Friday, March 29, 2013

Frugal Friday: How to Clothe a Large Family on a Budget

This is what my living room looked like two weeks ago.

No, the mall didn't throw up in there.

It's time for the Semi-annual Sanchez Seasonal Clothing Swapout!

We've got 12 people in the family and we just don't have room to keep all the clothes in the closets and dressers. So, twice a year I swap out the winter and summer clothes. That's tip number one for how to clothe a large family (or any size family) on a budget....

1. Be organized!

        This will make more sense in the next steps as to why organzation is key (as if organiziation isn't self explanatory for keeping wardrobes for 12 people). I keep all out of season clothing and shoes in plastic totes labeled by size, gender and season and stored in the garage.

2. Be a minimalist!

        Minimalism is your friend in this department. I've found that the more clothes a kid has, the more they get dirty and the more laundry I have to wash. and wash. and wash....    So, I find a reasonable amount of clothing for each child to last through the season. Sometimes that varies depending on the age of the child. For the most part about ten sets of clothing is enough per season. If I have enough extra from hand me downs, then I'll also set aside a few extra items for when something gets worn out, and also for church or when they need to wear something other than play clothes.

3. Don't be afraid to wear used clothing!

         Now, I know some people don't like wearing used clothing, and that's totally fine. There are lots of opportunities to find new clothing at huge discounts. Almost all stores offer end of the year clearances which are great for stocking up for the next season or a few seasons down the road if you find a really good deal. Also, check my favorite coupon sites for deals that spring up all the time.

          If you don't mind used clothing, and we don't, then here is a list of avenues that I use to clothe
our family. (A list within a list? I know, I'm type A. Please forgive me.)

  • Hand-me-downs. All 12 of us wear hand me downs. And if it's something we can't use or don't like, then we can hand it down to someone else.  Call it a "swap" if you want. It's great for clothig, accessories, purses and shoes. The best part about hand-me-downs? FREE.

  • Consignment. There are stores for children and adults. I've come across some really nice consignment stores, and some that are nice and expensive. But, typically even the more expesive stores will have a sale or things on clearance at some point. Also, in many cities are seasonal consignment sales that last a week with the last day being clearance. I've sold clothing at these and I've bought clothing at these, both good experiences.

  • Thrift Stores. Sometimes the thrift store's quality of clothing isn't as nice as consignment, because it's donation, but it's also typically cheaper than consignment, and you can still find very nice clothing.

  • Yard Sales. LOVE them. Huge selection, very cheap, and negotioable.

  • Ebay. Just make sure the item has lots of pictures and detailed descriptions. Also, look at the seller's history. I've had good success buying clothing on Ebay, but I've also had lots of stress from trying to win an auction with a bazillion other bidders.

  • Make your own. I'm not a seamstress, but I have been known to repurpose a thing or two if need be.
This is the time where organization comes in handy. When someone gives me hand me downs I go through them immediately, decide what I can use, and tuck them away in my labeled totes. Whatever I can't use, I go ahead and pass on to someone else. I also have a rule. If someone can't wear it in the next two years, and it's not something I don't want to part with, then I will hand it down.  Even keeping clothes labed and organized into totes can take over the garage if you save every size and every season for every body. But, if you don't have a large family, you may want to keep it all.

4. Set up a clothing budget!

             Keeping some money set aside strictly for clothing has allowed me to purchase things that I come across at great deals. Whether it's online, or thrift or wherever, if I see a pair of brand new jeans marked down to $2 I can snatch those up and stick them in the totes til the following season. If I know that someone will need jeans anyway, then I can plan ahead and get the good deal, so I'm all set when that next season arrives. I know it's hard to do with a large family, but I just make it a habit to keep my eye out for deals.

5. Name brands tend to last!

             In my experience, especially with used clothing, name brands tend to last much longer and stain less. Now, that's not to say that a name brand piece of clothing can't be ruined, because my children can ruin some clothing (can we say NO! to anything white?), but overall the quality tends to be better. If you can find a brand name clearance item, let's say a tshirt, for $2, that's such a better deal than a cheap brand bought new for $4. The $4 item will wear out in no time, and if I buy something new, I plan to have as many kids wear it as possible. Funny story. I bought two brand name plaid shorts overalls (boys size 2T) about seven years ago at a seasonal consignment sale on their 60% off day. I paid about $5 for both pairs. THREE of my boys wore those overalls, and they were in such great shape that I sold them again at a consignment sale for $5.

