Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sunday Hymn

To God Be the Glory

To God be the glory--great things He hath done!
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
And opened the Lifegate that all mya go in.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
Let the earth His voice!
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice!
O Come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory--great things He hath done!

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood!
To ev'ry believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
Let the earth His voice!
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice!
O Come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory--great things He hath done!

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer and higher and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.

Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
Let the earth His voice!
Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice!
O Come to the Father through Jesus the Son
And give Him the glory--great things He hath done!
(Fanny Crosby)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

John 15:1-11

The last two weeks in our worship service we have been studying John 15 and what it means to abide in the Lord. I had a great example of that today as I worked in my yard.

Our neighbor has a chain link fence that is covered in vines, some in our yard and some in theirs. Some of the vines are green and full while others are, well, sad; thin, not much foliage, tired. While I was raking leaves away from the fence, I decided to cut the some of the sad-looking ones and trim up everything. I thought it would be an easy job; I just had to cut the vine and pull it off the fence. It was easy to cut it but when I went to pull it, I could see that is was attached by many tendrils that wound around the wire in the fence. They were so tightly wrapped that I could not just pull them off; I had to cut each tendril in order to remove the vine. I thought, "That's how I need to be abiding in Christ: so tightly bound to Him that nothing can pull me away."

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

It's Catalog Time!

It's that time of year when homeschool catalogs start appearing in my mailbox. This week I received two of my favorites.

The first is
Timberdoodle Company. I have been getting this catalog for many, many years and it's my favorite homeschool company. They do not carry a large selection but what they do carry is very good. Some of the products are common to most homeschoolers such as Miquon Math, Building Thinking Skills and Easy Grammar. The unique feature of this catalog is that they carry items that I've never seen before such as books, games and software. Each item comes with a detailed review and these are items that the catalog owners have used with their own children. I already have my wish list written!

If you visit their
website, you'll find lots of homeschooling articles that were included in the catalog years ago. Be sure to check it out and read the wisdom that is there.

The second catalog (well, actually a very large brochure) is from
Greathall Productions. This is the company of Jim Weiss' storytelling audio recordings. I cannot say enough good things about these tapes and CD's. We have been purchasing them for years and have almost every one in the collection. Jim Weiss is an awesome storyteller. His voice is like butter! My children and I had the privilege of hearing him at a local library a few years and he was wonderful. He could read the phone book and I would enjoy it!

The tapes range from good night CDs with soft, soothing stories to put little ones to sleep to Shakespeare stories and everything in between. The recordings are broken down by age and also by time period.

Here's some of his offerings: Tales from the Old Testament, Tales from Cultures Near and Far, Greek Myths, Galileo and the Stargazers, The Queen's Pirate, Thomas Jefferson's America, Sherlock Holmes for Children and many, many more. He has recorded 6 volumes of G. A Henty stories and also Rascal by Sterling North.

Please take a moment to go to
his website and listen to some samples of his work. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Good News!

My son, JM, is a junior at our local public school. His school offers dual enrollment classes at the local community college free of charge. All tuition and book costs are free!!! Last week he took the entrance exam and today we found out that he did very well and will be taking classes there next year!

What a wonderful blessing this is for our family. I am so thankful to the Lord for providing us with this opportunity. We knew JM wanted to attend college but we don't have the money for him to go but God is leading us a step at a time. He truly is Jehovah-jireh!!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Good News!!

Remember the bowling tournament that JK was in at the beginning of this month? I just got a call from one of her coaches and she made it to the state finals!!! She came in 2nd place (out of 42) for her age group. Only the top two advance so she is in!

The tournament is held at the alley in which we normally bowl so we won't have to travel. It will be held May 13.

Needless to say, there's a lot of excitement at our house this afternoon!

Sunday Hymn

Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul! the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul! thy best, they heavenly Friend
Thro' thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul! thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul! the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul! the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul! when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

(Katharina von Schlegel)

Friday, April 21, 2006

Crockpot Chicken

For dinner Wednesday night I had crockpot chicken, veggies with alfredo sauce, salad, rolls and Italian ice for dessert. Here's the recipe for the chicken. It is so easy to make and delicious!! I don't have an amount for the chicken because I just judge it by eye so you'll have adjust it to your family size.

Crockpot Chicken

Boneless Chicken Breasts (about 1 package)
1 bottle Thousand Island dressing
1 packet onion soup mix
1 jar (18 oz.) apricot preserves

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Add chicken breasts. (Can be frozen or thawed). In bowl, mix remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours.

