Saturday, July 8, 2017

3 Ways the World Will Try to Indoctrinate Your Kids, and 3 Bible Verses You Can Pray Over Them


The world my kids are living in is radically different from the one I grew up in. When I was a kid, there was no internet. There were no cell phones. No Facebook or Twitter. No one I knew owned a computer. If I wanted to find something out, I had to go to the library and check out a book, or consult my parent’s encyclopedia set. In the '80s, it was fairly easy to settle into your church and community and not hear much from the outside world. I wasn’t particularly sheltered, but still I had never heard many of the sophisticated intellectual objections to the Christian faith until I was an adult....and I was not prepared with answers. But the one thing I DID have—I had praying parents.

Read more.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Parenting Insight You Can Use Now

This idea was taken from the book Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN BSN.
Used by permission

A busy father comes home from work hoping to relax with his wife and enjoy his children. Instead, he walks into a land mine of relational issues. Children are bickering and Mom is frazzled. Even the dog has retreated to a quieter room in the house. A mom comes home from work wanting to share a couple of interesting stories with her family only to find that, instead, everyone wants a piece of her.

When you hit those challenging moments in family life, how do you respond? You probably have certain routines you use in conflict situations or when you're stressed or upset. One mom tells us, "I call it my 'take charge mode.' I just start taking control of everything, giving orders, solving problems, and managing people. Unfortunately, I don't always do it in a gracious way. I become more interested in reestablishing my authority than in building relationships." A dad admitted, "When things get tense in my home, I retreat. I know that's not the best but it's the way I've always responded to conflict."

When things get tense in your home, step back for a moment and evaluate the patterns that have developed. One of the ways to change those patterns is to see the routines that you use when you’re under pressure. It's amazing what happens when just one person begins to change. A whole family can change a pattern, but it all starts when someone decides to relate a little differently.

We all know that children function best with routines in their schedule. They also benefit from learning good relational routines. If you will take the time to teach children how to respond well to instruction or correction and then practice those healthy routines, you will not only make family life easier but you will teach your children something they will use in relationships for the rest of their lives.

Healing Heel Crack Salve

by Shannon Buck ~ Used by permission

My husband often develops painful cracks in his heels and usually requests a batch of my Healing Heel Crack Salve.  This recipe is very easy to create and is chock full of beneficial oils. Apply a layer of this salve to your heels and sleep in a pair of wool socks and you will be on your way to supple soft feet in no time.  My husband likes to use a pumice stone once a week to help eliminate the dry skin build-up. Do not use on open wounds or broken skin. Sometimes cracks in your heels can be a sign of a more serious problem than just dry skin, make sure you visit your doctor if in doubt. 

 Place a canning ring in a pot of about 3 inches of water. Bring water to a simmer. 

Measure out the following ingredients into a 4-cup capacity glass measuring cup.

11 grams Liquid Lanolin
6 grams Cocoa Butter
9 grams Shea Butter
6 grams Coconut Oil
11 grams Castor Oil
10 grams Emu Oil
5 grams Vitamin E Oil
40 grams Beeswax

You will end up with just over 1/2 cup of healing oils.
Set the glass cup on the canning ring.  The simmering water should come up just the the level of the oils. Allow the oils to melt completely.

At about 120 degrees, both the waxes and the oils will melt and combine.

As soon as the oil cools to around 100 degrees, add in the following. 

Once the Essential Oils are blended into the base, transfer to a clean jar. Cap tightly.  Use a clean utensil to take out the desired amount of product. Keep out of direct light and heat.
This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. 

As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier. Please consult a health care professional if you have any serious medical conditions. Be well!

Rosemary Mint Whipped Shea Body Butter

by Shannon Buck ~ Used by permission

One of my favorite beauty recipes to make is Whipped Shea Body Butter.  This luxuriously whipped moisturizing creation instantly penetrates your skin and provides long-lasting protection and moisture. You may choose your favorite liquid oil, but I recommend you try Kukui Nut Oil which has high penetrability and soothing properties and can help soothe chapped skin as it contains high levels of the essential fatty acids linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic.  Great for dry skin, psoriasis, eczema and sensitive skin.  Choose your favorite blend of Essential Oils or leave it "naked" and enjoy the natural scent of the unrefined Shea and Cocoa butters. 

Rosemary Mint Whipped Shea Body Butter
45 grams Cocoa Butter
90 grams Shea Butter
45 grams Kukui Nut Oil

 Gather your ingredients (I use Mountain Rose Herbs products).  Cocoa butter is really hard and is sometimes tricky to break into chunks, be careful!!!

