Friday, July 31, 2009

Home Sweet Home

"Home, Sweet Home: When each lives for the other and all live for GOD." Anonymous

Today marks our first anniversary of living in this house experiencing country-living. It has been an interesting year: record snowfall in the area and record heat in the area (108 degrees) within this year. It requires hard work to keep 1.76 acres in good or even just decent shape :). However, we love it here and are very thankful to be here. We enjoy our panoramic view of the hills and forests, and the beautiful landscape filled with various flowers and trees. The history behind this farmhouse (built in 1920s) is fascinating. I like taking pictures so I put together a slide show tour of our home representing all four seasons.

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No matter how much I love my house, I need to remind myself once in a while not to get too attached to it because heaven is my true home. We are just passing through this earth as travelers. I am thankful that the Lord blessed us with this beautiful home, but I am even more thankful for my eternal home where I will be with Him forevermore.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body." Philippians 3:20-21

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 2 Corinthians 5:1

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told yoou. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Filled Up with Powerful Fuel

I feel so pumped up from memorizing Bible verses. I enjoy doing it but often I neglect to do so (I still read/study God's Word daily) because of the busyness in daily life (plus homeschooling 3 kids). Well, I have recently been motivated by the Bible Bee challenge on Facebook (to memorize 1,507 verses). I am too old to participate in the Bible Bee but I've taken on the challenge for fun. I would like to encourage you all to take time to memorize the Scriptures which is powerful fuel for energizing our soul. In the future, we may not always have religious freedom in this country. If the Bible were to be taken away from you, the verses you have memorized would be there to remind you of God's love, mercy, and faithfulness, assure you of God's power and providence, encourage you, comfort you, guide you, and feed/nourish you (spiritually). Fill up with this fuel while you can!

"I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119: 10-11

"How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Psalm 119:103-105

"Too difficult," you say?
"Not an excuse," I say! If your brain is working, then you can memorize Bible verses. How many movie lines can you quote? How many song lyrics do you know by heart? How many ad slogans are stuck in your head permanently? You get the point. Sadly, some parents/teachers make their students memorize poems, famous political speeches and documents, etc. but never or hardly encourage them to memorize the Scriptures. It gives me great joy to see my kids delight in the Lord and His Word.

"Too busy," you say?
"Not an excuse," I say! Do you still eat your meals even on the days you are busy? If you take care of your body by taking in nutrients through eating your food everyday, why would you not daily feed yourself with God's Word and be willing to starve yourself spiritually? Without taking in God's Word daily, you will get weaker and weaker spiritually. Therefore, reading/studying the Bible each day is very important. Now...think of memorizing Bible verses as eating snacks throughout the day. Snacks give us extra boost of energy and sustain/fulfill us until our next meal. Bible memorization is similar but even better :)...keeping us energized throughout our lifetime (once in a while, we may need to review what we've already memorized because forgetfulness does happen to some of us :)).

Tools that Help
- You can find helpful resources, ideas, and tips at the Scripture Memory Support website.
- Integrity Music's Scripture Memory Songs (There are many CDs and cassette tapes to choose from. Here are some examples.)


- Steve Green's Hide 'Em In Your Heart (Bible Memory CDs or Music Videos) Vol. I, II

- NIV Kids Club Sing Along Scripture Songs (CDs or videos): Psalms, Proverbs, Colossians


If you know of other tools that may help us in memorizing the Scriptures, please share in the comment section. Thanks and have fun hiding God's Word in your heart!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Blog?

Why am I adding another blog when I already have 4 blogs? I'm not a blog addict by any means. I don't spend much time blogging or blog hopping. I just think (hope) that this blog will be able to reach out to a wider range of people. Let me tell you about my other 4 blogs and then you'll understand :).
Blog #1: Living for God (yes, same name but the address is at homeschool blogger and people who don't homeschool seem to hesitate to visit there).
Blog #2: Children of Light Christian Academy (my homeschool-related blog which is also at HSB).
Blog #3: My Father's World (my photo blog which focuses on displaying the splendor of God's creation).
Blog #4: Fruitbearer (my neglected blog on livejournal...used mainly for posting giveaways).

I will transfer some posts from my other blog(s) over here, especially when I have nothing to write :). Anyway, welcome to my 5th blog which I hope will become my main blog soon.

By the way, I'm hosting a book giveaway on my Blog #1. The book that you can win is Blue Like Play Dough (The shape of motherhood in the grip of God) by Tricia Goyer. Hope you'll stop by and enter!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book Review: Blue Like Play Dough


Summary:
In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognize the loving hands of God at work in your life…and know He has something beautiful in mind.

Author Bio:
Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana.

My Review:
What is messy but moldable? Motherhood. Blue Like Play Dough is the second non-fiction book that I’ve read from Tricia Goyer. I read her other book, My Life, Unscripted, a couple years ago. I like her writing style…very casual, friendly, and easy to read. Tricia shares her life experiences, including her mistakes, with sincerity and humility. From a difficult childhood, teenage pregnancy, homeschooling blues, to being a busy wife and mom and writer. In Blue Like Play Dough, I can relate to some of the things she shares, such as desiring to be a perfect wife and perfect mom , raising 3 kids (one girl and two boys), learning in homeschooling, memorizing God’s Word, listening to God-given radar, actively supporting crisis pregnancy centers, etc. Have you ever been discouraged by the challenges of motherhood? Are you trying to juggle too many things? This book serves as a gentle reminder for us to surrender all to God. When we do that, we will see something beautiful because God will mold and shape us to be the moms He wants us to be. I enjoyed reading the book; it made me pause and pray (for my kids, my husband, and myself). I also cried when I was reading Chapter 20: "When Death Stopped at Our House." This book offers encouragement and hope for moms in their journey of motherhood.

Note: Please turn off my music playlist at the bottom of this page before starting the video.

You can read the fist chapter here.
Visit the author's website at http://www.triciagoyer.com/.
Connect with Tricia Goyer on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/tricia.goyer.

~This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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