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Secure in My Calling-- What IS It?!

>> 3.18.2012

I've been pondering this phrase for a few weeks now.  "Secure in my calling..."  Lysa Terkuerst uses it in her book and study (of the same name) "Becoming More than A Good Bible Study Girl" and it has begged me to answer the obvious questions that come to mind when I hear it: "Am I really secure in my calling?"  and the next one, "what exactly IS 'my calling'"?

We have to know first what our calling is.  For those of us who are Christ-followers, we can find part of our answer in His Word, our foundation for anything True.  We know that Christ actually gives many commandments for us to follow-- commandments such as caring for the orphans and widows, not getting angry, not getting drunk, not judging others, not wanting things that are not ours, rejoicing in all circumstances, giving thanks, praising His name, and on and on and on.  When one sits and just reads through Matthew chapters 5-7 it can seem to get a little heavy and wearisome at times.  NO ONE could do all that!  (That is, actually, the point-- without Christ we can do no good.  There is nothing good in us. Ecc. 7:20 and others) But, then, thankfully Jesus boils it all down for us to two simple terms.  In Matthew Chapter 22 verses 37-40 He says,

1)  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
2)  "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Christ says, "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

In John Chapter 15, we read that if we love God we will obey His commands and remain in His love.  Obeying His commands will mean that we will show love to others because we will consider them better than our own selves.  We will be more concerned with their needs than our own and we will naturally not do all of the commands that talk about not judging or gossiping or stealing, etc. because those actions are not loving.  I am, of course, making it sound so simple, and yet it is not.  We MUST abide in Christ if we are to live a life consistent with this because only HE can produce in us the love for others.  We just can not conjure it up in and of ourselves.

Okay-- so first we must learn to LOVE GOD and the LOVE OTHERS

There is a second part to being a follower of Christ that should flow out of everything we do daily.  This is found a little later in Matthew when Jesus gives some of His final words to His disciples after rising from the dead and before heading back to His heavenly home.  (This is part of the "love others" that He has already told us to do.)

"All authoriy in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."  (Oh yeah, and let's not forget that Jesus promises to be with us through all of this!)

Our calling then, as human Christ-followers is to: love God / love others, and the second, MAKE DISCIPLES!

So the question we should be asking ourselves is , whatever earthy place God has put us in, are we making disciples there?  That is our number one calling as true followers of Christ.   We'll  look later this week as some more particulars and how this might look on and everyday level.

For more on this, PLEASE watch this video!  Francis Chan is a regular man, human like the rest of us, but he is choosing daily to walk a life that screams JESUS! to those around him.  If you don't have an hour-- cuz' it's a long one(!)-- come back and visit this video when you do.  (I cleaned my school room while I listened=)



I just had to pass onto you a site to encourage you in your very own calling.  This site is put together by a few women in northern Indiana who are ordinary women, living lives and mothers, teachers, sisters, etc. but who have put their God-given talents into use to spread His love for others and help us all become more aware of those in desperate need. 

Please check this site out and see for yourself! I KNOW it will inspire and encourage you to begin  to pray about how God wants to use YOUR unique giftedness to share His Kingdom right here on earth, even today!

This is their dye4LIFE artQUILT (just one of many of their projects)-- read more about this unique expression of art and educational program here.


One Step to "Homeschooler Freedom"

>> 3.11.2012

"Good start in school...good start in life!"  "Unlock the Love of Learning"  "Make Learning EASIER This Year!"

I am SO in the thick of it right now-- and so are many of you.  As homeschool conventions begin their new spring/ summer season and curricula begin to be discounted for the Spring months, all those voices that you usually hear at least once a week are now louder than ever and you hear them almost daily (if not several times a day)!  They say things like, "are you SURE you have the right materials?"  "What about THIS study?"  "Traditional schooling is best"  "No, Classical is the best!"  As I think through where my children will be when we start up school again and what they need the most, I find myself swimming in an ocean of voices almost drowning unable to focus on any one particular direction in which to travel to get to "dry land".  "Dry land" is my phrase for "what best fits my family, children, and their specific needs."  (For awhile now I've actually been mentally fighting myself over choosing a particular activity that is needed for one of my children just because it doesn't align with the philosophy of homeschooling I've been holding to up until now.  How ridiculous, really!  If he needs something, then isn't that WHY I homeschool?  To have the freedom to choose that?)

So, as much as I needed this, I thought maybe some of you might too.  Here is a bit of an article written by Melanie Hexter found in the magazine Home School Enrichment (Issue #56). (Which, just so happened to show up in my mailbox completely unsolicited by me-- but I really don't mind!  This was the first piece of mail that I welcomed even if I hadn't pursued it!)  Melanie says that there are two reasons she believes in dispelling the myth that there is "one best way to homeschool".  She shares her first reason, but it was reason number two that caused me to understand my own difficulty in being bound to my own philosophies.

" There is a second reason that it's a myth to think there's just one best book, curriculum, or homeschool philosophy...If there was only one best way...we wouldn't need to rely on the Lord for our daily provision.  I don't know the best way to teach my kids, so I must turn to Him often and regularly for His leadership...While I can explain to others what has worked well in homeschool, to impose our family's style and preferences on someone else doesn't leave room for the Lord to direct their steps."

Then she asks a series of powerful (for me, anyway) questions.

"Are you willing to abandon a teaching method, a specific publisher, or what you've always done to follow the Lord?  Are you willing to listen to his instructions for your family, your homeschool, and each of your individual children?...What if He tells you to use no formal curriculum for awhile?  Are you okay with that?  Are you willing to follow Jesus like the disciples did, not knowing the route or the eventual destination, but committed to being with Him in your homeschool no matter what?  When it comes to the best way to homeschool, it's really a matter of refining our listening skills.  To whose input am I going to listen?..."

And so that's the question I'll leave you with:  "To whose input are you going to listen?"

I know I'm going to need to do some real hard praying and seeking that which IS the best for my children:  The LORD'S answer!  Can't wait to hear what He has to say!


Trailblazers -- Great Deal Going On!

>> 3.10.2012

Dave and Neta Jackson, authors of more than 100 children's books including the series of missionary "biographies" (historical fiction) for children (ages 8-12) are offering ALL 40 of their Trailblazer titles for just $39!  I can vouch for these books when I say that they are excellently written and will begin to open your children's eyes to the great and powerful works that God has done through ordinary men and women who have submitted their lives to pursuing and serving Christ.  Some of the titles include the stories of:

* William and Catherine Booth
* William Tyndale
* David Livingstone
* Martin Luther
* Harriet Tubman
* George Muller
* Amy Carmichael

And, of course, many, many others!

They are selling these books via a CD that can be uploaded to your computer, printed out or uploaded to your favorite eBook reader.  After considering the fact that I still LOVE feeling a book in my hands, I couldn't help but realize that we've already read and LOVED two of their books (not to mention my list was already growing as to which ones I was going to order next!) and at a savings of well over $200, I couldn't resist snatching them up and giving into cuddling with the kids in front of our iPad instead=)  (Doesn't smell as good, but they sure do love turning those pages!).  Bonus: my bookshelves are already getting pretty full and I don't have anything I'm willing to let go to make more room...40 extra books would have really needed a new bookshelf!=)

PLEASE check these out!  Many of the books are now out of print so this option is a fabulous way to collect them all-- and your children will benefit so much from reading about the lives of these men and women who gave their all to serve the Lord.  I couldn't find better stories to fill my children's hearts with than those of the "cloud of witnesses" who have gone before us.  I pray the Lord will bring these stories back again and again as He sees fit to encourage my children in the coming days that they might stand firm for Jesus.



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