It's All Grace

Amazing things can happen when you allow the Lord to work in your life.

Working on Virtue

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In the world today it is difficult to find one with virtue, character, work ethic and integrity. We purposed for the Lord that we would raise our children for HIM.  However, through the years, we have failed more than we have succeeded.

But through God’s daily grace upon our lives, we get back up and keep going.  My purpose for this post is that it might encourage and spur you on to look at life and raising your children with a new perspective.  In all reality, we are raising adults, not children.  Therefore we must teach them to be amazing adults for the Lord instead of allowing them to “do whatever their flesh desires to do”.  Where do we start?  God’s Holy Word.

The Lord impressed upon my heart years ago to teach my daughter to work with her hands.  She has had an egg business, generating customers, working on social skills, counting back change, etc.  She started her own earring business practicing the same skills and now has began making some of the cutest dresses and bows, hoping to reach many who are interested.

Our ultimate goal is that our children will become what the Lord desires for them and they will honor God in all that they do.  (I Corinthians 10:31)

Her dress line can be found on http://www.Etsy.com and search for “Cowgirl Sass” to see some of her dresses.  I have pictured a few so that you can see some of her work.  Pray for us as we continue to raise up adults that will make a difference in today’s world.

Proverbs 31: 8 speaks about being comfortable when old because she was not useless or idle when young.

I Timothy 4:12 speaks about letting no one despise their youth, but be an example to others in all that you do.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies”.  Proverbs 31:10

“She seeketh wool, flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”  Proverbs 31:13

“She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.” Proverbs 31:18-19

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You’ll Still Give an Account

God does not hold you accountable for what others did wrong to you…but HE does hold you responsible for how you responded!

If we will just do what’s right, then He will do the rest.

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Pouting Pains

Rebellion has many faces, and the big pout on my daughter’s face was definitely one of them. With three other children in our homeschool classroom, she didn’t like being the one who had to wait for help with her questions. Watching her body language, I realized there was a much bigger problem waiting to be dealt with than the one in her math lesson.

My daughter’s actions brought back memories of the beginnings of my own rebellious days. What had started as simple, little pouting episodes to get my own way had turned into all-out, get-in-your-face rebellion toward my parents as a teenager. Being the last of seven children, my parents were usually too busy to put out the flames of my sinful rebellion when they erupted. Because these seemingly small pouting sessions were left unchecked, they burned a hole in my character and my life. Many years of pain from getting my own way passed before my heart was humbled before a mighty God.

Have you bought into the world’s lie that you deserve what you want, when you want it? Dear one, don’t go down that path of destruction! Although there may be joy for the moment, pain and suffering will meet you at the end. “An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11). Jesus loves you too much to let your pouting spoil things. Trust Him to meet every need you have, and you’ll never get burned again by the world’s empty promises. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:16-17).

Jesus, I submit my life to You again this day. Forgive me when I try to take control and fail to trust You. Help me fight off the fiery darts of the devil that tempt me to rebel against Your will. In Your name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Honoring our Veterans

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Yesterday, our church body paid tribute to our Veterans who served our country, fought and even died for our freedom that we experience daily in America.  Two of our children (Brady & Olivia) along with one of our grandchildren (Landen), voluntarily participated by singing, and our youngest son, Brady carried the Navy Flag to honor my Dad, two nephews Ryan and Tyler, as well as others who are or were in the Navy.  The branches recognized during the service were the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.

Many people today, have chosen NOT to honor our soldiers, paying no respect by spitting on them as they walk by, calling them names or act as if they don’t exist!  How sad.  I have members of my own family who have served this country and I want to take this opportunity to honor them publicly and thank them for all they have done – contributing to the freedoms I enjoy today.

My Dad and two nephews served in the Navy, to which I am grateful and want to say “Thank you for thinking of others more than yourself, for valuing the life of others higher than your own, and for loving your country enough to fight for her and defend what we stand for.”  Thank you Dad for making this a better place to live because you chose to serve your country, accepting your call as an honor to make a difference.”

My sister in law Karen, served in the Air Force as a flight surgeon.  Thank you Karen, for sacrificing your time away from home and from your children, to serve your country while purposing to make things better, leaving behind an example for others.

In our “service to remember” stood not only 23 veterans, but in our small country church, there were Purple Hearts, a World War 2 Veteran, Viet Nam Vets, etc.  Some of their stories, I’ve heard and are heart wrenching.  In one of the photos above, stood the WWII vet (with a cane) helping one of the purple hearts (with a walker) to his feet when his flag was brought out!  Can you imagine, giving up YOUR life to fight for others freedom, losing limbs, coming home with mental disorders, etc., only to be mocked and ridiculed, hated and cursed?

I am grateful that my children and grandchildren not only witnessed this type of service but were actively involved in something so great of value!  I hope they will remember it always, as they see difficult days ahead.  I rarely can sing a patriotic song, or pledge allegiance to the American Flag, that I don’t get choked up remembering why we are free!  When I see the military flags, I am reminded of the sacrifices so many made . . . for ME and for you!

