Friday, March 30, 2012

A Spiritual Conversation with Your Child

A Spiritual Conversation with Your Child
by Carri P.
My daughter Ashley is 5 years old.  She saw several members of her family being baptized at church and I asked her if she knew what that meant to get baptized.  I told her that it was a way to show people that you have accepted Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of your life.  We had talked many times about Jesus, who He is, and the Bible stories about Him.  One thing we as parents need to understand is there is a difference between knowing who Jesus is and accepting Him as our Savior and as the Lord of our life. 
Just like we would discuss anything important with our children we need to be continually discussing our faith with our children.  As a mother, I know I am to be talking to my children about Jesus as I go along each day. 
As you go along the way from day-to-day, foster an ongoing conversation with your child.  You can start with some simple talking points:
·          “Why do you think Jesus came to earth?” Bible ref: John 18:37

·         “Tell me what you think God considers a sin.” 

·          “Do you think mommy/daddy/brother/sister ever sin?” 

·          “How about you, do you ever do anything God would think is a sin?” 

When your child is ready you can begin to go a little deeper.
·          “God is loving, gracious, and merciful.  He wants to be with you in Heaven. He thought of a way to cover our sins so we could come into His presence.  The Bible says that “God so loved the world that He gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”  Bible ref: John 3:16

·         “Do you believe that He died on a cross for your sins?”   Bible ref: Philippians 2:8

·         “The Bible says that our payment for the wrong things we do is death, to die apart from God, but God has given us the gift of living forever with Him in heaven through His Son, Jesus Christ”. Bible ref: Romans 6:23 
 Finally, as the Spirit leads:
“It says in the Bible, “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
1.       The first step is admitting that you are a sinner.  We have to tell God that we are sorry for the bad things we have done.  Simply say, “Dear God, I am very sorry for my sin, for any bad thing I do that goes against Your commands.  Please forgive me”.

2.       The second step is having belief in what the Bible says. Say something like, “I truly believe that Jesus is your son.  I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins, was buried and rose again on the third day.” 
The final step is confessing that Jesus is your Savior.  Say something like this, “I ask you Jesus to come live in my heart and lead my life as my personal savior.”  Welcome my brother/sister in Christ!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One in a Million

Have you ever been around a person who has so much joy it radiates from her face?  Someone who has a positive outlook on everything?   Have you ever walked away from a woman and said to yourself ,“I want what she has; how can I get what she has?” 
Is your spiritual life at a standstill?  Are you hungry and thirsty for more?  Priscilla Shirer will show you how to be bold and leave the wilderness unlike the 2 million that died there. 
Be one in a million and experience the abundant life that Jesus tells us we can have.  Are you done with your half -way faith?  This book will show you how to have a deep, daily experience of God.
“Get over being average.  Break out of the box.  Don’t just want it. Live it.  Today and every day.”  Priscilla Shirer

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Menu Monday Weeks 21 & 22

Menu Monday Weeks 21 & 22 (click to print pdf) - by Carri P.
Monday: Mama’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Tuesday: Hamburger Patties in Mushroom Gravy, Red Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Wednesday: Chicken Pop-over’s with buttered Egg Noodles and Broccoli
Thursday: “Bertolli Chicken Margherita Meal Starter” with Cesar salad and Italian bread
Friday: Left-Over Mama’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Monday: Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Dill Sauce with wild Rice Pilaf & Wheat Rolls
Tuesday: Pork Loin Roast with Herb Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday: Chicken and Bow Tie Pasta with Pine Nuts
Thursday: Nana’s Italian Delight
Friday: Stuffed Shells
Dessert: Almond Sheet Cake

