Saturday, 29 August 2009

Movie Intermissions - technology style

Apparently they used to actually have movie intermissions. Let's be real - can you sit through 4 hours of Gone with the Wind without having to "go" yourself?! I thought not.

There are some movies out in theatres nowadays that are torturously long for those who have small bladders or, after having had several children, simply don't have the bladder control they used to have. If you are one of those unfortunate souls....

Never fear - there is now a solution!

RunPee is a new website that will tell you exactly when the best time during the movie is to make a quick dash to the bathroom. You know, so you don't have to come back and whisper to your date "What did I miss?"

Here is an example....

If you click on the movie "My Sister's Keeper" the site informs you that there are multiple (in this case 2) times to RunPee ....
RunPee approximately 1 hour and 9 minutes into the movie when .... After the scene where Mom goes crazy and they head to the beach (I recommend this PeeTime above the others).

You will have approximately 3 minutes to RunPee while....
You then have the option to unscramble the text that follows which will tell you exactly what happens in the movie during those 3 minutes so that you don't miss anything. If you'd rather not know what happens until later, you can always check it after you get back.

They even have an ipod app that lets you check your PeeTimes while at the theatre. There's a built in timer that will let you know how long it is until the next PeeTime. Coming soon, they're going to add a vibration a couple minutes before PeeTime in case you forget! And they're working on getting apps for Blackberries, etc as well.

So, check out RunPee before the next time you go to the movies!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

True Woman Tuesday - Week 10

True Woman TuesdayWelcome to Week 10 of the True Woman Makeover hosted by my cousin Tammi at Valleygirl. Check out her blog for her thoughts, as well as those of others doing this study with us. I can't believe this is the last week of this study! I've really enjoyed it, and I hope Tammi hosts another one of these again soon :) I know I'm late getting this up, but here goes...

Lesson 28 is titled Sound Thinking which can only come as a result of having sound doctrine, which will in turn result in sound living.

Sophron means sensible, self-controlled, sound mind.

She lists a whole bunch of qualities of a woman who is not sophron. Such a woman is impulsive, lacks discretion, follows worldly philosophies, is driven by her flesh, lacks follow-through, is self-centered, is discontented, has emotions controlled by circumstances, seeks escapism from problems , is easily provoked, falls apart in a crisis, easily loses hope, says whatever she thinks without thinking first, is highly opinionated, speaks roughly with profane or crass talk, is overly concerned about what other people think, has unpredictable behavior, is morally careless, procrastinates, is given to extremes, is a pleasure seeker, is easily distracted, yields easily to temptation,struggles to develop consistent life disciplines, enjoys mindless entertainment, looks for the easy way out, thinks about the short-term rather than the long-term, is demanding, fritters away time, makes decisions based on what is easiest.

I don't know about you but I know I would qualify for several of those bad qualities (thankfully not all of them!), at least some of the time.

She then lists qualities of a woman who is sophron. Such a woman is restrained in: her thoughts, her tongue, her eating, her spending, her reactions, she is calm under pressure, is purposeful in the use of her time, is a good steward, is morally chaste, has a well-ordered life, show good judgment, doesn't "lose it" under pressure, responds in faith versus fear, guards her heart and mind, evaluates what she reads or hears in light of Scripture, is mentally disciplined, resists temptation, shows delayed gratification, demonstrates others-centered living, is diligent and faithful in her responsibilities, is intentional, is modest in dress and behavior, hopes in God, gives thanks in all things, makes wise, biblical decisions, prays, demonstrates the Spirit controlling her flesh.

I was very thankful to realize that several of these good qualities also describe me, at least some of the time.

Two things are key to realize here I think.

First is the last quality she mentions - demonstrating the Spirit controlling her flesh. That is key. Giving up our control to the Spirit's control. Saying "not my will done, but Your will be done". Admitting we can't change ourselves. Admitting we need God. Giving Him control of every area of our lives.

The second is to admit that this is a process. In this life on this earth we will never demonstrate those good qualities all the time. But that doesn't mean we stop striving to live a pure life. We "press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:14

This idea transitions nicely into Lesson 29 which is The Beauty of Holiness.
Christian purity stands in stark contrast to what is characteristic or generally true of the unbelieving world....It shouldn't be difficult for people to know whether someone is really a Christian. The unbelieving world is characterized by impurity, and believers of Christ are supposed to be pure.
I want this to be true of me and my life!

The 19th century true woman was characterized by four cardinal virtues -
piety, having a heart for God; purity, having a pure heart; submissiveness to God-ordained authority, and being domestic or having a heart for home. I think it's so sad that not only are these virtues no longer common - they are scoffed at and viewed as old-fashioned, extremist and sexist - sometimes even among Christian circles. It would be so amazing if these values were restored among all Christian women!

I appreciated her definition of the difference between positional purity and practical purity.
positional purity [is] what took place in our lives at the moment that we were born again. We were regenerated. We were declared righteous and pure positionally by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ—justification.

That's our initial salvation. God sees us not as we were but now as being in Christ. We have been saved, and that positional purity is true of every believer.

practical purity... is what theologians more often call sanctification. This doesn't just happen once for all. It's a lifetime process of becoming practically pure, of living out that which God has already declared positionally to be true of us. This is the part—the practical purity—is the part that requires training. Older women train younger women to be pure.

You can't train someone to become a Christian. That happens by the grace of God, through faith. It's a work that God does in our hearts, drawing us to Himself, and He saves us, not by works that we have done, works of righteousness.

You can't make someone else a Christian. God's Spirit does that within us. He declares us to be just and righteous before Him because of Jesus Christ, but older women can disciple younger women. We can disciple one another in the process of becoming personally pure, practically pure, being sanctified.

Being pure requires continues, unrelenting vigilance. King David - a man after God's own heart, grew careless and fell into huge sin (adultery and murder!). We need to be on constant guard, we can't let evil get it's foot into the door of our lives. We can't think we're above that. We can't think we have arrived. It is constant. And yes, God's grace is big enough to cover the biggest sins - no doubt about that. But if we give in to sin, and let it begin to control us again, if we harden our hearts in order to do what we know to be wrong, it will be that much harder to come to the point of repentance again.

Our lives should not make ungodly people feel condemned. We need to show them the compassion and the mercy that God showed us, and that He shows them. But they should feel that we are uncomfortable with impurity. That we don't celebrate or glorify impurity.

I love the quote she ends off with.

So as you choose to say yes to the purity of Christ and no to all that is impure and say, “I want to walk within my house with integrity of heart and purity of hands and life,” you're not doing it to be self-righteous. You're not doing it to look good.

We're doing it to create wonder and awe in a dark world as they see the light of Christ turned on, and we're doing it out of love and devotion and passion for Christ, whose bride we are, so that we may be presented to Him without fault, without blemish, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, in fine linen bright and pure.

Lesson 30 is A Lasting Kindness. I think this is an excellent summary of the whole series - everything boils down to your heart. If you focus on having a pure heart, a heart that longs for Jesus and that longs to reflect Him to the world around us - everything will flow from that, then everything will fall into place.

Here's a good definition of the twin qualities kindness and goodness. “Kindness is the inner disposition created by the Holy Spirit that causes us to be sensitive to the needs of others, whether physical, emotional or spiritual. Goodness is kindness in action, words, and deeds.”

It’s the call to proactively look for opportunities to be a blessing to others, to show the kindness of God to others, to take initiative.
We need to proactively show kindness first to our families (how often don't they get the short end of the kindness stick!), to the family of God, to the poor and needy in body and soul, and our enemies. This is obviously only possible with the grace and strength of God. "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength" Phil 4:13

Kindness of heart will help lift the load. It won’t necessarily make all those tasks glamorous, but it will make them an act of worship, an act of real love.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

More Beautiful You

I found this song through the latest edition of Friday Faves at It's Almost Naptime - I don't think I'd heard it before, but I absolutely love it.

Click here to watch/listen to More Beautiful You on Youtube.

THIS is the message I want my girls to believe...

