Friday, November 18, 2011

A week of thanks

Psalm 100
A Psalm for giving thanks.

1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!

3Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A movie made by "Abiding Kids!"

Our kids need to know that we believe that God can do BIG things through them, for His glory.

Here is some fruit of allowing our kids to take big steps of faith in serving him...

This year, a group of 56 kids led by a 14 year old, joined forces to do something big, something beyond themselves, something uncommon, to bring glory to God and to build His church. The product is a 67 minute long movie that we pray will bless others and honor our Savior… 

Glory in the Highest Productions


The Journey

Four questions, one answer…

Four lives, one journey…

In 5 B.C. Israel is suffering under the rule of the

Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus. Hopelessness reigns among the people.

A Roman librarian in northern Israel is weary of serving numerous Roman gods who have left him without purpose in life.

A young orphan girl longs for something wonderful to fill her.

A Jewish peasant is sure that God has forgotten him and his people.

A lonely beggar girl is determined that no one will love her.

Four lives unite on a desperate journey, following the prophecies in the Jewish Torah to a small town in southern Israel. Will their longings ever be fulfilled?

Watch the trailer!

You may purchase this 67 minute long, family friendly movie, at  for $12 including shipping, or order here at!

 Please enjoy it and may the Lord bless you through it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Good News!

Do you want to be an abiding mom?  Perhaps you can relate to the frustrations of the "supermom" but realize that the idea of being an "abiding mom" seems even more impossible?  In John 15:5, Jesus says "I am the vine, you are the branches;  he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."  If this seems like something you desire to know more about, please read on to hear the good news that the love of Jesus can transform you from trying to be a 'supermom', to trusting in Him fully, and being an 'abiding mom'...

Are you interested in finding out more about how Jesus came to give you LIFE? You can read the good news here...Our greatest desire is for people to come to know God personally. The simple truth is that there is a God who created you and loves you very much. (Genesis 1:1) He gave us life and deserves our gratitude and love.

We, however, have chosen to disobey Him and sin against Him; all of us have done wrong and failed to do what is right. (Romans 3:23) We may not be more sinful than our neighbor, or we may be far worse than anyone we know, it does not matter. Either way, we are guilty before God. (1 John 1:8)

God is perfect, completely good, always right and fair. He cannot tolerate sin. He cannot simply overlook the fact that we have chosen to disobey Him. The Bible says "the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) This means that the fair payment for our rebellion against God is death. It is the punishment that we deserve.

Jesus, the one and only Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect sinless life. He was crucified even though He was completely innocent. He received the punishment that we deserved. He was the perfect sacrifice, He was put into our place and took on Himself the sentence of death that should have been ours. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus did not, however, remain dead. After three days, He rose from the grave and later ascended into heaven. He will return for all those who are trusting in Him as their Savior.

Jesus died for you. You can be saved by asking Him for forgiveness from your sins. If you are willing to repent of your sin, He is waiting to forgive you. It doesn't matter what you have done in the past, if you cry out to Jesus for forgiveness, He will not reject you. The word "repent" literally means "to turn away from." You need to look at your life, admit that you are a sinner, genuinely desire to turn your back on that sin, and ask Him to forgive you. If you do this, He promises to forgive you.

True Christianity is not about attending a particular church, or how your parents raised you, or what country you were born in. Being a Christian means that you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that He is your Savior. It's not good enough that your priest, pastor, mother, or aunt knows Jesus, you must know Him for yourself. They cannot believe in Him for you, you must believe for yourself. They cannot repent for you, you must repent for yourself.

Jesus is everywhere all the time. He can hear you now if you ask Him for forgiveness. Please turn your life over to Him now. Time slips by so quickly, don't miss this opportunity. If you want to pray and ask Jesus to be your Savior, you can say a prayer something like this:

"Jesus, I know that I have sinned against you. I know the truth is that I have sinned by my own choice, and I am the one responsible for it. I know that I have earned punishment from You, and that the fair punishment would be death. Jesus, I believe that You died in my place. Forgive me for my sin. I cannot cover or take my sin away, I am relying totally and only on You. You are the only one who can save me. I reject my sin, I turn away from it, I repent. Come into my life, take away my sin, and show me how to live my life in a way that is right and pleasing to You."

If you have sincerely prayed this, and trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. YOU ARE SAVED! You are now completely forgiven, a new creation, innocent in the eyes of God. Welcome to the family of God!

It is important for you to start to grow in your relationship with Jesus. Just like any relationship, you need to spend time with someone if you want to know them well. The way to know God is through the Bible. A good place to start is by reading the book of John. It's also important to find a church you can attend where they teach the Bible. This will allow you to talk with a pastor who will help explain questions you might have, and it will give you a chance to spend time with other Christians who can encourage you.

Let us know if we can encourage you in any way in your walk with the Lord!

Benefits of freshly milled flour

(Please see for more great information on whole grains and how to purchase the supplies needed)

Why use fresh milled flour to nurture your family?

