Friday, April 27, 2012

Quote from Max Lucado

"Worship is a voluntary act of gratitude offered by the saved to the Savior, by the healed to the Healer, and by the delivered to the Deliverer. And if you and I can go days without feeling an urge to say 'thank you' to the One who saved, healed and delivered us, then we'd do well to remember what He did."

~Max Lucado

Thursday, April 26, 2012

St. Francis of Assisi Prayer

“Lord make me an
instrument of your peace!
Where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not
So much seek to be consoled
as to console;
to be understood
as to understand;
to be loved
as to love;
for it is in giving
that we receive;
it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned
and it is in dying
that we are born to Eternal Life.”

-St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quote on Husbands

"Not surprisingly, men said they judge themselves-and feel that others judge them-based on the happiness and respect of their wives."

~Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Review: For Women Only

An Extremely Useful Tool to Understanding Men

     My husband and I were away on a vacation with my family and stopped inside a Christian bookstore. We love to browse the book aisles, since we both love to read. We were on a mission to pick out a book for me and he decided he’d help me choose one. One by one he started picking up books until he stopped. He was focused on one book only and would not put it down for awhile.  It was For Women Only (what you need to know about the inner lives of men) by Shaunti Feldhahn. I was curious-what did he think about it? 

I asked him and he said immediately, “You should get this one!” 

Really? I thought. So, I asked him, “Why?”

He bluntly stated, “You need to read this.”

I said, “Okay.” I trust my husband’s judgment and we headed to the cash register.

Best For:  Any woman who wants to know what the universal needs of men are, women that want to be good wives to their husbands, women that want to prepare themselves for marriage & know ahead of time what their husband will need

photo source: istockphoto
Overview:   This book reveals the responses of men to questions regarding their needs. Although it is written by Shaunti, she is simply communicating what men would say to their wives if they could. She did a study of “Four hundred men across the country, ranging in age from twenty-one to seventy-five, answered two dozen questions about their lives and about how they think what they feel, and what they need.”  After this survey Feldhahn did a “more informal follow-up survey of another four hundred anonymous men-this time, specifically churchgoers-to ask a few additional questions (and some of the same ones).” Then, she did one Decision Analyst survey and said, “Amazingly, across all these surveys there were very few differences.”

Seven needs of men Shaunti Feldhahn discusses are:

                                                1.       “Men need respect”
                                                     2.       “Men are insecure”
                                                      3.       “Men are providers”
                                                        4.       “Men want more sex”
                                                5.       “Men are visual”
                                                                  6.       “Men are unromantic clods”
                                                                      7.       “Men care about appearance”

Few Quotes:
“A man might think of it like this: If she doesn’t trust me in something as small as finding my way along a road, why would she trust me in something important, like being a good breadwinner or a good father? If she doesn’t respect me in this small thing, she probably doesn’t really respect me at all.

One man said, “If a man’s wife is supportive and believes in him, he can conquer the world-or at least his little corner of it. He will do better at work, at home, everywhere. By contrast, very few men can do well at work or at home if their wives make them feel inadequate.”

“For your husband, sex is more than just a physical need. Lack of sex is as emotionally serious to him as, say, his sudden silence would be to you, were he simply to stop communicating with you. It is just as wounding to him, just as much a legitimate grievance-and just as dangerous to your marriage.”

“Since men are so visual, seeing us make the effort to look good makes them feel loved and cared for. It matters to them in the same way it matter to us when we notice our husbands making an effort to do things that make us feel loved-especially when they are things that are difficult or don’t come naturally.”

My Thoughts:   I think Shaunti did an excellent job revealing the needs of men. I was really enticed to read the book based on the fact that it was compiled with the answers of men, of all types of backgrounds. Even more so, because my husband told me to read it (ie. things he wishes he could tell me). It proved to me that there are basic needs that my husband has, simply due to the way God designed him to be.
     I especially love the chapter on the five needs a man has in regards to respect. Her points on this need are insightful and helpful. I should probably write them down and put it on my nightstand, so I can read it everyday.
     A little side note, I think her list of suggestions for women whose husbands struggle with lust is incomplete. Although it is a small part of the book, I feel it's worth mentioning.
     I love how Shaunti ends the book with such sweet, encouraging words from husbands that share how they really love their wives. The number one thing men wanted to tell their wife was, "I want her to know how much I love her."

     I walked away from this book feeling very selfish. How many times do I think about what I want and need versus my husband’s wants and needs? Do I even know what they are for him personally?  It made me think that if I want a happy, fulfilling marriage, I cannot live for myself and have the right to the title “wife” or “Mrs. ____.” Reading this book challenged me to know and meet the needs of my husband. It's what God has called me to do.