So, do you have any tips to add?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Study of Australia, Mate!

We just finished up a study of Australia for geography. I like to do a geography study on Friday afternoons, although sometimes we do a week study, and so far we've done Africa, Canada, Alaska, Oklahoma, Mexico and Israel. We also did Cuba a long time ago when David was deployed there. (We are going to finish out the year with Hawaii.)And, as always I like to have a theme meal at the end. But, I forgot to take pictues until we had nearly scarfed everything down. I managed to get some of the leftovers.

We had sauted shrimp which was supposed to be shrimp on the barbie, but it was so windy that the barbie would never have stayed lit. We also had zucchini slice, and Pavlova.

ANZAC biscuits- which actually are cookies.

Sausage rolls

All the food turned out really tasty. We finished out the meal by watching an episode of Five Mile Creek, a sort of Australian Little House on the Prairie. A friend told us about this series maybe eight or nine years ago, and we've loved it ever since.
Also, as a good idea for an "older kid" project, Tyler put together a Power Point presentation on the history of bushrangers and Ned Kelly.
Here are some other links that I used for our study.

Australian National Anthem

Several coloring pages and a map of Australia

Another map

A map dot to dot

A nice selection of coloring pages and maps

More Printables

Facts on Australia

Some good Australian art projects

Australia State Maps

Some Australia Recipes here and here.

Some Aussie words and phrases

Information on Bushrangers

How to make a Didgeridoo and a demonstration!

A free Marsupials lapbook from Homeschool Share

A Scholastic study guide for "Wombat Stew"  or a lapbook from Homeschool Share

Australian poems

Waltzing Matilda

Listen to a Kookaburra

A Coral Reef printable

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Seven- Chapter Seven

Okay, it's week seven!!  Let's jump right in!  Here's a review..............

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Week Six


In what ways does the uniqueness of your testimony help you realize what it means to be a slave to sin?

I became a Christian when I was 20 years old. My grandparents were believers and southern Baptist in Alabama (where everyone typically claims "Christian" at least in title), but my parents didn't attend any church while I was growing up. So, I was familiar with church, but wasn't saved. Having come to Christ at a later age, I really remember what it's like to be unsaved and a slave to sin. It's bad. I would never want to go there again. EVER. Or, wish it on my worst enemy. When I compare my life then and now, my life now may not be "easy", but sin doesn't have me oppressed like it used to. Life was very bleak then. Now, I have joy and hope knowing that I belong to Jesus. He is going to take care of me forever. What a relief!

As a believer in Christ, how does it make you feel to recognize that you have been set free from sin?

Thankful, so thankful! I could be like anyone else out there, who still lives in bondage to sin, who has no hope in Jesus, who's struggling to find meaning in this world. I would easily be that, but for the grace of God in my life. And, it makes me feel so relieved. I can imagine similar to what John Newton must've felt when he was finally rescued from that former boss.

Compare your bondage to sin to the redemption you received at salvation. How can you describe the difference between these two states of existance?

Again, relieved is one way I would describe redemption. "Finally! Someone has come to my rescue!" Like if you were floating from a shipwreck of sin in the middle of the ocean about to die from hunger and exposure, blistered and burnt, and someone has just pulled up alongside of you and put a floatie around you and pulled you into their boat. Then, wrapped a blanket around you and gave you food, water, and gentleness and said, "It's okay. I'm saving you and I'm going to take care of you forever!"

What would your theme hymn be? Why does "Amazing Grace" resound with so many people?

Hmm. I don't know what my theme hymn would be, but 'Amazing Grace' just sums up so simply what God does for us. ONLY by His grace we are saved. ONLY by His grace we have hope in Jesus. ONLY by His grace we don't have to continue on in bondage, but His grace gives us freedom from it.
I think when you know and remember what floating out in that hopeless ocean feels like, you can really feel the relief of that grace life raft around you pulling you to safety.

