Saturday, September 27, 2008

Financial Explanations

Here is a WONDERFUL bit of financial journalism. One website calls it "the best piece of financial journalism ever." If you are wanting some more info about what is going on with the economy listen to this. There is a link entitled "full episode" on the left (a little scroll down) to listen to the file. It is easy to listen too and really interesting.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quotes from Murray and Lewis

Some more wonderful quotes from our "TPC Updates" Thanks, Pastor Lusk.

Andrew Murray, from Raising Your Children for Christ, p. 262:

Many people wish to help the poor…but they do not do anything because they do not know how to go about it. One of the highest goals of Christian education is to make deeds of kindness the chief aim in life. Our desire should be to live to make those around us better and happier. This can only be attained as the parents teach themselves and cultivate the virtues they seek to instill in their children.

C. S. Lewis on selfishness:

At this very moment you and I are either committing [selfishness], or about to commit it, or repenting of it.

C. S. Lewis on love:

Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.

What Are Your Children Breathing?

Horace Bushnell said in Christian Nurture:

"[A Child's] character is forming under a principle, not of choice, but of nurture. The spirit of the house is breathed into his nature, day by day. The anger and gentleness, the fretfulness and patience-the appetites, passions and manners- all the variant moods of feeling exhibited round him, pass into him as impressions and become seeds of character in him; not because his parents will, but because it must be so, whether they will or not. They propagate their own evil in the child, not by design, but under a law of moral infection. ...The spirit of the house is in the members of the children by nurture, not by teaching, not by any attempt to communicate the same, but because it is in the air the children breathe...Understand that it is the family spirit, the organic life of the house, the silent power of domestic godliness, working as it does, unconsciously and with sovereign effect-this it is which forms your children to God."

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Consumer Christians?

Here is an interesting post about just hanging around with people we like at church instead of dwelling together with Christians in our geographical area. Do we look at church as a consumer...which one has the right features for me? Food for thought...


About 6 months ago our family came across this blog chronicling the journey of 3 year old Joseph as he fought cancer. We have been praying for Joseph since then. He died recently (the day after his 4th birthday) and his family has continued to touch us. Here is a video of his father singing a song that he wrote at Joseph's funeral. Here is an honest post by Joseph's mother about how she felt as a mom before she found out about the cancer. She shares how it changed her in every way.

Easy Homeschooling Techniques

I mentioned a few days ago that you could download a free ebook entitled Easy Homeschooling Curriculum (it was just free for that day). Well, I did that and I enjoyed the book a lot. I did not read every page, but read enough that I knew I wanted to get...Easy Homeschooling Techniques. This "techniques" book has been really helpful and has tons of practical tips. She has a few views that I do not share, but overall I have eaten up every bit of this book so far. The link above is to Amazon, but you can look here if you are interested in getting the ebook. This book is a great resource, especially if you are needing to keep your school budget to a minimum, .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pear Budget

If you are trying to figure out a budget and wanting something user friendly, I highly recommend Pear Budget. I first saw it on Dolly's blog and started using it this month. It is $3 per month, SIMPLE to use, and pleasing to the eye. They even offer a free trial!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Yes, that is right. There is a website called Homeschool Freebie of the Day that gives you free offers! I just found it at Money Saving Mom and got my first one and I am excited to look it over. It is called Easy Homeschooling Curriculum and it outlines an entire curriculum that you could use (or at lease build on). I just looked at it for about 1 minute before I came here to post to you about it. Here is a little teaser I copied for you:

Easy Homeschooling Curriculum CHRISTIAN Edition by Lorraine Curry (PDF ebook) - What is really worth learning? This great collection from Lorraine Curry and 16 noted homeschooling authorities provides insight into that sometimes puzzling question with clear directives and definite answers.
* How do I reach my spiritual and educational goals?
* How do I identify classic books?
* How do I make the most of the “decade of impressibility” (ages 6-16)?
* How exactly does the literary method work, why is it effective?
* How long do we spend on a topic?
* Should we read excerpts or entire books?
* How do I best combine works?
* What exactly are the most important, and secondary subjects?
* How can I stimulate interest in a subject or topic?
* What is apperception and why is it important?
* How do I teach so that learning becomes permanent?
* How does knowing and feeling contribute to will training?
* What titles and genres should we use for each grade?
* What else should my child be doing at each grade level?
* Why are these particular books best for these ages?
* What is a type study in geography and why should I use it?
* What is meant by “home outward” and why is it important?
* Are there exceptions to chronological studies?
* How can nature study be combined with our reading topics?
* How can grids be helpful in teaching accurate drawing skills?
* Is fantasy really appropriate for children, and if so, why?
* What is the best narration-notebook system?
* At what grade do I begin historical study?
* Where do I begin historical study?

“Lorraine Curry guides the reader through rich literature selections that will challenge you and your children. In our culture of slang language and decadent amoral lifestyles, these selections are refreshing and challenging, reminding us that things were not always this way. . . . The subject chapters offer helpful guidance when putting together literature-based studies. . . . a valuable and well-used resource; inspiring as well as challenging to all who read it. “-Christy Herbert

Saturday, September 13, 2008

May it be so...

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Michael's Coupon

Money Saving Mom posted a great coupon for Michael's today. The link is here. It is for 25% off of your entire purchase and it applies to sale items too!

Are your kids fun to be around?

I just saw a new post on Making Home entitled Train Them Until You Like Them. It basically says that if your kids are not fun to spend time with then you need to train them so that you can enjoy them. Take a look at the link to read the whole article. Great!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This is Funny (and interesting)

On the topic of Sarah Palin, Doug Wilson recently wrote:

I have argued before from Isaiah 3:12 -- "children are their oppressors, and women rule over them" -- that feminism is one of the things Scripture uses as an indicator of God's judgment on a culture. I still believe that, and also believe that we are in fact under this particular judgment in our culture. But as a biblical absolutist, and not a simple traditionalist, I also want to make room for the occasional Deborah. Life is funny, and you should remember that in the Bible Deborah was the dame who upstaged a fellow named Barak. Kinda spooky when you think about it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Grocery Game

The Grocery Game is a way to save you lots of money! My friend Shannon first mentioned in a few months ago and I thought I would pass since I don't buy tons of brand name items. Well, I decided to try it out and it has been lots of fun and saved me some money afterall! Last night I spent $80 at Publix and saved $75 (by that I mean that my total was $155 and after coupons and sales I paid $80). Then I went to Winn Dixie and spent $60 and saved $54 dollars! I will be really excited when I save more than I spend! You can have a 4 week trial of the Grocery Game for $1 and after that it is $10 every 8 weeks. I don't have time to explain how it works right now, so I will just direct you to the link above. Have fun clipping coupons!

Sarah Palin Rumors...true or not?

This Newsweek article is a refutation of many rumors flying around about Sarah Palin. Many of the rumors have been circulating in e-mails and websites. This article does a good job of presenting a lot of facts that set things straight.

Puritan Prayer of Confession

Jess linked to these Puritan Prayers and I have enjoyed them a lot. Even if you are not crazy about printed prayers these have a lot to offer. They are well thought out and rich. I am going to post some here to give you a taste of them...


Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Thy love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to Thee, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Thy love.

When thy Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where Thou wilt show Thyself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Teaching the Younger Women is...Frustrating?

This post is a question from an older woman in the church that is trying to minister to the younger moms around her and has run into a few unanticipated snags.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sexual Tempation

Here and here are two great articles by Randy Alcorn on sexual temptation. An excerpt from the first article is below. These are really worth reading.


What level of pride is required to believe that sexual sin could overtake Samson, David ("a man after God's own heart"), Solomon, and a host of modern Christian leaders, but not me? Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 10 deserves a prominent place on our dashboards, desks, or Day-Timers: "If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall."

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Jamie Soles

For a long time I have wanted to put a plug on my blog for Jamie Soles. I have hesitated though because I wanted to do it just right and give you a really good glimpse into why we LOVE his music so much. So, I have put it off for months and months. I just made up my mind (about 2 minutes ago) to make an effort and then direct you to his website.

Jamie's albums are by far our FAVORITE albums as a family. A few of our favorites are "Ascending","Fun and Prophets", "Memorials", and "Weight of Glory". There samples and reviews on his website.

Dan Glover has been recommending Jamie's music to resellers with whom he is familiar. Here's an excerpt:


A friend of mine has been making quality children’s music (he also produces very good music geared toward adults) from a reformed-covenantal perspective for some years now. His music is very high quality both in respect to its artistry and its scriptural insight and content. My friend’s name is Jamie Soles and he hails from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada.

Jamie sings a lot about God’s covenant relationship with His people throughout the scope of redemptive history. He does a wonderful job of simultaneously combining humour, gravity, solemnity, triumph, education, joy and praise as he retells many of the best and least known Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments. Generally, each album progresses from creation to fall to redemption and shows God’s grace to His people throughout the full and continuous story of Scripture, culminating in Jesus Christ.

Something else he does masterfully is to show how Messiah Jesus was foreshadowed throughout the OT in so many of the great yet very human characters we thought we knew as well as the events that God ordained in their history. Jamie is a true artist.

Unlike many musicians (some of whom wrote some of the tunes in the Psalter!!), the tunes he has written for the stories he is singing suit the overall spirit of the story-song. Songs of triumph (the Israelites taking Canaan) can be marched to. Songs of mourning (the exile or the death of Absalom) always make it difficult for me to swallow (and I’m the dad). Songs of redemption make me and my family marvel at our gracious God as we heartily agree with the words and our spirits are raised to worship by the melodies.

...Frequently, he is joined by his wife (Val) and the older of his [eight] children who all sing beautifully. The children’s voices are not pouty or whiney and Val’s voice is strong and clear without a hint of sensuality, something that is near impossible to avoid in modern music whether Christian or secular. My family and many others I know have also enjoyed his most recent adult offering, Ascending. This album is a faithful rendering (sometimes nearly word for word) of the Psalms of Ascent.

Jamie’s philosophy of children’s music is similar to that of C.S. Lewis’s philosophy of children’s literature: If it can’t be enjoyed by a fifty year old it won’t make for good children’s listening either. I can attest to the fact that this music appeals to adults as well. Much to my family’s chagrin, Dad often snags one of the CDs before anyone else is awake and takes it to work to listen to. I find that I am continually edified by it and that Jamie has included details from the biblical narratives that I had sometimes glossed over before.

Old Post Revisited

Here is a post from May, but I thought I would highlight it again. Jeremy is preaching tomorrow and asked me for one of these quotes and when I looked it up I was glad to be able to read these again. Even if you (or I) don't agree with every word in every one, they at least give us MUCH RICH food for thought.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin Pictures

I like to see pictures of people doing what they do. This site has about 40 pictures of Sarah Palin with her family. I am not endorsing the site, but thought I would pass along the pictures for any who would like to see them.

N T Wright

In Reflecting the Glory, NT Wright fleshes out 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. He starts out by saying that sometimes people feel like they can't please God. They know they are sinful and they think that is all God can see...their sinfulness. He uses the example of trying all your life to please a parent and never feeling like you are able to do it. He goes on to say the following (I just love this!)


Clearly Paul does not look at the matter like that at all. For Paul, God is pleased when he sees his image being reproduced in his human creatures by the Spirit. The slightest steps they take towards him, the slightest movements of faith and hope, and particularly of love, give God enormous delight. However difficult we may find this to believe, not least because of our own upbringing, it is a truth that Paul repeats quite often. Who we are in Christ, what we do in the Spirit, is pleasing to God; God delights in us, and, like a parent, he is thrilled when we, his children, take even the first small baby-steps towards the full Christian adulthood he has in store for us...

...If we have been well taught that we can never "make ourselves right" before God we might assume that there is nothing good about us, that when we finally stand before God we will have nothing to commend us to Him. That is not, however, the way Paul sees it. For Paul, if we are genuinely living in and by the Spirit of Jesus, then day by day, often without our even realizing it, we will have done many things that will give God pleasure-the smallest act of forgiveness, a great act of justice or mercy, a wonderful act of creativity enriching God's world. As a result of all these many things God will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." When he says that, of course, we will rightly say, "Our competence, our sufficiency comes from God." We never escape the wonderful circle of grace, gratitude, and glory. None the less, it really will be us whom God thanks, us whom he praises.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Now On The Things That Are Useless

This article has some interesting things to say about the things that we do that are "useless". There are some great quotes by Peter Leithart in it. They spell out why sometimes it is truly good to do something "useless."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Are you useful?

On being a Useful Christian. This is a great article about looking for ways to help other people especially in the church.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Sinner in the Church?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in Life Together, "For the pious community permits no one to be a sinner. Hence all have to conceal their sins from themselves and from the community. We are not allowed to be sinners. Many Christians would be unimaginably horrified if a real sinner were suddenly to turn up among the pious. So we remain alone with our sin, trapped in lies and hypocrisy, for we are in fact sinners."

The Opposite of Feminism

Doug Wilson recently said on his blog...

There is a significant stream within conservative Christian circles that is more Muslim than Christian. In my writing on family, I have called this error masculinism, the counterpart to feminism. This selection of Sarah Palin enables us to address that problem. The Bible does not teach that a woman's place is in the home. It teaches that a woman's priority is the home. If a woman accomplishes a great deal outside the home without surrendering the priority of the home, there is nothing whatever unbiblical about it. Many people have assumed that Nancy and I are homers simply because we don't apologize for the apostle Paul's teaching on headship and submission in marriagae. But while we believe and practice and teach everything the apostle ever wrote on this subject, my wife has taught outside the home, written a textbook, taught at conferences, written other books, and all while managing the home in a spectacular fashion. My daughters are both very accomplished women, as is my daughter-in-law, and I welcome the opportunity for genuine conservatives to reject the ditch on both sides of this gender road.

Palin's Daughter Pregnant...

Here is good post about the Palin's reaction to her daughter's pregnancy.

Here is an excerpt:

“I’ve heard from the pulpit that the abortion rate among evangelicals is as high as among the general population. That’s because evangelicals would rather face God’s judgment than the judgment of their peers. Hallelujah that the Palins - mother and daughter both - chose life when it would have been more convenient and less embarrassing to choose death.”


One more thought…Sarah Palin does not have to be the perfect Christian mother for us to vote for her. We must remember that none of these candidates are going to be the savior of the USA. We must vote for a person who will take this nation in the direction that we as Christians want it to go. Palin has a history of rooting out the corrupt, being frugal in government spending, and since she is adamantly pro-life she could save the lives of many babies. She also presents herself as delighting in being a mother, seeing children as a blessing, and honoring her husband (as she said in her acceptance speech). Let’s just keep watching and then decide who gets our vote.

A Great Cheap Recipe

This is especially great for those who don't love the "mushiness" of oatmeal (like me).

Baked Oatmeal

1 c oatmeal
1 1/2 c sugar
4 eggs
6 c oats (not quick oats)
4 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
2 c milk

Mix all well. Pour into greased 9x13 and bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned. You can refrigerate it overnight before baking. It is also really good reheated the next day (or even eaten cold!). You can serve it with butter, brown sugar, and milk on it, but I just like it straight. Enjoy!