“Go, ahead and make me!”
You homeschool so you can give your children a quality education and avoid the bad influences. But, instead of gentle, loving children, you find yourself living with bickering siblings. Are they really yours?
You go church. You read the Bible every morning. But instead of peace and order, you feel like a referee.
You are not alone. This has been a struggle for Moms since Eve tried to help Cain and Abel get along. Hey, don’t worry, we have the Holy Spirit now.
Take a deep breath and let’s start with the big question: Why do children fight so much with their siblings?
As I was asking myself this question, a passage from James immediately came to my mind.
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3 NIV).
What are the most important books to read in your lifetime?
Different folks have different ideas on that. Here are the 100 books I think everyone should read at least once in their lifetime.
So many books; so little time.
The Holy Bible is the only book written by God. Yes, God wrote through men, but He is the Author. The Lord has so much love, truth, and wisdom to reveal to every heart in the world through His Word. In fact, this is the only book you could read for five hours every day of your life and glean new insights each day. God is so good! I love the Bible!
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan is a timeless classic written in the 1600's by a Puritan preacher who was arrested for his faith. Now, here's what's so cool about this book: John had a dream and wrote the dream down. Pilgrim's Progress is an allegory, a tale within a tale. The surface adventure is full of action with every place, character, and action representing a spiritual truth. In Colonial America and Early America, every household had at least two books: The Holy Bible and Pilgrim's Progress.
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is a timeless classic written in the Victorian Age and set during the French Revolution. Moving between England and France, this story is the best historical fiction story ever written with a beautiful picture of genuine love as a man gives his life for another. Wow! This book is an exciting story with characters you will love and others you will hate. And of course, it begins with the classic "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe is mentioned in every history book I've ever read, but so few Americans actually read this classic. "Is this the woman who wrote the book that started the Civil War?" Abe Lincoln asked when he met the author. Find out why it is such a powerful book by reading it! You will love Tom. He is an amazing Christian man who returns evil with good. What a great story!
Have you ever been falsely accused? Or more specifically, have you ever been falsely accused of being a liar?
No one has ever so vehemently accused me of lying as one woman did last night.
I witnessed a car accident. It wasn’t a huge crash, just a fender bender. But still, I was a witness. The law obligated me to stay, so I turned around.
As I approached the scene, I saw the drivers of the two cars: a perplexed young lady and a furious older woman.
I made sure both ladies were OK and helped the older woman, who spoke in broken English, explain to the police dispatcher where we were. So far so good, right?
Then came the shock.
The older woman accused me of being a friend of the younger lady. She thought I was lying when I said I saw the collision and came back to give my statement to the police.
“No, you’re weren’t there!” the older lady yelled. “You’re lying! This is none of your business! You’re her friend! She called you and that’s why you’re here! Stop lying or the police will lock you up in jail! Just obey the law!”
All the yelling. All the anger. All the accusations—and none of them were true.
I stared at her blankly for a moment. I thought, Are you serious? Instead, I managed to say, “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but that’s not true. I was behind the car that stopped—”
“Yes it is! You’re a liar, and the police are going to find out when they check her phone! If you lie to the police, you’re going to jail!”
“OK, well, we don’t have to talk about this anymore.” I took a deep breath. “Let’s wait for the police and let them sort this out. It will be OK. I’ll be over there by my car.”
My mind raced. How could she accuse me of lying? I was right there when it happened! And why is she mad anyway? I’m not even going to tell the police that it’s her fault. I’m telling the police exactly what I saw, which would actually implicate the younger lady!
An important purpose of the local church is fellowship and ministry. We often think of church as a place to go to be fed, but church is a place to be equipped to fulfill the Great Commission in whatever way the Lord has called you to serve.
So many friendships have been built in the midst of ministry and spiritual battle. As we serve and impart life to those around us, relationships are built and cemented. It is a beautiful thing.
In addition, when we build friendships with one another, it is easier to work together to extend the Kingdom of God. We want to foster friendships in our local church because lives are changed in the context of relationships. As we spend time together, we see God's principles in action in each others’ lives. More is "caught" than "taught."
With this principle in mind, it is just as important what happens outside official church meetings as it is what happens during those meetings. Here are some ways to to spend time together outside of church services to build relationships.
This summer our local church family had a brand new adventure. We went on a mission trip!
