Sunday, November 7, 2010

Book Review ~ Voices of the True Woman Movement, Chapter 4

Chapter 4 - For Such a Time as This
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Ahasuerus and Haman at the feast of Esther, by...Image via Wikipedia

     I haven't posted much lately on my blog because we recently moved so life has been chaotic as you can imagine.  After being in a new place for a little over a month now, reading this chapter really hit home for me.  As you can imagine, based on the title of the chapter - For Such a Time as This, this chapter is about Queen Esther and the time period in which God had placed her.  He, being the Sovereign God that He is, had Esther living right at that exact time in history and in that exact place to accomplish His plans and His purposes.  Of course, He didn't need her to do that.  God could have had someone else accomplish His plans.  Yet Esther submitted to what God had in store for her and she was immensely blessed and her people also.

     One of the main things that I took away from this chapter is there are always two stories going on when all we see is one.  I've never thought about that before but the two separate but integrated stories are:
  1. that which we see happening in this world, which Nancy refers to as the kingdom of man, and
  2. that which we don't see, which Nancy refers to as the view from the Kingdom of God
     I found this information very insightful knowing that, being in the world, we have a limited view of what we see happening but God sees all.  Nancy goes on to say that there is a "behind the scenes" plot in each story.  This would be God's plan underneath what we see going on in the world.

     I want to give you a few quotes from this chapter hopefully to encourage you to read the book for yourself.
  • Whether it was Esther then or you today, only God knows - and only time will tell - why He has sovereignly placed you where you are right now, at this moment in history. (p. 79-80)
  • Esther, in taking her bold measure of faith, was willing to leave the palace, risking her life in order to save her people.  The Lord Jesus, by comparison, actually did leave His heavenly palace, giving up His life in order to save His people.  In this way, Esther's story foreshadows the gospel message, even as our lives are intended to point people to the redeeming heart and work of Christ. (p. 81)
  • You too are a tool in the hand of God, being applied to situations that may just feel like "everyday life" to you but are actually backlit stages where the purposes of God are being put on display from your street address. (p. 81)
  • Nothing in this world can abort His eternal plan. (p. 83)
  • Never underestimate the significance and influence of your faith, your prayers, your faithfulness, and your obedience. (p. 83)
     Let me finish by reiterating something that Nancy wrote that encouraged me immensely - "The entire story, from first to final chapter, was written by God in eternity past; it is being unfolded in our present day, waiting for its ultimate outworking in eternity future."  If we can keep that perspective in the forefronts of our minds, we will be better prepared to carry out God's plans for our lives while on this earth.  After all, it's all about Him, not us.

     For more information about Nancy Leigh Demoss and her ministry, Revive Our Hearts, go to http://www.reviveourhearts.com/.  You can also buy this book and other books that will encourage you in your walk with the Lord.  If you're interested in reading more of my reviews, see "My Reviews" in the column on the right side of this blog. 

Trusting you're recognizing little kisses from God today!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, November 6, 2010

FREE Download at ChristianAudio.com - Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

     This month's FREE audiobook download at ChristianAudio.com is John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life.  If you're interested, here's the link:  http://christianaudio.com/dont-waste-your-life-john-piper.  I haven't read this book yet but I've heard great things about it.  If you decide to download, I trust you will be blessed by it. 

Blessings!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Faith Box

     Wow!  I'm so excited!  I just won a My Faith Box.  If you're interested in finding out more about My Faith Box, you can visit this website:  http://www.goodmorninggirls.org/2010/10/and-the-winner-is-2/.  This would be a great way to pass your faith on to your children.  I can't wait to get mine in the mail.  Thanks to Angela (and her sweet husband, Buddy) at Good Morning Girls!

Blessings!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Love is a Verb by Gary Chapman: FREE Audiobook download

     If you're interested, here's a FREE audiobook download through Christianaudio.com.  Here's the link for Gary Chapman's Love is a Verb:  http://christianaudio.com/free.  Just thought I'd share.

Little Kisses from God to you today!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

MIA for a While

     I haven't had much time lately to post on here.  We're in the process of moving and have been packing like crazy maniacs to get it all done.  I keep asking myself why I/we have collected so much stuff since we moved into this home 11 years ago.  Of course, some of it we came here with.  And I keep wondering...what is it that makes me want to hang on to all this stuff, especially the stuff that has no sentimental value attached to it?  The Bible says that one day it's all going to burn up with the rest of the earth.  Also, Jesus told us in Matthew 6:19-21 - "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Pretty convicting stuff!  I'm realizing that many times whatever we own actually owns us.       
     While this is a hectic time for us as a family, God is still good and He's teaching me in and through this process.  I'm trying to see the little kisses from God during this process and just making a feeble attempt to trust Him with it all!
  

Friday, September 3, 2010

A New School Year...A New Core Curriculum!

     A new school year...a new core curriculum.  This will be our 7th year to homeschool and I wanted to share a new curriculum I've found.  The first year I homeschooled, I began by using only one curriculum for every single subject.  That curriculum was great for us when we started out because everything was scheduled.  I loved that our school days were scheduled.  I didn't have to worry about how to figure everything out by myself.  But as children grew older and I ended up with 3 in the mix, I realized I needed to find another curriculum that fit our family's changing needs, my changing ideals about education and provided what I think God has led me to see as a more well-rounded learning experience.  Of course, you creative moms out there would probably do this on your own but my brain doesn't work that way.  I need help figuring out all the fun and interesting ways to learn.    
     With our new core curriculum, we'll be integrating several subjects for more continuity of learning.  Over the years, I've realized that eclectic, Charlottle Mason homeschooling is what we really enjoy.  My thoughts on learning have evolved drastically since day one of homeschooling.  Now we use an eclectic mix of resources.  I'll  try to list what we're using for this school year on my side bar soon.  I'm as excited about homeschooling now as I ever have been.
     So, the new curriculum we're using is through Heart of Dakota.  You can click here, http://www.heartofdakota.com/index.php, to go to the home page.  What I love about Heart of Dakota more than anything is the Biblical worldview that's interspersed throughout each program they offer.  I'm really looking forward to starting the Creation to Christ program.  
     If you'd like to read what other homeschooling moms have to say about Heart of Dakota, an HOD blog roll has been started.  Click on this link to go there: http://www.rubyslippersschool.com/2010/08/this-could-be-start-of-beautiful.html.

Trusting you're seeing God's little kisses today!
             
     

Monday, August 30, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 13

holy experience

     Click this link, http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see my newly added gratitude list items.  

Trusting you're being blessed today by little kisses from God!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Fellow Blogger sent me the Versatile Blogger Award!


     Thanks to Theresa at Being Refined as Silver for sending me the Versatile Blogger Award. You can visit her blog at http://beingrefinedassilver.blogspot.com/.  You'll definitely be encouraged!

The rules are easy:
1. Thank the person who gave the award to you.
2. Share 7 random things about yourself.
3: Pass it on.

So here are 7 random things about me - it's a mini bio:
1. I've always lived in Alabama and will be happy to stay here for the rest of my life if that's God's plan.
2. My handsome, gregarious, larger-than-life, fun-loving husband and I only knew each other for 2 months when we got engaged. Six months later we were married.
3. This Saturday will be our 17th anniversary. Happy Anniversary David!
4. We have 3 children, totally by God's hand, yet I was told by a fertility specialist that I would never get  pregnant without undergoing in-vitro fertilization.
5. I thought I was saved at the age of 7 but realized when I began seriously reading through the Bible at age 33 that I wasn't truly a Christian. I owe everything to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
6. My family never thought I'd have one child, much less three.
7. Imagine their shock when I decided to homeschool! That was six years ago and we're still plugging along.

*Bonus trivia: I've always been a dog person, not a cat person yet we have two cats now plus almost one dog. She only weighs 3 lbs. I actually do think cats are sweet now. One of our cats, Scout, was the catalyst God used to prompt me to start this blog. You can find that story here, http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/2010/03/amazing-true-animal-adventure.html , if you're interested.

Of course, Theresa's blog, Being Refined as Silver, has been so encouraging to me. Here are a few more of my favorites:


I know you'll be blessed if you take time to visit any of these blogs.  I definitely have been.

Continuing to look for little kisses from God each day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Giveaway Contest: Daughters of His Story Paper Dolls plus more

     I just found out about this fun giveaway contest.  Here's the link:  http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2010/08/23/giving-away-a-copy-of-our-latest-project-its-a/comment-page-5/#comment-7841 if you want to enter for your daughter/daughters to have a chance to win.

Keep looking for little kisses from God!

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 12

holy experience

     Again this week I'm late posting my gratitude list.  Yet better late than never.  Thanks be to God for all things.  If we are truly His, then we must believe everything from His hand is all grace!  Click on the following link and scroll to the bottom of the page for my most recent additions to my gratitude list - http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.

Blessings to you this week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 11

Again this week I've added to my gratitude list.  It slipped my mind yesterday so I guess this is an oddball Tuesday edition. To see the items I've added to my list, click here: http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.

holy experience

Trusting you're being blessed by little kisses from God today and every day!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Renewing your Spirit in God's Word

     As I have been pondering over the words I read this morning during my time with the Lord, I felt compelled to share my thoughts.  I am currently reading through the Bible chronologically.  At the beginning of this year, I made a conscious choice to read the Bible through chronologically so that the bits and pieces of the Bible would fall together in the order that they occurred.  For me, that means getting a clearer overall picture of the Bible.  If you're interested in reading the Bible through chronologically, there's a chart at this link:  http://www.esv.org/assets/pdfs/rp.chronological.pdf.  

DM08-7771          Image by jeffpyle                 via Flickr
     My friend, Mandie, shared with me recently what God has been impressing upon her heart.  We should not meet with the Lord expecting nothing.  We should be expectant when we meet with God - expecting Him to do great things in us through the reading of His Word, expecting Him to use His Word for the transformation of our hearts, and expecting Him to bless us through the verses we're reading.  We should look for God to show up during our quiet times and anticipate that He will accomplish great things when we read and meditate on His Holy Word.  Another thing my sweet friend mentioned is writing down the passages that God is really impressing upon her heart during her quiet time.  Later she can go back and be reminded of how the Lord blessed her during that particular meeting with Him.

     So this morning, I decided to implement my friend's ideas during my own quiet time.  I cannot tell you how blessed I was during this time spent with the Lord.  I had 90 minutes alone with God.  It was just Him and me and the chirping birds.  I felt like I'd received a breath of fresh air once I was finished.  I was genuinely renewed in my spirit.  To start with, I prayed and asked the Lord to show Himself to me through His Word.  He did.  Then, I expected to have some special verses revealed to me by the Lord.  They were.  I wrote down three passages in II Chronicles that really spoke to my heart this morning and I want to share them with you below.

II Chronicles 30:9 - If you return to the Lord, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate.  He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.

II Chronicles 30:18b-20 - But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God - the Lord, the God of his fathers - even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary."  And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

II Chronicles 31:21 - In everything that he (Hezekiah) undertook in the service of God's temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly.  And so he prospered.

