Friday, September 29, 2017

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum

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God's Word is Our Foundation

I’ve finally unpacked all the materials from the Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum for Pre-K thru 1st Grade.  I’ve spent some time going through the Teacher’s Guide, looked through all the printables, games, pictures, and posters.  This curriculum comes with a lot of materials!  I’ve looked forward to the first lesson with my daycare/preschool kids.  Unit 1 includes lessons 1-10.  Lesson 1 is titled God’s Word is Our Foundation.

*Note:  This post was not sponsored by Answers in Genesis.  I was not paid to write this post.  I was not given any materials in exchange for writing this post.  I was not required to write a positive review.  I purchased the ABC Answers Bible Curriculum because I wanted to use it in my in-home daycare/preschool.  I think it is a valuable tool for parents and church ministers so I want to share it with you.  🙂

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
I love that the first lesson teaches that God’s Word is Our Foundation.  Kids learn a valuable lesson from the very beginning.  If they don’t believe the Bible is true, then everything in it is useless to them.  It’s important that children believe the Bible is absolute truth first.  Then, they’ll know everything in it is true and valuable to them for the rest of their lives.
 
God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum

The teacher’s guide instructs us to begin our lesson in prayer and they provide a great visual for teaching children 4 important parts of prayer:  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  Now, those are some big words for such little kids.  You can see from the flip chart visual in the picture above that the graphics are child-friendly and each picture shows children what each “big word” means in simple child-like language.

Remember that the purpose of lesson 1 is to teach children that God’s Word is Our Foundation.  I placed my Bible in front of the children.  We discussed that the Bible is the most important book ever written.  It’s the best book ever!

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove
The next page of the flip chart shows the kids a graphic of the Bible in the middle of some material things that kids might generally think are valuable.  As the kids look at the graphic, the teacher can use the group conversation guide on the other side.  The children discovered that the Bible is better than gold jewelry, ice-cream, and even better than chocolate.  The most important thing they learned is that the Bible is perfect, sure, right, and pure.

The focus Bible verse for this lesson is Psalm 19:7-8.
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. – Psalm 19:7-8
My group is very young.  I only have one 4 year old.  This curriculum is intended for Pre-K thru 1st Grade.  I didn’t have my little ones memorize the scripture passage above.  The curriculum Teacher Guide provides a lesson for Kindergarten and 1st grade, but there is an adapted lesson for Pre-K.  Younger children can more easily memorize Psalm 119:89-90.
Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the Heavens.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
You have established the earth, and it stands fast. – Psalm 119:89-90
Y’all, guess what?  When you purchase this curriculum from Answers in Genesis, you get to download songs, but you can use the music videos here to teach preschoolers to memorize the Bible verse above (Psalm 119:89-90)!

OK, back to the lesson. 

This curriculum comes with plenty of visuals, but they suggest you add some things from home to enhance the lesson.  I filled two jars with water.  I added dirt to one jar and left the other jar clean.  The clean jar represents God’s Word because it is pure and perfect.  The dirty jar represents water that is not perfect.  You can’t clean with dirty water, but God’s Word is clean.  It changes us, cleans us, and makes us love God.
God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Today, the kids were introduced to Justin and his family.  We read the story “Sand Castles and Clean Hearts.”  It’s a story about how we think we are clean but we’re not.  You’ll have to read the story when you get the curriculum, but just know that it’s a short, cute story that the kids will enjoy.  It helps them realize that even though we think our hearts are clean, there is still “dirt” there that needs cleaning.  God’s Word can clean our hearts.

If you don’t want to print off the story, you have two options.  The story is located on the back of a poster that is included in the teacher kit or you can read it from the computer.  The links to downloadable materials, songs, and stories are included in the Teacher Guide.

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
The curriculum is set up so that you have so much flexibility.  If you are teaching older kids, you can use all of it.  If you have younger kids, you can use what works for them and save the rest.  The video below explains how to use the curriculum. 

