Monday, February 28, 2011
Rosalind is extremely transparent in relating personal details of her own struggle with an impatient spirit and a sharp temper. She even shares the story of when she overheard, quite by accident, two Chinese women talking about her. She heard them criticize her for those very things, and then add,"'If only she would live more as she preaches.'" That insight into how the people she came to serve thought of her at first angered and hurt her, but as she realized it was all too true, she was able to seek God's help in overcoming these un-Christlike traits.
Five of their eleven children died before reaching adulthood, and yet there is no evidence that Rosalind ever became bitter against God for allowing this. Instead she seemed to simply believe that God was still in control and able to work even these tragedies for her good. What a testimony! Rosalind surely must have learned what it is to trust God completely.
This book changed my life in so many ways, but primarily in how I look at the ministry I am in. It seems like all to often I have an attitude of, I'll serve God, as long as the cost is not too great. Rosalind learned to count the cost and still be willing to surrender to whatever the Lord wanted her to do. I highly recommend this book to any Christian lady, but especially those in ministry. It is a short book and very easy reading - you won't want to put it down!
- Author Unknown
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Place I would love to visit - or live there :)
Something I don't EVER want to do
Favorite family vacation when I was a kid
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Here's what you do. Start with one package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Trim the fat off, and cut into pieces. Drizzle olive oil in a frying pan and place chicken pieces in the hot oil.
Angry, he rose his voice to his father and said, "With all your money, you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things. When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still gift-wrapped Bible, just as he had left it years ago.
With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. His father had carefully underlined a verse, Matt.7:11, "And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father which is in Heaven, give to those who ask Him?" As he read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words "PAID IN FULL".
How many times do we miss God's blessings because we can't see past our own desires?
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
* The wife's primary need is for the husband to love her as his own body - to feel loved and cherished by her husband (v. 29, 33).
* The husband's primary need is for the wife to respect him as her head (v. 22, 33).
2. Understand that your spouse communicates love and respect differently than you do. (I Peter 3:7; Titus 2:4).
3. Understand your reactions to your unfulfilled need begins the Conflict Cycle.
Friday, February 18, 2011
To ask the blessings of Your grace,
As John Harper's life unfolded, one thing was apparent...he was consumed by the word of God. When asked by various ministers what his doctrine consisted of, he was known to reply "The Word of God!" After five or six years of toiling on street corners preaching the gospel and working in the mill during the day, Harper was taken in by Rev. E. A. Carter of Baptist Pioneer Mission in London, England. This set Harper free to devote his whole time of energy to the work so dear to his heart. Soon, John Harper started his own church in September of 1896. (Now known as the Harper Memorial Church.) This church which John Harper had started with just 25 members, had grown to over 500 members when he left 13 years later. During this time he had gotten married, but was shortly thereafter widowed. However brief the marriage, God did bless John Harper with a beautiful little girl named Nana.
Ironically, John Harper almost drowned several times during his life. When he was two and a half years of age, he almost drowned when he fell into a well but was resuscitated by his mother. At the age of twenty-six, he was swept out to sea by a reverse current and barely survived, and at thirty-two he faced death on a leaking ship in the Mediterranean. Perhaps, God used these experiences to prepare this servant for what he faced next...
It was the night of April 14, 1912. The RMS Titanic sailed swiftly on the bitterly cold ocean waters heading unknowingly into the pages of history. On board this luxurious ocean liner were many rich and famous people. At the time of the ship's launch, it was the world's largest man-made moveable object. At 11:40 p.m. on that fateful night, an iceberg scraped the ship's starboard side, showering the decks with ice and ripping open six watertight compartments. The sea poured in.
On board the ship that night was John Harper and his much-beloved six-year-old daughter Nana. According to documented reports, as soon as it was apparent that the ship was going to sink, John Harper immediately took his daughter to a lifeboat. It is reasonable to assume that this widowed preacher could have easily gotten on board this boat to safety; however, it never seems to have crossed his mind. He bent down and kissed his precious little girl; looking into her eyes he told her that she would see him again someday. The flares going off in the dark sky above reflected the tears on his face as he turned and headed towards the crowd of desperate humanity on the sinking ocean liner.
