A Secret

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God?

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“And the angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful (secret, KJV)?’” – Judges 13:18

We’ve come across some pretty impressive names for God so far, haven’t we? He is truly amazing. Today’s post is slightly different from our previous studies.

Here in Judges, Manoah, a young man seeking after the angel of the Lord, asks what the angel’s name is. The angel replies that His name is wonderful, a secret (in the KJV). He wonders why Manoah wishes to know His name. It’s interesting that Manoah never gives an answer and the angel never gives His name.

This causes me to pause and think… Why do we seek the name of the Lord? Why do we seek after Him? Are we giving His name the respect, honor, and glory it deserves? Do we fully realize just how wonderful He is?

Today, let us stop to ponder these questions in our own hearts. Are we seeking the Lord with longing, desiring to know Him more? Let us always remember this His name is wonderful.

To honor the Lord’s many names, consider making a Christmas Chain with construction paper! On each ‘link’ of the chain, write one name of God and decorate it however you’d like. Then, link the chains together and hang them somewhere special where you will see them on a daily basis. Let this be your holiday reminder of how wonderful God truly is!

Time to Chime In: What caused you to seek the Lord and know Him more?

The Teacher

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God?

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am” – John 13:13

Did you know that out of the ninety times Jesus was addressed in the New Testament sixty of those times He was referred to as ‘Teacher’? The people called Him this, His disciples called Him this, and even Nicodemus, a Jewish scribe, referred to Him in this manner.

What Jesus taught has influenced more people than any other has ever done in history. The Bible, which holds His teachings, is the most widely printed book in history. No one has had more of an effect on education, social reform, and relationships than Christ.

While other teachers quote one another, Christ quotes God alone and stands on His authority. He may never have entered a ‘classroom’ or attended a fancy college to get a higher degree, but He is certainly an educator. No one can surpass Him in knowledge.

How well did it work? Look around you. Two thousand years have passed and today across the world over two billion people bear his name. Christianity has spread from Jerusalem to every corner of the globe. At this very moment multiplied thousands of missionaries are doing what Jesus said to do: teaching all nations. If the success of the students is the measure of the teacher, then no teacher was ever so successful as the one and only Master Teacher, Jesus Christ.

- Ray Pritchard,  “Why Was Jesus Called Teacher?”

In honor of Christ, our Master Teacher, let us celebrate the educators in our lives. Bless those who lead in your women’s ministry (or men’s ministry) with something small to show your appreciation. Let them know you see their hard work and thank them for it.

For a hands-on activity, why not make caramel apples or chocolate covered apples? Yummy! What a fun way to remind our children that teachers are special people, especially their ‘mommy’ teachers. Explore fun ways to decorate you candied apples and test out a few new fancy recipes.

May the Lord bless you, the teacher of your home. May He continue to shine upon you and guide you with His wisdom. May He show you the best ways to reach your children’s hearts for His glory.

Time to Chime In: What is one lesson the Lord has taught you which made a huge impact in your teaching style? Share your experience with us!

Silver & Gold

Pump_Day_ChristmasWelcome to “Pump Day”; getting through the middle of our week with something fun and frilly.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! While being a stay-at-home, homeschooling mama doesn’t get me out to fancy parties too often and definitely rules me out for company dinners, this lady still enjoys dressing up just a little during the Christmas season, even if that means I’m only painting my nails!

My collection of nail polish has definitely increased over the years. I went from having only two colors to owning over thirty in a very short period of time. This year, I invested in nail ‘art’ and pens which would help me add a little pizzaz to my tips. For this Christmas season, I even added one new bottle of glittery red polish.

Just because we stay at home a great deal of the time and don’t have anyplace particularly fancy to be, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun in our own little world. For the fun of it, here is some holiday inspiration to get you thinking about your own nails. Explore the neat options suggested and do something special just because…

Xmas Nails 1 Xmas Nails 2 Xmas Nails 3 Xmas Nails 4 Xmas Nails 5 Xmas Nails 6

As always… While fashion is fun, we should remember:
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” – I Peter 3:3-4

The High Priest

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.” – Hebrews 4:14

Whenever we hear the word ‘priest’, we tend to think of ‘high church'; don’t we? A man dressed in formal robes, probably wearing some form of head covering, ready to hand out sermons and offer pardon for our sins. Here in Hebrews, we are reminded that Christ is our High Priest; He is the only man who can save us from our sin and concede for us before God the Father.

The word “priest” has many different meanings. It means one who mediates in religious services. It also means one who is holy or set apart to perform those services. The priests were responsible for making intercession to God for the people by offering the many sacrifices that the law required. Among the priests, one was selected as the High Priest, and he entered into the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement to place the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark of the Covenant. Unlike the Levitical priests, who had to continually offer sacrifices, Jesus only had to offer His sacrifice once, gaining eternal redemption for all who come to God through Him.

Our family is neither Catholic or Jewish. The idea of what a High Priest’s role is in the church can be a little hard to understand. If your family is like mine, HERE is an excellent handout which might help out. To study what traditional Jewish high priests used to wear, THIS helpful activity might be just what you’re looking for.

While we often associate Christmas with just Jesus’ birth and the presents that we receive during this time of year, let us not forget that Christmas means so much more. Through Jesus’ birth, the best gift ever was given to mankind… eternal life.

Time to Chime In: Have you ever attended a traditional Davidic worship service? Share your experience with us!

The Overseer

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” – I Peter 2:25

It’s interesting that in the Bible we are frequently compared to sheep, isn’t it? Like sheep, we often tend to follow our own path and end up in trouble for all our efforts. We need someone to guide us, help us, and get us out of messes we fall into. Here in I Peter, we are reminded of not only who we are, but of the one who we ought to be turning to.

God (Christ) is our Overseer. He loved us so much He came to earth as a man and died to save us from our sin. He leads us if we are willing to listen, protects us from spiritual harm, and saves our very souls. Christ is the perfect Overseer.

What better example of an earthly overseer do we have than our own fathers? God created the family to be an earthly example of the Church and Christ. Just as God is the Overseer of the Church, the father is the overseer of the home. Just as the Church is to listen and follow the leadership of God, children are to obey their fathers. While our earthly fathers are not sinless, it’s wonderful to know our heavenly Father is perfect.

Considering we are studying the role of God as our overseer, this is the perfect opportunity to honor our own fathers and show our affection for them. For our own children, perhaps they might enjoy baking their father’s favorite dessert or helping to make him dinner. In the past we’ve done some pretty crazy stuff to show our love for Pop, even going to so far as to put a dress-up crown on his head! (laughing)

No matter how you choose to show your appreciation and love for your earthly fathers, take a moment to also give thanks to God for His guidance in your life. Where would we be without Him?

Time to Chime In: What is the best piece of advice (or lesson learned) you ever received from your father?

In the Kitchen: You Can’t Catch Me…

In the KitchenWelcome to our kitchen. Here we’ll share our favorite recipes, lament over food failures, test out new gadgets, and discover tips to making kitchen life easier. Join us on this new adventure and share your life experience with the rest of us!

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‘Tis the season to do some baking! There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked cookies, pies, and cakes. Of all the desserts we’ve made over the years (and there’s been quite a few), the one we haven’t tackled is gingerbread. No more! This year we are going to master this skill. Forget the store bought kits, it’s time to get creative and get our little selves into the kitchen.

To be honest, we’ve already tried the store-bought gingerbread kits this year. For our final week of co-op, one of our moms suggested making gingerbread houses. Unfortunately, they were a total flop. The frosting included in the kits was exceptionally dry and wouldn’t allow for the gingerbread to adhere. It was fun, but totally unproductive.

Never one to give up, I’ve decided we are going to try this completely on our own. I Googled tips on how to make our own gingerbread men and houses. What I found was THIS incredible link and a world of inspiration!

Surprisingly, the mold was very reasonable and was delivered in about four days. (I was quite worried about this point, as sometimes orders can take up to two weeks for delivery. Thankfully the shipper was on top of things and we have plenty of time to make tons of gingerbread, if we so desire.)

What am I loving about this technique so far? The inclusion of chocolate! This has got to be one of the simplest recipes for a gingerbread house I’ve seen yet and so easy to put together.

One thing I plan to change, is to use candy canes to mold the windows instead of fondant. By warming miniature candy canes in the oven for only a few minutes, I can easily ‘bend’ the canes to fit the windows. I find this to be much simpler and more cost effective.

No more boxed gingerbread for us!

Time to Chime In: Do you make your own gingerbread? Send us a link to your Instagram page showing your work of art!

The Root of David

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” – Revelation 22:16

The Jewish nation had been waiting for a Savior for many years. There were over 365 prophecies foretold about Him. In order for any man to truly be the Messiah, he needed to fulfill not just some of these prophecies, but all of them. Here in Revelation, we are reminded that Christ is the fulfillment of those prophecies; the one the nation of Israel had been waiting for.

Genealogies are important, especially among the Jewish nation. Most practicing Jews can trace their family line back to the original twelve sons of Jacob; they know exactly which tribe they belong to. Jesus’ lineage is vitally important in establishing His claim as Messiah. Through His mother, Mary, Jesus is a direct descendant of the king, fulfilling yet another prophecy about the Savior.

Knowing our family history might not be essential to our way of life, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun. This would be a great time to sit down with our kids and discuss their own lineage. Who are the people that came before us and what important roles did they play in history? How far back can you trace your family? Do you have any pictures or items of interest that belonged to them? Spend a little time exploring your forefathers, learning more of where you came from.

In our family, we’ve had those who ran with Pancho Villa; an uncle who has a law named after him; a great-grandmother who was a Native American ‘Princess'; and so much more! Family history is fun, incredibly educational, and inspiring.

Time to Chime In: Tell us about someone from your lineage that you find fascinating!

