Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pray Before You Speak

Nehemiah 2 
 4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.

The king asked Nehemiah a question and before Nehemiah answered the king, he went to the King of kings in prayer. Nehemiah knew he needed to seek God's wisdom before he opened his mouth.

This is an example of how to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Nehemiah went to the lord whenever he needed His wisdom. He didn't wait until his scheduled time with God; he went at the very moment he needed to seek Him. Nehemiah didn't just spout off an answer; he was of the mindset to seek God first.

A common saying is "think before you speak", but maybe a better saying would be "pray before you speak."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all they getting get understanding. 4:7

This has been a favorite verse of mine for a long time (in addition to the previous two verses: Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.)

What stood out to me today was the spelling of "principal". Looking back at the Hebrew, it means: first, most important, chief. With those definition, I would have guessed it would have been spelled "-ple"; however, "-pal" fits well because we need to make wisdom our friend. We need to seek it as a friend. We need to cherish its words as we would cherish the words of a friend. We need to trust it as we would a friend.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Grace

Yesterday we celebrated Christ's Resurrection from the dead. He died for us. He was the perfect sacrifice. He who was without sin endured the cross for our sins. We did not deserve to receive the grace He showed us, but His love for us was so great that He took our sins on Himself so that we may enjoy eternal life.

When we consider the tremendous grace that God has shown us, how can we not in turn show grace to our spouse? We are all sinners. We all mess up and sometimes mess up big, but it will never be so much that we can't show grace.

The book of Hosea is a great example. Hosea was called to marry and love Gomer, a woman who was consistently unfaithful. In the end, Gomer came to realize what she was doing and sought forgiveness. God asked Hosea to do this as an example of His love for His people. We should be able to forgive even unfaithfulness just as God forgives our unfaithfulness to Him.

John 1:16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener Review

As a home school family, we go through a lot of pencils a year. One of my biggest frustrations is not being able to find a sharpened pencil in the house. We used to have an electric pencil sharpener that I purchased while in college and used when I was teaching public school, but the downside to that is that it was loud. It eventually quit working and they are not cheap to replace and of course, if we had a power outage, we couldn't sharpen pencils.
After the electric pencil sharpener quit working, we went through numerous hand held pencil sharpeners. The major problem with those is that either the container that holds the shavings would come up missing or the entire pencil sharpener would go missing when I needed one.
My parents bought us a battery powered sharpener one year, but then I had to keep buying batteries and it still had the problem of coming up missing when I needed it most.

I had decided I wanted an old-fashion, wall mounted pencil sharpener; however, as an one-income family, we didn't have an extra $20-$30 laying around for a pencil sharpener.

Someone had linked to the Classroom Friendly Supplies page in one of the home school facebook groups in which I participate and talked about how nice their pencil sharpeners were. I immediately went to look (yes, I am a nerdy, home school mom!). I looked around and read about them and thought they sounded great and decided that I would rather have one of those than the old metal, gray ones, but I still had to wait until I had the money.

Just as I was getting ready to close out the page, I saw that they were looking for people to try the pencil sharpeners and write reviews. I submitted an application and waited to see if I would be chosen. I squealed with delight when I received the email telling me that not only had I been chosen to review it, I could pick the color of my choice! They offer five fun colors--midnight black, cool blue, firehouse red, groovy green and popular purple.

I chose a blue sharpener because blue is my favorite color. We then waited for it to arrive.

The children all gathered around me when it arrived and waited for me to open it. I was impressed with how sturdy it looked and felt. I like the fact that the compartment for the pencil shavings is clear so that we can see when it needs to be emptied before it overflows. I like being able to mount it somewhere because then my children won't walk off with it and not return it. I love how sharp of point it gives the pencils; it is nice and crisp. It is also nice that the handle spins freely when the pencil is sharpened (which creates a different sound) so that you know when it is completely sharpened.

I was a little disappointed to not find any directions on how to use the sharpener or how to mount it, but they do have directions on their website. You can print off the directions so that if you are using it in a public setting, new users will now how to use it.

I originally mounted it on the edge of my desk, but have since moved it to another location in the house. I think I like it in the new location better. The nice thing about the mount is that we can continue to move it to where we think it will work and we won't have screw holes in a wall after we move it.

It also isn't as loud as the traditional, gray, metal pencil sharpeners you usually find in schools which means anyone can use it while the little ones are sleeping and I don't have to worry about them waking up.

I highly recommend the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener for any home school family, teacher in a public school, and any other place where pencil sharpeners are needed. I am highly satisfied with the pencil sharpener and have taken the old pencil sharpener off my Amazon wish list because I don't plan on using any other pencil sharpener. 

Before actually use one and enjoying it as much as I do, I don't think I would have spent the money to buy one for myself, but now that I know how great it is and how much nicer it is than other pencil sharpeners, I will gladly purchase another one if needed. However, I don't see that being a need. They do offer replacement parts so it is simple to just replace the sharpener blades instead of the entire unit. They also offer wall mounting plates if you would rather mount it on a wall.

I received a Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener 
for free in exchange for writing a review.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 3:7

We need to be careful that we don't create our own God by following our wisdom and thinking God would be okay with it.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Vision

 Proverbs 29:18 
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Make a habit of talking with your spouse about dreams, goals, and visions of where you see your family in the future. Do you want to strengthen your love and trust? Do you want to be out of debt? Do you want to own your own business? Whatever it is, talk about it and work together. If you aren't looking to the future, you are more likely to become dissatisfied with the life you are living. Work together toward a common goal, thereby, strengthening your bond and your marriage.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Following the Israelites

Psalms 106:13-15
They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.  And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

I fear that many in this nation are following the Israelites' example and it didn't end well for them so it won't be any different for us.

We have forgotten the Lord's blessing on this nation. We are not waiting on His counsel. We are lusting after the things of this world (money, possessions, security, etc.). God will give us our requests if we burden Him too long with our whining and griping. He will give us what we are asking; however, read that last part . . .

but sent leanness into their soul

We will not be happy even once we get what we want because we will realize it isn't what we needed.

I pray this nation will see its need for God. I pray for people to live by His standards and not worry about what this world says we need to be happy. True joy is found in Christ and following Him!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart. 3:3

Being merciful is just as important as being truthful. Just as we are to remember the Truth, we need to remember the mercy He shows us. We must share mercy with others just as we are to share the Truth.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-Honor

1 Peter 2:17
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

The Bible tells us to "honor all men" which of course includes our spouse. How do we go about doing that?

One way to show honor to your husband is to not speak ill of him in front of family, friends, etc. While you may be having a difficult time with something, it is better to speak privately with a close confidant instead of voicing the problem in a group of friends. Do not put him down. Speak highly of him. You can always find something to praise.

Another way to show honor is to seek his advice. He may want you to be in charge of the budget, running the household, etc., but it would still be nice to ask him about how to go about doing those things. Don't just ask his opinion and then forget about it. Consider his thoughts and feelings.

There may be times when you don't think your husband deserves you to show him honor, but remember, that there are many times we don't deserve the grace and mercy that God shows us either. God calls us to honor so we must honor.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2:1

Receive means we must accept. We must take them with open hands. We must appreciate and treasure the wisdom given to us. If we treasure it, we will put it somewhere safe--in our hearts where it will always be with us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Learning contentment is a valuable thing to learn. Scripture calls it a "great gain." Why is that? Well, let's look at scripture to answer that.

 1 Timothy 6:8
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

What more do we need in life besides clothes and food? God promises to provide those things so in all reality, why should we be discontent when our needs are being met?

Hebrews 13:5 
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

God promises to always be with us. If He is with us, will we truly lack something we need? God is all we need!

Many times I get caught up with what the world says we need, or I just want more than what s needed. In those times, I need to remind myself that God is all I need. When I have Him, I am not alone and He promises to feed and clothe me. Who am I to complain at how or when He provides those things? He knows that is best for me; I just need to rest in that fact.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Marriage Moment Monday-One Flesh

Genesis 2:24 
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

One flesh.

What does that mean to you?

Many people automatically think of the physical. And while physical intimacy is very important in a marriage, it isn't the entirety of one flesh.

One flesh means that you think of your spouse as much as you think of yourself. You want the best for your husband. You want to treat your husband as you would want to be treated. You feel his hurts as if they were your own (even if you don't understand why it hurts). You share things with him that you don't share with anyone else. You support him in his endeavors which means that you don't belittle him or put him down. Stand by his side and encourage him. His success is your success. You are not less of a person because you are a help meet; you are one!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Mind to Work

Nehemiah 4:1-6 
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:  And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee: for they have provoked thee to anger before the builders. So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

Israel's enemies do not like that they are rebuilding the wall. Since they can not take legal or physical action against the Israelites (remember, they have the King's blessing), their enemies turn to mockery. They make fun of them and try to embarrass them to make them back down.

In response to this, Nehemiah does what we would be wise to do--turn to God.

He does not respond back to his enemies.

He does not seek revenge.

Instead, he turns to God and leaves it in God's hand because he realizes that they are against God, not the Israelites.

Once he gave it over to God, Nehemiah and the people of Israel went back to work on the wall and were successful. They had a mind to work and did what they were told to do and let God deal with everything else.

What an encouragement this is to how we should live our lives!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesdays

For my Sunday School class, we have been studying the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is full of so much wisdom! Proverbs is a book that we could read over and over and constantly draw a new nugget of wisdom out of it each time we read it.

I wanted to share some of what I have gleaned from Proverbs so I decided to share a little bit every Wednesday. I am calling it:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 1:7

Fear = reverence

When you reverence someone, you humble yourself to their wisdom and power. You are not prideful, but you take their words to heart. You reflect on them and if you are wise yourself, you will live by them. Do not despise God's Words as they are full of life!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

He Will Prosper

Nehemiah 2:19-20
 But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king? Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Sometimes when we are about God's work, others will think we are crazy or stupid. They may laugh at us. They may scorn us. They may try to talk "sense" into us. They may try to stop us.

However, we need to remember who we follow and who is in control!

The Lord will prosper those who are about His work. He will take care of us and provide all we need to complete the job He placed before us.

Remember to  keep your focus on Him whom you are serving!