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Creative Cause: A Call to Help Orphans

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Create: (Hebrew: bara’)to shape, fashion, create (always with God as subject)

Creativity: the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.

“In the beginning God CREATED…”

Only God can truly ‘create’. It was God that created the heavens and the earth when it was formless and void, and is God who makes us new creations in Christ Jesus:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

We are made in the image of God, and we have been entrusted with the talent of creativity. We write, we paint, we speak, we sing, we sew, we sculpt, we weld, we take photos, we make jewelry, videos, music…

There will be an accounting of how we used these ‘talents’. Did we invest them for God’s kingdom sharing them with others pointing them to the One who gave us this gift, or did we timidly bury them away?

Recently I discovered an opportunity to share the talent of art to help raise awareness and support for distressed orphans in Africa. Yes, the needs in the world are plentiful and it can lead us to a state of paralysis where we do nothing because we don’t know where to begin.

I am learning we begin on our knees–in a paralysis of prayer. God will show you how to be faithful where you are at, and with what He has entrusted you. If you are an ‘artist’ might you consider stewarding the talent of creativity God has entrusted you and invest it for His Kingdom through ‘Art for Orphans’?

Here’s how it works:

1. People donate their original artwork/photography.

2. People buy the artwork at afo.rethinkcreative.org.

3. We give all the proceeds to support orphans in Zambia.

More information for your prayerful consideration can be found at: http://afo.rethinkcreative.org/

May we give God the FIRST FRUITS of our creativity, believing He will do abundantly more than we can ask or imagine after all, it is according to His will:

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27


Hear O Biblical Hearted Parents: The Christian Parenting Handbook {And Lots of Give-Aways}

Deuteronomy 11:18

” Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” Psalm 34:11

{This post contains an affiliate link–your support is a gift to me.}

I have written many posts about the ministry of Parenting and how God is teaching me how to raise my children in the way they should go, and how being a parent requires a lot of humility with sanctifying second chances.

I believe God has called me to disciple my children and this is one calling I am growing in grace and knowledge every day. I don’t have much time to read many books other than the Bible and I agree with Ecclesiastes 12:12 “…be warned: the writing of many books is endless, and excessive devotion to books is wearying to the body.” Therefore I choose my books wisely.

My husband and I were graciously given the opportunity to review ‘The Christian Parenting Handbook” written by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. The Scripture that kept being brought to my remembrance when I was reading this is:

“The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of these collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.” Ecclesiastes 12:11

This book is packed with wisdom with practical examples and encouragement to raise children and yet it is full of grace and freedom, acknowledging the truth that “every child is unique, and every family has its own set of dynamics.” This book helps us to fully implement and put our ‘ideas’ into practice! It is refreshingly Biblical, focusing on the heart, and the importance and profit of using Scripture to teach and train our children. I was most thankful for the Authors acknowledgment of the role and power of the Holy Spirit and how we must not depend on human traditions to raise our children. The Authors write:

“Paul warned in Colossians 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” That warning is important for parents, because our world is full of ideas, and many of them are unhelpful, resting on tradition instead of godliness. Instead, you can develop a parenting philosophy that’s based on a solid theology of God and His plan for life.”

Dear readers, if you want to be challenged to think Biblically about parenting, allow the Holy Spirit to convict you where necessary and adjust accordingly: read the Bible and read this book! I know I am not alone when I say this because the books are SOLD out at all the major retailers and Christian books stores! The only place you can get it now is here.

I could write for hours on how God has used this book to convict and redirect my parenting but I want you to be able to post this quickly so you will NOT miss out on the opportunity to get one at a discounted price AND the opportunity to get the $400 in Biblical parenting resources just for purchasing the book this week (April 29 to May 5)!

