Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Side of the Mountain Notebooking pages.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Can anyone tell me any country that is successful or that has been successful that was or is a socialistic country??? I can't think of one but it looks like we,the U.S., will be heading that way which means we, as a country, will no longer be successful.

I expect that God is sad when he looks at what our country has become - we have become just like the historical roman empire. They were an empire that had no morals, no free speech and a lot of control over the people. Our country is becoming more like that, there is no right or wrong, the government controls many aspects of our life (and wants more control), free speech is getting harder to come by, the rights of the individuals are being taken away etc. Where is the Roman Empire now? Where does that say we will be in the coming years???

We are the best country in the world. We offer freedom to everyone. We are the most giving country in the world. You can look at which country is first on the scene of a natural disaster, which country gives the most money to those in need. Which country offers anyone and everyone the chance to be exactly what they want to be? Which country offers freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the pursuit of happiness. Which country acknowledged, at its formation, that we (all people) were endowed by their CREATOR with certain rights. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "(excerpt from the declaration of independence).

The upcoming election holds a lot of things in the balance. Are we going to continue to be a free society or start traveling faster down the road to a socialistic society? Are we willing to give up the rights that men and woman fought for in the many wars so that "everyone feels good about themselves and everyone has exactly the same as everyone else". Is it wrong for some people to have more or less then other people? Are we going to allow our freedom of speech to be violated or are we going to stand together and try and make God proud of this country once again? When we travel down the wide path, away from God, it gets easier and easier to accept things that are not biblical, things become gray and easier to accept.

Matt 7:13,14 says "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

These are the words of Jesus. The broader the road you travel, the more things you become accepting of. The more accepting of things you become the further away you get from the narrow road. The one that leads to life. The easy road is the broad or wide road. It is the road that everyone is on. The harder path is the one that leads through the narrow gate. The narrow gate is Jesus, He says in John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.

So what are we going to do about it. Are we going to continue to stand by and let the U.S. morally decline or are we going to find some way to get our voice out there????

I am not sure what we should do or how we should go about making a change. I don't know if we need to stand up more often for what is right, even if it is hard and may end up separating you from family and friends? Even if it means being called intolerant (which seems to almost be an oxymoron because if we speak out for what we believe is right we are called intolerant yet they are not intolerant for not allowing us to speak freely about what we believe).

Jesus didn't say it would be easy to follow Him he said in Matt 10:17-22 "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues.On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

I know one of satan's plans it to make us feel like there is no point in fighting, what can we really do, we can't win. Right now he is winning but I know who wins the final battle and it is not him. We need to seek guidance from God as to what He would have us do. We need to make ourselves available so He can make changes in our lives and in this country, so He can save this country before it is too late and we are too far gone to go back. Jesus is the only one that can save us and this country but he can use you and me.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the "Amen" below and leave your comments. Thanks!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Home school Rocks!

By Michele Mann (mom of Mary Catherine, 8; Maggie, 7; Nate, 5; and Nolan, 2)

Three years ago if you would’ve asked me or my husband about homeschooling, we would’ve given a firm, “No thank you.” Yet here we are about to finish our first year of home school and our saying of the year is “Home school rocks!”. And, for us, home school has been better than I imagined. It’s been a year full of lessons about God’s perfect timing and amazing love.

Our journey to homeschooling was an unexpected adventure. Thanks to God literally surrounding us with loads of amazing homeschooling families (whom we affectionately refer to as the home school wagon train), God started to get our attention. And by the fall of our daughter’s second grade year, God’s direction to home school was unmistakable and his confirmation in the following months was undeniable. I am constantly humbled and amazed at how God changed our hearts and moved in the hearts of our children. God is good! And He is teaching me even more significant lessons now that I’m down in the trenches of teaching. The most vital lessons I’m learning this year are reminders to prioritize, to personalize, and to pray, pray, pray.

Prioritize. The best piece of advice I got as I was preparing to home school was to ask God for a key verse (or verses) that summarized why I wanted to teach my kids. The reason for these verses was twofold--to remind me this was God’s distinct call on our lives during the dark, frustrating days, and to keep me focused on what was most important when I was tempted to get my eyes off the prize.