More Beautiful You by Jonny Diaz

Little girl fourteen, flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn't straight, her body isn't fake,
And she's always felt overweight

Well, little girl fourteen, I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care, your skin, your body, and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one, the things that you've already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you've got a man, but he's got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well, little girl twenty-one, you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there's a man whose love is true
And he'll treat you like the jewel you are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

So turn around, you're not too far
To back away, be who you are
To change your path, go another way
It's not too late, you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights, hope to forget
Can disappear, they can all be washed away
By the one who's strong, can right your wrongs,,
Can rid your fears, dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark, distorted view
And with His light, He will show you truth
And again, you'll see through the eyes of a little girl

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Belle of the Ball

Check out the gems (pun intended) I got from 2 Belles and a Bead - an online friend of mine who makes awesome jewellery (well, I guess she makes jewelry not jewellery since she's American and all ... y'all).

Love it!!

I got 2 more pendants too, but the pics aren't on her website anymore, and I'm too lazy to go get my camera.

Now this belle just needs a ball....

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

True Woman Tuesday - Week 9

True Woman TuesdayWelcome to Week 9 of the True Woman Makeover hosted by my cousin Tammi at Valleygirl. Check out her blog for her thoughts, as well as those of others doing this study with us. I can't believe we only have one more week left - I've really enjoyed this study!

I found these lessons to be a bit of a repeat of some of our earlier Proverbs 31 lessons. But still good reminders.

Lesson 25 is titled Make Your Husband a Priority. The lesson reinforced the truth that men needs respect and affirmation from their wives - they need us to say it, and they need us to show it. Our husbands needs to be our priority. We need to love our husbands.

You can’t say you have sound doctrine if you despise or disregard your husband. Loving your husband flows out of the gospel, and this kind of love also flows out of a promise, a vow, a covenant.

Powerful statement, and totally true. I'm not sure I've ever thought of it exactly that way, but it is very accurate.

We need to be intentional above loving our husbands - like we were intentional about loving them when we were dating! Show genuine interest in our husbands, investing in them, investing in things that interest them. Have fun together. This is something Nathan and I definitely do - we try to go out regularly for date nights, and we try to get away for holidays by ourselves without the kids. This isn't always an option for people (either because they can't find sitters or because of finances), but there are always ways to get alone time if it's a priority and you use some imagination!

Lesson 26 is Letting God Shape Your Husband.

Nobody is perfect. If you look, you can find faults in anybody. But people can find faults in you too. We're all sinners in need of grace - from God and from each other. And there should be no one that you're more willing to extend grace to than your husband.

Don't expect perfection, and you won't be disappointed when you don't find it.

And regardless of his sin or imperfections, we are still responsible for how we react and deal with that, and how we treat our husbands.

It’s your job to love your husband. It’s God’s job to change him.

I love that quote. We are not to be the Holy Spirit to our husbands. We are to love them and pray for them.

And no matter the imperfections, everyone also has positive qualities. We need to focus on our husband's positive qualities - and verbally praise him for them.

This is true of all our relationships, and even life in general. Focusing on the negative always makes things worse. And focusing on the positive always makes things better. We can't control what other people do, we often can't control our circumstances. But we can control our reactions, and we can control our attitudes, and we can control our perspective.

Lesson 27 is called Delighting in Your Children. This was an excellent reminder that children are truly a blessing and keeping that perspective can help us get through those tough days. Every time the Bible speaks about children it is to call them a blessing, a heritage, a reward.

Jesus said, in effect, “This is the time for kids, because the kingdom of God is made up of people who have childlike faith and humility. Value the children. Don’t send them away. Let them come to Me.”

Jesus stops what He is doing—Jesus, the Son of God, who has got to accomplish the plan of redemption in three years. He stops. He takes the children in His lap. He blesses them.

Is Jesus can take the time for children, we certainly can and should!

We need to delight in our children and tell them so! Over and over - you can never say "I love you" too much. Never.

Make them a priority, second only to our husbands who are second only to God.

We need to keep our perspective and we need to keep our priorities in focus.

Don't forget to head over to Valleygirl and see what the others had to say about this past week's lessons.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

True Woman Tuesday - Week 8

True Woman TuesdayWelcome to Week 8 of the True Woman Makeover hosted by my cousin Tammi at Valleygirl. Check out her blog for her thoughts, as well as those of others doing this study with us.

