our lives.  I don’t understand it, but I am so thankful for it.

Don’t forget the source of the blessings.  Give him the glory.  That is your purpose.

“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” Psalm 40:3

 

Lord, help me to remember you are the only source of my blessings.  All things come from you, the good & the bad.  Give me a spirit of thanksgiving & gratitude.  May I never forget the amazing things you have done in my life and are still doing.

Redecorating

I try not to make many changes in the design of my blog, but I just didn't like the design I had. I had borrowed it from another blog designer(with her permission of course) to use until I knew what I really wanted to do with mine.

So, it is a lot different than what I had & I'm still tweaking on some minor things. But, I wanted to have a design that coordinated with my Ministry site.  Eventually, I will probably move my blog over to my ministry site as a direct link off the site, but for now this will work.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Taking a little break

I hope you had a most excellent Thanksgiving day yesterday! Our family enjoyed a great, but really cold, day with family. As always, there was too much food but we did our best to eat as much of it as we could. :o)

I'm taking a little break from the blog to do some housework on my blog.

Hopefully, I can get it all done this weekend. But I'm taking my blog offline until I get everything done.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Home School

The week of Thanksgiving, I try to have something different for my little kids to do since we are on break from school.  This year I decided to have them make Thanksgiving Notebooks.  I knew I had a lot of stuff saved in my "Thanksgiving" file on my computer to keep us busy for a while.  I also got on the internet & looked through some of my favorite websites to see what they had.

I think I spent at least 2 days printing.  I almost wore out my printer & ran out of paper.

We started by spending some time reading & discussing Psalm 100.  It's a short chapter, but packed with great things.  My older kids are doing a short inductive type study on this chapter.  Tomorrow we will discuss what they learned.  I can't wait to hear from them.

I read one of my many history-type books about the Pilgrims & we talked about what it would be like to live on a boat for 66 days with over 100 people, then try to survive in a new land.

2 of my favorite books are; Samuel Eaton's Day by Kate Waters &  On the Mayflower also by Kate Waters.

Some of the activities I collected for the kids to do were crossword puzzles, word search, simple crafts & copy work.  My oldest one (10y) participating in this is writing a Thanksgiving Day comedy.  We'll see how that comes out.  My younger ones are copying scripture, prayers & writing their own prayers & lists of blessings.  And of course for my 4 & 6 yr old there is plenty of coloring, cutting & glue going on.

For their copy work, I used the notebook pages from Notebookingpages.com.  She also had some great coloring pages.

I also found some cute stuff at Christian Preschool Printables also at abcteach.com

Tomorrow we will finish up & assemble our books.  Some will have more than others, but that is o'k.  I've tried to make it as fun as I can while also teaching them the importance of being thankful, not just this week, but all year long.

It's not much, but it has kept them busy while focusing on the many blessing God has granted us this year.



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Saturday, November 13, 2010

I've got to stop blinking!

I know that the older I get, the quicker time passes.

Tomorrow, my little girl will turn 6.  Seems like yesterday when my sister & I were walking around Target, picking up some last minute things & trying to get labor to start.  I was already a week past due, nothing new for me, but I was ready to have my baby girl.  It worked...sorta.  I woke up in the middle of the night with nice, regular contractions & no matter what I did they wouldn't go away!  WooHoo!  By 5:30 a.m. I had my baby girl in my arms.

Just a few blinks later and I am shopping with Scott for her birthday gifts. 



I've got to stop blinking!

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Reformation Day - Reposted

This is a post written previously.

 

October 31st is Reformation Day for Christians. On this day in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church. These were his protest against the indulgences of the Catholic church. He didn't believe that you could bargain or buy your way into heaven and this is what the Catholic church was teaching. They were taking advantage of the people and Martin Luther had had enough.