     What did I hear God saying to me this morning? Basically this - He is faithful!  Although reading these verses in context would give you a much better picture of how they worked to penetrate my heart, I trust you will be blessed by God's faithfulness which is shown in these passages.  The verse that really hits the nail on the head is Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.  How awesome that Biblical truth is!

     I was truly encouraged by my friend sharing with me and so grateful that she did.  What a blessing this little bit of information has been to my soul!  Thanks, Mandie!  Yes, Biblical truths and godly friendships...more blessings to be thankful to the Lord for.

Continuing to look for and recognize little kisses from God every day!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 10

holy experience

     While I desire to give thanks to the Lord for all the many blessings I've received from Him, I also want to be honest.  My heart is heavy today so my list is probably shorter than usual.  However, although my heart is burdened, I am still grateful, knowing I have the Hope that many don't.  I trust that others will find that Hope through the One and Only who can impart it, Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.  And that this blog will be used to share that with those who need to hear it.  To go to my gratitude list for this week, click here: http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.

Blessings to you this week!



   

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Giveaway Scout

     I'm posting this info for those of you who love giveaways.  Recently, I found out about a website, Giveaway Scout, where you can subscribe to receive updates on the latest giveaways on the web.  

     For those of you who are bloggers, you can add your blog to their website and your giveaways will be shared with their large network of users.  Not only will Giveaway Scout publish your giveaways on multiple channels, but you'll also get more exposure to your blog in the process.  You can visit their website at this link:  http://www.giveawayscout.com/.  

Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 9

holy experience

     For my edition of this week's Multitude Monday, click here:  http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.

Blessings to you and yours,

Book Review ~ Voices of the True Woman Movement, Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - You've Come a Long Way, Baby!
by Mary A. Kassian

     The title of this chapter came from a cigarette ad geared toward females in the late 1960s.  The lie that this ad was pushing and that women bought into during that time period was that they could decide for themselves what was right.  No other authority, besides themselves, could decide what was right or best for them, including God. Mary states that women have come a long way in the past fifty years but that's not necessarily a good thing.  We're definitely not living in the Leave It to Beaver times any more.

June supervises the boys and their friends, To...Image via Wikipedia

     So many of the world's ideals have drastically changed in the past 50 years due to the feminist movement.  Prior to this new thinking, most men and women agreed on and accepted the differences of the roles of men and women.  Mary writes, "Furthermore, for both men and women, their sense of duty and responsibility to family was greater than the pursuit of personal fulfillment."  This is one change that is completely evident in our society today.  Families today, many times, are living under the same roof, yet they all have their own personal pursuits separate from one another.

     Going back over this chapter, I found a few of Mary's quotes that really caused me to lament over where feminism has taken us...
  • "In the new worldview, men are whiny, needy, not too bright, and totally unreliable."
  • "Whether or not you know it or care to admit it, feminism is a philosophy that has profoundly affected virtually every woman, man, and child alive in the Western world today."
  • Simone de Beauvoir, a female French philosopher in the 1950s, "proposed that in order to gain equality with men, women needed to get out of the home and intentionally deconstruct Judeo-Christian ideas about marriage, motherhood, and morality."
  • American political activist and journalist, Betty Friedan, followed de Beauvoir's beliefs suggesting that "a woman could only be fulfilled if she had a life plan that included education, a career, and work that was of "serious importance to society." "
  • "Once woman accepted this basic premise of needing and trusting no other authority than her own, she set her foot on a path that would rapidly take her - and ultimately the whole of society - in a direction diametrically opposed to the heart and purposes and ways of God."        

     While I disagree with this frame of thinking that originated around 50 years ago, many in our world today completely embrace it.  They have bought into the lie that external things can fill a void that only the God of the universe can fill.  "The heart of true womanhood is to understand and agree with the purposes of our Creator," Mary writes.  I concur.        

     If you are interested in finding out more about this book, go to http://store.reviveourhearts.com/voiceofthetruewomanmovement.aspx.  I have also reviewed the first two chapters which you can find at the links below:
     Chapter 1 - http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/2010/06/book-reviewvoices-of-true-woman.html
     Chapter 2 - http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-review-voices-of-true-woman.html.

Blessings!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, August 1, 2010

FREE Christian Audiobook Download of the Month - Ministries of Mercy by Tim Keller

     This month, Christionaudio.com is offering a FREE download of the book, Ministries of Mercy, by Tim Keller.  If you're interested, click on this link and follow directions to get your free copy - http://christianaudio.com/free.

Blessings to you this week!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Review ~ Voices of the True Woman Movement, Chapter 2

Chapter 2 - From Him, Through Him, To Him
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

     As I mentioned at the end of the Chapter 1 review, I was excited to dig into Chapter 2 and find out what Nancy had to say.  If you aren't already familiar with this book, please click this link,  http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/2010/06/book-reviewvoices-of-true-woman.html, for a book summary and my thoughts on Chapter 1.

     In this chapter, Nancy talks about how a true woman of God recognizes who God is, His greatness, His Sovereignty, His goodness, and His mercy.  She states, "rather than demanding answers to our questions, we should trust that He knows what we need to know - as well as what we don't - and that it is His kindness that withholds from us what would be too grand or painful for us to absorb in our mortal minds."  Wow!  That says much about who God is and how most of us, in our finite minds, have a hard time getting our brains wrapped around that truth.  I completely agree with her.  Even though we cannot fully comprehend who God is, what we believe about Him has much to do with how we respond to life's difficult situations and circumstances.

     Nancy continues, "God doesn't need to consult with anyone about anything.  He never needs input or counsel, needs no guidance or advice - not from me, not from you, not from anyone.  He possesses limitless wisdom.  He is altogether self-sufficient and independent.  He never needs assistance from anything or anyone outside of Himself."  While we may think differently, we don't have to understand why God is doing what He's doing or be informed of His plans ahead of time.  If we know God, according to who the Bible tells us He is, we trust Him despite the way things appear to be going.  We know that God knows what He's doing.  Whether we want to accept it or not, He is in control - we aren't!  "To resist or resent the situation and circumstances in which you find yourself is ultimately to resent and resist God Himself."  No one can thwart the plans of God - His purposes will stand!  As Christians, that should give us great comfort and peace.

     As women of God, Nancy asserts that we should have three responses.  She goes into more detail about each response in the book but I'll list each one here:

  1. A true woman lives a God-centered life.
  2. A true woman trusts God.
  3. A true woman says, "Yes, Lord."
     I highly recommend this book to any woman wanting to deepen her knowledge of the God of the Bible and enrich her relationship with Him.  It has definitely opened my eyes to some thoughts I really hadn't consciously pondered before.  If you like being challenged to think Biblically and counter-culturally, I suggest this might be a book you'd appreciate.  You can purchase the book at Revive Our Hearts here:       http://store.reviveourhearts.com/voiceofthetruewomanmovement.aspx   or on Amazon here:     Voices of the True Woman Movement: A Call to the Counter-Revolution.  

May you be richly blessed today by little kisses from God!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ #5: Uh-Oh!



     Need I say more?!  It was only a minor fracture, God gave me the bright idea of bypassing the pediatrician and going straight to the orthopedist's office, and we got in and out of his office in less than an hour.

God's blessings to you today!



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Giveaway ~ More Than a Hopechest by Amber Moeller

     Announcing a giveaway offered through RaisingHomemakers.com.  It's a book, More Than a Hopechest by Amber Moeller.  I wanted to share in case you want to enter to win.  The giveaway ends July 31st.  To enter the contest, click on this link: http://raisinghomemakers.com/2010/the-hope-chest-a-legacy-of-love/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RaisingHomemakers+%28Raising+Homemakers%29   

Blessings today!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 8

holy experience


     Again this week I've added to my gratitude list.  Click here to see what's new:  http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.  

Blessings to you this week!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ponderings about Midday Connection ~ Into Abba's Arms

     Earlier this week, I was listening to Midday Connection, a Moody Radio live broadcast that airs in the middle of the day to encourage women.  Where I live, it airs between noon and 1pm, Monday-Friday.  I'd say it's a great way to spend your lunch break and gain some spiritual encouragement.  Most of the time listeners have the option to call in to ask questions or share comments.  That's one of the things that I love about their program.

     When I tuned in this past Tuesday (7/20/10), Sandra Wilson was the guest and the title of the program was "Into Abba's Arms."  No, this wasn't a broadcast about the rock group, Abba, from the 70's.  It was about our "Daddy" in Heaven.  Once I began listening, I was immediately struck by something that Ms. Wilson said and it has resonated with me throughout this week.  It was a statement concerning who we want to please, based on John 12:43 which reads "for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."  As Christians, who do we want to please?  Of course, our immediate response, without truly thinking, is God.  But is that genuinely true?  If we take time to think about the actions that characterize us, I think we'll have an honest answer to that question. 

     For example, many times in the past, I didn't think anything of losing my temper...yelling, slamming doors, crying, etc...to get my way.  Who was I trying to please?  Which god of the moment?  Me!  I was my own idol.  How grateful I am that the Lord opened my eyes to that sin, convicted me, and brought about the change that needed to occur in my heart!  Now that was an awesome little kiss from God!  Obviously, I'm not perfect and never will be this side of Heaven, but God is continually convicting me of my sin and molding me more into the likeness of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

     Why is it that we, even as Christians, so desperately desire the approval of others?  It is human nature to want to be accepted.  Also, rejection is a hard pill to swallow.  But even more than that, I believe that we, in the flesh, don't have an accurate understanding of who we are and who God really is - His awesomeness, His sovereignty, His transcendence, His holiness and righteousness, His infinite power, His omniscience, His omnipresence, His infinite wisdom, His faithfulness, His compassion, mercy and grace, His never-ending, undying love for us...need I say  more?!  I could go on but I'll stop there.  If we did have a good grasp of who God truly is and who we are in relation to Him, we'd absolutely, positively, without any shadow of a doubt, desire His approval and have no need or desire of anyone else's approval.  

     So how do we get that accurate understanding of who God is and who we are in relation to Him?  From immersing our minds and souls in God's Word daily, hearing the Word of God being preached, and fellowshiping with other spiritually mature Christians who encourage us and give us biblical guidance.  How else can we expect to walk in truth?  It can only happen through knowing what the Book of Truth, the Bible, says!
      
Open Bible with penImage by ryk_neethling via Flickr

     If you'd like to find out more about Midday Connection's daily broadcasts, click on this link:  http://www.moodyradio.org/middayconnection.aspx.  I have been truly blessed by their ministry.   

Trusting you are recognizing little kisses from God today!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, July 19, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 7

holy experience


     To see items I've added to my gratitude list, please click here:  http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.  This will take you to my full list plus the items I've just recently added.  Head to the bottom of the page to see most recently added items.

Blessings to you this week!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Unique & Fun Birthday Cake - the Big Top Cupcake!

     Most birthdays around here we order the cake of choice for the birthday girl from the local grocery store.  But this year, Carrie Beth informed me a day or two before her birthday that she wanted a giant cupcake cake.  So, for $19.99 + tax, I ran out and bought a giant cupcake pan set and set about to make her not one, but two, cupcake cakes.  It's cheaper on Amazon but I didn't have time to order.  Even so, it's still cheaper than ordering a cake like we usually do, so why not!  Plus I'll be able to use that set again and again for birthday celebrations in the future. 

     I was concerned about how this set was going to work out because of reviews I had read on Amazon about some different cupcake pan sets.  While the sets I read reviews on had positive and negative reviews and in between as well, you'll see below why I chose the bake set I did.  This is my own personal mini review of the set I bought.  I am no expert, just a mom who wanted to share about the set that made her daughter's birthday special.  Here's the one we got.  

     Until now, I have never bought or used silicone for baking but I have to say that I am already crazy about it.  Some of the reviews stated that they had a hard time getting the cake out without it falling apart.  I didn't experience that at all.  Here's what I did to make things easy for me.  First, I made sure the pans were sprayed well with cooking spray.  We used cake mixes which I normally don't do but I was short on time.  You mix the cake mix just like you normally would according to directions on the box.  Then I followed the directions that came with the Big Top Cupcake Bake set pretty much exactly to make sure I didn't encounter any problems.  After baking the cakes for the allotted amount of time, I checked them every five minutes or so until they were done.  As instructed, I let them cool 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove them.   And voila - they turned out picture perfect!  On a side note, not only does this set come with instructions on how to use it, there's also a mini recipe booklet  with fun ideas for different types of cakes to make.

     Why did I choose this particular set?  I considered purchasing other similar sets but the main reason I decided on the Big Top Cupcake Bake set is because it had separate pans for the top and bottom of the cake.  That would allow me to take out each one as they were finished baking instead of worrying that one might get done before the other.  Since the cupcake top is smaller than the bottom, I assume it would get finished baking sooner.  Common sense told me I should opt for the set I bought because it had separate pans.  I couldn't be happier with this set which is why I'm sharing. 

     The "proof is in the pudding," so here's a couple of photos of the finished products (with the girls, of course).  
   


This was a lot of fun for the kiddos and the decorating ideas are endless.  I'm grateful Carrie Beth got the cake she wanted for her birthday and I now have a fun new cake idea for celebrations ahead.

Hope you all are experiencing God's blessings today and everyday!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 6

holy experience


Ah...it's Monday again and I get the privilege of sharing what I'm thankful for today.  Click here to see what I've added to my gratitude list - http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html.  

Blessings all through the week!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blog Award! A Blog with Substance

     Thanks to Angie, otherwise known as the Pebblekeeper at Petra School which can be found here, http://pebblekeeper.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/substance-blog-award/, for sending my way the "A Blog with Substance" award.  I'm sure Angie has no idea how much she's encouraged me through her blogs.  I'm so excited and also humbled to know I've encouraged Angie and hopefully others and I trust God is using it for His glory.  Since I only started to blog back in March, it's really exciting to know that God truly is using me in this realm.  
      
     The Award Rules:
  1. Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.
  2. Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using ten (10) words.
  3. Pass it on to ten other blogs which you feel have real substance.
     My blogging motivation:  Encouraging other moms/women for God's purposes and His glory! (I did it!)

     Of course, Angie's Petra School is one blog that I visit regulary and gain encouragement from.  In no particular order, here are ten other blogs that I've been encouraged by and I'd like to send this award to them.
  1. Handbook of Nature Study - It's all about studying nature outdoors with your children using Anna Botsford Comstock's book, Handbook of Nature Study.  I love that Barb give instructions to moms who are new to this type of nature study.  That's how we got started using this book that I had owned for a few years already.  You can find this blog here:  http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/
  2. The Last Frontier - Jenny's blog is about life with her two sons and husband in the Alaskan bush.  It's so fascinating to see what her post is about each time.  You can find her here:  http://homeschoolblogger.com/frontierfreedom/  
  3. Overweights of Joy:  Finding God in the Everyday Dance that is My Life - I've enjoyed reading about Amy Danielle's ponderings and adventures with eight children, seven of which are boys.  See her blog here:  http://overweightsofjoy.blogspot.com/
  4. Seek N 2 Glorify - I have been so encouraged by Meredith's transparency and realness as a Christian. We need more of that!  You can find her here:  http://seekn2glorify.blogspot.com/
  5. Raising Homemakers - RH has several contributing writers.  I appreciate reading their posts and sharing what I learn with my daughters.  Link here:  http://raisinghomemakers.com/
  6. Joy in the Journey - Heather shares her thoughts on theology, mothering and homeschooling.  You can find her here:  http://joyinthejourneyhh.blogspot.com/
  7. Women Living Well - Courtney has encouraged me spiritually.  She encourages us as wives and moms to live according to God's Word.  Click on this link:  http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/
  8. Holy Experience - Ann has encouraged me in so many ways but mostly I get regular encouragement from her about taking time to really appreciate the little things in life.  Here's her link:  http://www.aholyexperience.com/
  9. Just a Minute - Jenny shares ways God is maturing her in her spiritual walk.  Link here:  http://jennysminute.blogspot.com/
  10. Treasures of Darkness - Nancy shares blessings that she's received from God, in the good times and the dark times of her life.  You can find her here:  http://mom2six-treasures.blogspot.com/
I have to admit that it was hard coming up with just 10.  There are so many great blogs out there.  So let us hear about some more great blogs through the comments section below.  Thanks, in advance, for sharing.

Blessings to all of you this weekend!



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Anguish in the Unresolved Yet Hope Abounds

     Angry words fly in the heat of the moment...I feel the vibrations of the floor as she stomps out of the kitchen...then, the slamming of a bedroom door.  I think for a moment while preparing lunch.  I decide to give her time.

     A few minutes later I approach her door, hoping to be allowed in.  She's not interested in talking.  She'd rather be left alone yet she unlocks the door giving me the sign it's okay to approach her - that typically sweet, gentle spirit in our home who has a servant's heart.  I'm not sure what's going on with her these days.  As I lay there on her bed, I wondered - what is she thinking.  Why this sudden onset of anger over the past few weeks?  I just don't know.  God does.    

