Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur Week Three- Chapter Three

Well, here we are at week three of John MacArthur's Slave! Thanks for joining me again!

If you'd still like to do the study here are the links for the book and study guide.

Week One

Week Two


What does it mean to go from being a slave to sin to being a slave to Jesus Christ?

    Being a slave to sin is all those images from chapter one- bound, not free, chained, miserable, oppressed (sin and all its consequences). But, being a slave to Jesus is the exact opposite- completely free from sin's chains, misery and oppression. Life is different because you are free from sin in Christ. No longer miserable and oppressed, but able to grow (and produce fruits of the Spirit).


Difference between being a slave and being an employee of Christ.

     An employee would only have an obligation to do the job set before him by the employer and would be free to come and go or quit the job if he chose to do so. He would also be responsible for taking care of himself, and could do whatever he wanted to do. A slave for Christ would not have the choice to come, go, quit, or do whatever. A slave to Christ would be obligated to Him with his entire life.

What are some things that cause you to worry?

     I know this is a personal question, but this is something I've struggled with often. And I would say that probably the main thing that causes my worry is financial. Will there be enough money? Can I pay everything I need to pay? Will something break? Will we run out of something I can't replace? But....God has finally granted me peace with this- and recently. And, the peace only comes from years of crying out to Him. I'm thankful I'm finally at a place of peace. I think God needed to get me to this very place before He could move me forward. It's still a work in progress. Sometimes those chains of sin want to bind you up again and you constantly have to lay them at the feet of Jesus.


Romans 14:12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10

      I don't want to stand before God and have Him say, "Courtney, WHY did you waste so much time? Why didn't you do better for Me?" That thought just makes my heart sink. I SO want Him to say, "Courtney, Well done! I'm so proud of you!"I know God has forgiven me for any time I do waste, but I do want to make Him proud. That motivates me to persevere.

In serving our earthly masters, we also serve the Lord.What should be a believer's attitude at work?

     We as believers represent Christ to those that don't know Him. Believers, whatever their job, should alsways work with integrity and honesty even when the boss isn't looking, because God is always looking.

What are things you can do to better reflect Christ to those under your supervision?

     Speaking as a mother, my children are under my supervision. I often pray that my children would just see Christ when they look at me. That when they look at me they wouldn't see tired, broken, grouchy, etc, but that they would see the very person of Christ through me.


Are you living more for earthly rewards or eternal rewards? Why?

     I have learned that I will have to be okay without having some of my earthly wants. I really want my own house again, some land, some animals, and to travel. And, God may bless me with these things. BUT. He may not. This life is only a vapor in comparison to eternity. So, when I start getting a little disappointed, I have to really remind myself, "Do I want what I want know, or do I want what He wants for me for all of eternity?"

What happens to your spiritual fervor when you focus on being accepted by people?

     Living to please others is easy in a sense, because when otheres are pleased we feel accepted and that feels good to us. But, mostly people are pleased when we have material possesssions or a successful job, things that our flesh deems acceptable. The problem is that others' views of success are not God's view of success (even talking about Christians here!). Then, we are striving to please others and not God. He is the one handing out eternal rewards, not people.

Many believers resist the idea of accountability. How would you evaluate these kinds of attitudes and behaviors in light of the slave mentality presented in the New Testament?

   I would wonder if they were really saved. Have they really accepted Jesus as their Savior, or are they just attending as a social status or a neworking plan? And, still, even believers resist the idea of accountibility. Like what David said about chapter two, making Jesus your Savior is easy. It makes us feel good and gives us warm fuzzies. Making Him Lord is hard. That takes you to a different level. Then, it's not all about you. It's not even about you a little bit. Then it becomes ALL about Him.

What are your thoughts?


Monday, February 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tristan!

Tristan turned eight on Saturday, and today is our 18th anniversary. We won't get to go out until maybe Wednesday since David has to work until 8 tonight. As a matter of fact, we brough Tristan home from the hospital on our tenth anniversary.