Romans 8:1:

We really deserve to die on our 'ship of sin' so to speak. We deserve to be left out in that ocean to die. We chose to get on that ship. We chose to sail out of port. And, where did that ship take us? It left us out in the middle of a hopeless ocean, wrecked, and about to die. And God could've left us out there. BUT HE DIDN'T! He watched us go out there, and then he went out there to rescue us and bring us back! He didn't leave us to die! Now the question is, we are all out there in that shipwrecked ocean. When he wraps that life raft around us to pull us to safety, we fight him. Why do so many choose to say, 'Oh no thanks, God. I think I'll just stay out here and continue floating." WHAT?


If submitting to God's will is pure joy, why do so many believers resist obeying God's will for their lives?

I don't know the answer to this one. Sin's grip is so tight that even unbelievers don't want to leave it to come to Him. Maybe it's a tendancy to be like Lot's wife and always look back than to look forward to what God has for you next. Maybe it's la lack of faith and trust. Maybe it's lack of discipleship and teaching, and believers just aren't taught so they will mature in Christ.

Ephesians 5:3-10

I have experienced this recently with noticing negativity among believers. God says don't do it.  Just don't do it. Give thanks instead. Where does negativity offer any benefit for you or others? You were in the darkness and now you are in the light, so act like it! Read God's Word, know what is pleasing to Him and let that be what pours out of you.

How do you guard your moral purity in a world that has no moral standards?

Well, this is hard. It's hard guarding my children's moral purity not to mention my own.  I think if you know God's standards, you just have to stick with them. Don't waiver. And it that means that you don't go to whatever place, watch whatever movie, listen to whatever music, or whatever that means in your life, you just don't do it. I know people don't ask me (or my children) to go and do certain things, because they know that I don't approve. They already know it. Now, why are they going ahead and doing those things anyway, I don't know. But, they know I don't stand for it. I think it's not an attitude of haughtiness either. You just know what God's Word says, and you stick to it, and people recongize that. It's hard in this world to take a higher moral ground, but you do it anyway. Like the other week, my daughter had left the post office with some stamps that we found out later she wasn't charged for. So the next day, we went back up to the post office and she explained and then paid for those stamps. Right before Christmas I came home with a DVD that I realized I hadn't been charged for (I had all the kids with me in the store that day, and well, you can imagine in the craziness....) and so the next day I went back and explained and payed for that DVD. Can you imagine the shock on the post office and store workers faces? Priceless. There's nothing special about us, but we just knew God's standard and we stuck to it. Period.


Romans 6:23

You can work and work all of your life and the only thing you will ever get from sin is death. Sin pays it's employees with death. That sounds like a harsh task master to me.

Once rescued from slavery, the Israelites returned to the bondage of disobedience. How does your knowledge of God's Word protect you from the bondage of disobedience?

If you know God's Word, then you know what God desires for you and from you. If you know God's Word you will know what His standard is, and if you know what that standard it, then He expects you to live by that standard. If you are holding to that standard then you won't be pulled to disobey and then be bound by continuing to disobey.

So, what do you think?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Musings: Yoda Edition

A certain young man came bursting into my room dancing and singing.......

"Yoda's in the house.........Yoda's in the hou-ouse....oh yeah!"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My New Year's Resolution

Well, now that we're nearing the end of March, I thought it might finally be time to share my New Year's Resolution. Better late than next year, right?


And, it's not actually a "resolution", but more of a decision really, but I guess that technically is what a resolution is.


And, I didn’t really make it on New Year’s, but about five months ago, because I’m really more of a ‘make up your mind that you need to change something and do it’ than ‘wait until New Year’s to change’ kind of person.


So, technically it’s really more of an ‘October Decision’ than a ‘New Year’s Resolution’.


And, what was the point of this again?


Oh, yes.


The Resolution/Decision.


I’ve decided that 2013 will be the year of letting go.


You see, I hold on to things. Now, I’m not talking about material things. Of course, there are some material things that I hold on to, but really I’m talking about emotional things. And, I don’t just hold on to things. I wrap myself around them with a death grip.


