Showing newest 15 of 19 posts from April 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 15 of 19 posts from April 2011. Show older posts

Book Discussion - Why Christian Kids Rebel

Apr 28, 2011

Back in October I had the pleasure of meeting some of the great folks at Family Matters.  Dr. Tim Kimmel is the founder of Family Matters and the author of this great book, Why Christian Kids Rebel.  As soon as I saw that title, I knew I had to read it.  Like every Christian parent, we all worry about our children's choices.  Statistics say that over 2 million teens are leaving the church every year never to return.  I don't want that to be my children!

So in an effort to find answers BEFORE my children reach this delicate age, I picked up this book and started reading.  Are you in the same position as I am?  Would you like to read along with me to find answers?  Each Thursday for the next several weeks we'll tackle a few chapters at a time and then discuss what we've learned.  I'm hoping we can all glean enough information to prevent our children from leaving their Christian upbringing behind.

If you are already in the midst of raising a rebellious teen, hang in there!  We hope you'll join along as well.  Most importantly, we know that God knows your fears and your hurts.  He has not abandoned you or your child.  Remember, Jesus always pursues His lost sheep.

For next week, read the first two chapters and we'll meet back here on Thursday to discuss.  I can't wait to hear what you learned!

I want to thank Family Matters for providing this book to me.  It is a fantastic resource when raising children!

"This book is written to parents who are frustrated or discouraged with the results of their spiritual efforts with their children.  You've done it all when it comes to the checklist of a good Christian parent, only to see your child turn away and embrace some frightening lifestyle choices.  It is also for any parent who wants to lower the possibilities of  their child turning their back on their faith.  Some of you with younger children are waiting in fear at the rapidly approaching teenage years and figure it's just a matter of time.  It's not."
~Dr. Tim Kimmel


Love NEVER Fails

Apr 27, 2011

How appropriate that this year Easter was welcomed by the Bleeding Heart in my garden.  A perfect reminder of the love of Christ, displayed for all to see, on a cross at Calvalry.

God's love, perfect in every way, never fails me.

Linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday.


Glass Etching-A Quick Tutorial

Apr 26, 2011

I'm helping a couple moms at our grade school create some fun gifts for our teachers to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week.  I decided to try glass etching.  It was super easy!

I decided on a butterfly, so I used my Cricut to cut a butterfly onto vinyl.  This will be the template.  Then the negative of the vinyl gets adhered to the glass.

You'll need Glass Etching Cream, found in the stained glass aisle at your hobby store.  I was surprised at the price, $8.00 for this small bottle, but it doesn't take much to get the effect you want. 

The directions say to paint it on thick and leave for five minutes.  Then rinse with warm water.

So hard to get a photo without glare on glass, but this isn't too bad.  The few round spots on the bottom right wing I think may have been from a few bubbles, so make sure you don't leave any of those.  But all in all, it turned out pretty well.  I think next time I may leave it on a little longer and see if the etching darkens.

Super easy.  Give it a try!  Remember you can always find super cheap glass items at your thrift stores or the dollar store!!


Good Friday

Apr 22, 2011

Today He died for YOU.


Once and for ALL.


Conquering our Finances with Financial Peace University

Apr 20, 2011

If you've been a reader of my blog for very long, I have confessed that I am horrible with money!  My Husband and I have struggled through this for years. Neither one of us ever cared to give budgeting the time and discipline needed to make it work, so we just didn't.  We've wasted a lot of money over the years in overdraft fees and finance charges simply because we weren't paying attention.

Recently some good friends of ours took a class at our church and said we absolutely needed to go.  We've been attending Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey for seven weeks now and I can't believe the change!  We certainly aren't making any more money than we had been before, but we are budgeting and using the cash envelope system.  My most surprising aspect of this whole thing is that I don't want to spend money out of my envelopes because I don't like them to be empty!  We've paid off a couple of small credit cards and are now working on some larger debt that I can't wait to get out from under.  It does require making some difficult choices at times, but I've never had the discipline before to be able to face the choices head on.  It is so nice to have a group keeping us accountable and helping us through every step of this process.

If you've ever looked for a financial system, I highly recommend this class.  Check out their website for information on where you can find the class near you.



Yes, Another New Adventure!

Yep, I've gotten myself involved in yet another project!  But I am really excited about it!  For those who don't know, I am a nut for gardening.  I have had several large flower gardens for about 20 years, and I love every minute I spend in them.  I'm always watching for something new and different to add to my garden.  Instead of boring all of you this summer with my gardening stories, I decided to start a new gardening blog.

