Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Limit to What God can Do

I receive a devotional in my inbox everyday written by A.W. Tozer. It is easy to sign up at his website & I encourage you to do so. They are short but packed full of truth!

This devotional is an excerpt from his book, Tozer, on Christian Leadership.

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too." --Acts 17:6

There is no limit to what God could do in our world if we would dare to surrender before Him with a commitment like this:

"Oh God, I hereby give myself to You. I give my family. I give my business. I give all I possess. Take all of it, Lord-and take me! I give myself in such measure that if it is necessary that I lose everything for your sake, let me lose it. I will not ask what the price is. I will ask only that I may be all that I ought to be as a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen."

If even 300 of God's people became that serious, our world would never hear the last of it! They would influence the news. Their message would go everywhere like birds on the wing. They would set off a great revival of New Testament faith and witness.

God wants to deliver us from the easygoing, smooth and silky, fat and comfortable Christianity so fashionable today. I hope we are willing to let the truth get hold of us, even at the cost of rejection or embarrassment.

The faith of the heavenly overcomers cost them everything and gained them everything. What of our faith? Jesus Is Victor!, 116-117.

"Oh God, I hereby give myself to You. I give my family. I give my business. I give all I possess. Take all of it, Lord-and take me! I give myself in such measure that if it is necessary that I lose everything for your sake, let me lose it. I will not ask what the price is. I will ask only that I may be all that I ought to be as a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Impress Them Upon Your Children

Deuteronomy 6 is one of my favorite chapters in scripture. God has told Moses to prepare the people for their upcoming freedom into the promise land by declaring his commands to the people.

God gave Moses 2 commands. The first one is one of the most popular commands in the Bible. In the New Testament, Jesus called it the greatest command.

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

The Israelites had been in the wilderness for several decades now. Their parents had died in the wilderness because of their disobedience. God was giving this new generation a new chance. He wanted them to know that they had to love him with all they were. A love for their God had to consume them. They had to know that it would be their God who would take them into the new land, it would not be them. The previous generation didn't have this love. That is why they wouldn't go into the new promise land. They were afraid of the giants of the land.

God didn't only tell them to love him, but he also told them to teach it to their children.

Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

(Deut 6:7-9)

Why was this so important to God? If it wasn't that important to him, it wouldn't have been recorded for us to read & apply to our own lives.

I think when we realize the mercy God showed the Israelites by not killing them for their disobedience, but rather letting them die off, we can understand the importance of generations of believers to our God. It is so important to God we raise up future generations of believers. This is why God first instructed the people to love him. It starts with the parents. Then we must give it to our children.

I looked up this word "impress" or "teach" (KJV). It means to sharpen or shape. How cool is that! When we teach our children to love the Lord their God with their whole heart, soul & strength we are sharpening them. I can't help but to think of a sword. When it is sharp, it is used to defend. A sharp knife is used to shape something to be useful. The word of God is sharper than a two edged sword.

What is shaping your child's mind & character? Did you know the average American family spends less than 30 minutes a day discussing spiritual matters? What are they doing the other time? Studies show that a child in school (public or private) spends on average 14,000 seat hours in school in grades K-12. If that same child is only getting 30 minutes a day of spiritual discussion at home that is only 2,372.5 hrs during the same time frame, K-12.

You have to wonder, who is impressing our children? We only get one chance to invest in the lives of our children...what are we investing?

What are your impressing on your children? Do they know who God is? Do they know him as their Creator? Ya know in public school your kids are not taught that God created them, so what do they know about who they are?

Start young telling your children who God is. Tell them from the beginning God knows everything & is everywhere. Start young showing them your God is so very important to you. They know what & who is important to you, no matter what you say.

Not too long ago I was taking one of my children with me on an errand. They were having a difficult time with a friend. My child made the comment, "I'm glad that God knows how to help me." I asked, "How do you know that?" "Well, you & Dad always say that when you are having trouble that God knows what you should do, you just have to wait for him to show you. You told us that God knows everything & when we are ready he will share with us what we need to help us." I wanted to cry! I wasn't sure if this child ever heard anything I say, but he had not only heard, but had watched his father & I live it out. That was proof for him that it worked. What a blessing!