I have a tendency to replay, rehash, rethink, rejustify, and basically relive things- conversations, decisions, circumstances, failures and what have you. Sometimes they’re good things, but most of the time they’re not. I take myself back on an emotional and mental roller coaster especially by reliving the bad things.


Why do I do that?  Does anyone else do that?


Y’all know we’ve had a difficult time over the last few years with David having lost his job and the many repercussions from it. This has been a big one for me. I’ve taken myself back down that road so many times of ‘Did we make good decision…Was there something more we could have done……..What do others think………Why did it happen that way.’ But, it’s not just restricted to that time in my life. Oh, no. There are lots of other roller coasters in this theme park.


And, I am a person that needs closure. For everything. I can’t even leave a book unfinished because I have to have closure about the characters. But, the reality is that there are some things that I just won’t ever have closure on. There are just going to be things that I will never understand, things that I will never be able to redo, and things that just don’t need to be redone.


I know that God doesn’t want me to carry this baggage (and that’s just what it is-baggage) any longer.

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden. The God who is our Salvation.” Psalm 68:19


He has a purpose for what He has allowed in my life even if I don’t understand it or know what the purpose is- hence the lack of closure.


Well, then, why do I still hang on to things? Because, Satan wants me to, that’s why. He wants to keep me chained down with all of this baggage. He wants to keep me in doubt. He wants me to live on the roller coaster.


But God tells me I can have victory over this. I can take every thought captive.


“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5


So, my new phrase is “Let it go.”


Whenever my mind starts to go there….


“I remember when that happened and I know I was justified in that decision because I know what really happened……”


Let it go.


“I just don’t understand why we……”


Let it go.


“I just…”


Let it go.


“Fluttering of a thought……”


It’s okay. Let it go.


Y’all don’t know how many times a day I’ve had to say this over these last five months. But, he has given me victory. Every day really has been easier to just let things go. I really don’t even have to say it that much anymore.


So, here’s to letting go!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy 11th Birthday, Bethany!

Bethany turned 11 a week ago, but I'm just now posting it. Why? I don't know...........

But, she had a nice little birthday that Saturday, and had her two friends over for the afternoon on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Six-Chapter Six

Week six already! I hope you've enjoyed reading through this study as much as I have. If you want to review......

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Week Five

Well, let's get started!


We have a duty to obey and worship God. Romans 12:1-2  What is the relationship between worship and our obedience?

    According to this verse, our obedience is worship. I think many times when we picture 'worshipping God' we think singing to him at church. But, really that's only one way we can worship Him.

How does kyrios relate to the fact that Jesus Christ is God? Why is it such an important title with regard to both His lordship and deity?

     In the Old Testament, kyrios was used to translate the Hewbrew word for God. Kyrios, meaning 'Lord', was used consistently to refer to God the Creator and God the Covenant. Jesus is the New Covenant in the New Testament.  I think the New Testament translators had no doubt about using kyrios and equating the term to God as Master/Creator and Christ.

If you were asked to defend the deity of Christ from the New
Testament, how would you do it?

         Hmm. Tough questions this week! Well, John 1:1 is the verse that always comes to mind about the Deity. I know that a lot of false religions skew this translation to support that they don’t believe in Deity. I think they translate it more as ‘and the Word was a God’.  Using all the book’s given verses (and I didn’t look up more), those alone show that ‘kyrios’ is used repeatedly. In many instances, Jesus is refered to as God-‘Lord and God’, ‘the Word was God’, ‘Lord of All’ and Colossians 2:9 comes right out and calls Him ‘the Deity in bodily form’.


As slaves we are required to obey Christ in everything. Why is this
such a hard thing for many believers to do? What is the proper
motivation for our obedience to Him?

      Our sinful natures want to be lazy and do whatever feels good and is easy, and following Christ’s commands is almost never easy. And, Satan doesn’t want us to obey Christ. He wants to do whatever he can to make disobedience look more appealing. This week my two year old (who is a bit hard headed and stubborn-wonder where he got that from?) was having a fit. He wasn’t doing what I told him to do so when he got in trouble and had to sit on his bed, he kept crying out, “Mommmm….I want you!” And, I found myself saying, “You don’t want me. If you wanted me then you would have obeyed and then you could be here with me.” Well, I think that is pretty accurate of the way we treat Him. We should want to obey Him because we want to be with Him, and be like Him.

