Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:4-7

Prayer... sigh... I just don't pray enough. :(

I ran across a wonderful blog, Bring the Rain, back in November and was so moved by her commitment to pray over her children 7 times a day. I was so in love with her challenge for us mothers to commit to pray faithfully for our precious gifts from God, that I forwarded her link to lots of friends. But, I failed to take on the challenge myself... instead trading the praying aloud over our children 7 times a day for the quick bed-time prayer that sometimes I fall asleep doing.

Yep... you read it right... I have this horrible habit of praying quietly in my head before bed, and then falling asleep in the middle of it. Ugh!

Quoting from Charles Spurgeon regarding praying while we are distracted, "Our thoughts go roving hither and thither, and we make little progress towards our desired end. Like quicksilver our mind will not hold together, but rolls off this way and that. How great an evil this is! It injures us, and what is worse, it insults our God. What should we think of a petitioner, if, while having an audience with a prince, he should be playing with a feather or catching a fly?"

How insulting to God that I go to His throne in half-hearted, half-wakeful prayers!

Romans 12:12 teaches us to: "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."

And, as we read how to put on the armor of God in Eph. 6:10-18, the bible instructs us to pray at all times.

Hmmmm... be constant... praying at all times... about everything. OK... I finally got it!! :)

So, I have taken on the "7x7" challenge. It is an honor to go before God's throne and petition for my children. God desires my whole-hearted prayers. I long for that close relationship with Him. And, how wonderful to pray His words over my children!

This week, I "personalized" the scripture by adding Caroline's and Ava's names and printed them out on card stock. Then, I told the girls ahead of time that I would be praying scripture over them throughout the day. They seemed very flattered and almost giddy about it. I prayed aloud over them when they woke up, when they ate, and when they took their bath, when they left the house and when they were going to bed.

The best part was that Caroline came downstairs and said, "Mom... I'm about to get dressed, will you pray over me?" Wow!!! She was so touched by it all, that she actually asked for more prayers! She had the biggest smile on her face and looked so honored as I prayed for her. What a blessing and praise to God!

So, I challenge you to the same thing: Go to Bring the Rain, personalize God's Word with your children's names... and run to the throne of God to petition Him on behalf of your children. You and your kids will be blessed by it!

And, I have to post Charles Spurgeon's entire devotional about prayer... it's just too good:

"But I give myself unto prayer."
-- Psalms 109:4

"Lying tongues were busy against the reputation of David, but he did not defend himself; he moved the case into a higher court, and pleaded before the great King himself. Prayer is the safest method of replying to words of hatred. The Psalmist prayed in no cold-hearted manner, he gave himself to the exercise-threw his whole soul and heart into it-straining every sinew and muscle, as Jacob did when wrestling with the angel. Thus, and thus only, shall any of us speed at the throne of grace. As a shadow has no power because there is no substance in it, even so that supplication, in which a man's proper self is not thoroughly present in agonizing earnestness and vehement desire, is utterly ineffectual, for it lacks that which would give it force.

"Fervent prayer," says an old divine, "like a cannon planted at the gates of heaven, makes them fly open." The common fault with the most of us is our readiness to yield to distractions. Our thoughts go roving hither and thither, and we make little progress towards our desired end. Like quicksilver our mind will not hold together, but rolls off this way and that. How great an evil this is! It injures us, and what is worse, it insults our God. What should we think of a petitioner, if, while having an audience with a prince, he should be playing with a feather or catching a fly?

Continuance and perseverance are intended in the expression of our text. David did not cry once, and then relapse into silence; his holy clamour was continued till it brought down the blessing. Prayer must not be our chance work, but our daily business, our habit and vocation.
As artists give themselves to their models, and poets to their classical pursuits, so must we addict ourselves to prayer. We must be immersed in prayer as in our element, and so pray without ceasing.

Lord, teach us so to pray that we may be more and more prevalent in supplication."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mighty to Save

I read a wonderful devotional authored by the brilliant Charles Spurgeon this morning and wanted to bless others with it:

"Mighty to save."
-- Isaiah 63:1

By the words "to save" we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word.

Christ is not only "mighty to save" those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him.

Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by "the Mighty God." The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven.

Christ's might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory.

Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is "mighty to save." You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength.

Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is "mighty to save;" the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy!

And, if you scroll down the right side of my blog and *pause* the Playlist music, you may play the below YouTube video and listen to Hillsong's "Mighty to Save".

