Sunday, June 30, 2019

It's Time to Choose (from the Study on Galatians Series)

For the past several weeks, we've been traveling through the book of Galatians and discussing the freedom we have in Christ Jesus.  Today, we are continuing in Galatians, chapter 4.  The following are my Bible study notes based on one of our associate pastor's sermons titled, "It's Time to Choose."  Our pastor outlines the choice we all have to make according to the message in Galatians 4:21 - 31.

It's Time to Choose

The Bond Woman and the Free Woman

Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written,
Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear;
Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;
For more numerous are the children of the desolate
Than of the one who has a husband.”
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say?
Cast out the bondwoman and her son,
For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”
So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. - Galatians 4:21 - 31
 You are invited to worship with us as you watch and listen to the entire sermon here.

It's Time to Choose

Everyone must choose between achieving and receiving.

In Galatians 4:22, we learn about two women from the Bible.  One woman is the bond woman (Hagar, the slave/servant woman to Abraham and Sarah) and one woman is the free woman (Sarah, the wife of Abraham).  The bond woman, Hagar, conceived Ishmael by Abraham according to the flesh.  Sara, the free woman, conceived Isaac by Abraham according to God's promise.

In Galatians 4:23, we learn about the two sons born to Abraham.  One of them, Ishmael, was born to Hagar through the flesh.  The other son, Isaac, was born to Sarah through God's promise.

In Galatians 4:24, we learn about two allegorical covenants.  Hagar represents one covenant, bearing children who were to be slaves according to the flesh and Sarah represents the second covenant, bearing children who were to be free according to God's promise. 

In verses 25 and 26, we learn about two locations.  Mount Sinai in Arabia is a land of bandage according to the flesh.  Jerusalem is a land of freedom according to God's promise.

Shop Digital Downloads

 How do these verses apply to us?

We must decide whether to try to please God and achieve salvation by being good (which is impossible in the flesh) or to please God by accepting His gift of salvation through Jesus (God's promise). 

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. - James 2:10

SO, if we choose to try to live by the law, meaning that we try to achieve the favor of God by not breaking any commandment, this means that we must not break a single one, EVER.  However, according to James 2:10, if we break one law, any single one, then we are guilty of breaking the entire law.  There is no way anyone can go through life without breaking a single commandment.  I'm pretty sure that I break several every day.  I don't mean to break God's commandments, but I'm an imperfect human.  So are you.  You absolutely cannot live your life without breaking a single law.  I doubt that anyone can get through a single day and say that they lived it perfectly, let alone an entire lifetime.  The only way we can be sure that we will spend eternity in Heaven is by receiving the the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  HE is the only way.  

 How will you choose today?
It's Time to Choose

Image Credits: Freely Photos - Public Domain Image
GDJ - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Christianity is About Relationship, Not Rules

Some people shy away from Christianity because they think it's all about following a list of rules for no real reason. They have a false notion that God sits up in Heaven with a list of rules for us to follow and we fail to follow them all perfectly, we aren't good enough for God.  Christianity is not all about rules.  Christianity is about relationship, a relationship with Jesus.

Shop Digital Downloads

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Free - It's About A Relationship, Not Rules - June 23, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

Our Bible passage for today is Galatians 4:4-20. 
You can read the entire passage here at Bible Gateway.

Christianity is About Relationship

3 Points from My Pastor from the Video 

Be sure to read all the way through to the end of this post.

Rules will never give you freedom.  They will keep you in bondage.  When we live by the false notion that we are bound by a set of rules, it is called legalism.

1.  Legalism will rob you of freedom, joy, and love.  Legalism is a joy killer and a grace killer.

2. Legalism leads to pride, arrogance, and deception. 

Legalist are very defensive, mostly because they've made Christianity about themselves.  Legalists like to be right. 
 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy. - Proverbs 27:6
3.  Legalism will stunt your spiritual growth.

We need to remember that Jesus doesn't love you more than someone else just because you follow the rules.