Martin Luther was a German monk in Erfurt, Germany. He was totally dedicated to his God and in his service. He would starve himself and spent hours on his cell floor, arms stretched out in a cross confessing his sins and seeking Gods forgiveness, but still he never found peace in his heart. He tried to be perfect and earn his salvation, but it wasn't until the rector of the Augustinian order explained salvation to him did he begin to understand that his salvation was a free gift from God through his faith in Jesus Christ. He told him that God was not angry with him for his sin, but that he loved him. He then sent him to the university in Erfurt to become a priest and to teach.

Luther enjoyed his life as a priest and was thrilled when he was sent to Rome on business. But Rome was not as holy as Luther expected it to be. The monks openly ridiculed the saints, jokes were made of the sacraments by the priests. But even in Rome Martin did not lose his faith in God. But now, he had some doubt about the church authority. He went home and began to study God's Word with a passion that he had never experienced before. Over time in his studies he began to realize that the scriptures did not teach that one earned their salvation by good works. He realized that salvation only came by believing in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. All that the church was teaching was not what the scriptures he was reading. He began to teach what he was learning at the University and this really caused sparks to fly.

To make a really long story short (which you can go here to read more), the church kicked Martin Luther out and he had to hide for several years. It was during this time that other priest began to question the Catholic church's teaching and began to uprise. Many lost their life, others escaped. While Martin was in hiding he began to translate the Latin Bible into German. He believed that anybody should be able to read and study the scriptures themselves.

Martin Luthers' boldness to stand and fight for truth marked the beginning of the Reformation Church also known as the Protestant church. Martin Luther paved the way for other reformers to come in and carry on the work of teaching other about the grace of God. Works are not what get you into Heaven, it is only God's grace.

Martin Luther was also known for his hymns. The most popular hymn that he is still remembered for is also called the Battle Hymn of the Reformation or better known as A Mighty Fortress is our God (you can also listen at this link) Here is Steve Green singing on You Tube. This hymn is my favorite of all the hymns!

So why is any of this important? Who really cares about a man who rebelled against the Catholic church over 400 years ago? I think that as parents it is really important for us to pass on to our kids our Christian heritage and knowing about people like Martin Luther is an important in our christian history. You better appreciate the sacrifices made by these men. Learning how God used people even 400 years ago to spread his love and teach his grace helps us to understand that he can use us also.

Teach your kids the message of Luther, God does not change! His Grace is forever and his love is abundant.

Here are a few websites to use with your kids to teach them about Martin Luther and the Reformation.

~ Love to Learn

~ Reformation Activities

~ Reformation Day resources (scroll all the way down the page)

~ More History on Luther

~ Read Luthers writings, hymns and learn about other reformers

Some of our favorite books on this are:

"Martin Luther, The German Monk who changed the World" (Heroes of Faith & Courage series) by; Ben Alex.

Also, "Martin Luther, A Man Who Changed the World"





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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ireland Pictures

I'm not posting all of what Sarah posted on Facebook, there were too many.  I'm just sharing a few of my favorites.

Ashley & Sarah at the Cliffs of Moher


They visited Trim Castle, home of the movie Bravehart




Irish McDonalds!




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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Update from Ireland

Today is day 6 of the girls Ireland mission trip.  We got to skype (video messaging) with them today!  That was awesome.  I have never done that before.  Their internet connection was a little slow, but it worked well enough for us to see that they are tired, but energized by the awesome stuff going on. 

Here is a blog link of one of the ladies on the trip.  She has posted pictures and told a little of what they did on the weekend retreat.

Here is an update from the missions pastor (husband of the blog author above), Tom Hayes. He emailed us today.



Hello all-

Well, to say that our first few days have been a whirlwind would be an understatement. It seems like we were just lining up for a team photo at DFW and now we’re already past the retreat and through the first day of kids club.
We’re truly grateful for how well the retreat went.

- Jenny, Ashley, and Sarah were somehow able to not only keep all 40 children calm, but they taught them as well. It was evident from all the hugs, smiles, and tears that our three girls really connected with the children of Galway City Baptist Church.