A word scramble to find all the goodies.

Tristan isn't a big fan of cake icing
so we decided that we would do
ice cream sundaes instead. But,
since it was hard to put a candle on ice
cream, we thought we'd make a
brownie pyramid.

The whole group. Except for me. And including Devin. And Star Wars Legos.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rise and Shine!

Well, I'm trying something new.

I'm getting up early.

Now, before you think that I used to sleep in until noon everyday, getting up at a normal time for me was really around 7:30 or 8. My husband is a night owl and so are my children, but I however, am not. I do like to get an early start on the day, but only if I've had enough sleep. So, by the time I actually got to bed and got enough sleep, waking up at 8 was normal.

If I don't get enough sleep over the course of a few days I start feeling terrible- like someone has poured glue over my head. I get grouchy. I get nauseous, even.

And, especially for the last 17 years, I've had a baby (or more than one child at a time) waking in the middle of the night.

Some days, even getting up at 8 am I still felt like I could just sit and stare at the wall for three hours.

Now, that is tired and overwhelmed.

Well, my husband has to go into work at 5:30 for his current job. Just to make sure he doesn't sleep through his alarm, he has me set my phone alarm as well. So, when my alarm would go off and I would make sure he was up, I was finding that I was wide awake at 5 am. And, then it hit me.

Normally, I would just say, "FIVE AM!" and roll over and go back to sleep without a second thought. But, since I was already wide awake briefly at 5 am......

And, I had heard over the years that some people actually get up at 5 am even if they don't have somewhere to go. I always thought, "Well, what could possibly happen at 5 am that can't wait until 8 am?"

Apparently a lot.

By getting up at 5 am, I have been able to do at least an hour of Bible study, a 30 minute workout, make my breakfast, make the kids' breakfast, check my email, get a shower, start laundry and get ready for homeschool.

Who knew?

So, now I've been doing this for over a month, and let me tell you, I LOVE it.

I've had to tweak it a bit to still make sure I get enough sleep. Some days I will get up at 5:30 and some days 6, and 7:15 on Sundays just to make sure I get enough sleep.

Also, I have one cup of coffee with stevia and 4 teaspoons of creamer (60 calories). I didn't use to drink coffee, but I have read that one cup of coffee can actually be good for you. I have always loved to smell coffee and I have always loved anything coffee flavored, and I may have possibly eaten and entire carton of Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar ice cream in one sitting on more than one occassion. So, one cup of coffee is a bonus.

Anyway, the start I'm getting to my day and the uninterrupted Bible study alone has been so beneficial to me. I don't think I'll be giving up this habit anytime soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur Week Two- Chapter Two

If you want to join me in an online study of the book  "Slave" by John MacArthur, go here to get links to the books.

Review chapter one here.


What would be the benefits of slavery for the slave?

     With a good master, all of a slave's needs were taken care of. With a well respected master came respect for the slave also.

A slave's experience depended upon the goodness of his or her master. Since God is our master, what kind of experience should we expect as His slaves?

     God is perfect so we can expect perfect treatment from a perfect master. He would be loving, just, compassionate, and ALL of His attributes ALL the time.


Whew! Some convicting questions!

Many of Israel's heroes are specifically referred to as His slaves. How does that affect your understanding of what it means to be a slave to God?

     These men are fantastic examples of being able to accomplish so much for God. They weren't oppressed or miserable at all. As a matter of fact, they counted it all joy to be able to serve Him.

In what ways does the slave metaphor emphasize the counterculture nature of the gospel?

    In our society, everyone wants to do what they want to do and have what they want to have when they want it. After all, this is a FREE country, right? Willingly putting yourself last and another first is not satisfying to our selfish flesh.

    David: Making Jesus "Savior" is the "feel good" part, but making Him "Lord" is the hard part. That makes you accountable to Him, and people don't want that. We are His slaves-His hands and feet. We do His work, but our flesh rebels against that very thing.


Thoughts about Paul.....

     Paul's conversion may be one of the most radical ever. From the actual persecution and killing of those Christians whose God he eventually became a slave to is miraculous. I think Paul is a reminder to never stop praying for the those who are lost. Sometimes we think "so and so" is so far gone, they will never come to Christ, but Paul shows us that those who are so against God can have a change of heart.

James, the brother of Jesus, referred to himself as "slave" rather than "brother". What does this say about his perspective on the Christian life.

     James recognized that being a slave to his Master superceded his familial relationship to Jesus. This is kind of hard to relate to, I think. I mean who wants to be a slave to their brother? But James was able to look so far past that and focus on the one thing that mattered, the fact that Jesus was more than his brother, He was the God who owned him.

Thoughts on James 4: 13-15....

     Our primary concern in every action of our lives should be first considered as whether or not it's God's will for us. As a slave, we wouldn't have the option of going our own way, and doing our own thing. Every thing we do would need to be completely aligned with God's will, since he does have ownership over us.

     David: At the end of the day, really nothing else matters. The only thing that matters is Jesus.

Thoughts on the boundaries of His control....

     I think the boundaries of His control are really a safe area for us to be in. I think of my children in the confines of our yard. When they are there, they are safe. I can watch over them and protect them. But, when they venture out of that boundary, there are dangers and they are vulnerable.

What are your thoughts? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Musings

We don't really watch Spongebob. I've never even seen an episode. But, he is all over the place and two year old Travis has noticed.

"Can I have Fish Bob?"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Frugal Friday: Ten Things I Like to Buy at Sam's Club

We have a Sam's Club about a mile from our house and another two within pretty close proximity. We don't have any other warehouse clubs nearby, so I can't say on how the prices are at any other place. But, there are some things that I have found to be much cheaper at Sam's.

Now, typically I don't buy a lot of name brand prepackaged things.I usually get stuff like that cheaper and with a coupon at Walmart, or grocery store with a good sale. But, overall, Sam's club has a good quality store brand, and if you typically buy the name brand prepackaged things, you can find them cheaper at Sam's.

These are the things I've found to be about the cheapest and best quality.

1. Toilet Paper
     Member Mark is the Sam's brand and is very similar to leading name brands in quality. I can get a 36 double roll pack for under $17 or so. That's 23 cents per single roll and under the 25 cent price point most couponers have for a single roll. I can pick up a pack that will last us a almost a month and not have to worry about waiting for a sale and clipping a coupon.

2. Water Bottles
     Now I know that eveyone is going to the refillable bottles with filters, and mostly we just use water out of the faucet, but sometimes we need to have water bottles on hand. Sam's offers 36 for equal to or less than the same price of 24 at another store.

3. 90% Lean Ground Beef
     With the leaner ground beef, there is very little fat to drain off so you aren't losing the bulk of what you just purchased, and it's healthier because there is less fat.

4. Lunch Meat
       I know some people worry about nitrates added to their lunch meat, so just be cautious here if that is something you are concerned about. But, otherwise this is the best quality lunch meat for about the best price I've seen.

5. Milk and Yogurt
      Now, I could make my own yogurt, and I would like to someday, but at this point I'm just buying it. I do like to buy Greek yogurt for myself and the kids like regular, but at least they are getting the probiotic.
6. Cheese
     Cheese has gone up in price so much lately, but Sam's still has about the cheapest price. You can also buy in bulk and if you don't use cheese almost daily (like we do) then you can shred it, bag it and freeze it.

7. Eggs
     I really prefer to use cage free eggs for the quality and taste (and health factor) and since we are at a point in time where we can't raise our own, I've found the best price for these at Sam's. Maybe you can find them cheaper from a local supplier or farmer's market, but Sam's has been the best option for us at this point.

8. Baking Supplies
     I just bought a huge bottle of pure vanilla extract (I know you can make this, also, but I haven't had the time to try it!) for a small fraction of the cost I've paid in grocery stores. I know yeast and spices are also especially good bargains.

9. Fruit and Vegetables
     I can get about the best deal on lettuce at Sam's. Typically the usual Sam's price is the grocery store's sale price on many fruits and vegetables. Again, your local farmer's market may be the best bet, but if you buy produce from a grocery store anyway, Sam's is your best bet.

10. Gasoline
     Sam's usually has about a 3 cent per gallon discount on gas as compared to our local corner station. Not always, but usually. Today, gas here is $3.50 per gallon at the corner station. (Crazy!)

Sam's has a basic membership cost of $40, but you can easily make up that in savings. We make that up just in gas, since my van has a 30 gallon tank! But, if you are not sure you want to join, or if it would be worth it to get the membership, you can always go on a guest day or with someone else who has a membership to price compare first.

No, Sam's isn't paying me to say this. (Although they should, don't you think?)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday, Thomas!

And, here starts the big birthday bonanza of 2013! Between now and April 27th  we have six birthdays.

Thomas starts things off..............

A scavenger hunt to find the white ninja and Brennan was the last clue!

Bethany and Brooke made a red ninja pinata.

Die, pinata, die already!

A blue ninja gift.

An Avengers cake. I know it totally goes with the theme.

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur Week One- Chapter One

Thanks for joining me! This is the first week, so we'll go through chapter one, then next Tuesday we'll go through chapter two and so on.

If you haven't gotten the books yet, go here to get the links!

So, what did you think of Chapter One?

I'll just give my comments on a few of the questions, but feel free to respond to anything in Chapter One.


What do people around you think the word Christian means?

     I think that most people today would associate "Christian" with "believing in/knowing about God" but aside from actual Christians, I don't think that people would equate "Christian" as having a relationship with Christ as their Savior and really understand what that means. Growing up in the Bible belt, I'veseen many people claim Christianity because they see it as some sort of social status or social title, or they "grew up in church" or "their daddy was a deacon and their grandaddy was a deacon" so that makes them automatically a Christian, which isn't at all true.

Based on John 10:27, how do Jesus' expectations of His followers compare with the world's understanding of "Christian"?

     Jesus expects us to follow him completely and without a doubt as a sheep would follow it's shepherd, reliant on him for everything and completely lost without him. The world (mostly) accepts the fact that Jesus existed, but was a wise man, teacher or some prophet. Many may say (especially those who claim Christianity in title) that He is the Son of God, but most wouldn't think of being COMPLETELY devoted to Him.


What are some characteristics you usually associate with the term slave?

     bound, shackled, not free, crushed, miserable, oppressed

How do these characteristics compare with the concept of Christian mention in question 1?

     Well, I think that many times people think that Christians just live under a bunch of rules, which can seem like oppression in their eyes. But, in comparision as a sheep to a shepherd, the characteristics are a total and stark contrast to what we usually think of as "slave".

Early believers knew that following Christ was synonymous with being a slave. Why is the concept of slavery offensive to some believers today?

     There is probably not a person alive today who when they think of the word "slave" doesn't think of Africans being taken, chained, and sold.. Even today there is still a rampant human trafficking problem. So the image of slave today, isn't necessarily the same image one would have had back in Roman times.


When Christ says, "Follow Me", what level of commitment is He calling for? What priority should He be in our lives?

     He expects us to be fully, completely and wholly devoted to Him, not once in a while, when we have time, or at our own convenience, but ALL. COMPLETELY. HIS.


When you go to church, what are your primary concerns? Are they more about you or God?

    Overall, I have to admit that Christ has been central in my life since I accepted Him But, I do have to say that He has not always taken the first and foremost place in my daily life. It is so easy to get consumed with taking care of home, husband, kids, etc. that I know I've let these things come before Him. These questions were very convicting, especially about church. I want to be focused on Him, but I let myself get focused on getting everyone out the door, to their classes, and whether or not I will need to stay in the nursery with some of the kids, etc. So, this is a good reminder to do a priority check.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Musings

Me: Oh no, Travis! You broke the lamp!