     In regards to meeting his need for respect, I confess that I tried to go on a "No Control Date" once. It's when I went on a date and tried not to say anything controlling-ie."turn here" when he's driving, nor "we have to go", or "do we have to stop and get money to pay the babysitter?". I didn't tell him I was doing this. I just did it, and failed. I couldn't go through a whole date without saying something that that was probably communicating disrespect to him. I realized I needed to work on this area. Great lesson and we had a good laugh later when I told him about it. But, I have to say that I have attempted to appeal to his visual need and he unexpectedly complimented me one day. My paraphrase--He told me that he could tell I was trying and that it meant a lot to him. Yes, I was surprised. It works! I've learned my "trying" to meet his needs really does say "I love you!" to my husband.

      All said and done, I’m thankful my husband suggested this book to me. I gained wisdom to help me reach my goal…to be the best wife possible for him. Shaunti summed it all up when she said, “The more we understand the men in our lives, the better we can support and love them in the way they need to be loved.”

Friday, April 20, 2012

Quote from Ruth Stull

"If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad."
             ~Ruth Stull, taken from Passion and Purity

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Teaching vs. Training

“Teaching gives knowledge. Training gives skill. Teaching fills the mind. Training shapes the habits. Teaching brings to the child that which he did not have before. Training enables a child to make use of that which is already his possession. We teach a child the meaning of words. We train a child in speaking and walking. We teach him the truths which we have learned for ourselves. We train him in habits of study, that he may be able to learn other truths for himself. Training and teaching must go on together in the wise upbringing of any and every child.”

~Lou Priolo, Teach Them Diligently

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quote from C.S. Lewis

"There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way."
       ~C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Review: The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas

*Don't skip this review if you do not homeschool! It is a very valuable book filled with ideas for ALL moms! It is an excellent resource book any mom can glean from!

      I have been a homeschool mommy for five years now. My desire has been for my kids to excel in their education, and enjoy it, as well. Since I've had my share of ups and downs with being motivated to homeschool, I searched for books that would inspire me and give me plenty of fun ideas. During my search for help on Amazon, I came across The Ultimate Book of Homeschooling Ideas by Linda Dobson. I immediately bought it and have NOT regretted it!

Best For: Any mom wanting inspiration in making learning fun, moms and homeschooling moms that want to supplement their kid's education with some extra activities, moms that want some suggestions on things their kids can do anytime, during the summer/school breaks, and women that would like some ideas to incorporate in teaching Sunday School

The book is geared for children ages (3-12). The specific activities are not labeled according to age, that is left up to the parent's discretion. In addition, all the activities listed were submitted by moms across the country. The chapters are broken up by subject. At the end of each chapter there is a brief section called "Conversation Starters." Inserted throughout the book are special resources (many with Internet links) on different topics "The Social Studies-Literary Connection", "Helpful Language Arts Resources", and "Cooking Up Some Science Books."

Examples & Application:

#1 Memory Skills-How Do I Get There?

I did this activity with my kids. We needed to drive somewhere and I asked them to tell me how to get there. They loved it. Like the book says it helps "work on both directions and memory skills."  I agree with the mom who created this game, "he remembers the difference between left and right easily, and he's very aware of the layout of our town."

#2Communication-Dictionary Game

Our whole family had a fun time doing this activity. We were finishing up Sunday lunch with some friends and we pulled out the dictionary. We played the game without the time limit. One person read a word of their choice out loud and everyone went around the table guessing what the word meant. The one closest to the word's definition won and got to pick the next word. We laughed a lot and learned some words, as well.

#3 Reading Skills-Rhyming Word Memory Game

I made these cards for my second son, who is in first grade, to practice his rhyming words. I have not played memory with them, but rather laid them all out for him to see and match them up. He loves these cards. He got so excited when I pulled them out the other day. He said, "I love these!"

