Drive Thru History: The Gospels

the gospels

Mom Friends!

I have come up with a great way to do family devotions for 18 weeks with minimal preparation for myself and I want to pass this information on to you. Hallelujah! I find it difficult to gather up the kids for a time of worship on a daily basis. It is challenging to find material that I can use effectively, I get side tracked easily, and lets not even talk about the kids “fighting” that begins when we try have a time of worship.

I have used, Drive Thru History: The Gospels, for our family time and it has been a true blessing. Dave Stott and Cold Water Media have put together a DVD series that is absolutely amazing, Biblically accurate, and engaging for the whole family. The series takes you through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, so by the time your family is done wit the series you will have been through the whole life of Christ. I have 8 kids and I admit I did not do a great job giving my older children the gospel when they were at home. It is something that I am asking the Lord to fill the gaps in. This series, The Gospels, will help you give the gospel message to your children in a way that will help open their eyes and ears to the message of Jesus our Messiah, His earthly ministry and ultimately his Resurrection!

The DVD’s are 30 minutes long and the series comes with a small booklet in the center of it and is used as a springboard for your time of reflection. The questions are simple yet profound and useful for your christian walk. Each episode has Bible readings that go along with the DVD and you can pull Bible memory out of those readings.

Your usage of this series is dynamic and can be done any way that works for your family. I used the DVD on Monday, questions on Tuesday, Bible readings on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday was a time of review and conversation about the series. The Gospel’s made it so easy to get time in the Word and share about my love for Jesus with the kids on a weekly basis that I am overwhelmed with gratitude to the Lord for the time we are sharing as a family about Him.

Family devotions are vital for spiritual growth within your family. If you have never done devotions with your family, this is a great place to start. It’s never to late to begin to cultivate a greater love for the Lord in your home.

Email me or leave me a message in the comments and I will help you get a copy of this into your hands for $69.99 shipping included!

Onward and Upward,

Brandy

Encouraging Your Children in the Gospel

Hebrews 3:12-13 “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today”, so that none of you will be hardened but the deceitfulness of sin.”

There are times as a mom that I have been frustrated at how many times I have had to tell my children the same things over and over. I feel like there comes a point where they should just “GET IT” and they don’t. This ranges from clean your room to have you done your devotions? I get tired. I get angry. I get heart sad.

God’s Word is merciful to encourage a worn out mom to do the right things. When I read the words, TAKE CARE, my heart melted within me. I knew I had not been taking care of giving the gospel daily to my children as I should have been. I had slacked off in the consistency and focused on the daily pressing needs of life instead. It’s so easy to become tunnel focused on little things and miss the picture God wants us to paint for the gospel to be laid deep in the heart of my children.

God wants us to encourage our children day after day in the things that will soften their hearts toward His Word and the gospel of Christ. If we don’t give them the daily doses of His Word to prepare them for the ups and downs of life and relationship with Him, we are missing it. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your Word have I treasured in my heart, that I might sin against you.” The Words of God are what will keep them from hardening their hearts.

Sojourning with you!

Brandy

Sovereignty of God (Written for my children)

Dear Children,

I am grateful for another day to live and move and be alive! Isn’t it a precious gift to be alive and be able to breathe in and out? I am blessed to serve the Lord with all my heart, mind and spirit! Life is precious! Sometimes circumstances or conflict make you want to give up or even want to die. You must fight these thoughts!

In 45 years, I have had many things walk through the front door of my life. I’ve had things that I chose to let in that were not good. Those temptations knocked on the door and I threw the door open for them. How dumb! How foolish, but I recognize I chose to let those life issues in.

There have been things that I did not choose to let in, but God in His providence allowed them. Diabetes, death, miscarriages, and early menopause are just a few of the things I have no control over but recognize that they are for my sanctification and for His glory. I’ve taken these things in sorrow, humility, and accepted affliction, because I trust God and He is my guide. I can not imagine these things without God by my side.

Can you all remember Disney World and Hannah getting diagnosed with diabetes there? The shock my heart felt that day. There was a numbness in my brain, BUT GOD took me through it!

Zach, do you remember the day I found out Abbie had type 1 diabetes? I cried on your shoulder. He used your tender heart to come out to me as I wept and gave me your embrace to love me through it. This is what God does for us too! He embraces us and carries us through life’s most difficult times. My heart broke for my baby girl, BUT GOD sustained me through it. Can you see His sovereign hand in this?

I’ve lost children by miscarriage. These anticipated ones were there and then suddenly they were gone. My womb was empty and my hormones changing and raging. My arms were not to hold what heaven had received, BUT GOD mended me each time as I rested in His sovereignty.