Christianity is About Relationship, Not Rules

My Additional Comments

I feel like I need to clarify something here, because it would be easy to interpret this post as if I am telling you that we don't have to obey God's Word.  That is not what I'm saying and that is not what my pastor is saying in the video.  God gave us His Word so that we can get to know Him.  When we read the Bible, we become intimately familiar with the heart of God and the fulfillment of His plan and promise in Jesus Christ.  When you choose to become a child of God, you will need to read the Bible.  You will need to get involved in a Bible believing, Bible teaching church.  You will need to seek out relationships that will hold you accountable so that you can build one another up within the body of Christ.  When we choose to follow Jesus, we naturally WANT to live in such a way that brings honor to Him.  Reading God's Word makes us aware of His plan for our lives.  His Word guides us so that we will live lives that honor God.

When we put our faith and trust in Christ, we are adopted sons and daughters.  My pastor has shared that he has always told his children that a slave obeys because he has to, but a child obeys because he wants to.

Paul tells us in Romans:
Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 1:1-7

In John 14, Jesus says to his disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."  Jesus goes on to explain the role of the Holy Spirit in those who believe in Him.  

He tells His disciples in verse 21, "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” - Read John, chapter 14, in its entirety here at Bible Gateway.

Here are other New Testament verses which explain why true believers, not bound by rules, will have a natural desire to follow Jesus' examples and His commands. 
And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. - 2 John 1:6

Who will render to each person according to his deeds:  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. - Romans 2:6-8

But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” - Luke 11:28
Blessed are those who hear God's Word and keep it.
This wall decor item is available here.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance. - 1 Peter 1:14

But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. - James 1:25

You can learn more about what it means to be a Christ-follower and how you can become a Christ-follower here.
Image Credit: Freely Photos (Public Domain)
Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Host a Baby Shower to Support Your Local Crisis Pregnancy Care Center

Shop Digital Downloads

On March 16, 1997, I held a tiny baby boy in my hands. I carefully studied him.  I wanted to make sure I would forever remember every part of him from his head to is toes.  His weight was measured in grams.  He was my son.  I had always been pro life, but as I held my tiny baby on that spring day, I knew I had to do more to help educate other women about the truth of prenatal development.  I knew I had to do more to help other mommies see their babies as the gifts that they are.  I only regret that I waited so long to take action.  A few months ago, I began volunteering my time at our local crisis pregnancy care center.  I'm always looking and listening for ways to help and ways to get our community more involved.  This morning, my Bible Fellowship class at my church hosted a baby shower to benefit our local pregnancy care center.

Host a Baby Shower to Support Your Local Crisis Pregnancy Care Center

Why host a baby shower for a pregnancy care center?

Our local care center goes far and beyond educating women about their babies' prenatal development.  They help young mothers earn while they learn.  Women who enroll in the My Baby Counts program earn "mommy dollars" every time they watch an educational DVD.  They get extra dollars for completing homework assignments.  They can use the mommy dollars they earn to shop for their babies' needs in the My Baby Counts Boutique.  They can use the dollars they earn that same day for smaller items like diapers, clothing, and blankets or they may choose to save their dollars so that they can purchase a larger item like a carseat or a crib. Hosting a baby shower to support the My Baby Counts Boutique is a great way to support our local pregnancy care center by restocking their shop.

What items should you bring to a pregnancy care center baby shower?

When you attend a baby shower hosted to benefit a pregnancy care center, you should bring items similar to any baby shower you attend.  Keep in mind that mothers who sign up for support through a care center are usually looking for the basic needs.  They need to focus on keeping their babies fed and clothed.  In the winter time, they look for items needed to keep their babies warm.  When you shop for your gift items, think practical.  Here are a few suggestions:

Clothing Items

Practical Outfits (play clothes and dresses for church and special occasions but nothing too fancy)
Hats (for warmth in the winter and for sun protection in the summer)
Diaper Care

Diapers (all sizes)
Diaper rash creams and/or ointments
Baby Powder


Baby Food
Baby Formula  (be sure to check expiration dates on foods and formulas)
Baby seat with feeding tray

