Children and Spiritual Warfare

Children and Spiritual Warfare 

When Jesus saw it, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me. Don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” ~Mark 10:14, HCSB

Why is it so hard to adopt mama? This is a question that one or both of our children have posed over the past eight months in which we have actively sought to adopt. The adoption process started almost five years ago for our family, but we ventured the path of foster care initially.

Why is it so hard to adopt? Why indeed?

I believe the answer which Russell Moore gives in the simple, short, and pertinent read, Adoption What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us About This Countercultural Choice,  is true, the protection of children isn’t charity…it’s spiritual warfare. Satan hates children. Jesus loves children. In fact, He came the first time in the form of a newborn babe. Protecting children, be it through foster care, adoption, or advocating and working to end sex trafficking or abortion is recognizing the Imago Dei in every life.

The demonic powers hate babies because they hate Jesus. When they destroy “the least of these” (Matthew 25:40, 45), the most vulnerable among us, they’re destroying a picture of Jesus himself, of the child delivered by the woman who crushes their head (Genesis 3:1;5).

Children also mean blessing–a perfect target for those who seek only to kill and destroy (John 10:10).

When we adopt–and when we encourage a culture of adoption in our churches and communities–we’re pictureing something that’s true about our God. We, like Jesus, see what our Father is doing and do likewise (John 5:19). And what our Father is doing, it turns out, is fighting for orphans, making them sons and daughters.

~ Russell Moore, Adoption What Joseph of Nazareth Can Teach Us About This Countercultural Choice

It only takes a glance at some of the day’s headlines to realize there is a war on children. Planned Parenthood advocating not only abortion, but involved in the selling of aborted babies body parts. The molestation of young boys in Afghanistan which our military has been ordered to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to (see here). The gunning down of a 10 year old boy –who had left fighting in Afghanistan to return to school–by the Taliban. The reported 10,000 missing migrant children who may have been trafficked and lost in a world of abuse. The headlines ream on.

The devil has it out for children (listen to the fourth section of Albert Mohler’s Daily Briefing for more on this topic); the church must stand ready to fight the good fight of faith on their behalf. How are we as the church and as individuals promoting a culture of life? What are some ways in which we can take up our shield of faith, sword of the Spirit, and go with our feet shod with the Gospel message? Let’s stand guard and defend the children of our day.

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Investing in Eternity

 

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

(Psalm 1:1-3, NIV, emphasis mine)

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Investing in eternity. That’s what parenting is. We plant the seeds of God’s word, prune and trim our little saplings, and bring rain and sunshine with life giving words and consistent discipline. Indeed, there are days where our words pour forth torrentially, but most days are steady streams of sunshine mixed with necessary watering and pruning as the need arises.

Our second sapling, Joshua, turned six last week. Over the last six years, we’ve diligently laid down tracks we pray he will continue to follow in the future as we tend to and nurture the young warrior God has given us. One discipline that we wanted to initiate in his sixth year, and soon to be our daughter’s eighth year, is that of saving. We’ve preached and modeled giving to God’s Kingdom, then enjoyed encouraging their dreams of giving their money away. But we haven’t as consistently modeled saving money for future use or for unforeseen needs.

On Wednesday afternoon of this week, I taxied Emily and Joshua to the local bank to open his savings account. He decided to place all of his birthday money into the savings account, which I thought was a wise decision. As we waited for the banker that would be assisting us, the lead teller walked by and we told her of Joshua’s plans. She said, “That will make your money grow!” Joshua looked a me and said, “Really mom? Will it make my money grow?” I smiled and answered his question as simply as I could to a degree satisfactory to him.

Finally, our turn arrived to fill out the appropriate paperwork for Joshua’s savings account. We gave the banker the necessary documentation (for future reference, be sure and have your child’s social security number on hand, I had to drive home and get his) and waited for him to process the request. As the banker walked away to gather the account number, he too stated, “Are you ready to watch your money grow?” When he had left us, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to share with Joshua the ways in which we watch our money grow.

“Joshua, come here sweetie, I want to tell you something,” I coaxed as he hopped into my lap. “There are two ways to watch your money grow, one is to invest your money in a savings account or investments which will grow your wealth on earth. The other, is to give it away to missions, or the poor, and by doing this, you grow your wealth and rewards in Heaven.” He looked at me and nodded his head in understanding, I continued, “I am so glad you are starting this savings account, and I am also glad when you give your money away to God.”