God gave us a few verses at the beginning of the year. One of the verses, Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 is one God brought to life after a couple of months of homeschooling. My girls and I had just finished a geography lesson and we were talking about some missionary friends who served God in predominantly Muslim countries. We took a break to walk the long gravel driveway to our mailbox and as we walked, my oldest daughter, Mary Catherine, asked, “Mommy, what exactly do Muslims’ believe anyway?” That opened the door for a deeper discussion about Islam and what’s so special about being a follower of Jesus. As we made our way back to the house, I heard God’s gentle whisper remind me “impress these things on your children . . . as you walk along the road.” I could’ve soared all the way to our front door—I was astounded at the call God had put on our lives to teach these precious kids.

I have not forgotten that lesson, and it reminds me daily why I am homeschooling, and keeps me from getting bogged down in things that aren’t worthwhile. Staying focused on my priorities keeps me from getting sidetracked with details that don’t matter in light of eternity.

Personalize. As I was preparing for home school I researched all I could. I asked loads of questions, read books, went to seminars. I wanted to know about everything--curriculum and schedules and details of people’s days. Problem was I got completely overwhelmed by all that information. I soon realized I had to sift through all that advice and discover what worked for my family.

For example, one of my biggest challenges to homeschooling is having four young children including a wild and wooly toddler named Nolan. Anyone who has tried to home school with little ones can feel my pain. I had loads of people give me helpful ideas about how to keep him and my older son occupied while I taught, but, after loads of trial and error I had to discover what worked for our family, and what worked has evolved over the school year. We did the same with curriculum and scheduling and field trips. I asked God to give me insight on what would work best for my children, and I have been in awe of how perfectly God has designed the details to fit our needs.

Pray! Pray! Pray! God says clearly in the book of James that anyone who lacks wisdom should ask—and God will generously give us wisdom without finding fault (that’s my favorite part). I am learning the absolute key to every single day with homeschooling is prayer. I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other, much less teach, without clinging to God. I read a verse earlier this year that reminds me to be honest with God in everything, “ . . .pour out your heart to God . . . “ (Psalm 62:8). So many times I’ll pour out my heart to a friend before I’ll go to God. This verse reminds me to lay it all out to Him. He already knows my struggles and it helps me so much to let Him know what I’m feeling. And I’m learning how wide and deep His love is.

C.S. Lewis is one of my all-time favorite authors .He has a book called Surprised by Joy and I’d say that sums up what this year has been. God has taken me by surprise, letting me open one unexpected blessing after another. The greatest blessing is that I am reveling in the gift of my children. They are frustrating and challenging and curious and insightful and I am treasuring all the things I am learning about them. The time is so short, but God is good, and I’m so thankful He called us to set out on this new adventure. Home school rocks!

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the "Amen" below and leave your comments. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Benefit of Homeschooling

In my last article I talked about the park we went to. One thing I started thinking about after that day was the interaction my girls had with older kids.

I think that is one of the benefits of Homeschooling. In the public school system kids are around other kids their own age all day. Most companies do not hire employees that are all the same age. In the world of work you have to learn how to relate to older and younger employees.

When you homeschool, especially if you have more then two children, your older children learn to help the younger children and the younger children learn to work with the older children.

At the park that day Josh, who is 10, was sitting on a rock with Madison who is 4, just entertaining her and making her smile. My girls spend a good amount of time at Josh and Jacob's house. His mom is my friend Stefanie and she has Josh who is 10 and Jacob who is 8. She homeschools them both. Whenever we go to their house both boys take it upon themselves to play with the girls or entertain them. My girls are learning some valuable lessons on these days too. They are learning how to play with older kids and the boys are learning how to be responsible and entertain the younger girls. I think the boys usually enjoy it when we come over and it is so fun watching them relate to each other and just have fun.
It is important to me that my girls can relate to kids their age and older or younger kids. I would hope that they would learn to carry on intelligent conversations with people and this is one way they can learn that. Since this is important to me one of the things I am trying to implement next year is a small co-op between me and couple of my friends. I have about four friends who will be homeschooling next year and we are going to do a science co-op. It is in the beginning plans but I hope we meet once a week and learn our science together. My friends and I will take turns having it at our houses. The person's house it is at doesn't have to cook, the others bring the food. We meet, do our lessons and the activities that go along with the lesson and let the kids play. If all of us do it we will have a good mix of kids. We will have a few 10-11 year olds, 7-8 year olds and 4-6 year olds. I think this will work great. Some lessons we could have the older kids teach the younger kids and other days the younger kids get to pick what activity we do, all the while we are teaching and watching them interact. Who know what the kids will learn besides science.

The next few posts will cover other benefits of homeschooling, along with the trials and learning experiences that come with homeschooling.

Feel free to ask me any questions, I would love to answer them.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the "Amen" below and leave your comments. Thanks!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Homeschooling is not for the Birds!

My sister told me I needed to update my blog. My problem is that I am currently homeschooling my two kids and I barely have time each day to do anything but check my e-mail. That is why I told my older sister that I didn't need a blog. :)

I have a 4 year old and a 5 1/2 year old and I love teaching them at home. There are some days that I wonder if I am teaching them all that they are "suppose" to know, but when I look at their workbooks and see that my 5 year old is in her 2nd first grade book I figure we are doing ok. Today was a great day because it was spring break (yes homeschoolers get spring break too). I had told Audrey that we didn't have to do school this week and she raised her hand in the air and yelled yeh! :) That didn't make me feel so good but everyone needs a break from their regular life, even kids.

We took today to meet some friends at the park (yes we have plenty of socialization :)). We had a blast. I had read this article about this new park with 3 story tall slides. I called some friends up and we met there. We arrived about 10 am and didn't leave until after 2 pm. The kids had so much fun. I even went down the slides with my kids. There was also a creek by the park and we sat on rocks and ate icecream from the famous icecream truck and watched some boys catch minnows.

Days like this are one of the reasons why I am glad I am homeschooling. If Audrey (or me) is having a tough day at school we can stop and take a trip to the park or what my friend stefanie does, which is, go bowling. We let off steam, come back home and finish up. There is so much freedom in homeschooling. I can teach my children the things that are important to me, as I am teaching them what most kids their age are learning. I have the freedom to slow down with them if I need to or let them get as far ahead as they want too.

We finished Audrey's kindergarten reading program in December. So I picked up the first grade book and she keeps trucking on. She doesn't know she is doing 1st grade work she just knows she is doing her reading. We are also working on first grade math and unit studies. What's a unit study you ask? It is where you pick a subject that your child likes, get a bunch of books from the library and learn about that thing. Audrey and Madison love dinosaurs so we spent a few weeks learning about dinosaurs and then we put a notebook together about what we learned. They loved it.

There are other benefits as well, like I can teach real science and history in Kindergarten and 1st grade. This year we learned about the ice age, the sumarians and we will be getting into the Epic of Gilgamesh and other fun, ancient history stuff. Next year we will be studying flying creatures for science all year. I am excited about that. I also am able to give Audrey and Madison opportunities to take classes most kids wouldn't be able too take,like pottery and other art/music classes.

That doesn't mean every day is a good day, there are even some weeks when I am lucky to get my point across to Audrey and Madison. There are days when she doesn't want to do her handwriting and there are days she just wants to sit outside and draw what she sees. There are days I have to clean houses or run errands and not much school gets done. Despite those days every night I go to bed thanking God that I have this opportunity to teach my girls and I pray to Him that He shows me what He wants me to teach them.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the "Amen" below and leave your comments. Thanks!

Monday, March 3, 2008

God's Character

I was listening to one of my talk show programs today when a caller called in. She was talking about how politics and morals change depending on who is president. I don’t necessarily disagree with that but something she said at the end of the call alarmed me and made me sad. She was saying how she encourages her children to look at this talk show host as a step-father (she had mentioned she was divorced and that the kids father wasn‘t involved in their life). She said that this talk show host was a great step-father because he was always reliable, always faithful, he would never disappoint them, he was always truthful and trustworthy, and that he would never let them down. She went on to describe a bunch of other traits and all I could think about was what a disservice she was doing to her kids.