We live in such a dangerous world & the enemy is working overtime to lure our children in by false hopes. Impress on your children to love the Lord their God with their whole heart, soul & strength. Let them see you living this command out & they will see the blessings of obedience in your life.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

3-2-1 Biscuits

A friend of mine brought biscuits to a meeting we had this past year & they were the best I had ever had. Up until now, my biscuits were just from a baking mix. I didn't like making them from scratch because there just seem to be too many ingredients. Not so with these 3-2-1 Biscuits. My kids love these. They are not the most healthy, but very delicious!

3 Tablespoons of sugar (I never put 3, more like only 1)
2 cups of Self Rising Flour(not all purpose) (may need a little more)
1 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream (the not so healthy part)

Mix together, roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut. I use the top of a coffee mug because I don't have a biscuit cutter. But for your kids I bet they would like fun shapes from a cookie cutter.

An easier way.... My friend never rolled her dough out. I didn't know that until recently. She just dropped them on the pan & patted them down a little.

Bake 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. Just watch them & smell them. When they smell real good & are browning on top, they should be done.

We love putting a little butter & strawberry preserves in the middle of ours. No gravy needed!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What do I do with this Boy?

I found this article & thought it was worth passing on. Since I have 6 boys, I understand that it does take an extra measure of creativity & patience to homeschool them. Laurie Bluedorn understands this also.

What do I do with This Boy?
by Laurie Bluedorn Copyright © 2006 Eclectic Homeschool Association

Frequently Asked Questions
Question: I have a boy who manifests several of the following behaviors:

Hates to hold a pencil and/or has terrible handwriting
Isn’t motivated
Does the minimum required--seems lazy
Wanders around with seemingly
nothing to do
Has to be continually reminded
Doesn’t read much
Doesn’t like academics
No project appeals to him
Has a narrow field
of interests
Has a short attention span
Often seems ‘hyper’
has to be doing something with his hands or his feet
Doesn't want to do any
of the things I suggest

If enrolled in a classroom school, he might be "labeled"
What do I do with this boy? I feel very frustrated

Here are a few suggestions:

Keep him away from television, movies, computer games, music that contains any kind of a syncopated beat, sugar and caffeine, and allow him only supervised contact with peers.
Make him repeat back to you what you’ve told him to do.

Work with him until you’re satisfied with his obedience. This is of the utmost importance.
Make a list of the things he needs to accomplish each day, and have him check them off as he does them. Hold him accountable daily.

Wait until age 8 or 9 before teaching him to read. Don’t start academics until age 11. (See our article on "A Suggested Course of Study" in Volume II of our magazine.) Read to him at least two hours each day. If he hates to write, allow him to dictate to you his letters and journal entries, or use a tape recorder.

Make use of the child’s one or two chief interests. Use it as an avenue to other things. (i.e., Link guns to the Second Amendment to the Constitution and to principles of sound government) Get him started in his own business that involves his interests. For example, if the child's interest is fencing you might suggest that he give fencing lessons to other children, develop a web page on fencing, write a newsletter on fencing, do a display at the library on fencing, write an introductory booklet on fencing, produce fencing equipment, do a fencing seminar for 4-H. He can become the homeschooling expert on fencing.

Give him lots of physical work to do--regular household chores and special jobs. But don’t dump it all on him at once -- he probably is the kind of person who is easily overwhelmed and frustrated. Break everything down into parts and mete them out one or two at a time. Use a chart to keep him accountable.

If possible, move to the country so you can raise animals and there will be more outside work to perform (raise rabbits, goats, or chickens, display these projects at the fair, obedience train your dog and show at fairs, raise earthworms to sell or for your garden, raise berries to sell or barter, raise some specialty animal such as a certain breed of horse, and become the local expert on that breed, have him practice carpentry skills by rebuilding a small shed or outbuilding).

Get the child involved in some kind of community service (visit the nursing home every week for one hour, cook meals for the elderly, do repair work for the elderly, pick up the trash around your neighborhood, make small wooden toys and give them to children in the hospital, make greeting cards and give them away, write letters to relatives or others).

If possible, Dad can take him to work once or twice a week.

Do unit studies instead of the traditional textbook approach to academics.

Get involved in historical re-enactments (Civil War, Buckskinners, Medieval, WWII), make costumes and equipment, and attend events.

Teach him to hunt and fish.

Get him a good mountain bike so he can explore.