 In a medium sized glass or metal bowl, measure out your Cocoa Butter. 

Add in your Shea Butter.  Shea Butter is soft enough to be easily scooped out the the jar.  

Drizzle in the Kukui Nut Oil.  

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow the butters and oil to melt over low heat.  Takes about 5 minutes.  

Allow the melted mixture to cool at room temp for about 10 minutes and then transfer to your freezer for 20 minutes. 

Blend mixture with a whisk attachment for about 5 minutes and place back into the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes.  

 It is getting there!! See how it is starting to turn creamy colored.  Keep whisking and if necessary return to the freezer until mixture is super cold.  

 Almost ready, just keep whisking!!! Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. This is the point when you can add in your essential oils. 

Yes!!! We have Whipped Shea Body Butter!!! Looks good enough to eat....but don't!!!

Just for fun, I like to place the body butter in a piping bag, snip the end and pipe it into my containers.  Make sure to use your body butter within 60 days.  Keep in a cool and dark place.  Hot temperatures will cause it to melt.  I like to keep a batch in the fridge during Summer.  Just make sure you clearly label your container.  

I hope you enjoy this beauty recipe.  As always, I would love to hear from you when you make this. Let me know how your batch turned out.  Green Blessings!!!

This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs, . Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!

Killing Kids with Love

We’re Killing Our Kids and Calling it Love
Love is patient. Love is kind. And you know what else? Love doesn’t spoil.
Used by permission

When I was growing up, one of the worst insults that could be hurled at a child (or his parents) was that he was a spoiled brat. It was a phrase that wasn’t used very often, but when it was, it stung. No one wanted to hear the perception that a child was spoiled.

Now, we hardly hear the phrase, but maybe it’s because so many children are spoiled. Has the phrase decreased as the problem increased?
Out of curiosity, I looked up the meaning of “spoil.” Here, it means “to harm the character of a child by being too lenient or indulgent.
That’s convicting.

It’s hard to parent, and it’s particularly hard to parent when we have long-term goals but face pressing, short-term issues. When a child is squalling because he wants a piece of candy, it’s so much easier to give him the candy to keep the peace. When he is complaining because all of his friends have the latest, expensive whatever-it-is, it’s so much easier to give in to make him happy with you. When the house is dirty, it’s just easier to clean it yourself than to teach him and then insist that he do his part.
It’s easier to spoil the child, and maybe that’s why we’re doing it. It’s easier, and it makes the child happy. After all, isn’t that what we’re after? Happy children?
I hope not.
The measuring stick of successful parenting is definitely not happy children. Well-adjusted, responsible, kind, and selfless? Absolutely. Happy and spoiled? No way.
Look back at the definition of spoiled. When we are too lenient or too indulgent, giving our kids too much of what they don’t need, we are simultaneously harming their character.

We try to justify our indulgence and leniency by telling ourselves we’re showing them love. We tell ourselves that we’re giving our children everything we never had. We convince ourselves that we don’t want them to feel different, left out, or lacking.
We tell ourselves a lot of things, but we forget to tell ourselves the truth.
The truth is that giving them everything they want and ask for is the opposite of showing them love. It’s showing them that they’re the center of the universe, and it’s teaching them that the purpose of their lives is fulfillment of their material desires.
Do we even realize what we’re doing? Maybe not. If we were aware that we were hurting their character, surely we would stop. The deceiver wants us to ruin them from the start, so he deceives us from the start. We’re blinded to the harm we’re doing.
You’ve seen what I’ve seen in the world. Two-year-olds ruling their households, with their parents afraid to set bedtimes and asking instead of telling. Five-year-olds demanding toys in Target – and receiving them “just because.” Ten-year-olds who “will only wear name-brand clothes.”  Sixteen-year-olds who drive nicer cars than their parents and carry handbags that cost hundreds of dollars.
Children are being spoiled, parents are giving in, and society is suffering.
It’s not about whether we can afford these things or not. (And in many cases, we can’t. We keep up with the Joneses by keeping our debt accumulating. We keep working ourselves to death so we can give our kids all they want. We’re not spending our extra cash – we’re spending our only cash. We work overtime and stress ourselves out, and then we just dole out the stuff to the kids who haven’t lifted a finger for it.) Even if we could afford to give our kids everything they want, we shouldn’t do it. Life is not about possessions, and spoiling children with possessions teaches them it is.
Denying your children will not ruin them. It will not destroy their lives, and it will not leave them friendless. Yes, it may make them upset momentarily. Yes, it may make them a little different from their friends. Yes, it may mean your family isn’t just like everyone else’s. But isn’t that a good thing?
When your child is older and understands why you stood your ground, he will see that you were teaching what matters in the long run. He will see that sacrifice leads to greater blessings. He will see that you loved him enough to say no.
Love is patient. Love is kind. And you know what else? Love doesn’t spoil.

This article originally appeared
Jennie Scott
Jennie Scott is a divorced and remarried mom of two whose life has been far from perfect and completely different from what she planned. What she has found, though, is that God has provided exactly what she needed through it all. He is teaching her to enjoy the journey even when the path is winding and difficult. Jennie blogs at

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bear One Another's Burdens

by Barbara Lea Campbell
Used by permission
I was reading in Galatians yesterday in chapter 6.  I love verse 2.  Just a wonderful command for us. I decided to do a bit of digging and look up the original meaning of the word "bear" (I love going back to original language and meaning). Bear here means to take up with hands, to put upon one's self to be carried, to sustain, support.

To me, it is a picture of not just being concerned about someone's situation, but doing something about it. No doubt there are many situations we can do nothing about.  I can't cure your parent's disease or bring your rebellious child home, but I can listen. I can give you a break if you are a caregiver. I can provide a meal. I can help around your house. I can do "whatever" to lighten your load if only for a bit. And I can pray, not just a one-time prayer but I can come along side you and pray fervently for your situation.
When I do this.. reach out and help in whatever way I can, Gal 6:2 tells me I am fulfilling the Law of Christ. I am sure someone who has a great deal more theological knowledge than I would have a grand explanation.  But yesterday as I pondered this I kept thinking of Jesus being asked by the Pharisee which commandment was the greatest and He replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

I'm thinking when I carry your burden for a bit, pray for you and do whatever, I can to lighten your load.  Then I am loving you as myself and obeying Christ which is an outward display of my love for God. I am hoping I am able to lighten a few loads today through the power of Christ in me.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Tending Your Marriage Garden

by pamela spurling -- April 25th, 2017
Used by permission

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll remember I often make references to my gardens. Not so much to share gardening techniques or skills, but what’s growing in the gardens.  I think more than in any other place, I find instruction in the garden.  It seems the Lord meets me out there in ways I can never anticipate — but one thing I can or do anticipate is that He will be out there with me and He’ll have something to show me.

So I was walking around today to see the work ahead in the garden.  I shouldn’t wonder, but I do this every year.  And sure enough, the Lord met me in the garden as I was singing and admiring the new growth, the blossoms, the tulips…  And then beside our house there’s that incredibly fast spreading Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium ‘Variegatum’).  It’s beautiful, soft and such pretty shades of green.  And it spreads everywhere.  Kinda like mint. 

I’d been reflecting on last night mom’s meeting at church where the topic of discussion was: marriage.  And I’d also been thinking of a couple of devotionals I’d read this morning.  So, it’s not surprising that when I was looking at that pretty Bishop’s Weed, I noticed something else — something that wasn’t visible to me last year but seems to have crept in over the winter and into this springtime.
As I have noticed through the years, weeds in the garden tend to look very similar to the plants they grow beside.  In fact, it’s often so difficult to see the difference that it’s easy to miss them entirely.

I stopped to reflect on last night’s talk… on my thoughts that lingered long after the meeting.  I thought on a scripture that wasn’t brought up last night:  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.”  –Song of Solomon 2.15-16.

The leaves of that “Bishop’s Weed” are beautiful, very soft and tender — and if I don’t get out there and remove that invasive dark green weed, it will choke out and overtake the tender plant.  Same with those little foxes–those weeds: poor or wrong attitudes, habits, actions, words in marriage.  

Weeds in marriage are pesky, invasive destroyers. Have you thought about those things  lately?

Have you reread some of those earlier embraced books on your shelf?  Have you listened again to recorded messages that were once inspiring to you?  Have you revisited notes, decisions, plans you once had regarding your marriage?  Have you looked back on memories of the sweet words, dates, walks, talks, future-plans?

Is there some cultivating you need to do? You know, every seed grows; and in the seeds of today there are tomorrow’s plants, shrubs, trees, flowers.  Not every seed brings desirable fruit — some are weed seeds — weed seeds that grow into plants and vines that are set to destroy all the beautiful plants. And many a beautiful plant (read: marriage) was destroyed by an invasive weed.