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A House Built by Friends

A House Built by Friends

John 15:14 tells us Jesus is our friend.  He is not just any friend he wants to be your first best friend.  In addition to Jesus’ friendship, he has given us many different earthly friendships.  Building friendships is like building a house.  First, you need Jesus to be the solid foundation upon which all the other relationships build.  Next, you need framing to support your house.  Your frame is purposeful, it is made up of friends with whom you are closest.  Proverbs 18:24 (ESV) tells us, “A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”   A true Christian friend is dependable, forgiving and trustworthy, but there are very few people with whom you should share complete trust.   As this Proverb says, they will prove their trustworthiness by sticking closer than a brother (or a sister).   Trust is not the only factor this friend needs to hold you accountable.  She will also love you at all times, (Proverbs 17:17). These friends are those with whom you are “doing life.”
Now that the framework is up, your house is taking shape.  You have defined rooms and each room has a different purpose.  You have Christian friends in whom you are investing and each one has a role.   These friends are those you see and talk to frequently, you share common interests, and they seek you for advice and vice versa.  You should be pouring into and loving on these ladies.  These are relationships that take time to develop, just as a house takes time to build.  You should treat these ladies as you would want to be treated and show kindness, gentleness, love, humility and patience to name a few.  These friends are the “iron sharpening iron,” Proverbs 27:17.  Just as a house doesn’t have too many rooms, these friends need not to be too many either.
Now that your house is almost complete, we need to add some furniture and accessories.   These are Christian ladies you see at church, kids school or extra activities.  You talk with them, enjoy their company, and respect them.  They are a functional part of your life, but they aren’t a necessary part of your structure. You know all about their families.  You might ask them to pray for you but nothing too deep. 
Your “new house” is built with freshly painted walls and furniture is placed on your gorgeous new floors.  Then you notice something in the kitchen - someone walked in with dirty feet and as you follow the footsteps they lead all around the house and even on the furniture!  How did this happen? You know everyone here; they are your friends and they would not have come in and walked all over your house with dirty feet. That’s what happens if you have even one relationship that is not Christ centered.  You may have so many “friends” that when you have everyone over, you don’t even notice who has the “dirty” feet.  However as you step back you notice that dirty marks have been left all over your other relationships.  At first the marks seem subtle but over time the dirt builds up and before you know it you have a stain. 
Proverbs 13:20 “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
1 Corinthians 15:33  Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.”                
So instead of letting your house get dirty all over, make sure no one is coming in with dirty feet.  You can either ask them to “take off” their dirty shoes or not come in at all.  In other words, they can change their ways and follow Christ with you or you need to let them go.  Sometimes this is hard, but if you want to live the abundant life Christ offers us, you have to be willing to make some hard decisions. 
Challenge:   Make a list of your friends and categorize them.    Which relationships need changing or removed completely.

Keeping it real!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rule of Five

Rule of Five By Stephanie H.

James 2:17 “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Do you ever want to tackle spring cleaning your home but you have a long list of excuses?  Is it perfection, lack of inspiration, lack of resources, waiting for the kids to leave home?  Too often we wait on everything to be just right before we “move.”  Over & over in the Bible God sends people out with a lack of resources or what they perceive to be a perfect plan, but we learn repeatedly that God works through His people anyway.  In Matthew 15:29-39, He multiplied a boy’s lunch consisting of seven loaves of bread and 2 fish to feed 5 thousand hungry people.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”  Sometimes God may be calling us to give up things of this world.  What is it that God is asking you to give up or get rid of?

A teacher named Scolastico said, “If you would go everyday to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp axe, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would come down.”  We can take this “rule of five” and apply it to our homes.  Every day choose five tasks that need to be done or things to get rid of.  As this gets easier, you can add more tasks to your daily list.  If you have no idea where to start, pray 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 back to the Lord.  Lord, help me to lead an orderly and productive life.  I know this is an important witness and I want to bring glory to your name.

Challenge:  Ask the Lord what is holding you back from spring cleaning and what He wants you give up.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Q & A

Q and A
By Amy Gentry

Q: Why is the Shamrock associated with Saint Patrick’s Day?

