Welcome to my blog! To get an idea of what this blog is about you might want to read the "About Me and My Family" page as a starting point. You can browse through the archives or head over to the "Articles" page to read on specific topics I've written on over the years. Keep checking back because I'll be posting new articals from time to time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thoughts on Sunday School

Since I have grown up in church, I have been in many Sunday school classes in many churches. Some where fun, some were motivating, some were inspiring, while some where . . . well, boring. Certain classes I looked forward to going to, certain ones I just had to go to. There were times when I found myself wanting to go to Sunday school just because it was fun or I liked the other people in the class.

This past Sunday, after I was in a very enjoyable Sunday school class, I started to wonder, "What is Sunday school suppose to be?" Of course I understand that each level of classes have different needs and teachers, but what I have been pondering on lately is what the Sunday school for those who are able (or old enough) to understand true doctrine of the Word of God, is really suppose to be.

Sunday school was originally started to teach the poor how to read and write. Now Sunday School has a different purpose. It's purpose is to educate everyone in the Bible, or as my Sunday school teacher said, it is a Bible study. But how should we go about teaching the Bible? What are the most effective way to run a class?

Motivation to Work
A class I was previously in was very motivational. When I came out of Sunday school I was eager to do great things for God! The teacher accomplished this by telling many successful stories of Christians who have done great things for the Lord, and stories of those who have overcome hard times and still lived for God. As well, he always reminded us that everyone fails, but God gives us many new beginnings.

Motivation is a good thing, but when we start something to hastily because of the motivation of the moment, we may become discouraged when hard times come, and may give up completely. A class really needs more than just motivation to work for the Lord.

Motivation to Study
I am enjoying the class I am in right now very much. It is a lot different than the last one in the way that it is filled with more meat. After only two classes I saw that I really needed to study my Bible more. I knew I should have known some of the questions he asked, yet I could not think of the right answer or a scripture to back it up. After class last Sunday, me and my close friend continued to talk about the lesson and said that we were going to go home and study more on what we had been talking about. We were both motivated to study God's word because we saw that we didn't understand the topic as fully as we should. We both wanted to find out for our self what was true, and be able to defend our belief if the situation arrived.

The teacher brought forth this motivation by teaching on "deeper," yet important doctrines of the Bible that we were not firm on. If the motivation is carried out and we read God's Word diligently, what we learn from out studies will stay with us.

So which is better in a Sunday school environment? If motivation to work, then some who do not know the Bible well may get a hasty and eager desire to do something for God with out studying His word. I know God can use anybody, but I also believe that without God's Word, you will come upon difficulties that can only be solved by the knowledge of the scripture. Before we go out to battle we are to have our "loins girted about with truth," and our "feet shod with the preparation of of the gospel of peace;" (Eph. 6: 14 & 15). If we study the Bible diligently, we will receive our motivation to do great works from God and the scriptures.

Thus, I have come to the conclusion that a very important element in Sunday school is motivation to study the Bible. After all, if Sunday school is a Bible study, we should study more than just on Sunday morning. There is so much in the Bible to learn, once a week will not be enough time to learn even half as much as we need to. The study we start on Sunday should continue throughout the week.

" Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalms 119:11

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Great Day at Work

Isn't it so funny how we can forget such simple things that make life easier? I use to pray every morning on the way to work that I would have a good day and that all would go as smooth as possible. Every day didn't go as well as I wanted it to, but the majority of my time was great. Lately I have forgotten to pray over my day. This morning however, when I remembered to ask God for His help I had a surprisingly good day. I was able to focus (something I'm sure the manager was happy about!), stay busy, my mouth actually said the words correctly instead of getting tongue tied, I got along with people I usually don't and the day flew by! That just shows that God want to be a part of every area of our lives and He will bless us when we go to Him for help.

If you're having trouble at work, in school, or any other area, maybe you simply need to pray or about it. Pray can do great things!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Time For a Hot Chocolate Break!

On a day like today, when it's cold outside and I've been studying way too long, what could be more enjoyable than a hot chocolate break? Since I couldn't think of anything else (other than things that are not possible right now) I boiled some water for me and my two sisters and drank a delicious cup of mama's home-made hot chocolate. I thought y'all might enjoy the recipe, so I extended my "hot chocolate break" to blog as well!

Hot Chocolate Mix

3 cups powdered sugar
8 oz. dry milk (1 1/2 cup)
16 oz. instant chocolate milk mix (3 cup)
6 oz. Creamora (non dairy creamer) (or 1 1/2 cup)
1 large box instant pudding

Mix all ingredients together and serve with 2 to 3 tablespoons per 8 oz. cup.

::Pictured is the hot cocoa & coffee mug my sister gave me in front of our cozy fire place where many cold days are spent!::

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Surely They Must Know

Lately I have been shocked by the way Christian girls have been dressing. Girls that I went to church with, grew up with, and whose families use to have the same convictions that we do. I'm not going to harp all day on why women shouldn't wear pants, even though I do believe they shouldn't (I'll save that for another post). What I am concerned about is what they are showing up top! It doesn't seem to bother them a bit to show a crevice while wearing shirts that are too low. Surely they must know that men will notice.Surely they must know that even the perverts are looking. Surely they must know that by showing off their bosom they are tempting men to lust. Surely they must know that they are causing men to bring other sinful pictures to mind when they see their nakedness. Surely they must know!

What's so sad is . . . they do know! Yet they continue in their pattern of dressing. I can't help but wonder what their dad's are thinking. How they can let their daughters dress so immodest while they know the effect is beyond me!

In an article called A Letter to the Girls I Know, Devin talks about the struggles that men have when they see immodest dress. He says, "He [the Goddly man] hates being around girls that disrespect him and his struggles by wearing inappropriate attire." I've never thought about it that way! Respect is very seriouse to men, and I don't want them to think I am disrespecting them. In the artical, he also tells us girls what kind of men we are attracting by the way we dress. It is a very good artical to read if you want to please God with the way you dress.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Baby Animals!

We have a new addition to our little farm! Last Monday five little chicks were born to a very protective mother. It is so sweet to watch the mama hen keep her baby's warm underneath her and try to protect them from our cow! Can you picture that?!

The little chicks have been following her around from the first day! But one day they will grow independent and wander away from their mother hen. Just like we do. When we are first born again, we stay close to our heavenly Father. But after a while we start to think we don't need Him as much as we use to so we start to wander away. What a shame. If we stay close to our Lord, He will keep us warm and safe, just like our hen does to her chicks.

Aren't they adorable?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Planning Ahead

I use to think that those who always ate whole wheat bread, salads very frequently, only drank water and bought fresh vegetables were overly concerned with their health. I had no appreciation for nutrition whatsoever. This mindset was probably inherited from my parents who use to let us eat whatever we wanted - to an extent. In the past few years however, mama has made a full turn around!

When mama started to have problems with her health she looked for natural ways to heal them. She started reading article after article and many books on healthy eating. Now she is grinding her own wheat that she buys from Bread Beckers and cooks everything in it's most natural state as possible. We eat brown rice, homemade wheat pasta, and very little fried and processed foods. At first we didn't like some of the changes she made, but when she got the recipes just right we loved them! For instance, mama doesn't make our bread with strictly wheat because it is too heavy and has too strong of a wheat flavor, so now she adds a little bit of white flour.I can honestly say that I wouldn't want to go back to white rice, white bread and other foods that are made with strictly white flour. Most foods have a better taste when they are in their most natural state and haven't been bleached and deprived of their nutrition.

Now when it comes to snacks . . . lets just say we don't go without them! Store bought ice-cream still finds it's way into our house . . . pretty frequently! But we try to make our homemade deserts as healthy as possible by using wheat flour, natural white and brown sugar, natural cinnamon, and honey sometimes. Again, if we don't like a particular dessert with all wheat, we will add white flour to the recipe. The same rule goes with honey. Too much of it often makes the dessert taste more like honey than anything else. Mama has found ways to make them a little healthier without substituting taste for nutrition. We all love our desserts.

Now that we eat right and take care of our bodies that God gave us, we feel better, aren't sick as often, and have more energy. I realize that mama has made these changes in our diet because she loves us and wants the best for us.

