Friday, May 31, 2013

Digging into Luke

The kids and I have been working on the Big Dig in our Bible class each morning (more like 3x per week to be honest). They love the content and its been great for me to have a plan written up to follow, I just pick it up and go. In true Precept form the kids have memorized the review questions I wrote up.

Who wrote the book of Luke - Luke
What other book did Luke write - Acts of the Apostles - a sequel to Luke
What was Luke's profession - A Physician
Who did Luke write the book for (audience) - the Gentiles
What order is the book written - In Chronological order (important when putting together timelines!) Luke is the only gospel to be in chronological order.
When was the Gospel of Luke written - AD 60 - the temple was destroyed by Rome in AD 70

How do we know what he write is true? Luke searched for eye witnesses and then investigated their stories to make sure they were true.

The study is broken down into 4 simple sections:

The Map – The Map is the overview of each lesson. It will give a brief introduction about what you will be reading.
The Dig – The Dig is the main passage of the Bible you will be reading. There are typically three or four review questions that will help with discussion and review.
The Treasure – The Treasure is the big idea of the passage you have just studied. Simply put, it is what you want your child to remember in one sentence.
The Display – Archaeologists go on a dig, find a treasure, and then put it on display for all to see. This is the basic idea behind the Display. It helps your child live out what he or she has just learned.

 Since Luke is the longest gospel, its broken into two books, we are working our way through book 1 this summer and hope to tackle book 2 in the Fall. It is a great way to study the scriptures with your kids.

I also started "A Reason for Handwriting" with Drew to help improve his handwriting this summer, so he works two lessons on the formation of letters and words and then on day three he writes his memory verse and decorates the paper. He wants to make a book and mail them to everyone he knows!

City Life to Country Life

John and I have always dreamed of living in the country - out where its quiet and my neighbors aren't blaring their Karaoke machine at 1 am! We want the kids to run around and climb trees, get dirty and explore God's creation. I want to raise chickens! I just hope we don't see too many tarantula's!

So we've been saving and tried to put our house on the market last year - that was a disaster and the Lord made it obvious that He had other plans - better plans that involved patience and waiting on Him.

His other plans are coming to fruition. One year later we're on a different path, instead of selling our home we refinanced and are going to become landlords. Our mortgage is very low,  which will allow us to hopefully make a decent profit on our current home each month. If its a total flop we can always sell now that the market has picked back up - but I think John's handyman skills and my accounting smarts will prove us down a really exciting path in the real-estate market.

This last year we've been saving and in May we put down money on some property. We are moving out to the country late this year and will be living on an acre and a half near Rhome Texas. It was the only plot on 30 acres with trees - it reminded us a little of Oregon. We got in super early and picked this great location on a cul-de-sac. It is a great little piece of land and it came at a really great price!  The house will start being built in the next few weeks, we just finished picking out tile and cabinets and carpet - this to my sweet friend Martha it wasn't very stressful, she planned it all out for us.   We hope to move in November, but they may surprise us and get it finished quicker! I think to the builders surprise, the market picked up faster than expected and they have already sold all but 3 of the original 30 lots. That is a lot of building!
Kitchen floor plan

Our new home will be a two story - all the living and bedrooms will be downstairs. The upstairs will have a bonus room for the kids to play in and then a guest bedroom and bathroom for all the company that comes to visit. We are super excited!

The outside will look similar to this with three dormers on top.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Promise

I've been meditating and praying over this great passage in Psalms. God is so amazing to bring His Word to life in me.

You are the helper of the fatherless. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

Psalms 10:14,17-18

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Hunger for God: Intro Final Thoughts

Piper writes, "The most mature Christians I have ever met are the hungriest for God."

It is a simple statement, yet very profound. The more deeply I walk with God, the more deeply I will hunger for Him. Piper goes on to state that the more deeply I hunger for God, the more ". homesick I will get for heaven... the more I will want all the fullness of God."

I yearn to see Jesus, to have my children see Jesus in me. I just finished the 4 part Revelation Preceipt class and I long for Heaven. I long for heaven because I just can't get this life on earth the way its suppose to be lived. Daily I am faced with my own sin and selfishness and I just hate struggling with my own sin so much. I hate battling desires with the computer, the television, the desire for idleness, the lack of desire to put down the work and enjoy the children. None of those are bad things, but when used to escape from life, they are sin. I love my children and cooking and swimming but there are days when all I want is to do nothing - not read my Bible or pray or worship. In those moments I must remember to choose to hunger for God - it is a learned pattern. I fear that I nibble so much on the trappings of the world that the hunger for God is pushed out. It is a battle that I often don't even prepare for but almost desire to sit on the sidelines and watch. I know a few great men and women of God - they are contagious and I want to be that for this dark world - contagious for others salvation.

These are the days of fasting, Jesus writes in Matthew 9:15 that the "... days will come when the Bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast." In heaven there will be no need to fast, but until He returns, we are commanded to fast.

There is hope, the Lord did not leave me ill equipped, He left me the Holy Spirit, His precious Word and the art of Fasting. I believe it will be these three that will produce a deep hunger for God in my life that just might be contagious to others someday.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Hunger For God

"When God is the Supreme hunger of our hearts, he will be supreme in everything."