As the rear of the huge ship began to lurch upwards, it was reported that Harper was seen making his way up the deck yelling, "Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!" It was only minutes later that the Titanic began to rumble deep within. Most people thought it was an explosion; actually the gargantuan ship was literally breaking in half. At this point, many people jumped off the decks and into the icy, dark waters below. John Harper was one of these people.
That night 1528 people went into the frigid waters. John Harper was seen swimming frantically to people in the water leading them to Jesus before the hypothermia became fatal. Mr. Harper swam up to one young man who had climbed up on a piece of debris. Rev. Harper asked him between breaths, "Are you saved?" The young man replied that he was not.
Harper then tried to lead him to Christ only to have the young man who was near shock, reply no. John Harper then took off his life jacket and threw it to the man and said, "Here then, you need this more than I do..." and swam away to other people. A few minutes later Harper swam back to the young man and succeeded in leading him to salvation. Of the 1528 people that went into the water that night, six were rescued by the lifeboats. One of them was this young man on the debris.
Four years later, at a survivors meeting, this young man stood up and in tears recounted how that after John Harper had led him to Christ. Mr. Harper had tried to swim back to help other people,yet because of the intense cold, had grown too weak to swim. His last words before going under in the frigid waters were, "Believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus and you will be saved." Does Hollywood remember this man? No. Oh well, no matter. This servant of God did what he had to do. While other people were trying to buy their way onto the lifeboats and selfishly trying to save their own lives, John Harper gave up his life so that others could be saved. John Harper was truly the hero of the Titanic!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Over the years, the reason changed to other things. We moved several times, and sometimes we just didn't have the money to attend a Christian school. And public school was never an option, because of my parents' convictions. Sometimes, there simply wasn't a good Christian school in the area that we could attend, even if we could have afforded it. But my mom, when she first started homeschooling us, decided to homeschool us in such a way that if we ever DID go back to a Christian school, we would be able to fit right in.
For that reason, she set up a large room in our basement. She had a teacher's desk, and each of us kids had a school desk of our own. My dad hung up a chalkboard and a whiteboard on the walls for my mom to teach from. The American flag and the Christian flag were hung up, and we said the pledges every morning. We had maps, charts, and a globe. My siblings and I had school clothes that we wore during school hours. My mother firmly believed that coming to school in pajamas was ridiculous, just like you wouldn't wear pajamas to a regular school. We had friends that told us that they got up early in the morning, sat in bed with their pajamas on, and did school work by themselves for an hour and a half.......and they called that a school day. We were not so lucky. :) My mom insisted on school starting around the same time a normal school would. We also ended the school day around 3:00 or 3:30, just like a normal school would. We got a lunch break, and also a recess time, when we were in the elementary years.
We had to raise our hands to ask questions, even if it was just to go to the bathroom or get a drink. These were all things that I had been used to when I was in a Christian school, so although it seemed a little silly at the time - since we were at home in our basement - I really think it was important that it seemed as much like school as possible. And it did! My mom taught us all of our classes in our elementary and middle school years. We didn't self-teach, we had actual classes where she taught the material. She listened to our reading in the evenings, and we had to do pretty much all of the homework that the curriculum called for.
We used the Abeka curriculm, based out of Pensacola Christian College and Academy. The Christian school I had previously gone to had also used Abeka, so I was used to it. My mom loved the layout of the curriculum. It had lots of teacher aids and was so user-friendly. But I think the biggest advantage of the Abeka curriculum is the fact that they incorporate Biblical principals right along with education. Every subject was from a Biblical perspective. And Abeka is tough! It demands hard work, dilligence, and self-control. We worked! And my mom worked even harder to know the material and be able to teach us.