As I get older, I begin to think more about what I will do one day with my family. Three years ago I didn't give nutritious food any thought except for knowing that I should make my children eat their vegetables (out of the can which is not nourishing). Now I am planning on keeping my precious family healthy. I want them to feel good, (which will put them in a better mood) and live with as few health problems as possible. Because of mama's decision to change our eating habits I will now be able to start my family off right . . . and so could you!

Monday, January 7, 2008

God: The Giver of all Talents

"If I forget thee, O Jurusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I perfer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." Psalms 137:5-6

"God gives me the gift of music. My gift to Him is to share it with all my heart." ~Author Unknown

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Days Like These

It's days like these,
When everyone is home,
I know that I have,
The best family ever known.

It's days like these,
When it's cold and windy outside,
I feel warm and safe,
In the home where I abide.

It's days like these,
When God's word is very dear,
That I am reminded,
His love will always be here.

It's days like these,
When all is well,
I realize just how blessed I am:
Far beyond I could ever tell!

I know that days like these,
Might not be here forever,
So I'll cherish each moment,
And forget them never.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Last Questions

Here is the end of "the questions" I have been posting lately. I hope that you have been truly searching for the answers in your life. We can never ask them too many times for we will always have faults and room for improvement.

15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?

16. Am I jealous, impure, irritable, touchy, or distrustful?

17. How do I spend my spare time?

18. Am I proud?

19. Do I thank God I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?

20. Is there anyone I fear, dislike, criticize, or resent? If so,what am I doing about it?

21. Do I grumble and complain constantly?

22. Is Christ real to me today?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

You Can Do It!

Sunday night my
pastor preached an
excellent sermon. (But now that I mentioned it . . . when doesn't he?) Although the focus was on keeping your heart right, the message I got from it was "You can do it!" He stated that if you really want to do it - really set your mind to it-you can! You can accomplish anything that you desire if God is in it and with His help. You can be a great wife, a wonderful mother, live a life that affects others for the good, perfect your talents, or know a lot about the Bible. I'm sure you have things that you want to do or be going through your head right now. You can do it! When I hear that, I become amazed! I suppose it is because I sometimes focus too much on my failures and I feel like there is no chance that I can be "that"! But when I thought about it, I asked myself, "Why can't I? What is the difference between me and others who have accomplished great things?"

Others have not succeeded because they had a better education. In the day that we live in, we can all have a great education. The difference is not in the family they were born in. There have been many people that have come from poor, low society, degraded individuals. The difference is diligence.

That's the part we don't like to hear. If we want to accomplish great things for God, we have to be determined that we WILL . . . no matter what! We have to be willing to sacrifice, work hard at it, and go through some unpleasant times. If you want to be a great wife, you have to search the Bible diligently to find the qualities you need to have, you have to listen and heed God's voice when he speaks, you have apply what you have learned to your life. This is the method for success in almost every area. If you want to perfect your talents, (whether they be musical, people related, or some other) you have to practice every day, hard and long. It's not easy, but the results are remarkable!

Around this time of year a lot of people set goals or resolutions. I thought about not even setting any resolutions this year because I fail more than I accomplish. But instead of giving up, maybe we should try again - with a new mind set. Be determined that we CAN do it, and we WILL do it! This 2008 can be the best year of our lives . . . if we want it to be. Whether we enjoy this year or not is completely up to us. What are you going to do?

Recommended Artical

The other day I came upon an artical called The Grass is Always Greener at Young Ladies Christian Fellowship. Ever since I read it I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. Mrs. Ruth Weichmann said, "You have probably heard the saying that 'life is not a bed of roses' . . . I have long maintained that, despite the saying, life is like a bed of roses." Her insight on the subject is very helpful. I don't think I could say it as good as she did, so I thought I would link to the artical so that you could read it for yourself. The article is well worth your time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

More Questions

Here are more questions that continue the ones I posted last week. I hope they benifit you greatly as much as they have me.

8. Do I give God time to speak to me everyday?

9. Am I enjoying prayer?

10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?

11. Do I pray about the money I spend?

12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?

13. Do I disobey God in anything?

14. Do I insist in doing something in which my conscience is uneasy?