- Katie and Kathy spent two full days cooking in a kitchen with a stove/oven combo that was not just near its’ last leg, but I think it passed its’ last leg years ago. They kept having to have the manager relight the pilot light – which added to the difficulty. After we arrived in Ireland, we heard that there would be about 100 people to be fed each day. That’s a lot of cooking and cleaning and we are thankful for their work.

- Charlton Hiott led our teaching times and delivered a personal and passionate look at the book of Jonah. His insight really helped us all to understand what a great God we serve and how much He loves us.

- A good friend from college, Nate Jones, who serves at a church in Kansas City, MO was able to join us for the trip and lead retreat in worship. His talent is only surpassed by his heart to see God alone worshipped in all of our worship services.
It really was a GREAT retreat
Today, we were able to lead our first day of kids camp. We knew that there were 24 kids registered, but on our first day, we had 41 children! They were bursting with energy and excited to be part of the camp. Once again, our team did a fantastic job in the songs, recreation, crafts, snacks, and story time. We are teaching the kids about the armor of God – hoping that they can learn to utilize the gifts that God has given to us to live out our lives for Christ in this world.

Please continue to pray for our last two days of kids club. We are all very thankful to serve, but also getting pretty worn out.
We miss you all and look forward to seeing God move and seeing your faces.
Blessings,Tom

Sarah posted some pictures on Facebook today, so I took a few  of them to share with you here, but I'm having some trouble.  I will try again later.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, go to my wall.  You can see pictures there.

Once again, thanks for your prayers.


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ireland Bound!

We delivered our girls safely into the hands of the missions team this morning.  I only cried once and that was while I was getting ready this morning.  I was good as long as I didn't watch them walk to the security check in or think about how they will be gone 10 days or how they will be on a 7 hour flight to a different country or how....  I'm still not thinking about any of that.  I know they are in good hands.  And I know that they will have a fantastic time!

And of course in the name of blogging, I took pics at the airport.  All I had was the IPhone, but they aren't too bad.









If you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, I will be posting updates as I get them.  Sarah set up a blog just for this trip so she could post pictures, hopefully she will get a chance to update it.  If she does I will post the blog link.

Thanks so much to those of you who emailed for a prayer calendar or just to tell me that you are praying for them.  That means so much to me!  Thanks so much!!


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Pray for my girls

Our home is all a buzz right now.  My 2 oldest children, Ashley & Sarah are flying out with a team from our church for Ireland on Wednesday afternoon.  They will be leading in a retreat for families & a VBS in Galway. They have been planning & saving for this trip for over a year.  They are so excited to get this opportunity to go & we are so excited for them.

I would appreciate your prayers for my girls.  I'm not nervous about them going so far, they are going with a great group of adults.  This also is not their first trip like this.  Sarah & Ashley have been on mission trips far away before.  I am excited for them.  It is something I have always wanted to do, go to Ireland, land of my ancestors.

I'm so proud of my girls.  Ashley is 19 & loves the Lord and desires to share his love with others.  She is a natural with children and looks forward to leading in the VBS.  Sarah is 18 and has had a deep desire to go as far from home as possible to share the gospel with others for a long time.  She has organized the VBS program, that will be done in Galway, while babysitting, doing her school work & still volunteering at church.  It has been a stressful few weeks in preparing, but my girls have done a great job!

If you would like a prayer calendar so you know how to pray for them everyday, email me & I will send it to you.

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Teaching our Children Honorable Obediance

As a parent, I have no doubt that one of your biggest struggles is how to instill in your children the importance of obediance.  We are born sinners.  We are born selfish.  That is why we need a Savior.  I can remember moments with my children before they were even one year old, acting in defiance to me.  At first, I think I was shocked.  "How did you learn how to do that?"  Then I found the scripture that tells us that "foolishness is wrapped up in the heart of a child".  I have to teach my child to obey because he is born a sinner.

I have found out that there are 2 ways my children obey.
  1.  They obey because I told them to.
  2. They obey because they know it is the right thing to do.

This morning on my way to church I saw a policeman sitting in a parking lot pointing at the street.  You could tell the cars who saw him also, because they all began slowing down.  Once we passed him, they sped back up.  How many times have you done this?  Me too!  We see a policeman and now we use our blinker to change lanes, come to a complete stop at stop signs or go just under the speed limit.  Just by the policeman being there, he is reminding us to obey the traffic laws, we already know...plus we don't want to get a ticket!

Why don't we always obey the traffic laws?  Does it matter that there are some speed limits that seem way too slow?  it doesn't matter what you think.  The law is there for you to respect & obey for your safety & the safety of those driving around you.  We know we should obey the laws because it is the right thing to do.

My kids will do what I tell them to, but give me attitude while they do it.  Yes, I'm glad they did what I told them to, but their heart has a problem that needs to be addressed.  So actually, my childs' obediance was still sin.  Just like obeying the traffic laws only when the police are looking.  It's not truly obediance, we just don't want a ticket.

When my child obeys with a good attitude, that is complete obediance; honorable obediance. Honor means to value someone more than you value yourself.  Honorable obediance says, "I will do what you ask, because I love & respect you, and I know it is the right thing to do."  This is how we should always obey what the Lord tells us to do.

This reminds me of Abraham when God gave him the crazy orders to pack up he & Isaac & head to the mountain for sacrifice because Isaac was the sacrifice. (Genesis 22)  Abraham didn't argue with God, he just obeyed.  He honored God in his actions when he obeyed without question. If you know the story, you know that God didn't make Abraham sacrifice Isaac, he provided a ram.  Abraham was blessed for his honorable obediance.

So, how do we instill this in our children? 

First we must be living it out first.  They learn from our example, whether we like it or not! If they don't see us living in a honorable way, they probably won't understand why you think they should.

Teach your kids there are blessings with obediance.  Use the Bible to show them times when God's people were blessed because they obeyed and show them times when people didn't obey and what happened.
Some examples of stories of obediance are: Daniel 3 (Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego), Genesis 6 (Noah), Daniel 1 (Daniel & his friends)

When you tell your child to do something and they respond in a negative way, stop them, don't let them continue to do what you told them to do.

"Fred, I asked you to unload the dishwasher and you rolled your eyes at me.  Is that an appropriate response?"  Then repeat the instruction.  My kids are to say, "Yes mam" when I tell them to do something, we call that an appropriate response as long as they aren't rolling their eyes when they say it. :)  When your child does respond in an honorable way, shower them with praise!  But when they dobn't, take time to correct & remind them of the correct way to obey.

"Thank you so much for responding to me like that!"

It is really important that our children learn to obey with honor.  It is a matter of the heart.

 Our actions mean nothing to God, it is our heart that he wants.


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Friday, September 17, 2010

Excellent Day

What a week!  I could end right there & not say anything more, but you know me.  I have too many words dying to be written!

This was one of the most crazy weeks that I have had in a really long time, but I'm not complaining, yet I feel like I am.  If you have followed my blog for any amount of time you know that we have been in a financial crisis for quite a while.  Even though my husband has remained in Real Estate there has not been enough business to provide for us.  He has been looking for almost 2 years for a part time job with no success...I mean NOTHING!  Then all of a sudden out of the blue comes this job opportunity.  It is contract work, so we don't know how long he will have it, but we are so thankful for it while he has it.  He can pick his hours so that is really good.  BUT (you knew I had to add a "but"), it is located in downtown Dallas so he rides the train into downtown.  No biggie, except that we don't have a second car so I take him to the station every morning & pick him up every evening.  No biggie, except I DON'T DO MORNINGS!.  Well, now I do.  We leave the house about 6:30 every morning for the 30 minute ride in the dark.  By the time I get him to the station the sun is coming up.  When I get home there is usually at least one child awake watching cartoons on the couch.  My day has officially begun & I feel as though I am running until I finally fall into bed at night.

Scott has been home for about 3 years now.  All the time.  Everyday.   Now after 3 years, he is gone all day & when he comes home it is exhausted so there isn't much conversation happening. 

It has been a hard week.  We are getting used to Daddy not being home.  Mom doing all the driving around and all the school work and all of the whatever else needs to be done.

Plus on top of all that, our homeschool co-op started on Monday.  We have never participated in a co-op before so this was totally new for all of us.  And I can't just go like all the other moms, I have to help coordinate part of it (ugh).  I am the cleaning coordinator & now I know why no one else wanted that job.  So Monday was bad...very bad...not-ever-wanting-to-go-back bad.  My kids loved it & I am committed to it & I know that it was the first day.  Already things are looking better.

So, did I say it was a hard week?  I just haven't felt this tired in a long time. And as we all know, with exhaustion comes lots of emotions.  One side of me is saying, "Thank you Lord for providing Scott with a job" & the other side is saying"I'm so tired, I don't wanna get up when it is dark, I don't wanna deal with bad kid attitudes, I don't wanna do this anymore!"

Then there was today.

Scott does the sound for Mom2Mom again, so he and Ashley (who works childcare) left at 8:00 & I was still in bed! Yes that is right, I slept past 6:00!  Then I casually got up & made waffles.  Then we casually started school, then I casually checked email. The whole day was relaxed & casual & I am still in my PJ's!  I love day's like that!  All my days were like that, but now with our new crazy schedule I can appreciate them much better & look forward to them.  We had an excellent day!  Thank you Jesus!


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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

Someone posted this on Facebook & I wanted to share it with you. I thought it was really neat & a good reminder to those of us moms who have been at this mom thing for a while now. I don't know where this video originated from or the ones who posted it & I don't endorse them. I just like the video.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Washed Away to Produce a Harvest

We have had more rain in the past 3 days than we did all summer. Tropical Storm Hermine moved through Texas with great force & brought tornadoes, flooding and a lot of complaining.

My husband started a new job this week.  In order for him to get to his job, I have to take him to the train station so he can ride the train into downtown Dallas.  It is a 30-40 minute drive for us & then another 30 minutes on the train.  So every morning around 6:50 Scott & I leave, in the rain, for the drive in the traffic to to train station.  It was a pain.  I hate driving in the rain.

This morning we left & it was cloudy again, but it wasn't raining.  On the way home after dropping Scott off, I was thinking about how glad I was that the rain was over.  As I kept thinking about this, the Lord brought this verse to my mind.

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)

The rain really only lasted a few days and we complained the whole time it was here.  But once it was over the sky was clear, rainbows could be seen, the grass will green up soon and the lakes & ponds are full again.  The rain was good!
When the Lord brings discipline to our lives, we rarely (if ever) say, "Oh good, I'm so glad you are disciplining me."  Instead we are complaining because life is difficult or uncomfortable. We don't like pain, we don't like to hurt, we don't like to be stretched beyond our comfort level.
But as we mature in our faith & understanding of God & His ways, we are able to appreciate the discipline he brings because we know that it is producing in us a harvest of righteousness and peace.  The verse before verse 11 says, "God disciplines us for good, that we may share in his holiness." (Hebrews 12:10)  In order to share in HIS holiness, we must be disciplined to bring about what is good in us.

That rain we had for 3 days washed away the smog in the air, cleaned off our streets, brought fresh water to the lakes & ponds.  We didn't like it raining for so long, but the end results were good.

I encourage you, the next time the Lord brings hardship & adversity into your life to embrace it as an opportunity to washed away and let His holiness be revealed in you.  Don't fight it, don't argue or complain, recognize it for what it is...God working in your life, producing a harvest or righteousness.


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