Read John 14:15. Genuine believers are characterized by a deep
love for Christ, and that love inevitably manifests itself in
obedience. Why is it impossible to say you love God and then
disobey Him?

    I thought a lot about this question this week. It’s hard for me to understand claiming Christ and showing absolutely no fruit or evidence in your life of having accepted Him. If you’ve claimed Christ, then it seems that you clearly understand who He is and what the Gospel says. Right? So, then by not obeying Him, you are knowingly rejecting God. A friend of mine that I’ve known since childhood grew up in the church, and clearly claims that Jesus is his/her Savior (remaining nameless). Undoubtedly saved, it appears. However, this person has absolutely NO fruit of a Christian in their life. As a matter of fact, this person is very sarcastic, rude, and bitter. This person’s social life consists of parties and drinking. I had lost touch with this person and only reconnected a few years ago and was really shocked at what I was seeing in this person. Also, this person has specifically stated that Jesus forgives him/her for acting this way, because he/she isn’t perfect. I’ve been wondering what to make of this. Could this person actually not be saved? I don’t think we can do whatever we want and then spit in God’s face, so to speak, by saying, “Oh, but I’m forgiven!”.


If actions speak louder than words, then what is your lifestyle
saying about your love for God?

        I find myself repeatedly praying that the fruits of the Spirit would just pour out of me like a fountain. That when people see me, they wouldn’t see me, but they would see Jesus. I especially pray that in light of my relationship with my children.

‘The life of a slave results in the ultimate experience of peace and

       That’s so hard for us in this day and age to comprehend. I think especially here in America, where we so highly value our freedom, and rightly so, it’s just difficult to concede that we’ll be accountable to anyone, much less enslaved to them. But, I guess that’s the point, we are only to be enslaved to Christ, who offers perfect peace, perfect joy and perfect freedom in Him, if we will give ourselves completely to Him. At this point in my life, I can’t imagine life any other way than to be completely His. I try to imagine (and recall) what an unbeliever thinks about accepting Christ.  When I accepted Him, I jumped in with both feet. I was an adult. I knew what life was like without Him and I did NOT want that anymore. So, for me, Savior and Lord was simultaneous, even though I might not have been able to verbalize that exactly at that point in time. I just knew that I was ‘all in’, so to speak.

So the question remains, why do people not obey the Lord they’ve chosen to call Savior?

What are your thoughts?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Musings

Recently Thomas had his 6th birthday. A family member gave him $5 and he was beyond excited.

Thomas: "Five Dollars! I can buy FIVE chicken sandwiches from Mcdonalds!!"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Frugal Friday: Be Frugal With Your Time

Did you know that there are more ways to be frugal than just with money?

Did you know that you can be frugal with your time?

I guess the experts call it "time management", lol!

1. Don't Overcommit!

          It is so, so easy, especially as homeschooling mothers to commit to everything under the sun that is offered. Now I know why we do this- for fear of our children missing out, for fear that our children won't be "socialized", for fear we may be stifling a creativity in our child that we can't meet by ourselves, etc. But, really it is a recipe for burnout for you and your child. They probably won't like running around all the time either. Instead, just choose, or better even let your child choose with you what their activities will be and you choose what your own activities will be. My motto has been that if I can't commit 100% to something then I just won't commit at all. It's frustrating to myself and others to only commit to something that I only half-heartedly devote myself to doing.

2. Multitask!

          Now, I'm using "multitask" very loosely here. If multitasking for you means that you eat lunch while checking email, or you catch up on a little rest while you're nursing the baby to sleep, then that's perfect. Because, personally, my days of trying to nurse the baby while cooking dinner while grading a math test while starting laundry while paying a bill while bathing the toddler are over. I delegate to other children and only accomplish maybe two things at a time. Maybe it's too many years of trying to do too much at once, or maybe it's just old age creeping in.

3. Combine Errands!

          Whenever I know I have several errands to run, I try to combine as many things as possible. I also try to take the shortest route possible. That cuts down on time and gas. I also try to take at least a child or two if I have the option of leaving some at home, so that I can get some quality time, too. For instance, if I know I need to go to the post office and Sam's is on the way, and I know I need toilet paper by the end of the week, I'll go ahead and stop in Sam's and get it. That way I've already saved myself one extra trip that week.