It's called Garden Sweet Garden, having found the inspiration for the name from a framed piece of artwork over my kitchen window that looks out over my garden.

If you love gardening like I do, I hope you'll come on over for a visit.  I plan to feature my personal journey through gardening, as well as showcasing some local gardens and garden centers in my area.  I'll also keep a community calendar  for all things garden related happening in my area.

As always, thank you all so much for your continued support in all my endeavors!


The Book of Acts - The First Martyr, Stephen

Apr 18, 2011

The First Martyr-Stephen
Acts 6:8-15 & 7:54-60

If you recall last week's lesson about the first problem to arise in the church, you'll remember that Stephen was mentioned as being one of those who was to be in charge of the ministry of taking care of the widows.  In this minstry, you may not expect his witness to be dangerous.  After all, he's just handing out food to the poor widows.  

The Greek for the word witness is "marturia", which means someone who has a testimony.  We get the word "martyr" from that word, which means someone who dies because of their witness.  Let's listen in:

8 "Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called)--Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia. These men began to argue with Stephen, 10 but they could not stand up against his wisdom or the Spirit by whom he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, "We have heard Stephen speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God." 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, "This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us." 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel."

  1. We see here that Stephen's witness was four fold: through grace and power, wonders and miraculous signs.  The Holy Spirit was clearly with him.
  2. As always in Christianity, there will be those who oppose our witness. Notice that they started by arguing with Stephen, but when that didn't work, they moved on to lying with false witnesses and stirred up the people.
  3. The Sanhedrin was the ancient court system which dealt with religious and ritual Temple matters.  So Stephen was brought before them because of these false accusations.

54 "When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep."

  1. Stephen had just finished a very long sermon to them about their failures through the years to recognize who Jesus was and blamed them for crucifying him.  They were furious and refused to listen.
  2. Take note of the craziness of verse 57:  "they covered their ears and started yelling".  Sounds much like a tantrum from a two year old who doesn't want to hear that it is time to go to bed!
  3. In the last few verses we witness the courage of Stephen, for as he is being stoned, he prays for those who are killing him.
Do you have a dangerous witness?  In our American culture, your witness most likely won't get you killed, but it certainly does in other parts of the world.  Spend some time thinking about that today.  Can you be more confident about your witness?  Can you be a little more dangerous?  Are you showing your kids a dangerous witness for Jesus?


Searching for Inspiration - My Next Mantle

Apr 15, 2011

I already know the theme I want to use for my next mantle change, so I went looking for inspiration for decor.  I am especially looking for ideas of things that I can make myself.  Do you think you can figure out what my theme might be?

I visited two of my favorite stores for inspiration, Hobby Lobby and Gordmans.  Where do you go to find inspiration in decorating?


Creating a Hot House for Spring Plants

Apr 14, 2011

Spring has finally arrived in my Illinois garden!  The plants are popping through the soil and the weeds are already going crazy!  I lost a lot of plants last year, so I have to replenish some bare spots this year.  The cost of perennials continues to rise, just like everything else in our economy.  This year I decided to make my own hot house so that I can buy some much younger plants, which means cheaper, and give them a quick start.

We had replaced some bedroom windows last fall and the old windows were still sitting by the trash.  (I think Husband was having a hard time throwing them away!)  So I decided to upcycle them for my hot house!

I started by assembling my pieces and tools.  I needed long screws to go through both windows, my drill, drill bits, and screw heads.

I pre-drilled the holes for the screws.  Always choose a bit just a tiny bit smaller than your screws so they can grip the wood.
 Before assembling the windows, I placed the screws in all the holes until they were just peaking through the other side.  Since I was doing this by myself, I wanted the screws in place when I was ready to assemble.
 I lined up my windows out on the patio and began screwing the corners together.
 And voila!
As I was looking for the appropriate screws in my husband's workshop, I found this PERFECT top to fit the hot house--even though I had no idea what it was supposed to be!  Husband says it is a big screen TV protector, which we don't have!

So now I can't wait to go buy my cheap bare root plants to get them started a month earlier than when I can get them in the ground safely.  Yeehaw!!


Live to the Fullest!

Apr 13, 2011

"I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me will live."
~Jesus, John 11:25


Crafting: Family Wall Hanging

Apr 12, 2011

FINALLY I can call this project complete!  It took me a good month to bring it all together, but I am really happy with the result.  I didn't want to rush and regret not having done something, so I just let the ideas simmer while I slowly worked through it.

