The skies in my home state are gorgeous. Bright blue with cotton puffs leisurely moving across the sky. Sometimes, the sky even stays blue when it rains. If the sky does get dark to storm, it clears up when the rain ends and returns to brilliant blue.
I've always loved sunny skies, but when I gave my life to Jesus, I became fascinated with them. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't stop gazing upward, almost seeking a message of some sort.
One day I came across this verse while reading my Bible outside in the back yard: "Your loving kindness extends to the Heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies" (Psalm 36:5).
There was a message in the beautiful blue skies.
I love summer! That's why I live in Florida. We enjoy summer nine months a year.
For those of you in other places where you are blessed to enjoy all four seasons, you are probably excited to pull out the swimsuits and plan outings to the lake, or beach.
It's a season for all of us to stop and enjoy the Summer Joys.
What are summer joys?
Those delightful adventures and amusements of summer.
Let's start this delightful season by making a summer bucket list. What things do you really want to do this summer? How about your husband? Your children? Have a blast this summer!
I have some great suggestions for you. They are all simple and cheap!
In a world of flirting and sexting, does God have a right way for men and women to interact?
For the answer to that question, let's look at our Bibles. We'll take a trip through I Thessalonians 4 verses 1-12.
Paul starts out by commending the Thessalonians for walking in a way that pleases God and exhorts them to do so more and more. He reminds them that the commandment to abstain from sexual immorality is straight from Jesus, who has authority over our lives. God's will is our sanctification. (verses 1-3)
We are reminded day by day by the Holy Spirit to flee from sexual immorality and walk in purity. Sometimes its through the Word of God or conviction when we are thinking about things we shouldn't be thinking about. It is so important for us to always remember that God's will is for us to be pure, to be set apart, to be growing in holiness day by day. The world has its lies and temptations, but Jesus gives us abundant life that is far better than any trick of the devil.
In the next few verses, Paul reminds us to control our bodies honorably, as holy vessels to please God and to treat our brothers with honor, not defraud them. The gentiles who do not know God give in to feelings of passionate lust and the sinful behavior that follows it. This behavior actually takes advantage of them. We, are called to holiness instead. If we reject this instruction, we reject God, not men. (verses 4-8)
If we behave lustfully, flirtatiously, or seductively, we wrong our brother or sister, we defraud our brother or sister. It is not a compliment to treat the opposite sex in a way that is based on sexual attraction. In fact it wrongs them, causing us to sin against them. It also defrauds them--it communicates a level of commitment without a commitment. We act as if we own them (as in married couples who belong to one another) when, in fact, there is not commitment.
Instead of bringing harm to them, we want to bring genuine life to them, to lift them up, not tear them down. So how do we do that?
This is how it all began:
"How can we get the Dads more interested in homeschooling?" I asked my friend Laura.
"Food," she replied.
Then we brainstormed. What if we made authentic recipes for geography the coming year. We started with Switzerland making fondue using cheese from Switzerland. We spent most of our grocery budgets on one meal.
"Maybe we should tweak authentic recipes to make them affordable," we decided together. And we were off on a wild adventure of seeking recipes our family would love to cook and eat, but would line up with what we were studying. We added cooking to Ancient History, Geography, American History, and Middle Ages studies.
We didn't realize how much fun food would add to schoolwork or co-op studies.
"Well Brian keeps the economy humming," I giggled to my husband as we talked late one evening. Our friend, Brian, had dropped in to show us his latest purchases that included a dart gun, a music CD, and a new amp for his guitar.
Where the money came from was a mystery. He worked for Kohl's, drove a motorcycle, and lived in his own house. His checking account hovered near zero and he didn't even have a savings account.
We are told by politicians that people spending money is a sign of a "healthy economy." But is it? What is a healthy economy in God's eyes? And what is economics anyway?
What is Economics?
There are so many reasons to read, study, memorize, and mediate on the Bible. Here are just a few.
When we read God's Word, we look into a mirror and see ourselves for who we really are. When we obey the Scriptures, we walk in freedom and blessing (James 1:22-25).
When we meditate on the Word of God, the result is bearing fruit, prospering, and health (Psalm 1).
When we meditate on God's Word day and night, obeying Scripture principles and commands, standing firm on His promises, we will experience success (Joshua 1).
The Bible has the power to change our lives! When we memorize verse and passages, we are able to avoid sin (Psalm 119:9-11).
We need to "wash with water" through the Word. Scripture washes away the crud in our lives (Ephesians 5:25-27).
We are inundated in our culture with romance--finding true love is the ultimate purpose in life, at least according to Hollywood.
The Bible says something different. God says that the highest love is the love between the Lord and his adopted sons and daughters. We are part of a Forever Family when we become Christians.
While most Christians hope they will find their true love and get married, their higher love is Jesus. He is our First Love.
If we are married, we should do everything to keep our romantic love alive. In the same way, we should focus on our love relationship with Jesus, stirring up passion and devotion in our own hearts. There are many ways to do this, but I am going to concentrate on the role that our Christian brothers and sisters play in increasing our love for God.
The main reason that we have brothers and sisters in Christi is to spur one another on to love and good deeds, to encourage one another in the Lord, and to help each other grow in the faith. So how do we do that?