The Word

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

In John, ‘the Word’ refers to Jesus Christ. John gives us a glimpse into the relationship the Father and Son had together before the Son came to earth. Christ existed with the Father before the world began. Christ helped with the creation process. Christ is fully God made flesh. Christ is the Message God has for His people.

Before Christ became a man, God was invisible to mankind. Unseen to our eyes, it was easier to disregard His commands, relying on our own wisdom and guidance. In Luke 20:9-16, we read a parable Jesus told which explains why the Word became flesh:

“A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.”

In this parable, we are reminded that God sent many prophets to reach the Jewish nation, but time and time again they were killed for their efforts. The Father finally sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and yet they killed Him as well. Because Christ became flesh, He can empathize with us; He understands our weaknesses and has been tested in all things.

As a Christian, we ought to desire a closer relationship with the Lord. By praying we communicate with God, but through the reading of Scripture God communicates with us. This is a great opportunity to help our children memorize the books of the Bible and key Bible verses which will help encourage their faith. If you have yet to establish a routine of reading the Word, now is the perfect time to get started! Begin with the book of John and read your way through the New Testament. Once you finish the New, start on the Old. Read, pray, and be ready to hear what God is trying to communicate to you. Be ready to hear from the Lord and ready to do what He says.

Need an easier way to help your children memorize all 66 books? Songs are a fun way to work your way through both the Old and New Testaments. Have fun!

Old Testament
New Testament

Time to Chime In: Have you read through the entire Bible yet?

Put a Top On

Pump_Day_ChristmasWelcome to “Pump Day”; getting through the middle of our week with something fun and frilly.

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My manicure has evolved. The first improvement was to stop washing my hands directly before applying polish, the second was to use a base coat, but now… it seems I need to finish it all off with yet another coat of polish; the top coat.

A few weeks ago, I invested in a base/top coat but had yet to actually apply the top coat. (Yes, I know, I was being silly. I just didn’t feel like sitting around for yet another layer of polish to dry. I am a mom; I have better things to do than, literally, watch paint dry.)

I decided to give it a whirl. What could it hurt? I added the top layer after the kiddos went to bed and spent a few extra minutes cruising the ‘web’. Two minutes later, I was finished and once again ready to tackle the world around me.

The results: No change; none whatsoever. What am I doing wrong? Is it the brand of polish I am buying? Is it the brand of base/top coat? Should I be buying a separate base coat and top coat? I can’t seem to figure it out. It’s not as if I am especially hard on my hands. I use gloves when cleaning and washing dishes, I am home a good deal of the time, and I don’t go to the gym. So, what exactly, is causing my polish to disappear faster than cash?

Nail_Art copy

There is quite a bit of talk concerning gel nails, but I don’t think I am ready to jump on that bandwagon just yet. From what I’ve heard it costs a pretty penny. Perhaps a little more experimentation in brands might be in order. Of course that also means an increase in cost as well. I’ve also been told I should try nail appliqués, but I haven’t given that a whirl yet either.

Maybe I am looking at the situation all wrong. Sure I have to change my polish every couple of days, but at least it only costs me pennies; right? That’s got to be better than spending $10 on a bottle of polish and still needing to change it every few days. Only more experimentation will tell.

Time to Chime In: Share your thoughts! Polish, appliqué, or gel; which method do you prefer, how long does it last for you, and why do you like this method best?

As always… While fashion is fun, we should remember:
“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” – I Peter 3:3-4

The Cornerstone

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

……

“Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner-stone  And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:10-12

In ancient architectural projects, the cornerstone was the principle structure set into place. It was usually the largest stone, the most solid, and the most carefully constructed. Here in Acts, we are reminded that Christ is to be our cornerstone; He is to be the one thing upon which we build our lives.

Christianity hinges on who Christ is. Our faith is built upon the fact that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He came to earth to die for our sins, He rose again on the third day, and He will return again soon. The very foundations of our faith are centered on Christ.

We ought to be good people; we ought to love one another; we ought to care for others and for the world in which we live. However, unless our foundation is upon Christ, all we do is for selfish desire. If God does not exist and Christ is not who He says He is, life itself is ultimately meaningless.

Just as a good contractor would want a solid physical foundation, so we should desire a solid spiritual foundation. Our lives need to be built on firm ground, which will support the rest of our beliefs and world views. Without Christ, we build our lives on ‘sand'; shifting ideals which hold no ground.

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Make this Christmas season a precious time to study the magnificent churches which have been built to honor the Lord and offer praise to His name. The details put into each architectural endeavor is truly remarkable. For added fun, encourage your children to consider the foundation of each structure, reinforcing these verses as you enjoy the beauty before you.

For hands-on application, dig out those popsicle sticks and build a miniature church of your own! Decide where your cornerstone should be placed and begin to construct your own chapel dedicated to the Lord. For inspiration and ideas, visit these awesome websites:

Little Pea Picking Heart
Etsy

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.” – Isaiah 28:16