Once done, shred chicken while still in sauce. I use a pastry cutter to do this and it works well. I like to add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce but it's not necessary. To serve, pour over hot rice. Enjoy!!

Here at Home This Week

Overall it was a quiet week--at least during the day. The weather was nice and today we had rain! I love rain in the spring because it washes away all the pollen. Every morning I wake up to a yellow-green coating on my car and everywhere. Pollen is in abundance in Central Virginia! When it rains hard, the water rushing down to the gutters is green. I never saw that until we moved here.

Monday night I went to the homeschool support group meeting. The leader announced that she is stepping down and if no one takes her place, the group will fold. The new homeschoolers were understandably worried but she assured them that as they spend more time homeschooling, they will gain confidence. I agree. The only reason I joined the group was for field trips but we've only gone on two this year anyway. She also announced that our field trip to Washington, DC has been cancelled due to lack of response. Boo hoo! I was looking forward to going but I might try to put my own group together.

Tuesday night was stamping and I made about a dozen cards. Our hostess had two "make and take" samples and I made a bunch of each. It feels good to come away with lots of cards because I don't get a chance to do a lot here. Actually, I did make about 5 cards last week for some upcoming birthdays. We had a great night of fellowship! My friend, who is home from Costa Rica and leaving for Honduras in June, was there so she got to talk with some of the ladies from church. She said she had a nice relaxing night and enjoyed the fellowship.

Wednesday JK had an orthodontist appointment and her rubber bands were removed. That was our only day out this week but we still had "school lite" this week since I had a lot of work to do around here.

Wednesday night Heidi and Mark, our missionary friends, came for dinner and we got to catch up on all that is happening with them and to just enjoy each others' company.

Thursday night Titus 2 was cancelled and I was glad. I still had to go out to take JK to karate but it wasn't as rushed as it could have been. I stayed to watch her fight and she did a good job. I was supposed that they really fought. I mean they were hitting hard! Now I know that she'll be able to protect herself if she gets in a sticky situation.

Tonight was our game night but my dh had to work late so JK and I watched some TV and played our games when he got home.

As you can see there was not too much excitement going on around here but that's okay. JK learned some new chores this week and also made snacks for our stamping night--so I would say that was a good week.

I did manage to walk 2 miles this week and I did good on my points for Weight Watchers. The true test will be tomorrow at weigh-in!

How was your week?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Passionately Pursuing Christ

A challenge for today. Am I doing this? Are you?
To be a disciple of Jesus means to pursue Him like the pursuit of a lover and the passion of a romance. Christ is worth your every thought and breath. In Him you will find your reason for living. Remember that He gives you His Spirit but wants you to give Him your body, mind, and soul.
(Jim Burns)
My prayer today is that I will passionately pursue the Lord with my whole heart no matter what circumstances I am in.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Christ Arose

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior!
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior!
Vainly the seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus my Savior!
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.

Happy Resurrection Day!!

Friday, April 14, 2006


In the book I'm reading by Linda Dillow entitled "Calm My Anxious Heart" she write about choices we can make in our lives to give us more contentment and peace. I still have a few chapters to read but here's what I've learned so far.

Choose to:
  • accept my portion and my cup (Ps. 16:5)
  • pray rather than be anxious
  • give my anxieties to God
  • pray specifically
  • be thankful
  • dwell on the positive
  • forgive and go beyond forgiveness
  • be faithful to God
  • say words of blessing and love
  • acknowledge that anxiety is sin and confess it as such
  • yield to God's sovereignty
  • trust God with all my tomorrows and live for today
  • trust God with the "what ifs"

I wrote all these down on an index card and have been meditating on them (putting them into my heart) along with some verses that go along. It has been such a blessing and encouragement to "think on these things".

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

When Ball Becomes Baal

When Ball Becomes Baal
By Jim Elliff

It's rare to see kids playing sports in the neighborhood anymore. We're now organized and "professionalized"—including uniforms, state-of-the-art facilities, endless trips to the field, competitive coaches, equally competitive parents, and the after-season tournaments designed to give parents "bleacher bottom." In addition, you've got to pay to play—and when you've paid that much, you'll be sure to play.

It is also fun, and it can be instructive. I love to watch my kids play sports. In fact, they need to play—some. But, it's not so easy as handing over seventy bucks and saying, "Sign up Johnny and Susie this year." Making that decision means that you may be out four to five times each week during the season. Soon sports becomes all about calendarization and control of your life—especially if you have more than one kid. Perhaps nothing outside of a change in your job has so much potential to turn the family schedule upside down.

"This man understands," you say.

Now comes the part you won't like: "Behold, I say unto you, you have made sports the household god." Too strong? OK, not all of you. But the deification of sports is happening to many.

How does ball become Baal? Answer: When it controls you, and you give it devoted worship. It is around your god that you order your life—and you can almost never say "no" to it.

Like "athlete's foot" on the hygienically-challenged teenager, sports has taken over more and more of the life of believers. Almost overnight we have awakened to the sad fact that, in many communities, sports has even usurped the hours believers meet on the Lord's Day. All too often members are saying to church leaders, "We'll be gone next Sunday because of the soccer tournament." In turn, leaders are supposed to acquiesce humbly. After all, we can't afford to appear "legalistic;" everyone knows that the greatest crime a church can commit is to demand something of someone.

You'll hear, "But the team needs all the players. We can't let the team down." It never occurs to them that the church Body is being deprived of a necessary body part, or that God is marginalized and disobeyed. We are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, states God in Hebrews 10:25.

Devotion is the operative word. When the team says, "We need you," we sacrifice to do it. But when it crosses the time allotted to spiritual edification and worship, the Ruler of the universe is often sent to the bench. In the process, we teach our children that devotion to sports is more important than both devotion to God and loyalty to our spiritual family. Have you considered that you may be teaching your kids to worship sports?

Here are some ways to put sports in the proper place:

First, decide beforehand that there will be no contest between the church's essential activities designed for your family's spiritual growth and what the team plans for your lives. If you will talk this over ahead of time with your child and then the coach, there will be no confusion. Through the years I've found that many coaches respect that decision. But, it must be a prior decision, not one made on a case by case basis. When sports conflicts with Sunday worship or youth camp or a special spiritual activity, the decision has already been made.

Secondly, determine that your children cannot play every sport. There is a sanctity to the home life that must be protected. You need quiet evenings at home. You need meals together. Just let your children know that you are excited about sports, but there are limits. You then determine what those limits are. For us, we attempt to have only one sport per year for each child.
Finally, think about some creative choices. One of my sons played basketball, but the season was interminably long. I was also traveling. So, I would be gone speaking over the weekend, then, when I was home, I was out two or more nights sitting on the sidelines watching my son practice. It was not really "time together." This wasn't going to work.

The solution came to me after prayer. I asked him if he would be willing to learn golf in the place of basketball. We could play together, along with his brother, and we could do it whenever we wanted. We could enjoy this for the rest of our lives. I've paid some extra money, but I've bought back some time with my sons and some good exercise for me also. It's a bargain.

God Himself uses sports language in the New Testament. He's not against it, unless it steals the devotion belonging to Him. All other gods have to go!

Copyright © 2004 Jim ElliffPermission granted for not-for-sale reproduction in exact form including copyright. Other uses require written permission. Write for additional materials.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Hallelujah, What a Savior!

"Man of Sorrows!" what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood--
Sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Guilty, vile and helpless we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,
"It is finished!" was His cry;
Now in heav'n exalted high:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rainy and Busy Saturday

Rain and cool temperatures are now here. This morning it was warm enough to wear capris and sandals. By the time I got home at 4:00, it was rainy and cold!!

The morning started off with Weight Watchers and it was revealed that I gained 2 pounds so I am back where I was two weeks ago. I thought I did pretty good with my points but I guess not good enough. I also only walked once this week.

After W.W. it was time to take JK bowling and she had a bad day. Actually everyone on her team did also. They were in 4th place going into today but they only one won game so I'm sure they'll be down next week. She was very disappointed.

When bowling was finished, we went to clean the church and eat lunch with my dh. I was very good and had a salad with fat-free dressing (which was horrible!) and a water. After that, we went to Sam's Club and then home. We had an hour to rest before we went over a friend's house for dinner. We had a wonderful time of fellowship with several other families and friends from church.

As far as Weight Watchers, I wrote down some goals for this week to help me stay on track:
~no skipping breakfast (something I do too often)
~drink more water
~have good snacks on hand
~walk every other day

Lord willing and with His strength, I will be able to accomplish those goals this week.

How was your Saturday?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Sunday Hymn

A Charge to Keep I Have

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill;
O may it all my pow'rs engage
To do my Master's will!

Arm me with watchful care
As in Thy sight to live,
And now Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!

Help me to watch and pray,
And still on Thee rely,
O let me not my trust betray,
But press to realms on high.

(Charles Wesley)


JK was in a city bowling tournament today and she scored an 81, 92 and 176. Way to go!!!!!