As Joshua nodded and said, “okay mama, I understand,” I gathered that was enough of a money lesson for the time, but I could not ignore the weight of this teachable moment upon me as a parent. Each time we invest in teaching our kids about godly and biblical principles, we are investing in eternity. That moment it happened to be about finances, but it could have easily been something else to do with friendship, honesty, loyalty, or discipline. Each lesson waters the saplings our children currently are to enable them to become mighty oaks planted by streams of Living Water.

What are the teachable moments you have had with a young person or peer this week? How have you sensed the Holy Spirit prompting you to make a disciple? Please share your moment so that we can learn and rejoice with you.

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The Big Ask: Are You Pregnant?

When Someone Asks If You're Pregnant and the Answer is No

The above picture is a current one of me, NOT PREGNANT. Have you ever been asked if you were pregnant when, clearly, you were not? Me too! Travel over to iBelieve today to see how to respond to this question with grace and truth. Because, let’s face it, the big ask stinks if the answer is a big no.

Read more here.

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15 Action Steps to Take to Promote A Culture of Life After You Have Prayed


 

15 Action Steps To Take To Promote Life After You Have Prayed

Many of us are dumbfounded, to say the least, after viewing any or all of the 10 videos put out by the Center for Medical Progress which exposes the money making arm of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood and Stem Express are making money off the sale of aborted baby body parts. This news leaves many of us asking, what can we do to put an end to this barbarity? Here are 15 action steps for you to consider and take after you pray for an end to abortion, a defunding of Planned Parenthood, and a respect for life from conception to grave.

1. Give to and/ or volunteer at your local pregnancy center.

2. Call your congressman and senator to petition them to vote to defund Planned Parenthood and legislate an end to abortion.

3.”Adopt” a single mom and her kids.

4. Foster a child. The difference a Christian family can make in pointing children in need to Jesus cannot be measured in this lifetime.

5. Adopt. It is a slow and painful process and you are not guaranteed your child will walk with Jesus. However, you are committed to making a disciple and ending a family cycle of drug abuse, domestic violence, and a host of other problems that plague our society.

6. Vote your moral convictions and not your pocketbook.

7. Spread the gospel and let the seeds bear the fruit that they will. We will not reap what we have not sewn.

8.Make disciples within your church who make disciples. Moms and dads change the cultural fabric of our world one child at a time. For good or for evil.

9. Volunteer with children in the foster care system, a local school, or an orphanage. Mentors change lives by the power of Jesus.

10. Give to organizations like the Center for Medical Progress who expose the truth of abortion and the sale of baby body parts for “medical research.” Or, help fund a friend’s adoption. Many times families who want to adopt don’t because of the money.

11. Educate yourself with the facts. Read and research for the truth. You will likely not hear the facts nor the truth on the evening news or in the New York Times.

12. Do for one mom, teen, child, or orphan what you would do for all.

13. Get creative! Use your artistic abilities of paint, pen, or graphic design to get people’s attention and point them towards life.

14. Include your kids in ministering to the poor, elderly, and the orphan. Developing compassionate Christ-centered lives starts early.

15. Run for office and be involved in politics. We need godly leaders in every area of local, state, and federal government.

What would you add to this list? I welcome your thoughts.

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Making People a Part of Your Journey

Life Lessons on Manitou

A month ago, our family attempted our toughest hike to date. The famous Manitou Incline in Manitou Springs, Colorado.The Manitou Incline is a converted rail-car track. It is an intense one mile ascent with a 2,000 foot elevation gain. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking determination!

Our family was excited and as ready as Floridians could be for this hike. One portion of the experience that I had not factored in were the people we would meet along the journey. We thought we would arrive early enough that very few people would even be on the trail. That was an inaccurate assumption! The trail was full even at 6:00 AM on a Saturday.

There were military service men and women hiking for conditioning, a local set of twin brothers and their younger brother who hike the trail everyday and twice on Saturday, and a woman with a prosthetic leg, along with a host of out-of-towners and tourists just like us.

One man in particular made our acquaintance and a lasting impression as well. His name was Don. Don is a father of three grown boys and a first timer at hiking Manitou. He stopped periodically to ask us questions about our kids and comment on what a great job we were doing as parents for having our kids attempt something so difficult at such an early age. (We may have been crazy, but we accepted commendable too.) He encouraged us and visited with us when he could have carried on and continued with little thought of the family of four attempting the same journey he was on.