Feeding Bowls
Sippy Cups
Baby and Toddler Cutlery

Bath Items

Baby Wash
Baby Bar Soaps 
Baby Shampoo
Baby Lotion
Bath Towels
Baby bathtub

Health Care Items

Baby Tylenol (check expiration dates on all baby over-the-counter pharmacy products)
Baby Ibuprofen
Teething Gel

Gas drops
Gripe water

Other Items

Larger Items
Car seat
Portable Crib and/or Play Yard

Play Items

Toys should be kept to a minimum.  It's perfectly fine to stock a baby boutique with items for baby play.  Every mother enjoys buying things her baby enjoys.  However, the focus of a pregnancy care center baby boutique is to provide a place for new mothers to spend the dollars they have earned so that they can meet their babies' needs.  Feel free to provide some baby toy items, but keep the main focus on basic baby care.  If your center offers a baby care curriculum, the items in the baby boutique should reflect on the curriculum.  That way, you are teaching the mother to care for her baby and then offering her a way to earn and buy items based on what she has learned.

Educational Books are great options to add to a baby boutique.  Usborne Books offers a variety of books appropriate for babies all the way to middle school.  The Baby's Very First series books would be a perfect fit for a baby boutique.  Here is what we loved about the touchy feely animals book.

Shop Baby's Very First Books at Usborne Books and More

Hosting a baby shower for your local crisis pregnancy center is just one of many ways you can help a mother care for her baby.  Many centers need counselors to talk with patients.  Check with your local pregnancy care center to see what they need.  Perhaps you can volunteer some of your time there.  Once you know their needs, inform your churches and Bible Fellowship classes so that they can contribute on a regular basis.

Our local pregnancy care center helps to educate women about their babies' prenatal development so that they might choose to let their babies live.  Then, they offer support for them as they transition into motherhood.  The center helps both men and women as they come in for STD testing.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is shared with patients and many come to know Jesus before they leave.

The news media is buzzing with so much negativity surrounding this issue, but there are so many wonderful testimonies out there from women who have decided to not have an abortion. There are many wonderful testimonies from women who have had at least one abortion but have found forgiveness in Christ and now they are helping other women find the same forgiveness and healing that they themselves have found, like Abby Johnson in her story titled Unplanned.

Does your community have a crisis pregnancy care center?  I'd love to hear about all the changed lives and wonderful things happening in your area.  Let us know in the comments.  Also, let me know if you can think of other practical items that should be added to my list above.

Blessings to you and yours,


Host a Baby Shower to Support Your Local Crisis Pregnancy Care Center

Read more posts in the faith and family category here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

No Longer Slaves (Study on Galatians)

Shop Digital Downloads

Some people believe that Christians have chained themselves to a list of dos and don'ts as if we are slaves to a list of rules.  If we live by the rules, we go to Heaven, but if we break the rules - if we aren't good enough - we go to Hell.  Well, we will all go to either Heaven or Hell when we die, but our final destination is not based on dos and don'ts.  If that were true, none of us would go to Heaven.  None of us are that good.  Our stories are not stories of dos and don'ts but our stories are stories of life and death.

No Longer Slaves
No Longer Slaves - Jesus has set us free!

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled, "No Longer Slaves."

No Longer Slaves

Faith is the key to freedom.  It takes faith to believe that a God so good would want someone like me.
Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. - Galatians 4:1-5

Freedom is the key to family.  There is no  place for wrath in the family of God.  We are free to love one another as brothers and sisters in Jesus.  We were created to thrive in family.
Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. - Galatians 4:7

Family is the key to fullness.  Do you have a full life in the family of God today?  If you don't, learn more about how to become a brother or sister in Jesus here.

No Longer Slaves

Shop Digital Downloads

Image Credits:  skeeze - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

How to Break Free from a False Sense of Truth

Shop Digital Downloads

Continuing in our series on Galatians, our Bible study text this Sunday is from Galatians, chapter 3.  Our pastor's title for this lesson is "False Sense of Truth."
Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. - Galatians 3:15-16
How do you really earn favor with God?  How do you find favor with God that is not based on a false sense of truth founded on the binding chains of hopeless legalism?