I thought on all this this morning as I took a closer look around the gardens.  And I asked the Lord again, as I did last night, what do You want me to do?  Will you show me the little foxes that are spoiling the vines?  And I ask the Lord… will you fill me and equip me to do Your will, and will You help me to be ever more the wife my husband needs?

Patterns for Living ~ A Jesus Christ Original

Thanks to Gayenelle Wakely who shared this with me!

$ Priceless                                             All Sizes

Material Required:
A life (young or old) filled with determination, will power, and the Spirit of God.  Synthetic material not recommended.

Notions Needed:
Elasticity                               Interfacing

Variety                                   Lip Zipper
Sense of Humor                   Backbone Stiffening

How wide is your understanding?
How long is your patience?
How deep is your love?                          Galatians 5:22-23

Pattern Instructions:
Step 1 ~ Pattern for Adjustment
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
~ Colossians 1:10
"He must increase, but I must decrease."
~ John 3:30

Step 2 ~ Planning the Layout
"Let all things be done decently and in order."
~ I Corinthians 14:40

"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."
~ Matthew 6:33

Step 3 ~ Instructions for Cutting
Cut all the unkind criticism, gossip, and fault finding.
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you..."
~ Ephesians 4:31

Step 4 ~ Seam Allowance
Give others the benefit of the doubt.
"And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
~ Galatians 6:9-10

Step 5 ~ Pressing
It is necessary to press after each step.
"I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 3:14

Step 6 ~ Putting Together

"Add to your faith virtue; to virtue knowledge; to knowledge temperance; to temperance patience; to patience godliness; to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love."

~ II Peter 1:5-7

Step 7 ~ Insertion

Join in some joy and laughter.
"A merry heart doeth good like medicine."
~ Proverbs 17:22
"Yes, happy is that people whose God is the Lord."
~ Psalm 144:15

Step 8 ~ Ruffling
Don't get ruffled.  There's none called for in this pattern!
"Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you."
~ I Peter 5:7

Step 9 ~ Zipper (Lips)
"Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips."
~ Psalm 141:3
(Translation of above)  "Lord, fill my mouth with proper stuff, and nudge me when I've said enough."

Step 10 ~ Facing (the Task)

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
~ Philippians 4:13
"In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works."
~ Titus 2:7

Step 11 ~ Finishing Details
"I have finished my course; I have kept the faith."
~ II Timothy 4:7
"Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
~ Revelation 2:10

Love to Mamas of Prodigals

The very mention of the word, prodigal, brings to mind a flood of memories. I’ve written about, spoken at retreats and women’s studies, and have shared my own experiences as a mamas of prodigals. 
I had a section on the old site – a page dedicated to prodigals and waywards.  So often, through the years, I’ve had women share their stories, share advice, share their struggles and disappointments and feelings of utter failure and hopelessness.   Usually all I can say is that I understand.  

They probably think I don’t.  But I do. I really do. Time never seems to allow for elaborating my reason for empathy… but somehow I’m able to convey enough that these mamas get it.  They get that I get them — that I understand.

I read another great article from Revive Our Hearts today… It was encouraging to me, affirming what I already know and reminding me to walk in the grace the Lord has given me.  I think it just might encourage you, too. Ministering to Moms of Prodigal Children

God bless you as you continue to travel the narrow path… trusting the Saviour for His great plans. Love to you today. ♥

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to Raise a Crook / God's Instructions

1.  Give him everything he wants.  This way he will grow up to believe that the world owes him a living.

2.  Never give him spiritual training.  Wait until he is twenty-one and then let him decide for himself.

3.  Avoid using the word, "wrong."  It might make him feel guilty and his schoolwork will suffer.

4.  Do not make him work at home.  Do his work for him so he will learn at an early age to leave the responsibility to others.

5.  Let him watch anything he wants so he can learn from television how to get along in the world.

6.  Give him spending money so he won't be frustrated by having to earn his own.

7.  Do not make rules for him---you might make him angry at you.

8.  When he gets bad grades, blame the teachers.

9.  When he gets in trouble in school, blame the principal.

10. When he loses his job, blame the boss.

11. When he gets caught drunk driving, blame his friends.

12. Let him experiment with sex, drugs, and alcohol so he will be able to make an educated decision.

13. Buy him a car as soon as he can drive so he will have the freedom to go wherever he wants.
--from The Presbyterian Journal written in a gospel tract

God's Word to Parents

Bring our children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4 (NAS)

These commandments are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your homes and on your gates. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (NIV)

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)