Friday, February 26, 2010

Discipling Your Children: The Power of Influence

"God has designed your family—not the youth group, not the children’s ministry, not the Christian school, but your family—as the principle discipling agent in your children’s lives."

- Voddie Baucham

It is virtually impossible to fully disciple your children if someone else has them for the majority of the time... particularly when you have little to no control over the influences that they will encounter during that time. This is a lesson that I have been steadily learning over the past year.

This time last year: We were attending a larger, age-segregated church. The kids were attending a very worldly Christian school, full of bad influences from students (and sadly, a teacher or two).

Today: We have been attending a small, family-integrated church for the past ten months. After five months of the kids attending a tiny, very conservative fundamental Baptist school (which was for the most part a very positive influence in their lives), we are now doing what you might call a cooperative homeschooling effort with my pastor and his wife until I can leave my job in May and be home full time.

The combination of leaving the worldly influence of the Christian school and leaving the youth group scene has worked wonders in the lives of my niece and nephew, and has changed our family forever!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quote of the Day: J.C. Ryle

"We must cast away everything which hinders us upon our road towards heaven – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life; the love of riches, pleasures and honors, the spirit of lukewarmness and carelessness and indifference about the things of God – all must be rooted out and forsaken if we are anxious for the prize. We must mortify the deeds of the body, we must crucify our affections for this world.”

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Enter to Win a Free Skirt!

If you love longer skirts, like I do, you should check out this skirt giveaway! New Creation Women's Apparel sells modest, modern, VERY reasonably priced skirts (including maternity), and has teamed up with the Life In a Shoe blog to allow one reader to win the skirt of her choice.

I'm entering, and you should too! :)

P.S. They also sell beautiful jackets, which I assume are also reasonably priced. Since I'm not a jacket shopper, I'm a little clueless in that area. (Note to Ally! Some of these jackets are soooo you!!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Snowflakes? Or snowballs?!

Snowflakes the size of cotton balls are falling outside at this very moment. (A much needed pick-me-up today, I might add, after this morning's trip to the vet w/my scottish terrier.) I'm reeeeeeally ready for winter to be over, but these snowflakes are too pretty to be mad about!

My phone doesn't take good videos, since I either can't zoom... or don't know how to zoom. The latter is probably accurate. :) Watch the video all the way through so that you can see the actual size of a snowflake that plopped onto my car door right at the end.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Free" Book Offer

Vision Forum is offering the book Passionate Housewives Desperate for God free until tomorrow night at midnight. Shipping is not free, however.

Here's Vision Forum's description of the book:

Have you struggled to reconcile God’s vision of virtuous womanhood with worldly myths that marginalize and mock the role of the homemaker? Do you wrestle with cultural messages that demean the homemaker’s calling and exalt instead the emotionally androgynous power-woman — the wife whose worth is measured only by the degree of her ambition, the shape of her body, or her money-making skills? Such is the image of the “desperate housewife” that the modern media, culture, and feminism are promoting with great energy.

In a delightfully fresh and honest way, this book addresses these issues head-on and provides fresh vision for the hopeful homemaker. Hear a former “Christian” feminist share how she went from a die-hard homemaker-in-training to a dedicated career woman and then back again — after God gripped her heart. See the hollow counterfeit of whitewashed feminism and “me-ology” destroyed. And consider the beautiful picture painted in Scripture of the truly fulfilled homemaker who glories in the hopeful calling God created for her.

When ordering, use coupon code FREEPHDG.

Please use discernment when visiting Vision Forum's website (or ANY website). While I LOVE their conservative values and vision for Christian families, I disagree doctrinally with them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Winner of the Westminster Best in Show... Sadie the Scottish Terrier

As the proud "mom" of another Scottish Terrier named Sadie... I just couldn't resist posting this. :)

Sadie, the Scottish terrier crowned a night earlier as Best in Show at the
Westminster Kennel Club championship, was enjoying the perks of her triumph.

Income Ideas for Stay-at-Home Women

Since I'll be quitting my full time job in mid-May in order to be a stay-at-home wife and home-schooling aunt, this article of extra income ideas from Frugal Hacks was rather timely and definitely of interest to me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quote of the Day: Source Unknown

"Don't let your heart preach to you. Preach to your heart."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Take on Mega-Churches

Out of respect for my friends who have a conviction against listening to contemporary music, I've decided not to link to the actual song, but I did want to post the words here. As someone who briefly attended a mega-church at a satellite location, I can totally relate to these lyrics.

Disclaimer: I realize that not everyone goes to a mega-church/satellite church for the reasons that I am listing below. I also realize that some (most?) mega-churches encourage, and even urge, their attendees/members to be involved in small groups during the week. And lastly, there is a well-known pastor whose teaching I respect and appreciate (James MacDonald of Walk in the Word) whose mega-church has satellite locations. However, none of this changes my view of mega-churches.

I began attending a satellite church when my small (now former) church had something devastating happen to us. I needed to be able to attend a church temporarily while trying to figure out whether to stay at or leave my small, broken church. I needed to be able to attend a church semi-anonymously during that time, due to the fact that I could not speak about what had happened without sobbing, and so I knew that visiting a smaller church would just not work. The satellite church fit the bill. Unfortunately, I attended it with someone who ended up LOVING the whole anonymous aspect of attending there. I have seen first hand how easy it is to "do church" rather than "be the church".

Want to attend church anonymously, where no one will know if you're attending faithfully or not? Want to sit in comfortable movie-theater seats, drink flavored coffee, and be entertained while you "get your sermon" for the week? Want to go to church to get something out of it, while giving nothing? A mega-church is for you!

"Happy" by Ross King
Fourteen thousand members and me,
Watch the preacher up on the screen,
I have never shaken his hand,
My two-dimensional pastor-man,
Welcome to America.

Doesn’t matter if I am here,
In this crowd I could disappear,
Pastor-man is all that we need,
Preachin via satellite feed.

I can watch it all from my pew,
Til the presentation is through.
You will have to pardon me,
But this cannot be all there is,
I can’t imagine God would be,
Happy about this.

Smiling people up on the stage,
Everyone prefers it that way.
Smiling people out in the crowd,
No questioning or doubting allowed,
This is our America.

Where everyone is pretty and clean;
Where everything’s rehearsed and routine.
You will have to pardon me,
But this cannot be all there is.
I can’t imagine God would be
Happy about this.

What if Jesus disagrees
With how you measure your success?
Would you find a way to still believe
He’s happy about this?
What if he’s not happy about this?

The church is now the body of Christ,
And every part is equally prized.
The eye can never say to the hand:
All we need is this preacher-man.

Would you notice if I was gone?
How easy would it be to move on?
You will have to pardon me,
But this cannot be all there is.
I can’t imagine God would be
Happy about this.

Cause crowds don’t necessarily
Mean that God is truly blessed.
I think there is a chance that he’s
Not happy about this.
What if he’s not happy about this?
What if he’s not happy about this?

Quote of the Day: Paul Washer

"A man is what his wife sees. A man is what the closest people to him know."

This gives me much to think about, and reminds me of the saying "Who are you when no one is looking?"*

Am I living a consistent life?

Am I the same person when I'm

  • alone...
  • at home with my family...
  • with my extended family...
  • around non-Christian friends...
  • at church?

*I'm not sure if this saying originated with Bill Hybels or not, but he is the author of a book by that name.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hand Over Your Children!

Wow! I love this quote by a reviewer on Amazon reviewing Family-Integrated Church, by J. Mark Fox (disclaimer: I have not read this book):

"Here's some food for thought: when we go out to eat at a restaurant, we don't walk in the door and hand our children over to the "professional" meal administrators to teach our children how and what to eat while we go and eat in another room. Why do we hand our kids over to others for their spiritual nourishment? Think about it..."
(quote from D. Baisley, an Amazon reviewer)

For more information on this topic, please read this article by Victor Mowery of Providence Independent Baptist Church.

Assurance of Salvation... or Lack Thereof

"The plain fact is that Scripture encourages believers to work in righteousness as they reflect the glory of their Lord. And Scripture offers security for those who have this work of grace alive in them. Those who claim belief but do not live righteously are persuaded to fear for their place and are invited to pursue God with all their hearts, minds, and souls that they might rest in the security of God's grace."

(quoted from The Blue Letter Bible)