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Let’s Get Honest

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No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.

Isaiah 59:4

 

I am finishing up Dannah Gresh and Dr Juli Slattery’s book Pulling Back the Shades. I must say that I was very much pleased with the frankness and authenticity of these two women. I also greatly appreciated their willingness to discuss issues that many women cannot even say out loud… even if it is something that is a personal struggle.

As I shared in my last post, Warning: Married Sex Post, this book focuses on the longings of a woman’s heart as well as the longings of her body. God created us as sexual beings. Those longings are there whether we like it or not. You don’t have to read erotica, observe porn, or be sexually active in any way to experience the sexual desires of your body.

I have seen that many times in the church the answer to today’s over-sexualized culture is to under-sexualize the church. Often we find that the church either just screams “NO” loud and long or grabs the duct tape to ensure the silence or tries to side-step any discussion with an… uh what did you say… I didn’t catch that?

Sexual desire was created by God… how about we take it back for His glory. Just because this present world ruled by the demonic forces of evil takes God’s good things and twists and perverts them doesn’t mean we as the church are to hang our heads and walk away from them and decide that they belong to the enemy now.

Let’s take it back.

Let’s be honest. Let’s get honest with ourselves and with our spouses and with others. Let’s get honest and let’s get real… and let’s ask out loud our questions.

Another thing I love about this book is how it addresses the single lady and how she can handle her body’s sexual desires in a way that honors God and leaves her without guilt and shame or reaching to things outside of God’s will to deal with them.

This book is helpful for the singles and it’s helpful for the marrieds.

I used to struggle with what was “okay” sexually between me and my husband. Having had come into this whole sex thing in a very unhealthy way… I didn’t know what a healthy biblical sex life was supposed to look like. If you begin to read up on this you can find tons of different opinions on the matter… but as I was listening to my own pastor do a radio show one morning he shocked the radio host with his opinion on this subject.

In my mind I could see the jaw drop of the man through the radio. When the radio host asked my Southern Baptist pastor what his view of sex was, he shared what the Bible says concerning fornication and homosexuality, etc… but when it came to husband and wife all he had to say was Have at it!

Hebrews 13:4 says the marriage bed is undefiled. What a husband and wife choose to do in their marriage bed is undefiled.

Undefiled.

Do you hear me wife? Un-de-filed. Don’t allow the rigidness of religion to destroy the passion in your undefiled bed. Got it.

If not, get this book and read it… you’ll get it ;-)

For the faint of heart let me warn you this book doesn’t skirt around issues and it deals head on with lies that are found in our world today. If you don’t have a clue what BDSM is then let me give you the meaning of the acronym: Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, and Masochism. In this book Dr Slattery and Mrs Gresh spend an entire chapter breaking down this acronym and the dangers of it. The reading can get gruff… but it’s truth.

Now just in case you are reading this post and you are one of the many women who has read the best seller Fifty Shades of Grey let me be so bold as to tell you that you need to read this book. If you are one of the many moms that I heard passed this book on to your preteen and teen daughters to read after you… for the love of Christ it is imperative that you read Pulling Back the Shades

I have to believe that the only reason you would pass Fifty Shades on to your daughter would have to be because you were blinded by the enemy or deceived or desensitized by the things and ways of this world… regardless of the why… if you did… you have major damage control you need to address NOW.

As I said in my earlier post, I haven’t read the book… but what Dr Juli Slattery shared from its content made me physically sick when I thought of the kids and women that I knew had read it. So many lies… so many slinky seductive lies woven among its pages. It makes me angry. So very angry.

On the practical review side for this book. It’s an easy read. The chapters are short and manageable. It also has a section in the back that would allow you to easily use this book with a group. It would be great for a small women’s group.

***********************************

I am giving away a free copy of Pulling Back the Shades on Monday. You can enter to win on the rafflecopter below. However… even if you don’t win the free book… it’s well worth the money to purchase.

pulling back shades

 

Enter to win your own copy here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I have also donated two of my own books as consolation prizes.

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It’s A Sin To Bore People With The Bible

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Do your children enjoy Bible study? Do they enjoy the teachings of Scriptures in your home? Do you teach them the Scriptures at home?