I really struggle to live out Philippians 3:8 in my daily life - "I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ." The reality in my life is that I have suffered the loss of few things, I have a great husband, marriage and children. I am incredible blessed. I struggle in the daily mundane of suffering loss of - finances to help another or time to invest in a child. I struggle with selfishness and my hunger for God wains back and forth. I grabbed  John Piper's book as I deeply want to improve my prayer and fasting life so that I hunger and thirst for the living water that only Jesus can provide - nothing else should sustain me. There are changes coming in our family,  I don't know what they are, but I can feel the Lord's presence, prodding me to be prepared and ready for what will come. 

In March  I set a timer on my phone for 10:30 am - my kids know this as our prayer time. I admin there are days when I am in the middle of life and don't want to stop and pray. My children convict me as they run to my phone and yell "prayer time." God is so good to be present in my weakness. I pray my children remember their mother, not as perfect, but as a woman who was determined and devoted to acquiring, dare I say demanding, a hunger for God. 

When I moved to Texas in 2003 - I left behind everything for an unknown land. It was the first time I truly responded to God in abandonment. I had deep faith that this is what my new husband and I were called to and nothing would stop us. I cried a lot that first few weeks - I remember getting into our new, sight unseen, apartment with ants and mildew and deeply desired to turn the UHaul around and drive home. I hate(d) change - I always have. I dreaded change in my youth, staying up at night, making myself sick - I lived in fear of change and I had just changed my life in the most stressful ways. I moved to a new state, had a new job, and a new husband and I was deeply homesick. I was so homesick I lost 10 pounds and never felt hungry because of my grief. I remember back to those early days, some 10 years earlier and I long to be that homesick for God. Piper writes that,
 "The birthplace of Christian fasting is homesickness for God.... The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable." (pgs 13, 14) 

 I want to hunger for God like I hungered for home and familiarity in those early days of marriage.  I long to be so consumed with hungering for God that my appetite for food diminishes and my thoughts are consumed with the Lord.I look at my life and see idols - money, time, selfishness, fear, etc. I long to rid my heart of idolatry - the simple pleasures of earth that rob me of a life hungering for God.

Lord, I pray I will learn to go without so that You will fill me with what I truly need. May I hunger and thirst for righteousness - no matter the earthly cost. May I not be a lukewarm believer, but a woman of passion and devotion who is a world changer not only in her little home but in the big evil world out there. Lord, change my hearts desires, create in me a hunger to know you more intimately and reveal to me the idols that have crept into my heart and home so I may obey and break down the walls that lead to knowing more of Your heart.


End of the School Year....

Wow the end of the school year has come, I can't believe I have a second grader and a Kindergartener! The last month was super busy with trips and end of the school craziness.

Drew had an amazing year. I can't believe all that he learned and squeezed into his brain. I remember looking at the sentence diagramming and multiplication sheets in his curriculum at thought there was no way - but after a lot of prayer and a few tears, he earned a nice break! I am so proud of Drew, the goal the last month was to "finish well" and he did. His last few grammar, history and math tests were all excellent. He even ended the year with all A's and an 87 in Language Arts which is his hardest subject.Drew is excited to spend the month of May digging for bugs, swimming, building with Lego's and circuits.

Gabe finished his first semester of Kindergarten, we started early since he was very ready. Gabe finished all of book 1 in Explode the Code, Math U See Primer (to lessons 25/30) and all the Bob Books from collection 1-2 and the Sight Word collection. We just have a few more lessons in Math, Bob set 3, Explode the Code book 2 (9 more lessons), 5 more spelling sets and 50 more lessons in TYCTR and he will have finished up his Kinder curriculum. Gabe loves learning and play on Reading Eggs. He is looking forward to playing with his brother and sister and going to VBS.

Abby is finishing up her last two classes of speech and is non stop action. That girl can climb, run and beat her brothers. She is ferocious and has no fear. She loves to color and trying to write her name. She can count to 15 and has finally mastered all her colors - man those took a long time! She can dress herself - albeit in weird combinations, and her favorite color is pink. She loves to tell strangers about her "new" bed from January and about how she loves books and naps. Abby has never met a stranger and between my three chatty, know it all kids, I don't get in much teaching time. Abby's new thing is to have me leave her room light on in bed so she can "read" at night. That girl can look at books for over an hour. She talks to herself and "tells herself" stories like she is reading, its so cute!

The kids and I are going through the book of Luke this school year, now that Drew is home each morning we have started The Big Dig bible study each morning. It is a great study that helps me teach the Word of God to my kids in a fun and Expository way.

 I just returned from visiting my new niece in Oregon - Kara is adorable! Then I headed to Las Vegas for a little trip away with my  sweet friend from 4th grade - Bethany. It was wonderful, yet bitter sweet because my grandfather unexpectedly passed away and I was unable to make the funeral.

John stayed home with the kids and had a "mid life crisis." His table saw of 8 years broke and he "had" to spend an insane amount of money to buy his dream saw. On the plus side, my bed was ready when I returned and its super cool! I can't believe John made our bed, it looks amazing!