     I begin to talk calmly and truthfully about the unresolved sin in her life.  I see me in her.  I tell her she's a lot like me when I was younger.  That sin of ungodly anger, that could cripple a marriage, ruin friendships, even cause one to do things that could change the course of their lives, has begun to characterize her demeanor lately.  Sinful anger...it's a sin we can't allow to go unchecked in our children or ourselves.  No matter the cause, we can't excuse or rationalize what God says is sin.  It's sin - period! 

     So I try to talk to her about what is at the root of this torrent of anger she continues to express.  She offers no answers, still not wanting to let me in.  I don't think she knows the cause of her anger.  After all, she is just a child.  But a child that needs to be trained, according to God's Word and in His righteousness.  She knows her unharnessed reactions were wrong.  What to do?!  I'm just not sure.  My heart is torn for her and the fact that I can't fix this issue for her.  I'm in anguish about it and I don't have all the answers.  Yet I know the God who does and He is faithful.  I pray.  I trust the Lord to work it out in His timing.  

     In the meantime, I'll continue to pray, discuss this issue with her when necessary, and point her to the Only One who can truly set her free from this bondage, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" - Philippians 1:6.  Even though this issue is unresolved for now, we have hope in Jesus Christ.  I am grateful for this opportunity to disciple this child.  God still blesses in the midst of our imperfect lives.    

Trusting you are recognizing God's blessings this week!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 5

holy experience

     Click here, http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/p/one-thousand-gifts.html, to see the most recent items I've added to my gratitude list.  

Blessings!




Saturday, July 3, 2010

FREE Christian Audiobook Download Offer - The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

     For those who are interested, a friend of mine on Facebook shared that the audiobook download this month at Christianaudio.com is The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.  Besides the fact that Tozer is known as a great Christian author, on top of that, this audiobook download is FREE!  My understanding is that Christianaudio.com offers a different download each month that's free.  I always want to know about deals like this and I've already taken advantage of it.  Click on this link, http://christianaudio.com/free, and you'll get instructions on how to proceed.  Also, you can sign up for their newsletter, if you're interested, which will inform you of the free download each month.  

Blessings this weekend,
  

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Helpful Tips for Organizing your Homeschool

     There are two thoughts that have weighed heavily on my heart lately - organizing our homeschool and instilling a love of learning in our children.  I really believe the Lord has led me to research these areas further and I'm grateful to Him for that.

     In the previous post, I asked others to share ideas of what they do, as homeschooling moms, to instill a love of learning in their children.  You can see those responses in the post below.  

     To gather more information on homeschool organization, I decided to do an internet search and found an article that was posted by Robin Sampson at Heart of Wisdom.  Below are the points I took away from her article.  However, if you'd like to read Robin's thoughts yourself, go to this link:  http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/homeschool-organization-morning-routine/ for the entire post. 
  1. Begin by using an hour before bed each night to straighten your home, especially the space you use for school.
  2. Each morning, begin praying before your feet even hit the floor, asking the Lord for His guidance throughout the day.
  3. Wake the children and dress for the day.
  4. Quiet time with God is a must for your soul.
  5. Have a to-do list ready for each day.
  6. Eat a nutritional breakfast.
  7. Complete morning chores (if you choose to do chores at that time).
  8. Begin school with a schedule that works for your family.
     For me, the first idea Robin shared would be one of the best tips I could live by.  Waking every morning, knowing the house is neat and tidy, would be such a refreshing and pleasant way to start each day.  No guilt for not picking up, folding leftover laundry from a few days ago, or doing dishes because it would already be done.  How nice that would be!  I really like that suggestion. 

     Of course, as a Christian, the most important thing I can do is spend time with the Lord every morning.  I fail miserably at this.  I hate to admit it but there are times when that happens and other times it doesn't.  On the days when I do spend time with the Lord, I notice that my demeanor throughout the day is different.  There is definitely a blessing that comes from spending time in God's Word.  I'm not saying that's why we should spend time with the Lord but because we want to know Him intimately, to learn more of what He has to say to us from His Word (His love letter to us) and to cultivate our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

     I trust this information has been helpful and encouraging.  I found another link, http://www.heartofwisdom.com/heartathome/homeschool/organization/, on the Heart of Wisdom site that related to organization in the home.  I'm always interested in finding ways to make my life easier and I wanted to share what I found with you.    

Continuing to enjoy little kisses from God each day!
         

How Can We Best Nurture in our Children a Love of Learning?

     Actually, I'm asking the question because, as a homeschooling mom, I'm trying to figure it out for myself.  I know each of you have your own ideas, thoughts, and insights.  Please share in the comments section below so we can all learn from one another.  Thanks!

Blessings!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June Nature Discoveries in Pictures ~ Flowers, Flyers, & More

     As I reflect back over this month, I realize we've seen some "new" things that we'd not noticed before on God's beautiful creation.  Having not previously been much of an outdoor person (I don't like dirt, sweating, or bugs), I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have enjoyed spending time with the kiddos and my husband outdoors.  With a little effort on our parts, we can see so many things God has put on this earth that will bless our souls.  As the weather has warmed up over the past month or so and due to my allergy to heat (ha ha), it has put a damper on our outdoor adventures.  But I still wanted to share with you the incredible blessings in nature that we have enjoyed during the month of June.