Just as many made sacrifices and died for our country, there was ONE ULTIMATE sacrifice that also brings the greatest freedom we can ever experience!  JESUS CHRIST.  He died for our sins to save our soul from hell, so that we could spend eternity in heaven with HIM and desire to live FOR HIM while here on earth.

Our pastor reminded us that our military is only as great as our nation.  As our nation goes downward, so shall the military follow.  No matter how bad things may get, I still believe that America is the greatest country in which to live.

Don’t forget to honor and thank each veteran and soldier for their commitment to serve and defend, no matter the cost.  They have left behind spouses and children to fight for your freedom.

May God continue to bless America!

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  II Chronicles 7:14 

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The Safest Place

Each day of life is an adventure, carefully planned out by God. A thankful, trusting attitude helps us to see events in our lives from HIS perspective. A life lived close to God will never be dull or predictable. Expect each day to contain surprises! Resist your tendency to search for the easiest route through the day. Be willing to follow wherever HE leads, no matter how treacherous the path before you may seem.

The safest place for you to be . . . is at HIS side.

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Showing Off

“A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23).

My son and daughter had finished their schoolwork early and were heading out the door to go on a long bike ride for the remainder of the afternoon. I was looking forward to the additional free time from our homeschooling day to work in my flower garden. I waved and smiled as they left the yard and said, “Have a nice time.” Little did I know, the plans for the afternoon were soon to change.

I watched as my son decided to show his sister that he could ride a bike without using his hands. Showing off, he continued riding until he reached a patch of loose gravel on our road. In an instant, he was airborne like a cartoon character and landed with a thud in the middle of the road. Unfortunately, he didn’t bounce back. I ran to pick up his bleeding body and checked for broken bones.

Showing off usually leads to some type of catastrophe. King Hezekiah made such a mistake when he decided to show his possessions to the king of Babylon (2 Kings 20:12-13). Isaiah rebuked him for being so foolish and prophesied, “Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD” (vs.17). The king of Babylon knew a good thing when he saw it. He conquered Jerusalem many years later and carried away every one of those treasures.

Do you struggle with wanting to impress others? Do you flaunt your possessions or achievements, so other people will think highly of you? Do you doubt your worth in the Lord’s eyes so much that you puff yourself up to find value? Don’t be like a child and show off. Humble yourself before you are humiliated by your actions. God’s Word says, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:5-6).

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Is Your Heart in Sync?

It’s not enough to obey, but to have the heart of obedience.

God doesn’t need robotic Christians who are only willing to conform and not be transformed.  However, If a person’s heart is in sync with God’s — in all of its loves, passions, dreams and desires — actions, then, take care of themselves!

No one needs to tell you how to live, if your heart is beating with God’s!

“If ye love Me, keep My commandments.”  John 14:15

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What’s That You’re Stirring?

People who want to stir up strife . . . NEVER ACT ALONE!  They always want someone to get on the bandwagon with them.

Korah created discension & division.  The end result of this type of “leading” is death.

Read Numbers 16, and don’t miss v. 32!  The world opened up and swallowed those who COULD NOT STAND harmony.

What choice are you making?  What are you stirring up?

Choose today, to make peace not war.

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What’s Cooking?

What type of food do you serve at your homeschool cafeteria? My children’s favorite benefit of homeschooling was the fresh and delicious meals we made together as a family. No canned or prepackaged entrees were allowed. Learning how to cook was a mandatory lesson we incorporated into each child’s curriculum. All the family appreciated the tasty A+ lessons of lasagna, stir-fry, oven-baked pot roast, fresh pies, cakes, breads, and salads.

However, teaching your children how to cook also means making messes. Peeling potatoes, mixing batter for cookies, and measuring spices and ingredients led to many accidents. Learning how to wipe up a spill, clean flour off containers, and wash the extra baking dishes were skills that also needed to be learned before enjoying the benefits. Of course, these skills were never quite as fun as the process of preparing the food. Our children wanted the fun of cooking without the hassle of cleaning up.

Our Christian walk is much the same. We want to sit at God’s table and enjoy the benefits of the Holy Spirit without going through the disciplines of living a holy life. We make a mess of devotions and prayer times and wonder why God is not using us more. We use canned approaches in witnessing and fail to seek God first in prayer.

Is there an area of your life that needs disciplining — reading magazines and books that honor the Lord, making time for devotions and prayer, or maintaining a pure thought life? Share your area of struggle with a trusted friend and make yourself accountable. Find the help you need to stay disciplined and close to the Lord. “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:25-27).

Lord, show me the areas in my life that fail to honor You. Please, lead me to a Christian friend who will help me stay disciplined in those areas, so my life will glorify You. Thank You for loving me so much and always forgiving me when I fail. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotion

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Living in Defeat?

Sometimes we’d rather live in defeat for a very long time than to do what it takes to get God’s help. But God loves us enough to keep us in that place of distress until we have no alternative, no option but to cry out to Him.

Step out in faith, KNOWING that If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. (James 4:8)

In HIS presence we sense the opposite of defeat and distress. We can live in defeat or victory. The choice is ours.

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