My Thoughts:
Linda Dobson's book is an excellent resource for moms! The main thing I love about this book is that each activity is described so simple that it makes me believe I could implement any of them easily. As you can see, my book is covered in tabs and highlights of things I have done and am planning on doing. Personally, the book has helped me to mix up the routine of having my kids do their workbooks, inspired me to teach my children, and encouraged me that I don't have to come up with all these fun ideas on my own!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Remembering Our Home

"What I Want My Child To Remember About Home

  • That their father and mother loved each other.
  • That our home was a happy one because we all worked to keep it so.
  • That each child was given every possible opportunity to develop his own personality.
  • That the books in the house were to be read if handled rightly, and there were no shelves under lock and key because of questionable contents.
  • That absolute truth abided there; no earnest questioner, however young, was put off with subterfuge or evasion.
  • That we believed in hospitality, in spite of any extra labor involved, and that our friends loved to come to visit us.
  • That Sunday was the happiest day of the week, and that we all looked forward to its coming because it was the day when we went to church together and then came home for an afternoon with Father in the midst.
  • That though Father and Mother worked hard and long at their respective jobs, they found time every day to keep informed on current events, to read good books, to think through to logical conclusions, and to pray."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quote from John Wesley

"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."

~John Wesley

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quote from Jane Rubietta

"Worriers are not deeper or more spiritual than happy people."

~Jane Rubietta

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book Review : A Hunger for God

A Hunger for God
 (Desiring God through Fasting and Prayer) By John Piper

Awhile back, the ladies in my church wanted to start a book club so we could read books that would encourage our spiritual growth. We would then talk about them together. The big question was, “What book should we read first?” Well, the book, A Hunger for God by John Piper, was suggested and I was not looking forward to reading about fasting and prayer. Honestly, I really love food! I confess if I don’t eat it changes my mood, and I get really grumpy.
              I don’t like dying to myself. But, I have to say this has become one of my favorite books. I learned so much about fasting and having an appetite for God that I would highly recommend this book to every Christian believer. 

     John Piper shares different aspects of prayer and fasting throughout the book. He talks about the example of Jesus, and  how prayer and fasting have changed the course of history. In addition, he shares that we fast "to express the hunger of our hearts for the coming of our King." The conclusion on why God rewards fasting is very encouraging, and I love the appendix with amazing quotes from various people on fasting.

*Fasting is not about starving your body of food. It’s about starving our flesh of sin.
*Fasting is not something we do to earn points with God or demonstrate good works. It is about yearning and longing to be close to the One who saved, rescued, delivered, healed and loves us.
*Fasting is not about what gifts we can get from God. It is about getting more of the heart, character, and mind of God.
*Fasting is not about withholding yourself only from food. It is about stopping something for a time that you personally have to do or have all the time (ie. sweets, going on the computer, watch TV or movies, play games, read books, coffee, music, etc).

Few Quotes:
“The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable.”

John Piper quotes Richard Foster in the book, “Anger, bitterness, jealousy, strife, fear-if they are within us, they will surface during fasting. At first, we will rationalize that our anger is due to our hunger. And then, we know that we are angry because a spirit of anger is within us. We can rejoice in this knowledge because we know that healing is available through the power of Christ.”

“…we owe our salvation, in some measure (not to overstate it), to the fasting of Jesus. This is a remarkable tribute to fasting…Think on it. Jesus began his ministry with fasting. And he triumphed over his enemy through fasting. And our salvation was accomplished through perseverance by fasting.”

“…God rewards fasting because fasting expresses the cry of the heart that nothing on the earth can satisfy our souls besides God. God must reward this cry because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

Application:  I set aside a day of prayer and fasting while reading this book (I wanted to apply what I was reading). The following is what I wrote in my journal during this time. It was the most profound time of fasting I have experienced.
These were my goals:
  • I want to do this because I long for more of God; I need fresh anointing, power and revelation.
  • I know there is anger in my heart that needs to be cast out (removed).
  • I need to hope in God, fix my eyes on Jesus and trust wholly in Him.
I went about my day seeking what I could learn about myself and my heart condition. Here is what I learned and wrote down:
  •  Hard for me to be at peace when there are problems or issues around me-I want everything under control
  • When I see a problem I want to deal with it immediately-hard for me to wait, to work through it, or to let God work it out 
  •  Knowing or seeing a mess literally in my house or spiritually-I have to let go and enjoy life anyways
  • I’ve been ungrateful (self-indulgence and self-discipline issues)
  • I have a hard time letting people grow where they are at
  •  I expect a lot out of people
  • I think I know best about a lot of situations

My thoughts:   According to John Piper, how you react to life when you are fasting signifies what is going on in your heart. It isn’t easy to see. It gets covered up with distractions and deception. The times I go into a fast are so much different now. Fasting is a good thing. It is a necessity for me to take those times periodically and see what sin I am struggling with, what sin I need to starve, and what I can learn about Jesus. I am so grateful for John Piper’s book on hungering for more of God. I ask myself, “If I am not hungering after God, what am I hungering for?”