But he didn’t.

Don made people a part of his journey, and we benefited from his encouragement and company.

As we neared the summit of Manitou, there was Don waiting on our family and cheering us on to the finish. He waited to take our picture and celebrate with us. He took the time to text the pictures to my husband and give him some pointers for navigating the four mile descent down Barr Trail. Don wasn’t obligated to go the second mile, but the second mile is why he is more memorable than many other people we hiked the Incline with that day.

As we bustle about our everyday jobs and activities, let’s strive to make the second, memorable mile for someone who is walking the same direction we are. Who knows, maybe in taking time to encourage and celebrate another person’s journey will forever change our own.

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*Photo courtesy of our friend, Don.

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Five Things To Do On Your Manitou Springs Vacation…With Children!

I regret to inform Lao Tzu that our ideas of a good traveler differ much. He refers to a good traveler as one who “has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”  If that is indeed the measure of a good traveler, then I fall under the pictured caption of “epic failure.” I like to make a plan, work the plan, and stick to the plan…with a little wiggle room of course.

When Ron and I were discussing our vacation to Manitou Springs, I scoured Pinterest for the best places to visit, along with reviews from mamas and papas who had traveled with their bear cubs and lived to tell about it. It is with gratitude to those bloggers who have gone before in blazing a well-marked trail, that I present our own. 

Here are Five Things To Do on Your Manitou Springs Vacation…With Children:

1. The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway

Pikes Peak is known as, America’s Mountain. It is also the mountain view which inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen a poem entitled, America the Beautiful, which we sing today. Interesting to note that America the Beautiful was in the running to become the national anthem, but, as we know, was beaten by The Star-Spangled Banner on March 3, 1931.

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway provides a majestic and entertaining way to reach the 14,115 foot summit of Pikes Peak. Bring extra layers as the temperature drops 30 degrees with your ascent. Bring water to drink on the ride, but be aware there are no bathrooms on the train.

We suggest buying the famous donuts as soon as you reach the summit, heading outside for some scenic views and photography opportunities, then a quick trip to the dwindling lines in the bathrooms before your descent on the train. You will have a total of 30 minutes to take in the sights and re-board.

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Pikes Peak Cog Railway

2.  Manitou Incline and Barr Trail

The Manitou Incline is a converted rail-car track. It is an intense one mile ascent with a 2,000 foot elevation gain. Not for the faint of heart or those lacking determination! We hiked the Manitou Incline with our seven and five year old children. Hydration and a flexible attitude are key. This was an adventure for each of us. Luckily, the kids had no idea how extreme an undertaking this hike was; even though I had repeatedly try to enlighten them. We trained for this hike by walking in the very flat city parks of Florida! Be aware if you should attempt this with small children, there are no bathrooms beside the covering of trees. Come prepared!

We loved this hike and felt a great sense of accomplishment upon completion; however, if you are not in the physical or mental state to attempt this hike, I would not suggest tackling it. This was fourth or fifth hike as a family and, at a total of 5 miles our longest hike to date.

We completed the Manitou Incline and Barr Trail in 5.5 hours. We arrived just before 6:00 AM to park in the upper parking lot of the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. The attendant said the other parking lot had been full since 4:30 AM. SO…arrive very early. Additionally, we hiked on a Saturday, so the trail was fairly busy. The hikers were friendly and very supportive of our little ones attempting this intimidating hike. One man, Don, even waited for us at the top to cheer us on and take our family picture!

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Manitou Incline and Barr Trail

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3. Garden of the Gods

Garden of the Gods is by far one of the most breathtaking views and photo opportunities in Manitou Springs. It is filled with moderate hikes and bike paths plus opportunities for horse back riding in the park. The park hosts thirteen points to park and view named rock formations without the need to make a hike. However, we suggest walking in a bit as you might spot some of the beautiful mule deer within the park. For the uber adventurer, you can obtain a free permit, and with the right gear, even climb these majestic red rocks!

It is worth repeating, arrive early! Being the earlier riser in Colorado means having the parks to yourself. Arrive before the gift shops and nature centers open. We tried to be in the car, or at the location, by 7:00 or 7:30. By 10:30 all the other travelers are beginning to fill the parking lots and diminish the atmosphere and ability to take quality pictures of the scenery or your family.