Travis: You can buy a new one.

Me: I don't have money to buy a new one. Do you have money?

Travis: I have money to buy a new lightening ball!  (light bulb)

Also, could I ask for prayer for my dear homeschooling friends in South Carolina? They are facing a potential bill that would just be a huge step backward for the homeschooling community. I'm just sick over it. We left South Carolina three years ago after 12 years of making that state our home. It justs pains me that a bill like this is even being considered in a state that has come so far in support of homeschooling and parent's rights. It just makes you realize that we are a hair's breath from the enemy at all times, so we have to remain on guard. I will be fervently praying about this!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Frugal Friday: Ten Ways to Homechool on a Shoestring Budget

Homeschooing doesn't have to break the bank. It doesn't even have to come close. There are so many quality resources available for free, or almost free, that homeschooling can be done on even the most miniscule of budgets.

Here are TEN ways you can homeschool on a shoestring budget:

1. Utilize your library. There are books, magazines, dvd's, etc. on just about every topic right at your disposal- for free.

2. Buy used curriculum. Many homeschool organizations offer up yearly used curriculum sales, typically toward the end of the school year/beginning of summer. Depending on participation, you may be able to find everything you need for your upcoming year at the one sale at a small fraction of the retail cost.

Also, there are several options to find used curriulum online. Ebay, HSLDA's Curriculum Market, Curriculum Exchange, and  Yahoo used curriculum group are great places to find what you need.

3.Yard sales. I have found so many things at yard sales from flash cards, books, puzzles, vidoes to actual homeschool workbooks and curriculum. One of my favorites was a teacher who was retiring. I got so many great things from her for just cents.

4. Library and Private school book sales. These are great places to find supplements to your curriculum. Novels, children's books, geography and science books and really just about anything is possible to find at these sales.

5. Scholastic Book Warehouse Sales. These sales offer a wide variety of books at a 50%, and often times more, discount. This is a great opportunity to build a homeschool library and find supplements to your curriculum at a greatly reduced cost.

6. Set up a freebie/curriculum swap table at your homeschool group meetings. At one homeschool group I was part of, we just brought in what we wanted to give away and set it out on a table. It was a great way to declutter and give something to someone who could use it. On a larger note, I've also been part of an area wide book benevolence. If you have a willing host (in this case a church) who has a little space to spare, anything homeschool related can be donated, kept in a central location and, the doors can be opened once a month to anyone needing curriculum.

7. Dollar stores. These days many dollar stores are offering up a large selection of teaching supplies. Recently, I've been able to find simple workbooks, worksheets, file folder games, flashcards and all kinds of supplies from stickers to cutouts.

8. Borrow what you need from a friend. If you are in need of something, ask a friend if you could borrow their resource. (Just please keep it away from the two year old with the sticky peanut butter and jelly fingers. Just ask me how I know.)

9. Browse the web. There are literally TONS of free resources on the internet on every subject in every time period for every thing.  Click on the "Homeschool" page tab at the top of this blog to find links to many great sites I've come across over the years.

10. Write your own. If you just can't find the resource you need, or maybe your can't find the perfect resource for your family, you can always just write your own. Now, I am going to offer you a shameless plug for my book, "Overcoming Curriculum Anxiety! A Ten Step Guide to Writing Your Own Curriculum".  I've been writing my own curriculum for over twelve years now, and I've shared my "how to" process with you! Only $10!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur

How about joining me here on Tuesdays for a Bible
 study of John MacArthur's book Slave?

David came across this book last year, and being big fans of his, we were excited to read it. I read it last year, but we just decided to do a Bible study on it together using the study guide. So, how about following along with me as we work together studying Slave?

You can find the book here.....

and the study guide here.

 And, the study guide is even on sale right now.

See, no excuses, people!

I thought I would post my notes on Tuesdays until we work through the whole thing. I'll just stick with my notes, not David's, well unless he wants me to (ha!)- and then we can get some discussion going in the comments.

Okay, who's in?

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