How to Break Free from a False Sense of Truth
Break free from a false sense of truth.

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to worship with us here.


Free - Live Free, Dr. Grady Sutton - June 9, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

 How to Break Free from a False Sense of Truth

God's promise of the gospel is delivered by the Holy Spirit and received by faith, freeing us from the shackles of law, sin, and hopeless legalistic "religion."  We have been set free to live free.
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? - Galatians 3:2
Now that no one is justified by the law before God is evident; for, “ The righteous man shall live by faith."  However, the law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them." - Galatians 3:11-12

 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. What I am saying is this: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.  For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise. - Galatians 3:15-18
Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God's promises and the law.  Jesus has set you free.  You were lost in the law but Jesus came to set you free.  The law was given so that we would see our need for a Savior. 
Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. - Galatians 3:19
The world tries to shackle us in hopeless legalism.  If you really want to live free, you need bolt cutters.  

The first handle = Spirit filled living.  Surrender your hearts and lives to Jesus.   Be in His Word every day.  

The second handle = Standing on the promises.  Remember what God has already done for you.  Live by that.  
How to Break Free from a False Sense of Truth
Cut the chains that bind you.
We have a hope.  He is preparing a place for us.  Do you believe that?  Live it.

Have you been set free to live free?  Find out more about how to be set free here.

Image Credits:
drumuph - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Clker-Free-Vector-Images - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay
Didgeman - CCO Public Domain Images via Pixabay 

Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Remember Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury

Shop Digital Downloads

I've made it through the whole series.  Karen Kingsbury's 9/11 series is made of of a three book trilogy.  One Tuesday Morning, Beyond Tuesday Morning, and Remember Tuesday Morning.  All three books were captivating.  I read and reviewed the first book last year.  I can't believe I waited so long to read the next two, but once I got started, I couldn't put them down.  I have read both books in one week.  If you haven't read any of these books yet, read them in order.  While many of Karen Kingsbury's books can be read alone even though they are part of a series, I recommend reading these three in order.  Each books builds on the previous one.

One Tuesday Morning introduces the reader to the main characters in the series.  Jamie Bryan is married to Jake Bryan.  They have a 4 year old daughter, Sierra.  Jake and his daughter go to church together but Jamie doesn't share their faith.  One Tuesday morning, on September 11, 2001, terrorists attack the Twin Towers in New York City.  Jake dies in the attacks.

Beyond Tuesday Morning takes you to 2004, 3 years after 9/11.  Sierra is 7 years old and is starting to forget things about the daddy she adored before the towers fell.  Jamie is keeping Jake's memory alive and honoring the life he lived by volunteering at St. Paul's Church.  Soon after Jake's death, Jamie began to read Jake's Bible and the journal he left behind.  She now shares Jake's steadfast faith in Jesus.  One morning, Jamie is headed to volunteer at St. Paul's when a group of young men hold her at gunpoint.  A man, Clay Michaels, is standing nearby.  He is visiting from California.  He sees the gun in Jamie's side so he and his friend, Joe, step in to save her from her predicament.  Could he be the one to lead Jamie out of the place where she still hangs on the past and into the place where she will find love again?

Book Review - Remember Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove) - Collage Created in Picmonkey

Remember Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury

Remember Tuesday Morning introduces the reader to new characters while continuing Jamie's story in the background.  Alex Brady's father had been a FDNY firefighter.  He died on September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers were attacked by terrorists.  Alex has spent the last 7 years trying to rid the world of bad guys.  The more bad guys he can get off the streets, the fewer families have to suffer the loss of a loved one.  Alex left his home in New York.  He left his faith, his mother, and the only girl he had ever loved to move to California to work for the LAPD as a K9 police officer.  With his faithful and loyal dog, Bo, at his side, Alex cares about nothing but ridding the world of evil. 

In Los Angeles and the surrounding area, there is always the threat of summer wildfires.  This year, the threat is elevated even more with threats of arson from an environmental terrorist group.  They threaten to burn down high end housing developments which, according to the environmental terrorist group, represent extreme materialism with little or no appreciation for nature.