Once we got into the highschool grades, my mom felt like she was not able to teach us herself. At that point, my parents purchased the Abeka video program for us to watch. The videos are recorded during actual classes at Pensacola Christian Academy. I loved the video classes, especially the two years of Spanish I took. By the time I was in highschool, we were living in Maryland. Maryland, at least at the time, required homeschoolers to be under an "umbrella" school. So, we did just that. The umbrella school we were under offered highschool classes on Thursdays which were taught be certified teachers. My mom drove us to Thursday classes, and worked on schoolwork in the car with my younger siblings while I was in classes all day. This umbrella school allowed me to take classes I otherwise would not have been able to take. These classes included drama, choir, debate, and science lab. I was able to be in a major dramatic production, The Fiddler on the Roof. We put on three performances of it at a local community college. In science lab, I dissected all kinds of animals, including a baby pig. I'm so glad I got to participate in these extra credit classes, since these were the types of classes homeschoolers often miss out on.
My mom also made sure we had P.E. class. She figured out how much activity we should be doing in order to be considered a class, and for us, that meant jogging each morning for a mile and a half. I had to roll out of bed very early in order to go out jogging and still get ready for school on time, including doing a few basic chores and Bible reading. This was the class that I disliked the most. I am not a jogger. Period. I am definitely not into jogging at 6:30 in the morning on a cold, icy Maryland morning. And to add insult to injury, I had to jog with my very athletic brother, who made sure to point out all the things I was doing wrong. Who knew there was so many incorrect ways to jog? I can laugh about it now, and my brother and I still tease each other about how much we didn't like jogging with each other. But, even though my mom made us jog every morning, I am so thankful she did. Because it really was great exercise, and I learned to push myself more than I thought I could. Well, maybe it was just my brother pushing me. I don't know exactly. :)
I can't tell you the number of times someone looked at us weird when we told them we were homeschooled. It didn't seem to be too popular, and to be honest, we kids often felt embarrassed around our peers because we were homeschooled. I don't feel that way now, as I look back, because of how much like a real school my mom ran things. Alot of people thought homeschoolers weren't getting a good education if they were doing school at home. Some people even thought of homeschoolers as very awkward and socially handicapped. Well, my parents made sure that we had plenty of social interaction with other kids. We attended church activities and spent most of our childhood outside playing with neighbor kids. When I went to college at age 17, I had no problems making friends and adjusting to being on my own for the first time in my life. I'm not saying I was super popular and a big-wig on campus. But I just mean that I felt very prepared for college. I didn't sit in my room and cry because I was homesick. I got out, I met people, I participated in fun activities at college. And because my mom had made sure to run our "home school" like a regular school, I knew exactly how to behave in class. The education I received in elementary and highschool very much prepared me for college, because Abeka is very thorough and in-depth. I highly recommend the Abeka curriculum to anyone looking to homeschool. In my opinion, it is the best out there. But that is just my opinion. :)
I know that it was so much work for my parents to homeschool us, especially my mom. Her days, evenings, and weekends were spent working on school work, either helping us or planning for the next week. She never once complained about having to spend so much time doing those things. I'm so thankful for the sacrifice my parents made to give me a good education.
You may be wondering why I'm doing a post on homeschooling, when my husband and I are invovled in a Christian school ministry. Well, there are still alot of people out there homeschooling, and I feel very passionate about sharing the experience I had growing up. I know there are alot of homeschooling families out there who are not sure how to be successful, and I love sharing what worked for my mom. We are, however, currently serving the Lord in our church's Christian school. I am 100% sold on our Christian school, and I plan to do a post on that very soon. We are in a position to send our children to our Christian school, and we believe that is what God would have us do at this time in our life. For some people, Christian school is simply not an option right now. Maybe they cannot afford it, or there is not a good school in their area. Or perhaps there are those families who feel that the Lord has led them to homeschool. Whatever the reason, homeschooling has become quite popular, and I feel that there are definitely benefits to homeschooling as long as it is done in a correct manner.