You can purchase the physical copy of the book or the eBook in order to qualify for the $400 in free gifts. Personally, I’d get the physical book since one of the gifts you’ll receive is the eBook.
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Here’s what you’ll receive as a thank you gift for buying this week:

• The Christian Parenting Handbook electronic versions for iPad, Kindle, Nook or any mobile device ($29.97)

• Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #1 Complete Package including Lesson 1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #2 Complete Package including Lesson 2 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Teach Kids to Listen and Follow Instructions on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Correction Ideas that Touch the Heart on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Addressing Bad Attitudes in Kids on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• Everyday Parents CAN Raise Extraordinary Kids Session #1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)

• How to Use The Christian Parenting Handbook 30-minute Video ($24.95)

That’s $414.62 of biblical parenting resources for FREE. A tremendous gift as a thank you for helping with the launch.

Here’s how you receive your $400 gift:

1. Purchase The Christian Parenting Handbook during Launch Week, April 29 to May 5, 2013
2. Email, fax, or mail your receipt to The National Center for Biblical Parenting. Be sure to include your email address so that they can tell you how to obtain your free gift. Email: Gift@biblicalparenting.org Fax: 609-771-8003. Mail: 76 Hopatcong Dr. Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.
In addition, you can get The Christian Parenting Handbook Companion Guide (This is a workbook with audio clips that will help you apply the material in The Christian Parenting Handbook.) for free if you purchase 5 copies or more of the book.

To claim your premium, simply forward your purchase confirmation to Gift@biblicalparenting.org and we will send you your special product code for the $400.00 package. If you purchased 5 or more copies of the book, we’ll send you the PDF version of the Companion Guide.

That’s not all…today just add a comment below with your email and I will enter you in a raffle to win ONE of the following:

  • The Honor Multi-Media Package ($59.95)
  • A set of 5 Parenting shifts e-books ($49.95)
  • One free Biblical Parenting University Online Parenting Course ($99.95)
  • 1 electronic copy of Disciplemaking at Home. ($16.99)
  • 1 Print copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook and 1 PDF copy of The Christian Parenting Handbook Companion Guide ($49.95)

*Winners will be selected and notified May 5th and I will NOT share your email with anyone other than the National Center for Biblical Parenting for you to receive your prize.

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22

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As a member of The Christian Parenting Handbook launch Team, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and the opportunity to promote related giveaways and activities to my readers. All opinions are my own.


A Mother’s Anthem: “Desperate Not Defeated”

Desperate not defeated

“I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I want to introduce you to a humble servant of God, a mama that was willing to be transparent with her struggles so that God may be glorified in not only your lives but the lives of all you come in contact with. This mama, Sarah Mae has shared her struggles of motherhood at her blog and now by God’s hand she has written a book with a Titus 2 woman of God Sally Clarkson. Sally Clarkson is a woman of the Word that has gone before us young mamas in motherhood and is willing to share her experiences, confessions, pearls and treasures from God’s Word.

Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae are raising an anthem call, “Desperate, Not Defeated” in their new book “Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe“. They remind us the breath we need is God’s Holy Spirit gently guiding us in the plan He has uniquely designed for your family. Written unlike any book I’ve ever read we have the perspective of a young mama and a wise ‘older woman’ answering the questions most of us mamas have but are too embarassed to ask.

This book is not just for moms that stay home it is for ALL MOMS, MAMAS, MOMMAS, MOMMYS, MOTHERS! Throughout the book Sally lifts the arms of Sarah Mae and all of us mommas, encouraging us in the LORD reminding us of His banner over us ‘LOVE‘ and reminding us where our strength and help comes from: God.

I have been mobilized by Sarah Mae exhorting older moms not to forget what it’s like in the early days of motherhood:

“Let’s remember, so that we can be the Titus 2 women that our generation is so desperate for.”

This January marks three years that I’ve been staying home as a full time wife and momma. I was answering a call God had put on my life that I ignored because of my insecurities, fears of inadequacy and selfishness. This calling was Motherhood.

I want to tell you mommas out there: I remember.

I remember what it was like being a momma that worked outside the home. Yes, I know it is very hard!

I remember what it’s like to be a new stay at home momma. Yes, I know it is very hard!

For the first four years of my sons life and the first two years of my daughter’s life I worked full time. In fact, I worked so much I hardly saw my children less than fifteen hours a week and weekends (if I didn’t send them to my sister’s). I was one of the biggest persecutors of stay at home moms, thinking they were lazy and wasting their time and talent. For years, I felt this way. Then God changed me. That was the ONLY way this could happen. God.