  

Today, we chose to do the “jar sheet.”  This picture below is my example.  We colored one jar blue to represent clean water (God’s Word is Pure).  We used a glue stick on the second jar and then sprinkled dirt on it.  Now the kids have something to take home and talk to their parents about the things they learned.  Hopefully, they will tell them that they learned that God’s Word is perfect, sure, right, and pure.  Maybe they can recite the Bible verse or sing the song.  🙂

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Since we are learning that God’s Word is our foundation, we get a great poster to use during the entire unit which helps us learn all the books of the Bible.  I’ll probably have this laminated and use it for years because it is a great resource for any age.

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
If you are purchasing this curriculum to use at home with your own children or an in-home preschool, it’s important to note that this curriculum is a Bible curriculum.  It is intended to teach children the Bible.  You’ll have to add your own academic activities, but it is so easy to do.  For example, today’s focus is God’s Word.  You can focus on the letter B for Bible.  Do activities that teach the letter B.  Use the Books of the Bible chart above to count the books of the Bible.  If you choose to do the clean/dirty jar sheet, you can teach the letter J for “jar.”  As you move through the curriculum, there are multiple opportunities to integrate academics into your preschool or grade school.  However, Answers in Genesis also offers a lot of home-school curriculum choices.  You will want to check those out here.

If you think ABC Bible Curriculum is great for teaching children that the Bible is perfect, sure, right, and pure and that God’s Word is our foundation, please pin the image below!  We always appreciate some Pinterest love!  Then, scroll on down for more resources from Answers in Genesis.

God’s Word is Our Foundation: Answers in Genesis Bible Curriculum
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
The Answers Book for Kids Complete Set

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart by Dion Leonard

Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart by Dion Leonard
Image Used by Permission via BookLook Bloggers
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Gobi:  A Little Dog with a Big Heart


Gobi.  It’s such a cute name for a little desert dog.  Gobi lived in the Gobi Desert of China.  She was all alone until she found a true friend in Dion Leonard, an ultra-marathon runner.

A group of runners were in the middle of  a 7 day race in China’s Gobi Desert when little Gobi spotted them.  On the second day of the 155 mile race, she began running beside Dion.  The two became friends.  Obviously, Dion named her Gobi because he found her in the Gobi Desert.  They shared food, napped together, and encountered a scary moment along the way.

When the two new friends crossed the finish line, their friendship was far from over.  Dion promised to take his new little friend home with him to the UK.  After a few hurdles, the two finally made their way to Edinburgh, Scotland where they live together today.

I like this book for several reasons:
  1.  It’s a true story.
  2.  It shows children that sometimes friendships start in the most unlikely places.
  3. It shows kids that unlikely friendships can become lifelong friendships.
  4. It tells us that friendships sometimes encounter hurdles.
  5. We learn that true lifelong friendships overcome the hurdles.
I also like the pictures.  The colors are bright and appealing.  I like the way the illustrator, Lisa Manuzak, captures Dion’s facial expressions (and Gobi’s too).  🙂  Even the rocks are colorful.  My kids loved counting them.  They had to know how many blue rocks, how many green rocks, and how many brown rocks were on a particular page.

During the story, a few other little desert animals pop into the picture.  Kids will see some sort of red chameleon-looking character.  There is a group of animals that resembled prairie dogs and a camel.  This might spark interest in what types of animals live in the Gobi Desert.  There are lots of resources for learning about desert animals here.

Kids might be interested in learning more about marathons and Dion Leonard.  I found a BBC news article about this story here.

Here is the Youtube clip about the real story.  Your kids will want to watch it after reading the story. 


Gobi is a cute, sweet book about friendship.  This book is a great tool for teaching children the value of friendships, which I think is important.  You can get a copy for your child’s library here.

Follow Dion Leonard on Facebook here.

Gobi: A Little Dog With a Big Heart by Dion Leonard

Gobi:  A Little Dog with a Big Heart is available here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

We All Have At Least One Goliath, But Goliaths Can Fall (Goliath Must Fall Bible Study Series - FREE)

Goliath Must Fall
Image Used by Permission via Louie Giglio Goliath Must Fall Bible Study Subscription (Publicity File)

Goliath Must Fall


One of my favorite movies ever is Facing the Giants.  I love it so much because I can relate to it so much.  Most of us can.  It's a story about a man, Grant Taylor, who faces several challenges at once.  Those challenges (his giants) test his faith to the max, but like David, Grant learns to trust the God who provides.  Like David, with his faith in God alone, Grant knocks down his giants.