A: The concept of One God in Three Persons was a foreign concept for the pagan society of an unbelieving Ireland.  A missionary to Ireland in the 6th century, Saint Patrick is said to have used the shamrock to teach the people of Ireland about the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.  To demonstrate, Saint Patrick would ask the spectators if the shamrock was made of one leaf or three.  The shamrock appears to be both - one leaf and three just as the trinity is a picture of One God and Three.  This demonstration was very successful among the Irish population and generations-upon-generations were enlightened through the teachings of Saint Patrick.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Potato Candy

Irish Potato Candy
By Carri P.
Irish potato candy might not actually be an Irish candy recipe,
but is fittingly named because the final product only resembles a potato. 
2 pounds of powdered sugar
5 ounces of Eagle Brand Milk
¾ stick butter
1 bag of coconut
cinnamon sugar
Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave
Put powered sugar in a bowl
Add milk and stir until combined
Add melted butter and stir
Then add coconut and combine
Roll into one inch balls
Roll in cinnamon sugar and place on wax paper

Friday, March 16, 2012

Perfectionism Was My Idol- What’s yours?

Perfectionism Was My Idol- What’s yours? By Kim R.

In July of 2010, I was asked to serve as a leader in BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) after being involved in this ministry for 8 years.   I knew this position would require much time, energy, and sacrifice. I soon realized that I just didn’t have time to keep my life as “perfect” as I wanted.  Something had to go since BSF leadership requires commitment for two days of the week and my preschool division director’s job took up another two days.   I now had fifteen ladies to shepherd, ten teachers to lead and still be super-mom for my family.  How in the world can I do all of this and still maintain my status as a perfectionist?

As I began the study of Isaiah, I earnestly sought to make His priorities my priorities, and let go of my need to have everything in order.   Sometimes that meant tasks were left undone or allowing my family to do things around the house knowing it might not be done the way I wanted it done!  This was very hard for me to learn to give my entire agenda to God.

I had never considered my perfectionism as an idol. I thought I didn’t have idols like the rest of the world (money, job, big house or fancy car).  But the book of Isaiah forces you to look at sinful people who rejected Him, refused to listen to His warning and chose idols over Him.    One day I was challenged with the question: “What do I want in my life more than my desire to please God?”  I was hit over the head with the idea that perfectionism is an idol.  God revealed to me that idols give us a sense of control and begin with pride and self-absorption.  Idols are a way of finding security and satisfaction in something besides God and are an inflated substitute for Him which can lead to disobedience.  Idols rule your life, your time, your thoughts and emotions.  They don’t always become a full replacement for God, but take over parts of our lives and burden those around us.  Idols can be perfectionism, anxiety, worry, shopping, time on the internet, our ministry, our job, our image, or even our children.

I was soon convicted that I’m no different than the stubborn people of Isaiah’s day.  My idol of perfectionism pushed God out of His rightful place.   It gave me security, filled my need to be in control, and provided satisfaction in having a neat, organized life.  It led me to sin when I reacted in anger to my family when things were not done right or not done my way. It at times ruled my life when I became inflexible and willing to sacrifice time with God or family in order to get things done “right.”

I began to pray: “God, I need you to be first in my life.  Help me set aside my desires and not chase things that are foolish.  Remind me that you deserve ALL of me because you have given me ALL of you.  Teach me to be still and listen to your voice and walk in your truth.”  God has given me freedom as I began to release my perfectionism and walk in submission to Him.  He has given me new priorities and direction each day.  He has provided power to eliminate the things in my life that cause burden and unrealistic expectations, and the ability to delegate the things I used to think only I could do right.  There is joy, blessing, and peace when we don’t try to do life in our own power.  God’s provisions are abundant when we submerse ourselves in His Word and submit daily to the Holy Spirit.

There are days perfectionism rears its ugly head, but God gently reminds me to turn it back over to Him. He also puts friends in our lives with similar struggles to encourage them and help keep us accountable.  In December 2011, I was doing my BSF lesson on Hebrews 12-13 and received an email from a friend that day.  She was overwhelmed with juggling things in a busy life and frustrated at just not “getting it all right.”  As a fellow perfectionist, I understood where she was coming from and God graciously provided me with scripture that day for her.  I typed up the following in an email as a prayer for her and myself.   I hope that today you will be also be encouraged to let go of the idols that hinder your life. Idols are anything you value more than God at any given time and at any given moment.  Trust in Jesus and His sacrifice that bring freedom, power, and fullness of life.  It’s ok not to get it all “right”!

