Thursday, June 16, 2016

Daily Bible Reading Challenge

Well, this post is a lot later than I planned. We currently have my in-laws visiting and have also just had a lot of other things going on. But no matter what is going on in life God's word is a wonderful and necessary part of each day. I need something to help me keep the right focus in the midst of busy times.

 Here are some of the treasures I found in God's word last week:

What caused me to worship God more?
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." Ephesians 2:4-10

What an amazing promise! What an amazing gift! What a reason to worship!

What scripture touched me?
"Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity." Ephesians 2:12-16

I am so thank-ful for Christ making it so that I can be brought near to God. That He got rid of the wall that divided us. What an amazing gift.

What prompts me to action?
  "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which  you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:1-3

This is still very much a work in progress for me to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit to help me to walk in humility, gentleness, patience and love. I pray often that we Christians would have unity in the Spirit. Oh that everyone would diligently study God's word and seek to follow it while having humility, gentleness, patience and love - what awesome unity that would bring.

What interesting fact did I read?
"Nevertheless, each individual among you also it to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." Ephesians 5:33

I just think that the Bible is pretty cool in all the basic, straightforward instructions that it gives. The concept is quite simple - Men: Love your wife as much as you love yourself. Women: Respect your husband. It doesn't matter if it is hard. You can do hard things with God's help!

What have you been reading in the Bible lately? I would love to hear what has touched you.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

VBS - A long, fun, tiring, rewarding day

 We had a one day Vacation Bible School at church today.

Legos were part of the theme.
 The main theme was the days of Creation
 We had fun decorating on Monday.
 Grapes even "grew".
 Lots of kids came.
Benjamin did a great job leading.
 Separating waters was fun.
 What surprises are in these Legos?
 Let's eat lunch!
 The older kids learn about the solar system.
 It is a lively place.
 27 kids in one class!
 Ready to paint stars.
 Can you make an animal?
 Designing t-shirts with Lego men on them.
Being busy before they rest.

I am tired.
It is time for me to close my eyes and rest too.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Daily Bible Reading Challenge

This past week I really enjoyed my time of reading through the book of Galatians. I read sections from other books too but Galatians we probably my favorite this week. Here are some treasures that I found there.

What caused me to worship God more?
"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." Galatians 4:4-7

That God was willing to send His Son to die for us definitely prompts me to worship Him more! What a extreme gift that He allows us to be His children and call Him "Daddy! Father!".

What Scripture Touched me?
"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." Galatians 9:8

What a beautiful encouragement!

What prompts me to action?
"Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Sometimes we are so caught up in our own burdens that it can be hard to think about helping others but I think this scriptural reminder is a good one because often when we take time to help others with their burdens then ours seem more manageable too.

What interesting fact did I find?
"You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." Galatians 5:4 

This was so interesting to me that if someone tried to justify himself by following the law rather than relying on Jesus' free gift that it would cause them to be severed from Christ and fall from Grace.

I would love to hear about any scripture that you have read this past week and your thoughts on it!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Frugal Friday

 Do your days fly by quickly too? Here it is already Friday again- it is amazing to me! I have been missing writing Frugal Friday posts as my time just seems to get away from me. But I remembered today so here it is.

Our house has been looking in need of landscaping since we finished it. I wanted to landscape but didn't feel like now was a good time to put a lot of money into the project as we have more important projects waiting.
 The other day my sweet neighbor, Alice offered for me to get a bunch of plants from her as hers were needing dividing. Life has been busy and I wasn't sure when exactly I would get it done but I did want them and am exceedingly grateful.
 We had a bunch of rocks left over from making the fireplace - so I am using those to go around the beds. So far I have transplanted Astilbe, Hostas, Bee Balm, Daisies and more from Alice's garden. I have also transplanted some wild things from the woods (wild but beautiful!) and have planted some seeds in the gardens. I am still quite a ways from done but it is looking better already and it was all free! (Except for a few seeds).
 It has been so fun to check out perennial things that we planted. These are producing food for us which is definitely a cost savings. The above picture is one of our highbush cranberry bushes.
 Here is our lovely rhubarb plant. We were able to harvest a little from it today to make a lovely rhubarb crisp. I am so thankful for our garden and all that it can produce and the money we are able to save from that.
I am also very thankful for our big kitchen that a bunch of us can work in easily - making yummy and healthy food very frugally. This picture is from this evening and I took it because I was just feeling very blessed. We had a lot going on in that room but we weren't feeling crowded or overwhelmed. It was just fun working together. Over on the left Jonathan was making oatmeal raisin cookies. Next to him on the counter was the crockpot holding a beef brisket (- I am so thankful that we are able to purchase beef in bulk!) for our supper. Next to that is a bowl of cream (we found a farmer that we can get raw cows milk from - Hooray! The kids and I are still primarily drinking goats milk from my parents - which they give us free!- but I started buying the raw cowsmilk for Ken and we are all enjoying the cream) which we made into butter. Over on and round the stove I was making mashed potatoes and peas for supper, boiled eggs for another day and a rhubarb crisp for this evening. On the Island Megan was making pumpkin bread. I am very thank-ful to have kids that enjoy baking/cooking and are willing to help in that area. Cooking from scratch saves a lot of money.

