Monday, September 23, 2013

Consistent Bed Time for Children

I need to to be a little more consistent here! My sister-in-law, Dana has always been good about this!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wow, very well put by Albert Mohler Jr.

This is probably the best I have ever heard on this topic.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

This stuff is unbelievable!

Just Happy

I feel overwhelmed with happiness right now. I think I must be happier than I've ever been. Is it because my marriage is perfect? No! My children are always perfectly respectful and obedient? No! But I am getting better at just loving them as they are and not wishing to change them. I am feeling more content. I am enjoying leisurely mornings with a breakfast of turkey bacon and eggs (the smell takes Derrick and me back to our childhood with the familiar smell of our grandparent's houses of coffee and bacon) with a frappa or pancakes with jam and bacon. Spending time in God's rich Word and specifically praying about what I read is such a sweet time. The schoolyear has been wonderful with Bailey and Samantha's new Alpha Omega Switched on Schoolhouse (which Ryan had raved about Mia doing) and CLE math which I LOVE! Did I say that?! I've always hated math. With.A.Passion. I get to take a walk with the little ones, water the flowers( I love gardening and watching for new flowers to bloom and stepping back to look at the beauty. I also love showing the kids what comes of our hard work), feed the baby, and do fun Kindergarten work with Livi and Bella while the older ones do independent work. Then the young ones have "Livi Time", Cam takes a morning nap, and I work individually with the older ones. I love reading from one of my 5 or so wonderful books on a lunch break or later in the day. I am happy that I am getting better at cleaning and decluttering the house, although I do still need more growth,  energy, and discipline in this area. I am thankful that my energy is better than it was though. I'm thankful I have grown in time management,  though I could still stand to grow a little more in this area. I LOVE what I do! Taking care of the house, my husband, the kids. BUT I would never be able to do what I do without Derrick serving us daily as a very diligent and dedicated worker. Also, he has organized and set up so many things to keep the house running smoothly; things involving discipline and chores. All I have to do is keep it running. I am so thankful that God has truly used every bit of bad in my life for good. I am grateful for the life He has lovingly knit together for me. Where would I be without the Lord? I'm not sure I want to know the answer to that question.  I LOVE being a wife and mother. I LOVE having babies! Truth be known I dream of having many more. I love having a toddler in the home! They are crazy, messy, very funny, and the one I currently have is fiercly affectionate. I will never forget what joy she brings with her crooked smile (because of her thumbsucking), the way she out of the blue yells out, "I love you, mom! with such force and passion, the delight in her eyes when she knows she's done something to make you happy, the crinkle in her eyes, how she wants me to tuck her in as snug as a (you never know what) in a (you never know what), the way she fumbles with her words, the cuddling, the clumsy way she drives her tricycle, how she picks me "Blue Boys" that the kids planted with Papa Jerry when he was still here, how she uses her hair as a napkin when eating pancakes drenched in syrup, the "rat's nests" I have to make for her hair, how she loves to climb that perfect size tree for her down the road, I could go on and on...I love the sweet friendships that are blossoming with the older kids, their deep questions,  what amazingly good helpers they are, when they have servant's hearts and do kind things, how they will STILL sometimes ask to sit on my lap, big as they are (and I can't refuse them because I am always thinking of the day that comes when they will never ask to do such a thing, even though it hurts my bones!), their love for learning,  getting to see the delight in their eyes when they watch a spider capture a stick bug in her web, wrap it up, and save it for later, our walks in the neighborhood, our sitting together for one of our favorite times of the day to read a good book and the Bible, how happy they get when I've made them jello with fruit and cream for dinner...I love Bella's snaggle teeth and I will dearly miss her voice when it matures.  I just want to put it in a box and save it forever. I love the way Bella lovingly calls Cameron, "Fuzz", her delicateness. How her face is like Derrick and  mine "smashed" together. How we found out at her birth she was a girl, "Isabella ain't a fella!" I love Bailey's sensitivity, the way I have always known that after a day of difficulty in Bailey and my relationship that at the end of the day I know he loves me and he knows I love him. All is forgiven. I love how affectionate he is, though he's not a "kisser-man." That he looks a lot like his dad, yet acts a lot like me! He is definitely people-oriented and has to remember to stay on task! Samantha's willingness to do the right thing and obey, her gentleness, her sense of responsibility (she got from her dad), her organized nature (again from her dad! She looks like me, acts like him!), her dreams...I love how soft and velvety Cameron is, the way he grunts at us or clicks his tongue (those are his "things." He's done them for months and loves for us to do it back and repeat for awhile), how masculine he has sounded even as a baby, his big chocolate eyes, how he can't stand for me to walk out of a room, how he smiles at me when I sing to him, how he loves the Banana Orange Medley cousin Peyton got him started on, how happy it makes him to stroll around the neighborhood,  how he is Derrick's little twin (our boys love to look like their daddy!)...I love how handsome Derrick is (Seriously. He looked even extra handsome playing football with the kids the other day), I even think his salt and pepper hair looks really good, though I don't think he's always embraced it, I love what a diligent,  responsible worker he is, how passionate he is, how he will believe in and stand for something,  even if it's not "popular," mainstream,  or what "everyone else is doing." Once he even painstakingly drew out a particular person's name on a ballot that was not an option to vote for and turned it in, rather than voting for one of the candidates on the ballot! And that's not even really his personality but he was passionate.), how he considers children to be a blessing,  not a burden, how relentless and tireless he is about his hobby of running, biking, well, and now swimming,  and how rarely that ever cuts into our time together (as I am asleep and not interested at hanging out around 4 and 5 a.m. anyway!, how he makes sure we have special family movie nights most every week, how he has supported my homeschooling, the strength he adds to our family, how he teaches the children about God as he goes about life, how wise he is with our finances, how he spoils me with nice cars, appliances..., what a "fix-it" man he is, his heart for seminary, his life-long love and pursuit of learning, his willingness to share the gospel with others (including my beloved grandpa when he was on his death bed), his preaching at loved one's funerals (precious to me), his boldness for street evangelism (that used to be WAY out of his comfort zone! So thankful for what the Lord has done in he and Ryan's lives), I could go on and on! So thankful that we have a wonderful church home and for how cozy it feels to praise and worship together as a family (making sweet and precious memories), that our church is biblically solid, that the people there encourage each other and are truly like family, so thankful for how Dana has continued to be so involved in our lives even so far away, thankful for  our almost daily phone conversations that are so precious to me, and that I get to stay caught up with the cousins, so thankful for the precious times spent with grandparents and extended family, how they bring such blessing and add so much richness to our lives. My cup runneth over.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

