Review of Abby Ludvigson’s Sex by Design

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As a homeschooling parent, some decisions and even some conversations I need to have with my children are easier than others.  We have three sons whose ages are 21, 19 and 17, plus a daughter who is 15-years-old.  For example, I can talk about mathematics, literature, and history all day long with no problems.  However, one subject seems like a mine-field to navigate.  That topic is purity and anything to do with sex.  Yes, I just used the word “sex”. Although I don’t particularly like to discuss certain subjects with our three teens and our twenty-one-year-old son, Abby Ludvigson has made this a lot easier with her DVD-based program, Sex by Design. This product is endorsed by Josh McDowell, you can check out what he has to say about the series here.

With this program, we received the teen edition workbook, the parent edition workbook and access to the seven videos. Our plan for this curriculum involved my husband and I reviewing the videos first and then watching them again with our children.  As I watched the videos, I was impressed with how willing Abby Ludvigson is willing to share regarding her own life and her own experiences.  I also appreciated how realistic her message is and the fact she is willing to discuss hard topics, such as the actual results of having sex outside of marriage.

The series covers seven major topics:

  1. Plan Ahead: Living Pure in a Sex-Saturated Culture
  2. Counting the Cost: Every Decision Has a Price Tag
  3. Dating:  Doing Relationships God’s Way
  4. Sex: God’s Purpose & Plan
  5. Modesty: God Cares What I Wear
  6. Pornography: Its Deception & Steps to Get Out or Stay Out
  7. Secondary Virginity: Running Back to God

Also included in the Parent’s Edition is an appendix which contains Bible Studies, The 1st Peter Principle, and Endnotes.  I love how the series aims to be a springboard to deeper conversations between teens and their parents.  I could see this being a terrific resource to use in a Teen Youth Group at a church where parents and teens can have honest, meaningful conversations about purity, sex and navigating those stormy waters in days where the opposite message permeates our culture and society.

Each of the video segments is approximately twenty-five minutes long.  The videos consist of teens talking about their experiences and thoughts which is followed by Abby Ludvigson presenting her message on the given topic.  I love how she includes Bible verse passages in each segment.  I also love how in the workbooks there is a place with guided text to help the viewer take notes as they are watching.  I feel like this is one way to help ensure a meaningful conversation takes place.  Also in the workbooks are sections for the film outlines, Scripture verses. to examine, Truth Statements, Follow-up questions, a section to personalize it, a section to apply it and key terms to review.

It is clear this program is designed to get parents and teens talking in depth about the subject, rather than a subject to fly through quickly.  I feel the videos and workbooks were carefully designed to be easy to view or navigate.

In addition to the video segments and workbooks, online resources are available as well.  These online resources include suggested books to read, articles to read, downloads – such as a purity pledge, and other helpful resources such as places to buy purity rings.  Here are some screenshots of some of the resources for the first segment.

My husband and I were both very impressed with the depth and breadth of this series.  It has definitely provided a way to encourage our family to have what could be difficult or potentially embarrassing discussions.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself.  If you would like to read more reviews of Sex by Design by Abby Ludvigson, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Greek ‘n’ Stuff’s I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) KJV

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As the parents of a teenage daughter, we are always on the lookout for new Bible study materials for our daughter.  So when the opportunity came for us to review  I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) from Greek ‘n’Stuff, I was excited for us to try this Bible study workbook.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers courses in Greek, Latin, Bible studies, free activities and other resources on their website.  They also provide free sample pages for their materials.  The Bible Study materials are offered in either the King James Version or the New International Version.  The Bible studies range from 13 weeks to 52 weeks.  We decided that the study on Acts was the best choice for our daughter.  This study is recommended for those in late elementary or up.

This consumable workbook contains 52 weeks of lessons.  It comes in a spiral-bound format that makes it easy to write in for the student.  Each week is broken down into daily lessons with several questions for the student to answer.  Every week also has a memory verse, which my daughter really liked.

The lessons were broken down into manageable chunks that my daughter enjoyed completing. She takes seriously the idea of memorizing the weekly memory verses.  I decided to do the lessons with her as a way of spending time with her.  This idea seemed to work very well for our family.

On the first page of each lesson, the Scriptures being covered are listed.  Then it is further broken down by day of the week.  The first step for each day is a reminder to pray asking for God’s help in studying His Word.  Then there is a reminder about reading or reviewing that week’s memory verses.  As the weeks progress, I think it is a good idea to pick a time to review the memory verses that have already been learned.  Then each day has questions for the student to answer.  These questions have been easily found in my daughter’s Bible – either from the actual verses or from the introduction to the book of Acts or in the commentary her Bible contains.  I believe a good study Bible is extremely helpful for this study.

All of the pages contain blocks containing either the week’s memory verses, additional questions that are answered for the student, or a box containing a section entitled “Think and Pray About It”.

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I also loved the fact that there were only assignments for Monday through Saturday, leaving Sunday to be the Sabbath.  We decided to use Sunday as a day to review the memory verses for the week.  I believe a family could easily rearrange the days if it was necessary – such as rearranging the days to suit when the family wanted to observe the Sabbath.

My daughter really enjoyed doing this study.  She found it relatively easy to answer the questions.  I know I enjoyed doing the study with her.  So if your family is looking for an open and go Bible study workbook, the I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) from Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

If you would like to read more reviews of the Acts study, the company’s other Bible studies or their Greek courses, click here or on the graphic below.

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Book Review of #truth by Josh McDowell

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  For many years I have been a subscriber of the YouVersion App and with four children – three of whom are still teenagers, I spend a lot of time looking for resources for them to get them into God’s Word.  Josh McDowell does an excellent job of filling that need.  This would be perfect for a homeschooling family with teenagers.  The teens can complete this on their own or families could complete it together.

This book includes 365 devotions for teenagers that connect life with faith.  The Scripture passages are relatively short and easy to read.  He then includes a short passage with some explanations or insight into the passage being read.  Each day also includes a section which begins with “Truth is….” where Josh McDowell offers additional facts and information. At the end of each day is a section entitled “My Prayer”, which gives the reader a chance to have an already made prayer.  I definitely recommend this book.

 

 

 

Homeschool Review Crew – Review for City on a Hill’s Manhood Journey

For the last several weeks my husband has been using Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit, a father-son Bible study, from Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.  This Bible study kit has been a blessing for our family.  It is designed to be used for fathers and sons to do together.  Or it could be used by a group of fathers and their sons together.   If  the father is unable to participate, an older male sibling, male family member, or another adult male could lead the study.  It would be great for men in a church to do with young men who truly need a Biblical male role model in their lives. In our case, my husband and our three sons who are 20, 18, and 16 did the study together.  Even though the study is recommended for ages 8 to 17, my 18 and 20-year-olds enjoyed the discussions.

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The starter kit includes everything that is needed to get started. The starter kit includes a group discussion guide, a 1 on 1 discussion guide for fathers to use with their sons, a DVD of the introductory modules for all six units, 10 maprochures, and a free copy of Wise Guys Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You by the Manhood Journey cofounder, Kent Evans. lack of formal lesson plans concerned my husband when he first opened the box.  But, he figured out what to do.  The interactive nature of the program allowed all three of our sons to participate.  They either read passages of Scripture or shared their own thoughts and opinions. The one thing everyone commented on and liked was that no one Bible version was used.  The Scripture references were provided and our family was able to use our preferred Bible version.

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When I asked my husband what he personally thought of the program, he felt the program was very good because it gave him the opportunity to really talk with our sons and spend time with them.  Given that he is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher, and has been, for over 24 years, this was something he could really dive into and enjoy.  He was no sure exactly what role the book “Wise Guys” was to play in the lessons.  However, he was able to make it work for our family.

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Moreover, our oldest son plans on becoming a Youth Pastor, so this program is an excellent way for him to dive deeper into his chosen profession.  He really enjoyed spending time in God’s Word and fellowshipping with his father and brothers.

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Our second son, the 18-year-old, also stated how glad he was to be able to use the Bible version of his choice rather than having to use a different version.  He also commented on how much he liked the format of the lessons.  He also enjoyed getting to spend time with his brothers and father.

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As I listened from our bedroom, which is directly beside our living room, I could they were enjoying what they were doing.  Of course, being able to get comfortable and having a variety of furntiure to sit in probably helped a lot.

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All in all, this was an excellent program that suited our family well.  I would have to say any young man could benefit from doing this program with his father or some other adult.  Our young people need good role models and Biblically based information to help them form lasting ties to God.  I believe this program would definitely help do this.  Furthermore, I believe we will probably be buying additional modules in the future.