Keep the child on a regular schedule (flexible, but regular).

This suggestion is listed last, but is really the first: the child should be part of your daily family Bible studies led by the Father.

Sometimes, if the child persists in refusing to be interested, you must insist. The key to all this is to recognize early on that your child is one of these "late bloomers." You don't want to wake up to this fact when the child is 17 or 18 and has already developed numerous unprofitable habits and wasteful ways of thinking. Motivating a 17-year-old is much more difficult than motivating a 10-year-old. Molding a 17-year-old is much more difficult than molding a 10-year-old.
With any child, you must build a solid foundation before you begin academics. With a "late bloomer" the foundation takes longer to build and more patience must be used because the bricks tend to be less than square. But, trust me, by the mercy of God, if you persist, the structure that is built on this foundation will be worth all the blood, sweat, and prayers.

This article was reprinted from Teaching the Trivium Magazine, Trivium Pursuit PMB 168, 429 Lake Park Blvd., Muscatine, Iowa 52761 The magazine is now out of print, but many additional articles and resources are available at their website.

Monday, September 14, 2009

10 Things to Pray

Teach me...

•1. To hold my tongue -

Job 6:24 Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.

Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Father, teach me when to speak and when to listen. Set a guard over my mouth so that my words will encourage & not discourage others. Give me wisdom in my words . A-men.

2. What I can say to God-

Job 37:19 "Tell us what we should say to him; we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.

Romans 8:36 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Father, how thankful I am to know that even when I have no words to say to you, your Holy Spirit can speak on my behalf.

3. Your paths-

Psalm 25:4 "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;

Job 34:32 "Teach me what I cannot see; if I have done wrong, I will not do so again.

Father, open my eyes that I may see your path to walk in. Help me to see when I am stepping away from you and give me the faith to walk in your ways even though I cannot see the way.

4. Your Truth -

Psalm 25:24 "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Father, how wonderful it is to know that you are God. Guide me in your truth so that I can easily recognize evil and strengthen me so that I can resist and temptation to stray from you.

5. Your Way-

Psalm 27:11 "Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

Psalm 86:11 "Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

Father, teach me to walk only in your way. When I am faced with difficult times help me to trust only you to direct me. I want to love you with all my heart, show me when I allow other things to interfere with my love for you.

6. To number my days that I might apply my heart to wisdom-

Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 20:24 "A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?

Father, please forgive me idol busyness. I know that I let so many things get in the way & then my day is wasted. Teach me to use my days with discernment & wisdom so that I may bring glory to you.

7. Your statutes-

Psalm 119:24 "Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:26"I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:64 "The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:68, "You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:124 "Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:135 "Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees.

Father, teach me your statutes so that I can know you better. You are so good and your statues bring peace to my life. Shine on me Oh God and teach me your decrees.

8. The way of your statutes-

Psalm 119:33, "Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.

Father, just knowing your statues will not help me much unless I learn to keep them. Help me to keep your commands so that I may experience you and know the way of your statutes.

9. Judgments. -

Psalm 119:36, "Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.

Psalm 119:108, "Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.

Father, teach me to make good judgments. Help me to discern and to act slowly with great thought. Help me to apply the knowledge of your word to my actions. I praise you for your law's and the happiness it brings me.

•10. Knowledge-

Psalm 119:66, "Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands.

Father, teach me your knowledge and help me to gain wisdom from it.

For more ideas on what to pray or how to pray go to Prayer Power Ministries website. Kaye Johns is a mom who is passionate about teaching moms how to develop a deep prayer life.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 year old photographer!

So, what happens when your 3 year old gets your camera?

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Real Bailey's

Ever wondered what we are like when no is watching?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Lesson from the Locusts

Can you remember a time when you can see how the Lord was giving you a heads up that you needed to change your ways? Can you see warning signs that he posted for you, but you ignored them?
I can! In fact, when I look back over my past, I can see a lot of ways that the Lord tried to show me that my heart was impure and I needed to repent, but I just kept going. Our God is patient and merciful, but there comes a time when the patience ends and the punishment begins.

This is the case for the nation of Judah in the book of Joel. Joel was a prophet and he wrote a tiny little 3 chapter book in the Old Testament between the books, Hosea and Amos.