Let me tell you - these were all powerful lessons!

Lesson 22 is titled How to Control Your Tongue and is based on Titus 2:3 and focused on "not to be malicious gossips" (NASB)or "slanderers" (NIV, NKJ). Nancy points out that he is likely referring to all sins of the tongue including gossip, idle words, lying, talebearing (whispering behind someone's back), backbiting, boasting, cursing and evil speaking. Wow. Hands up if you've never done any of those things. She adds that these are sins we've seen as respectable - you know, not like those adulterers, thieves, and murderers. But Jesus lumps them all in together with sins of the tongue.
Matthew 15:18-19 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (NIV)
Nancy says:
It makes me ask: Are we as concerned and shocked and grieved over our sins of the tongue as we are over the evil behavior of others? Jesus put them all together, but He said slander, evil speaking, reveal what is in our hearts.
I don't think we are as concerned or shocked or grieved. Often we slander someone because of pride, envy or jealousy. It reveals a lack of self-control, a lack of love, a critical & judgemental and contentious spirit. When put that way it doesn't sound very harmless or respectable after all, does it?

So, how do we do it? How do we not sin with our tongues. Nancy gives us 7 suggestions.
1) Humble ourselves and admit our sins of the tongue, admit the sin of the heart that caused it and confess to God the root issues or motive behind the sin. Then humble ourselves to the person we spoke to and the person we spoke about, if necessary. Wow - if we did that every time - I think we'd stop in a hurry don't you?
2) Have a zero tolerance policy for slander and evil speaking, and the bitterness that is often the root of it. This doesn't mean we cover up sin. But when we want to tell someone about someone else's sin, we need to make sure our motives our pure - do we have redemption and reconciliation in mind? “If the person is not a part of the problem or part of the solution, don’t say it.”
3) Replace the slander with a heart (and words) of love, grace, forgiveness and kindness. "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you" (Ephesians 4:32).
4) We need to take our thought life captive to the Holy Spirit. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:8)
5) Talk less. Pretty simply but pretty obvious. The less we talk the less likely we are to speak things that don't need to be said. Don't ask unnecessary questions that can only lead to a bad end result. James 1, "Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry" (verse 19, emphasis added).
6) Think before you speak.
Is it true? Is it kind? Will it build up, will it edify the person of whom I'm speaking? Is it necessary? Does the person I'm talking to need to know this? If this were about me, would I want it shared with someone else? Would I mind if the person I'm talking about were standing right here? Would I be willing to say it to their face?
"Set a guard, Oh Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! (Psalm 141:3)

7) Refuse to listen to slander or gossip. Don't just refuse to spread it. Refuse to listen to it. Change the topic, or better yet - build the person up instead of slandering them.
So as you speak about other believers, are you accusing them as the devil does? Or are you advocating for them as Jesus does for you?
I think if we would focus especially on #3 & 4 - thinking pure thoughts, and striving to have a heart of love, grace and forgiveness - the rest will fall into place.

Lesson 23 is titled The Anatomy of Addiction but in the introduction to this lesson it referenced a previous lesson about whether it's wise to drink in moderation or better not to start at all, so I was very curious and checked out that lesson as well. I wanted to share from that lesson. I thought this lesson was just excellent and thought provoking and she really tried to separate her opinion from what the Bible clearly states. Honestly, I could quote almost this entire lesson - I highly encourage you to read it!

She starts off by acknowledging that there's such a huge and varied group of people out there listening or reading these studies. There's those that practice complete alcohol abstinence - they simply don't drink at all. There's those who, whether they know it or not, are controlled by alcohol. And there are those who honestly do drink in moderation.

The Bible absolutely prohibits drunkenness, but it does not prohibit drinking alcohol in moderation. So we need to be careful not to make rules that the Bible does not set.

And yet I would say this: In an effort to avoid a spirit of legalism (that is adding to the grace of God and making your relationship with God a matter of what we do for God rather than what God has done for us) in this and many other areas today, many Christians have fallen into the other equally dangerous pitfall of license.

