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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The Other Side of “No”

At times, it can seem as though some prayers never get answered.  Yet, God is going to answer our prayers in a way that will glorify HIM the most!

When a prayer is answered with a “no”, there is always something to be learned.  The other side of “no” is where we begin to see God’s greater purpose.  Sometimes the “no’s” are to let us see what is really in our hearts.  Deuteronomy 8:2

What have you prayed for that has been answered with a “no”?  Look beyond the “no” and see what the Lord has said yes to!

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Taking Shortcuts

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” Ephesians 4:13.

Life is full of shortcuts. High-priced technology has changed the way we live and made shopping so easy we can get what we want with a simple click of a mouse or a wave of a debit card. Although technological advances have also made homeschooling easier, there is one aspect to teaching our children at home that can’t be fast forwarded — your children’s spiritual growth. Developing biblical values and godly character requires a daily, concentrated effort in building God’s truths precept upon precept. Money simply cannot buy instant access to Christianity or purchase shortcuts in learning God’s lessons in humility, obedience, and submission.

Trying to fast track Christianity has been a problem since the Lord returned to heaven. In Acts 8:13-24, Simon, the ex-magician, thought he could bypass the disciplines of being trained in righteousness. Wanting to impress the crowds and perform miracles like Peter, Simon offered money to find a shortcut to the Holy Spirit’s power. Rebuking him for his fleshly attempts to control God, Peter said, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God” (Acts 8:20b-21).

What about you? Are you guilty of looking for shortcuts in your spiritual growth? Quick prayers and short devotionals are not enough. Spend time alone with the Lord today in prayer and Bible study and let the Holy Spirit reveal those changes that need to take place in your life. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection” (Hebrews 6:1a).

Lord, forgive me for being like a child and looking for the easy way out of Your lessons. Help me to walk with You today and not run ahead of the disciplines that teach me Your truths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

AOP Homeschooling Devotions

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Prayers & Patriot Missiles

Prayers are like Patriot Missiles!

No matter where they’re sent off from, they always hit the target!

God Answers our prayers in 3 ways:

1.  He says yes and gives you what you want.

2.  He says no and gives you something better.

3.  He says WAIT and gives you the BEST!

 

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Blessings and Trauma

Do you ever wonder what Mary’s prayers consisted of?  Did she pray for blessings and if so, did she realize that the blessings would bring traumatic experiences to her physical life and her heart?

It’s easy to pray with your mouth “not thy will but Thine”, but does your heart and soul truly follow suit?

Even though Mary’s news from the angel was a blessing and she submitted to the Lord . . . do you think it was also traumatic?  Whether it is traumatic will all be determined by your perspective.

Some of the greatest blessings in our life can also bring trauma, yet the trauma as well as blessings each have an eternal purpose.  May we have a new perspective on answered prayers — accepting that which the Lord has “blessed” us with.

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Lost Car – Found Faith

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

My six-year-old son came running to me with crocodile tears in his eyes and cried, “Mommy, I can’t find my favorite car! Can you please help me?” Walking with him into the living room, we proceeded to look for his favorite toy race car that he had just received for his birthday. However, our efforts were to no avail as it was not to be found anywhere. I saw the anxious look on his face and knew we had to do something. Taking him by the hand, we sat down together on the couch and prayed.

“Let’s ask God where it is. I’m sure He knows,” I said.

After we finished our prayer, we returned to our morning homeschool routine. Little did I know, God had already prepared an invaluable lesson for both my young son and me. As we sat back down on the couch to read my son’s science lesson, his lost car popped up between the cushions. Excitedly, we thanked the Lord for showing us the car’s location, and the answered prayer was forever cemented in my son’s mind.

The lesson my son learned was that an all-knowing God was big enough to handle any problem he might have in life. God’s lesson for me was that He was the better teacher. He had a syllabus of truths for my children to learn each day. My job as a homeschooling parent was to be sensitive to those Holy Spirit subject areas, so my children wouldn’t miss the most important lessons in life.

How about you? Are you so structured in your homeschool day that you cannot allow for any deviations for God’s instruction? If so, pray for God’s wisdom and will to be revealed. Don’t lose the opportunities for you or your children to find the greatest truths in the world. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
AOP Homeschool Devotions
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Dry Eyes and Dry Hearts

The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the blindness of the Church, grieved at the corruption in the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. When you see Christians in the church having adulterous relationships, in bondage to immorality, to pornography, to sexual sins and wrong relationships and it’s going on and they’re sitting in church as if it’s just nothing, does that break your heart? Does it grieve you? It’s not hard for us to cry, but are we crying over things that really matter? If our eyes are dry, could it be because our hearts are dry? You see, tears flow naturally from broken and contrite hearts.

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Changing the Course of History

We just returned from an amazing Bible Conference that challenged our walk with Christ, stretched our thinking, refueled our spirit, encouraged us in the Lord as well as educating us regarding the perilous times we are living in!  While there, we learned of a group that had rallied together and went to DC to encourage and pray for those in office!   This was birthed from one man’s passion for this great country to return to the Biblical principles this country was founded on!

Earlier this spring, was the first ever “Capitol Connection” on Capitol Hill.   There were 175 pastors who went representing 47 states,  plus other families and church members of the United States of America, who went to the capitol and prayed with individual staff members,  passed out over  3,000 Bibles and 20,000 gospel tracts. They were overwhelmed at the response they received, yet not surprised, because they KNEW that God went before them, paving the way.

Dr. Chuck Harding said each staff member openly welcomed them into their offices.  He explained to them how they were not there to ask anything  of them, but to ask “how they could specifically pray for them.”  Some were moved to tears, some in awe & asking them to set and stay longer, while others were asking these pastors for counsel and advice on upcoming bills that were coming to the table.  These pastors prayed with them, read the scriptures, and passed out tracts!  This “connection” resulted in an office that was donated to  Missionary Evangelist, Dr.Chuck Harding directly across the street from the Supreme Court!  GOD OPENED THOSE DOORS . . . doors that ONLY HE could open.  One representative that had been in DC for 10 years said, “No pastor had ever come to see him”.  Dr. Harding said that the most requested prayer request was, “would you pray for my family?” The staff members at Capitol Hill were humbled and awed, and it was because men of God chose to be the hands and feet of our Savior while doing what Christ has called us to do.
In 2014 they are hoping to have over 500 pastors and any families that want to go and take part in changing the course of history of this country!  This does not mean that the wrath of God is not coming on this country, but we can change what we can, while we are here!
You can check this out at http://www.AWAKEAMERICAONLINE.orgImage
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