Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bible study books

It is that time of year again when Bible study groups decide which book to study for the fall season.
I wanted to pass on some of the different Bible studies that we have done in our church.

Just a bit of a background - our ladies bible study meets once a week and during the fall season (September to December) we study a book of the Bible, usually using Kay Arthur. From January to the end of the season we study from a guide/book. This has been a good balance learning more about the Bible and then using good authors such as Jerry Bridges to apply what we have learned.
This past fall we studied the book of Ruth with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. I cannot say enough good about this bible study. The book of Ruth was opened up in a whole new light to me. There are many life lessons in Ruth that apply to every woman in whatever season of life she is in. Ruth dealt with hardships, trusting God, bitterness, forgiveness, and the joy of being redeemed.
Our group would meet in the morning and have a discussion with the book provided and then we would watch a video for the next week. The video was made in the days of puffed up bangs and puffed up floral dresses with huge shoulder pads, so we had a few good laughs with Nancy's wardrobe. This bible study was well received by our whole group.  The only problem is that there are only 8 lessons instead of the regular 12.

We have the college and career group come over to our home every other Sunday evening and we did a series from Tim Keller called "Gospel in Life - Grace changes Everything." We learned about the heart, idolatry, witnessing, working and witnessing, and eternity. We would have our discussion and then watch a ten minute DVD session that came with it. Adam and I learned a lot through the book and with our discussions. We looked forward to those Sunday evenings with the young people talking about their schooling and job searching. Our kids loved having the group over too and wanted to stay up with them - so much so, that it was hard getting the boys into bed and keeping them in bed during the evening.
When the group came over, our boys would sneak downstairs and do something to everyone's shoes. They hid the shoes, tied their shoes together, made pyramids with them, and spelt words with their shoes. We always had a chuckle seeing what they came up with.

There is also the men's Saturday morning bible study that meets every other Saturday morning. They have used John MacArthur's study guides going through James and now Hebrews. In the past they have also studied "Disciplines of a Godly Man" by Kent Hughes, a very good book for groups or just one on one.

So I hope that this helps you and if you have been part of some good bible studies feel free to pass some recommendations along.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


It was nine years ago that Oma went to grandparents day at school and visited many of her 29 grandchildren. She caught up with friends and watched her grandchildren perform- it was just a wonderful day for the grandchildren and all of the grandparents. That night, Oma, who was in good health, died in her sleep. When we received the phone call early in the morning that our Oma died, it sent the whole family reeling in shock and disbelief. Friends and family could not believe that they had just seen her at grandparents day and everything was fine. You see, Oma was no ordinary woman. She was loved by everyone. Her home was wide open to all that came by. She had everyone over and you always felt so welcomed. She kept conversations going and told hilarious stories. She never lost an opportunity to play a good joke on someone and then would laugh until the tears came streaming down her cheeks. She reached out to those who were going through hard times; baked and cooked oodles of food for those who visited her and those who needed some cheering up. She was just so well loved by all of us that when she died, our lives were shaken to the core. Each one of the grandchildren thought that they were her "special one". That just shows you that she took great interest in each person and had the gift of making everyone that she met, feel special. Riches and treasures did not mean much to her, she lived simple; but she loved her plants and came home with a car full of bedding plants every spring.
Every spring, my thoughts often go to Oma and everything that I learned from her life and her death.
I learned that death can be so unexpected. This life has been given to us to prepare for eternity and we need to PREPARE. So often we coast along down life's road, praying more when hard times come, and then coast along again. We need to work hard at rooting out bitterness, working out grievances, loving the unlovable, being disciplined with our time and money. God has loved us when we were unlovable, we were bought, redeemed, forgiven, given new life through His Son! We have HOPE!
When Oma died she left behind a legacy of a Godly woman who invested her time in people's lives. Her life showed grace, gratitude, and generosity. She spoke the truth and worked hard to do what was right. The memories of her are endless. How many times did the grandchildren have sleepovers? How many grandchildren used her car to get their drivers license so that they wouldn't have to drive the big family van and try to parallel park it (!)
After Oma died, the grandchildren each wrote out a page of memories and we made it into a booklet. That book has become a treasure, resurrecting memories of the past, and sharing memories with the next generation.

This picture of Oma was taken on grandparents day visiting Alysha. What a blessing it was that she was able to visit with so many people and see her grandkids before she passed away.  Often we would say "if only we were able to say good-bye to her" but now looking back, that would of been heart-breaking for us and for her. Oma did not have to go through pain and suffer and we have so much comfort knowing that she belonged to the Lord. This is such blessing to all of those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Friday, April 12, 2013

wishing for spring

The boys are "itching" to wear their "SHORT SLEEVED PANTS" again.

You know that it has been cold for a long time when they cannot remember the word "SHORTS"
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Monday, April 8, 2013

what to do when your two year old keeps on escaping

Last week this little guy took off on me three times. He has a cute little face but do not let that fool you for one second because that is all that he needs to get out of the door. During his waking hours I clean for about 4 minutes and then I check on Tyler. I run to the bathroom and put my hair in a ponytail because that is all that I have time for, and I go and check on Tyler. I throw a load of laundry in the wash and take care of the baby and check on Tyler. To relax I play a short piece on the piano and then I go and check on Tyler. You can get the my drift. He is constantly on my mind and with his energetic and daring ways he is a constant concern.
If he wants something, he will be determined to get it at no cost. Therefore, I have to choose my wars with him very carefully. Before we enter into battle I have to decide first of all if I have enough energy to win the battle. Secondly, I ask myself repeatedly if the issue is really worth a battle. Thirdly, I make a quick check list of possible reinforcements, and I make a plan B.
The problem is that he comes up with his plan C before I can move on to my plan B and with a triumph smile he wins once again.
Last week, I quickly threw my hair up in a ponytail, brushed my teeth so quickly that it is embarrassing and made my bed. I rushed down stairs to answer the phone and as I was answering the phone I started to look for Tyler. It was my mother. "Are you missing someone?" she asked. " Nope" I answered as I continued to do a quick search for the little guy. (with him you need to look up high too because he can scale anything)
All of a sudden I heard a little voice jabbering to me on the other end of the phone. In under four minutes Tyler had managed to run to my parents house which is about 2000 feet from our house; with his winter boots on backwards and carrying my van keys. (It takes Nate 2min and 13 seconds to run from house to house). I was shocked and so where my parents when they heard their front door open and a cherry, "Hi grandma!"
This was the first incident. He did it later on in the afternoon carrying a whisk, and again a few days later in the freezing cold with no coat on. Each time I had no idea that he was even gone.

So this is our solution. A Proximity Sensor, also known as a Wireless Leash. I zip-tie the sensor to his belt loop each morning and when he goes out of range, the gadget beeps and my Ipad also beeps. There are a few glitches in this solution - like he needs to keep his pants on at all times, but for the most part it works. We bought it on line and had them send it to us with the fastest shipping possible.
Now I am hoping that they will invent a gadget that will tell me what his next move will be!