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Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs

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4. Helen Hunt Falls

Helen Hunt Falls hosts a pleasant hike through the forest with the melodic beauty of a waterfall and stream. We opted to drive to the falls then hiked 2/3 of a mile up a moderately steep trail above Helen Hunt Falls to reach Silver Cascade Falls. This was our kids first waterfall to see in person and they loved exploring along the stream, putting their hands in the water, and watching the water rush by.

Helen Hunt Falls

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5. Navigators Creation Tour at Glen Eyrie

Due to flooding a few years ago, the Glen Eyrie Creation Tours had been suspended for safety reasons. It wasn’t until we arrived in Manitou Springs that we discovered they had reopened the tours this summer. Once we found out the tours were back on, the remainder of our trip wasn’t on days the tours are offered (Wednesday through Saturday). Glen Eyrie Creation Tours is a wonderful way for the whole family to learn about creation, the flood, and the reason for the rock formations we see around the world post-flood. I hope that our family can take part in one of these tours the next time we are in the area.

Navigators

Thank you for taking the time to share in our memories of a great trip. May this little guide help you as you take a vacation, a stay-cation, or anything in between in the magnificent surroundings of Manitou Springs, Colorado.

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Five Things to Do on Your Denver Vacation…With Children!

Colorado…truly a land of beauty. The 38th state in the Union, it is rich in culture and heritage, and is a wonderful vacation destination year round. From the beautiful, well-branded state flag, to the friendly people and inspiring scenery, Colorado is a gem to visit or to call home. Below is a list of five must see vacation stops in Denver. Our children are 5 and 7 and enjoyed each of these venues right by our side. We do recommend drinking lots of water throughout your stay as the higher elevation can lead to elevation sickness. Additionally, you may want to take a day to get acclimated to the elevation. Being from Florida, elevation sickness was certainly on the forefront of our minds.

1.  Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater is a beautiful destination to simply drive and get out at lookout points, or to hike through. Our family hiked the Trading Post Loop. The loop  is a 1.4-1.7 mile hike. However, the path is not clearly marked and we additionally hiked up the amphitheater so by the end of the hike it was closer to 3 miles. As with all hikes, take plenty of water and snacks. With small children snacks are a huge motivator. While we serve them snacks throughout the hike, we usually save a special cookie, like Oreo’s, for the end of the hike as a prize to work toward. Be sure and arrive early! We arrived around 7:30 AM and basically had the park to ourselves. By the end of our hike and a visit to the Trading Post, we had people waiting in line for our parking spot and a very busy park.

After your early morning hike, you will be very hungry. We suggest driving a little further into Morrison and grabbing a delicious Mexican dish at El Tapatio restaurant. We recommend the fish and steak tacos.

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2.  Dinosaur Ridge Bus Tour

Dinosaur Ridge is a free walking trail or a paid bus tour for $6 per person ages four and up. This great geological point of interest is presented from an evolutionary worldview. However, the incredible fossils and footprints are worth the tour. Additionally, as a Christian and a person holding to a biblical worldview, I wanted my kids and myself to hear this presentation so that we can ask better questions. Further, that we would be reminded the evidence is the same, but the interpretation is different. Our tour-guide, Dan was very friendly, funny, and informative. I talked with him afterwards about my belief in the world-wide flood of Noah’s time and the evidence for it. He was open to the discussion even while holding to his own beliefs.

Don’t forget to visit Triceratops Trail in Golden Colorado as well. We missed this and missed out on Triceratops footprints alongside plant and bug fossils. (An excuse for my family to make this trip to Denver again!)

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Our son touching a crocodile footprint found alongside dinosaur footprints at Dinosaur Ridge.

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A Brontosaur “bulge” at Dinosaur Ridge. This footprint is is missing the toe impressions, but follows in a sequence of other similar impressions of smaller dinosaurs. This is the first I have learned of such fossilized “bulges” and I can’t wait to research this some more.

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Our tour-guide, Dan, sitting next to Iguanodon (see here and here) footprints which your children can see and touch at Dinosaur Ridge!

3.  Buffalo Bill Trail and Museum  and the Lookout Mountain Nature Center

The most beautiful,family friendly hike we took in Denver was the Lookout Mountain and Buffalo Bill Trail. This trail runs one mile from Buffalo Bill’s Museum and burial place to the Lookout Mountain Nature Center providing a friendly two mile round-trip hike. We started our hike around 7:30 long before either the museum or center was opened. However, there are many beautiful photo, rock climbing, and nature observing venues along this trail that will keep you occupied between visits to the sites and before they open.  Be sure and check out the great nature materials and postcards for purchase at the Nature Center as well as live teaching and exploration classes. While we were there, Bob the Bull Snake was on display for kids to touch and learn about as they visited the center.