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quote from Mark Cahill

"To be a missionary you don't have to cross the sea, you just have to see the cross."
~Mark Cahill

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Discovering What God Wants

"A young woman came in great perplexity to a Scottish preacher, asking how she could resolve the question of her own desires when they seemed to be in such contradiction to the will of God. He took out a slip of paper, wrote two words on it, handed it to her with the request that she sit down for ten minutes, ponder the words, cross out one of them, and bring the slip back to him. She sat down and read: No Lord. Which to cross out? It did not take her long to see that if she was saying No she could not say Lord, and if she wanted to call Him Lord, she could not say No."
~taken from Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quote from Corrie Ten Boom

"Faith is like radar that sees through the fog--the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see."
~Corrie Ten Boom

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

God's Promise Poem

God's Promise

"God never promised a life without pain,
Laughter without tears or sun without rain.
But He did promise strength for the day,
Comfort for the tears and the light for the way,
And for all who believe In His Heaven above
He rewards their faith In His everlasting love."

~Author Unknown

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review: Guest Interview

Guest Post/Interview with Tesha ( Tesha's Treasures)
On January 24, 2012, Tesha delivered a stillborn 19 week baby boy, Jonathan Anthony. God has been faithful to help and strengthen her in this time of grief. I asked Tesha if there was a book that is a reference point during this time of grieving and she said, “Hope for a Hopeless Day – Encouragement and Inspiration for When You Need It Most by Jack Hayford.”
Here are her thoughts on the book and answers to my questions.

Jack Hayford relates Jesus’ darkest day to our own dark days in life-whether it be the death of a loved one, illness, or job loss.  Hayford uses the words of Jesus while He is on the Cross of Calvary to demonstrate how we can respond to our own darkest hour(s) in life. Our goal as Christians is to be like Jesus.
 For example, Jesus says these words on the cross and Jack Hayford transforms them into practical advice for us today…
·         "Father, forgive them for they know now what they do."… "We need to forgive those who let us down in our trial."
·         "Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise."…"We need to help others that are in the same situation as us."
·         "Woman behold your son....behold your mother."… "We need to take care of those close to us."
·         "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?"…"Aim your hard questions at God not Man."
·         "I thirst."… "Acknowledge your need for help."
·         "It is finished."… "Be assured there is a purpose and an end."
·         "Into your hands I commit my spirit."… "Give your hopeless day to God."

Questions I asked Tesha:
1.What book has had the most impact on you since you delivered Jonathan stillborn?
I would say Hope for a Hopeless Day. It was the first book I read. I read it the day I delivered him.

2. Who do you think would benefit from reading this book?
Anyone, it is not a baby loss book, but good for any struggle in life. We can all learn from the life of Jesus.

3. Are there a few quotes from the book that stood out to you?
"Aim your hard questions at God not man." He points out how Jesus cried out to God at Calvary and said, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” I tend to want people to fix my heart, but only God has the power to do so.

4. What do you think is the author's inspiration for writing this?
Jack Hayford was inspired to write this after his son-in-law died of a brain aneurysm.

5. How did this book help shape your definition of grief?
When I read the book it was at the beginning of my grieving; it helped me through the shock and anger I felt. Hayford’s book reaffirmed that God was walking with me and I was not alone. Jesus is no stranger to suffering. He is my example. I have returned to this book many times to encourage myself. It continues to speak to me and shape me. 

6. How did this book make you feel while reading it?
It gave me hope that Jesus had a hopeless day, also. He made it through it and I will too. I must draw close to God and not run from Him.

7. What wisdom did you glean or can be gleaned from reading this book?
That Jesus is perfect and He set a perfect example for us in how we should live out our darkest days. We can look to his day on Calvary to witness the testimony of how to deal with unspeakable pain.

8. What is something(s) you learned about God or heaven from reading this book?
Jesus taught me on Calvary how I should respond to terrible circumstances. I know Jesus has compassion on my suffering because He has walked through suffering.

 Last thoughts you want to share…

I love this book. Jack Hayford did a wonderful job breaking down the chapters with the words of Jesus and making them life applicable. The book has shown me how to handle tragedy like Jesus did. He was perfect and sinless, and on Calvary he set an example of how to make it through the worst possible day. I have returned to this book many times in my grieving process to remind myself what Jesus did and how I can respond like Him. This book has changed the way I see the final hours of the life of Jesus. Now, when I read the account of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary, I see it as an example for me to follow. 

Thank you, Tesha for sharing your heart and thoughts.
I will continue praying for you!

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