I had always dreamed of our church going on a mission trip to an exotic land where the inhabitants had never heard of Jesus. Or going to a nation that had just experienced a natural disaster where we could minister to practical needs as we shared the love of Jesus.
"Right here in Sanford/Lake Mary?" I asked the planning team, a little disappointed.
Then I thought about it. Our Jerusalem. Let's start by ministering to our Jerusalem. I was excited! And I sensed the Lord was in this--all the way!
To my surprise 40 adults and young people took time off from work to participate in the four-day mission trip July 2017. Let me share with you what we did!
What's so special about the Bible?
I'm glad you asked.
The Bible is a very unique book, containing 66 smaller books, written by over 40 different authors.
Though many different writers contributed, the Bible contains on common theme of God’s redemption of mankind: man sinned and rebelled against God; God sent His Son to ultimately die on a cross for the sins of mankind; and man must place genuine faith in Jesus, His Son, to obtain forgiveness and a right relationship with God, the Father.
Part of the uniqueness of the Bible is its claim to be inspired by God. It contains hundreds of prophecies, many of which have been miraculously fulfilled and some have yet to be fulfilled. No other religious book can make this claim, because they do not contain prophecies.
Last week, we kicked off our brand new year of homeschool co-op.
This year we are studying Geography, among other things. We decided to kick off the first meeting (where we pass out books and meet with teachers) with a plane trip to Heathrow, Tel Aviv, and back to MCO, or Orlando's airport.
We wanted the children to get a sense of Traveling the Whole World this year so we decided to make it really fun!
Of course, taking a plane trip overseas means passports and boarding passes. And to get a passport, you have to apply for one and get your picture taken.
Okay, it was a lot of work--but everyone had a blast. The kids brought their application form to the Custom's agent and received a passport and boarding passes (yes, I know it's a little bit different than the real world).
Passports & Plane Rides
The very best way to explore the world would be to travel. Plane trips, boat trips, train rides, and long walks.
God has made such an amazing world and there is so much to learn about it! I love studying geography! I would love to travel around the world to learn everything there is to learn.
Years ago, Laura and I had a geography co-op that we kicked off with a plane ride complete with passports and boarding passes.
It was so fun that we decided to do it again this year since we are studying geography again..
I talked to my husband Mike and our friend Sam. Both agreed to help. Sam got super-creative and this was the best plane ride ever!
We decided to have it in our church sanctuary because it was easy to move the stackable chairs around and set up dividers.
Would you like to know how we did it?
What’s more fun than going to a bowling alley?
Playing giant bowling!
Every month our Young Adult group meets to fellowship, get into the Word, and have fun playing different games. We always plan a dinner that tastes great, and is easy to make. We also like to have bible studies, times where we can encourage each other and share what the Lord has been teaching us lately, watch sermons.
We also like to have fun!
Our group loves improv, so many times the games are some type of improv game. However, while searching the internet, we found a giant, inflatable version of bowling, with the bowling pins and ball.
With a little brain storming, we decided on playing three different versions of bowling. We found a miniature set (the ball was the size of a marble), and used a child’s plastic bowling set (that a friend had) for the third game. It is fun to go bowling, but even more fun when you can come up with your own versions of bowling games!
Below are the 3 games we played and the instructions. You certainly don’t have to play the games exactly as we did (even we changed the games as we went), but this can be a great starting point to spark your creativity!
These are the bowling games we decided on:
Did you know that Jesus fixed breakfast for his disciples after He had risen from the dead?
I love this story!
You see, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John were all together hanging out. It had been a crazy few weeks. Jesus had washed their feet, been arrested, tried, and convicted. They were devastated. Then the news had come while they were hiding out, fearful that they were the next ones to be executed.
News had come of His Resurrection from the ladies. Then Jesus appeared among them. He was alive!
However, things had been so hard. Thomas had doubted. Peter had denied Jesus three times. And here they were hanging out.
"I'm going fishing!" Peter declared to his friends.
"We'll go, too," the others decided. So they all went out fishing.
They fished all night and caught nothing. They were tired, discourage, weary, maybe afraid. As they pulled the boat up on the shore, a man called out, "Children, do you have any fish."
"No," they replied.
"Well, cast your net over on the right side of the boat and you will find a catch," the stranger replied.