What they say is, “We’re living under grace.” Now what they’re not saying but what the implication sometimes seems to be is, “Therefore, because we’re living under grace, we’re free to do whatever our flesh wants to do.”

That is not a biblical concept of living under grace.......Grace doesn’t want to make you live as much like you did before you were a Christian as possible. It makes you want to be as much like Christ as possible.

The grace of God should make saved people distinctive in:

  • the way we think
  • the way we act
  • the way we talk
  • the way we dress
  • the way we eat
  • the way we drink

Everything about us should be informed and shaped by the grace of God so that it’s all for His glory and all for the furthering of His kingdom and His rule and reign on this earth.

Nancy has 4 questions we should ask ourselves as we determine whether we are free to drink under the Lordship of Christ Jesus.

1) Is it harmful to your physical body? Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

There are definitely some potential health risks of drinking alcohol. Nancy ticks some off...
  • Alcohol is a toxin that damages the liver.
  • Even small amounts of alcohol can destroy brain cells.
  • It’s been known for years as it relates to women and alcohol that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause physical and mental birth defects. No level of alcohol use during pregnancy is considered safe for the baby and even moderate drinking increases the risk of spontaneous abortion.

Just within the last several weeks a new study came out that had studied 70,000 women over two decades here in the United States. And the headline was:

  • “Alcohol Increases the Risk of Breast Cancer Whatever the Type of Drink.”1
  • The use of alcohol also increases the risk of developing colon, esophagus, mouth, and throat cancers.2

Now you’ll always have somebody say, “Well what about those doctors that are saying that red wine is good for your heart?”

Dr. Ira Goldberg is a member of the American Heart Association. He’s a professor of medicine at Colombia University in New York City. And he said—and I quote:

The same antioxidants found in red wine can also be obtained from unfermented grape juice and without the hazards related to alcohol.

So the suggestion about alcohol being helpful to your health is in my view much overshadowed by the many studies indicating the potential health risks through alcohol consumption.

2) Does or could the use of alcohol enslave you?

It’s interesting to me that many people admit to using alcohol as a means of escape, and yet they end up enslaved in many cases. They were trying to get free, but in many cases they find that they are imprisoned.

This concept of being enslaved by alcohol I think is what is referred to in Ephesians 5 where the apostle Paul says, “Don’t get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery.” That word just means excessive indulgence. “But instead be filled with the Holy Spirit" (verse18).

Being drunk with wine is contrasted with being filled with the Spirit. You can’t be both at the same time. You can’t be under God’s control and under the control of another substance. You can’t serve two masters.

The interesting thing to me is as I’ve talked with those who have struggled with alcohol addiction or with the sin of drunkenness they’ve said, “The problem is you don’t know how much you can handle until you’re past that point. That’s the danger. That’s the challenge.”

I will say this for sure. Every case of alcohol addiction or abuse began with a first drink. A person will never be an alcoholic, will never be a drunk, will never be inebriated, will never be intoxicated, will never be addicted—use whatever word you want—if they don’t take the first drink.

3) Is it an idol in your life?

Are you using alcohol instead of going to God? Are you escaping your pain and problems by turning to alcohol instead of letting God meet our needs, counsel, encourage, comfort and give us grace?

Are you trying to fill a place that was made for God? Are you looking to alcohol or anything else for that matter on this planet to provide relief, to provide answers to life’s problems such as anxiety, guilt, boredom, rejection or loneliness?

4) Could the use of alcohol cause spiritual damage to someone else or lead them into sin?

The law of love for Christ and for others should trump any liberty we may have. If to exercise our liberty is to prove to be unloving to others, then we need to be willing to set aside our liberty in order to practice the law of love.

In 1 Corinthians chapters 8 and 10, Paul discusses this very principle. This isn't being afraid of what others might think. It's being considerate of others. Christ died for them - but we're not willing to limit our liberty to drink (or eat meat, or....)?

In Romans 14 Paul discusses a similar principle, but this time the issues are more grey. There is no specific "wrong" or "right". So, what then? How do we maintain unity?