Hebrews 12:1-3
1"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders (perfectionism) and the sin that so easily entangles (need to be in control and not depend on God), and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (mother, wife, friend, teacher, mentor, volunteer, etc.).  2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus (not the stuff we're trying to get right), the author and perfector of our faith (who understands what it means to be human), who for joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning it's shame (because He loves me), and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (because His work was done and I don't have to do anything but trust Him). 3 Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart (even when having one of those days).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath
By Amy Gentry

                Have you ever wondered why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  In my house, the first one awake waits for a victim to come down the hallway without the color green displayed somewhere on their body so they can deliver a pinch to the offender.   In Chicago, they color the river that runs through downtown green.  Some restaurants have green food and drinks and a creepy looking leprechaun appears on most St. Patrick’s Day signs.  I don’t really think that these traditions adequately express the value behind this day on the calendar.

                When I read about the life of Saint Patrick, I was so inspired about how the Lord took Patrick’s pain and gave him a passion.  I was reminded of the scripture, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3             

                Saint Patrick lived from 389-461 A.D. and at the age of 16, Patrick was enslaved in Ireland.  Patrick began to pray for his captors and for the local druid priests.  He did not have a Bible in his hands, but he had scripture in his heart.  The only other guidance he had was through prayer - so he prayed - all day, every day, throughout the day.  After six years of slavery, he had a dream that the Lord’s voice told him that he would be returning to his homeland soon and that a ship was ready for him.  Early the next morning he escaped - walking 200 miles to the sea port.  When he rejoined his family he recounted his experiences as a slave, but Patrick knew that God had allowed his slavery in Ireland so that Patrick would grow to know God more and love him in a deeper way. 

                In time he had a dream about the people of Ireland. They were asking him to walk among them again.  After that, Patrick enthusiastically decided to go back to Ireland and share with the people there the Good News about Jesus Christ.  With several years of preparation in the monasteries of France, Patrick was ordained and commissioned as a missionary to Ireland.  It was not smooth sailing there; Patrick was persecuted by local pagans.  But he said, “Daily I expect murder, fraud, or captivity, but I fear none of these things.  I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty, who rules everywhere, as the prophet says: ‘Cast your cares upon God, and He shall sustain you.”   Ultimately, Patrick served Ireland as a missionary for Christ for forty years.  Thousands were saved and many went on to serve in the ministry as missionaries due to Saint Patrick’s influence. 

                Patrick had no idea that one day he would wear the label, ‘SAINT.’  He did not have selfish ambition or vain conceit, which in Greek means “vain glory.”  Who was he there to bring glory to?  He was there to bring glory to God!  He did not return to Ireland to make himself known, he returned to make Christ known.  He humbly considered the lives of the Irish pagans worth more than his own.  Patrick was a man who had his priorities in order.  He was more than willing to pay the cost for the salvation of the Irish people, he valued what was written in God’s Word, he prayed without ceasing, and he was a humble and committed servant. 


                CHALLENGE: Take a good long look at yourself.  What are your motives for serving those around you?  Are you looking for recognition from God or from man?  Pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you just what motives lay beneath the surface.  To take it a step further, ask the Lord to reveal to you someone that you could serve anonymously.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Job Bowl

The Job Bowl
by Carri P.