One of the scenes that plays over and over again in my mind is the scene where Grant's wife faces her toughest test of faith.  After a long hard battle that she might never win on this earth, she prays to God and tells Him that even if He does not provide this particular desire of her heart, she will still love Him.  That was her turning point.  Her slingshot was loaded.  Her stone, at that moment, was hurled at her giant.  Her Goliath fell.


So many prayers I've prayed for so many heart's desires.  Lord, please don't give up on that person.  Lord, please help me through this situation.  Lord, please heal that person.  Lord, please give me this.  Lord, please provide that.  Lord, please spare me these circumstances.  Lord please . . . . and on and on and on.  It occurred to me that I had never prayed, "Lord, this is my heart's desire, but even if you don't give it to me, I will still love You."

Knocking down a Goliath doesn't mean that God will deliver us from terrible circumstances.  When we learn to place our total trust in the Lord, no matter what - the Goliath falls.

This is something I'm dealing with right now.  I'm learning to slay giants one at a time.  Instead of begging God to change my circumstances, uttering an Amen, and then going about my business, I'm learning to pour my heart's desires at the feet of Jesus and then adding, "but even if you don't, I will still love You."

I'm reminded of the lyrics from Even If by Mercy Me:
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
(from Even If by Mercy Me)
Even If by Mercy Me has become one of my favorite songs.  Whenever I hear it, I close my eyes (unless I'm driving) and pray the song.  It echoes my heart.  You might say it has become my heart-song.



The Lord has provided another way to prepare me for the battle of slaying giants.  Louie Giglio is offering a FREE 6 week online Bible study.  Did you hear that?  A FREE 6 week Bible study by LOUIE GIGLIO.  The study is called . . . you guessed it . . . Goliath Must Fall.  The study starts on October 1, 2017.  When you sign up for the study, you get several free resources.

The Bible study includes:
  • FREE access to 6 online study videos
  • FREE first chapter of Goliath Must Fall audio book
  • FREE session one Goliath Must Fall study guide download
  • FREE Scripture memory verse cards
  • FREE Church bulletin insert, poster, and media slide
  • Putting the X in Anxiety – 4 Surefire Ways to Show Anxiety the Exit Door

Sign up for this free Bible study here at FaithGateway.

 

I can't wait to get started on this study. I'm so excited. You do have to purchase the study guide but you will receive a 40% discount so you only have to pay $6.59 for the book (at the time of this post). You'll have to add shipping and tax. This is an awesome deal. You won't want to miss it. Loui Giglio also recommends an additional but optional resource called Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants. 
 
At the time of this post, the optional book was out of stock.  If you are reading this now and the book is still out of stock, you can get it on Amazon right here.  I just ordered mine.

If for some reason, you are not able to order your Bible study guide via FaithGateway, you can also get it from Amazon here.

Here are other options.  If you missed the free online Bible study, you can get the Bible study guide and the CD here.

Lastly, if you have missed the free study and your opportunity to get the materials at FaithGateway, you can get the whole set on Amazon here.  The set below includes the Goliath Must Fall Bible study guide, the Goliath Must Fall:  Winning the Battle Against Your Giants Book, and the Bible study CD.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ways to Help Your Community During Disaster Recovery

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My county is suffering the aftermath of two hurricanes as I type this.  In addition to that, there are wildfires burning in the northwest.  Lots of communities are suffering the effects of fallen trees, power outages, damaged homes, damaged fences, damaged automobiles, other damaged structures, and flooding.  Some communities are suffering unbelievable amounts of loss, including loss of life.  It is devastating.

My own community is suffering the effects of mass power outages due to fallen trees and high winds as Irma came through here in the form of a tropical storm.  It's pretty bad here but not near as bad as some other places.  Thousands and thousands have been without power for days already.  The power companies say it might be several more days before everyone's power is restored.  Things could have been much worse, but it is a difficult season here none-the-less.

Ways to Help Your Community During Disaster Recovery
Image Credit - Jan-Mallander - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

I was prepared for days without power, but thankfully, my power was restored quickly.  I've stayed home and out of the way of first responders and linemen as they work to clear downed trees and restore power to an entire county - and beyond - actually, the entire state.  Anyway,  I've welcomed family members into my home for hot meals and showers.  As they made their way in and out of my home, I have followed community news via social media.  While doing so, I realized that when disaster strikes, people pull together.  At least, here they do.