How can we not rest in a sovereign God? You can NOT walk through life thinking everything is by chance! God allows things. He has planned things. He orchestrates things. My mind and heart can be at peace knowing He has all things in His providential and sovereign plan.

Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.

Psalm 115:2-3 Why should the nations (or you) say, “Where now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

Bad things happen and come, and you MUST give them back to God who can cure and restore. Oh, how your weary hands will tremble. Oh, how your heart may try to rebel. QUICKLY! QUICKLY! Fall on your knees and cry out to your merciful God who stands ready to help you in time of need. Don’t go at it alone! Don’t pull up your boot straps, FIRST fall on your knees to the God of all mercy.  Children, God has not left you without hope or guidance. Seek Him and His help.

The verse that crowns this topic in context is 2 Corinthians 1:2-4 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Be comforted by God, for He will firmly place you where you are secure.

Love ,

Mom

Dear Children,

I’m writing a book for my children this Christmas and I am finishing it up ASAP! The struggle is real to find the time to do this. I thought to share the first one with you today, maybe you can do this for your children someday? What a heritage we have to pass on to the next generation.

Dear Children,

As I have been thinking ahead towards Christmas, I have begun thinking about the gifts I want to give you. Each one of you need or desire different things. I’ve asked myself, “What shall I give to you this year?”

Having 8 children makes holidays lovely! I love the big, old tree in the middle of the living room. The smells of brunch after opening the presents and the dinner roasting in the oven fill the house with deliciousness! When everyone is here in the house the noise level creeps up as you all joke with one another, pick on each other and ultimately love on one another.

This year I decided to write you all together and pray for you and make this book. Your books are all different and they are tailored to you, but my letters and thoughts are for you all. You may ask why is mom doing this? Dear sweet children, I want to leave you a legacy, A legacy of CHRIST!

He is your portion!

He is your Savior!

He will sustain you in life!

He will keep you!

He can be everything to you, if you let Him.

Surrender daily to Him and He will guide and carry you!

I love you all, let my ramblings begin.

Love,

Mom

A Mom’s Daily Battle

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Lamentations 3:22-23  “The Lord’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

The morning has broken, the alarm has sounded and your feet are swinging to hit the cold floor. It’s the moment where you begin choosing the way your attitude for the day is going to go. We can begin one of two ways, with a heart thankful for the new day to serve the Lord or a heart drudging the day with an unwilling heart. I imagine you stumble to the kitchen and you switch on coffee pot, the kids come bleary eyed out of their rooms, and the bickering begins. (I’m not even kidding! I am in my kitchen right now and this is seriously happening!) One sticks out their tongue, the offended yell, “MOOOOM! She is sticking out her tongue.” I ignore the offended, who then chooses to retaliate, not with words but with a sneaky elbow punch.

***Freeze frame it in your mind now*** ( Excuse me while I switch to a first person account, because I am battling this out right now!)

I get to decide how I am going to respond on this one.

“God, help me!” I cry inside.  I had a fruitful, beautiful time in your Word and now these kids are putting me in jeopardy of sinning, or are they?

So, the quick answer is, No. They are not causing me to sin in my possible response. I get that responsibility. Seriously, it is on my heart to respond with an answer that is God honoring and pointing them to the Lord in how they should treat one another. This time I was able to not lose my temper, it’s early in the day and I am still meditating on my quiet time. My desire is that they day will continue in this pattern but I can assure you that it will digress at some point. I am stuck in this sinful flesh that I battle until my weary head hits the pillow at night. It’s then this sinner gets to rest and turn off her mind and tongue until the next morning.

We have a gracious God, who is acquainted with all our needs, our thoughts, and our weaknesses! What hope we have as we walk through this thing called, Motherhood, with Him as our strong tower. He is the one who can filter our thoughts and words for us as we try to saturate ourselves with His life giving Word. The Word is the guide for us in how we should live and move and have our being! Oh, that we would run to it in time of need or that He would bring to our minds what we need when we are at a crossroads of a response to others.

Proverbs 16:24  “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Lord, I am in need of your guidance on how I should respond to my family today. I am so easily frustrated and I turn to my flesh before I turn to you. Help me to be more like you in how I speak. I give vent to words that should not be said. Forgive me, and help me to point my children to you. Help me to show them, by example how to treat one another and speak words that are full of Your Word.

Delighting in the Word: Psalm 1

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 1:2

“But His delight is in the law of the LORD,  And in His law he mediates day and night.”

Psalm 1 is one of my favorites. When I read chapter 1, I am always immediately hit with the word DELIGHT. Delight is a word that speaks of a  high degree of pleasure towards something. Can you say you are delighted to read the Word of God?

There was a time in my life when I did not delight in God’s Word. In all honesty, there was a time when I would rarely read it,  and so it meant nothing to me. I would go about my life claiming Christ but never really knowing Him or desiring to learn more of Him. Once I bent my knee to the Lord, I went to a Ladies Salad Supper and the speaker spoke on how much she loved God’s Word. She held up her Bible and kissed it and said, “I love God’s Word!” I DRANK it in! My soul broke and cried, “I want to love your Word too!” From that time on I began to hunger after God’s Word and was learning to delight in the gift of God’s Word to me.

How do you meditate on God’s Word? First, you need to pray and ask the Lord to help you. (Matt. 7:8-9) Second, you need to read it! Read it slowly and carefully. Read it again. Read it out loud. Read it with a pen in hand. Memorize from the text you are reading. Study it with a good commentary so you can meditate with a correct understanding.

You will find yourself thinking about what you read throughout your day. It will become a balm to your heart and mind and soul. Once you start reading the Word of God and begin to delight in it, you will never be the same again. So dive in daily and drink deeply from the well spring of life.

Father, thank you for your Word. Forgive me for not loving it and cherishing it like I do other things. I get so tempted and drawn away by the cares of the world sometimes….. I don’t want to do this, but I do. Help me to love you, give me the pure love that comes from a broken and contrite heart. You deserve more love than I could possibly give.

 

Recommended Reading:

John MacArthur Commentary

Treasury of David, By Charles Spurgeon

90 day Psalm Reading Plan

 

 

 

Don’t Give Up!

     

The weather outside has become wintery and the skies have turned a winter gray, but it is a great time to buckle down and enjoy the homeschool journey.  It’s this time of the year that the homeschool BLAH’s can set in and cause us to become a little down in the mouth. I believe the shorter days and darkened skies can make the days seem dreary and move as slow as a child doing their chores! How do you keep yourself from losing your proverbial mind? How can you make it through the winter doldrums?

Get Alone With God, DAILY!

This is an absolute must for you. Get up and get motivated to sit and read His word for a few minutes each morning and PRAY that He will be glorified in your homeschool and life. Perhaps start reading in Psalms, and move your way through that book as winter progresses. There are 150 Psalms and winter will be over before you’re done! I created a reading plan for this and you can download it from here

90 day Psalm reading plan

Psalm 119:15-17

15  I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
16  I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

Recently, I have had to re-adjust my personal time. I was getting lazy and short sighted in it and had to remind myself of the valuable spiritual discipline of personal quiet time. Life gets in the way and before you know it you have set aside the most important thing in your day for the dross of life. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful in this endeavor to know Him and commune with Him.

Pick a Family Project:

                Your kids are probably going as crazy as you are and getting them involved in something more than screen time can be valuable to their brains! (and your sanity!)

Last year our family decided to do a backcountry hiking trip.  If you’re not familiar with backcountry hiking and camping, it’s where you pack all your needed gear in to a LARGE backpack and carry it into the wilderness where you will stay 2-3 days.  We had to plan and prepare for this ALL winter long. There were gear lists and clearance shopping trips, practice hikes, learning about bears and snakes in the area we were going and more! We had a full winter prepping for our trip. The CRAZY thing about this is that last week one of my kids said, “I can’t wait for winter hiking. It’s my favorite time to hike.” **Insert an incredulous face of a mom here.**

Your family project should reflect you and your family. It can be anything. How many puzzles can your family finish over winter? You can take outdoor adventures in national or metro parks in your area. Make foods from different lands and read about that place or watch a library video about it. Learn to paint or sketch as a family. There are so many wonderful things you can do as a family from free to expensive. Your choice!

If you want to read about our outdoor adventures feel free to check out the blog:

Our Adventure Blog

Set A Schedule:

            Winter can make you lazy. The dreary, dark skies may cause you to get out of routine. Make a loose schedule of your day and try to stay with it. I mean LOOSE! No mom can plan around sick kids, nursing babies, and free-lance messes made by toddlers, or teenage drama, so just make a general plan for the day.

Plan a “free” day every week. It can be a day to laze around the fireplace, do an activity or go out to dinner. It gives you something to look forward to and the kids will know there is a day where you are relaxing or working on that family project. Fridays have been our “free” day for years and we use to enjoy the life that God has so graciously given to us.

Homeschooling can be challenging but you can have a successful winter semester. Embrace the cold!! Sing praises to the Lord for a time where you can slow down a bit and work on school. Grab that cup of coffee or tea and sit in the living room and enjoy the crazy. While the weather outside is frightful, winter homeschooling doesn’t need to be!

In His Grip,

Brandy