According to, the word “work” appears 555 times in the Bible!  One should probably get the idea that God is trying to tell us something.  God worked.  God made Adam to work.  Jacob was willing to work for a total of fourteen years for the woman he loved. (Genesis 29:18-30) God expected His ministers to work “He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the LORD” 1 Chronicles 28:13 NIV
The bottom line is that God created both man and woman to do work.  If we fail to teach our children a good work ethic they may fall into the trap of laziness as it states in the scriptures, “The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.” Proverbs 21:25 NIV  We can begin this process when they are very young.  When my son was 2 years old he was helping with his laundry, helping to pickup his room, and he was putting the silverware on the table.
Why is it that God wants His children to work?  Because He created us to do His works, ”For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.” John 5:36
Although we want our children to build a good work ethic to have a good life, we more importantly want to help them develop a good work ethic to do the work of their Heavenly Father, the works that will earn them an eternal reward.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Of course remember that “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.” Genesis 2:2 NIV.  There is a time to work and there is a Holy Day set aside for worship, rest and family time.
Challenge:  Take a good look at your child’s work ethic.  Are you making things too easy on him or her?  Pray about what steps you need to take to ensure your child is prepared to do the work God created them to do.
Job Bowl - How to:
In my home we have a job bowl on our counter.  We have been using this system for a couple of years and it is absolutely the best reward system I have ever used!
Rather than giving each child a set weekly allowance we allow them to earn their allowance and they save up and purchase the items they want for themselves.  (My son recently saved up $120 to pay for half of his computer and our children save up for their vacation money as well)  I do not buy them anything but clothing.  They either earn it or ask for it on their birthdays or at Christmas.
Inside the bowl are 3 votives, one for each child.  Around the votives are glass beads. (see pictures)  Each job is worth a different amount of beads.  Once a child has completed a chore they may go and put the correct number of beads into their personal votive (they each have their name on them in stickers).  Each bead is worth $0.05.
Each child, including my three year old son, has a list of chores they are to complete each day.  We agreed upon a price for each job and have posted it on our refrigerator as a daily reference.  For instance, unloading the dishwasher is 6 beads or $0.30.  They average about $3 to $5 per week before tithes and savings.
By making each bead worth $0.05 makes it easy, each payday, for the children to group the beads into piles of 5. (we have our payday every other Friday)  Each pile of 5 beads is worth one quarter.  I pay them in quarters and we count them out together.  This is a terrific math lesson!  Once they have been paid they give 10% to God, then 20% to savings, and the rest goes into their spending container.  This is an excellent lesson on tithes and savings.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Menu Monday Weeks 19 & 20

Menu Monday Weeks 19 & 20
Monday: White Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Angel Chicken
Wednesday: Yummo Salad
Thursday: Taco Biscuits
Friday: Italian Crescent Casserole
Monday: Hot Chicken Salad
Tuesday: Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
Wednesday: Easy Crockpot Beef BBQ
Thursday: Super Easy Alfredo Cheese Pizza
Friday: Easy Garlic-Thyme Chicken

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guilt-Free Cakes

Have you ever wanted to have your cake and eat it too?
These cake recipes are great for no guilt or at least low guilt desserts.

Devil's Food Cake mix
Can of Diet Coke  (half of bottle)
2 tablespoons of chocolate icing melted to drizzle on top of finished cake
Mix the cake mix and diet coke together and bake in Bundt pan according to directions on box.

Strawberry Bake Mix
Can of Diet Mountain Dew (half of bottle)
Topping: lite cool whip

Lemon Cake Mix
Can of Sprite Zero
2 tablespoons of lemon icing melted and drizzled

Pink Lemonade Cake Mix
Can of Sprite Zero

Chocolate Cake Mix
Can of Diet Coke or Cherry Coke Zero

The possibilities are endless!  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Motivated Mom - Giveaway

Motivated Moms is one of our favorite T2W apps!  They are so generous and wanted to offer one of our readers a free 2012 Motivated Mom App.