The first principle (Romans 14:1-12) - the law of love - means not to pass judgement on others for things the Bible is not specific about. The Bible condemns drunkenness, not alcohol consumption. If some believers feels a liberty in this (or any other!) area that we have been convicted in, we are not to judge. I admit that this can be hard, and I have failed at this in the past.

The second principle (Romans 14:13-23) - do not cause others to stumble. Could exercising your liberty (your ability to handle alcohol in moderation, for example) lead another believer into sin? This is not letting our fellow sisters off the hook - they are responsible for their own actions absolutely. This is about encouraging each other. Supporting each other. Not making it more difficult for each other.

And it doesn't matter if we have a large audience looking at our lives, or a small one.

You have a ministry. People look to your life as an example. And I’ll tell you one key area you have to ask if you have children, “How does alcohol consumption, how could it influence the lives of my children?”

It’s been correctly observed that what parents tolerate in moderation their children many times will excuse in excess. I just think as you think about the statistics of teenage drinking and teenage drunkenness, that the adult generation has got to take some huge responsibility for our lives, for our examples.

Another thought, simply my own personal opinion. I have heard it said that in general, alcohol is an acquired taste. In other words, many people don't like it when they first taste it. But after more exposure they grow to like it. So, my question is - why? Why drink it if it doesn't taste good, what's the motive? Is it to fit in? (for likely 99% of teens that's the reason they do it!). I can understand those who were not Christians growing up, and grew up with alocohol, and were able to drink in moderation, who became Christians later on. I can understand then that they already have the taste for it - but even then, all these other questions Nancy addressed still need to be considered. But for those growing up in Christian homes - really, what is the reason to start drinking in the first place? Especially if you try it and don't like it - why would you try it again?

I want to close this part of the lesson with the following quote. It is Nancy's quote, but I believe and agree with it 100%.

The Bible does not require total abstinence. But I am persuaded personally—this is between me and the Lord—that the best and the wisest choice is not to drink at all particularly in our culture and in our era where alcohol is bringing with it such widespread destruction and damage.

Now if you think about it, you pray it through, you go to the Lord, you seek Him and you believe that God gives you the freedom to drink within biblical bounds, then I’m not going to pass judgment on you because Scripture says I must not. I must live within the law of love towards you and I will.

I want to challenge you not just to follow the culture, not just to do what’s comfortable for you, not just to do what is done in your society or your friends or your group or your family, but to consider why you would whichever choice you make and to ask, “Is it best? Is it wise? Or would the high road be, in light of the law of love, would the high road be to make the choice not to drink at all?”

Now, in the actual lesson we were supposed to be studying, about addiction..

The word addiction is a modern term. It’s really not my favorite term because, the way it’s used today, it tends to imply that we have no responsibility or culpability, that this is something we can’t help.

We’re not saying that. We’re saying we make choices that lead to bondage and strongholds in our lives. The biblical concept is that of enslavement.

There are so many addictions out there these days - alcohol, prescription drugs, food & overeating, gambling, computer games, pornography, romance novels, television and soap operas, spending and shopping. The options are almost endless.

Addictions don't start out as something you're enslaved to - nobody would start doing something they know they'd become enslaved by.
It started out by tasting, by giving in, by yielding, by excess that gradually became a compulsion.

Why do addictions start? People are trying to dull pain, escape problems, dealing with anger inappropriately, trying to satisfy unfulfilled longings.

James chapter 1 tells us, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (verse 14). Some of your translations use the word “lust.” We’re lured into temptation by desires that are resident within our own hearts. It can be a desire for pleasure, for recognition, for approval, for significance, for companionship, for control, or for relief.

Listen carefully: The desire itself may not be inherently wrong. It may be a legitimate desire. The problem is when that desire becomes a demand

What we thought would help us, fulfill us, satisfy us - ends up enslaving us.

But we can find freedom from addiction in Christ! The power of the cross is greater than any addiction.

Lesson 24 is titled Intentional Training. I'm not going to spend much time on this one because this is already so long you've probably stopped reading by this point :)

Older women are supposed to intentional find a woman to mentor - train those younger than them, let them experience the benefit of wisdom learned sometimes the hard way.