We have several products in the Giant 2017 Build Your Bundle Sale May 22-30, 2017. But the most exciting thing is that we have a product in the Mystery Bundle! Yes! The Mystery Bundle is the most popular bundle in the 2017 Build Your Bundle Sale.
Here are some of our products. See if you can guess which one of these products is in the Mystery Bundle.
American Literature & Research
American Literature & Research by Meredith Curtis not only explores great American classics, but teaches teens step-by-step to write a research paper. Starting with reading original documents, summarizing, and paraphrasing, students move on to writing thesis statements, making outlines, using outlines, and putting research together into a formal paper. Students read and discuss great works by Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Lew Wallace, Booker T. Washington, Davy Crockett, Cotton Mather, Herman Melville, and Lois Lowry.
Is American Literature & Research in the Mystery Bundle?
Economics, Finances, & Business
We are excited to announce that Powerline Productions is part of the HUGE Build Your Bundle Sale going on from May 22-May 30, 2017.
What an honor for us to be part of a group of amazing publishing companies like Media Angels, Visual Manna, Mystery of History, GeoMatters, Knowledge Quest, Write Bonnie Rose, Maestro Classics, Tapestry of Grace, and Trivium Pursuit.
We have three books in the Brother/Sister Bundle.
The Making of Real Men by Pastor Mike Curtis was created for his own son Jimmy. Mike mentored Jimmy all the way through high school and into college, covering biblical principles of godly manhood.
Digging into the Word and memorizing Scripture combined with hands-on training prepared Jimmy for college, career, and future family life. It also knit their hearts together. Mike shares the first year of his material with other Dads who want to mentor their sons. Each father and son will need to put a copy on their tablet.
Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & Family by Meredith Curtis was created for Dads to mentor their sons, preparing them to overcome temptation, find a spouse, be a loving husband, and effectively parent in the future.
Pastor Mike took his son Jimmy through this material with positive results. This course is a one-credit life skills class. Though created to go through with Dad, it can be used in a group or co-op setting.
Students will read living books, create booklets, dig into God's Word, memorize Scripture, write essays, and enjoy hands-on fun.
God's Girls 103: Courtship, Marriage, & The Christian Family by Meredith Curtis was created for Moms to mentor their daughters, preparing them to find a husband, love their husbands, and effectively parent in the future.
Meredith took all four of her daughters through this one-credit life skills course. The result has been lasting good fruit. Though created to go through with Mom, it can be used in a group or co-op setting.
Students will read living books, create booklets, dig into God's Word, memorize Scripture, write essays, and enjoy hands-on fun.
We have one book in the Unit Study Bundle.
This past Saturday I attended "Homeschooling's Black Friday," as my kids call it. It was a huge used curriculum sale. It was so well organized and easy to find amazing books. I found so many bargains. Classic literature for fifty cents or a dollar a book.
Okay, I confess I am a book addict. I can't resist them. I have walls lined with bookshelves, but still there is always room for more.
As all shopping must end, soon it was time to get in line. A long, very long line. In fact a two hour line with my piles of bargains. After fifteen minutes, my arms were hurting. After half an hour, my back was hurting, too. Another hour went by and it was two hours before I paid for my purchase.
That's when it came to me.
I was a young mom with two little ones and Mike was in seminary. Between financial struggles and lack of sleep, I was exhausted.
My friend asked me to baby sit for her twice a month for three hours so she could run errands. She would do the same for me.
I readily agreed.
The first week, I watched her children and everyone played together nicely. Soon, it was my turn. I made a list of my errands and then I stopped and tore up the list.
You see, I was struggling. Whenever I prayed and read the Bible, little ones were pulling at me, needing me, wanted to nurse. I hid Bibles everywhere, but I never had uninterrupted time with the Lord.
I was hungry. I was thirsty. I needed time with God.
And so began my twice a month adventure with the Lord.
I had never spend that much time alone with Jesus. What would I do? Would I get bored of praying or reading the Bible? Where would I go?
The Bible tells me that my testimony is powerful! Yours is too!
Please enjoy our FREE Testimony worksheet for teens and adults. We use this worksheet in our homeschool Bible classes and in workshops at church. It's easy to put together your testimony of how Jesus saved you and changed your life.
Once you have your testimony written up, you can share it with others, shining your light for Christ.
You can download Personal Testimony Worksheet at Currclick.
Do you or any of your children like to sing? One year while I was teaching a Songwriting course, I asked my sweet daughter Jenny Rose to record some vocal warm-ups for me. That way the students could go on YouTube and work out their voices each day as part of their homework. It worked great for our course!
Now, I want to share them with you! Please feel free to sing along with Rosie whenever you want to.
Here are the videos!
Every time we study the Middle Ages we build a castle of cardboard boxes, practice archery, and host a Medieval Feast for all our friends. This year, our homeschool co-op celebrated our studies of the Middle Ages with a Feast.
Here are the highlights of our 2017 Medieval Banquet.
The King of the Medieval Feast was the oldest guy in the co-op and his queen was the youngest girl.
We invited the whole church and everyone signed up for the event. Part of the sign-up process included what each family would bring to eat and how each family member would dress. There were several choices for everyone: peasant, monk, nun, friar, hunchback, lord, lady, duke, duchess, knight, troubadour, and town crier. We had a wide variety.
We enjoyed a jousting demonstration followed by jousting with pool noodles.
The wee ones enjoyed finding dragons (we hid toy dinosaurs).