After our hike, we enjoyed a bison burger and brat at the Pahaska Tepee before visiting the Buffalo Bill Museum. The cost is $5 per adult and $1 per child ages 6-15.

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4.  Tattered Cover Book Store

In the center of downtown Denver, lies this beautiful niche for book lovers. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry as you and your family peruse the great selection of books. The kids had a great time in the large children’s section. This is a chain bookstore, however, this particular store is larger than the others that we saw at Union Station and the Denver International Airport. A nice stop on a rainy day or an evening in downtown.

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5. Union Station and The Kitchen Next Door

After our visit to the Tattered Cover Book Store, we walked down the block to the newly renovated Union Station. This is a beautiful station in the heart of Denver that will transport you by train wherever you want to go. We didn’t board a train, but the inside sights and the outdoor fountains were beautiful to behold.

After viewing the station, we dined at one of the many restaurants located within. The Kitchen Next Door was a delicious dining experience and the outdoor seating provided a great view of the city and sunset. The kids recommend the Greek salad.

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We were in Denver enjoying these activities for three days (two days for travel). The other three days of our vacation we were in Manitou Springs just outside of Colorado Springs. Join me next Friday as we explore Five Things To Do on Your Manitou Springs Vacation…With Children!

Thanks for reading!

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A Somber 4th of July

A Somber 4th of July

I can hear Lee Greenwood’s voice in my head and vividly remember the fireworks blazing over his head as I listened and watched him sing on a televised 4th of July celebration many, many years ago, ” I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I proudly stand up, next to you and defend her still today. Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land, God bless the U.S. A!”

I can no longer sing that song with Mr. Greenwood. I couldn’t last year, and I certainly can’t this year. My Christian beliefs preclude me from asking God’s blessing on a prideful nation that has collectively turned its back on Him. The current President has downplayed American exceptionalism and crafted an environment fertile for a pluralistic republic. He declared that we are not a Christian nation early in his presidency and regretfully, we are moving further and further away from “one nation under God.” Instead, we have moved to one nation apart from God.

The Supreme Court’s decision to legislate from the judicial branch, an act which the Founding Fathers warned against and worked to prevent, has set the course for the nation’s undoing. We were heading that direction state by state, but the ruling by SCOTUS last Friday expedited the process and ushered in a new fight to protect our First Amendment rights, specifically the exercise of  religious liberty.

I am rendering a very gloomy state of the Union. I understand. Many may stop reading and thankfully, you have every right to. Likewise, I currently possess every right to say what’s on my mind. Freedom of speech, also a right under the First Amendment.

Our First Amendment rights may be under siege, dear Christian, but our first allegiance to the Living God need not be.

As a pastor’s wife, a homeschooling mom, and an American grateful for the government set up by the founders of our nation, the men and women of our armed forces, and the firefighters and police officers who risk their lives for their fellowmen every day,  the ruling and ramifications of the SCOTUS decision greatly saddens me. I  have read the Bible, I watch and read the news, and I see the cultural road signs–we live as in the days of Noah. Sin is rampant, self-love is evident, and persecution of Christians is like unto the days of the Roman Empire. I’m not surprised, for Jesus foretold of such, but I must admit that I am deeply saddened.

We have often wondered why we Christians in America have not suffered persecution like our brothers and sisters around the globe. Well, our time may be at hand. We must cling to the document which bears the words of the Living God; it is the only firm foundation in a world of shifting sand. The Word of God is not tethered to one nation or one time period. The Word of God is for all mankind in every nation, forever. His joy comes in the morning and our work is at hand. Be strong in the Lord Jesus and stand firm.

Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore,

with truth like a belt around your waist,
righteousness like armor on your chest,
and your feet sandaled with readiness
for the gospel of peace
In every situation take the shield of faith,
and with it you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is God’s word.

Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

Ephesians 6: 10-20, HCSB

Home is a place called Heaven,

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Preaching the Gospel Through Biblical Marriage

Today we await the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on the issue of the legalization of gay marriage. Will the Justices rule this is a state by state decision to uphold traditional marriage or will they decide to make gay marriage legal across the nation?  You can read more from both sides here.