Soon after Alex had come to California, his former girlfriend, Holly, had come to see him as one final attempt to reach the deep, soft area of his heart and save their relationship.  Alex turned her away.  He assumed she had gone back to New York, married, and perhaps had started a family.  Alex didn't know that Holly had chosen to stay in the Los Angeles area.  She worked as a real estate agent for a development company which was in the process of developing a high end neighborhood - Oak Canyon Estates, the development that the environmental terrorists group is threatening to burn down.

Will Alex find out about Holly's whereabouts in time?  Will she finally be able to break down the wall Alex had built around his heart for the past 7 years.  Will Alex's faith in the God he once trusted be restored?  What about Jamie's family?  Will they be able to help Alex move forward after suffering his greatest loss since September 11, 2001?

Well, you'll have to read the book to find out the answers to all those questions.  I admire Karen Kingsbury's talent.  Her ability to wrap one story around another, resulting in tales of trials and triumphant faith is a gift that only God can give.

These stories pulled from the ashes of September 11, 2001 brought me back to that terrible Tuesday morning.  I remember it very well.  I can still see the images of the burning towers as people jumped to their deaths as I watched on live television.  Then, suddenly I was horrified as I watched one tower fall.  I was horrified again a little later as I watched the other tower fall.

Many years before 9/11, my family had visited New York City.  I had seen the Twin Towers standing in their place in the New York City skyline. I still struggle to explain all the emotions that welled up inside me as the events of that Tuesday morning unfolded before my very eyes.  A few years later, I visited New York City once again.  I walked slowly by the holes left where the towers had once stood.

As I read all three of the books in Karen's 9/11 series, I could imagine every event.  The story she writes in this trilogy is a fictitious one but this is a story that could have unfolded on September 11, 2001 and the 7 years after.

You will want to read all three books.


Read more book reviews here.

This post is linked up at Let's Have Coffee Wednesdays.  Hop on over and read lots of other great posts from lots of great bloggers!

Monday, June 3, 2019

Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury

Shop Digital Downloads

Last year, I was introduced to Karen Kingsbury's 9/11 series.  The first book in the series is One Tuesday MorningBeyond Tuesday Morning begins 3 years after One Tuesday Morning ends.

Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Image Credit:  geralt - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay - Collage Created in Picmonkey

Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury

Jamie Bryan's husband, Jake, died on September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the Twin Towers in New York City.  He was a firefighter.  Now, three years later, Jamie is still volunteering at St. Paul's Church.  The church still stands across the street from where the Twin Towers had once stood.  Jamie ministers to families and friends of 9/11 victims as she honors the life of her husband.  Her daughter, Sierra, was only 4 years old when the attacks happened.  She is now seven and is starting to forget things about the man she had adored as her daddy.

Jake's former boss at FDNY, Captain Hisel, also volunteers at St. Paul's Church.  He and Jamie have become friends over the past three years.  He was there for Jamie when they thought they had found Jake alive after the towers had collapsed, but the man they found turned out to be another man who looked just like Jake, Eric Michaels.  The friendship between Captain Hisel and Jamie has grown very close.  In fact, Captain Hisel makes his intentions clear to Jamie.  He thinks of her as more than just a friend.

Eric Michaels had spent several months with Jamie while he recovered from his injuries.  He was suffering from amnesia.  He didn't know who he was or whether or not he had been a husband and father before September 11, 2001.  After his true identity had been discovered, Jamie helped Eric find his family.  For the past three years, Eric Michaels has been enjoying life in California with his wife and son.

Eric's brother, Clay, is a police officer for the LAPD.  After a shooting, Clay and his friend, Joe Reynolds, travel to New York for three weeks of police training.  Clay and Joe board a ferry on their first day in the city.  They are on their way to visit a church, St. Paul's, when they notice a woman in distress.  Clay catches a glimpse of the gun held to her side.  Of course, he and Joe rescue the woman from her dangerous circumstances.  Her name is Jamie Bryan.