4. Use Breaks Wisely!

          If the kids need a ten minute break from schoolwork to jump on the trampoline, then that gives me ten minutes to start some laundry, start lunch, or change a diaper. Now, I know there are times just to sit for that ten minutes and put your feet up, but if you have the energy, that's a great time to knock out a task or two. Even if you watch tv (I like to watch Biggest Loser and Undercover Boss each week) then get up on commercials and fold laundry or wash some dishes. A lot can get done in a 4 or 5 minute commercial break!

5. Set Goals!

         I'm a driven person, so sometimes I've been known to be a little too lofty with my goals. But, I've learned realistically what I can accomplish while still allowing myself to focus on my God-given priorities-Bible study, my husband, my children, my home. Now many (well, most) of my goals revolve around those things in some way. Normally I don't even write the goals out, unless there are details that I need to remember.  If it helps you to write them out, then do that. I just keep them in mind during the day or week. If at this time in your life your goals are to just keep the children somewhat clothed and make dinner for your husband, well those are goals. And, when you accomplish them, set more. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself. You can look back and think, "Wow, I accomplished my goals!" That may be what you need to persevere!

There are lots more ways to be frugal with your time. Do you have any good ideas for "time management"?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Five-Chapter Five

Here we are already at week five of John MacArthur's Slave!

If you'd like to review weeks one through four......

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

Weeks one through three took a look at the "slave" side of the relationship, week four and again here in week five, we'll take a look at the "master" side of the relationship.

Thanks for joining me!


In what ways have you seen the gospel of Christ distorted?

Well, I think we’d be here all day discussing the ways the Gospel is distorted. Perhaps an easier answer would be to look at teaching that has not distorted the Gospel, even though distortions have even crept into evangelical churches lately.

How can believers protect themselves against distorted versions of the Gospel?

One of the questions in the last chapter touched on this. I think the one sure way for you to protect yourself is to read the Bible for yourself. Get a trusted translation (NAS proven very trustworthy and a very close word for word translation from the original language) and if what you are hearing doesn’t line up with what you are reading, then what you are hearing may likely be a distortion of the Bible.

Galations 1:6-9 Dangers

Distorters of the Gospel will be accursed. Once you start moving away from truth, the areas become grayer and grayer until you aren’t really sure what truth is any more. Then, people can teach almost anything, and with a good argument, win people over to their way of thinking. This very reason is how the main stream cult religious movements gain so many followers.


When you attend church, are you more interested in a good show or in hearing God’s truth even if it steps on your toes?

Okay. On the soap box.

There are so many seeker churches today that are so focused on getting people through the door, but don’t know what to do with the people once they get them there. It’s “Great! You’re saved! Feel good? Well, see you later then!” and the new Christian just flounders around wondering what to do next. There are no discipleship programs in place. It’s like churches forget that church is actually for believers. Now, don’t get me wrong, we certainly want to bring people to Christ, undoubtedly, but having a system in place that grows the new believer into a mature Christian is vital. Churches get so caught up in numbers, and I mean what pastor wouldn’t want to lead a large “successful” church? Everyone likes to see fruit of their labor, and they think that “success” is reflected in numbers. But, if you have a church that is strong in discipleship, leading and teaching, that church is going to grow exponentially all by itself without focusing on any “seeker” programs. People who have a real interest will show up anyway. When you don’t have churches strong in these things, sure the church may grow some, but many of the attenders will fall away because there is no strong foundation of discipleship, leading and teaching. And, once the entertainment factor is done, they're out of there. This is happening in mainstream evangelical churches all the time. I remember one new church that didn’t have a building decided to meet in a movie theater and offer popcorn for their morning services. Now, I don’t know what the teaching of this church was, but these “gimmicks” are popping up all over. What can we do to get people to think our church is cooler and more fun than that church over there? MacArthur mentioned the “prosperity gospel” and touched on that last chapter as well. Here in Oklahoma, we are in the heart of charismatic country, and I feel like many (most?) charismatic churches and “prosperity gospel” churches are hand in hand walking down the distorted gospel highway. And the distortion is so gradual and subtle, you eventually stray completely from the Bible before you even realize it.