God is the only one who is always faithful, as Psalm 89:8 says “O LORD God Almighty, who is like you? You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.”

God is the only one who is always trustworthy, Hebrews 6:18 “So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie.”

God is the only one who will never leave you or forsake you as Hebrews 13:5b “Never will I leave you, Never will I forsake you.”

It made me sad to think that she was teaching her kids to look up to this talk show host as if he were an infallible god. When times get tough a mere man is not always going to be there or give us the support or help we need. God will always give help when called as Psalms 121:2 says “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Whenever we need help, guidance, encouragement, support, or we just want to vent at the unfairness of life God is always there to listen and answer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their sins, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive there sin and heal their land.”

He offers comfort to us as Jeremiah 31:13 says, “Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”

What man or woman can live up to just these few characteristics of God?

God is a just and loving God, he is merciful and longsuffering (especially for those of us who take a long time to learn the lesson he has for us).

He is forgiving and will forgive anything. For all of this and much more: “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28.

I know it seems to good to be true, I can have comfort, joy, love, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, self-control, and the list goes on, all by trusting in the one God sent, Jesus.

I think one of the reasons it is so hard for us to believe in Jesus Christ is that it seems too easy. I don’t have to “work” for salvation? All I have to do is believe? We have to work for everything else why not this? Ephesians 2:8,9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”

I believe it is also Pride, we think that we don’t need anyone else, we don’t need to be saved, “I’m not as bad as ________”, “at least I didn’t kill someone”. Both of these things are true but have you ever quarreled, were jealous of someone, had outbursts of anger, ever slandered anyone, gossiped about anyone, were arrogant, or lied to someone, even a little white lie? Each of these things are sins too.

Romans 2:23 says, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. That means everyone has sinned and sin leads to death.

Romans 6:23 says For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So what do we do now? We know we will sin is there any hope?

The answer is found in Romans 10:9 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.” Isn’t that great. We just have to believe and we will be saved.

Some of you may still have a lot of doubts about accepting Jesus as your Savior, and those words may not mean a lot to you. I understand. It took me a long time to even acknowledge Jesus as my Savior. It seemed “Taboo”. That doesn’t mean I didn’t acknowledge him throughout my life. I remember even when I was little praying to Him (he always answered) but I never took that extra step. First I didn’t understand it. In the church I grew up in we didn’t even really talk about Jesus and you definitely weren’t suppose to have him as your Savior and Lord. Second, I didn’t really see a need to take that next step. I would think, “I pray to God and I try and follow His rules, what do I need that next step for?”

When you do take that next step you find out why you needed to take it. You realize that without God what point is there in life. Especially if you have gone through a lot of tough things in your life. I know the only way I was able to get through a bunch of issues in my life was because I had the hope that there was a God out there and that His hand was on my life and that everything that happened to me could be turned to good. You also realize that you can have a personal relationship with Him.

Now when people talk about this they think, “whatever, God doesn’t care about the little details in my life”. He does, he knows every hair on your head (even if you don’t know how many you have he does). 300 years before Cyrus was born God Called Him by name and planned for his future, Isaiah 45:1 "This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut:” He cared about Cyrus (the Persian Emperor) 300 years before his birth. He used King Cyrus to enable the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.

God does care about your life, your needs, your hope and your dreams. He will listen when you call to him and He will answer.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the "Amen" below and leave your comments. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What is in the way of your true calling?

I want to share this blog post from Beth Moore. I love what she says:

"Satan will never oppose us more than when he thinks we're onto our callings. Bet on that. As L.B. Cowman said in Streams in the Desert, "Both in the physical realm and spiritual realm, great pressure means great power." (p.9)"

How many times have you been working toward your dream? You knew you were on the right path. The path that God placed you on? And then things got hard. And you struggled, and you fought and you got tired. And then you gave up.

We are never going to reach our full potential and fulfill our calling if we don't power through the obstacles. And the harder the fight, the better the outcome.

Go read her blog in full, you'll be glad you did. Beth Moore

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please click on the "Amen" below and leave your comments. Thanks!