Clay and Jamie hit it off right from the beginning.  Jamie is beyond thankful for her rescue, but is there more to the reason for her feeling towards this Clay whom she has just met? What was his name that she had heard him try to tell her over noise on the ferry . . . Clay Miles?  What about Captain Hisel who has shared grief and a three year friendship with Jamie?    Who is this Clay Miles anyway?  Does he have a family?  Where is he from?   All those questions will be answered within the pages of Beyond Tuesday Morning.

Then there is little Sierra who is not near as little as she used to be.  She's 7 now.  Some of her friends at school who lost their daddies in the Twin Towers now have new daddies.  Sierra misses her daddy but she is ready for a new daddy.  She doesn't really dislike Captain Hisel, but would he make a good daddy?  She doesn't have to wonder about her mommy's new friend, Clay.
"Before he left, Clay looked at her one last time and winked.  And Sierra did a little gasp because that's something she'd seen before.  Maybe it was her daddy who used to do that, or her second daddy - the one who lived with her after the Twin Towers fell down.  But instead of feeling confused, her heart felt happy.   Because maybe the wink was a sign that God knew how lonely she was without her daddy.  And maybe God would take away the lonely forever." - excerpt from Beyond Tuesday Morning
Karen Kingsbury's books always find a way to pull at my heart.  Beyond Tuesday Morning is no exception.  Reading One Tuesday Morning made me fall in love with the characters.  When Jake died in the towers, my heart broke into a million pieces.  As Jamie goes through the many emotions along the journey to live and find love again, I feel like I'm on this journey with her and it isn't an easy one.

I hope you will read One Tuesday Morning first.  Then, pick up the story with Beyond Tuesday Morning.  Get lost in the story and choose life along with Jamie, Sierra, and Clay.

Beyond Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Beyond Tuesday Morning is available here.
One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury
Get both One Tuesday Morning and Beyond Tuesday Morning here.

Read more book reviews here.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

D Day Lessons and Activities for Kids

Shop Digital Downloads

June 6, 2019 will be the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy, also known as D Day.  This day is important in American history because it was the day that turned the tides during World War II, eventually resulting in victory for the Allies.  The generation of young people who fought and lived during WWII are often called The Greatest Generation.  My grandparents were part of The Greatest Generation.  Both of my grandfathers fought during WWII.  They both served in the US Army.  Although neither of them were on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, they served in various European locations.  At some point during the war, one of them served in France.  The other one served in the Philippines.

I've always been interested in American war history, not because I like war, but because the lives lost and all the sacrifices made by military personnel in all military branches are the reason we live in freedom today.  It is important to teach our children that freedom is not free.  Freedom comes with a heavy price tag, even unto death for many.

D Day Lessons and Activities for Kids
Image Credit:  Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHOM) Robert F. Sargent, U.S. Coast Guard - Public domain; official U.S. Coast Guard photograph

D Day Lesson Plans and Activities for Kids

Earlier tonight, I watched an interesting Fox News Special on the 75th Anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy.  I learned some things I didn't know during the show.  It sparked my interest to find D Day lessons and activities for kids.  With only a few days left until the 75th anniversary of D Day, I don't have the time to dig deep to find a whole lot of lessons, but I did do a quick internet search and found 6 activities.  D Day, in it's truest description, is not something about which you will want to go into great detail with younger children.  In fact, I didn't really find a lot which I thought was appropriate for younger kids.  I did find the following 6 lessons and activities and I hope they help you teach the next generation the cost of freedom.  I hope your children and grandchildren grow up with a deep appreciation for what these men and women endured for their next generations - us.

A Coloring Page from Raising Our Kids:  This coloring page is appropriate for all ages.  It shows Soldiers running off of a landing craft and moving through the water.  That's all.  It would be appropriate for introducing younger children to the fact that American Soldiers were part of the Allied forces who landed on either Omaha or Utah beaches on June 6, 1944.

D Day Word Search from Puzzles to Print:  This D Day word search puzzle is listed as appropriate for grades 5, 6, 7, and 8.  You'll find it at Teachers Pay Teachers for only $1.25 (at the time of this post).  This puzzle is a good D Day vocabulary builder.