"We must allow others  the freedom to fail, just as Christ allows us to fail.  This means a person must be given the freedom to act responsibly and godly, or to act selfishly and irresponsibly. It is better to accept another's failure than push them to act responsibly and godly. Again, this is modeled by the Lord, as He waits for us to repent of our selfishness and turn back to Him."
Becky Lynn Black (

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Optimize Your Marriage by Phil and Susy Downer

"Family is the one place where everyone should feel comfortable about expressing doubts and finding support and solace. By sharing only your strengths you build walls. By sharing weaknesses you build bridges. Rather than being a disgrace, this helps create stronger relationships. Powerful relationships with God and your family will enhance your ability to minister to those around you.

I call it the "love cup." Our goal for building relationships is to strengthen ourselves and those we love with peace, joy, and hope.  We want to walk around liked a cup full of Christ. Bump us and instead of cracking up with anger and resentment, we will spill out understanding and reconciliation." Phil Downer, in Optimize Your Marriage.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quote by Martha Washington

"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.  We carry the seeds of one or the other about with us in our minds, wherever we go."  (Martha Washington in a letter to her friend, Mercy Warren)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quote by Deitrich Bonhoeffer

"It is not your love that sustains the marriage,but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.”

Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Very, very good!!! To wives-Deborah Brown

I think this is the heart of the matter. This is why books, mentors, Bible studies...cannot truly "fix" us. Only seeking after Christ, relentlessly getting to know Him through the scriptures, the secret place of prayer, and walking in the Spirit will truly change us more and more into His image. THIS is what we wives and mothers need to hear. This is so key. Although all of those other things are good, they should be secondary. Everything else will fall into place. Out of the heart it will flow...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Artful Homemaking: Advice for Younger Moms

Very good!
Artful Homemaking: Advice for Younger Moms: The addition of a few more gray hairs, children entering or advancing in their teen years , and a recent birthday all brought the start...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

An Oliviaism

Last night after dinner Derrick said, "Whoever cleans their plate can have a pecan bear!"
Livi (who had a full plate of food she was reluctant to eat) piped up, "Can I have a new plate?"
Derrick said, "Do you think I'm going to fall for THAT?!"


Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Children- little us'?

That can be a scary thought! Our children little us'? The Bible says, "A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." Luke 6:40

In "5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Homeschooling, Heidi St. John said, "Education is discipleship." She said all education can be summed up in the word discipleship. What she said next really hits home, "Because the Bible tells us that students become like their teachers, we know that our children are modeling us in every area of life. Luke 6:40 bears special meaning for homeschooling parents. It reminds us that no matter who is teaching our children, they are being discipled; and it compels us to examine our own lives, because our children are vert likely going to be just like we are." She then talked about how our culture has made academics the main thing. She said, "Academics pale in comparison to teaching our children what it means to be men and women who are sold out for Jesus Christ, ready to give an answer for the Hope that lies within us. Education is simply the opportunity to shape the hearts and minds of our children. There can be no greater goal than to teach our children to follow hard after Christ."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Making Time for God's Word

"Oh, " saith one, "I would think on God with all my heart, but meditation work is a work of time, it will cost time, and I have no time; my hands are so full of business,and so full of employment, I have no time for this work. Meditation is not a transient thought, but it is a work of time, and will ask time, and I have no time." Mark therefore what (the psalmist) saith in Psalm 119, "Lord incline my heart unto Thy testimonies," how so? "Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity." The way to have one's heart inclined to the testimonies of God, is to turn away one's eyes from these outward vanities. Would you therefore meditate on God and the things of God, then take heed that your hearts, and your hands, be not full of the world and the employments thereof....Friends, there is an art, and a divine skill of meditation, which none can teach but God alone. Would you have it, go then to God, and beg of God these things." William Bridge, The Works of the Reverend William Bridge (From Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney

Monday, April 15, 2013

Keep a Quiet Heart by Elisabeth Elliot

"Measure thy life by loss instead of gain; Not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth; For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice, And whoso suffers most hath most to give." Ugo Bassi
From Elisabeth Elliot's book, Keep a Quiet Heart

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Working as Unto the Lord, not Unto Man

"May I strive to please no one or fear to displease anyone except Yourself."
St. Thomas Aquinas

I pray this for myself as I can tend to be a "people pleaser". I need to remember to do my work diligently as unto the Lord, not unto man. I can get deflated pretty quickly when man is not pleased with me or my performance but it shouldn't be this way.

Girls Glitter Flip-Flops | Old Navy

These are so pretty and look durable. The glitter is inside the plastic so won't rub off!

Girls Glitter Flip-Flops | Old Navy

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Freckles and a Samanthaism

Man! I wish I would've heard this saying when I was younger, "A girl without freckles is like a sky without stars."

Sadly we know a family that has gone through a divorce. That is definitely not funny and weighed heavy on my heart. Samantha said something funny relating to it. Probably the funniest thing about it is how seriously she said it. The mom now has a live-in boyfriend and Samantha saw him driving to their house. She said, "Mom, here comes so and so's(child's name) fake dad." Maybe she thought she meant step but I got a kick out of it. Just a side note: Some step-parents may as well be blood if you know what I mean. I'm just trying to relay the funniness of it. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Isabellaism

"Cockroaches are...are badder than waspas!" ~Isabella

Also, we've started a bean jar for Isabella. She gets a bean every time we see her not sucking her finger. She gets to pick something out at the store when it's full! She has done great and been excited from day one. She just kept forgetting to remember! It has been about 5 days. She stopped sucking her finger on day two and has put her blankie away!  Bittersweet for me because I've never seen her without it. I told Samantha that it was good but in a way it made me sad. She said, "Why? Because of precious memories?" I said, "Yeah."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Couple of Quotes on Raising Children

In Family Worship, Donald Whitney writes, "Having your family in a good, Bible-teaching local church is crucial to Christian parenting. But this is not enough for conveying to your children all you want to teach them about God and your beliefs. Moreover, it is unlikely that exposure to the church once or twice a week will impress your children enough with the greatness and glory of God that they will want to pursue Him once they leave home. This is why family worship is so important. But even more importantly, God deserves to be worshipped daily in our homes by our families."

In Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tedd Tripp says, "I've often been asked whether I thought my children would be Christians. Parents desperately seek some promise from the Bible that their children will have faith. I don't believe that promise is found in the Word of God. I have been asked, 'Don't you think that if you raise your children the right way, God has promised to save them?' If such a promise existed, it wouldn't comfort me. I haven't raised them well enough. Looking over their lives, I want to join the ranks of parents who would like to do it over again. I am keenly aware of shortcomings and limitations."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Aunt Bette's Sour Cream Enchiladas

Well, you know how Big Daddy's Barbecue says, "Our smoke ain't no joke!"? Well, let's just say I'm not kiddin' around about these enchiladas! ~chuckle~ ~snort~ They are really good! My family had to eat them 3 nights in one week. I take it as a good sign that they didn't call me out on it! I was nervous the 3rd night although it wasn't in a row. The youngest ones never did get on board with it though ( the 2 & 5 yr old). They said it was too hot the first night! Welp, more leftovers for me! I'm trying to give it a week before making it again but, ohhh, it's hard!! Okay, are you ready for the recipe already?! ~Drum rollllll~~~~~~~~You will need- 1 onion, butter, 4oz. can green chiles (optional), 1lb. boneless, skinless chicken, 1 can chicken broth, flour or cornstarch, salt, 16 oz. pepper jack cheese, 8 oz. sour cream, and corn tortillas. ***Saute 1 cup onion in 2 TBS butter, add 4 oz. can green chiles (or you can leave it out if using pepper jack instead of monterey jack or if you live in France and can't obtain them or something.) Add 2 cups of cubed chicken and cook all. In another skillet make the following sauce: Add about half a cup of chicken broth, 1/4 cup flour (or gluten free like me and omit flour and use 2 TBS cornstarch- be sure not to make the mistake I've made with cornstarch making ut lumpy! Mix the cornstarch in with a little cold water, dissolving it before putting it into hot skillet. It thickened beautifully!), 3 TBS butter, 3/4 tsp salt, add 8 oz. pepper jack, and 8 oz. sour cream. Simmer and stir until bubbly. Put a cup of sauce in other skillet with meat mixture. Then roll up in corn tortillas. Top with rest of sauce and another 8 oz. of pepper jack. Makes more than one pan. Cook on 350 for 30 min. Put foil on top if you want. p.s. I think this recipe will forever remind me of Little House on the Prairie because we were watching it when I made it. Also, don't mind my ~snarf, snarf~ ~chuckle~ stuff! That was for Dana! It's our little joke. I like to embarrass her. ~smile~ Turn her face red... Note to Dana: I reread my post and tried to imagine you reading it. I was laughing because I could picture the look on your face, the furrow of your brows. I got a good laugh. Almost even a real snort. Maybe I'm delirious...Maybe I just need to go to bed...

Mom's Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you use Bisquick leave out the soda. 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix those ingredients well. Work in 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco like you are making pie crust with a fork or pastry blender. When mixed well add 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, cup creamy peanut butter, 3 tablespoons melted butter. Add 1-11 ounce bag of chocolate chips ( I only used 1/2 a bag). Make 2 tablespoon scoops. Bake @ 350 melted butter.            Obviously I use gluten free flour or gf Bisquick. Very good!  

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Weak Mother Is a Good Mother - Desiring God

I love this!

A Weak Mother Is a Good Mother - Desiring God

Simple, yet Profound

Not too long ago I was driving and had been praying about what to say to one of my children struggling with anger. I felt discouraged. Not long after I turned a corner and saw something unlikely on a storage building display sign. It said, "Example is better than talk." I thought, yeah, it's not so much my words that will reach's my example. I prayed something like, "I don't know if you meant that to be there at that time for me but thank you if you did." Then I relaxed and felt more peace about it and most likely prayed for help to BE an example. That is my prayer.