Off the soap box.

Philippians 1:21 “To die is gain.”

Paul knew that in this life he was to wholeheartedly serve Jesus, and even so, this life would be filled with trouble, persecution, sin, and suffering. But. He also knew that this life is a race, and if he ran it to the fullest, when he died, he would be leaving behind all the troubles of this world to enter into eternal life with Jesus, in a perfect environment with all of Christ’s riches and rewards waiting for him. (Much better than the suffering that this world has to offer!)

Colossians 3:17 and 23
What God desires for us and from us, are entirely different than what man wants and desires. If we try to please ourselves or others, we’ll never be happy. There will always be something else that we want or need. “Well, if I just had____ then I would be happy.” That cycle will never end. Committing everything you say and do you to Jesus will lead to true happiness. Verse 24 tells us that by doing this, we’ll receive the reward of the inheritance of the Lord. That is far greater a reward than we could give ourselves or others could give to us.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Frugal Friday!

Freebie Friday!
Here are a few more freebies in my mailbox. I got these a couple months ago, but just haven't posted them.


A man from our community gets extra month old magazines from our local book store and brings them to the library for anyone to take. Here are a few that I picked up a couple weeks ago. I just love this idea. He's been doing this for about two years now, and I've been able to get some great magazines. Sometimes I'll keep them, but sometimes I'll just read through and then take them back for someone else to pick up.

Whenever I request freebies, I only like to request those that I know I will use, or someone else can use, because as we all know, we don't need more clutter sitting around! And, I've actully converted to a few products, because of being able to request a freebie and try them out.  (Plus, it's fun to get something in the mail besides bills, right?)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Bailey!

Yesterday was Bailey's 4th birthday! We had a little cupcake party for her in the afternoon and I took some cupcakes and juiceboxes to her class at church last night.

A birthday party mystery guest!

I can't believe she's four already!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Four- Chapter Four

Here we are again for week four of John MacArthur’s Slave. I’ve really learned a lot from this book and I hope you have as well. Thanks for joining me!

In the previous weeks, the book takes a look at the slave/master relationship from the viewpoint of the slave. This week we’ll take a look at that relationship from the viewpoint of the master.

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

What traditions was John Huss trying to overturn? On what authority did he challenge those traditions?
John Huss spoke out against the Roman Catholic Church’s policy that the pope was the head of the church (not Christ) and the cardinals were the body, the fact that ordinary people weren’t really the ones who comprised the church (only the pope and cardinals), the church’s sale of indulgences (a sort of lessening of punishment for a forgiven sin), and the fact that the Bible was not used as a final authority. John Huss challenged these traditions on the fact that they didn’t line up with what scripture taught and he used the Bible as his final authority.

Why is it important for us to continually evaluate our traditions in light of God’s Word? What should we do if our traditions don’t measure up to the Scriptures?

I think people in general rely very heavily upon tradition. Growing up in the south, the term “Christian” is passed down from generation to generation as a social/familial status. If you aren’t constantly examining things in light of scripture, it’s very easy for things to change just a little at a time so that several generations later you may have something that has totally deviated from scripture, but no one has noticed because it was so gradual.

I heard a story recently (I think I read it in a book?) about a wife who was cooking a ham for her family and cut the end off of the ham before placing it in the pan. The husband asked why she did this and she replied, “I don’t know. It’s what my mom always did.” So, the husband suggested they go ask her mom why she cut the end off of the ham. The mom replied, “I don’t know, it’s what my mother always did.
So, then they asked her mother why she cut the end off of the ham before cooking it. The mother replied, “Well, I don’t know why you’re doing it, but my pan was too small and that’s the only way it would fit!”
Two generations of women followed a tradition and had no idea why!

What happens in our world when believers speak up for the cause of Christ?

The world rejects it. They rejected Him when he came in the flesh and walked here on the earth. And, they are still rejecting Him.
What is some evidence that our culture isn’t interested in what the Bible has to say?
The world has so many religions and cults that reject the Bible, or have twisted it in such a way that it’s no longer God’s word. Sin is rampant. Homosexuality is the “cool” thing to do, living together outside of marriage, fatherless children, pornography-nothing has really changed over the years. Sin has always been rampant, because people don’t care what the Bible says. They want to do what they want to do.