With most of the teaching in our home being done by me, I love seeing opportunities for my husband to engage with our children and especially with our sons as they move towards the independence of being an adult.  This truly is an excellent product teaching Biblical manhood and would be perfect for small groups or individual families to use.

If you would like to read more reviews of this program, you can click here or on the graphic below.

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If you would like to conect with Manhood Journey or City on Hill on social media, you can find them at:
Manhood Journey
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/manhoodjourney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/manhoodjourney @manhoodjourney

City on a Hill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FollowCityOnAHill
Twitter: https://twitter.com/COAHStudio

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Journalling and Connecting

Today I spent time connecting with God’s word through bible Joirnaling.  I am currently participating in an online Bible study for The book of Ephesians.  Our first assignment was to do a page with the title Ephesians on it along with a page that showed an overview of the chapter.  Because I had a Bible with chapter titles, I used those titles for the overview.

Here are the two pages I created.

   

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“B” is for Babies, Boys, Bibles and Books and Blogging

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So today is Day 2 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April along with the Blogging A to Z challenge.  The letter of the day is “B”, which for me is for babies, Bibles and books.  We have four children who are 18, 16, 14 and 12 respectively right now.  While I miss them being babies to a certain extent, I enjoy seeing the people they are becoming.  Three of our children are boys and they truly are a handful.  Our youngest is our only girl and she is quite the princess.  My boys keep life interesting and one never knows what might be discussed when we sit down to meals or what they will attempt to do.

Bibles play a critical role in our family.  My husband became an ordained minister the same year we were married.  So we have worked to bring up our children in the word of God.  As we search for homeschooling materials, Biblical companies are the main one we use.  It is important to us to have a Biblical worldview and for our children to back up what they believe with Scripture references.  So we have quite the collection of Bibles, concordances, Biblical commentaries and dictionaries around our home.

The other thing our home is full of is books.  I grew up believing that books were my best friend.  I was never bored or lacked things to do because I always had books to read.  I have tried to instill the same love of reading in my children.  They have not all grabbed hold of the idea as I would wish, but we are still working on it.  It is fun when we prepare for a move to see all the books loaded into boxes.  We have Biblical books, Language Arts and Literature books, books on writing, books for Math, books for Science, books for History and books for the Arts.  On top of those books, we have books on homeschooling,  books to read for pleasure and various other books.  Each member of the family has at least one bookcase in their room.  Plus we have other bookcases scattered around the house.  Books make homeschooling much easier.  Even if I never bought any more curriculum for our children, I could homeschool from the books we have.  With seven people living in our home the books really add up.

“B” is also for blogging and Bible Journaling.   I started blogging as a way of keeping our extended family aware of what was going on in our lives along with providing a record for our children.  Writing makes things more real somehow and easier to remember.  Utilizing photographs helps keep those memories as well.

Bible Journaling has become a new pastime for me.  I especially love getting on Pinterest and Facebook to see what others are creating. Here is a sample of one of works.

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So what does the letter “B” represent or bring to mind for you and your family?  I welcome comments!

Another Round of the Ultimate Blog Challenge

Well the first quarter of 2015 has flown by quickly.  We have spent the time working on school, beginning to hold church services at our home and making a relatively quick trip to North Carolina to see my husband’s side of the family.

With the start of the second quarter of 2015 beginning, I am pleased to be participating in the next round of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  My plan for this blog for 2015 is to increase traffic to the blog and begin offering some freebies as well.  I am also going to learn how to use Photoshop and work more with PicMonkey to create my own graphics.

In April, the next Proverbs 31 Ministries Bible Study for Lysa Terkeurst’s book “What Happens When Women Walk in Faith” will begin.  Once again I will be serving as one of the Facebook Small Group leaders.

I am also participating in a Bible Study for Kay Arthur’s book “How to Study Your Bible” in order to learn more about the Inductive Bible Study method.  I am also going through the book, “Writing in the Margins”.  One of my goals for 2015 is to grow in Bible Journaling activities.  My one word for 2015 is “Create” and that is my focus for the year.

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In the realm of homeschooling, we are preparing for our oldest son’s graduation.  With that we will enter a new realm of parenting.  We are planning on him walking across the stage at the CHAP convention in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the weekend of Mother’s Day.  Our next graduation will possibly take place as early as the next school year.

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So what is going on where you are