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August 8, 2016
Reshapingourfam

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Twisted

My life doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Everyday seems to be something new to distract me, disappoint, worry, or overwhelm me. Life bounces from one twist to another. If there’s no twist it’s probably because I’m upside down!

tangle

So lets back track a little …

In the beginning of June I was terminated from my job. The company had new management and over the course of about a year made some awful judgement calls. Being the patient person I am (as far as employment) I kept silent until I couldn’t any more. I spoke up to my direct supervisors and with no avail moved right up the chain of command. My attempts at resolution and feeling heard were ignored for over a year. Finally in June the management team searched hard and fired me for a harmless mistake.

I was hurt to say the least. I invested in my patients and the company and to be terminated by my superiors was the worst professional words I’ve ever heard. With that I left silently and began my search for a new job. God is good and provided me with two different jobs. The last few months have led to increased work hours and less time at home. My goal isn’t to be a “career woman.” My goal is to see my children grow in Christ and to spread the gospel.

In the beginning of July my Mother passed away unexpectedly. In the midst of finding a new job and training I needed to make a trip back to Ohio for her funeral service. Everyone knows when you switch jobs it throws off your pay schedule so that required some adjustments. Preparing a 1,026 mile trip wasn’t an easy task but it was necessary. My family and I spent about 4 days in Ohio with family and laying my Mom to rest. I had a wild mix of emotions but blessed to know that I’ll see my Mother again some day.

Shortly after my return home I started training for my second job (which is my primary place of employment). This second job is in one of our state prisons. This brings a level of fear and stress that only those in this atmosphere could understand. I then spent a week at the academy, away from my family. This training was great but it disturbed my family’s schedule.

So keeping in mind that our home-school year starts at the end of June … at this point we have only completed 3 days! If you’re a home-school Mom you can probably sense by frustration and stress.

Now at the beginning of August I was presented with the opportunity to allow my great-grandmother to come live with my family. She is 85 and beginning to get forgetful with poor judgement. Up to this point she has lived alone but that isn’t possible now. My family in Ohio has done an amazing job but my Grandma needs company at all times and there are few that can undertake this. At this point it is very likely that at the beginning of September my Grandma will be coming to stay. Pray for us!

In the midst of all this I’d like to say I’ve stayed faithfully connected to my savior. Unfortunately I have neglected that relationship and my soul feels it! By God’s grace I will fight for joy and satisfaction in him and nothing else. God is good and worthy to be praised!

Lord, I turn to you.

Psalm 25:1

 

September 10, 2015
Reshapingourfam

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Sustaining Fatih

Faith or fearful? Judges 6-8

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Gideon is our fifth judge; some know him as Jerubbaal.  He begins his campaign after God reminded the people of their disobedience. They fell back into their old habits and now was reaping the consequences of their actions. Midian harshly over powers them and leaves them nothing for gain. Seven years Israel is tortured and impoverished by their enemies with no relief in sight. The author mentions this confrontation by God to offer grace he freely offers. Israel didn’t accept the grace nor fall on their faces in repentance.

Therefore an Angel comes and calls Gideon out of hiding to save Israel. Gideon thinks of all the reasons why he was not the right candidate and seems to distrust God’s word. At the end of their discussion Gideon asks for a sign that what God has proclaiming would in fact come true. Gideon prepares a sacrifice for God and God delivers the sign faithfully. Now Gideon must have had the right idea of God because God has to soothe his fear of death after their interaction. This sounds much like another story in scripture, doesn’t it?

The first task assigned to Gideon was to tear down the false god being worshiped in the land.  Gideon fears the people and so completes the assignment over night. The men of the city confront the family and Gideon’s Dad stands up for him. At this time Gideon is given a nickname meaning “Let Baal plead against him.” This nickname reminds me of the bravery in tearing down the idol and invoking the wrath of that idol. Do you think this nickname is fitting to Gideon’s character?

We see an act of bravery from Gideon in 6:33. Gideon calls all the men to action and to fight with him against Midian. Now is this an act of bravery from Gideon or on his behalf by God? Verse 34 details the Spirit of God dwelling Gideon and causing his act of faith. But no sooner in verse 37 Gideon again tests God’s word whether it is true or not. So is Gideon a man of faith or a man of fear?