For most of you reading this particular blog, you understand that the institution of marriage was initiated by God at the first marriage in history between Adam and Eve. Further, you have been taught in church, and  most likely from someone at home, that acting out homosexual desires is sinful by God’s standards. Unfortunately, the narrative towards people practicing a homosexual lifestyle has not always been one of love, nor driven by a desire to share the gospel. However, I believe that narrative has changed in the last year to be more in line with God’s views of people and their sins–at least within the teachings of the Southern Baptist Convention. You can view the recent Southern Baptist Pastors Conference Speakers, particularly Russell Moore’s message on Sunday evening dealing with sexual sin in general and homosexual sin in particular. (click here)

The SCOTUS decision and its political and religious implications aside, Christian, biblical marriages should preach the gospel like never before as they stand in such contrast to the cultural shift of marriages in our day. However, our own marriages need much work to paint the picture of Christ loving the Church and giving Himself up for her. How do we preach the gospel with our marriage? How do we build solid, sanctified marriages amidst our culture?

My husband has a new book filled with practical, biblical advice that I believe will point Christian marriages toward Christ and help them build loving and respectful relationships. It is available on Amazon and soon to be available on your Kindle as well.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Ron’s book because I know that he practices what he preaches. Ron lives a life of authentic humility and faithfulness to God. His background in mental health counseling, experience as a pastor, and time spent counseling couples and families have prepared him to walk in obedience to writing this book.  I hope that you will purchase a copy of Ron’s book for yourself, a friend, an engaged or newly married couple, or a couple that you know needs godly direction in their marriage.

You can watch Ron teach from a few excerpts of his book, alongside our pastor, Willy Rice, here. This message is on your S.E.A.T. and how that affects your marriage.

SEAT- Ron Cooney

Christians must preach the gospel with our words and our actions. Biblical, loving and respectful marriages will stand out in a world of broken vows and empty promises by pointing to the grace and mercy found in Christ Jesus.

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What Another Year of Homeschooling Taught Me

Math and God

Homeschooling. It is not the educational path I would have guessed our family would take, but it is the path we most certainly feel led of God to walk.

Today marks the graduation of pre-kindergarten for my son, and first grade for my daughter. We have come so far this year and learned a great deal–both  in academics and character building. Certainly, I am referring as much to my own education as to our children’s!

I can’t say the end is easier than the beginning, nor that I have gained as much patience and understanding as will garner absolute success next year. I certainly can’t say that! However, we finished, and we finished strong. One willful, determined step at a time.

It is my joy and privilege to educate our children in our home. The number one reason that we choose home education is the call we feel toward making our children fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. The Great Commission commands us to go and make disciples in all nations and this call starts with the the two disciples that we call son and daughter. Can this purpose be accomplished in either private or public school options? Of course! My husband and I are both products of public education from grammar to graduate school, but we feel we have been called to home education for such a time as this and for our children specifically.

We choose to homeschool because we want to instill a complete Christian worldview into our children and equip them to be able to give an account for the hope that they have in Jesus Christ. We want them to see how all the liberal arts, the sciences,  and the three R’s reveal God and how He speaks through the study of each one.

Personally, one of the more challenging parts of homeschooling is the discipline required. I am a disciplined person in most areas of life…at least I aim to be. Being a home educator leaves no area in my personal life which I can, shall we say, grant the most weight of academic responsibilities to someone else. I feel a great pressure, and simultaneously a great joy, in seeking our children’s academic success.  Undoubtedly, it can be exhausting!

So, today we celebrate. We celebrate victories won and goals accomplished. We seal the books with smiley faces and stickers and victory hugs. As parents know, however, home education never ends. Occasionally, we simply let our kids think so! We are always learning and growing in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  Any work over the next six weeks will be extra credit and culminate in a prize. Thanks to Pinterest for pre-made charts and prize coupons!

To leave you today, I am linking to two of our new favorite resources that we discovered this year. I hope you will take a look and see if any of them are right for your family.

  • Jonathon Park -Great creation science teaching in action packed stories fun for your whole family. Visit Jonathon here.
  •  Jim Weiss Audio CD’s- Love these historical fiction and non-fiction audio books that teach timeless lessons and inspire the love for academics and literature. Visit Great Hall Productions here.

Always learning,

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