*It is far more Nutritious and delicious!

*Manufactorers remove the most nutritious part of the grain and use the part that is nearly devoid of all nutritional benefit to make white flour. Even "whole wheat" flour is missing at least part of the germ to maintain shelf life.

*Did you know that flour loses about 40% of its nutritional value in just 24 hours after being milled, and almost all nutritional value within 3 days?

*Baking fresh milled flour locks the nutrients into an incredibly delicious, fresh and delicious bread product!

*The effects of refined flour and rancid oils in our bodies strain the immune system, speed the aging process and contribute free radicals into our bodies.

*It is more economical!

*Make the highest quality loaf of bread available for under a dollar a loaf! A high quality mill will pay for itself within months! Even with the rising grain prices, it is far less expensive to make your own grain products.

*Use a wide variety of grain to meet the special needs of your family!

*Spelt and other varieties of grain taste much better made fresh, are healthier, and are significantly more economical when you make it yourself!

Here is some more detailed information about the benefits of using your own freshly milled flour:

The Anatomy of a grain of wheat:

Bran: The bran is the outside layer of the grain and it is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, iron and zinc. Almost all of the fiber within the grain comes from the bran. The bran also preserves the life and enzymes inside the kernel.

Germ: The germ is the part of the grain from which a new plant would sprout if you were to plant it. It is a concentrated source of vitamin E, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, iron and zinc. The germ also contains some fat and protein.

Endosperm: The endosperm has very small amounts of vitamins, not nearly close to what the bran and germ have. This is what is left in refined flour after the bran and germ are removed by manufactorors.

(Some info above taken from

When milling your grain, it has incredible nutritional benefits:

100 grams of hard red winter wheat contains about 12.6 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of total fat, 71 grams of carbohydrate (by difference), 12.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.2 mg of iron or 17% of the amount required daily.

100 grams of hard red spring wheat contains about 15.4 grams of protein, 1.9 grams of total fat, 68 grams of carbohydrate (by difference), 12.2 grams of dietary fiber, and 3.6 mg of iron or 20% of the amount required daily.

Gluten protein found in wheat (and other Triticeae) is hard to digest, and intolerable for people with celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder in ~1% of Indo-European populations).

(nutrition stats taken from

The nutritional benefits diminish the longer the flour remains unused:

-Within 24 hours up to 40% of the nutrients have oxidized. In three days up to 80% of nutrients have oxidized

-Rancid oils and flours strain the immune system, speed the aging process and contribute free radicals into our bodies.

-Freezing will SLOW the oxidation process, but it will not stop it. You may store milled flour up to 3 months in the freezer before it turns rancid, but with all other things considered (your time to make bread, freezer space, etc.), it is better to bake all your bread products (locking in the nutritional value), then freeze them.

Economic benefit:

1 lb of flour costs about .25 or less

1 loaf of very nutritious bread costs around .80

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

She laughs at the time to come

Proverbs 31 describes a great woman of God who fears the Lord, and is to be praised.  I have been reflecting on one aspect of this woman’s life which has baffled many of us women.  It exposes a core issue many of us struggle with; which is how we battle fear and anxiety for the future.  This woman “laughs at the time to come” (Proverbs 31:25)  or like the NASB says “she smiles at the future.”  How is it that we can cultivate this kind of faith in God so that we can look to the future with joy and trust in our heavenly father, rather than in fear and anxiety?

I always considered myself an optimistic person.  When I was young, my brother had a little figure with the inscription, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  I liked that, and adopted this philosophy.  I had no theology to describe God’s sovereignty and care, and no real eternal perspective, but the Lord did give me a childlike faith that somehow, whatever happened, it would all turn out ok. 

But then I grew up and realized that the lemons life often brings us were NOT pretty yellow, juicy lemons served up with a side of sugar. What about losing a loved one?  Or when life just doesn’t turn out the way you had hoped? What about the possibility of cancer, broken relationships, financial devastation and very real tragedies?  Trials and suffering are very real, and we can be tempted to fear them in our life  – rather than to hope; looking at the future with concern, not joy or laughter.

So how do we see life as it really is, and yet laugh at the time to come?  How do we look at the future with godly optimism and joy, excited about what God has ahead for us, and even for the good he has planned for us in the trials?

In order to become women who laugh at the time to come we must cultivate faith. And “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

We must know and meditate on who God is through His word.  When we meditate on who God is and His record of faithfulness, we are inclined to trust Him more.  Psalms 77:11 says  “ I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.  I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”  And we see throughout the Psalms that as the Psalmist meditates on the goodness of the Lord, hope is restored. 

The story of God providing manna to his people in the wilderness is one example which we can meditate on to know the character of God and His care for His people (Exodus 16). God provided the daily food in the wilderness to His people who would otherwise have no hope of salvation.  This story reminds us that we have a loving God who cares, provides and delivers.  The manna story  also points us to God’s greatest gift to us –the bread of life – Jesus Christ, who supplies us with all that we need for life and salvation.  He sees our plight and cares deeply!  He provides for our deepest soul needs, and He delivers us from death to life.

