Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review - Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul

DragonSpell (Dragon Keepers Chronicles, Book 1)

Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul is part a series called the Dragon Keepers Chronicles. I chose to read Dragonspell in order to be able to ensure its suitability for my fanasty, adventure loving sons. From the very first chapter I was drawn into the story of a young slave girl called upon to participate in an adventure filled quest in search of a rare dragon's egg. As she faces her fears, lack of knowlege, and willingness to serve Wulder, she comes to know more about who she is, her strenghths, and her weaknesses. The characters became my own friends and foes as I found myself emersed in this magical world. Best of all I look foward to introducing my boys to this author and her series. Dragonspell will serve as a wonderful platform for many character building discussions about the adventure with my boys! This series will be a welcome addition to our homeschool reading program for my 9 and 12 year olds. I highly recommend this book for reluctant readers, those that love fantasy, and those interested in going on an adventure that promotes Christian character!

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes, however, this review is solely my honest opinion of this book I have read personally.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Legacy of Idol Worship

Yesterday we took our boys to see the the Cleopatra exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center. The artifacts are amazing and provided us numerous great opportunities to discuss the truth of the Bible with our boys. Several of the artifacts were from the time of Christ or very near to it. We were able to see a gold coin with the head of Caesar Augustus, the Caesar that called for the census in Luke 2:1 which caused Joseph and Mary to travel to Bethlehem.

It was a great kick start for our study of Ancient History that we will be doing this year for school.

However, I was overwhelmed about halfway through the exhibit. Nearly every artifact was of a god or an instrument of worship of Egyptian gods. I have known of idol worship from scripture and history studies, but it smacked me square in the face.

Our preaching elder, Greg Birdwell, has been preaching through the book of Judges and the Idolatry of Man. It has been an amazing time of learning! Not until I saw this exhibit was I faced with the real, gut wrenching question. When I am long gone, what will be on exhibit for others to see? What will my exhibit show about who I worship? What will our generation's exibit show of our idol worship? I fear that the artifacts of my life may not point people to my worship of the One true God! The idols may change but the idol worship remains the same. Things, computer, cell phones, ipads, televisions, the latest kitchen gadget, cars, trucks, boats, even the houses that take more time to clean than we spend in the word or serving others can be idols that speak louder than our words. We can worship our careers, our self-sufficiency, our pride of life, and even our service.

I must begin today....I must not leave a legacy of idol worship! What is it that holds our attention more than God? What is it that you believe you could not live without? What do you treasure more than Christ? Let us take time to examine our lives and leave a legacy of worship of the One true God!

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Thick Skull and the Powerful Word of God!

I have developed a pet peeve over the last few years. I have the amazing Women's Bible Study Leaders at Highview Baptist church to thank for it.

Their goal was to draw women closer to Christ through teaching them how to feast on the word through and Inductive Bible Study approach. Though this method is not new or fancy it helped me to develop my peeve, CONTEXT!

When studying the word of God I used to really like topical approaches, after all I thought they really helped me to understand application. I used to like to study "women's" bible study books by all those well known ladies. (I bet you could rattle a few names off the top of your head.) Now, I am broken! Or am I fixed....hmmmm! These types of studies nearly drive me insane now!! Why?

When participating in one of these studies I can't stop thinking! Thinking you think wouldn't be a bad thing but for me it is. Let me explain. Many (not all) of these types of studies tend to focus on some key verses that help to make the point the author or leader wishes to make. Not so bad, right.? Except I cannot stop thinking about context. Many tend to blatantly disregard the all important CONTEXT! CONTEXT! CONTEXT!

The word of God is not meant to be used to prove our points. We are to study the word in it's context. If we fail to look at the word in the light of the context in which it was written we exponentially increase the likelyhood of wrong interpretation. The same goes for looking at commentaries on the word. Those that write the commentaries must be sure to write interpretation in light of its context.
We must not mindlessly read a commentary, bible study writer, or study bible notes and assume that author has remembered context.

The only way we will know about context is to do the work of STUDYING THE WORD! Not merely cursory reading, but truly consuming and digesting the word of God. Inductive study provides a framework with which we can really get at the meat of the word of God without loosing sight of  context!

Many people today do not feel capable of studying the word for themselves, and I mean really studying the word! You do not have to be "capable" in order to study the word of God. You need to have a humble heart, a willingness to do the hard work of  digesting the word and the rest is done by the word itself.

The Lord provided a clear description of the word and its power in Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." A friend once said to me, "If the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart,  do you not think it is powerful enough to get through your thick skull?"

We must not relenquish our means for knowing our Lord and Savior to others. We must not surrender our understanding of His words to us to the thoughts of others. We must take hold of the word and wrestle with it  until that sword is able to penetrate our thick skulls!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Treasures in Gratitude - Counting to 1000

Whew what a week! It was busy but full of much to be grateful for.

21. for those that so faithful serve as missionaries so far away from home, friends, and family.
22. for my husband who so faithfully works to provide for us.
23. for the Lord's answers to prayer.
24. that Ms. Alice has recovered enough to return home after an unexpected serious illness.
25. for the women of Providence Bible Fellowship that have so warmly welcomed me.
26. for the brave men and women who so faithfully serve our country
27. for the families of those that serve our country.
28. for the justice brought to Osama Bin Laden.
29. for the Word of God which so lovingly corrects me.
30. for quiet times to chat with my boys about their thoughts and questions big and small.

Is there anything from this past week for which you are grateful?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Treasures in Gratitude - Counting to 1000

11.  the love of my husband.
12.  the opportunity to serve at New Life Mission for their Easter Celebration
13.  dinner with new friends
14.  our neighbors who regularly supply us with buckeyes and their baking trials.....yumm pretzels
15.  boys with minds that wonder....even if it means a billion-quadrillion questions = )
16.  a warm cup of coffee
17.  friends who stick with me through my sancification
18.  God's constant provision for our family
19.  Sunshine...after the rain!
20.  my sisters no matter how far away we may be from each other!

What are you thankful for in your life? Choosing to focus on the Multitudes of gifts that I am blessed with helps me to remain contented in this world while I wait for my eternal home!

Treasures of Propulsion and Boys

There is nothing sweeter than hearing boys declare...."COOOOOOOOL!"  as they discover that they can use the lego car pump to launch lego guys into the air. By the way did you know that lego guys scream! Thank you Lord for the joy of discovery and the laughter of boys both are treasures from You!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Treasured Friends

Yesterday we had a visit from some dear friends! It unfortunately was a good-bye visit....= (  We have come to know this family very well over the past couple of years. We met when they were single and then dating, watched their love for each other grow into marraige. We had the priviledge of having them as part of our family for holidays and for a short time after their wedding. We were blessed to be there for the birth of their daughter and go the joy of caring for her for a time.

They have grown in love and grace right before our eyes. Now though, it is time to say good-bye as they are preparing to move across the country. They will be missed!

This all got me thinking about our relationships with fragile, warm, sincere, sinful, and loving friends!

All relationships have their ups and downs, as well as joys and disapointments. How blessed we are in the body of Christ to know all the good, bad and ugly of our relationships are meant for our own sanctification process. What a gift from God! That God cares enough to allow us to build friendships that provide comfort and encouragement as well as challenge us to be more like Christ!

I must admit that I often fail as a friend! Yet I am still amazed that God sees fit to bring wonderful people into my life to be my friends. Not only here on earth, but with the assurance as believers that we will be reunited someday in heaven to sing praises to our God and King! Thank you Lord!