There are several things you can do help your community during a disaster recovery period.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Have You Experienced the Favor of God on Your Life?

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Favor of God
Image Credit:  Tessa Rampersad - Public Domain Image via Freely Photos
The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us;
And confirm for us the work of our hands;
Yes, confirm the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17
For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.  1 Peter 2:20

The Favor of God

We experience God’s stuff while we are going through the bad stuff.  When God does “God stuff” in the middle of the “bad stuff,” we experience the favor of God.

 The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you.  Numbers 6:25

It has been said that Numbers 6:25 (above) refers to “the smile of God.”

Is it OK to desire the favor of God on your life? According to 2 Corinthians 1:11, absolutely!
You also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.  2 Corinthians 1:11
Who received God’s favor in the Bible Young people did – Samuel, David, Esther, Daniel, Ruth, Mary.

And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”  Luke 1:28

In fact, we are to seek the favor of God (as opposed to the favor of man).
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10 
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.  2 Chronicles 16:9
What does the favor of God look like in our lives?
Like a Shield
For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.  Psalm 5:12
Like a Cloud with the Spring Rain
In the light of a king’s face is life, and his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain.  Proverbs 16:15
 Like Dew of the Grass 
The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion, but his favor is like dew on the grass.  Proverbs 19:12
How can we experience the favor of God personally?  The favor of God comes upon those who are surrendered to God.
And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”  And the angel departed from her.  Luke 1:38
And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord.  Luke 1:46
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
 The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
 
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Be a Difference Maker

I failed to write down the name of the name of the pastor who preached it, but the following are my Bible study notes from a sermon titled "Being a Difference Maker."

The scripture passage for this sermon is 2 Samuel 11:6-17.
Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king was sent out after him.  But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.  Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”  Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.”  Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.  Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house. - 2 Samuel 11:6-17
  Faithful men on a mission from God will make a difference in the Kingdom of God.

Be a Difference Maker
Image Credit - Jeremy Yap - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

Be A Difference Maker


1.  Fight.  Faith (or a mission) is something worth fighting for.  David should have been on a mission but he wasn't.

2.  Focus.  David was leisurely enjoying his comforts.  He chose pleasure over mission.  Uriah chose mission over pleasure.  David became sidetracked and lost his joy.  He lost greatly because of his sin.

Sin is costly.

3.  Finish well.  Uriah understood that the mission was worth his life.

Note for older believers.  Don't think you're done because you're in the 3rd or 4th quarter of your life.  This period of time is what the "game" is all about.  If we don't play now, we lose.

We can become grumpy old men and women . . . or we can become difference makers.

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Loving Others During Difficult Times

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When all is right with the world, loving others during difficult times is not so hard.  In fact, it's pretty easy.  When things are going well, it's easy enough to call and offer a friend encouragement.  It's easy to check on a family member and maybe take someone a meal.  It's not so hard to forgive someone when life is going well and the future looks bright.

What about during the difficult times?  When things are not going so well, we might find it a little harder to forgive a hurt.  It's a little bit harder to call a friend.  I mean, how can we offer encouragement when we need it ourselves?  It's just hard sometimes.
Loving Others During Difficult Times
Image Credit - Virandek - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

Love anyway.

The times when we feel the most useless is when God can use us the most.  Let's try to use the difficult times as learning experiences.   I've been through difficult times.  Most of us have.  I remember my needs.  I remember the things others did to encourage me through my darkest days.  I use those memories as a guide to help me know what to do when others suffer.

Gini at Dayspring Cards and Gifts has written a wonderful post about loving others during difficult times.

Loving in the Tough Times

by Gini at Dayspring

It usually happens when your life seems to be moving along seamlessly - you’ve perfected your morning routine, planned adequately for afternoon activities, and this week’s dinner menu is working out fabulously. Your husband and kids are playing along and all in all, you feel like you finally have the upper hand on this crazy balancing act we call life.

Then, something happens - you suddenly lose a loved one, get laid off from work, become diagnosed with a serious illness, or experience an unwanted life-changing event - all of which brings your seamless balancing act to an abrupt halt. And, you find yourself curled up in bed, no longer caring about routines or activities and the last thing on your mind is dinnerDuring these times, it’s easy to isolate yourself by pushing your loved ones away, [Read more . . . ]

Pressed Beyond Strength - Living Through Hard Times

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I failed to write down who originally preached the sermon ,but the following are my Bible study notes from a sermon titled "Pressed Beyond Strength."
For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us. - 2 Corinthians 1:8-10

Pressed Beyond Strength
Image Credit - Ben White - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

I'm sure you've heard the saying:  "God will never put on you more than you can bare."  Friend, this is not true.  Whoever originally came up with it meant well, I'm sure, but the fact is that it is simply not scriptural.  Look at the scripture above.  Paul wrote that they were "burdened excessively, beyond our strength."   Read 1 Corinthians 10:13.
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. - 1 Corinthians 10:13
The scriptures teach us that God will provide a way of escape.  It is only with Him and through Him that we can bare excessive burdens.

Pressed Beyond Strength - Living Through Hard Times

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stories of Hope Bible Study Series

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Here is a recap of our "Stories of Hope" Bible Study Series.  These are my Bible study notes from sermons preached by my pastor.

The Stories of Hope Bible Study Series


Stories of Hope Bible Study Series
Image Credit - Stefan Kunze - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

Stories of Hope Bible Study Series

Stories of Hope Bible Study Series

Stories of Hope Bible Study Series

Stories of Hope Bible Study Series

Stories of Hope Bible Study Series
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How to Stay Hopeful

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 The following are my notes taken during my pastor's sermon.

At times, Jesus-followers may feel helpless, but they are never hopeless.

How to Stay Hopeful


The scripture passage from this Bible study is Romans 5:1-5. 
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. - Romans 5:1-5
Verse 1:  We have peace.

Verse 2:  We have hope in the glory of God.

Verses 3-4:  Trouble always has a purpose in our lives.  Hey, when we crush olives, we get oil.

Verse 5:  Hope does not disappoint.

How to Stay Hopeful
Image Credit - Diana Simumpande - CCO Public Domain Image - via Freely Photos

How to Stay Hopeful


1.  Stay in the scriptures.  
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. - Romans 15:4
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. - Hebrews 4:12
2.  Stay connected with other believers.
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25
3.  Stay intentional as a Jesus-follower. 
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. - 1 Peter 3:15
4.  Stay focused on eternity.
Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus. - Titus 2:13
But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. - 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hopeful in God's Will

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Do you ever question God's will for you life?  Do you wonder what His plan for you might be?  Are you doing what He has called you to do?  Are you questioning that He has a plan for you at all?  Do  you feel hopeless when it comes to knowing God's plan for you?  Friend, we can be hopeful in God's will for us.  God has a plan for our lives.
For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. - Jeremiah 29:11
Hopeful in God's Will
Image Credit - Yolanda - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

The following are my notes taken during my pastor's sermon.

Hopeful in God's Will


First, God is the source of our hope. 
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 15:13
Our focal scripture passage is Genesis, chapter 24.  At this time, Abraham is about 104 years old.  Issac is about 40 years old and is unmarried.  YET, God promised a plan.

This is a beautiful story about how God provided a wife for Isaac, but the principles learned throughout the story can be applied to any other situation when you doubt God's plan for our life. 
It was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called. - Hebrews 11:18
Regarding Genesis 24, we find in verses 1-4 that Abraham did not want a wife for Isaac who would turn his heart away from God.
Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in every way.  Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he owned, “Please place your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of Heaven and the God of earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live, but you will go to my country and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” - Genesis 24:1-4
In verses 5-9, God instructed them not to leave the land He had given them.  If Isaac chose to leave the land, it would cause the people to believe that God would not keep His promise.