Some other ways we have saved money lately:


  • I used a gift card that I had won to buy a watch for me (the one I fixed up ended up stopping too) and an undergarment for Mara. It was nice not to have to spend any money out of pocket for things that we needed.
  • I have been having fun using a lot of repurposed items to make fun Bible story toys for my little tots Sunday school class. We like that class to be very interactive and so I was able to use old lids and such to make story toys for Noah's Ark and The Tower of Babel. I will try to take pictures sometime.
  • I was able to wear a pair of shoes out completely. It is nice to feel that you truly got your money's worth out of something. This pair of shoes had actually come from my Mom so I didn't even have to buy them. :-)
  • We started up our Summer Homeschool Baseball gatherings. It is a nice way for the kids to get to play baseball without paying anything (or running every day)!
I know there have been other frugal activities too but I am to tired to think of them right now. I would love to hear about your frugal activities though and meanwhile I will head to bed!





Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Biking at Itasca State Park

Yellow Ladyslippers were blooming all over.
 We are blessed to live within an hours drive of Itasca State Park - Home of the Mississippi Headwaters. This past Sunday afternoon we decided to take our bikes down there to go biking. Here are some pictures from that day:
 We rode the biking trails and then went on the complete loop around the park (we did around 18 miles) which also took us on a park road for part of the time. We loved seeing all the wild flowers all over as we rode. The Lady Slippers and Trilliums were the most prominent. I really love trilliums. We had them growing thickly at our first home in MN but haven't at our last 2 places.
 We stopped in at the actual headwaters. Aaron and Megan took off their shoes to walk across the rocks. Megan ended up slipping and getting fairly wet. A lot of people did that.
 I don't think I have ever had my picture by this sign before so I thought we should this time now that we live on the Mississippi too. This sign is a popular place for picture taking.

  It was fun at the headwaters seeing and hearing people of many cultures. I heard at least 5 different languages and saw all sorts of people.
 This is the size of the Mississippi as it starts. It is very shallow. It gets even narrower a bit further on.
 The trail was very full of hills. We enjoyed them going down but not always so much when we had to go up. It was great exercise.
 It was a beautiful day for a ride.
The towering trees are so neat.

Have any of you been to the headwaters of the Mississippi?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Daily Bible Reading Challenge

How is your Bible reading going? Are you trying to read through the Bible in a year? What is your method for getting into God's word? I would love to hear!

Here a some of my favorites from this past week:

What Caused me to Worship God more?
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything you may have an abundance for every good deed;" 2 Corinthians 9:8

God gives us sufficiency. He is the one that provides for us in abundance. That certainly causes me to worship him more.

What Touched Me?
"Now brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of afflictions their abundance of Joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us be the will of God. So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning so he would also complete in the you their gracious work as well." 2 Corinthians 8:1-6

To me, reading about the Macedonians and their sacrificial giving is very inspiring.

What prompted me to action?
 "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:10 & 11

I want to work at sowing more bountifully. May I truly be a cheerful giver.

What interesting fact did I see?
" Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14

This is a wise way to live your life. Unfortunately it isn't always popular but that doesn't make it wrong. Obviously this applies to marriage but can also apply in other areas.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day! A big thank-you to all of our veterans!


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