I don't remember her even hardly sitting down during the day. When she wasn't teaching, she was cleaning or cooking. Her Sunday afternoons were spent doing hours worth of lesson plans for the upcoming week. Even with how busy she was, I don't remember her complaining. My dad worked for the railroad in Kansas when I was very young, and he was gone overnight quite often. When I was ten, my dad moved our family to Missouri to attend Bible college to train to be a pastor. My dad juggled family, classes, and work for the next 7 years (induding getting his masters), and my mom never complained, that I know of, that my dad had to be busy. I think she accepted it that this is what God had called her to do, just as He had called my dad to train for the ministry. Was it hard? Oh, I'm sure it was, and I'm sure she was exhausted most of the time.
Finances became extremely tight, and we often shopped at a food pantry for cheaper groceries. There was one time when all we had for dinner was potatoes and eggs. That was literally all we had in the house, with no money to buy anything else. It was probably one of the best-tasting meals we ever had, because my parents taught us to be thankful that we at least had that. We certainly didn't go hungry that night. Another time, there was no food in the house, and no money to even buy dinner. It was about 4:30 p.m., and my parents had no idea where dinner was going to come from. The doorbell rang, and it was the pizza man. I don't even remember what pizza place it was from, but I remember very clearly what happened. The man stood there with two pizza boxes. My dad said, "I'm sorry, but we didn't order any pizza." The man explained that the pizzas were ordered and PAID FOR by someone else, and that they were all ours. We were so excited to see God provide at just the right time! I remember my mom telling my dad that she was willing to get a job to help out when things were so tight. She didn't do this because she wanted a job, but because she wanted to help my dad. My dad always told her no, that God would provide for our needs. And He always did! We didn't dress in name-brand clothes, but we certainly had enough clothes and we never had to miss a meal.
My dad always made sure we children understood the sacrifice my mom made for us growing up. My mom gave up everything to make sure we had a comfortable homelife and an excellent education. She had almost no free time for herself. She did without for herself, time and time again to put us kids and my dad first. And like I said, she never complained. We saw her doing all of this with a cheerful, willing heart, not grudgingly. To me, she was a wonderful example of a godly wife, mother, teacher, and homemaker. There were times when people ridiculed our family for the sacrifices my parents made. Homeschooling was not extremely popular back then, and neither was being a stay-at-home mom with no outside-the-home-career. In fact, it still is unpopular, for a wife and mom to be a homemaker. Society often dictates that a woman will feel more fulfilled if she holds down a successful career in the workplace. As a result, fewer women are interested in the true work and sacrifice of being a homemaker. But being a homemaker is a God-given calling, and in that, there is great fulfillment as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
It's so easy to be thankful and praise the Lord during good times. It's not always easy to do that during difficult times. Complaining is nothing more than unbelief. It is saying to God, I do not believe You are going to work this problem for my good. It doesn't matter if it's a small thing like the weather, or a big thing like an illness or losing your job. I'm really having to learn this lesson alot lately. I don't always feel thankful when something I don't like happens, but just saying thank you to God and starting to praise Him for Who He is and what He has done for me gets rid of that complaining attitude.
photo by me - Key West, Florida
I love how the Bible says, "...David encouraged himself in the LORD his God." He didn't try to figure out the problem on his own, he didn't lean on his own feelings or wisdom, he didn't even turn to a friend for encouragement. David took his problem straight to God, and found peace in Him. And I think it is significant that he sought counsel from God first before he did anything else. He didn't make his own plans, and then expect God to approve his plans. He asked God for direction, and God gave him confirmation of what to do. Then, David simply believed God had already given him the victory over Amalek, and he went on to defeat them and recover his family and the families of his men.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
All too often, we allow ourselves to think about the wrong things. We choose to dwell on some hurt that was done to us, or we worry about our finances, our family, our health. Our mind is filled with fears and doubts which rob us of our joy in the Lord and His peace that passes all understanding. Let go of bitterness and be forgiving. Let go of a doubting spirit, and trust the Lord to work that troubling thing to your good. Make the choice today to think on things that are true and lovely and of good report.