     Previously I had posted  photos here, but they disappeared.  So I will share what we saw - 2 little land snails, a U.C.C. (my own acronym for an Unidentified Creepy Crawly), a swiftly moving green lizard, the little scoundrel that is known as the local cat food eating raccoon, a typically carefree butterfly stuck inside our screened-in porch, a dragonfly, two birds' nests (both discovered by my husband), a stunning periwinkle iris bloom, a variety of daisy blooming, another daisy or daisy-look-alike, a Happy Returns Daylily (this variety happily returns all summer), more gorgeous daylilies, breathtaking blooms of our Crepe Myrtle tree, and a Blue Hydrangea in bloom.

     I really wanted to capture each moment that we discovered something "new."  For me, it was truly a blessing to take notice of God's beautiful creation and know that He loves me enough to share these wonderful creations of His with me.  For God's Word tell us in Romans 1:18-20, "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (NIV)  What confirmation that verse should be for all of us of the depth of God's love for all mankind!  Ah.....more of God's little kisses.

Blessings to you!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Me be Meek and Quiet?

     Recently, I have been doing a summer Bible study with some precious friends.  I've had this book sitting around collecting dust for several years and never took the time to read it.  I'm so glad my friends asked me to join them.  The name of the study - Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell.  PLEASE DO NOT STOP READING YET!  Hang with me here!  Those who don't homeschool, keep reading.  If you don't even have children, don't stop here.  Let me say that this book would be good for any Christian to read, especially moms and wives.  Even though not every mom homeschools, we are always teaching our kiddos something when they are nearby.  It may be love or hate, academics or values, giving or taking, building up or tearing down - whatever we are doing with our children, we are always teaching them something either positive or negative.  They learn from us by default - just by being with us.  So whatever character qualities it is that we are displaying, our children are learning from that.  We, as moms, all "homeschool" in some way or another.

      As I have been going through this study, I have been convicted in my spirit that I do not regularly show a meek and quiet spirit to my daughters or my husband, for that matter.  When I say meek and quiet, what I mean is having the self discipline (which comes from the Holy Spirit) to choose to not display my anger when I am angry.  I think meek and quiet many times is actually the opposite of what most people think it is.  It's not allowing others to run over us like we're doormats.  Instead, it's allowing the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to show others love when we don't really feel like showing love in the flesh.  It's responding to others in kindness, not with an ill temper.  Now, is there any way you could imagine that I would respond to my precious children in such a negative manner???  I know - it's hard to believe I would do such a thing.  

     Since I started going through this book, I have been much more conscious, almost constantly, of my response to my daughters and my husband.  I believe that's conviction and I'm so glad.  I have realized that many times I treat mere strangers better than I treat my own family whom I love dearly.  Why is that?  How can I treat someone I barely know better than I treat my own family members?  We take them for granted and we're teaching them, when we treat them badly, that it's okay to do that.  Well, it's not okay.  God tells us that "faith without works is dead" (James 2:20).  If we truly love the Lord, we will show it in our actions.  It's not enough to just say we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we must live out in our daily lives what we say we believe.  Otherwise, we're "deceiving ourselves" (I John 1:8) into believing the lie that we can say one thing and live another.  It's just not so.  I feel so blessed that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to this Biblical truth!  

     While it may seem that I was asked to do a review on this book, that is not the case.  I just felt the tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart to share the insights I've gained from this book with others.  I would encourage anyone who's interested in living out their Christian walk daily to pick up a copy and see what God might show you through Teri Maxwell.  You can find the book at this link, http://www.titus2.com/.    

     Thank you Lord for loving me enough to change me from the inside out.  Ah...another little kiss from God!

Grace to you!
              

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ #4


Expecting little kisses from God this week!

Book Review ~ Voices of the True Woman Movement, Chapter 1

Voices of the True Woman Movement

     Recently I received this book, Voices of the True Woman Movement - A Call to the Counter-Revolution, from Revive Our Hearts Ministry.  If you aren't familiar with Revive Our Hearts Ministry, it's a wonderful ministry to women in today's world that encourages us to live according to God's Word.  Period!  I love Nancy Leigh DeMoss and her way of sharing with women, without condemning us, what God's Word has to say about living for the Lord in today's culture.  She isn't afraid to approach hard topics with women - topics many wouldn't dare discuss today for fear of offending someone.  But these are topics we need to hear discussed according to Biblical standards and Nancy has answered that call from the Lord.  If you aren't familiar with Nancy or the ministry, you can check it out by clicking on the book link above.

     This book is a collection of messages that was presented at the True Woman conference which was in October 2008.  An excerpt from a summary of the book states this:  "Which voices are you listening to?  In a world with so many contradictory and insistent messages, it's hard to know which ones are right, isn't it?  Discover how a heart tuned to hear God's voice can be transformed to glorify Him and impact those around you for such a time as this."    

Chapter 1 - The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood
by John Piper

     John Piper begins this chapter with a big bang, mentioning several women who have gone through tremendous loss and/or turmoil in their lives yet have chosen to stand strong in their faith.  Those brief bios were extraordinary stories that gave me encouragement.  Piper's sentiment in this chapter is mainly this - "wimpy theology makes wimpy women."  If we don't know the Lord who was, is and is to come, then we can't live like we do.  One of his quotes states, "Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ."  I couldn't agree with him more.

     Because his assertion is as stated above, the opposite of wimpy women is the true woman, a woman of God.  The true woman, Piper states, is one who lives so that God may be glorified in her life.  Furthermore, if women were never created, the glory of Christ could not be displayed with the same magnitude that it is because of the presence of women in the world.  Of course, that is also true of men.  Main point - God purposefully created us as men and women.      

     Piper writes a special message to married women and single women and states that "true womanhood can flourish in marriage and singleness."  He also cites scripture references throughout the chapter. 

     Honestly, I didn't know much about this book before receiving it.  Thus far, I am enjoying what I've read and believe I'm being challenged to think about these ideas.  I really like that in a book.  If I can't read something that makes me think when it comes to God and His word, in my opinion, there's no point of reading it!  

     I'm interested to see what's coming next - Chapter 2 was written by Nancy herself.  I can't wait to read that one.

     Update:  For my review of Chapter 2, click here:  http://littlekissesfromgod.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-review-voices-of-true-woman.html 

Blessings!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Marriage Challenge


     A friend of mine (thanks, Amanda) shared with me about a blog challenge today, and I wanted to encourage other women to check it out.  Sounds like a great way to start ministering to our husbands.  The link is:  http://womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/search/label/Marriage%20Challenge  

     Hope you find it encouraging.  I did.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Multitude Monday ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 3

holy experience

     Today, I'm thankful for many things - of which I've added to my list.  Click on the One Thousand Gifts tab by the Home tab at the top of this page where you'll see newly added items and my complete list.  Please feel free to peruse this site as I've just recently began blogging.  Thanks for stopping by.

Enjoying little kisses from God each day,

Sunday, June 20, 2010

On Father's Day - A Tribute to my Daddy and my Husband

     Today is Father's Day!  And while this day could bring heartache and bitterness to my heart, instead it brings blessings.  It was such a blessing to be able to spend the day with my husband, David, and our 3 precious daughters, Carrie Beth, Scutter, and Rae-Rae.

     As I was sitting here thinking back over the day, my memory takes me back to when I was growing up and my daddy was still here on earth.  I was so blessed to have a godly father, one who cared about me while I was growing up, and I'm so thankful for that.  Although I struggled with his death for years, God has helped me overcome the bitterness that his death brought to my soul.  And all that is left now is gratefulness for the man, husband and father he was.  I know today he is joyfully in fellowship with Jesus and other loved ones, who have gone before us, in Heaven and has been there for over 25 years now.

     While the void that was left by my father's death could continue to sting like a dagger in my heart, I turn my thoughts to the man I now have as my life-long partner and the loving and caring father of our 3 daughters.  How blessed I am and our girls are to have him in our lives and how grateful I am to the Lord for the man, husband and father he is!

     You see, I could allow bitterness to control my emotions but I must remember the  little kisses from God - not few blessings but many more than I can even imagine.  I could focus on the loss and the void but instead, by God's grace, I choose to focus on the precious memories I have of my own loving father and the wonderful times our girls are able to share here and now with their father.  I choose, by God's grace, to be thankful for the man who is now in my life and who is a wonderful daddy to our daughters.  

     I love you, David!  And I hope you've had a blessed Father's Day today.  And thank you, Lord, for the caring father I had in my life while he was here on earth and for the father our daughters have in their lives here and now!

     Encouraging you to focus on the little kisses from the Lord this week.  It will bring joy to your soul too! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Multitude Monday - One Thousand Gifts ~ No. 2

holy experience

     I have been inspired to ponder the awesome gifts God has given me and to physically list 1,000.  There are so many more than I even recognize but this is my feeble attempt at coming up with a few here and there.  At the right, you'll find others I've previously listed.

#44.  The quietness of early morning
#45.  Food in the pantry
#46.  My Bible
#47.  God's goodness
#48.  Sunlight
#49.  Reading glasses (along with the awesome blessing of being able to read)
#50.  Godly family and friends who encourage me
#51.  Air conditioning
#52.  Healthy children
#53.  The warmth of socks on my feet when I go to bed each night
#54.  My husband's job
#55.  The sound of the girls playing the ukulele
#56.  God's provision

Praying you are also recognizing God's little kisses to you today!  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Unexpected Discoveries

Recently, I heard Barb from http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/ speak on a podcast about expecting the unexpected during nature study. Although our nature study focus right now is flowers of any kind, during one of our most recent outings, we found some unexpected things to research.  Of course, we also found things we expected to find as well, but it was neat to see the unexpected among the expected.  Once we got home, I began a quest in my field guide and on the internet to see if we could identify what we had stumbled upon.

     As you can see, this is a cluster of mushrooms that was probably about 10-12 inches across.  I have no idea how to identify mushrooms so I won't even pretend to be able to.  That is something I've tried to do in the past and found myself frustrated and with no answer.  So if anyone out there knows of a good website where I might find answers to my mushroom questions, please share!  At any rate, it was neat to see this specimen of mushrooms.

     Here is another find.  I assume it is some sort of large mushroom.  It was around a foot in diameter.  You can get an idea of how large it was by comparing it to the shoe seen at the bottom of the photo.  Seeing this intrigued me as I didn't expect to see such a large specimen growing just off the beaten path.  We couldn't miss it!

     We have seen Daisy Fleabane (or Common Fleabane) before and posted a photo recently but this was different.  I'm pretty sure it's an Oxeye Daisy.

     I think this was the most unexpected creature we found.  It's an Oil Beetle (Meloe Impressus), a member of the Blister Beetle family, and we even discovered from our research that it was a male.  The male has a crimp in the antennae which we were able to see when zooming in.  The female lacks that characteristic.  Although it may appear black, it has a dark blue tint to it.  It was a good thing we didn't touch it because it emits a skin-blistering chemical when agitated.  

     I am amazed at God's handiwork in creation.  And as I engage in nature study and really search for things that I've never looked for before, I'm becoming more interested and fascinated with all the different things God placed on this earth that should cause us to praise His name.  Not only are we learning to enjoy God's beautiful creation, especially some things we've never really taken notice of before, we are also getting a little hiking in for exercise along the way.  Ah...more little kisses from God!

Many Blessings!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Artwork by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 used with permission