And younger women should seek out an older woman to mentor her - to learn from her the wisdom that comes from experience. Even if it's only someone to encourage and pray for us - we can all use that!!

That's one thing that has really stood out to me in all of these studies - as the body of Christ we need to be working in unity, we need to be encouraging each other, cheering each other on, helping each other however we can. We need to love each other!

Well, that's finally it for today! Head on over to Tammi's site at Valleygirl to see what everyone else thought of these past three lessons.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Mom 2 Mom Wrap Up and Giveaway Winner!

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in my Mom 2 Mom Carnival Encouraging Your Children's Relationship With Jesus - your participation is what made it so successful. I am so excited about all the ideas that were shared and I wanted to summarize something that impacted me about each contributor, or simply share a quote that particular inspired me. If you haven't already, please take the time to visit each post as there's some really great ideas out there. I will, of course, make it easy for you, by linking directly to each post right here.

Kristilea from In the Lord's Path - One thing that impacted me about this post was how her and her husband teach their children to pray. Each child needs to come up with one thing they are sorry for doing that day, and one thing they are thankful to God for that day. This helps them to get used to repenting to God when they do wrong, and to practice thankfulness for all the blessings we have. One parent always prays after they do, to give them the opportunity to learn by example as well.

Jessica does have a blog but she didn't have time to write up a full post, so this is a quote from her comment....
We pray before every meal and read and pray with them before bed, but I think it's important for kids to know they can talk to God ANYTIME, and so I try to make a point of stopping and praying with the boys throughout the day - whether it is to say Thank You for something He blessed us with or to ask for something we need or to pray about bad attitudes.
Nicole also has a blog, but it's private so that won't help you very much. She was kind enough to post her blog in the comments though, so you can still read it there. Here's a quote I liked...
we also talk about God in everything. We talk about how cool it is that God made the penguin babies have a call that their mother knows, we talk about how beautiful a rainbow is and why God made rainbows, we talk about some things we see on tv and how that pleases or displeases God. God is the focus in what we talk about and learn about.
My IRL friend Pam had some wonderful thoughts as well. Some highlights for me include participating in a pray for your neighbour challenge, serving in their church and encouraging their children to do the same, her husband taking one child out for breakfast each week (open lines of communication!) and a really neat idea of a 13th birthday book (check out her post for full details on that one).

Missy's post was the inspiration behind this carnival to begin with and then she added another post that I though applied so well - how she was hit with the fact that we are our children's bible study. Mull that over a bit!

Here is a quote from Kim's post....
I think the number one thing to do to encourage kids to have a relationship with God is walk with God yourself. Kids learn the most from what they see, and if all they ever see is a ‘Sunday Christian’, how can we ever expect them to move beyond that?
Here is a quote from Maggie's post....
Example: As human beings we tend to fail at this regularly, but Josiah and I believe that we are to intorduce our children to Christ by "being Jesus" to them. That means being consciencious about how we treat others, each other, and our children. It means demonstrating Christ-like love and a Christ-like attitude.
My cousin Jacquie participated by commenting - here is a quote from her...
One way that I believe we are making an important investment in our kid's futures and their walks with God is when Joe & I have our times of prayer together for our family. Sometimes Justice joins us for these prayer times when he wakes up early & even if he doesn't know what's going on, I think it's good that he's a part of it.
Sandy and her husband are both first generation Christians so this is a new frontier for them. But she's right on target with her ideas, including....
Live it out. Sounds simple but really is so hard. How can I teach my kids to love Jesus when I am not right with Him? How can I teach my kids that God values patience and kindness with one another when I am hot-tempered and unkind? Nothing is more convicting then hearing harsh words you've said repeated by your child. Really. Trust me on that. It's a daily battle to live in a Christ like manner, not just to please Him, but to teach my kids what that really means.
My cousin Tammi's post focused on feasting on the Word. She uses The One Year Bible for Children with her girls and is looking forward to getting Big Truths for Young Hearts to help teach her girls rock solid theology from the get go!

