Thursday, January 31, 2013

When we give the government the power to make medical decisions for us...

Singleness, Love and Marriage

"Singleness is not the ideal state. 
How can you be truly complete when your other half is still out there?" 
 -Pastor Voddie Baucham

I love that quote!  God said it was not good for man to be alone, and so He made woman and brought her to the heart says, "Amen"!  :-) But many questions come up when thinking about marriage and love.  How can we know if we're ready for marriage?  How do we know if he or she is ready for marriage?  And does love and marriage really look like Hollywood portrays it?  What is true, biblical love?  Voddie Baucham answers these questions in his fantastic 4 part sermon series called, "Love and Marriage".  So worth listening to and our family highly recommends them! You can watch all four parts on youtube by clicking the links below. We would love it if you would leave us a comment and share your thoughts on the topic and these messages, if you would care to share them. 

Posted By Breanna

Furnace of Joy

"When the cold air comes on in, it kicks the furnace on, and the furnace overwhelms the cold. As the sorrow comes into the heart of a Christian, it kicks on more of the joy. It gets you closer to him, it helps you dig down deeper into him, and the joy kicks up, you might say, like a furnace, and overwhelms the sorrow. That is a picture of a solid Christian. Not a sorrow-less person who is happy, happy, happy, all the time. That’s not the picture. A picture of a real Christian is a person who has a furnace of joy in there that kicks up as the sorrow comes in and overwhelms the sorrow. But the sorrow is there. It is there." 
-Tim Keller (1990)

The House that Mom Built~Stacy McDonald

Unlike The House that Jack Built, Mom’s House isn’t built in a day…

 There are so many ways we women can either build up or, in contrast, tear down their own houses. As mothers, we have the choice each day whether or not we’re going to be an influence for godly growth and joy in our households. In this talk Stacy discusses some of the qualities of a wise woman, and just what makes her wise.

I was blessed and challenged as I listened to this message.  And though she's mainly speaking to married women, she also addresses the young ladies role in this as well.  Very inspiring and thought provoking!

I took a few notes that I thought I'd share here, but please don't replace them for listening to the message! :-)

12 ways women can foolishly tear down their houses:
-be hyper critical of your husband and children
-nag them constantly
-ignore the house work
-put your husband down privately and publicly
-be unfaithful and untrustworthy
-be careless and sloppy about your appearance, especially when your husband is home
-be lazy and spend money carelessly
-gossip about your family, especially your husband
-use your tongue as a weapon
-refuse to submit to your husband
-be sure to disrespect him to the children
-watch soap-operas and romanticize about how much kinder other husbands are

A wise woman, a woman who builds her house:
-is not contentious (verbally contentious or giving the silent treatment)
-she uses her tongue to speak wisdom and kindness
-she avoids gossip and vain talk
-she submits to her husband in an expression of faith to God
-she’s industrious and hard working
-she has a meek and quiet spirit

A wise woman isn’t perfect, but she puts her faith in the One who is.
It all boils down to that a wise woman loves.

“Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity.  Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness.  Hence, where there is love in the home, unselfishness is the law; each forgets self and lives for others.”  -J.R. Miller 

~Posted By Breanna

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Esther preparing for the Snow

The last two days have been somewhat like spring for us here in Ohio but the wind has already started and although it is currently 50 degrees within hours it is saying that it will be 30 degrees colder and stay there.  Breanna did this little art project today with Esther.  She had so much fun making Mr. and Mrs. Snowman.  Perhaps within a few day she'll be outside building some real ones too. 

Our Sheriff's Hard at Work!

After sharing with Tayte what Bell, Ti and I had been studying, he went off do some of his own.  Leave it to him to find something really cool!!!  Here is our sheriff's department hard at work.  This is really neat to us because we travel these roads and actually used to live on the one road.  Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.  Tayte said the trial for this incident is currently going on.

Today's Politcal Class . . . Sheriff's

I so love home education!!!  We have been studying current political issues each day.  Today we watched the below short video and then dug in just a little bit to learn more about the office of Sheriff.  Here is what we found.  I hope you will be inspired to do a little research to learn about where your sheriff stands on some of the very important issues that are facing us today.

Here is what we learned about our Sheriff.
Defiance County Sheriff
David J. Westrick
113 Biede Ave.
Defiance, Ohio 43512
Sheriff Westrick has served Defiance County since 1985.
He is a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

Who is a sheriff?
1) Sheriffs are constitutional officers, meaning they are all elected into office by popular vote.
2) Sheriffs do not have a supervisor. They don’t have to answer to a board of supervisors or county administrator. However, any extra funding that’s not mandated by law is controlled by county government.
Sheriffs are responsible for:
1) Executing and returning process, meaning they serve all civil papers, such as divorce papers, eviction notices, lien notices, etc. They must also return a copy of the executed paperwork to the clerk of court.
2) Attending and protecting all court proceedings in the jurisdiction. A sheriff may appoint deputies to assist with all duties.
3) Preserve order at public polling places.
4) Publish announcements regarding sale of foreclosed property. The sheriff is also responsible for conducting public auctions of foreclosed property.
5) Serving eviction notices. The sheriff must sometimes forcibly remove tenants and their property from their homes or businesses.
6) Maintain the county jail and transport prisoners to and from court. The sheriff is also responsible for transporting county prisoners to state prison after they’re been sentenced by the court.
7) In many areas the sheriff is responsible for all law enforcement of their jurisdiction. Some towns do not have police departments, but all jurisdictions (with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and Connecticut) must have a sheriff’s office.
Sheriffs and their deputies have arrest powers in all areas of the county where they were elected, including all cities, towns, and villages located within the county.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Free pancakes at IHOP February 5th!

Mark your calendars! National Pancake Day at IHOP is going to be hosted on February 5, 2013. Guests can stop by for a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes.

All guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals© or other designated local charities.

You can also still get a coupon for a free meal at IHOP when you sign up for their email list.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Let the Campaigning Begin . . .

Get your free Rand Paul bumper sticker 
Go Rand Paul!!!

He Did not Bring Us This Far to Leave Us

Posted by: Brittany

Early this afternoon I was reminded of this precious song.  Truly, no matter what the Lord is taking us through right now, we can be assured that it is for our good, and that He is using it to draw us closer to Himself.  This is a comforting thought!  Whether we are dealing with failure, hurt, fear, or any given circumstance, it is another way for us to see that we are His beloved children that He will never leave or forsake.  Take courage and strength in His promises!


He didn't bring us this far to leave us
He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown
He didn't build His home in us to move away
He didn't lift us up to let us down

There are some promises in a letter
Written a long, long time ago
They're not getting older, they're getting better
Because He still wants us to know

He didn't bring us this far to leave us
He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown
He didn't build His home in us to move away
He didn't lift us up to let us down (to let us down, let us down)
He didn't lift us up to let us down

Never use the word defeat
Claim His promises, every one of them
And every spoken word He'll hear
Because we're everything to Him

He didn't bring us this far to leave us
He didn't teach us to swim to let us drown
He didn't build His home in us to move away
He didn't lift us up to let us down (to let us down, let us down)
He didn't lift us up to let us down

Interesting Weather

We're certainly having some interesting weather here in northwest Ohio these days.  It is a bit warmer, and very foggy tonight.  When I got on my computer this evening and saw my little weather button, I couldn't help but to snip it to share with all of you.

When the weather is changing all the time, it is a good reminder to be grateful.  So often we are prone to complain if the weather is not just what we were hoping for.  Some years ago, after reading The Sovereignty of God by A. W. Pink, our family changed our attitude toward the weather drastically.  The Lord is appointing every aspect of the weather.  Who are we to complain against God!  Now that is a perspective to think about, when we are tempted to complain. :-)

Posted by: Brittany

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Think of Your Life as a Story That is Being Written

Written by: Breanna
Have you ever read a biography about a godly person from the past and been half way through it to find yourself almost just holding your breath in amazement because it seems like this person’s life is falling apart and makes no sense, but you keep on reading with anticipation waiting for and knowing that all of the pieces come together by the time it ends? 

Such is your life, my friend, and mine.  Only we’re only part way through the story, only able to see part of the picture.  We’re still in the middle….perhaps living with anticipation of unfolding dreams, or perhaps in the midst of a heart-rending situation that seems nearly impossible to see how this can be a good thing and how it will turn out right. 

But there is One who sees the big picture…God.  Not only does He already know how the story is going to end, but He has ordained your story.  He has already written your story, and He’s unfolding it in your life. 

And let me tell you something so comforting and exciting- your story is an awesome one that is beautiful!

You may be thinking, “It sure doesn’t feel awesome or beautiful right now!” and that may be true.  But think of the big picture, the end of the story.  By the time you read the last sentence on the last page of the book, you understand how each piece fit together to bring about this amazing story.  The same will be true in your life.

God is bringing about each situation, each heartache, each anticipation, everything…He is the One that is bringing it about in your life as He writes on the pages of your biography.  And He delights in the plans that He has for us! 

My friend, are we willing to allow God to write His story for our lives?  Can we open ourselves up in faith before Him and from the heart say, “Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way.  Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.  Mold me and make me after Thy will, while I am waiting yielded and still”? 

Is it always easy?  No!  Sometimes it hurts so bad we don’t know if the sunshine will ever come out again, if the tears will cease to flow, and we question how this is ever going to turn out well.  But God has promised that He works all things together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.  The Scriptures say that there is a blessing for the one who remains steadfast during trial.  Why?  Because they come out shining, with a story that gives the Lord Jesus Christ glory and honor and brings us to delight in Him and draws us to love Him more and more!  Do you pray for conformity to the Lord Jesus Christ?  You should.  Then don’t be surprised when He is at work in your life with the chisel and hammer! Though God has promised to bless the righteous, and that He has plans for our welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope, He has also promised that He will, “refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.” That’s not a pain free process, but one that is well worth it.  And He has promised us the comfort and strength to go through it. Believe in all of those promises and don't buy into the lies that tell us that He's not working or fulfilling His promises in our lives.  Because He is and He is faithful and does not lie.  It's just that He's often not doing it the way you think He should be or how you expected Him to.  The moment you surrendered your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, you surrendered to Him as your Lord and Master.  You are no longer your own.  Therefore, because He loves us and wants to get the glory in lives, He will write our story as He sees fit and it will be one marvelous work of art when it is finished and the Author will be magnified for His skill and work. 

Believe Him and trust Him! Say with me along with the father of the demon possessed son who first cried out to the Lord Jesus in this manner, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 

The Cry of My Heart

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Addition to our Favorite Websites List

Hello all!  I was thinking earlier today about some of the websites that have been a real blessing to our family over the years.  One of them is A Daily Dose of Spurgeon.  Our family has been using this sight for quite a while to access Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals, along with his Faith's Checkbook devotional.  Though a hard copy is in many ways ideal, the internet is once again an excellent resource for priceless spiritual encouragement.  So......... I've added this website to our lists of favorites.  Hope that you'll check it out if you're not familiar with these devotionals, and book mark the site for future use.
Blessings to all,
Brittany for the family

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Accepting the Grace and Forgiveness of Christ

By: Brittany Ann Alexander
Accepting the grace and forgiveness of Christ is a hard thing for some of us to grasp.  I for one have greatly struggled with this over the years.  After recently seeking to encourage a dear friend in this way, Mom asked me today to share how the Lord brought me to the point of being able to see more clearly why I was not willing to accept this precious gift and how He worked in me to finally be able to.  I pray it will be a blessing to those of you who read it.

The Lord brought me to the gracious point of salvation after many years of deep spiritual struggle.  But after that, I somewhat lapsed back into a few years of serious warfare.  God was definitely at work in my heart, but there was so much sin and self to be purged out, and I had some tough lessons to learn.

I was very discouraged by my continual falling back into old sinful habits.  I so did not want to be that person.  My tendency is to give in to the defeat of my failure.  Once, I had been extremely irresponsible and had fallen back into something yet again.  As a result of this sin, I was not going to have what we were suppose to have for dinner ready on time.  Mom had just recently given birth to one of my younger siblings, so some neighbors of ours had dropped in to see us and also brought a meal.  I refused to serve that for dinner, insisting on making something from scratch.  Why?  Because I felt that I had messed up so badly, I had to punish myself.  I knew I did not deserve the ‘night off’ from cooking that was provided.  No, that would have helped cover up my mistake, and I wouldn’t take any help.  This is something I had been characterized by my whole life.

The Lord used that particular circumstance to open my eyes to the truth.  I do fail.  I always will.  But I do not need to punish myself for it.  As a child of God, I have been forgiven and cleansed from my sin through Jesus Christ.  He has wiped my slate clean.  He took the punishment and guilt for me.  To deny His gift of grace and forgiveness is to deny the very cross work of Christ in my life.

I never deserved His grace in the first place.  As a now redeemed child of His, I still don’t deserve it.  But that’s not the point.  He gives it.  It is a gift intended to be paid for by Him.  But it takes humility to accept that grace, and the undeserved reconciliation and gifts that go along with it.  It is all there for us, if we will only accept.

Though I still struggle at times, the Lord has brought me to the point of being able to accept His wonderful gift through Jesus Christ.  I am beloved by God in Christ.  He has freely given me all things in Jesus.  There is indescribable joy and peace to be found here.  Praise the Lord for His wonderful mercy and grace.

Black Bean Brownies

Okay before you turn your nose up and even begin to think that these are not totally delicious . . .

let me assure you that they are!!!!  And to top it off they are even gluten free and pretty healthy!
Our guys know and love their brownies and these totally passed!!!

Black Bean Brownies
In a strong blender, such as a Vitamix, or a food processor, blend the following together for 2-3 minutes.
 4 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 1/2 cup quick oats or oat bran
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3/4 cup coconut oil (or your choice)
1 cup honey
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla

Once you have this blended, stir in 1&1/2 cups of chocolate chips (we like the dark ones).  :-) Spread in a greased 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle more chocolate chips on the top if desired.  Bake for 28-30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Let us know if you give them a try and what you thought.

Interesting Perspective

'We defend our President--------------with men with guns
We defend our Congressmen---------with men with guns
We defend our Governors-------------with men with guns
We defend our celebrities-------------with men with guns
We defend our sporting events-------with men with guns
We defend our jewelry stores--------with men with guns
We defend our banks------------------with men with guns
We defend our office buildings--------with men with guns
We defend our factories---------------with men with guns
We defend our courts------------------with men with guns
We defend our children----------------with a sign that reads: "GUN FREE ZONE." ' - Ken KaƮketsu Stanton

Sunday, January 20, 2013

3 Questions to Answer

1.  Who is your master?
2.  What is your call?
3.  What is your purpose in life?

Our pastor has just begun working through the book of Romans and these are three key questions that he has said run as a vein throughout the book.   Paul answered them in Romans 1:1.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Call to Anguish

A dear friend shared this seven-and-a-half minute video this morning.  It is so powerful and convicting!  Well worth the listen!  I hope it ministers to some of you as much as it did to me!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Promises of God

No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness."
(Rom 4:20-22)ESV

Saturday, January 12, 2013

God is doing 10,000 things in your life this year...


“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them. There are three granite foundation stones under this confidence for 2013: God’s love. God’s sovereignty. God’s wisdom.  Therefore, no matter what you face this year, God will be doing 10,000 things in your life that you cannot see. Trust him. Love him. And they will all be good for you.”
-John Piper

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

See the Beauty and the Goodness and Be Thankful Always!

Thankfulness or unthankfulness is largely a matter of the attitude of our heart. Two men look at the same scene: one sees the defects and the imperfections; the other sees the beauty and the brightness.  If you cannot find things to be thankful for today, and every day--the fault is in yourself, and you ought to pray for a changed heart--a heart to see God's goodness and to praise Him. A joyful heart transfigures all the world around us! It finds something to be thankful for in the barest circumstances, even in the dark night of the soul. Let us train ourselves to see the beauty and the goodness in God's world, and in our own circumstances--and then we shall stop grumbling, and be content and thankful in all situations. - J.R. Miller