We move to the part of Gideon’s story that we are all to familiar with. God dwindles Gideon’s army down to just 300 men. Why do you think God did this? How would you respond if God took most of your resources away during a very difficult time in your life? Would you allow fear to consume you, pull your boot traps up, or pray for wisdom? Let’s see what Gideon does.

God calls Gideon to action that same night to fight his enemy. God also puts a clause in his statement, “But if you are afraid …..” Do you think God already knew of Gideon’s anxiety? In knowing this God setup Gideon’s personal motivational speech! Gideon worships God and sets out on his mission. He devises a plan and sets it in motion to the fall of the Midianite army. God’s grace weaves throughout scripture!

Following the battle Gideon tracks down the two kings of Midian and eventually kills them himself. Before the conclusion of his battle he promises physical torture to two cities who fail to give them food and water during their pursuit. upon the death of the Kings, Gideon reveals his vengeance against them and attempts to get his young son to kill them. When his son refuses Gideon slays them. After his Judgment ends he returns home to acquire many wives, sons, and concubines. His house has no respect from the people and Gideon is placed in a tomb with the other past judges.

I’ll let you decide if Gideon demonstrated true and lasting faith. I’ll let you prayerfully pray through this account and glean valuable life lessons! You see even stories we grew up with, that were painted as a grand example, can be sorely skewed to fit our own framework. God is calling us to true and lasting faith! Moments of bravery could simply be the grace of God’s Spirit acting through you …. you decide!

With Great Love & Truth,


September 7, 2015

I am so thankful for all who have taken a stand for our country. I appreciate all the small business owners, and those who work hard to make our country great. I love our country! We need to continue to fight for faith in a true and living God. Citizenship is a privilege here and we should not take that for granted. We aren’t perfect but we have hope and freedom. Happy Labor Day.

September 3, 2015
Reshapingourfam

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Mother of Isreal

Reading through these two chapters concerning Deborah was interesting and also entertaining. We see and understand that woman play a huge role in biblical history. We know that women were created equally but differently than men. Women have a unique occupation that only a woman can fill. As ladies we see things and feel things men just can’t begin to understand. This is exactly why God created us and why he uses us so influentially to impact others lives.

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So we are introduced to our 4th judge of Israel. This judge is divinely chosen and divinely created as a woman. Now we need to understand that yes God created men to lead, and yes women are to submit but God orchestrated this story with great detail and with great intention. The women mentioned here are simply obeying God’s command to his chosen nation. If these women are not in God’s will because of their methods then it would be hard to deem any Israelite soldier differently. These women performed just as God created them and in this case aided in delivering Israel from bondage.

Deborah steps into this role as a judge after the last judge had passed and Israel in a state of rebellion, again! She is a prophetess, a mouth used by God himself. Now at this time Israel again has been enslaved to an enemy namely Canaan. The commander of Canaan is Sisera and he cruelty rules Israel for 20 years (longest bondage yet). Now with God’s word she calls for her commander Barak who is going to save Israel. Her charge to Barak is bold and confident. In this culture it was not accepted for women to be in the position Deborah was in. Barak I am sure pushed the thought aside that he was being solicited by a woman.

Barak is hesitant to head into battle with the odds terribly against him. Canaan had chariots of Iron and that tells us they were wealthy and strong. Now in those days this would have been a suicide mission for Barak. Barak seeks Deborah’s presence during this battle and she agrees to attend. Now there are arguments that Barak was being a coward and not demonstrating faith. If you look in Hebrews 11:32 we see Barak listed as a man of faith. I believe Barak wanted the presence of his God with him and the closest thing he had was God’s mouthpiece.

As the story unfolds we see Sisera gather his army at the river of Kishon. Only during the dry season would this wise commander call his chariots and army near a river for battle. Otherwise the chariots would get stuck and the battle would turn into a slippery mess. In verse 11 we are introduced to Heber and Israelite family who had moved fairly close to Canaan. This seems kinda randomly mentioned but this is a very important detail. In two verses we are given the result of this massive battle with really no details at all. God destroys this army by Barak`s sword and not a man was left.

Verse 17 we see Sisera flee into the tent of Heber where apparently there was a contract of peace. Why was there a contract of peace between an Israelite and a known enemy? Heber had moved his family as close to the enemy as possible and had a peace agreement! What does this say about his character? Why does anyone have peace with the wicked? Now we see Jael, Heber’s wife, invite Sisera in and makes him very comfortable. So much so that he falls into a deep sleep and Jael drives a tent-peg through his temple. Graphic huh?

Why would the wife of Heber who had peace with this enemy do such a thing? Jael knew who the God of Israel was and what he expected. She understood her husband’s closeness to the enemy was wrong and she was going to stand for truth. Jael invited this commander into her tent with great risk to herself. Israel has victory and Canaan falls hard to an unlikely character.

We then move into chapter 5 where Deborah and Barak sing a victory song. So we no longer are reading a narrative but poetry. This changes our view and understanding of this portion of Judges. I want to take note of a couple important bits of information not mentioned in chapter four. First in verse 4 we see that Deborah states when Barak marched out to battle at the river of Kishon a great storm hit the battle field. Remember it’s suppose to be the dry season and so it sent the Canaanite army into confusion. The word “routed” in 4:15 means confusion; you see the connection?

Deborah then mentions the lack of leadership among Israel and how she came in as a Mother to Israel, she cared and nurtured it. She discloses the active tribes who trusted God and also those who sat on the sideline (v14-18). Again she mentions the rain washing the enemy away. In verse 23 she mentions the curse of Meroz which seems to imply a curse on those who wouldn’t come fight for God. She quickly moves into a blessing on Jael who had brought honor to God by her faith. If God calls her blessed who am I to say otherwise?

Now in the description of Sisera’s death take note that Jael used a common tool just as Shamgar had in chapter 3. Also note where he died, at Jael’s feet. Deborah then proclaims her perception of what Sisera’s Mother was thinking and feeling after the battle. Just as any Mother would be worried and anxious for her son’s safe return from war. His mother concluded what was logical and what her son’s habit was after a victory and that soothed her. Now the heartbreaking news is that Sisera’s habit was to divide up the women and rape them before returning home. Deborah knew Sisera’s habit, she perceives his Mother knew, and Jael most likely was aware of this disgusting betrayal of a women!!!!

What a piece of necessary but disturbing information! As Jael let this perverse man into her tent she knew his tendencies just the same. Jael was not about to ignore her nurturing, loving, sensitive spirit and allow this man to continue violating so many women. Now would a man also have picked up on Sisera’s cruel behavior, Maybe. Jael on the other hand probably felt a duty to stand for all women and in so doing she was called blessed!

Does this story call us women to gang up on men and stand for our rights. No, we are to joyfully submit and honor God through obeying his word. Even if our husbands were to lock arms with the enemy we are to stand and respectfully decline our partnership with sin. We as women have a magnificent role even today to stand for truth and justice. We cannot forget that even on those gloomy days at home with our children we can make a difference. We can be strengthened by his word and pray daily for grace and wisdom. Don’t sit on the sidelines and just allow sin to reign in your heart. Battle against your sin and remember God is your commander and he will have victory!

With Great Love and Truth,

September 1, 2015
Reshapingourfam

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Master’s Academy

This week has been a good week. We are several lessons ahead in our math work and on pace with our other subjects. We actually took a WHOLE day off to help refocus my heart.

This coming week we start our classical conversations memory work. Please pray for us as we increase our workload. We will be joining another family weekly to do presentations, art, and science projects. The boys really enjoy this and it’s great for accountability.

If you home school and use Classical Conversations let me know so I can pray for you and also so we can exchange ideas. Have a great week!

With Great Love and Truth,

Natural Remedies for Life

"All that man needs for health and healing has been provided by God in nature, the challenge of science is to find it." Philippus Theophrastrus Bombast that of Aureolus ~ Paracelsus (1493-1541)

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The Grace Between

the good byes of an army wife. the good hellos of an army life. the grace poured out between.

-- Mystery32

Mystery32

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