This book encouraged me to revisit my journal entries from those early days of desperation.

Here are a few:

12-21-09 (I was still working outside the home when I wrote this):

“I am humbled in my role as a mother. I can’t do this without You God, and anything good that comes from this is from You, not anything I do or will have done.”

1-30-10 (Just a few days in this new role)

“Already I am tired. I’m trying not to look back or forward, but trying to just be present, open to hear what You (God) want to teach me.”

2-3-10

“Father, I do see my new role here…no longer working outside the home but now I am able to concentrate on shining the love of Christ to Billy, Benjamin and Annaleigh. To teach out children to love You and love one another. Help me to see each of them as You do. May this service of wife and mother be an offering and sacrifice to You God as a fragrant aroma.”

2-9-10

“I need Your help! I can’t raise Benjamin and Annaleigh without Your guidance and discernment!” God’s response to me: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; 2 Corinthians 5:12-17; 1 John 3:1

2-16-10

I keep hearing negativity about being ‘just’ a stay at home mom and how hard it is, I can’t speak fully about it now because I’ve only done this for three weeks but I’d like to think I will continue to enjoy this because it is an offering for You Father and I want to raise Benjamin and Annaleigh to know You through loving them. Father, I want to be led by Your Spirit so I can obey Your Word. I accept the full power of Your Holy Spirit and release and yield myself to You as a living sacrifice.

2-16-10 Later that day…

The kids became tired and fought and I sent Benjamin to his room and he threw another fit…he doesn’t like me. He even tried to barricade the door. Help me Father, help me to hear Your Holy Spirit on how to react and what to say!

2-22-10

Today I felt so tired and I didn’t want to wake up. I didn’t make Billy’s breakfast, coffee or lunch. The kids woke up before me and wanted breakfast right away and our normal routine. I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep. I don’t know if it was warfare or me being lazy. I confessed my bad mood and tried again. Things were well until Annaleigh cried because she didn’t want her hair brushed. Now Benjamin is testing me again–not taking naps–I need Your help, I can’t do this without You! Thank You!

I sometimes feel like Moses, He had a relationship with You and was leading the Israelites to the promised land but they complained often and Moses cried out to You for help, as I do. The whining and complaining really get to me, but I suppose that’s how I sound to You right now. Sometimes I feel like the giant in Gulliver’s travels when the little people pinned down this giant and danced around…I guess like that giant I didn’t know the strength within me…but I’m learning. I’m learning to yield to the power of Your Holy Spirit and to listen to what You are trying to teach me through Your Word and through my children and current cirumstances.

These journal entries are special to me because they are cries of a mothers heart to God, asking for help.

When I read Desperate I was reminded of what God has been teaching me these past three years as a Mother and these lessons have been confirmed by a mother after God’s own heart Sally Clarkson:

“Motherhood is God’s creative and original idea, and He desires us to take joy in His intricate handiwork. He longs for us to seek Him, to rest in His love, to flourish in His acceptance of us, and to understand His ways for us with our children. When we follow the voice of God and rest in His ability to sustain us as mothers, we will find a true and lasting peace.”

“Following voices without rooting them first in the voice of God can lead to legalism, which starves the soul of grace freely given by God. Legalism is rampant amongst Christian circles today, and many children have turned away from God because of harsh and arbitrary standards set forth by people who feign to speak authoritatively, but who either have no grounding in Scripture, or abuse interpretation of it for their own agenda.”

“There is only one voice to obey, and His voice brings life, joy, and freedom. God, as the designer, knows exactly how to guide us in our parenting. He is the only one who can help us pull off our lives with grace and freedom from guilt.”

The book Desperate reminds us we may be desperate but we are not defeated! We are desperate for God’s help and must remember the battle has already been won by Jesus Christ! We must remember God’s grace is sufficient for us and His power is made perfect in weakness(2 Corinthians 12:9)!

The first two years I stayed home as a full time mama I only read the Bible. I believe His Word is what gives life, and I choose my books and what I read wisely–through prayer. God has been teaching me He uses sanctified vessels to share His Words in many forms (like blogs and books). Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mae are God’s sanctified yielded vessels full of mercy and grace and it is evident in what they write, for out of the heart the mouth speaks…and pen writes.

This book really impacted me! Not only did it confirm what God has been teaching me about being a mother but also about being a mentor, afterall I am an older woman to someone right? Let us encourage one another to love and good deeds, shall we?

I whole-heartedly recommend this book and pray you will be as blessed as I am with it!

Movement - desperatemoms.com


The Gift of God: The Spirit of Christ

Holy Fountain Consume us with You

“..if you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

We all have been given a gift of God.

I received this Gift almost four years ago and I’m STILL unpacking, meditating, savoring, pondering and rejoicing what has been given. As I unpack and discover the magnitude of this Gift, everything else in this world is fading away. Things that once mattered to me like wealth, prestige and material items have lost its lure. Conversely, things that didn’t matter to me now do. My heart breaks for the orphans and widows, for my brethren throughout the Nations who are in prison for standing firm in their faith—the same faith I proclaim to have.

My heart is rending for the lost and lonely, the physically and spiritually malnourished—for those that do not know a Gift has been given.  I have been in mourning these past few weeks, tortured by the distractions and plenty I have in this beautiful Country.  I have fought Pharisaical and prideful thoughts, angry at the misguiding distractions this world tempts to entangle me in ‘the spirit of Christmas’.  I go to my Father lamenting and pounding my chest crying out for His mercy, for only He knows my thoughts and intentions and I ask Him to help me to have a spirit of Christmas.  As I write down the words ‘spirit of CHRISTmas’ my eyes are opened:

In Spanish ‘más’ means more so to me this means: ‘The Spirit of more CHRIST’!

I am reminded that I KNOW the ‘gift of God’ Jesus Christ, and not only has He humbled Himself to be with us, as His daughter He is for me and He is IN me! I drank of the water that has been given to me by Jesus Christ and I have been given a ‘well of water springing up to eternal life’—what a Gift I have been given! To ponder on this Gift is to have a Mary CHRISTmás!

I pray you are born again and have received the gift of the Holy Spirit and your life is a Mary CHRISTmás {Spirit of more Christ}. Just ask Him for yourself…

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13

“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true. Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.  He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.  But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:13-17)

 “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.” Titus 1:15

“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. John 3:34


Revisiting a stone I collected the beginning of this year…

Altar of Heaven

Imagine taking a trip to offer a sacrifice and pay vows to the Lord your God–a trip you took every year and one day you don’t go…that is what a woman named Hannah did:

“Then Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, ‘I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him that he may appear before the LORD and stay there forever.’” 1 Samuel 1:21-22

Why did she stay back? Hannah had remembered her vow to God.  She had a deep sense of commitment to remain back to begin to honor the vow she took, to fulfill her role, and to do the task at hand—feed her baby the milk God supplied…and she would not go up…

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Greater Love Requires Greater Sacrifice

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13)

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)

Today in America we remember the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guard service men and women who died while serving the United States. These selfless men and women have denied themselves to ensure the freedom of others.  My husband and I recently watched ‘Act of Valor’ and one of my favorite quotes from that movie is:

If you are not willing to give up everything, you’ve already lost.”

As a veteran I understand this statement completely. When I joined the military, I joined with the intention and volition I would give my life for my Country. The oath I took solidified my intentions:

I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

So help me God.  I’ve always needed God’s help.  As a Soldier in God’s Kingdom I still need God’s help because if I am not willing to give up everything—even myself, then I have already lost.  Jesus Christ tells us:

“…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Mark 8:35

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24

Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for my brothers and sisters who have sacrificed their physical lives to protect the freedom of others.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray You will comfort those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. As Your ambassador and soldier I pray for those currently serving in the armed forces and those serving to build Your kingdom; praying we serve with the strength that You provide so that in all things You may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The greatest sacrifice I know that has ever been given extends beyond this Nation and has been given for the FREEDOM of all…everyday may I memorialize that day by the way I love and serve others. I thank God our Father for Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24

“Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” 2 Timothy 2:3-4


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