This truth speaks such hope for our future! We are so well cared for! Rom 8:32 says “If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” 

As we meditate on these things, and cultivate a heart of thankfulness for the gospel and it’s daily work in our life – we will become more full of faith.  We will trust, and therefore rejoice at what he has for us instead of fear it.

Yet sometimes we hear, and still do not believe… O me of little faith!  But there is hope for us! We can cry out for the Holy Spirit to give us faith – and he will answer!  Though I can cultivate a heart of thankfulness and meditate on the goodness of God, I am not the author of my own faith.  Faith is not of ourselves it is a gift of God (Eph 2:8); Jesus is the founder and perfecter of our faith. (Heb 12:2)  The Holy Spirit gives us the fruit of faithfulness. (Gal 5:22)  We must ask for it.

We have examples of some people who cried out for the Lord to give them faith. In Mark 9:24 a father comes to Jesus asking to heal his son of demon possession.  Jesus says. “All things are possible for one who believes” and the father cries out “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!“ In Luke 17:5 the disciples cry out to Jesus, “Lord, increase our faith!”  These stories have encouraged me to cry out for greater faith and the Lord has been answering! 

Prayer for faith, with meditation on who God is, is a great recipe for ‘lemonade’!  Through Christ we can laugh at the time to come, whatever challenges we may face in this world!

Philippians 4:4-8 sums up how we can be women who rejoice as we look to the future.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

As we continue to meditate on the goodness and faithfulness of God, we can look to the future with joy as we trust our loving heavenly father.  We can laugh at the days to come!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What is a good Bible Curriculum?

A question I am consistently asked is "What do you use for your Bible Curriculum?"

There are a wide variety of tools available which can give us great Bible information – Bible studies, curriculum, devotions, etc.  This stuff can be very good, and I make sure my kids are getting plenty of Biblical knowledge and worldview through church, Bible studies, history/unit studies etc.  But most importantly I believe that a discipleship model is necessary as the foundation for any other Bible “curriculum” we use.  Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says:

4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[b] 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

I believe that the Lord’s hand is relevant throughout every moment of every day, and can be seen throughout the history and subjects that we study. I intentionally look for natural ways to teach scripture and Biblical truths and applications to my children.  I believe that teaching the Bible is much more than just a subject in school and should be intertwined throughout all of family life. 

With that as the foundation, we do also set aside time specifically to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word individually and together. We’ve done different things to meet this very critical Bible knowledge need.  What the Lord has led me to do for “Bible time” is very simple and not complicated. I vary how I teach my children the Word of God depending on their different ages and stages, and season of life; but on a real basic and consistent level I teach them how to have real devotions, reading their own Bibles.  Even my very young children were taught to have devotions with kids’ picture Bibles, who can look at their Bible, pray, and think about God.  This has always been of first importance to me.  Then I try to have some type of daily discussion/prayer with my children about the Lord and His Word, which is really just personal discipleship.  For me, even at the times when we had crazy, crazy little kid days, we could usually sit down together and do a little devotion and pray together at some point during the day.  We’ll sometimes talk about a verse that applies to something our family is going through and apply the scripture to real life today.  Or we’ll discuss verses or Bible stories about character qualities we need to work, and how to do that.  Or we’ll go verse by verse through books of the Bible.  Or I’ll just share a verse I read that morning that encouraged me and we’ll talk about it.  Even a child may share a verse that has encouraged them, or share what the Lord is teaching them.  Sometimes we’ll go through a Christ centered book together, (like recently we went through “Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends”).  We’ve studied through the names of God (I just took the names and verses from a Kay Arthur study I did), and we made a bulletin board out of it.  Currently we’re reading about missionaries and are being inspired through great men and women of the faith to live bold lives for the Lord.  There are such a variety of things the Lord has led us to do.  All were just right for what He wanted to speak to us at that season. It is so important to pray for wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide us as we point our children to Jesus and the sweet grace of the gospel every day. He is so faithful!

Many of us tend to get anxious when we don’t have a formal “curriculum” for Bible, but it is a difficult thing to really find a curriculum that just works all the time for every kid, because our souls are not ‘one size fits all.’  God calls us to discipleship, not just imparting knowledge.  I believe that the Lord will truly lead us in this area specifically for the needs of our family and each child.  Sometimes it is more knowledge related, sometimes it is more application related.  Maybe you’ll find a great workbook that will work for a while, or maybe the Lord will lead you to go through a book of the Bible verse by verse.  Maybe you’ll find a great devotional…  but I guess my encouragement would be to stay open to the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes the Lord gives me a plan for the year, other times His plan is for the day.  I simply long to be faithful to consistently teach my children the truth of God’s word and point them to the gospel of Jesus Christ, which applies to them every day.  This discipleship model is filled with freedom, truth and love, and has been a foundational joy of my homeschooling experience!