Fill My Cup Lord

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This past weekend our church had a ladies’ retreat, which I was privileged to attend.  The theme for the weekend was “Fill My Cup Lord”.  I truly needed to have my cup filled.  I am a wife and homeschooling mother, so the majority of the time, I dedicate my time to my children.  This was only the second women’s retreat I have attended.

The retreat was held at a Catholic Retreat Center.  The setting was beautiful and the words touched my heart and soul.  I was so glad I was able to attend.  The messages, the worship music, the meditation stations and the speakers blessed me tremendously.  Furthermore, the time with like-minded ladies was important.  I came back refreshed and ready to help fill the cups of those around me – including our family.  I pray you have been blessed recently.

Review of Let the Little Children Come’s Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack

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As a Christian family, I feel it is important for our family to share the message of Jesus Christ and of salvation.  So I am always on the lookout for tools to assist with that.  Even though my youngest just turned 15 years old, and our oldest is 21 years old, finding the right words to use can be challenging.  However, I recently discovered a fantastic company that offers products to assist with this dilemma.   Let the Little Children Come provides tools to share the gospel with children, and you can check out a selection of them in their Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack.

According to their “About Us” page on their website, Let The Little Children Come, “aims to provide effective child evangelism tools and resources”.  Their products are designed with children in mind.  Being realistic a typical Bible tract designed with adults in mind will not capture the mind and attention of a child.  However, the items contained in this pack are brightly colorful, engaging and captivating.

In the sampler pack our family received for this review, the first thing that caught my eye was the way all of the tools came packaged in a zippered plastic bag.  This ensured that nothing would be lost or misplaced.  A variety of tools and tracts were included.  There are animated tracts, using a striped plastic sheet over the images and slowly sliding it over the pictures in the tract so the images appear to move.  Next, there are “Pop-up tracts” which follow the same principle of pop-up books I remember buying when our children were younger.  I know these books always kept my children’s interest when they were younger.  Finally, there are FlipAbouts which using according to the enclosed information sheet, “use a fascinating folding mechanism.

I love how the company makes detailed instructions and even video demonstrations available on their website at http://www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com.  In our sample pack, we received a variety of tools and tracts including silicon bracelets, which my children used to love receiving when they were younger.  For each color in the bracelet, a portion of the gospel message is written on the included sheet.  Steps for being with God are written out in a way a child would be able to understand.  Finally, a prayer the child can say is written out, so all the child needs to do is pray.

The Lost Easter Egg was another tool our family really enjoyed.  This is one of the pop-up tracts.  The colorful looks, pop-up features, and concise message make it enjoyable to read and share.  On the back again the gospel message is spelled out on how to have a relationship with God along with a prayer to say.

I love how the messages in these tools are written to children. In the future, I plan to order some of these items to keep with us as we go about our daily life.  This way, when we come across a child we will be prepared to share the message of God’s love and the salvation we can have by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  If you would like to read more reviews about Let The Little Children Come and the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack, click here or on the graphic below.

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31 Days – Day 2

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This is the second post in my 31 Days of Scriptures Series. My husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and was ordained almost 25 years ago.  So through the years, I have heard him preach on many different passages from the Bible.  So a lot of those verses have come to be favorites of mine.

Here is the image for today’s verse.

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An Update on Our Family – Hurricane Harvey Part 1

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Two weeks ago today, we began a journey thanks to Hurricane Harvey.  We live approximately an hour and a half north of Corpus Christi and about two hours south of Houston in Texas.  We have lived here for around a year and a half.  We are no strangers to hurricanes having our home of record in eastern North Carolina.  In a Facebook group, I am part of, a discussion began about what those of in Texas were going to do.  Another lady and I both stated we did not know what we would do.  Finances or other circumstances did not give us many options.

Our week started off normally.  On the 22nd, my husband and I celebrated our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  We knew there was a tropical storm named Harvey who might decide to visit our community.  Wednesday was a normal day.  Thursday we decided to get some supplies in for the incoming storm.  While we were out, we found out the storm had been upgraded and would potentially come in as a category 3 or higher.  The “or higher” part is what got our attention.  We have several large trees in front and behind the home, we are living in now.  So we were paying attention.

Later Thursday evening, a friend sent me a message to say our community was under a mandatory evacuation order.  So my husband and I discussed what we wanted to do.  I am on the book launch team for Erin Odom’s book “More Than Just Making It” and someone on the launch team offered our family shelter.  So we began packing up and tried to figure out what we needed and/or could take with us in our 12-passenger van.

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Friday morning shortly after 6:30 am, we started towards Dallas.  We were surprised at how light traffic was on our route, at least until we got to Waco.  Then, we arrived in Dallas around 12:30 or so where we would be staying.  Until Monday morning, our hostess was absolutely amazing.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 where I will share what happened while we were in Dallas and what we found once we returned home.

 

Review of the Mapelle Films’ Movie – Trust Fund

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Today I want to introduce you to the faith-based movie Trust Fund from Mapelle Films.  Our family is always on the lookout for wonderful family films, so I was really excited for our family to review this family drama. I also received a copy of Love Was Near, a book written to be read after watching the movie.  This is a perfect movie for a family movie night.

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The story tells the tale of Reese Donahue, a young aspiring writer, and the struggles and adventures she has.  Jessica Rothe plays the role of Reese and does an incredible job.  Reese is the youngest daughter of parents who own a publishing company.  Reese has her father, Grayson and her older sister Audrey.  Reese is surrounded by people who love her and only want the best for her. However, she becomes involved with a man named Milo, who is not good for her.   She is unable to recognize this fact, unfortunately.

Reese is one of those people who is struggling to find her place in the world.  Her father has his publishing company, and her sister has a job at the publishing firm along with a fiance she apparently loves.  When the movie opens, Reese has just returned from a trip to Italy for a writing conference her father encouraged her to attend.  Unfortunately, while in Italy, Reese becomes involved with a man named Milo she thinks is the love of her life. She spent more time with him and very little time attending the conference that her father meant to help her with the book she was supposed to be completing.

The movie chronicles Reese’s involvement with Milo, her family, a former male friend from her childhood,her publisher from another publishing house, her girlfriend she shares an apartment with along with her father’s secretary and other characters.  It demonstrates the strength of a father’s love and how facing life’s difficulties with people who love you and forgive unconditionally brings resolution.  The movie is a spin on the story of the Prodigal Son told in the Bible.

Issac Alongi produced and was the cinematographer for the film, and was homeschooled himself back in the 1980’s.   He has over 20 years experience in the film industry.  I always love seeing or reading things created by former or current homeschoolers.  The sets and scenery in the movie were incredible.  Here is an excellent article you can read about Issac Alongi.

Sandra L Martin is the writer, director, and producer for the film.  She also wrote the book Love Was Near to be read after watching the movie.  It is meant for those over twelve years old.  The book offers a more in-depth view of what Reese was feeling and thinking.  It seems to be a way help Reese move forward in her life.  I felt the script of the movie was well-executed.

I chose to read the book for the purposes of this review.  The book is written in journal form.   I found the book to be captivating.  It was easy to read.  The book contains portions of text, pictures, quotes, and portions that were done as though they were handwritten in a journal.  Each chapter concludes with questions to be answered.  I loved the fonts used and the attention to detail in the book.

Here are some pictures I took of pages in the book.

 

 

In addition to the film and the book, a study guide is available from the site to be downloaded for use in small groups. You can view the study guide here.  The study guide includes information about the characters in the movie, Bible verses, questions to think about, and sections called “Deep Thoughts”.  These deep thoughts include information about Christianity, comparisons of Reese and the younger brother in the story of the Prodigal Son and more.  There are also photos from the movie.  I found the study guide to be a worthwhile addition to the film and book.

Here are some screenshots I took of some pages from the study guide.

 

If you would like to read more reviews about Mapelle Films‘ movie Trust Fund or the book Love Was Near, click here or on the graphic below.

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#BloggingAtoZchallenge – F is for

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So here is another installment in my #BloggingAtoZchallenge.  The letter is “F”, which for me represents family, freedom, flexibility, faith and fascination.

First, “F” represents family.  Our family is a lot closer than we were before homeschooling. My children enjoy spending time with each other and with us, their parents.  Before we began homeschooling our oldest son was in the fifth grade and 10 years old.  His friends preferred avoiding their own family at all costs it appeared; so they certainly did not want to be around our family either.  Within about a month of beginning to homeschool, our oldest was becoming closer to his siblings – and especially his 4-year-old sister.  It was an amazing transformation to watch.

Second, “f” is for freedom.  We have the freedom to decide what curriculum to use.  We also decide how often certain subjects need to be done.  We can change curriculum when we see it absolutely is not working.  If the day is too beautiful to stay inside or we just need a “mental health” day, I have the freedom to change the calendar.  If we want to take off and go somewhere, we can.  We can take a vacation when public school students are still in session.  So ultimately, homeschooling provides all kinds of freedom.

We also have flexibility.  We have the flexibility to set our start and end times based on our family’s own preferences or even a specific child’s preferences. If one of the children want to do a week’s worth of a particular subject in one day, he or she can do that.  We also have the flexibility to decide when a child has mastered a particular concept.

Next, “f’ is for faith.  In everything we do, everywhere we go and everything we study, our faith provides a key component in what we do.  Our children know what we believe and have the ability to ask questions to see our faith put into practice.  We pick textbooks that illustrate our faith and values.

Finally, when our children find something that fascinates them, they can choose to study that subject until they find out what they wanted to know.  If something they read about fascinates them, we can choose to build a unit study about it.  Also, the children have some flexibility to pick textbooks that capture their interest, imagination, or otherwise inspire them to complete the subject.

So what comes to mind for you when you see the letter “F”?  I would love to hear from you.

Preparing for 2016

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  So 2015 is quickly winding down and 2016 is fast approaching.  Last year, I read all over the Internet about picking a word for the year.  So I picked “Create” and I still plan on using that as one of my words and verses for the year.

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I want to continue “creating” in 2016.  I wat to create memories, dreams and new adventures with our family as we transition from life in central Pennsylvania to life in Texas.  I want to “delight” in where we are being placed by God.  I want to find the desires of my heart and work towards reaching those dreams.  I want to look to God as the source of my strenght and delight.  Even though I may not understand His plan for my life, I can choose to bloom where He has and is planting me.

In 2016, I want to strive to help my children reach towards these ideas ass well – especially in our homeschooling adventure.  Some many opportunities and doors will be opening with this move even though some doors are closing.  All my life I have lived on the East Coast, so this is a new adventure.  May God bless our steps and lead our paths in the ways He would have us go.

I also want to work on my Bible Journaling more.  I want to spend more time in meaningful interaction with my heavenly Father.  I also want to spend more time on creative pursuits – including crocheting, quilting,  and learning other artisitic pursuits.

I pray for your Christmas or holidays to be blessed.  Enjoy your time with your family and friends.