Be Blessed because He truly is Mighty to Save!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to School... and Back to Routine

After a long and wonderful Winter Break... we woke up this morning to start our Back to School routine. And, boy were we glad not to have to leave the house with the icy rain and dreary weather! Too bad the dogs still had to go outside for potty breaks! :)

We started our break the week of Thanksgiving, and we continued that break (except for some Bible study, Math, Reading & Foreign Language here and there to keep our minds active) all the way up until today. Whew! Our goal was to have as much time as possible to serve others during Christmas and really dig deep into God's Word to prepare for the Celebration of Christ's glorious birth. We also had plenty of fun baking days! It still flew by way too fast, yet the girls were happy to get back to our school routine and have some order around the house again.

The girls were so excited when they awoke this morning... they always have such a zeal for starting the new term with new books and new schedules. Everything "new"! Here was a recap of the "buzz" around the house:

~Had blueberry waffles for breakfast... yum!

~We got back on our chore chart routine that I just love from Managers of their Chores. That means that the girls get everything done in the morning, from Bible devotional to brushing their teeth and the dogs... all without me asking... yea! :)

~Ava recited the Old Testament Books of the Bible (she was afraid she had forgotten them) and Caroline recited the New Testament ones.

~We said our Christian, American and Texas flag pledges and it was Ava's turn to hold the Bible as we did our Bible Pledge of Allegiance.

~We also had the blessing of Erich playing guitar and leading us in our Praise Song this morning, How Great is our God.

~The girls loved drawing the Tabernacle from our Exodus Study. It's amazing how elaborate and beautiful the Israelites created it according to God's detailed instruction!

~Caroline read her Longfellow poetry and Ava read A.A. Milne's poems... they both loved them. (especially Caroline b/c she loves it when her poets have rhyming stanzas... it's that left brain of hers)

~Caroline reviewed her Algebra that she swore to me that she hadn't forgotten... she hadn't. :)

~Ava read Aesop's Fables of the Ant and the Grasshopper... then we read Prov. 6:6-11 and discussed the biblical basis for diligence. (Diligence is a character trait that Ava is working on... so am I)

~Caroline did her spelling while Ava did her copy work... that sounds boring... moving on...

~We studied our Botany lesson and learned about how wonderfully God designed flowers, pollination, bees, and creation. Bees are very fascinating... I won't go into it all here, but the girls were amazed!

~The girls even suited up to brave the cold and collect icicle specimens... that didn't last long. :)

~Caroline read and narrated about The Alamo and The Gold Rush in California. She just loves history!

~Ava worked on counting out change and paying for items in our pretend store. After Ava finished paying for everything, Caroline handed her the items she purchased as if we were in a real store. It was just precious... Ava's eyes lit up when she got a teddy bear, gum, a purse, and even some peppermints... everything she had "purchased". That was a great Math lesson... no wonder Math is Ava's favorite subject! (she likes shopping, too... lol)

~Ava read and narrated her History story. I typed exactly what she said to me so that she could work on grammar and clarity of thought and speech. Here is what she composed:

Narration of “Bruce and the Spider” from Fifty Famous Stories Retold

There was once a King of Scotland whose name was Robert Bruce and another King of England who were at war together. The King of England and his army fought Robert Bruce. Six times the King of Scotland’s men got beaten. So, the King, Robert Bruce, went up to the mountain to hide in a shed. He thought to himself, “I just give up.” Then he saw a spider who was making a web. She tried six times to hatch her string on the other end of the web, but it fell every time. She tried it a seventh time and it hatched onto the other side. He learned from the spider that people shouldn’t give up. So, the King of Scotland told his army to fight one more time and then all his people won.

~Caroline and I finished off the school day reading Oliver Twist... wow... that's a challenging book to read. We had to look up a lot of words... its amazing how many words Dickens writes since he was paid for each one. (If only I was paid for each word I said... lol)

~And, we had some friends stop by for a quick visit... brrrrrrr for them!

~As an after-school treat, we snuggled up in bed, popped Kettle Corn and watched a movie! It was a great first day back to school!

I just love homeschooling my precious children! God has truly blessed their hearts with a desire to have good disciplines, character and a love for learning! I wouldn't give up this precious time I have with them for anything! And that was a sample of our blessed day!

Oh, and since I love looking at schedules, here are our Term 2 Schedules: