Book Study – God Up Close Chapter 2

What do you think of when you hear the word meditation?  According to the Webster Dictionary meditation is discourse intended to express its author’s reflections or to guide others in contemplation.  I don’t know about you but that definition is not very helpful.  Often in today’s world when you hear the word meditation you think of a new age type focus or eastern meditation.  However, I believe meditation started WAY before any new age movement.

Psalm 64:1  Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

Psalm 64 is a psalm about being oppressed by the wicked but still rejoicing in the Lord.  In verse 1 David talks about meditating on God and calling on God to hear his voice.

Psalm 119:48  My hands also I will lift up to your commandments, which I love, and I meditate on your statutes.

Here is a table that contrasts between Biblical Meditation and Eastern Meditation.

Eastern Meditation                              Biblical Meditation

Mental Focus                      Empties the mind.                                 Fills the mind with God’s Word.

Content Focus                    Asks participants to repeat                  Asks participants to focus on vital
a single word – a mantra.                      content – God’s Word.

Goal                                     Aids in self-fulfillment.                         Aids in honoring God.

Method                               Visualizes what you desire.                  Prays to God, who controls the universe.

Resources                           The ultimate resources is                     The ultimate resource and power is God.
within the person.

I studied this table for a long while because I see such truth in it.  Truth not just in meditation but truth in the sins of this fallen world!  The world tries to empty the mind rather then deal with stress, job problems, money problems, marriage problems, parent-child relationship problems.  We are taught by our secular society that we are the resource to fix everything.  It’s all within us which is absolutely absurd!  Think of the disappointment when you visualize yourself in that new position at work.  And you visualize and visualize and visualize yet it doesn’t happen.  You become bitter, resentful.  The goals in the table really struck me…. I don’t want to aid myself in self-fulfillment.  My fulfillment comes from the Lord, not my husband (although I have to say my husband ROCKS!  Thank you Lord!), not my children (I’m blessed here too!), not my job, not even my church.  My GOD is what fulfills me!  The goal of biblical meditation is to help me to honor God.

I’m loving this study.  I’m seeing the importance of getting in the Word EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Not just on Sundays.  God’s word is our armor in such a fallen land.  Ephesians 6:1  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

If the Word is not influencing you SOMETHING is – I promise!

God Bless!

 

 

Just Pictures

I just wanted to share some fun pictures!

Katherine after a bath.  June 2016

Katherine after a bath. June 2016

Katherine playing with the hose and getting soaking wet. June 2016

Katherine playing with the hose and getting soaking wet. June 2016

Jonathan while on a mommy son date at the park. June 2016

Jonathan while on a mommy son date at the park. June 2016

Phil and kids when they went to see Eric Metaxes. May 2016

Phil and kids when they went to see Eric Metaxes. May 2016

Katherine SLEEPING while being half way out of her bed!  Sound asleep!  June 2016

Katherine SLEEPING while being half way out of her bed! Sound asleep! June 2016

Kids at park June 2016

Kids at park June 2016

What Does BBC Stand For?

Psalm 33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.

We have had an incredibly busy couple of weeks but especially the last 7 days.  We always attend the annual homeschool conference put on by Christian Home Educators of Colorado (CHEC).  We look forward to this 3 day event in June every single year and this year marked our 7th year in a row attending.  Truly it is more then a homeschool conference as they have sessions on everything from homeschooling to math is a language to the father’s role in the leading his family to family discipleship.  It truly is like a weekend getaway for us…. except we come home every evening!

The conference is also host to an extremely large vendor hall with dozens upon dozens of companies set up to demonstrate, ask questions and sell every curriculum you could think of .  I could spend hours in the vendor hall alone!  They also have a youth vendor section and this year our two oldest girls really wanted to have a booth.  After Phil and I prayed and discussed we decided to let them have a booth.  So, we had to come up with a product.  After much discussion and research we settled on homemade lotions, soaps. bath bombs and lip balm.   For weeks we’ve been making (after lots of experimenting) lots of fun stuff to sell.  Not being an entrepreneur type I was a little apprehensive about the whole thing but I truly did not want to squash their desire to run their own booth.

We settled on a business name of Busy Bee’s Creations, created a logo and started printing labels, business cards (the girls wanted the verse at the top of the post on their business cards) and product tags.  It was a TON of work but I have learned so much in the process!  The girls are already planning for next year’s booth!  We did better then I expected we would and it was such a wonderful opportunity for us.  CHEC requires their youth vendors to submit a business plan and take 2 hours of training during the conference.  At the end, they award the top 3 business plans with gifts.  The first place winner won a tablet and the 2nd and 3rd place winners won what they call vendor bucks.  Money that can be spent on any vendor in the hall.  The girls were really hoping to win but they did not…. considering I’m the one that submitted the business plan late (really late!) one night I figured it wasn’t going to be good enough to win!

On Friday, as we were setting up our booth I noticed that we did not have a table cloth or something to cover the table.  I assumed they would be provided and as I looked around the room I realized we were the ONLY youth vendor table to not have it beautifully decorated.  However, my dear husband, after reading my slightly stressed text, left work and bought us a cheap tablecloth from the store and brought it to us!  What an amazing blessing and our table looked much better with a cover.  We sold out of all of our bath bombs on Friday so when we got home from the conference that evening we set to work to make 30 more thinking Saturday would be much busier.  Saturday was not as busy as we expected but we still did well.  With an hour left of the conference we decided to do a half price sale to reduce our inventory.  We still brought home product but now I have some really great lotion and soaps to use!  I’ve made the lip balm before and I use it all the time.  I love it!

Overall, the conference was a blessing (have any of you heard Todd Friel speak?  Oh my goodness… you must!) and the booth experience was enjoyable and an amazing learning experience.  I too have plans of what can we do better next year!

The girls at their booth.

The girls at their booth.

One of our homemade soaps.

One of our homemade soaps.

 

Book Study: God Up Close – Chapter 1

“Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day.”  Psalm 119:97

A few months ago a dear friend of mine said while meeting with her Pastor’s wife, the wife asked who in my friend’s life she looked up to spiritually.  I was blown away when my friend said I was the first one she thought of!  Me??  I have so much to learn and so many ways to grow spiritually.  I remember thinking ‘I need to earn that title.’  So, when I was recently invited to take part in a book study with another friend of mine I immediately jumped at the chance as doing bible studies with this sister in Christ is very encouraging, convicting and refreshing.  She loves the Lord with all her heart and even more, loves to share the Gospel.  She is passionate about her family and ministering to other moms.  She truly is a light in such a dark world.

She came across a book titled God Up Close: How to Meditate on His word by Doug McIntosh.  The book is no longer in print (because, I believe, that it does not tickle the itching ears of the average church in America today) but I was able to buy a used copy on Amazon.  There are about 11 ladies in the group ranging in age from 38 to 86 with many different life experiences and biblical knowledge to share.  Course… being the introvert… I don’t share much!  I’d rather listen!  I’m determined to share next week though!

I’ve read the first 3 chapters twice already and have really been convicted on what are my priorities.  The author, Mr. McIntosh, makes several good points of what we value and love we make time for yet many many Christians do no read their bible and pray every day… many barely once a week.  This book addresses the phenomenon that being a Christian just means being a good person or believing in God.  That’s it… that’s all you have to do…. hmmm.  If you actually read the bible that’s not the truth.

I love this quote in chapter 1: “Meditation is the adoring believer’s interaction with the God of the Bible by means of the Bible.”  I want to be the adoring believer!  Here are the 3 steps Mr. McIntosh uses to meditate on God’s word:

  1. Realizing the truth of God as it is contained in the Scriptures.  This realization comes from reading and study.
  2. Reflecting upon that truth, considering its implications for me personally and for the world.
  3. Responding to God in thanksgiving, worship, and obedience because of that truth.

The author makes a point; if your first question when deciding if you should meditate on God’s word is ‘how long will this take’ then you can’t afford it.  Truly, if I could spend at least an hour every day pouring over my bible and journaling I would!  I love being in God’s word and I love my children being in God’s word.  I can’t expect them to do it if I do not make it a priority.  He also points out that many obstacles present themselves when someone makes a decision to meditate on God’s word.  Satan is not happy about a Christian actually reading her bible and makes every attempt to sabotage her efforts.  Facebook, movies, TV (which is 98% crap anyway), video games all take time away from God; not to mention the effect on our families.

Ok, I’m getting on a rant… I’ll get off my soapbox for now.

Some of the last words of Moses were “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall commend your children to be careful to observe – all the words of this law.  For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life.” Deuteronomy 32:46-47

Meditation calls for honesty and reflection.  Express your concerns and stresses of this life to God, always with reverence and He will listen.  He’s knows your heart anyway but wants to walk with you through this life.  Reflect on how God has shown His kindness to you or to others.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2

Another favorite quote from chapter 1 – “Meditation is not a casual activity.  Only those who esteem (delight in) the Word will spend the time and energy required to mine it’s treasures.”

I’ll end with this praise from David from 2 Samuel 22:1-4

Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.  And he said: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;  The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;  My shield and the horn of my salvation,  My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.  I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised:  So shall I be saved from my enemies.

 

 

Now She is 11!

I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve posted.  There are so many things that I want to write about but I just haven’t had the time!

Our sweet 2nd born turned 11 a couple of weeks ago.  She is such a creative, intelligent and beautiful young lady.  We are so blessed to have her in our family and I’m certainly blessed to be her mom!

A couple of days before her birthday she decided she wanted to donate her hair to Wigs 4 Kids again.  So, I took her to a salon and got her a super cute short do and mailed 14 inches of her hair to the organization.  What a blessing to be able to help other children with something many of us take for granted!

Happy Birthday Mikayla – we love you so much!  Thanks to family and friends for celebrating with us!

Before!

Before!

After!

After!

Daddy and Belle on our birthday dinner.

Daddy and Belle on our birthday dinner.

Belle's 11th Birthday Cake

Belle’s 11th Birthday Cake

14 Inches!

14 Inches!

It’s Official… I’m a Real Estate Agent!

Beginning in August of 2014 I started working towards getting my real estate license by taking online classes.  Due to my busy schedule I didn’t get very far so in early November, 2015 I enrolled in evening classes to complete all the required coursework in 5 weeks.  It was a tough schedule on everybody since I was in class Monday through Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 10:30pm (and I’m a morning person!) and Saturdays from 9:00 to 1:00 for 5 weeks.  I took the state licensing test on December 18th and I passed on the first attempt.  It was such a relief to have that behind me!

On March 2nd I hung my license with Cherry Creek Properties, Property Management Group.  I have to work under another broker for 2 years before I am allowed to work on my own; even if my focus is property management.

So, should you know of anyone looking for a Property Manager in the Denver Metro area please keep me in mind!

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13 and 2

Earlier in March we celebrated 2 of our children’s birthdays!  Pooh Bear turned 13 (can you believe we have a young adult in the house?) and Chewy turned 2.  It’s hard to believe that our youngest child was born 2 years ago!

Pooh did not have a specific cake theme in mind so she let me surprise her with my own idea and it was a hit!  I’ve always wanted to do a topsy turvy cake and this was my first attempt.  It was a lot of work but a lot of fun to make as well.   Thanks to all that joined us to celebrate these 2 wonderful daughters of ours!

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Birthday dinner at Chili's.

Birthday dinner at Chili’s.

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