Judah had turned away from God. Big surprise, I know! They seemed to be stuck in a vicious cycle of sin until God sends another judge or prophet to show them their sinful ways. They just couldn't stick to the righteous lifestyle. They always wanted to be like the other nations, even though the other nations were God-less. So,God sent locust that devoured everything green in the land. The locusts were meant to be a warning sign that if they didn't clean up their act, much worse would follow.

In fact, there was an army on it's way that would destroy what the locust didn't eat.

The Lord says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me all your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, mourning. Let your remorse tear at your hearts and not your garments." Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered; he is full of kindness, and anxious not to punish you. Joel 2:12&13 (NLT)

When God gives us a warning that we need to change our ways, and turn to Him, there is only one response...OBEDIENCE!

Do you see warning signs now flashing before you? The Lord was clear as to what the people needed to do in response to his warning.

"Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Joel 2:32a

Take a lesson from the locusts and recognize the warning signs that the Lord is placing in your life. He wants to bless you and restore what the locusts have eaten, but we don't receive his blessing until we have repented and return to Him. Amazing blessings are in store for you!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Kids

Can you remember when you held your first baby when they were fresh from your tummy(if your a mom that is). Or if you adopted your child, I'm sure you can still remember that first moment of looking directly into their eyes. That is something you just don't forget!

Moments like that are special to savor. Even though I have delivered 10 children, I still remember that first moment with them. It is a sweet memory that I love to ponder on. Sometimes I look at my big 'ole teenagers and can't believe that they are old enough to be called teenagers. Where did the time go?

My previous blog post told you that this week is our birthday week. So far we have 2 down & 2 more to go. Today is our break from the fun. It is always fun celebrating our kids on their birthday.

My second oldest daughter, Sarah will turn 17 tomorrow. She is my "can't-wait-to-spread-my-wings" child. She loves photography & hopes to have her own business & hopefully go on the mission field with her camera.

She has a great blog that displays some of the pictures that she has taken. She did some great pics of her siblings this past summer. Go to her blog to see her pics of the kids.

Her blog is called Through My Eyes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Birthday Week!

This week in September is a really busy week for our family. 4 of our 10 kids were born in September and 3 of those were born 3 years in a row.

Today is Morgan's birthday. She has turned 15. The bottom pic is her 10th birthday I think, but I'm not sure. The 2nd pic was taken this past Saturday. Morgan has the best laugh and can be heard from all around. She loves to help and serve others. She began babysitting more this past year and has become the favorite sitter of several families. We are proud of the spiritual maturity we have seen in Morgan over the past year. Jesus is her personal Lord & Savior and friend.

Josh's birthday is tomorrow. He will be 16. So today, Josh & Morgan are both 15. I think I brought Morgan home on his 1st birthday.

This picture of Josh was taken after we had picked up Ashley at the airport after her mission trip to Puerto Rico. He was acting silly like he always does. Tomorrow, I may post a few pics of just how silly he can be.

But in all seriousness, he has come a long way in a year. Josh has always had a very strong will and challenged us from the time he could crawl. But, he loves the Lord and we have seen him grow in his relationship with God by making some very tough decisions this year.

He has taken a stand for what is right among a peer group that doesn't know right from wrong. He understands that others are watching him, knowing he claims to be a Christian and he is serious now about setting a good example for others to follow.

Here is a pic of Sarah & Josh when they were 1 & 2 yrs old. Thursday will be Sarah's 17th birthday. She is our child who cannot stay home. She is always looking for a place to go. She has a heart for missions and is hoping that the Lord will take her and her camera on the mission field. She loves to take pictures and is hoping to have her own photography business.
She loves to study the Bible and discuss theology.

And then there is Sam. Samuel Addison is our baby.

Here is Sam and Morgan a few weeks ago. Sam will be 3 on the 13th. He is still our youngest with no more coming as of now. Sam is a joy. He is a very happy little boy. He is all boy, but can play babies with Gracie also. We are so thankful for Sam and the laughter that he brings to our house!

Let the cake eating begin!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I Choose to Praise

I knew my day was going to be busy. The calendar had 2 appointments on it & I had a long list of things to do at home in between the 2 appointments. In my quiet time I read on the importance of keeping my eyes focused on the things that are unseen because I can become entangled by the things that I can see.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Lord, help me today to keep my eyes focused on you, the author of my faith. Help me to not become entangled by my daily demands.

After lunch, the boys were done with their school work (gotta love half days!) so I concentrated on getting my laundry finished and the last few emails sent out before I had to get ready for my first appointment. I was taking my 15 yr old son to our Naturalist to see if he had a stomach ulcer. He had been in pain for about a month off and on. It wasn’t going away so it was time to get it checked out.

My day was going well. No big bumps in the road. Thank you Lord for the gift of an easy going day.

About the time that Josh & I got seated in the Naturalists office, I got a text from my daughter.

“If you need me, call my cell. The power was turned off.”

Ok, God now the real day begins, right? This wasn’t the first time our power had been turned off. It has happened a couple times before. We have struggled financially for a few years now and sometimes we just can’t get enough money together to get the whole bill paid. The electric company seems to want the whole bill paid on time, not half of the bill a few days late.

This time, Scott had paid half hoping that would hold them off until he could get the rest paid. It didn’t.

Josh & I came home to find the kids playing cards at the dining room table. They were having a good time, enjoying being forced to be creative with their time since they couldn’t watch TV or play on the computer.

I went to my room & sat at my desk.

Again Lord? We have to do this again? Is there any end to this nightmare that we are living in?

I took out one of my spiral journals that I make notes in when I’m studying my Bible. I took a pen from the drawer and began to write. The words that flowed were from the depths of my heart; words that I had not really thought about until I saw them appear on paper. There is something about writing with a pen that typing on a keyboard can’t accomplish sometimes.

I wrote;

The electricity is off again. We are told it will be back on by midnight tomorrow. Please Lord, let it be sooner. A friend sent me a text, “How are you?” I want to answer back & tell her how I really am. How do you say, “I am great!” when I don’t feel great. But I choose my response. I choose to say, “Thank you Lord for the unusual cool breeze today so that our house will not get too hot before night fall.” I chose to be thankful that Scott did get a pay check and was able to pay the bill even if it was a few days late. I choose to praise my God, instead of pout about my circumstances. Quietness and confidence is my strength. God gives me a quiet heart so I can hear his voice of truth and peace that passes all my understanding. I choose to believe that my God can do more than I can ask or imagine. I don’t understand why this season of adversity continues. But I choose to praise my God for his grace, mercy and comfort. My struggle here is so finite compared to my eternity with my infinite Lord, my God.

I do not always respond like this. The peace that I felt was unbelievable. I know that there are many worse things to experience than not having electricity, we have experienced a few things worse. I wasn’t mad or frustrated. I wanted to be at first. I new I had a choice. I could choose to praise my God, or I could choose to drown in self-pity.

We have a choice. This is the beauty of God’s work in our life. He allows us the opportunity to choose to worship him.

I thought about Job as he sat listening to his friends try to diagnose his circumstances or when his wife told him to “curse God and die!”. He chose to praise his God. He said, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job 2:10

I can’t compare myself to Job, we haven’t lost everything…yet. We could, and if we did how would I respond? I’m learning this on a continuous basis. Everyday, I have a choice to make when I am faced with various trials. Everyday I have to choose if I will praise my God or if I will complain and ask why this is happening. I don’t make the right choice very often. But when I do, like this week I am blessed with the gift of God’s peace and reminder of his awesome love for me.

It is a fact of life that difficult days are ahead. We can blame someone if we want to. Or we can say, “I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” Habakkuk 3:19

I choose to praise.

David chose to praise. When he was being pursued by Saul, or he was dealing with trials, he fixed his heart on God. This didn’t just happen naturally. It happened because he knew his God. He trusted his God. His hope was in his God. That is how he was able to keep his heart steadfast, that is how he was able to choose to praise.

Psalm 42:11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 57: 7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is steadfast and confident! I will sing and make melody.

David wasn’t alone.

The prophet Habakkuk didn’t understand all that God allowed to happen, but he trusted in God and chose to praise him.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

Paul knew his God and was able to praise Him even while in prison. in 2 Timothy he knew his life was near the end. His last words Timothy were,

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. 2 Timothy 4:18

Fix your mind on the reality that you will experience difficult days, maybe unbelievable, nightmarish days. But fix your mind also on the truth that God has a love for you that is beyond what your mind can comprehend. He has not abandoned you, but has a fantastic plan for you. When the difficult days do come fix your mind on what your response will be.

Will you choose to praise?