D Day PowerPoint on Twinkl.  According to the item description, this power point presentation helps children understand facts about the Normandy Beach landings.  You have to set up an account membership to access this lesson.  I don't teach anymore so I didn't want to pay for a membership.  I clicked around for a few minutes but could not find a membership price.  It looks like it might be a good membership site for teachers and homeschool parents.  If you sign up, I'd love to hear about your thoughts in the comments below.  Anything you can add to the conversation on this post will help future readers.  As for this particular D Day lesson, it doesn't suggest an age or grade level on this page - unless I'm missing that somewhere.  It does have one 5 star review but no review description.

D Day:  The Invasion of Normandy on Ducksters Education Site:  This is not really an activity, but it provides for good reading material.  This page covers time leading up to the battle, deception required to achieve an element of surprise, the weather, the invasion, the beaches, the generals, and some other D Day facts. There is a link to a short quiz at the end of the page.  Students can opt to listen to a recorded reading of the page if they wish.

The Night Before D Day at DocsTeach:  This is an interesting activity for students in grades 6-12.  Students will analyze two documents written by General Dwight D. Eisenhower before the invasion of Normandy.  The first document is General Eisenhower's public statement.  The second document is a note he wrote in case of failure.  According to the page sidebar, this activity was created by the National Archives Education Team.

A D Day Tour of Normandy by Gone With the Family:  This is a detailed description of a family tour of Normandy.  If you have the time and resources to take a major field trip to Normandy to tour the beaches with your children or perhaps even a small group of students, this post by Lisa at Gone with the Family might be helpful.  Someday, I hope to visit Omah and Utah beaches which is were American Soldiers landed.  Lisa and her family chose to visit the Canadian memorials.  Her post is complete helpful details and photographs.

Read more posts about preschool and kids activities here.

Jesus is Enough (from the Study on Galatians Series)

Shop Digital Downloads

 Jesus is enough.

We are in the middle of our Bible study on the book of Galatians at our church.  The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Free - Christ Is Enough - June 2, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

The Galatians had known freedom in Jesus but here they are, binding themselves by their expectations of works rather than faith in Jesus. Sometimes believers get wrapped up, lost even, in the busyness of good works - of being good - keeping up all the rules, as if Jesus isn't enough.

Jesus is Enough
Image Credit:  EliasSch - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay - Collage Created in Picmonkey
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you. So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. - Galatians 3:1-14
Jesus loves us unconditionally.  We are never to condone sin, but everyone is to be welcomed and loved.   When we do break the rules that we try so hard to follow, we feel guilty.  We must remember that Satan is the accuser.  He is the source of guilt, but Jesus is enough to free us.  Jesus meets us where we are.  It is only in Jesus that we are free.  We live by faith alone.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. - Galatians 2:20

Jesus is Enough
This item is available here.

Paul asked the Galatians several questions:

1.  Who misled you?

2.  Did you receive the Spirit by works or by faith?

3.  When we receive Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit.  You can never sin away your grace.

4.  Are you foolish?

5.  You are in the Spirit so are you made perfect by your own flesh?

6.  If you have suffered, was it in vain?

7.  Does the one who provides you with the Holy Spirit and works miracles around you do it by works or is it by faith?

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. - James 2:23
The greatest blessing is to be God's friend.  We can't earn it.  We can't work for it, but we can be thankful for it.

There was no law when Abraham was found righteousness.  The 10 commandments didn't come along until about 467 years later.  

The Ten Commandments
This item is available here.

We are under a curse because we can't be good enough to fulfill every law, but Jesus redeems us.

Why did Jesus die?  He took the curse.  The blessing of freedom comes from Jesus Christ through faith.

Crucify your flesh.  Rest in the love of Jesus.  Don't look for the applause of people.  You already have the approval of God.

A slave obeys because he has to.  A son or daughter obeys because he or she wants to. - Pastor Jeff Crook
Receive Jesus.

Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

Have you ordered my book yet?

Have you ordered my book yet?
Start reading!

Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway