Category Archives: Christian faith

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . Busy Busy! :-)

So, you already know that this past Sunday night our two older boys, “The Batman” and “The Artist” were in our church’s annual Christmas play. On Monday and Tuesday, I concentrated heavily on laundry and working on finishing up our Christmas cards, which I was making, so I could have them done to bring to church Wednesday. I made it, yay! 🙂 We also needed to be at church early that night, as “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” were singing special music as part of the newly formed group “Cadets For Christ”. Here is a video of their song . . .

Thursday morning, I worked on addressing cards to be mailed out, so that we could get them mailed on our way to homeschool park day. Along with that errand, we stopped at the library to pick up a DVD I had on hold, Mary Poppins. Can you believe, my children have never seen it? Well, since we left the house before lunch, I did stop at McDonald’s near the park and got everyone burgers from the dollar menu. Except for me, I can’t eat them, so I got a grilled honey mustard snack wrap. 🙂

Ah, park day! It is so grand living someplace where we can go to homeschool park day, on December 19th, NOT wearing winter coats!

Here is “The Batman”, he was playing catch with someone, and between throws . . . and do you see the beautiful mountains in the background? 🙂

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And here is “The Puzzler”, also playing catch!
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“The Artist” was wandering with friends, and “Mr. Loquacious” never stopped moving, so I failed to get pictures of them.

“Mr. Loquacious”, who I suspected was catching a cold, but had insisted he was “fine” and wanted to go to the park, definitely has one now. He’s sneezing some, but he’s still running around playing and acting normal, so I think he’ll be just fine.

Today is Friday. Do I have my Christmas shopping done? No, I do not. 😦 So, this evening, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” will be hanging our with their dad. I will be dropping “The Batman” and “The Artist” off at their Youth Pastor’s home, where they will join the rest of the teens caroling, and then having their Christmas party. Since I do all of my grocery shopping fairly near to their home, I will get groceries while the boys are there, then pick them up. That way, I have them handy to unload the car at home (smart, yes?). This frees up tomorrow, when I will be able to shop alone, and get the Christmas shopping completed.

I hope! 🙂

How was your week? Why don’t you write about it and then link up with us at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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Filed under Albuquerque, Cadets For Christ, Christian faith, Church, education, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Park Day, homeschooling, Mesa Baptist Church, Weekly Wrap-Up

Christmas 2023 . . . Teen Drama At Mesa Baptist Church

This past Sunday night, December 15, 2013, the teens along with our youth pastor and his wife put on our annual Christmas play. This year, it was a drama, to show what Christmas could be like in the future, if our country continues on the path we are walking.

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This play, Christmas 2023, was originally written by Sam Gipp, and was edited for Mesa Baptist Church by Mrs. Aubrey Grantham.

It is the year 2023, and there have been many changes. We have had another world war, and all mention of the Lord Jesus Christ has been outlawed. Children are now removed from the parents when they reach school age and sent to government “boarding schools”, where they are taught humanistic, atheistic views. There are no true churches anymore, all have been turned into social clubs, and the Bible is outlawed.

The Jamison family, upon whom our drama is focused, has been decorating for the “X-mas” holiday, while waiting for one of their own, John, to come home from the government boarding school for the holiday. They come across a box of things from years past, in which they find a nativity scene, Tom’s (the father) old Bible, some CD’s with Christmas carols on it that sing of faith, not of santa. As they begin to reminisce, they talk about the church they used to go to, Mesa Baptist Church, and Pastor Carr, who has not been seen since he was taken away some years previously. At first Tom’s wife is very nervous about finding all of these things, but then, their two other children, David and Susan, begin asking questions, and their parents tell them all about how it used to be.

But then, John arrives home, and sees the Bible. He becomes very upset, and is ready to report them, when the parents convince him that they should go to bed and talk more in the morning. Susan, however, sneaks back and is reading the Bible, when her brother David finds her. The next day, they all talk much about it, including John, and their parents, who had come to salvation many years ago, are able to lead their children to the Lord as well.

During the holiday time, the Jamisons take opportunity to witness to others, including a group of carolers who come to the door. You can watch the carolers in the video below. My son “The Batman” is one of the carolers.

Later, “Santa” comes to visit, as the government has sent a Santa out to all the homes, bearing a “gift”, as you’ll see in the video below. “The Artist” portrays Santa in this drama . . .

The time comes for John to return to his school, and he asks how to be saved, and then declares he will tell everyone about Jesus, and the Bible, no matter the consequences.

I’m doing this post, not just because I’m proud of my boys for being involved in their teen group, or for being in the play, but because the story really touched my heart. I want all of you to KNOW that you need to be saved, if you have never been. God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell, but as a Just God, He cannot have sin in Heaven. We MUST either pay for our sins, or we must accept the sacrifice He made to cover our sin, by sending Christ in human flesh, to pay for our sin. Please, watch this video, and consider the truth . . .

If you do not know for certain that if you died today, you would be in Heaven with the Lord, then please, please, speak to someone who can show you the way. If you wish, you can contact me, making sure I have your email.

(before I get comments about the “origins” of the term Xmas, please know that I don’t care about that. In today’s culture, it does not stand for what it may have stood for thousands of years ago. In today’s culture, it most certainly stand for removing “Christ” from the word Christmas.”)
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Filed under Christian faith, Christmas, Mesa Baptist Church, Teen Christmas Drama

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . More Christmas Stuff!

You know, I ALWAYS forget how busy it gets this time of the year, until it DOES get busy this time of the year, lol!

In between planning for Christmas day (we have invited a large family from our church for dinner on Christmas), doing regular household STUFF, trying to figure out the best way to give each of our kids at least one thing they really want, and then fill in around the edges, we have had a church homeschool party, I have had a reviews due, had an order of cards to complete, and am even now waiting for a FedEx delivery of materials to do a new order for the same person!

Tuesday evening, the kids and I FINALLY decorated the poor naked tree that had been standing in the living room for several days . . .
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In the midst of it all, I try to keep in mind the real reason for this season. We still have things going on at church. Sunday night, my younger kids, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” sang with the Sunshine Kids Choir for the special music, as you can see in the video below . . .

Wednesday night, I was on schedule as back up for toddler nursery, and one of the ladies on the schedule had sick kids, so I took her place. I like nursery on Wednesday nights, plus, I was working with a young mom with whom I very much enjoy spending time in conversation, so, win-win! 🙂

Yesterday, we had another homeschool Christmas party, this one with our Thursday park day group. We really had fun! We did potluck, I brought pizza casserole and Totally Bad For You cake (chocolate/peanut butter), for which I was a finalist in the Flint Journal (Michigan) “Merry Indulgences”bake off way back in 1995.

The cake . . .
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and the extra frosting to snack on later!
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I love potlucks here in New Mexico, we are getting to try lots of stuff we’ve never had before! Some of the things brought were sopapillas, black beans, tortilla rolls, some kind of chili that was really good, and bunches of other wonderful tasting things! We find this variety in our church potlucks as well, and are enjoying it!

As you can see, there is an abundance of food here (and I THINK I took this picture before more people arrived with even MORE food! . . .
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Doing what they do best . . .
“Mr. Loquacious”
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“The Artist”
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“The Batman” and “The Puzzler”
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Making ornaments . . .
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Here are the final products!
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Later on, we had a white elephant gift exchange, which is always a lot of fun!
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All in all, though this is a busy time, we have been having lots of fun! I hope you are finding time to have fun, yet still keeping your focus on what we are really celebrating here, the birth of our Lord, without whom there would be no salvation.

If you’d like to link up with the weekly wrap-up, just click on the graphic below for information.

As always, I would love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the “sign me up” button at the top of the page and enter your email, then never miss an update again! If you enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure love it if you did! 🙂

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Filed under Christian faith, Christmas, Church, education, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Park Day, Weekly Wrap-Up

Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms

I have had the blessing lately of being on the wonderful launch team for the Bible Study, “Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms“, written by Katie Horner.

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I am excited about this study for a couple of reasons . . . first and foremost, as my regular readers are well aware, I am happiest when I can tell you that something I am reviewing which uses scripture uses only the Authorized King James Version of the Bible, as that is the ONLY version my family, and my church, uses. In her Bible Study, Katie Horner (who blogs at Paradise Praises)has done just that, which makes me happy, and will also please many of my friends!

Another thing I love about “Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms” is that it really does work for us busy moms! I absolutely know how very hard it is to find daily time to be in God’s Word, to study and learn. With this book, you really can spend (most of the time) only about ten minutes at a time, and you will find yourself learning in-depth about the fruit of the spirit.

I love how Katie has pointed out that the Bible is not talking about “fruits”, but rather, “fruit” of the spirit. You can’t just pick and choose which ones you will put on, they are all part of the whole fruit . . . “This is not a fruit-basket life where we can pick and choose which part of Christlikeness we want to put on. No, this is more like an orange, where each virtue is a different slice of the orange. You must have all of the slices together and in their places to have a whole, complete orange.”

With a foreword written by well-known speaker Heidi St. John, this little (approximately 49 pages) ebook packs a powerful punch. You’ll spend between 2 to 5 days on each fruit, finishing up with a day devoted to “The Whole Fruit”. This allows you to focus in small bites for more than one day on each fruit of the spirit.

You will need a study notebook, or you may download (free!) Katie’s companion workbook after you get your Kindle version of the Bible Study.

About the Author:

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Katie and her husband Tap have been missionaries in Mexico since 2007. They homeschool their four children and minister through church planting, Bible training, bookstore ministry, and homeschool curriculum development.
Katie is a teacher at heart, and by trade, and loves to encourage women in their God-given roles through speaking, writing and blogging. She is the author of this and two other ebooks (at the date of this printing) as well as the Lemonhass homeschool curriculum for Spanish Speaking families.
Katie blogs about marriage, motherhood, and ministry at ParadisePraises.com and she blogs about home education (in Spanish) at EducandoEnElHogar.com.
She has guest posted on various other blogs in her niche and is also the host of Educando en el Hogar, an internet radio show that is part of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network.

Other notes of interest: Katie’s four favorite things are elephants, dark chocolate, the color purple and the Mayan hammock in her living room. Oh and she’s due with baby #5 in early Feb. 2014.

Today only, December 10, 2013, Katie’s book “Putting On The Spirit: Ten-Minute Devotions For Busy Moms” is available FREE on Amazon!

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Then, for the next 3 days, it will be available at the price of 99 cents . . .

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After which it will be at the regular price of $4.99.

I absolutely feel that even if you don’t get it free, or at the reduced launch price, it is worth the $4.99.

If you (or someone you know) would prefer the Spanish language version, that is also available, and for this week only it costs just 99 cents, and Katie has made available the Spanish language version of the Companion Workbook, as well! 🙂

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Once again, I whole-heartedly recommend this book and its companion workbook to everyone!

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As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the top of this page and enter your email into the “sign me up” button, and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please, go to our Facebook Page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! 🙂

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Filed under Bible Study for busy moms, Book Launch, Christian faith, Katier Horner, Putting On The Spirit

Our Church Teen Choir

We have an awesome bunch of teens at Mesa Baptist Church, and Bro. Roger Grantham and his wife Aubrey are so great with the kids! Here they are in a video from last night, singing the song “Glory To God In The Highest” for the special music during the evening service!

I really want to give the Granthams a shout out, because Mike and I have two boys in the teen group and the teen choir. The Granthams have just been wonderful with them, really understanding of their needs, and helping where necessary so that the boys will do well in the group. They’ve even been willing to help with making it possible (in part by having along another couple, the Kuckartz’s, to handle things like medications and keeping “The Batman” on track) for “The Batman” to be included when they go to Winter Retreat, and hopefully summer camp next year, as well.

Thank you, Mesa Baptist, we love you! 🙂

As always, I’d love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy this blog, please go to our Facebook page and “like” it. I’d sure appreciate it if you did! 🙂

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Filed under Christian faith, Church, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, Teen Choir

Weekly Wrap Up . . . Thanksgiving

This has been a busy, busy week! It began with finalizing my lists for Thanksgiving, as we were to be 15 for dinner! So, starting on Monday, the kids and I were working on getting ahead of the laundry and cleaning, among other things.

I was also working hard to finish assembling the base Christmas cards I’m working on for my Hairstylist, Jody Muniz! They are all completed except for adding the bling and stamping the sentiments on the inside! 🙂 I needed to get them to that point so I could put away all of my paper-crafting supplies by Wednesday.

On Tuesday evening, our church, Mesa Baptist held it’s Thanksgiving Feast at 6:00 p.m., followed by our annual Thanksgiving Praise and Thanksgiving service. During the service, our teen choir sang the special music. Both “The Batman” and “The Artist” are in the teen choir, and “The Artist” had one of the duets in the song, so watch for him in this video! 🙂

Thursday, my husband had to work a four hour shift in the morning, and then about an hour after he got home, our guests began arriving. My friend Rose (who actually happens to work with my husband), her husband Bill and their four children (Danny, Andrew, Ian and Ashley) arrived first, at around 11:00. She is a Pampered Chef consultant, and came with stuff to make a veggie tray and a relish tray, complete with Pampered Chef stuff to make and serve them with! We put those out for the football watchers, but it took a bit of time to get them to eat that along with the chips and dip, lol! She also did a lovely tossed salad, a Honey Baked Ham, dinner rolls, and brought two pies.

My friend Ann, her husband Charles and their son Charlie got here later in the afternoon. She had made delicious mashed potatoes, two kinds of green bean casserole, and brought three pies. We had spent Thanksgiving at their home last year. 🙂

I did the Turkey, Coconut-Pecan Sweet Potatoes, stuffing, cranberry celebration, gravy and brownies. I forgot to cook the corn I had bought, but there was certainly plenty of food without it!

We had such a good time, and those who are into football certainly got their fill this year on Thanksgiving!

Here are some pictures of everyone having a good time together . . .

First up, My friend Ann, with her very fun hat!
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Next, we have Charlie, dressed to root for his team . . .
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Here is my husband Mike, with Ann and her husband Charles . . .
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Here, “The Batman” is engrossed in a 3DS game!
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Next, we have my friend Rose, her husband Bill, 2 of their kids plus “The Artist” . . .
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My husband Mike, gabbing with Rose, Ann and Charles . . .
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Two of Rose and Bill’s kids, plus “The Puzzler” at the Wii.
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Well, that’s OUR weekly wrap-up, how was YOUR week? Why don’t you write about it and then go link up with the rest of us? Just click the graphic below!

As always, I’d love it if you’d join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go and enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update! And, if you enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook page and “Like it. I’d sure love it if you did! 🙂

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Filed under Christian faith, Church, family, food, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, singing, Teen Choir, Thanksgiving 2013

The Force, by Alexandra & Joyce Swann . . . My Review

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I have been reading this book for several weeks now, in little snatches of time, since unfortunately, I do not have the luxury of just sitting for hours to finish a good book the way I did when I was young . . . and single . . . and not homeschooling four boys, lol!

Make no mistake, the fact that I took me a while to finish this story does NOT mean I didn’t like it. In fact, it was VERY difficult to put it down each time I had to do so!

Here is a short synopsis of the premise in “The Force”:

“About The Force:
Someone is murdering the world’s most beautiful women—over and over and over. When Jarrod and Joshua Sinclair are called in to consult with the FBI about the Hollywood Starlet murders, they immediately suspect their old nemesis Josef Helmick of creating clones of famous women for a visiting Saudi prince. Wasting no time, they hire retired detective Fred Kowalski and send him to Dubai to uncover Josef’s base of operations and build a case against him for the murders. But Fred soon discovers that Helmick Enterprises is harboring a secret much darker than human trafficking. Fred must stop Helmick before he resurrects an ancient, diabolical Force in order to bring the entire human race under his control.”

This book is as gripping as any sci-fi or political thriller I have ever read, and the bonus is that it has a Christian theme running throughout the story as the Sinclair brothers and Fred Kowalski race to prove their belief of who and what is behind the crimes that are happening.

As I read this book, which is the sequel to the equally gripping book “The Fourth Kingdom” by the same authors, I was struck over and over again by the plausibility of the story. It is no secret to believers that there is, and has been throughout history, a battle between the force of Satan and the power of God.

This book is part of the “Kingdom Chronicles” series. I am so hoping there will be a third book, and even a fourth and beyond, as I really, really enjoyed reading it. Both “The Force” and it’s prequel “The Fourth Kingdom” are thought-provoking, and will make you want to study more on prophesy and history.

Joyce and Alexandra Swann are mother and daughter. Joyce homeschooled her ten children from the first grade through master’s degrees. She is a well-known author and speaker on the subject of homeschooling. For nearly a decade she was a popular columnist for “Practical Homeschooling Magazine”. She now blogs regularly on parenting, homeschooling, and Christian lifestyle issues.

Joyce and Alexandra have co-authored two other novels, The Fourth Kingdom and The Twelfth Juror, both of which were published in 2010.

Joyce’s personal story of her experiences raising and educating her family is chronicled in Looking Backward: My Twenty-Five Years as a Homeschooling Mother, published in February of 2011. Her novel, The Warrior, which tells the story of one woman’s ten year prayer vigil for a man she has never met, was released in May of 2012. She is also the author of two children’s books, “Tales of Pig Isle” and “The McAloons”, which began as stories that she told to entertain her grandchildren.

Alexandra is the author of “No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master’s Degree at Age Sixteen” and “Writing for Today”. She has been self-employed for over fourteen years and was the 2011 Chairwoman of the Board of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She writes a regular blog, Paying for Protection, about the consequences of over-regulation and over-reaching government. Her novel “The Planner”, which is the prequel to “The Chosen”, was published in June of 2012.

Over at “Following In His Footsteps“, blogger Wendy has posted a Q & A with authors Alexandra & Joyce Swann.

“The Force” is now available here in paperback for $15.50, and on Kindle for $4.99.

I highly recommend the Swanns as writers of some of my newest favorite books, and I greatly appreciate the fact that they’ve used the King James Bible for all of the scripture used in their novel! Run, don’t walk, and begin reading the “Kingdom Chronicles” now. You’ll not regret it, I promise you!

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As always, I’d love it if you joined me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update! And, if you do enjoy “My Journeys”, please go to our Facebook Page and “Like” it. 🙂

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Filed under Christian faith, Joyce and Alexandra Swann, The Force, The Fourth Kingdom