Who are some of the people to whom you regularly listen (from television, radio or personal relationships)? What is their perspective on God? How does their perspective affect their advice?

I only listen to people that I know are in line with what Scripture teaches. I evaluate everyone whose teaching I listen to with whether or not they are in line with scripture, or if someone I trust has recommended them.

(Deep breath.) Now, I know there are so many tv personalities out there who seem like they are teaching truth of Scripture, but they are not. I recently read a higher education paper of a friend who had researched the Word of Faith movement, sometimes called the “Prosperity Gospel”. There were some big names in that paper and I knew there was something about those names, but couldn’t place them in a particular group. Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Copeland are naming a few. These people appear to be speaking God’s Word, but they are NOT. These are people who are on “Christian” tv channels. I know believers who listen to the teaching of these people. I was just in a Christian book store last week and there was a row of books from Rob Bell, who used to be a pastor of a large church, but was removed for preaching a false gospel that everyone will go to heaven. This was a pastor of an evangelical church!

How do you know which authorities to listen to? What is our final authority as believers?

It is so very important to examine everything someone says in light of Scripture. If what they are saying doesn’t line up with Scripture do NOT fall under their teaching.

Truth is contained in the pages of Scripture. Describe your plan for knowing and applying God’s Word to your life.

Get a trusted translation of the Bible. (I prefer NAS.) Read it. Memorize it. That’s the only way you will actually know for yourself what the Bible says. You can go even further by studying Greek and Hebrew, then you can understand and translate for yourself an original text of Scripture. Then, as you become familiar with God’s Word, you can evaluate what other people, pastors and commentators are saying about God’s Word. If it doesn’t line up with what you’ve read for yourself in the Word, do NOT fall under their teaching.


How should we, as Christians, respond when we are ridiculed or rejected by unbelievers? If threatened with arrest for your belief in God, what would be your response?

Of course we should stand on the Word of God, no matter what anyone says. I have to say, I’ve never been really ridiculed or rejected by anyone where I would consider it really “suffering for Christ”. Of course, over the years people have disagreed with me on issues regarding God, but I’ve never been in the position where taking a stand would require that level of sacrifice that so many believers have had to endure. I would like to think if I was in a position where I could be arrested, or worse, lose my life, that I would count it all joy and readily endure whatever may happen, but when I think of the torture and death so many have suffered it really humbles me.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Musings

A conversation this morning with Travis (2) at the park:

Travis: I found a stick!

Me: Wow! Go over there and throw it in the lake.

Travis: No! I need it to attack some guys!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Pecan Praline

The Pecan Praline.

Does anything else really need to be said?

I know my Beaufort people know what I'm talking about.

But, I'm not sure anyone else does.

When David and I lived in Beaufort (when he was in the Marine Corps) we would sometimes drive the 45 minutes to Savannah, Georgia and stop at Savannah Candy Kitchen along the river. Here is where we discovered the pecan praline.

Now, I'm from the south, but I think it may be a regional delight (and I don't use the term "delight" lightly).

David is from the Chicago suburbs and they certainly don't have the pecan praline up there. Pecan pralines don't pair well with deep dish pizza and Italian beef. These are more of a fried chicken/mashed potatoes kind of dessert.

Italian beef is regional, too, but I'll leave that post for another day.

Now. Back to the praline.

Fast forward a few years and here in Oklahoma, the praline isn't what Savannah calls a praline. I'm not sure what it is that Oklahoma calls a praline, if they even call anything a praline.

My point is, that we had not had the pecan praline since we left Beaufort many years ago.

Oh, but our love for the pecan praline has never waivered all this time.

Since our 18th anniversary was this week, I decided to surprise David by ordering us some. He was so surprised!

Now, I know these pictures don't do them justice. You really have to taste the pecan praline to fully appreciate it.

I remember going into the store and getting a fresh praline almost straight off the slap it was poured on.

Oh. My. Word.

Let's just say, that box went fast.

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