Sarah had one very unique idea that I think is just fabulous. She explains it here....
We want our kids to know the world that Jesus lived in...that David lived in...that Noah and Abraham and Isaiah lived in. So we try to bridge the cultural divide as much as we can. We try to teach them of the feasts and the meanings behind them. (We are integrating more and more into our lives each year in that regard). While we are Christians, our faith is based on a book written in a totally different culture then we live in here today in the U.S.We feel it is very important to show them the Bible through the eyes of it's culture, not just through how the culture we live in sees it.
Pam's post focuses on teaching through reading. She recently had a great experience when she went out on a limb and read Hinds Feet on High Places to her son...
It never occurred to me that, since it's an allegory, it actually HELPS a child to visualize and understand things that were hard to grasp before. Trying to explain craven fear, or pride, or bitterness and self pity to a child can be difficult; in this book, those things come to life and speak and act in ways that are recognizable.
Julia's opening paragraph sums this topic up so well I think...
When it comes to children, some things they absorb and some things they have to be taught. And some things, it's both. Christianity is one of those things.
And one of the ways to teach..
Practice What You Preach. If you want your kids to treat people with respect, you should. If you want kids that don't criticize, don't be critical. If you want kid who affirm their mate, don't dare trash your spouse. You get the idea.
I found June's blog "A Wise Woman Builds Her House" from Kristilea's blog and there happened to be a post on this exact topic. She's doing a series called The Christian Mother's Series and there's some good stuff there. One thing they strive to do is teach their children servanthood.
How do we teach servanthood? We teach by doing---this means volunteering at the food pantry, making bread to take over to an elderly neighbor or expecting mother, raking someones yard or shoveling their driveway.
There definitely seemed to be some recurring themes here - scripture, walking the talk, and prayer!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the carnival. Make sure to read everyone's entries for the rest of their thoughts/ideas. The stuff I listed was just the tip of the iceberg, there's more where that came from, so dig in!

Now, on to the giveaway!

Since Nic already won the original giveaway for this carnival, she is not eligible for this 2nd one. Everyone who participated by July 27th got 2 entries, everyone else got one.

And the random number generator picked entry #2 which is.....


I have Seeds of Courage, and The Power of Encouragement left. Let me know which CD you want and I'll get that mailed out to you as soon as we get back from our getaway this weekend. Congratulations!

Thanks again everyone, for making this carnival such a success. I've learned a lot and I really appreciate all your thoughts.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Blog Hop - Encouragement

Romans 8:38 & 39 - For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I find this verse so encouraging - it shows us that there is literally nothing bad enough that we could do/say/think to make Jesus love us less, and there's nothing we can do/say/think to make Him love us more. We are made in His image and He loves us - more than we can imagine. We don't need to work for His love. It is ours, it is free, it is a gift - we just need to receive it, and nothing will ever separate us from that love.

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. Helen Keller

It sometimes seems like there is so much evil in the world, so much sadness, so much pain that we wonder - how could the little I do make a difference? This quote reminds us that every little bit helps. No matter the type of contribution you can make, no matter your talents, no matter your abilities - everyone can do something and it makes a difference. You can make a difference - so go out and do it!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Have a Happy Turn Around!

Speaking of Seeds Family Worship cd's.....

They do come with a warning...
WARNING:This package contains songs that may result in the listener unintentionally MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE. Furthermore, those who learn these words may find themselves inexplicable recalling and/or applying them to real-life situations, as the Holy Spirit leads. USE WITH CAUTION.
The second CD is called "Seeds of Faith" and track#7 is titled Eternal which is for likely the most memorized scripture passage ever.....

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

That would be the NIV translation.

The Olivia translation however, ends this way....

...shall not perish but have a happy turn around!

Which actually is also a fairly accurate translation. :)

Coming up on Friday - Mom 2 Mom Wrap Up

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my Mom 2 Mom Carnival "Encouraging Your Children's Relationship With Jesus".

On Friday I will wrap it up by mentioning something from each participant's entry that impacted me.

And, since we have had several late entries, I've decided to give away another one of my Seeds of Worship cd's!

Along with the latest entries, all original participants (other than Nic who already won) will be entered into the draw twice (as an on-time "bonus"!). So, if you've been considering doing your own post, you have until Friday's Wrap Up to get yours up for another shot at one of these great cd's.


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