Here is what you have to do to be entered:
go to our facebook page and leave a comment about what feature or article you have enjoyed on the T2W blog.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Gonna Wash that Gray Right Out of My Hair

♪ ♪♫  I’m Gonna Wash That Gray Right Out of My Hair  ♪ ♪♫
by Jenn V.
Proverbs 31:22b -she is clothed in fine linen and purple. (NIV)

March is the month of Spring Cleaning!  YAY!  NOT!  I have a love/hate relationship with spring cleaning!  I hate to do it, but I love and feel so much better after the end result.  There are lots of things we need to clean out and it’s not just our cabinets and drawers ladies!  One spring day, years ago after watching a home makeover show, I realized after being a stay-at-home mom for years, I needed to spring clean myself!  I had let myself look like a hag for far too long - my poor husband!  Just way too many days of changing diapers, running back and forth picking up my two older ones from school and practices, and cleaning house (all without any other adult contact) had left me looking ragged.  I got up the next day made an appointment and went out to get a new hairdo - complete with highlights.  I went through my closet and I pulled out entirely too many “What Not to Wear” clothes that were perfect for painting the house, but not for impressing my man.  I made a list of clothes I needed to upgrade myself from HAG.1.0 to HOTTIE.1.2 with hope of someday upgrading further to HOTTIE.1.3 by starting an exercise program.  I now make sure I wear at least some makeup so as not to scare people.  I’m not thinking I’ll ever look like Heidi Klum (by the way, she’s HOTTIE.10.0) and realistically, our husbands don’t expect us to look like we’re having breakfast at Tiffany’s every day either.  I’m thinking I should at least make an attempt to be mindful and healthy.  I want to have more energy, so I can stick around longer for my family.  This is how we can show them love, by taking care of ourselves.  The last reason alone was good enough for me.  For more information on this sometimes controversial subject, there is a book that further explains this phenomenon called For Women Only.  Every woman should read this book!  I even found a great organizational system called Motivated Moms that helps me spring clean a little per day, all year round and reminds me to keep my soul clean too with daily devotions and reminders that I need to exercise and take my vitamins!  Does the thought of doing all this overwhelm you?  Repeat after me…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13 (NIV) Still don’t believe it?  Wash, rinse and repeat!
CHALLENGE:  As you think about spring cleaning your home this month, look at your daily life as well.  Make sure you pay attention to how you look and take care of your SELF and your SOUL. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25 (NIV)   

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thoughts from the Art of Marriage

the art of marriage
Thoughts from the Art of Marriage Conference
by Jenn V.

On the weekend of February 24th my husband and I helped our church to host The Art of Marriage Conference.  Our church was one of the many churches hosting this event all across the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  I was so glad that it came with a workbook because there were so many words of wisdom that enlightened me this past weekend that I did not want to forget.  There were also lots of inspirational testimonies and instruction along with a few short writing exercises to do with your spouse.  For more information go to and check out their amazing website with lots of readily available resources. 

Here are some of my favorite “Ah Ha” moments:

*        It is important to receive your spouse as God’s perfect gift for you.

*        It is just as important to BECOME the right person as it is to FIND the right person.

*        The myth of “The One” is not biblical.  The one you married is the one with whom you are to make a life.  (Yes, there is a PERIOD at the end of that sentence.  J)

*        “But what if I was previously married?” The important thing to remember is to focus on your commitment in the marriage you are in TODAY.  You cannot change the past, but you can give and accept forgiveness for mistakes and transform your present marriage to honor Christ.

*        Receiving God’s gift of your spouse means more than being “accepting” of him or her.  It means a daily choice of you EMBRACING the God-given differences he’s built into each of you.

*        Spend time together praying and reading the Word not just individually, but also as a couple.  Start with the book of Psalms or a couple’s devotional.

*        Try to spend at least one weekend a year away from routine, together and alone without children.

*        A study in the Journal of Family Psychology says that couples who undergo premarital counseling have a 31 percent lower divorce rate that those who do not.   

*        God designed marriage to be a covenant NOT a contract.  The difference is:

o    Contracts are based on legalism and leverage and they last as long as we both shall love. They call for the signing of names.

o    Covenants are based on love and loyalty and they last as long as we both shall live. 

They call for the binding of hearts.       