Does Deuteronomy 6:4-9 terrify you and heap loads of guilt upon your shoulders?

Let me assure that it does not have to. The Bible is full of amazing and fun truths. It doesn’t have to be taught through boring monotone dry teaching… nor does it have to be taught through red faced emotional pounding. The Bible is alive. It should be taught with life.

The Scriptures are relevant for life… for us and for our children.

I will never forget the time that I was sitting at my co-op office desk and my then four year old nephew was sitting in front of me eating his lunch and was telling me something he watched in a cartoon and what he shared with me reminded me of the true story of David and Goliath so I began telling him the true story from the Scriptures.

By the time I got through his eyes were big as saucers and he said, “Nay-Nay that’s a true story?” And I said, “Yes sir, it sure is!” And he was like, “Whoa!

As I listened to the Teaching Spiritual Truths audio from the National Center for Biblical Parenting I heard Scott Turansky share a saying of his father, “It’s a sin to bore people with the Bible“. I never want anyone to walk away from my teachings of the Scriptures and say that the Bible is boring… especially my own children.

If you find it boring or are afraid that you don’t know how to teach it to your kids in a fun and interesting way… please listen to this teaching that is available for you for FREE! It’s one hour of your time… and it could make an eternal difference in your heart and in the heart of your children or others children if you teach. You can find the spiritual truths download in this blog post: Teaching Spiritual Truths To Children

Not just that, but today I have another free download for you. This week I am offering another audio teaching from the book Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids. The first audio that I offered was focused on resolving sibling conflict and it touched a little on honor, but this audio is focused on honor.

teach honor

 

To download this audio teaching just click here: Honor, the Secret Ingredient for Family Life

Please don’t pass up these opportunities to download these teaching and parenting tools. Trust me they are well worth your time.

 

 

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Never

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Today I will be teaching the kids in my children’s ministry Romans 12:9-21. I believe this is one of the most life applicable passages of Scripture within the Bible. In our modern western world of christendom many of us just want to life apply the “my God will supply all my needs” but passages like this one here in Romans… ummmmm not so much.

I just did a quick word search on the word never in Scripture. If my quick search proved accurate, then right here in Romans 12 is the only time in Scripture when we are commanded to never do something. Now don’t get me wrong, there are lots of “do not” commands. There are lots of responses to wrong theology with a “May it never be!“.

But as for a command that pertains for life application… for one on one real life living in a fallen world with fallen people… we have here in Romans 12 two very powerful nevers.

The first:

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. 

Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

Romans 12:17

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.

Never.

Not one.

The word evil here in the Greek is kakos and it means evil, bad, in the widest sense. Which means there is absolutely no room for a “but they…”

God says never apodidómi or pay back, return, give back, or render as due evil for evil to anyone. 

Did you get that? Render as due…  Even if you think it is due them… God says never. He then tells us what we are to do… that’s one of the wonderful things about our God and His word… He doesn’t just tell us what not to do. He also tells us what to do instead. This is a lesson we as parents need to remember to apply to our own children. God doesn’t leave us hanging on a never or don’t, He places underneath our feet a firm foundation of action to walk in and on.

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. This word respect is pronoeó and it means take thought for beforehand, provide for, practice, showing necessary forethought to act properly (in God’s will).

The phrase what is right is kalos and it means beautiful, as an outward sign of the inward good, noble, honorable character; good, worthy, honorable, noble, and seen to be so, attractively good; good that inspires (motivates) others to embrace what is lovely (beautiful, praiseworthy); i.e. well done so as to be winsome (appealing).

And now here is the kicker… the word all.

The word all in this verse is pas and it means all, the whole, every kind of.

Every. Kind. Of.

Are you picking up what God is putting down?

Even if someone has done evil to you. Even if someone is doing and giving evil toward you in the widest sense of the word… don’t give it back… even if they deserve it… do not return it. Instead take careful consideration of what this person finds good, honorable, noble… and respond to them properly… no matter who they are or what they have done.

This brings us to our next never

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Romans 12:19:20

For when He was persecuted He blessed.

When He was reviled He respected.

When He was mocked He mourned.

When He was hurt He healed.

When He was cursed He comforted.

When He was hated He loved…

Love never fails.

1 Corinthians 13:8

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April’s Autism Awareness (the marriage)

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In today’s Autism Awareness post through the life Alex Kallas, his mother, Andrea, shares with us the effects of autism on a marriage…

Day 11 of Autism Awareness Month: How it Affects a Marriage

I apologize that I missed a few days. The flu bug decided to take me and Alex down, and I finally feel like sitting at the computer and typing for a few minutes. Today I am focusing on how Autism affects a marriage. When Alex was diagnosed, Erik and I were told that 80% of couples that have a child with Autism divorce. EIGHTY PERCENT!!! That was very scary. First, your child gets this diagnosis that breaks your heart and then you hear that most couples don’t come out of it together.

As I look back over the last 6 years since Alex was diagnosed with Autism, I can see where the divorce rate could be higher. Autism is financially and emotionally draining, and that just adds to the strains that are typically put on a marriage. When you add how differently men and women typically handle situations, it is tough!

I am a very emotional person. I cry when I am hurt and when I hurt for others. There have been times that I have laid on the bathroom floor in the fetal position crying and crying about how I want things to be “normal”. Erik doesn’t understand those moments. He is more analytical and realistic. His thoughts are we have been dealt this hand and we need to accept it and move on. Needless to say, we have had some issues over the past few years. And that statistic seemed to always pop into my head. I decided a long time ago that we were not going to allow that statistic to take place in our family – I think we both did.

When you have a child with Autism, there is often one parent who is more involved in overseeing the diet, therapy, etc. I am that person in our family. And to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, when you are that person and you deal with Autism every minute of the day, you can have some resentment build up towards the other spouse. And yes, that happened with us. I remember when Annika was just four or so months old, I was at my breaking point. I had a four month old, a 19 month old, and a four year old who required an enormous amount of my time. I had been getting little sleep, and I was overwhelmed.

I was tired – tired of spending hours doing therapy with Alex and researching diets and other treatments, tired of trying to be a good mom to Lincoln and my new baby girl, Annika, when I wasn’t giving them near enough attention, tired of acting like we were the perfect family, and tired of fighting with Erik. At that point, I think we were both afraid that we were going to be in the majority. We were letting Autism and our “life” come between us – we weren’t taking the time that we needed for our relationship.

It was at this time that we got involved with some couples at Thompson Station Baptist Church. I believe these couples were sent to us to help save our marriage. We started the study “Fireproof Your Marriage”, and we were given contact information to a Christian marriage counselor in the area. I am not going to say it was easy – the counselor told us at one point that we are wasting our money if we didn’t start working on our marriage. He was right. Something finally clicked, and we decided we didn’t want to be in the majority. We fought to get back our relationship and to start being a team again.

Has it been easy? No. Life isn’t easy, and we are often thrown curve balls. I am sure some people would ask why I would share the fact that we have had problems in our marriage. I do it because if we can help one couple decide it is worth it to fight for their marriage, then it is worth sharing. Autism isn’t easy. Marriage isn’t easy. But if you are willing to put God first and work through the tough times, you will come out on the other end much stronger. I am thankful for the couples that were brought into our lives when we needed them the most. They and our counselor allowed us to get back to a firm foundation. We had NO idea what laid ahead of us that next year. That is when we heard Alex had cancer, and I won’t even go into the statistics regarding the marriage when dealing with a child with cancer.

To be continued…

Autism awareness 11

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Romans Study For Kids (Romans 12:1-2)

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We begin our final section of the The Romans Study For Kids. We now are in part 5… the Service of Salvation!

We have just completed our study on the first eleven chapters of the book of Romans. Today we are beginning our last section of this very important book. Let’s do a quick review of our section outline. In Romans 1:1-15 we were introduced to who God used to write this book and who he was writing to. Then in Romans 1:16-17 we discovered why this book was written. The main theme of the book of Romans is to teach us that the righteous live by faith and the gospel is the power of salvation.

We titled our first section, The Need for Salvation. In Romans 1:1 – 3:20 God uses Paul to teach us our need for salvation. He shows us why we all need saved, no matter who we are or where we came from.

Our next section was, The Way of Salvation. In Romans 3:21 – 5:21 God uses the writings of Paul to teach us that the only way of salvation is by faith in His Son, Jesus.

Our third section was, The Life of Salvation. In Romans 6:1 – 8:39 God uses the writings of Paul to teach us how we are alive in Christ. He teaches us how we become His children. He teaches us how His Holy Spirit lives in all His children and how His Spirit gives us power to live our new lives in a way that pleases God. He also teaches us that nothing will ever separate us from God once we are His in Christ.

Our fourth section was, The Scope of Salvation. In Romans 9:1 – 11:36 God uses Paul’s writings to teach us that He is sovereign, or in total control, of who is saved. He also teaches us that He is not done with the people of Israel. God will never break His promises to us and He will never break His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the children of Israel. He is going to graft them back in to His family one day very soon.

We closed section four with one of my favorite passages in the whole Bible:

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. 

(Romans 11:33-36)

God uses this passage of Scripture to close up all of what Paul has written about salvation and God’s sovereignty and God’s ways. It’s perfect because it reminds us that it is okay if we don’t understand all of this yet. It’s okay if what God says doesn’t make sense to our human mind. It’s okay, because He is God and we just need to trust Him and take Him at His word.

Now after these first eleven chapters on all the why’s, and explanations, and teachings, that God gives us about our sin and His salvation we come to Romans 12 and our last section of study, The Service of Salvation.

Now that we know the need, the way, the life, and the scope of our salvation… we need to know how we live it out in our every day lives and within His church. God uses Paul to teach us this in Romans 12 – 16.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!

Romans 12:1-2 

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

Read Romans 12:1. What word does this verse begin with?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Do you remember what we have learned about this word? If there is a “therefore”, we need to know what the “therefore” is there for!

I believe this “therefore” is connecting us all the way back to everything we learned in the first eleven chapters. Let’s look at the rest of the verse to see why I believe what I do :-)

 

Read all of Romans 12:1. 

What does Paul urge us to present to God as a living and holy sacrifice?

our __ __ __ __ __ __

 

What does Paul say this is?

spiritual __ __ __ __ __ __ __  of __ __ __ __ __ __ __

 

From what you learn in this verse how much of you does God want? Circle your answer.

all of you       some of you     just a little of you

 

Listen to this version of the Hokey Pokey and think about what all you have learned in the book of Romans and especially this first verse of chapter 12.

In this song we sing that we give our hearts to Jesus and we give Him our hands, our feet, our head, our whole selves. When we give our hearts to Jesus we give Him everything. We worship Him with our hearts, our minds, and our bodies. God wants what we think, what we say, what we do, and where we go all to be for Him. He wants all of us to honor Him.

 

Read Romans 12:2. What are we not to be conformed to? 

do not be conformed to this __ __ __ __ __

 

What does it mean to be “conformed”? Take a moment to look up the word conformed in a dictionary. Write done what you learned.

___________________________________________________________

 

Why would God not want us to be conformed to the world? Look up and read John 12:31, John 16:11, Ephesians 6:12, and 1 John 5:19. Who is the ruler of this world?

Satan         President Obama      Superman

 

Look back and read Romans 8:29. Who does God want us to be conformed to?

__ __ __ __ __

 

Read Romans 12:2. What are we to be instead of being conformed?

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

 

THINK ABOUT IT…

The word “transformed” in the Greek is metamorphoó. This Greek word might sound familiar to you. Have you ever studied what happens when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly? 

What is this called? 

Yes, metamorphous! 

Below is a picture of a caterpillar.

caterpillar melonheadz colored

 

During the process of metamorphous this caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly. The caterpillar becomes a whole new creation. It used to be a worm like creature that could not get off the earth… and then after being transformed it becomes a beautiful butterfly that can now fly!  

Now color in the butterfly below in all your favorite colors!

butterfly to color

                      

Read Romans 12:2 again. How are you transformed? 

by the __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ of your __ __ __ __

Before we know Jesus our minds are full with all the things of the world. We live in the world everyday. We see television shows and movies. We listen to songs. We go to school and hear things from other kids and learn things from school books that may or may not be true. What goes in our eyes and ears goes into our mind and into our heart and becomes our belief system which then controls our actions.

What has God given us so that our eyes and ears can be filled with what He says is true?

bibleforbulletinboards

The  __ __ __ __ __

 

What does Romans 12:2 say we will know if we renew our mind with God’s word? Circle all that apply.

will of God                      what is good

our favorite color             who we will marry

what is acceptable                 what is perfect

what the weather will be like

God tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that His thoughts and His ways are not our thoughts and our ways. He also tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 that we are not to lean on our own understanding but to trust in Him. The only way that we can learn what God’s thoughts and ways are is for us to read His Word, the Bible. He has recorded for us His thoughts and His ways and not only that He sent Jesus to come and show us His thoughts and His ways. Remember that John 1:1-3 and 14 teaches us that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

That’s enough for today! 

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The Last Adam

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 So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.”

The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:45

Last March my family visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky with our church. This museum is designed to teach the Biblical account of creation through scientific evidence. The building is filled with huge dinosaurs, artifacts, and theaters. They do a wonderful job of making this place fun and educational for the entire family.

In one of the theaters they played a short film entitled The Last Adam. This film was so powerful that it kept even our 1st graders still and mesmerized.

We are approaching the Easter season. The season where we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The One who left the glory of heaven and put on flesh so that He might dwell among us. The One who lived among and loved us even when we questioned Him, mocked Him, denied Him…

The One who died for sins He never committed… because He was the only One who could and rise again. He took on our iniquities so that in His life we might have life. The first Adam brought death to all mankind. The last Adam… brought eternal life.

For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Answers in Genesis is offering an Easter special until April 30… but until April 14th you can download The Last Adam for free. I have downloaded my copy. I plan to play it this coming Sunday during my children’s church time.

Special FREE Video Download
The Last Adam MP4

last adam

Use code EASTER20

Download | Forward to a friend

Reminder: Available only until April 14, 2014.

I also am an affiliate with AiG… you can find more Easter savings here:

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Are You Living In Urgency

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I am right now working on the handouts for my kids in Cross Guard Children’s Ministry. Last Sunday we began our study in our final section of the book of Romans. Last Sunday we took a look into Romans 12:1-8.

I began this handout with a review of the past four sections of Romans and as I concluded this review with them and began Romans 12 I myself was reminded of the overwhelming love and devotion and fervency in these first two verse in Romans 12.

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:1-2

Can you hear the heart of God through these verses? Can you hear the strain in the quill of Paul as writes these God breathed words… putting the power of Christ to paper… recording the will of the Spirit for believers from generation to generation?

Therefore!

Therefore beloved of God… after all that you have learned as I have written these first eleven chapters to teach You of My glory, My kindness, My wrath, My love, My purpose, My sovereignty, My ways, My plan… therefore now that You KNOW that you know…

I. Urge. You.

That word urge in the Greek is parakaleó and it means to make a call from being up close and personal and it means to offer up evidence that stands up in God’s court.

Can you feel it beloved?

Can you read through these first eleven chapters of Romans and then come to Romans 12:1-2 after the crescendo of Romans 11:33-36 and hear the Spirit of God entreating you up close and personal as the One who indwells you eternally calls out in urgency to you? Can you feel the breath of His presence upon your face as He speaks over you and within you? Are His words piercing the depths of your heart? Can you hear the cry in His still whisper?

I. Urge. You.

I urge you by the mercies of God…

And what does he so urge us to do?

But to present our whole bodies as a living sacrifice to Him… He give us all of HIM.

H – Heavenly Father

I – Indwelling Spirit

M – Made like us Son of Man-Son of God

Why on earth should we hold back from giving HIM all of us? Our hearts, our minds, our souls, our strength… our bodies.

Our bodies that are His temple.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

1 Corinthians 6:19

If we belong to Him, He lives in us, and He lives for us, and we should live for Him. God has given us sufficient evidence as to why we can and why we should live for Him… with ALL OF US… not picking and choosing what parts, and the when, and the where… but urging us at all times to present our bodies as a holy and living sacrifice to the Holy and Living God.

Our bodies. Not conformed to this world, but transformed into the image of Christ. Our bodies no longer designed for the glory of sin and destined for death… but now by the work of the Spirit designed for the glory of God and destined for eternity. Our bodies no longer just for this life, but for His life.

For this is your spiritual service of worship.

This word for service only appears in the New Testament five other times:

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. (John 16:2)

who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, (Romans 9:4)

Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. (Hebrews 9:1)

Now when these things have been so prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle performing the divine worship (Hebrews 9:6)

In the Old Testament, in the Old Covenant the priest performed this service in the temple. However, beloved, today our body is the temple.

It was never God’s eternal intention to dwell in a building made by human hands… He always intended to dwell in YOU. To live in and through you.

 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

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David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says:

‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is the footstool of My feet;
What kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord,
‘Or what place is there for My repose?
‘Was it not My hand which made all these things?’

Acts 7:46-50

Oh beloved, I urge you with Paul… by the mercies of God… to present your body a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God. That’s what He created you for… that’s what He sent His Son to redeem you for… to serve Him not in a temple made by man… but within the temple made by HIM.

For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

Psalm 139:13-17

Living a life pleasing to Him, acceptable to Him, good and perfect… according to His will… not your own.

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Teaching Spiritual Truths To Children

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This past Monday in our Co-op chapel lesson after I taught a little on Proverbs 6:12-15, I had a little boy come up to me after chapel and let me know that he was really listening to what I was teaching and it made him want to hear more. The greatest encouragements I have ever received have come through the mouths of children… Usually there is no concern for an hidden agenda in their words… they generally say what they mean and mean what they say.

This young boy came up, and as he talked with me about how what I had shared that chapel lesson had made him realize the kind of person he wanted to be, he said something about anger being a very bad sin… with this I had another opportunity to teach him one-on-one about anger and about forgiveness. I relish those mini moments, not just with my own children, but with any child, and really anyone who the Lord allows me the opportunity.

Last week I shared a post that contained an audio teaching on sibling conflict… This is a FREE one hour teaching on teaching your children how to use their anger as a problem identifier not a problem solver. It teaches parents how to teach children and treat them fair but not equal, special according to their individual needs not identical. It teaches parents how to stop becoming a referee, and how to instead become a coach. 

Even if your child does not have a sibling they still need these tools. Having siblings is a built in home study in learning how to relate to others that are different, so a child with no sibling receives no practice here… therefore how much more do they need to learn these tools from you so that they will have them for life?

I have listened to this teaching… and I don’t care how good of a parent you think you are or how good you think your children already are… there is info in here that you need to here. We all have room to become better for the glory of God.

You can still find this download here: Resolving Conflict Learning Honor

This week I am offering another free audio teaching from the National Center for Biblical Parenting. This audio download is based on how to make teaching spiritual truths fun for your children and really just for your whole family. They just might even help you learn how to see the great joy and excitement in studying the Word of God in an “out of the box” kind of way.

This audio comes from the Family Time series.

BnrFamilyTime

 

Click here for your free download: spiritualtruths-mp3

Enjoy!

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April’s Autism Awareness Day 6 and 7

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Continuing with the focus on autism awareness through the story of Alex Kallas…

Day 6 & 7 of Autism Awareness Month:

I am playing catch up today because we have had a crazy weekend and some sickness at our house. Before Alex got his official Autism diagnosis, I had not only started researching different diet options, but I also started looking for different therapy options.

We chose Applied Behavioral Analysis as the route we would go with Alex’s therapy. This type of therapy is designed to help with the child’s social skills, communication, academic, reading, fine motor, dressing, eating, potty training, etc. There was only one problem when we decided to go this popular route – COST!! 

The number of hours recommended for ABA therapy each week was between 20-40 hours. At the time, insurance didn’t cover any of the therapy. To do a comprehensive program where therapists would be provided, the cost would range from $1000-2000 per week (and sometimes more). Needless to say, we didn’t have that kind of money, so that wasn’t an option. However, I was very lucky because I was able to talk to the wonderful lady who wrote one of the books I read about Autism, and she lived in Middle Tennessee. We were able to hire her for for around $4,500 for a year, and she would develop “programs” for me to do with Alex, and she trained me so that I could do the therapy with him. Erik and my parents also took time to do therapy sessions.

I learned over time that some people don’t like this type of therapy because they compare it to training a dog. You use a lot of repetition along with positive and negative reinforcements. But, the fact is our children on the spectrum do learn through repetition. Our consultant would set up programs for “Attending”, and then there would be trials such as “look at me” and “wait”. I would use that throughout the session. Then, there would be a “Imitation” program where the trials would consist of waving with a certain hand, clap hands 3 times, build the same figure out of blocks, etc. We would have a “matching” program where a trial would be “put with same”, and he would match Verb flash cards, Emotion cards, etc. And the list goes on and on. For each “trial” within each program, we would do it 10 times. I would have worksheets to fill out for each trial. Then, our consultant would come weekly to observe and see how we were doing.

Alex responded very well to this type of therapy. I will not say it was easy. It wasn’t. The actual therapy isn’t really that difficult, but it is just the time that it takes. I had a 6 month old, and I sat him in the room with us while I would work with Alex. Then, at what I thought was the most difficult time in our lives, I found out I was pregnant with Annika at the same time Alex was officially diagnosed. I quickly learned that God truly does work in mysterious ways. After all of our trouble conceiving before we adopted Alex, he gave us two back to back surprises. I always thought he was probably looking down on us and having a good old laugh!!!

To be continued….

~ Andrea Kallas

Alex Autism

 

I have to smile at Andrea’s last paragraph. I know several families that could never conceive a child and so they decided to go through adoption… and then after the adoption they became pregnant!

I have no doubt that God knew Alex was to become Erik and Andrea’s and if they had of conceived Lincoln and Annika first… they would have never even considered adoption… and where would Alex be?   

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

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April’s Autism Awareness Day 5

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We continue Alex’s story…

Day 5 of Autism Awareness Month:

Autism Day 5

 

When I realized Alex had Autism, I dove into researching everything I could find about it. I was very angry and sad, but I used those emotions to fuel me as I read all of the books I could find and searched on the internet.

I think most parents would be willing to do ANYTHING within their power to pull their child out of the grips of this Autism monster. That is what we do. That is our job. The problem with Autism is treatment is extremely expensive – out of reach of most of us that don’t have the amount of money someone like Jenny McCarthy has.

Before I looked into different types of therapy, I decided to start with a least costly option first – Alex’s diet. In September 2007 (one month after we figured out what was going on), I started Alex on a Gluten Free Casein Free diet. If you are like me, you might not know what Casein is. It is proteins that are found in milk. I admit that I was overwhelmed at first when we changed to this diet. I didn’t realize how wheat and dairy are in so many things!!

This diet made a HUGE difference in Alex! It doesn’t affect all kids with Autism the same way, but Alex is one of those kids that truly benefits from this diet. Before going on the GFCF diet, Alex was drinking close to a gallon of milk every two days – he was constantly asking for milk. He also ate a LOT of yogurt. He was getting terribly constipated, and when we put him on this diet, it got much better.

The amazing thing about this diet was the effects it was having on his mood and his speech. Before going on it, he only spoke one or maybe two words together. Within 2-3 weeks of going on this diet, he started putting more words together. We learned that milk often has the same effect as heroin with Autistic kids. They crave it, and it creates this fog in their brains. The changes we saw were amazing!!!

I have to admit that we haven’t been the best about sticking to this diet since Alex’s cancer diagnosis. When he was in treatment, we just wanted him to eat something to keep a little weight on, so we did get off of the strict diet. But, we are working our way back to it because we know how well he responds to it. I know it is overwhelming to a parent as you start thinking of doing this diet, but I would encourage you to try it. You never know how it will effect your child!

~ Andrea Kallas

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