It's All Grace

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

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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Quit Numbing it

God wants us to walk into the pain…instead of numbing it.

What are you using in excess?  Shopping, tv, movies, food, alcohol , RX drugs, sleep, computers, your job, men, women, music, busyness, etc.

Whatever you are  using to numb the pain is dulling the senses and your sensitivity to God?  You cannot help others when you are enslaved and in bondage!

Let go of and walk away from what has a hold on you, and walk into what is difficult.  When we deal with the difficulty head on, there is freedom and a peace that comes only from the Lord.

 

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A Pig and A Pear Tree

Are you like a pig under a pear tree?

He is happy as long as the fruit falls.

The more he eats the closer he gets to the slaughter house.

He eats and eats, paying NO MIND to the source of the fruit he is taking in.

Are you taking in fruit that will eventually kill you, or are you taking in and bearing fruit that will change your life as well as others?

Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation”.  

Which tree are you eating from?

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My Friends Mary & Martha

Lord, help me to be LESS of Martha and MORE like Mary!

In Luke 10:38 Martha opened her home to Jesus! She was the hostess with the mostest-the sister with an extraordinary flair for hospitality.  Can you just imagine this highly organized, efficient woman as she flies into action, giving orders and demanding all that is to be done?  Bread kneaded and baked, meat prepared and grilled, veggies scrubbed and boiled, floors , table set, drinks poured, etc.

As you read, you sense things aren’t falling together quite right, as you watch Mary begin to get edgy and agitated.  Perhaps it was when she forgot to set the timer and the rolls burned that Martha’s simmering frustration finally began to boil as she looked around and realized that her younger sister was nowhere to be found!  Martha was DISTRACTED by all the preparations that had to be made.

As she began to demand, “Where’s Mary!”  Then she realized she’s in the living room with the men!  When the explosion came, it was NOT directed at Mary, but at Jesus.

When we become preoccupied with earthly things rather than eternal matters, we become resentful, self-centered and angry. Our party turns into a pity-party, and we start to believe that no one-not even Jesus-knows or cares about all the sacrifices we’ve made!

I can almost hear Jesus saying to Martha, “We don’t have to have a five-course meal tonight.  It’s OK with Me if we just have soup and crackers.  It’s OK if dinner’s late, if the rolls get burned, or even if we don’t have dinner at all.  None of that really matters. What DOES matter, is My relationship with you!  That’s why I came to your house!  That’s why I came to this world.  Your company means more to Me than your cooking.  YOU are more important to Me than anything you can do for Me.”

The Lord has given me the gift of Hospitality as well as the gift of Exhortation.  I have found myself from time to time getting out of balance in the area of Hospitality because I love to serve.  However, worldly business is a snare to us when it hinders us from serving God and gaining food for our souls.

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History of Aprons

I love this story and reminds me of my childhood days — precious memories.

The History of ‘APRONS’ I don’t think many kids today know what an apron is.  The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.  It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.  It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.  From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.  When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.  Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.  Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.  In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.   When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.  When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.  It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes. REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.  Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.  They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.  I don’t think I ever caught anything from an apron – but love…this brings back so many memories from being a kid and holding onto grandmas apron!

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Expiration Dates

Food that is perishable has an expiration date.  As I was talking with one of my children about the milk in the fridge and its expiration date, I began to explain how each person has an expiration date as well.  Every day that we live, we are one day closer to the expiration date that has been put on our lives by the God who created us!  It’s our tendency as humans to “live like we are never going to die”, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

Today might be your expiration date.   Are you ready to walk through the door of eternity?

This reminded me of a song by The Crumpton Family called, “I’m Flying Home”

I’m flying home, to that mansion in the sky,

I’ve got a one-way ticket, but I won’t need a plane to fly,

Destination settled, Departure time unknown

My fare is paid in full & I’m flying home!

Hey there Mr. Pilot, in your big old DC9,

Please don’t be surprised to see me leaving you behind,

Ground control don’t worry, if your radar can’t find me,

I’ll be flying much too fast for you to see!

I’m flying home, to that mansion in the sky,

I’ve got a one-way ticket, but I won’t need a plane to fly,

Destination settled, Departure time unknown

My fare is paid in full & I’m flying home!

Won’t need to make connections, I have a non-stop flight,

I might be leaving in 30 years, or I just might leave tonight!

I won’t be flying first class or economy,

I won’t be needing frequent flyer miles to fly for free,

I won’t need a super saver, cause I have a special Saviour,

So, get your boarding pass and fly with me!

I’m flying home, to that mansion in the sky,

I’ve got a one-way ticket, but I won’t need a plane to fly,

Destination settled, Departure time unknown

My fare is paid in full & I’m flying home!

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