*        Couples naturally and selfishly drift toward isolation because they fail to make their spouse the #2 priority in their lives right under God.  We are culturally conditioned to believe to “look out for #1.” 

*        We don’t HAVE issues, we ARE the issues.  Our feelings and wants become the forefront of our priorities instead of keeping our promise of loving, honoring and cherishing our spouse.  We turn it into a “let’s make a deal” marriage.  We mistakenly look to our spouse to meet all of our needs but God did not equip them for that.  Only God is equipped to meet our needs.

*        Conflict in marriage is common; we have to learn to be uncommon in the way we handle it.  We have to be willing to seek and grant forgiveness every day of our marriage.  That is the picture of Christ that God wanted for our lives when he designed marriage.  Forgiven sinners are to forgive sinners. 

*        The ultimate purpose of sex is to bring glory to God by celebrating oneness with each other.  A satisfying sex life is the RESULT of a satisfying marriage relationship.  In other words, sex is like a thermometer in marriage, NOT a thermostat in that it measures the health of your intimacy rather than sets it.

*        Think about what you hope your family, friends and co-workers would say at your funeral.  Live like that!

*        To leave a godly legacy, we must think about the impact of our lives on our future generations.  We are ancestors to someone yet to come.  If you live your life knowing you are an ancestor, that will change the way you make your decisions, the way you live your life, and the way you love your wife. - Albert Mohler 

*        Our children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see - Neil Postman   

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Speaking Death

Speaking Death
Biblical Priority #1 - God
by Kim H

Whoever guards his lips guards his life, but who speaks rashly will come to ruin.  Proverbs 13:3

It’s been said that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words could never harm me.”But that couldn’t be further from the truth! As we talked about last month, our words have power! The book of James says that an entire ship is steered by a very small rudder. In the same way, as the tongue is a very small part of the body, but makes great boasts.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My (sisters), this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?  James 3:9-11

Everything that comes from your mouth should be uplifting and give life. Furthermore, when you tell your child he is a slob because his room is a mess (or anything that seemingly means nothing), the words have power and attach itself to that person. When you speak negatively your words are in agreement with the enemy.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34

Challenge: Ask God to help you clean your heart so that you may love others as he does.  May your all words bring health and life!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Family Organization Binder with Free Printables

Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her home,
but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
Titus2Women has created a Family Organization Binder with Free Printables just for you!  Every home is different so you can make this what you want and take these as suggestions, but we are hoping that you will find them helpful and useful.  The intent of the binder is to make your home more organized and schedule less chaotic.  We can all use help with that, right?  This binder can be kept in a very central place in your home, go to the store with you or go every where you go.

Binder, 12 pocketed dividers, printables from

Mission Statement
Weekly To-Do List (pg. 1 & pg. 2)
School Calendar
Chore List
Spring Cleaning Schedule
DIY Wish List

Family Divider
A Page for Each Family Member
Wish Lists
Party Info.
List of Family Birthdays

School Divider (Families with school-aged children)
Lunch Menus
Reading Lists

Extracurricular Divider
PTA Info.
Registration Forms

Church Divider
Upcoming Events

Phone Divider
Cell Phone List - Print and Date
Group Rosters
Food Delivery Numbers
Emergency Numbers
Paper for Messages

Babysitter Divider
Address and Phone number of House
Family and Neighbor Phone Numbers
Copy of Insurance Card
Letter of Treatment

Pearls of Wisdom Divider
Printables from

Meals and Menus Divider
Menus and Recipes (
Grocery List
Family Favorites
Coupons (for the current weeks grocery list)

Money and Finance Divider
Calendar of Bill Due Dates
Budget/Spending Record
Oustanding Bills
Credit Card Info.

Vacation Divider
Confirmation Numbers
Future Vacation Plans
House Sitter Contact Info.

In Case of Emergency
Phone Numbers
SSN #’s
Copy of Insurance Card
Medical History
Prescription Drug List
Shot Records
Pet Medical Info.

Proverbs 31:10-11 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?  She is more precious than rubies.  Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.