So let me show you a few details!

I started with simple chip board letters.  I painted the edges black.  After finding papers I liked that coordinated, I just traced the letters on the papers and cut.  The photos are all mounted on 5x7 canvas, which was also painted black around the edges.  Then the photos were just layered on scrapbook paper.

I used Alcohol Inks to get the color I wanted on the book plate and copper "trust" word.  You may remember that I did a tutorial video on how I created the corners and heart trinket.

I then used my trusted glue gun friend to attached the letters to the canvases.  I'm sure you have noted that it is not hanging on the wall yet!  That is going to take some fine husbandry skills when he has a few moments!

And the winner of the Monvee giveaway is Anjanette of Raising the Barr(s)!


The Book of Acts - First Problem in the Church

Apr 11, 2011

Acts 6:1-7

Well we all know it was inevitable. Once you gather that many people in one place, there are going to be problems!  It is thought that by this time in the book of Acts the first church had grown to somewhere around 20,000 people!  Now THAT is a megachurch!

So we are introduced to the first problem in the early church in verse 1.  We have a disagreement between the Grecian Jews and the Hebraic Jews.  What is the difference?  The Hebraic Jews were those born into it, most likely in Palestine, very authentic.  The Grecian Jews were those living in other areas, most likely speaking many different languages, who came into the faith.  They  are worried their widows are not getting their fair share of the daily ration of food.

Paul first reminds the apostles that they must keep doing what they are doing and do it well!  Preaching the gospel.  They didn't panic and all try to attack this problem on their own.  In verse 3, we see the first delegation of responsibility.  They decide to choose seven men who are well suited for this task, taking into account their spiritual gifts, and they turn over this responsibility to them.  These were men who were qualified through wisdom and the fullness of the spirit to lead this ministry.

This action then enabled the apostles to continue preaching, and we see in verse 7 that the "word of God spread".

It is disturbing that in our culture churches are splitting over the decision of what color the carpet should be in the sanctuary or what kind of music should be played.  Let's concentrate on spreading the word of God instead!


My Spring Mantle

Apr 8, 2011

I decided to "Spring Up" my mantle yesterday.  It really brought a fresh look to the living room!

Most of the items were already in my house, and I just chose a color and gathered them all together.  I had just bought myself daisies for $5 the other day, so they were a perfect start.  They last a couple weeks if you buy them when the centers are still green.  I spent a few bucks at the dollar store for the white candles and glass jars.  The pretty little angel reading her bible was from there too!  I hunted a forsythia bush that I could cut a few branches from.  I just love that touch of yellow.

Have you added any spring to your decor?  Share a link with us!


Searching for Spring

Apr 7, 2011

I'm writing at Seeds of Faith today, come join us!


My Quest to Capture the Beauty Maker

Apr 6, 2011

Aim. Click. Focus. Click. Adjust. Click. Zoom. Click.

"Any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down.  Do I have eyes to see it's Him and not the thing?  ~Ann Voskamp

I am completely mesmerized by the ocean.  I live in an ocean of corn fields, not of water.  Some may find it crazy that I yearn for the ocean and will drive 20 hours to see it, walk in it, soak it in.  I cannot meet the ocean waves without quoting Job 38:8-11 in my head,
"Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,  when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,  when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place,when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?"
And therefore, I stand at the waves with their boundaries on the shore, totally in AWE of my God. 

His grandeur
His unlimitless size
His grace
His creativity
His forgiveness
His provision
His Beauty, He is Beauty
His love

I've realized my yearning for the ocean is my yearning for God.  The Beauty is God.  Ann says again, "Is the longing for the Beauty the happiest place of all?  Longing to gaze upon the Beauty of the Lord and to seek Him, the place where all the joy spills from."

With my camera, I shoot and shoot, trying to get that exact replica that I see with my eye to register on film.  It rarely happens, but I continue my quest to capture it.  This has become part of me.  It is a part that God created.  

Author Gary Thomas describes Sacred Pathways....paths we take to experience the presence of God.  God created me to be a Naturalist, to find him in nature, to see Him in his handiwork.  Through nature I worship God for who He is and what He has done for me.  It is here that I feel His closeness.

So I continue to focus, click, adjust, click, zoom, & click, always watching for the Beauty around me so I can worship the Beauty who created me.
I have two places where I post my photos, so if you care to share with me in my hunt for the Beauty Maker, click on over to my photo blog, Capturing Beautiful, or my Flickr account, which I just opened.


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