John 13:12-17- "So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'"

1 Timothy 3:12- "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

1 Timothy 3:15- "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Memorizing Scripture

I am trying to memorize, Proverbs 16: 32: "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." It has helped so much to draw pictures! I drew a turtle for slow, a stick figure with muscles for mighty, a ghost for spirit, and buildings for city. Derrick has been teaching the kids the Presidents by having them draw pictures, such as a straight face for George Washington. He is learning Hebrew and said it is symbols. Another good verse related to anger is, "It is honorable for a man to stop striving, Since any fool can start a quarrel." Proverbs 20:3.

Memorizing scripture and writing it on your heart is so wonderful because you can think on it when you don't have a Bible around. When you are laying in your bed before you start your day or can't sleep at night...In the car on the go...Donald Whitney was talking about the benefits of it in his book, " Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life," and said little by little by meditating and memorizing the word you will see growth. He quoted Dallas Willard saying, " As a pastor, teacher, and counselor I have repeatedly seen the transformation of inner and outer life that comes simply from memorization and meditation upon Scripture."

A Snowy Day!

Derrick called this morning before the kids were out of bed. He wanted to be the one to tell them it was snowing! They were SO excited. ;) Here are Isabella and Olivia eating cinnamon toast (I have fond memories of my mom making it for us) and oranges.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentines Day

Valentine morning Derrick gave me a sweet coffee mug that said, "Mrs." on it. In the inner rim it had a Song of Solomon verse saying, "The one my heart loves." I had the idea for the kids to decorate the house and "serve" us a Valentine dinner. I had heard of others doing that and Mia has even cooked for Ryan and Dana and given them a date night at home. They enjoyed decorating the house with balloons, streamers, and some Smarties Conversation Hearts scattered on the table (which Livi went around the table trying to eat as many as she could). They watched Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I got Derrick's favorite mexican takeout, Cranberry tea from Sonic, and they served us puppy chow and some yummy Ben and Jerry's ice cream for dessert. Derrick and Bailey went to the store when he got home and brought a whole bunch of flowers home for all of us girls. The kids enjoyed the treats and ice cream and had eaten pizza before Derrick got home. The kids woke to a surprise of special Valentine Puppy Chow that morning.

Lili is Recovering!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

gracenotes~*: courage

gracenotes~*: courage: I've had these thoughts going around in my head for at least a week now, and I've debated about whether even to post this... Recently afte...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Meditating on God's Word

In Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Whitney suggests finding the time. Concerning reading just before bed He says, "There's value in reading the Bible just before you drop off, but if this is the only time you read Scripture then you should try to find another time. There are at least two reasons for this. First, yoku will retain very little of what you read when you're so tired and sleepy. And second, if you're like me, you probably do very little evil in your sleep. You need to encounter Christ in the Scriptures when it will still have an impact on your day." Emphasis mine. He suggests finding a word, phrase, or verse to meditate on every time you read so that you don't just close your Bible and not remember anything you just read. He pointed out that if this happens, your Bible reading is not likely to change you and your Bible reading can become a chore rather than a "Discipline of joy." Then he says, "And the more you apply the truth in Scripture, the more you'll become like Jesus."

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bible Reading

In Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Donald Whitney said that a 1980 survey by Christianity Today and the Gallup Poll showed that regular Bible reading was the most important factor in forming a person's moral and social behavior. He says, "If you want to be changed, if you want to become more like Jesus Christ, discipline yourself to read the Bible." He talks about how often we should read it and quoted a British preacher John Blanchard, in his book How to Enjoy Your Bible, "Surely we only have to be realistic and honest with ourselves to know how regularly we need to turn to the Bible. How often do we face problems, temptation and pressure? Every day! To catch all these felt needs up into an even greater issue, how often do we need to see God's face, hear his voice, feel his touch, know his power? The answer to all these questions is the same: every day! As the American evangelist D.L. Moody put it, 'A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God's boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.'"

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot

Samantha in her "father's arms" when she was about 4.
Also, from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Whitney said something like, "As though becoming like Jesus wouldn't take much effort." That's a pretty good point! I want to write some things that I want to remember from The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. She said, "A little child wants 'somebody with skin on'; he wants the father to be there in the dark, his weight felt sitting on his bed, his hand on the child's hand, his voice audible. His own father's arms are all he yet knows of the Everlasting Arms. As the child grows he is conscious of more than the physical presence. He watches everything the father does and tries his best to imitate it exactly..." She quoted 1 Tim. 4:12, 15-16, Set an speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity...Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." On childtraining she writes, "Because all of us are born in sin, all of us are rebellious, some more than others. Some children seem to be born sweet and compliant; others are called 'strong willed' when what they really are is merely willful-governed by will without yielding to reason,obstinate, perverse, stubborn, as my brother Phil was in his high chair when he refused to drink his milk. Mother's steadfast insistence on obedience was not for her personal victory over a 'strong' will but rather to strengthen her small son's will to enable him to will against himself, that is, to do the thing he ought to do before doing the thing he wanted to do. How many adults have remained willful, selfish, and immature because they were denied this essential lesson in childhood." I put the emphasis on what I mostly want to remember from that. On being an example to our children I loved this that she quoted, "Being to those under her, as far as in her lay, what Our Lord was to His disciples, reproducing His humility, His charity, His goodness, His sweetness, His patience...never surprised at defects and imperfections...forming by example rather than by precept...leading to love and confidence rather than by fear...proportioning her teaching and trials to the character, strength, and measure of grace of each individual, making them understand that only by renunciation and death to self can they reach the goal, and ever helping them by all the means that unwearied charity could suggest." Maud Monahan, The Life and Letters of Janet Erskine Stuart, p.74 The bold I emphasized here I pray the Lord will help me with! I am always so surprised by my children's sin nature. My husband is not. ;) When I get a little hyper about something he's like, "Well, yeah, Amber...they are going to sin." He can handle it with more calm and ease. And I desire to not just teach them to follow the Lord and tell them what they should do but to BE an example.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney

The analogy of disciplining your body physically has really helped me to understand disciplining yourself for the purpose of Godliness. This book focuses on the spiritual disciplines of worship, prayer, journaling, evangelism, Bible intake, service, fasting, stewardship, silence and solitude, and learning. Whitney said that Godly people are disciplined people. He writes, "In my own pastoral and personal Christian experience, I can say that I've never known a man or woman who came to spiritual maturity except through discipline. Godliness comes through discipline." He talks about three things God uses primarily to change us: people (friends, enemies...), circumstances, and Spiritual Disciplines. He says, "Sometimes God uses our friends to sharpen us into more Christlike living, and sometimes He uses our enemies to file away our rough, ungodly edges. Parents, children, spouses, coworkers,customers, teachers, neighbors, pastors-God changes us through these people." Referring to circumstances, he talks about how God uses things such as financial problems, physical conditions, and even the weather to turn us toward holiness. Then he talked about the Spiritual Disciplines saying, "We often have little choice regarding the people and circumstances God brings into our lives, but we can decide, for example, whether we will read the Bible or fast today. So on the one hand, we recognize that even the most iron-willed self-discipline will not make us more holy, for growth in holiness is a gift from God (John 17:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 2:11)." Then he went on with the analogy that really struck me, "Think of the Spiritual Disciplines as spiritual exercises. To go to your favorite spot for prayer or journaling, for example, is like going to a gym and using a weight machine. As physical disciplines like this promote strength, so the Spiritual Disciplines promote Godliness." "Discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness." 1 Timothy 4:7

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Two Books

Two books I am really enjoying right now. The first one is, The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot. This is the second time I've read this book. The first time I borrowed it. It was so good I have bought it now about two years later. The second one is, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney. I want to share some things from them as soon as I get the time. Some really good stuff. I am also rereading, Sheperding a Child's Heart again and being reminded of some really important things. Also, I went to BCO's site to download a sermon and found Carol Mack speaking about "being the wife your husband needs" and have really enjoyed the reminders and conviction it has brought.

Family Picture