God's will - His plan - is perfect.  We have to trust him.
Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. - Romans 4:20-21
 In verses 10-11, Abraham's servant traveled 500 miles on a camel train.  A camel train consisted of about 10 camels.  They traveled for approximately 20 days, maybe more.
Then the servant took ten camels from the camels of his master, and set out with a variety of good things of his master’s in his hand; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.  He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. - Genesis 24:10-11
 Now, here is a very important part.  Upon arrival into the city, Abraham's servant prayed.
He said, “O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today, and show lovingkindness to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water; now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’— may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac; and by this I will know that You have shown lovingkindness to my master.” - Genesis 24:12-14

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Letters to God Movie Review

If you have not seen Letters to God, please watch it!  It is one of the best movies I've ever seen for teaching faith, hope, endurance, and strength.  Get your tissues before you begin the film.  You'll laugh, cry, and at times you'll laugh and cry at the same time.

Tyler Doherty is played by Tanner McGuire.  Tyler is battling cancer. He fights the disease with a courage, strength, and hope that is rare for anyone, but especially a kid.  During Tyler's courageous battle, he writes letters to God which are actually his prayers in written form.

Letters to God


Brady McDaniels (played by Jeffery S. S. Johnson) is the Doherty family mail carrier.  Brady ends up intercepting Tyler's letters. Brady is suffering through trials of his own.  At first, Brady doesn't know what to do with Tyler's letters, but he develops a relationship with Tyler's family.  Tyler's family works well together to remain strong during the difficult time of watching Tyler battle cancer.  However their faith is challenged while they face their own feelings of neglect, selfishness, fatigue, and doubt.

The movie was released in 2010.  Tyler's mother is played by Robyn Lively.  His grandmother is played by Marie Cheatham.  His brother, Ben, is played by Michael Christopher Bolton.

I don't want to reveal too much more because I don't want to spoil the film for you, but I highly recommend this inspirational I will finish with telling you that Tyler influences a lot of people, especially Brady the mail carrier.  During this film, the gospel is shared with viewers.  Faith is challenged.  Decisions are made. Lives are changed.  Faith prevails.

Letters to God is based on a true story.

Watch the official movie trailer here.


Get your copy of Letters to God here.
Letters to God Movie Review
Click the image to get your copy.

God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall (Children's Book Review)

God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

God Bless My School



We love to read books.  We especially love to read books that instill faith into the hearts of children.  God Bless My School is a book that will teach children to pray.  When children read God Bless My School, they will enjoy a variety of little animals who start off on their journey to their first day of school.
God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall
Image Credit - Abundant Family Living
God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall
Image Credit - Abundant Family Living
The cute little animals in the story realize that God goes with them as they head off to school for the first day.  Little Bear gets a new pair of shoes.  Little Penguin gets a backpack filled with crayons, glue, and paint.  The animal children learn about letters, play with blocks, and sing songs. At lunchtime, they eat foods common to their animal diets.  Raccoon eats leaves.  Pig eats an apple.  Little dog eats doggie treats and little birdie enjoys a bowl filled with seeds. They rest and play.

God Bless My School is a durable board book that will lasts through lots of reading love.  Kids will enjoy the illustrations which are bright and cheerful.  This book opens up opportunities for discussions about prayer.  Parents can use this opportunity to talk to children about asking God to bless their own schools.

If you're interested in adding God Bless My School to your home or school library, you can find it here.
God Bless My School by Hannah C. Hall

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Prayer for Our Nation

Watching the news every day can certainly make a person worry about the future of our nation.  Within the first few minutes of the newscast, we hear about all sorts of lawless acts, natural disasters, threats of wars, political unrest - you name it and it's probably a headline.  I pray for our nation often.  In fact, I pray for our nation almost every day - sometimes several times per day.  I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm worried about the future of our nation.  I'm worried about my children's futures.  Gini at Dayspring Cards and Gifts also knows how important it is to pray for our nation.

A Prayer for Our Nation
Image Credit - Pexels - CCO Public Domain Image - via Pixabay

 

 A Prayer for Our Nation by Gini at Dayspring

 

We live in an ever-changing world - one that, at times, just makes no sense. From natural disasters to terrorist attacks, hate crimes and unmentionable acts of violence, we get the in-depth report from every news outlet in the United States. And, we watch these special reports, trying to find some kind of reason for the craziness, some perfect explanation for why these things happen and who is responsible and how can we make a difference. And, while we will never get all the answers on this side of eternity, we know that as Christians, we are called to trust God, share His love and pray. Philippians 4:6 CSB says “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” With this passage in mind, let us pray…[Read more . . . ]

 
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Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway